RAT SCABIES, drummer with The Damned: We came back from a tour, went to get our money, and when we got to our new manager's office, there was nothing - no furniture, no manager, no money. He went with everything - it would have been thousands.

PATSY BLOOM, chief executive, Pet Plan insurance, and former businesswoman of the year: I was sold a cruise in the Caribbean at top prices, around £1,500. It wasn't luxurious at all - it was beer, hamburgers and baked beans. What made it worse was that all the other people on board had only paid about £500.

KEITH VAZ MP: The central heating boiler broke down in my flat the night before the the National Prayer Breakfast, which we hold once a year at 7.30am. I knew I would never get there if I couldn't have a shower first thing to wake me up, so I took the first plumber I could lay hands on and he charged me £450 to change a valve. It took 15 minutes.

DEIDRE HARWOOD, civil servant: I had some beautiful green and gold shoes made to match my wedding dress. I didn't get the chance to try them on until the day before the wedding. They were far too small! I couldn't get into them so I ended up wearing black suede courts. When I got back from the honeymoon and wanted to send them back, the designer had moved house.

ROGER McGOUGH, poet: In the Seventies I was in a band called Grimms. Our record company paid our new managers an advance and we went off to make an album in Cornwall. The managers came down, gave us lots of tins of beans to keep us going, and disappeared to America with our advance - 15 or 20 grand.

ANNE SELBY, PA: I'm too canny, but my neighbour, who's a pensioner, is always getting ripped off. One man came to her door wanting to install a meter to measure acid rain! Luckily, she said she couldn't afford it.

PHILIP JAMES, accountant: I finally bought a TV licence - now I'm paying £1.50 a week for screens full of Anneka Rice's bottom and the Pinky and Perky characters who present the National Lottery.

PATRICK HOSKING, IoS City Editor: Some roofers I found in the Yellow Pages told me my roof would cost £600 to fix. They were up there 20 minutes, and my mother, who was in the house at the time, refused to pay them £600. They got very abusive. I called Norwich Union, who were paying, and they said not to fight the roofers, just pay up, which may explain why insurance premiums are so high.

PENNY ALLEN, wife and mother: My new hair cut. It took 10 minutes, cost £57, and doesn't look any different.

VICTOR JONES, delivery man: Getting married. I didn't mind the seven-and-six licence, it was the beer afterwards.