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

Voices
The Sumatran tiger, endemic to the Indonesian island of Sumatra, is an endangered species
voicesJonathon Porritt: The wild tiger population is thought to have dropped by 97 per cent since 1900
Arts and Entertainment
Beast would strip to his underpants and take to the stage with a slogan scrawled on his bare chest whilst fans shouted “you fat bastard” at him
musicIndie music promoter was was a feature at Carter gigs
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Story line: Susanoo slays the Yamata no Orochi serpent in the Japanese version of a myth dating back 40,000 years
arts + entsApplying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
Performers dressed as Tunnocks chocolate teacakes, a renowned Scottish confectionary, perform during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014.
news
Life and Style
Popular plonk: Lambrusco is selling strong
Food + drinkNaff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
News
Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
newsTwo skinny dippers threatened with inclusion on sex offenders’ register as naturists criminalised
News
Shake down: Michelle and Barack Obama bump knuckles before an election night rally in Minnesota in 2008, the 'Washington Post' called it 'the fist bump heard round the world'
newsThe pound, a.k.a. the dap, greatly improves hygiene
Arts and Entertainment
La Roux
music
Arts and Entertainment
Graham Fellows as John Shuttleworth
comedySean O'Grady joins Graham Fellows down his local Spar
News
people
News
Ross Burden pictured in 2002
people
News
Elisabeth Murdoch: The 44-year-old said she felt a responsibility to 'stand up and be counted’'
media... says Rupert Murdoch
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Extras
indybest
Sport
Arsenal signing Calum Chambers
sportGunners complete £16m transfer of Southampton youngster
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

    Data Governance Manager (Solvency II) – Contract – Up to £450 daily rate, 6 month (may go Permanent)

    £350 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently looking...

    Java Developer - Banking - London - Up to £560/day

    £500 - £560 per day: Orgtel: Java Developer FX - Banking - London - Up to £560...

    HR Business Analyst, Bristol, £350-400pd

    £350 - £400 per day + competitive: Orgtel: My client, a leading bank, is curre...

    Account Manager - (Product & Account Management, Marketing)

    £26000 - £30000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Account Manager - (Produc...

    Day In a Page

    The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

    The air strikes were tragically real

    The children were playing in the street with toy guns
    Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

    Britain as others see us

    Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
    Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

    Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

    Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
    How did our legends really begin?

    How did our legends really begin?

    Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
    Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

    Lambrusco is back on the menu

    Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
    A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

    A new Russian revolution

    Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
    Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

    Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

    The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
    Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

    Standing my ground

    If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

    Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

    Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
    Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

    Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

    The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
    The man who dared to go on holiday

    The man who dared to go on holiday

    New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

    Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

    For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
    The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

    The Guest List 2014

    Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
    Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

    Jokes on Hollywood

    With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on