Questions Of Cash: Failed online credit check has left me out of pocket


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The Independent Online

Q. I applied online to obtain my credit status, using But nothing has happened – the report would not load. I have not received confirmation of registration and my account has been debited twice. I have logged a complaint, requested the payment instruction be cancelled and asked for a refund, but the replies have not addressed my complaint. AP, by email.

A. The Quick Credit Score website indicates that it sources information from the Callcredit Information Group, but when we contacted Callcredit we were told that it merely supplies information to Adaptive Affinity, operators of the Quick Credit Score service. Adaptive Affinity suggests you did not provide all the information required to enable the service to operate properly when you signed up in May. It adds that its records show you also did not request a cancellation of the service within the 10-day free trial period. The company argues it fully responded to your initial enquiries. However, it accepts it did not respond adequately to your email in August in which you requested your membership be cancelled. A spokesman says: "Having reviewed all the correspondence, Adaptive accepts the matter should have been escalated upon receipt of this particular email, so that there would be no further billing." On this basis, it has dispatched a cheque for £79.80, representing all the fees you have paid.

Q. My RAC roadside breakdown cover has been automatically renewed, and the premium deducted from my bank account, without me being sent a reminder. I do not agree with the RAC's terms and conditions that say they can do this, but I had to accept these to take out the cover which I urgently needed at the time. I was temporarily away from the address I registered with the RAC, but a redirection was in place and no letter was received by me. I don't want to stay with the RAC anymore so I want my money back. AA, Essex.

A. A spokeswoman for the RAC says: "[The reader] took out his membership via our website and these promotions are based on an annual, continuous payment method, which is clearly stated on the website. However, we do provide a contact number if the member does not wish to pay via a continuous method. A renewal invitation was sent to [the reader] on 13 October, but, as we were unaware of his change of address, it would have been sent to the address given when taking out his membership. It is clearly stated in our terms and conditions that members must notify us of any change of address." You are not entitled to a refund under the terms and conditions as you failed to lodge the cancellation notice within the stipulated, 14-day period. On this basis, the RAC says it is "unable" to make a refund.

Q. I have had a problem with clothes moths since the summer. I called in Rentokil and was assured it would be eradicated with two sprays of insecticide, and I paid for three sprays. But the problem persisted, even after four sprays. I then had to pay £200 for a carpenter to lift the floorboards for Rentokil to spray underneath them. Rentokil did not charge for the fourth spray and promised me it would continue spraying until the problem was solved. But the company in fact initially refused to spray for the fifth time, until I agreed to lift the floorboards. But this has been a waste of time and money: one of the insecticide canisters did not go off and more canisters would have been needed to solve the problem. Now the floorboards have large gaps between them and don't lay flat.I still have moths and I am several hundred pounds down. MD, Beckenham.

A. Rentokil says that when it initially surveyed your property, it warned you that although the treatments are usually effective it does not guarantee success. It claims you agreed to go ahead on that basis. The company says it has worked closely with you in trying to resolve the problem and continues: "Rentokil has offered the customer two goodwill treatments and all treatments were carried out in accordance with BPCA [British Pest Control Association] codes and current regulations. Rentokil always fully investigates customer complaints to ensure all has been done to prevent the situation recurring and we believed this case to have been closed." It adds that problems regarding ill-fitting floorboards should be taken up with your carpenter.

Q. I held a savings bond with the Bradford & Bingley Building Society, which subsequently was taken over by Santander. The savings bond matured on 1 November 2011 and the proceeds were automatically transferred into a fixed -rate reward bond. I did not wish to hold this fixed-rate bond, so I arranged to withdraw the funds.But I was charged £4.50 to obtain my own money. I was never advised of this. AM, Edinburgh.

A. Santander explains that the sum was actually £4.17 and this was not a "charge", but actually the tax due on the interest. Your response is that there was an obligation on Santander to explain why it made the deduction and this was only made clear once thematter had been escalated to the bank's complaints department. You make the reasonable point that staff could have advised this at an earlier point,avoiding the need for detailedcorrespondence.

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