Questions of Cash: Driven round the bend by trip's parking charge

Q. We booked a holiday with Thomas Cook, travelling by car to Disneyland Paris for three nights, then staying in a Paris hotel – the Campanile at Bastille – for four days. Our local Thomas Cook branch booked the trip, including Eurotunnel. We selected the hotel because it provided parking: we were promised by Thomas Cook that parking was included in the hotel price. But at the hotel we were told that our travel agent had failed to book the car parking.

We had to pay extra for the first two days and then find our own parking after that, as there was no space in the hotel car park. We paid an additional £90 for parking and suffered the inconvenience of having to park at a public parking garage some distance from the hotel for the last two nights. I called the emergency Thomas Cook number and was told that there was nothing they could do and that I had to take it up with our local office on our return.

When I wrote to the Thomas Cook branch, it referred the matter to its customer services department. Its replay said it had forwarded my complaint to Disneyland Paris and had closed the case. When I challenged this by email, the email was returned, saying that emailed responses were not accepted and that I must raise a new complaint – which seemed pointless as I had already submitted two complaints. AS, Bishops Stortford.

A. Thomas Cook apologises and has refunded £85 for car parking costs and provided a £75 discount voucher on a future holiday. A spokesman says: "We're really sorry for our error and thank [the reader] again for her patience whilst we resolved this for her."

Q. We are new customers to Sky TV and broadband. We were persuaded to buy a TV catch-up package and a broadband service that are not compatible with each other. We were told that Sky's Everyday Lite broadband service is cheaper than BT, who we were previously with.

This "Lite" service has a 2gb download limit. We wanted a catch-up TV service for all our channels, so were advised to purchase Sky's "Anytime+" service. But it is now clear that the 2gb limit will very quickly be used up with Anytime+, so we need to upgrade to Sky Unlimited Broadband at an extra cost of £7.50 per month.

Sky's sales people did not tell us that Anytime+ would not work effectively with Everyday Lite. Sky's own website states that: "To get started with Sky Anytime+ you'll need Sky Broadband unlimited." We have spoken on two occasions to Sky's cancellation department, which assured us that the two services were "compatible". JH, Birmingham.

A. A spokesman for BSkyB says: "We're sorry if it wasn't clear to [the reader] that Sky Broadband Unlimited is the most appropriate broadband package to partner with Sky Anytime+. Sky Broadband Unlimited is the best choice for the service as it has no data cap or fair-use policies, meaning that customers can get the most out of Sky's video on demand offering. In light of this, we've offered [the reader] a goodwill gesture." You are now able to subscribe to Sky Broadband Ultimate for the price of Sky Broadband Everyday Lite for the first year, saving 25 per cent of the usual service charge.

Q. I am the secretary of a voluntary organisation, having taken over in June when the previous office holder left without notice. Other committee members left at the same time. Our bank – RBS – asked for details of the new signatories. I explained the situation and the bank told me the new signatories would need to attend the branch with passports and driving licences to prove their identity. We did this within 10 days. The bank was very unhelpful and sent another set of papers to be completed.

I complained about the delay, but the bank was unconcerned. As it could give no reason for the delay I escalated my complaint to its customer relations department. I was promised an early response and that I would be notified of progress if the investigation took more than 10 days. I have heard no more, despite this. We have several thousand pounds in the account, which we are unable to access. We might have been forced to close if we did not already have an arrangement in place to pay our creditors by direct debit. RD, York.

A. A spokeswoman for RBS says: "The security of our customers' accounts is paramount, therefore changing signatories for three people involved in an association or club requires the co-ordination of ID checks for all those involved. In this case ID documentation was received from the three gentlemen across June and July. The branch tried to contact [the reader] by phone several times to discuss this, but were unsuccessful. The paperwork is now complete and the new mandate in place. It is regrettable that these delays occurred and we will contact the customer to apologise and resolve this matter."

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; Do you need financial advice on your investments, pension or insurance? Book a free consultation with an independent Financial Adviser at VouchedFor.co.uk

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

    Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

    £40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

    Neil Pavier: Management Accountant

    £45,000 - £55,000: Neil Pavier: Are you looking for your next opportunity for ...

    Sheridan Maine: Commercial Accountant

    £45,000 - £55,000: Sheridan Maine: Are you a newly qualified ACA/ACCA/ACMA qua...

    Laura Norton: Project Accountant

    £50,000 - £60,000: Laura Norton: Are you looking for an opportunity within a w...

    Day In a Page

    Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

    Abuse - and the hell that follows

    James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
    Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

    It's oh so quiet!

    The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
    'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

    'Timeless fashion'

    It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
    If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

    Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

    Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
    New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

    Evolution of swimwear

    From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine