Citizen's Advice Bureau Webchat Service, Online Help and Assistance
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Citizen's Advice Bureau Webchat Service, Online Help and Assistance

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Found 8th JanEdited by:"R___"
Thought it could help some people who didn't know that the citizen's advice bureau have a web chat service and they can help online, rather than just visiting your local office if their hours are not suitable for you for any reason.

citizensadvice.org.uk/abo…ce/
To start a webchat, click on 'Start chat' under Need help now? on the left of this screen. If a button doesn't appear, the service isn't available right now (it's usually available between 10am and 4pm, Monday to Friday).

I hope this helps.
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CompuFocus2 h, 7 m ago

CAB are the only people who can help against the abuse of the civil …CAB are the only people who can help against the abuse of the civil servants and argue with them about their mistakes


My wife volunteered as an adviser for decades, 2 or 3 different branches, depending on where we lived. For as long as I can remember she has moaned about benefits office, one council cut the grant to the CAB, set up an advice centre and then they advised people to go to the CAB. They have no shame, but it is not abuse, it is incompetence. My wife says she used to be able to do the benefits calculations manually, but had to do them on the CAB system, so as she said, you could see they were wrong in seconds, yet they sent someone away with bad calculations. When she phoned them up she always said it was like talking to an idiot. This is nothing new. By the way she did this on top of running her own successful business, refused the expenses, a few quid a day. She still believes in them wholeheartedly and donates regularly, but she developed a health condition and her consultant advised her to drop it. They also have an effective system for advising government when things are problematic, not that they listen. I have done government contracts, for my sins. So I know what she is talking about.
I actually developed/worked on their website including the chat bit. It feels really good when the work you have done is actually helping people in their life :-)
One thing I would say, if they help you, and you can afford it, please make a donation, they often struggle to keep going and they do great work.
good to know. makes perfect sense to introduce webchat for help as then it could be nationwide. popping into your local citizen advice bureau seems like the dark ages in this day and age.

they should also have email queries where they can help you via email correspondence. i don't see the point of using up building space for CAB, which costs money.
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good to know. makes perfect sense to introduce webchat for help as then it could be nationwide. popping into your local citizen advice bureau seems like the dark ages in this day and age.

they should also have email queries where they can help you via email correspondence. i don't see the point of using up building space for CAB, which costs money.
Hot. Just called them today on phone actually. They couldn't help me as they are not solicitors and can only guide you through the process but still it was help as I didn't have to go to their center and queue
supermann8 m ago

Sounds like a route to outsourcing everything, race to the bottom. You …Sounds like a route to outsourcing everything, race to the bottom. You still need a building for the volunteers to work in, although I agree it would be good to enable people to volunteer from home. The problem I have with this though is that volunteering for CAB can be a good way to develop skills to get into the workplace so it helps if there's an actual place to go to work.


think a bit broader, and think of all the CAB offices around the country. there will be times when no one comes into the building so people are sitting twidling their thumbs, drinking tea, coffee and chewing biscuits, putting on weight in the process, and probably getting bored out of their **** mind, when they could just help people who want to ask a question and have to queue as their local office is very busy at that particular moment.

it means that any CAB office around the UK can help you via web chat, it doesn't have to be your local office. web chat can be done at the CAB office, it doesn't have to be done at home.
Very useful... didn't know they had web chat support. Thanks for posting
Impossible to get to see any advisors at my local.
Thanks for posting.
Gollywood13 m ago

Impossible to get to see any advisors at my local.


Same here!!! Can't even get hold of them on phone.
CAB are the only people who can help against the abuse of the civil servants and argue with them about their mistakes
They advised me to emigrate...
Good information. I have not used them often but when i have it has been awkward trying too make time too travel too them and taking the clan with me.
So web chat is very handy indeed. Thanks for the info.
Calz0114 m ago

Good information. I have not used them often but when i have it has been …Good information. I have not used them often but when i have it has been awkward trying too make time too travel too them and taking the clan with me.So web chat is very handy indeed. Thanks for the info.


pooool33 m ago

They advised me to emigrate...


speedemon2 h, 41 m ago

Very useful... didn't know they had web chat support. Thanks for posting


Cheers. Bookmarked. My local closed years ago.
Thanks, very helpful
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deleted5991
CompuFocus2 h, 7 m ago

CAB are the only people who can help against the abuse of the civil …CAB are the only people who can help against the abuse of the civil servants and argue with them about their mistakes


My wife volunteered as an adviser for decades, 2 or 3 different branches, depending on where we lived. For as long as I can remember she has moaned about benefits office, one council cut the grant to the CAB, set up an advice centre and then they advised people to go to the CAB. They have no shame, but it is not abuse, it is incompetence. My wife says she used to be able to do the benefits calculations manually, but had to do them on the CAB system, so as she said, you could see they were wrong in seconds, yet they sent someone away with bad calculations. When she phoned them up she always said it was like talking to an idiot. This is nothing new. By the way she did this on top of running her own successful business, refused the expenses, a few quid a day. She still believes in them wholeheartedly and donates regularly, but she developed a health condition and her consultant advised her to drop it. They also have an effective system for advising government when things are problematic, not that they listen. I have done government contracts, for my sins. So I know what she is talking about.
I actually developed/worked on their website including the chat bit. It feels really good when the work you have done is actually helping people in their life :-)
One thing I would say, if they help you, and you can afford it, please make a donation, they often struggle to keep going and they do great work.
very useful thanks for posting
Thanks for this
Didnt know
I remember going to them once years ago and their advice was to check the money saving expert forums 🤣
deleted59918th Jan

My wife volunteered as an adviser for decades, 2 or 3 different branches, …My wife volunteered as an adviser for decades, 2 or 3 different branches, depending on where we lived. For as long as I can remember she has moaned about benefits office, one council cut the grant to the CAB, set up an advice centre and then they advised people to go to the CAB. They have no shame, but it is not abuse, it is incompetence. My wife says she used to be able to do the benefits calculations manually, but had to do them on the CAB system, so as she said, you could see they were wrong in seconds, yet they sent someone away with bad calculations. When she phoned them up she always said it was like talking to an idiot. This is nothing new. By the way she did this on top of running her own successful business, refused the expenses, a few quid a day. She still believes in them wholeheartedly and donates regularly, but she developed a health condition and her consultant advised her to drop it. They also have an effective system for advising government when things are problematic, not that they listen. I have done government contracts, for my sins. So I know what she is talking about.


I was a CAB adviser for over nine years, and I can confirm all of what your wife says. And more!
Glad there' is Web chat. I emailed before but they were judgemental and I didn't like that.

The problem with any advice is sometimes there will be something else that needs to be known to give a more accurate answer.

I like the fact it's there just the person helping needs to be able to help the person decide themselves what's best if they have different options. No one else can' take responsibility for your life.
I had only bad experiences with them. Especially online.
I never got any help from them. So they are pretty useless.
Useful info. to know. :-)
They are always needing staff as most are volunteers good service when you can get them this seems a good idea
This is very useful if it is indeed truly nationwide - some places have no citizens advice bureau, or it is very difficult to get to one if you live in a rural area.
Also, some of those I have contacted in the past have refused to help, because I was not in their catchment area, and they were overloaded with local problems, so apologised and told me 'tough luck' basically.
There can be other reasons why a local office is not the best option, as confidentiality cannot always be guaranteed (too late to report them after the damage is done) or you may have had a personal dispute with one of the staff, especially in smaller towns where everyone knows everyone else.
Gollywood16 h, 25 m ago

Impossible to get to see any advisors at my local.


They fired most of them at mine, a relative worked there for years but all the paid staff with lots of experience got replaced with volunteers.
Belloq7 h, 25 m ago

I had only bad experiences with them. Especially online. I never got any …I had only bad experiences with them. Especially online. I never got any help from them. So they are pretty useless.


Surely that just means the ones you dealt with were no use for your specific case? If you consider the breadth of knowledge expected, and for free at that, it's amazing they are able to help even a fraction of the people.
My only gripe with the service is, that it doesn't automatically show you when someone is free. You have to go through entering your area of interest, your postcode and your name on three different screens, only to be greeted with "Our advisers are busy right now but please try again later. To find details of your local Citizens Advice office click here."


I've been trying for a couple of days now (calling or going to a branch is inconvenient for me) but have yet to speak with anyone. Great idea all together. Good service, I'm sure. Just poor execution overall.
Edited by: "Stefano_Ferrazza" 9th Jan
useless service. goes by book. you can google for your rights instead. about anything - employment issues, rental issues, trading issues.
Went to my local Citizen's Advice the other year for help for an ill relative but found them to be a waste of time unfortunately. Gave me completely incorrect advice and felt they were very belittling Just glad i found some sites online that were helpful like someone else mentioned money saving expert etc. Maybe their webchat service is better?
I have worked as an adviser within CAB in Northern Ireland for 10 years and it is extremely annoying when people complain about our service i.e that they cannot get through or get an appointment with an adviser etc. We are a voluntary service and we rely on funding from any/all sources we can get it from - with the changes to the current benefits system and the knock on effects of this we are under extreme pressure and we are also finding, in the face of increased demand, we are having our funding cut - we are not a government or private service where people are expected to be seen - we offer an excellent service for free and are doing this in the face of massive budget cuts and benefit reform. We aim to help as many people as possible but it is not always possible due to losing good staff through funding issues. People are talking about money saving expert being better etc - Martin Lewis himself donated £1m to CAB as he knows how valuable our service is and how underfunded we are. I see the government every week literally frittering away money on silly projects and projects that go nowhere when we are in dire need of expansion and trained advisers.
My experience with them has always been terrible. Rude, dismissive and uninterested. Basically told to me to ask other people my questions. I would never recommend them.
Bigbadl7928 m ago

I have worked as an adviser within CAB in Northern Ireland for 10 years …I have worked as an adviser within CAB in Northern Ireland for 10 years and it is extremely annoying when people complain about our service i.e that they cannot get through or get an appointment with an adviser etc. We are a voluntary service and we rely on funding from any/all sources we can get it from - with the changes to the current benefits system and the knock on effects of this we are under extreme pressure and we are also finding, in the face of increased demand, we are having our funding cut - we are not a government or private service where people are expected to be seen - we offer an excellent service for free and are doing this in the face of massive budget cuts and benefit reform. We aim to help as many people as possible but it is not always possible due to losing good staff through funding issues. People are talking about money saving expert being better etc - Martin Lewis himself donated £1m to CAB as he knows how valuable our service is and how underfunded we are. I see the government every week literally frittering away money on silly projects and projects that go nowhere when we are in dire need of expansion and trained advisers.


Couldn't agree more- I've been an advice worker for 10 years after volunteering with cab for 2 years initially. Funding cuts have meant I was made redundant along with many good advisors. Since then some bright spark has got funding and recruited trainees to deal with basic issues only - advice has now turned into a statistics mission! I'm appalled at the charade this has become. I say this as I managed to get a get a job under the new funders, but they have no idea of how best to deal with clients. It's a shame they have lost the ethics of cab and I've decided to leave my job and volunteer again at cab
It's a shame that CAB has gone downhill as they used to be really good, very helpful and caring, but in recent years as has been said, they are pretty useless thou I don't blame the staff, they still try their best. It just they don't seem to be trained or knowledgeable about the queries they are dealing with, it's just a case of them looking it up on a computer and interpret it as best they can. The sole reason you go to the CAB is you expect them to have some experience or knowledge of the subject you are asking them about and the fact is Solicitors are just too expensive for the average person who just wants some help or advice. I recently paid £150 for some advice from a solicitor and to be fair came out feeling totally ripped off by them.
I've tried the CAB on occasion - it's staffed by well-meaning volunteers but really there's nothing they offer above and over what can researched by oneself online or elsewhere
fgy12 m ago

I've tried the CAB on occasion - it's staffed by well-meaning volunteers …I've tried the CAB on occasion - it's staffed by well-meaning volunteers but really there's nothing they offer above and over what can researched by oneself online or elsewhere


I agree with you.
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