Questions Of Cash: 'EasyCar's mistake was costly – now I want a full refund'
Saturday 13 October 2007
Q. In April I booked a car through EasyCar for two weeks for pick-up and drop-off at Nice airport. I was told the vehicle would be supplied by Budget. On arrival, Budget told me there was no booking and no cars were available. I called EasyCar which confirmed it had made a mistake and was unable to fulfil the contract. Hertz rented us a car at €1,039.83 for two weeks, compared with the €547.86 that EasyCar had agreed. EasyCar has paid me just €114.57 of the extra costs, refusing to pay me the balance because it includes "additional insurance supplements" – but so did the EasyCar charge. I think EasyCar is being unreasonable. CC, Godalming.
A. EasyCar accepts there was a failure in communication between it and Budget, and apologises. The company says it has improved its systems to prevent a recurrence. It points out that it immediately refunded €114.57, although it is not contractually required to pay you the difference between what you would have paid EasyCar/Budget and what you actually paid Hertz. EasyCar argues that it was correct in saying that the difference in costs partially reflects higher levels of insurance that you opted into with Hertz. However, it accepts that it would have been difficult for you to realise this and has therefore now paid you a total of €283.74. Your remaining loss of €208.23 EasyCar represents as a payment for "PI". You say that Hertz told you this was part of the deal it offered you for one of only two cars available and that you did not even know what it was. John Sinke, marketing director, told us that PI is an additional insurance policy covering you and your passengers which was an "unnecessary insurance", assuming you already had a travel policy for your holiday. But he also accepted "that it is not impossible" that you were told that you had to take out the policy, even though it should have been optional. Sinke confirmed that EasyCar would not meet the cost of this. "We have refunded more than we should have done," he said. "We have been more than fair in this case."
Q. Four years ago I took out a finance agreement with BMW Financial Services to purchase a BMW 318. I paid 10 per cent of the purchase price as a deposit, then £407 monthly. The agreement gave me an option to purchase the car outright after four years with one final payment, or give it back. BMW has tried to take the final payment of £8,546 from my bank account. I was given no warning, but my original agreement allows them to do this. The payment was refused twice as I had insufficient funds in the account. I am told that as the four-year agreement has ended and I did not say I wanted to return the car, that option is no longer available and I am obliged to purchase the car. GL, by email.
A. BMW Financial Services' records showed that you opted to retain the car, which is why the payment request was triggered. Your dealer contacted you several months ago, left a voicemail message, but failed to speak to you. This call was intended to ask if you wanted to keep the car or return it. You returned the call several times, but you were unable to speak to the person who phoned you. No further attempt was made to contact you by the dealer or BMW Financial Services. A letter should have been sent to you, asking if you wanted to keep the car. This letter was not sent because the dealer reported that you wanted to buy it. BMW Financial Services agrees that this is not satisfactory, apologises, and has agreed to put you back in the position you were at the end of the four-year period and accept the car back without further payment by you. It is also paying you £50 to cover the bank charges you incurred because of the failed attempts to take £8,546 from your account.
Q. I tried to cancel my CarphoneWarehouse contract in May. Each month since, I have been sent bills, phoned them, and been told the account has been cancelled. Last month I had a demand for £29.63 – an amount I had never been asked for before. I paid it to prevent a debt collection agency coming round, but I can't get them to confirm they received the payment. When I did manage to speak to someone she said she was going on holiday and would deal with it on her return. RD, Kidlington.
A. We have had no more success than you in getting an explanation from the company. But at least our intervention has led to you being paid £62.89, which you are satisfied with if it puts an end to the matter. Neither you nor we know how the amount was calculated.
Q. I have a Nationwide cash ISA. The interest rate seems lower than elsewhere. Can I transfer the balance to another cash ISA, perhaps the National Savings ISA? PC, by email.
A. Nationwide is paying between 5.55 per cent and 5.75 per cent on its cash ISAs, depending on the amount saved. Better rates are available elsewhere. The rules on ISAs permit you to transfer the balance from one cash ISA to another – and, now, from a cash ISA to an equity ISA. To do so you must first open the new account and give the new account issuer authority to make the transfer. But several of the best-paying cash ISAs are not available for transfers. National Savings has a direct ISA, which pays 6.3 per cent – but is not available for transfers. You can transfer into its standard cash mini ISA, but this pays just 5.35 per cent. The best rate we could find for an instant notice mini cash ISA that accepts transfers is from Kent Reliance Building Society (0845 122 0022), paying 6.21 per cent.
Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown
Simon Read: Timeshare owners accuse Macdonald Resorts of land grab
Five Questions: Changes to car tax discs
How to save money: UK is crashing down the European league table for putting money away
A student's guide to financial survival: You don't have to drown in debt at university
Bargain Hunter: Win a new iPhone 6
- 1 Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
- 2 Stamford Hill council removes 'unacceptable' posters telling women which side of the road to walk down
- 3 Kim Kardashian 'nude pictures' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence 'The Fappening' scandal
- 4 Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
- 5 New Tricks: Dennis Waterman to leave the show after a decade of crime-solving
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
iJobs Money & Business
£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...
Up to £100k or £450p/d: Saxton Leigh: My client is a leading commodities tradi...
£320 - £330 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...
To £75,000 + Pension + Benefits + Bonus: Saxton Leigh: My client is looking f...
Day In a Page
A six-bedroom terraced house with large south-facing roof terrace, cinema room and wine cellar
A new seven-bedroom home built in Queen Anne-style with swimming pool and parkland views in Mortimer
A listed, four-bedroom farmhouse in the rural hamlet of Rushall with detached barn, four acres of gardens and paddocks
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