Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

The list below may be able to answer you question. If not, please visit our Contact Us section.

How many CI members are there?

CI currently has over 240 members organisations from around 120 countries.

What type of organisations does CI represent?

Our members are made up of regional, national and local consumer groups, consumer government agencies and consumer-related issue groups from all over the world.

At one end of the scale is the Consumers Union in the US, which was founded almost 70 years ago and has more than 300 staff and 4.5 million individual consumers as its own members. At the other end are semi-voluntary associations providing information and advice and concentrating on education and community development to improve access to food, water and other basic services in some of the world's poorest countries.

Government agencies similarly run from major competition and fair trading agencies to recently established government departments in small countries addressing consumer issues for the first time.

Where are CI member organisations based?

About two-thirds of member organisations are in Latin America, Africa, Asia and Central/Eastern Europe and in countries of the former Soviet Union, the other third in Western Europe and North America.

Are there different types of CI member categories?

Yes. We have Full members, which are generally national consumer organisations; Affiliate members, who may be local groups, or single issue groups; and Government Affiliate members, which are generally consumer protection agencies.

You can get full details on our Member Categories page.

How does an organisation become a member of CI?

Organisations need to meet a number of criteria to become a member. Find out more in our Being a CI member section.

How is CI funded?

CI has a turnover of about US$5,500,000. Approximately 35% of our funding is through members fees. The remaining funds are secured through project grants from foundations and government agencies.

CI does not take any money from business.

Who runs CI?

All Full members have voting rights at the General Assembly, which determines the overall policies and priorities for the organisation. They meet every four to five years, when CI holds its World Congress.

As well as setting overall policy, the General Assembly elects a President and a Council from among its members, as the organisation's Board. The Council in turn appoints an eight-member Executive to which some Board responsibilities are delegated.

Read more about CI's Council and Executive members in our Governance Bodies section.

How many offices does CI have and where are they?

CI is a global organisation with four offices situated in Johannesburg, South Africa; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; London, UK; and Santiago, Chile.

Does CI handle individual consumer complaints?

CI does not deal with individual consumer complaints. If you have an issue you would like to raise concerning poor quality goods or services, you should contact your national consumer organisation or your national or local government advice service.

Visit our Member Directory to find out which CI members organisations may be able to help you.

Stay across the big issues in the global consumer movement.
Sign up now
Search for publications and discuss the latest consumer research.
Find resources now
Find out how joining CI will help your organisation.
Learn more
Find out why you should become a CI supporter.
Learn more
GoView more options