Questions of Cash: Aviva sorry for delays in dealing with retired teacher's pension
Saturday 12 November 2011
Q. I have a Personal Pension Plan with Aviva that I want to activate. I have been made redundant from my teaching post and became 61 in February. Aviva sent me a "Retirement Illustration", but as I have some minor medical conditions my advisor suggested I should fill in the medical form Aviva sent me. This might result in a more accurate forecast and possibly an "upping" of my benefits. I posted the form on 20 July and Aviva received it two days later.
A month later I phoned to ask about progress and was told I would have a reply within three days. After three days I received a call to confirm my identity and was told the reply would be with me within another three days. In early September I phoned to ask why I had not had the reply and I was promised I would be phoned back with an answer – which I was not. Another week later I asked to speak to a section superior, explained the situation and was promised I would be phoned back with an answer – which again did not happen. Another two days later I did receive a call and was told that because of a "technical problem" the reply will take another two to three weeks. Can you find out when I will get an answer? JG, Isle of Man.
A. Aviva has now provided a full statement on the annuity options available to you. A spokeswoman for Aviva says: "We've now reviewed this matter and acknowledge that [the reader] experienced delays in receiving her illustrations on the various options open to her and did not receive her further illustrations relating to a health-related enhanced pension entitlement. We fully apologise for these delays, which were in part due to some administration errors in the processing of [the reader's] additional medical forms." In recognition of the poor service provided, Aviva is sending you £200. In addition, Aviva will backdate any annuity payments with interest and if you now decide to move to another provider Aviva will compensate you for any loss caused by the delays.
Q. I believe that my son should be entitled to receive a Child Trust Fund, with a payment from the Government of £50. I have spoken to the Child Benefit Office and the Child Trust Fund for the last year, but cannot get a payment or an answer. He is a British citizen and has a British passport. We moved abroad last October 2010 and my son was born in December 2010.GI, Finland.
A. HM Revenue & Customs explains that the qualifying conditions for a Child Trust Fund and the £50 are that the child was born between 1 September 2002 and 2 January 2011; that you were paid child benefit for that child for at least one day before 4 January 2011; that your child lives in the UK; and that your child is not subject to any immigration restriction. You accept that as you were living in Finland when you applied, the criteria mean that your son is not entitled to a Child Trust Fund payment.
Q. I am trying to obtain a refund from Argos Direct, which I have twice been promised. I bought a self-assembly sideboard online in May for £88.94 for home delivery. A part was faulty and the unit replaced, but several parts of the replacement unit were faulty. I agreed to take a different model, but this turned out to have been deleted. I was then refunded £77.99, but the delivery charge was not repaid. RS, by email.
A, Argos is now refunding the £8.95 delivery charge, plus an additional £20 as a gesture of goodwill. The company apologises and says the situation "should never have happened".
Q. I am having difficult checking my credit status with credit reference agency Experian. There is one item on my record marked "default", while the others are shown as "satisfactory". There was a disputed bill with Tesco relating to a fraudulent transaction, which is now resolved. But Experian is marking up the problem as being with Egg, which is why the matter is not shown as resolved. I have already sent Experian a letter from Tesco to confirm that this disputed item has been cleared and requested that it be removed from, or corrected in, my credit report. I also want to end my subscription of £5.99 per month for a credit report, which I don't need other than to correct this error which should not take almost three months to do. SB, by email.
A Experian says it contacted Tesco earlier this month to confirm your explanation and Tesco "replied within a few days asking us to amend the account". James Jones, a spokesman for Experian, explains: "This has been actioned and now the account is marked as settled with a perfect payment record." Experian adds that while it has cancelled your CreditExpert membership, you did not need to join its service in order to correct your credit status report. "The law gives consumers the right to have errors rectified on anycredit report they have received from us and there is certainly no obligation to continue monitoring your credit report just because data on it has been disputed," says Jones.
Q. I moved in May and transferred my Virgin Media contract with me. The internet never worked properly. After lots of calls and visits from technicians failed to resolve the problem we switched to TalkTalk. The service worked instantly and was half the price. I asked Virgin Media for a refund, but was offered just £5.39 and I am to be charged £49 for disconnection. GM, by email.
A. Virgin Media says the charge is not for disconnection, but was a £40 installation fee – including for the phone line which did work and was used. However, Virgin Media will now refund £51.50 of fees already paid as a gesture of goodwill, as well as waiving all disconnection fees. Virgin Media apologies for not providing "the high-quality service we strive to deliver".
Questions of Cash cannot give individual advice. But if you have a financial dilemma, we'll do our best to help. Please email us at: questionsofcash@ independent.co.uk.
Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown
- 1 Keira Knightley topless: Conservative actress does own take on #Freethenipple campaign for Interview Magazine
- 2 Argentina may change its capital city from Buenos Aires, says president
- 3 Joan Rivers: 'Palestinians deserve to be dead'
- 4 The 3D-printed key that can unlock anything
- 5 Lady al-Qa’ida: On the trail of Dr Aafia Siddiqui, the world’s most wanted prisoner
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Money & Business
Highly Attractive Salary: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - This is a very unusual law c...
£35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Network Engineer (CCNP, CCNA, Linux, OSPF,...
£50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: DevOps Engineer (Systems Administration, L...
£60000 - £70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A prestigious leading professiona...
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