Ask Sindie: The trials and errors of chip and pin

What if you don't have the new card?... Landlords and students' rights


Q: Last week, I tried to pay for £20 of groceries on my local high street with my debit card. But I was told I couldn't do so as my card doesn't yet have chip and pin. I know the rules have changed but surely the shopkeeper was mistaken?

Without cash, I had to leave and drove to a branch of Tesco. Using the self-serve checkout, I swiped the same card through to pay and was worried by the absence of anti-fraud systems.

First, there was no request for my signature - my receipt just popped out into my hand - meaning anyone could have stolen the card and used it freely. Second, there was no pin pad for shoppers with chip and pin cards to use. Can you explain the mess?

IT, London

A: You've been caught up in chip and pin's teething troubles. In the first instance, your local grocer was at fault. As your debit card is not yet chip-enabled, you clearly couldn't pay this way.

The retailer should have inserted the card into his pin pad anyway. The chip and pin network has been set up so that the software would have immediately told him your card didn't have a pin - and to accept your signature instead.

At Tesco, a spokeswoman says installation of chip and pin machines at the self-serve checkouts is rolling out, but gives no deadline.

She adds that these checkouts have been a lower priority. Very low levels of fraud take place here as shoppers can buy only a basketful of items - not a big trolley of goods - and staff members patrol the checkouts to discourage fraudsters.

Don't forget that any financial loss to the customer from card crime will be covered as long as they aren't negligent with their cards. When you get your chip-enabled plastic, do not disclose your pin number or write it down somewhere it can easily be discovered.

Q: My student daughter is sorting out a move in the summer to her first shared house in Nottingham. But the landlord wants her and her two friends each to pay £750 as a deposit - amounting to twice the monthly rent. This seems a huge sum; can he ask for this?

We're also worried about her not getting her money back at the end of the contract.

Is there any way she can be sure of a fair hearing in case anything goes wrong with the landlord?

JA, Leicestershire

A: As deposits go, it's high - the average for students is £480, surveys have found - but two months' rent isn't unusual.

The bigger problem is your second concern: one in five of all tenants in the private rented sector struggle to reclaim their money, according to government figures, and students can make easy targets.

With landlords often living hundreds of miles away from university towns, it can be hard to track down a rogue property owner.

However, a voluntary scheme exists, which some landlords have joined, to offer tenants peace of mind.

The Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) in effect ring-fences the deposit by using a separate property agent to whom the landlord is affiliated. In the event of a deposit dispute with the landlord, the case will be passed to an independent adjudicator.

Unfortunately, only 1,000 agents are currently members of the scheme.

If your daughter's prospective landlord isn't linked to a member, and she isn't yet committed to the current property, she could log on to www.tds.gb.com to find an affiliated landlord.

Note that from October this year, new rules will force any landlord who isn't already connected to the TDS to hand over their own deposit to a government-backed scheme. They won't be able to demand a deposit unless they do.

Until then, there are other steps to take. Ensure your daughter completes an inventory check that also lists the condition of household appliances. This should be agreed with the landlord, signed and dated.

She should also get a receipt for the deposit and, when her tenancy is up, the landlord should review the property in her presence.

If you need help from our consumer champion, write to Sindie at The Independent on Sunday, Independent House, 191 Marsh Wall, London E14 9RS or email sindie@independent.co.uk. We cannot return documents, give personal replies or guarantee to answer letters. We accept no legal responsibility for advice given

Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and Clara have their first real heart to heart since he regenerated in 'Deep Breath'
TV
Life and Style
Apple showed no sign of losing its talent for product launches with the new, slightly larger iPhone 6 making headlines
techSecurity breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Oliver
filmTV chef Jamie Oliver turned down role in The Hobbit
News
The official police photograph of Dustin Diamond taken after he was arrested in Wisconsin
peopleDownfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson, left, and Richard Hammond upset the locals in South America
tvReview: Top Gear team flee Patagonia as Christmas special reaches its climax in the style of Butch and Sundance
News
people
Sport
Ashley Barnes of Burnley scores their second goal
footballMan City vs Burnley match report
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca alongside Harrison Ford's Han Solo in 'Star Wars'
film
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Man of action: Christian Bale stars in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
Arts and Entertainment
Tracy Emin's 1998 piece 'My Bed' on display at Christie's
artOne expert claims she did not
News
Ernesto Che Guevara and Fidel Castro, right, met at Havana Golf Club in 1962 to mock the game
newsFidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
News
Hackers revealed Oscar-winning actress Lawrence was paid less than her male co-stars in American Hustle
people
Arts and Entertainment
Clueless? Locked-door mysteries are the ultimate manifestation of the cerebral detective story
booksAs a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Sport
Robin van Persie is blocked by Hugo Lloris
footballTottenham vs Manchester United match report
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant- NY- Investment Bank

    Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...

    Selby Jennings: Quantitative Research | Equity | New York

    Not specified: Selby Jennings: Quantitative Research | Global Equity | New Yor...

    Selby Jennings: SVP Model Validation

    Not specified: Selby Jennings: SVP Model Validation This top tiered investment...

    Selby Jennings: Oil Operations

    Highly Competitive: Selby Jennings: Our client, a leading European Oil trading...

    Day In a Page

    A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

    A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

    Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
    Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

    Scarred by the bell

    The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
    Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

    Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

    Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
    Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

    Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

    Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
    The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

    The Locked Room Mysteries

    As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
    Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

    How I made myself Keane

    Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
    Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

    Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

    Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
    A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

    Wear in review

    A look back at fashion in 2014
    Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

    Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

    Might just one of them happen?
    War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

    The West needs more than a White Knight

    Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
    Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

    'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

    Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
    Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

    Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

    Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
    The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

    The stories that defined 2014

    From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
    Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

    Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

    Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?