Questions of Cash: Aviva sorry for delays in dealing with retired teacher's pension


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 Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown

peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
New Articles
tvChristmas special reviewed
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
tvForget the rumours that Clara Oswald would be quitting the Tardis
Arts and Entertainment
Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvSo Sky Atlantic arrived in Iceland to film their new and supposedly snow-bound series 'Fortitude'...
Arts and Entertainment
The Queen delivers her Christmas message
newsTwitter reacts to Her Majesty's Christmas Message
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Selby Jennings: Oil Operations

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

    The Jenrick Group: Night Shift Operations Manager

    £43500 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Night Shift Operatio...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - LONDON

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000 + Car + Pension: SThree: SThree are a ...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35K: SThree: We consistently strive to be the...

    Day In a Page

    A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

    Christmas without hope

    Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
    After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

    The 'Black Museum'

    After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
    Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

    Chilly Christmas

    Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
    Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

    'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

    Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
    Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

    Ed Balls interview

    'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
    He's behind you, dude!

    US stars in UK panto

    From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

    What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

    Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
    Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

    Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

    Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
    Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

    Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
    Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

    Autism-friendly theatre

    Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all