Questions Of Cash: 'Halifax won't pay me my £5 account reward'

Q. My Halifax Reward current account is supposed to be credited with £5 a month in return for me making a payment into my account every month. But I did not get my reward in May. Halifax said that because of the May Day Bank Holiday my payments had gone in one day earlier than usual, on 30 April – so I was not entitled to the reward and was penalised because the bank chose to make the transfer early. I think other Halifax customers should know about this. MC, by email.

A. Your £5 has been credited in this instance, but the situation looks likely to recur. Halifax explains: "The terms and conditions of the account are very straightforward – if £1,000 is paid in that month, Halifax will credit £5. If the money isn't credited, the £5 isn't rewarded." However, it understands the reasons why, technically, you did not conform with this, so has credited your account with £5 as a gesture of goodwill. But it says to you – and other readers – that to ensure you continue to receive the reward for months where there is a Bank Holiday Monday in the first week, you should change your payment instructions to your bank to ensure they do not make the transfer early. You respond by saying that the date in which your pensions are paid is beyond your control. Sadly, influencing Halifax on the way it calculates the basis on which it pays its rewards is similarly beyond our influence.

Q. I was a pay-as-you-go customer on the Fresh Mobile network, which closed in March. I had an £8 credit balance when the network was closed. Fresh Mobile assured me I would receive a cheque when the service ceased. I was later informed that I would not be refunded because the terms and conditions did not provide for this. But I do not believe Carphone Warehouse was entitled to keep my money. This must have affected many other customers. DW, by email.

A. We have had several complaints about this. As with other readers, Carphone Warehouse has agreed to refund the balance on your account "as a gesture of goodwill", but we share your concern about whether this is sufficient. We asked Carphone Warehouse whether it was satisfied that it was legally in the right not to automatically refund all credit balances.

Its spokesman, Christopher Baines, said: "Yes, we are confident this is lawful as we took all reasonable steps to outline how [customers] could keep their credit. [We] gave customers a choice: ie they could switch to Talk Mobile, whereby they could keep their credit or ... [they could] switch to another operator – [in which case] we would unfortunately be unable to transfer their credit."

We then asked the Trading Standards Institute for its legal opinion. It said: "This is a matter of contract law. [Fresh Mobile] customers have a binding contract with that supplier in the terms of the contract. Now that supplier has ceased trading. But has it ceased to exist? Probably not. So a customer who has credit with that company has a right to the return of that credit as a creditor.

"If the company has been taken over as a going concern then customers could pursue the company, in this case Fresh Mobile, for their credits."

On this basis we asked Carphone Warehouse for a further response. It said: "The Fresh telephony service was provided by Fresh Telecom Limited, a member of the Best Buy Europe Distributions Limited group of companies, together with (among others) The Carphone Warehouse Limited and Talk Mobile Limited, the provider of the Talkmobile telephony service (together, the "Best Buy Group"). Last year, the Best Buy Group decided to consolidate its mobile services under the Talkmobile brand and, as a result, the Fresh mobile service was ceased. All customers were given ample notice of the cessation of the Fresh Service (60 days) and they were offered the opportunity to migrate to the Talkmobile service. Such a migration provided additional benefits such as discounted calls to other Talkmobile customers and the ability to roam. Transferring customers also saw any unused credit on their Fresh account being transferred on to their Talkmobile account.

"Customers who elected not to transfer to the Talkmobile service had still received 60 days' notice of the cessation of the service in accordance with their terms and conditions of use and would have had those 60 days to ensure that they used up any remaining credit prior to the service being disconnected. [The telecoms regulator] Ofcom was made aware of the process through which the Fresh telephony service was being ceased and raised no objections at the time. We believe that great care was taken to ensure all Fresh customers were given due notice. We can confirm that where individuals contacted us with concerns about their credit, goodwill refunds were given corresponding to any balances left on their accounts as a thank you for their custom."

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

John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing

Other places that have held independence referendums
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'

footballThe latest scores and Twitter updates from tonight’s games, featuring Bayern Munich vs Man City and Chelsea vs Schalke
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
newsThe 'extremely dangerous' attempt to avoid being impounded has been heavily criticised
peopleThe Times of India said actress should treat it as a 'compliment'
Arts and Entertainment
Jack Huston is the new Ben-Hur

It scooped up an unprecedented 11 Academy Awards when it was first remade in 1959


Watch this commuter wage a one-man war against the Circle Line
Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
lifeShould we feel guilty about keeping cats inside?
Life and Style

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

Arts and Entertainment
Toby Jones (left) and Mackenzie Crook in BBC4’s new comedy The Detectorists
tvMackenzie Crook's 'Detectorists' makes the hobby look 'dysfunctional', they say
Arts and Entertainment
Maxine Peake plays Hamlet at Manchester's Royal Exchange
theatreReview: Maxine Peake brings emotional ferocity to Shakespeare's starring part
10 best table lamps
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

    Trainee Recruitment Consultant Birmingham

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + Comission: SThree: The SThree group is a world lea...

    Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Birmingham - Real Staffing

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Real Staffing are currently lo...

    Recruitment Consultant - Soho - IT, Pharma, Public Sector

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35,000 first year: SThree: The SThree group i...

    Sales Executive

    £20 - 24k (Uncapped Commission - £35k Year 1 OTE): Guru Careers: We are seekin...

    Day In a Page

    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week