Questions Of Cash: 'Egg reduced my card limit by £7,000 despite good credit rating'


Q. Egg has reduced my credit limit from £9,200 to £2,100. When I queried this, I was told this would be because of my credit rating and that I should contact Experian to find out more. I subscribed to Experian and discovered that my credit rating was 999 and there were no adverse entries on my record. I then applied to Egg to have my credit limit raised to £5,000 and this was refused.

JY, Knutsford.

A. The Experian credit report shows a "linked address" in Essex, which was reported by Hutchison – which owns the 3 mobile network. You have no knowledge of this other address. It seems that an unsuccessful fraudulent attempt might have been made in the past to use your personal details to open a mobile account with Hutchison using the Essex address. As the attempt was unsuccessful, Hutchison has not kept any records regarding this. However, T-Mobile did open an account with someone purporting to be you, on which there is an unpaid balance. That account has now been cancelled. Both Hutchison and T-Mobile have advised Experian and Egg that the Essex address should no longer be linked to your credit report. Egg, which is now owned by Barclaycard, has accordingly issued you with a new credit card with the credit limit reinstated in full. You should monitor your credit reference reports carefully in case there are any further attempts to use your identity to commit frauds.

Q. In May, I was on holiday in Marbella when my bag was taken from the front seat of my Jeep. We were distracted by someone who asked directions, while someone else stole the bag. We reported the theft to the police. The bag contained, keys, passport, glasses, camera, iPod, £3,000, €594, a credit card, etc. I was insured with Columbus and all the details have been sent to Global Claims, but the claim is going nowhere. PT, by email.

A. Global Claims is the claims handler for Columbus Insurance. An investigation by Columbus and Global Claims reveals that the initial hold-up was caused by Global Claims sending you the wrong claim form in May. Computer records do not indicate why this happened – whether there was a misunderstanding between yourself and the person who took the call, or whether the wrong form was sent because of an administrative error. A new form was sent at the end of June, but this was not fully completed. A fresh claim form was then sent to you at the end of July and returned by you on 5 August. Global Claims says that the failure to make a decision on the claim since then is because you failed to respond to requests to provide details of the circumstances of the theft, evidence that you cancelled the credit card and receipts for the purchases of items stolen. No decision on the claim will be made until that information is received. Columbus apologises if the fault for the wrong form being initially despatched lies with its representative.

Q. Our voluntary organisation paid into our Santander bank account two cheques for £50 on 31 May and 1 June. These credits have not appeared on our account. HB, Norfolk.

A. The cheques were paid in via a Post Office branch, but did not clear into your account. Santander asked you for further information to trace the missing payments, but one of the payees provided you with incorrect information – causing further delay. As you did all you could to resolve the matter, Santander has credited your group's account with the £100, plus an extra £30 in recognition of the inconvenience.

Q. I have a fault with my Xerox computer monitor, which is covered by a three-year warranty. I am finding it impossible to contact Xerox. In July I emailed the address on my warranty, but the email was not delivered. I went on to the related website, but this was down. I then tried emailing and phoning Xerox, but got nowhere. I contacted the retailer that I bought the monitor from, but he was unable to make contact with anyone who could resolve the problem. I sent a recorded delivery letter to Xerox, demanding the matter be sorted out in 14 days – but the time has elapsed without reply. After that, I phoned Xerox and spoke to someone who promised to sort it out, but he has not come back to me. RN, Exeter.

A. The monitor you bought was not manufactured by Xerox, but by a third party approved by Xerox to use its name. Unfortunately, that company has ceased trading. Xerox says that despite the authorised use of its name, it has no legal duty to honour the warranty. As the manufacturer is no longer trading, and as there are no relevant spare parts held by Xerox, it is not possible to repair the monitor. As a gesture of goodwill, a new 22-inch AOC monitor will be supplied to you. This is not as expensive as your original monitor, but given that there is no company now trading that has a legal responsibility to replace or repair your existing unit, this seems as good an offer as you can obtain.

* On 10 September, Questions of Cash answered a reader's question regarding permanent interest bearing shares issued by the former Bristol & West Building Society, which was bought by the Bank of Ireland in 1997. The reader's wife's shares were treated as bonds and the bank offered to buy them back for between £160 and £200 per £1,000 of the original price. The Bank of Ireland has asked us to make clear that between the time the column was written and when it was published the bank issued a new offer to buy-back the investments. Under the new offer, holders were offered £40.20 per £100 invested – representing a purchase price of £35, plus accrued unpaid interest of £5.20. That offer, like the previous rescinded offer, was strongly resisted by many investors and has now expired.

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.

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