Questions of Cash: A gas distributor's mistake cost me the chance to switch supplier
Saturday 05 April 2014
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown
Authorities failing in hunt for 'most wanted' tax dodgers who owe HMRC £844m
How to protect your assets if the stock markets begin to head south again
A student's guide to financial survival: You don't have to drown in debt at university
You'll need £220,000 for a minimum wage in your retirement
10 tips for taking out a personal loan
- 1 Rice Bucket Challenge: India's take on the Ice Bucket Challenge 'for Indian needs'
- 2 Pamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals: 'Mice had holes drilled into their skulls'
- 3 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 4 Rubble Bucket Challenge: Ice Bucket Challenge adapted in solidarity with Gazans whose homes have been destroyed in conflict
- 5 Teenager dies after suspected ice bucket challenge goes horribly wrong
Exclusive: We share blame for creating 'jihad generation', says Muslim strategist
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
Jeremy Clarkson is a cultural tumour and needs to be removed, says comedian Frankie Boyle
Air strikes? Talk of God? Barack Obama is following the jihadists’ script after James Foley beheading
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Money & Business
£25000 - £28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Generalist HR Administrator - Tunbri...
£45000 - £75000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: Senior C...
Negotiable: Harrington Starr: GUI Developer (GUI,C#,.NET,VB6)SurreyCompetitive...
£30000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: Junior Database A...
Day In a Page
A first-floor flat with two bedrooms, a spacious reception room and communal grounds in a leafy part of London
A three-bedroom flat with a spacious rootop terrace and balcony, accessed from a private gated courtyard
A Grade II-listed pile with six bedrooms, stables and 39 acres of grounds in Standlake
A two-bedroom flat with boutique hotel-style interiors, close to the foodie haunt of West End Lane
A two-bedroom flat in a beautiful old vicarage, with many original features, close to the city centre
A three-bedroom 16th-century home with an aga kitchen, private gardens and heated outdoor pool, in Hadleigh
A three-bedrom home in sought-after Queen's Gate Mews, with Italian marble-finished bathrooms
Surrounded by glorious countryside in the village of Udimore, sits this impressive four-kiln oast and barn conversion
A five-bedroom house in the picturesque village of Kettlewell, north Yorkshire
An 18th-century former coaching inn with original staircase, open fireplaces and beams throughout
A Grade II-listed Georgian town house with three bedrooms and a south-facing courtyard, near Arundel Castle
Feel on top of the world at this über chic penthouse on the 37th floor of one of Europe’s tallest blocks.
A Grade II-listed Victorian villa with six bedrooms and two further cottages, all with spectacular sea views
A grade II-listed, Georgian cottage with mature 50ft garden, perfect for summer entertaining
A magnificent Georgian pile with turrets, seven bedrooms, a heated pool and four acres of gardens
Fairoak Farm has five bedroom suites, gym, outdoor swimming pool and golf course
Chic two-bedroom river-fronted flat with a private lift that delivers you directly to your home
A spectacular seven-bedroom Tudor pile, once owned by Henry VIII, with 18 acres of land
A seven-bedroom Georgian property previously used as a picturesque wedding venue
A split-level flat in a church conversion with two en suite bedrooms and 1,200sq ft of living space
A three-bedroom bungalow situated behind an impressive stone wall, £645,000
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads
Chapel House is a former vicarage with nine bedrooms in the beautiful Upper Wye Valley
A five-bedroom B&B and separate owner's accomodation with potential for conversion
Enjoy summer by the Thames in this two double-bedroom converted warehouse in Rotherhithe village
A one-bedroom, luxury apartment with private gym and concierge service in Moorgate
A four-bedroom house in Hermitage Gardens with three reception rooms and landscaped gardens
A seven-bedroom Grade II-listed property with a separate self-contained apartment
A five-bedroom Victorian house with three reception rooms and galleried landing, £695,000
A six-bedroom farmhouse with five acres of land in a former cloth-making village
A secluded seven-bedroom detached house with large private garden, £490,000
A three-bedroom cottage overlooking Sarratt village green with open fires and solid oak floors
A three-bedroom maisonette flat in a Grade I-listed, Georgian townhouse in a sought-after location
A one-bedroom apartment located within a private gated development, north of Turnham Green
Look forward to a brighter future at two-bedroom Sunny Cottages, ideal for Londoners looking to downsize
A three-bedroom red-brick cottage with outbuildings and pretty gardens, £200,000
This three-bedroom flat within a former textile factory spans the corner of the fourth floor and has a balcony