Questions of Cash: A gas distributor's mistake cost me the chance to switch supplier

 

Q. I have been unable to resolve an issue with Npower that has been ongoing since last October. Due to a false meter registration I have been unable to switch suppliers. As a result I have missed out on a warm home discount offer of £140 and a fixed price offer, which ran out in November.

I will now be affected by a price rise of 10 per cent. I also missed out on a direct debit discount of £90 because of changes Npower made to my contract in October. When I call Npower on average I wait on hold for 20 minutes. This cost me an additional £23 in call charges. I have been stuck on Npower's expensive tariff for months now through no fault of my own. The total cost to me is over £300. I received a “final offer” of compensation of £200, which is derisory. EW, London.

A. Npower has looked at this again. As a result, it has come up with a revised offer of £400, which you have accepted. A spokesman for Npower says: “His gas meter information was incorrect in the national database. I'm pleased to say this is now all resolved and we've given [the reader] £400 as a gesture of goodwill to cover the difference in charges between Npower and his new supplier, which he's happy with.” Apparently the reason for your difficulties was that your meter was recorded by the gas distributor as being a pre-payment meter, when it was actually a credit meter.

Telephone fraud calls for action

Q. A fraudster opened a telephone account with EE in my name. I spoke to EE, pointing out that it was not me. It said the account would be investigated and cancelled and I would be contacted. When I heard nothing, I wrote to EE on 28 October. On 17 December EE sent me a cheque for £46 closing my account. I wrote to EE on 14 January saying as I had never had an account, I was not entitled to the money. On 17 January EE sent me a letter threatening legal action if I did not pay its demand for £46. I sent EE a cheque on 27 January, returning the money sent to me on 17 December. EE clearly received my letter because my cheque has cleared my account. None of my letters has received a reply. KB, Hertfordshire.

A. EE apologises. It has now closed the fraudulent account and promises you will receive no further correspondence related to this. The company has notified the credit reference agencies of the fraud and, as a result, there are no adverse entries on your credit records. A spokeswoman for EE says: “Due to an administrative error, our usual process was not followed and we apologise to [the reader] for any inconvenience.”

It pays to compare your car insurance quote

Q. I have had a car insurance policy with Frizzell for several years. I fear that I may have been significantly overcharged over that period. In February I received a letter offering a policy renewal for £489.40. I phoned for a revised quote to exclude my wife, as she does not use the car for business use. The premium was reduced by £20. I was then told that I was within a group policy for a household for several cars, although I have only ever had one car. I was told this might have been the only policy available when I took it out. I was then offered a new quote of £342.03. Why was I never told about this before? Jo, Essex.

A. Frizzell is a brand of the Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society (LV=). A spokeswoman says: “We write to our customers at their renewal to ask them to call us so we can see if any of our new products might be better suited to their needs. Some customers who ask for a quote at renewal on our current new business policy see a reduction in price, while some see an increase. [The reader] had not contacted us to ask for a new quote previously so we were unable to find out if a different policy was suitable for his needs.

"When [the reader] called us to make the amendment to his policy, we offered him a quote for a new policy. The premium quoted on the new policy was significantly cheaper than the renewal premium he had received on his existing policy. This is, in part, because the policy has a higher excess and excludes foreign use cover, which was previously included. We believe that we offered [the reader] a fair premium for his motor insurance policy. However, our agent gave confusing information to [the reader] when he called. For this we apologise.” We understand that you are unhappy with this explanation and will lodge a complaint with the Financial Ombudsman Service. It is always sensible to seek comparison quotes for insurance policies when they come up for renewal.

Questions of cash cannot give individual advice. But we'll do our best to help if you have a financial dilemma. Email us at: questionsofcash@independent.co.uk

Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown

Arts and Entertainment
'A voice untroubled by time': Kate Bush
musicReview: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Life and Style
Cooked up: reducing dietary animal fat might not be as healthy as government advice has led millions of people to believe
healthA look at how governments started advising incorrectly on diets
News
peopleJustin Bieber accuses papparrazzi of acting 'recklessly' after car crash
Life and Style
tech
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
people
Voices
voices
Sport
Roger Federer is greeted by Michael Jordan following his victory over Marinko Matosevic
tennisRoger Federer gets Michael Jordan's applause following tweener shot in win over Marinko Matosevic
Arts and Entertainment
Oppressive atmosphere: the cast of 'Tyrant'
tvIntroducing Tyrant, one of the most hotly anticipated dramas of the year
News
i100
News
Ukrainian Leonid Stadnik, 37, 2.59 meter (8,5 feet) tall, the world's tallest living man, waves as he poses for the media by the Chevrolet Tacuma car presented to him by President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko in Kiev on March 24, 2008.
newsPeasant farmer towered at almost 8'5'' - but shunned the limelight
News
Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon in ‘The Front Page’, using an old tech typewriter
media
Life and Style
Could a robot sheepdog find itself working at Skipton Auction Mart?
techModel would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Suha Arraf’s film ‘Villa Touma’ (left) is set in Ramallah and all the actresses are Palestinian
film
Sport
Angel Di Maria poses with Louis van Gaal after signing for Manchester United
sportWinger arrives from Real Madrid and could make debut on Saturday
Arts and Entertainment
Kingston Road in Stockton is being filmed for the second series of Benefits Street
arts + entsFilming for Channel 4 has begun despite local complaints
Arts and Entertainment
Hooked on classical: cellist Rachael Lander began drinking to combat panic attacks
musicThe cellist Rachael Lander’s career was almost destroyed by alcohol she drank to fight stage fright. Now she’s playing with Elbow...
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

    Generalist HR Administrator, Tunbridge Wells, Kent - £28,000.

    £25000 - £28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Generalist HR Administrator - Tunbri...

    Senior C# Developer (.NET, C#, JMS, TDD, Web API, MVC, integrat

    £45000 - £75000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: Senior C...

    GUI Developer (GUI,C#,.NET,VB6)

    Negotiable: Harrington Starr: GUI Developer (GUI,C#,.NET,VB6)SurreyCompetitive...

    Junior Database Administrator (SQL, T-SQL, Excel, SSRS, Crystal

    £30000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: Junior Database A...

    Day In a Page

    Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

    Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

    A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
    Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

    The science of herding is cracked

    Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
    Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

    This tyrant doesn’t rule

    It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?
    Rachael Lander interview: From strung out to playing strings

    From strung out to playing strings

    Award-winning cellist Rachael Lander’s career was almost destroyed by the alcohol she drank to fight stage fright. Now she’s playing with Elbow and Ellie Goulding
    The science of saturated fat: A big fat surprise about nutrition?

    A big fat surprise about nutrition?

    The science linking saturated fats to heart disease and other health issues has never been sound. Nina Teicholz looks at how governments started advising incorrectly on diets
    Emmys 2014 review: Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars

    Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars?

    The recent Emmy Awards are certainly glamorous, but they can't beat their movie cousins
    On the road to nowhere: A Routemaster trip to remember

    On the road to nowhere

    A Routemaster trip to remember
    Hotel India: Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind

    Hotel India

    Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind
    10 best pencil cases

    Back to school: 10 best pencil cases

    Whether it’s their first day at school, uni or a new project, treat the student in your life to some smart stationery
    Arsenal vs Besiktas Champions League qualifier: Gunners know battle with Turks is a season-defining fixture

    Arsenal know battle with Besiktas is a season-defining fixture

    Arsene Wenger admits his below-strength side will have to improve on last week’s show to pass tough test
    Pete Jenson: Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought

    Pete Jenson: A Different League

    Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought
    This guitar riff has been voted greatest of all time

    The Greatest Guitar Riff of all time

    Whole Lotta Votes from Radio 2 listeners
    Britain’s superstar ballerina

    Britain’s superstar ballerina

    Alicia Markova danced... every night of the week and twice on Saturdays
    Berlin's Furrie invasion

    Berlin's Furrie invasion

    2000 fans attended Eurofeurence
    ‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

    ‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

    Driven to the edge by postpartum psychosis