Questions of Cash: Honestly, I'm not dead, Talkmobile, so don't cut me off

 

Q. I have been unable to use my Talkmobile phone since 23 January. My contract expired in January, but I agreed an upgrade in November. However, I didn't like my new phone and returned it within the agreed period. I have a monthly direct debit payable to Talk Mobile for £12.25.

Despite this, I was phoned on 9 January requesting a further payment of £29.68, which I agreed. Yet on 18 January my phone was disconnected without prior notice or explanation. When I complained I was told to visit a Carphone Warehouse store, with proof of identity. I did that and thought the matter was settled.

But when I got home I received a call from Talk Mobile, saying that I was recorded as having died, which is why my phone had been disconnected. I was assured there had been a mistake and the phone would be reconnected within two hours. That did not happen and the phone is still disconnected. I have been deprived of my phone for 21 days. BP, London.

A. Talk Mobile apologises. There were two administrative errors on your account. Your direct debit had been deactivated and then you were mistaken for another customer, who had died. A spokeswoman says: "We can confirm that the account has now been reconnected and the direct debit reinstated. We have provided two months' free line rental as a token of our apology, which [the reader] has accepted."

Q. My wife and I were booked on a British Airways flight from Delhi to London on 19 January. After reaching the airport, we were told the flight was cancelled because of snow in London. We understood that, though it would have been helpful to have sent us a text to advise us of this, especially as we checked in online. At Delhi, BA told us to queue for another flight, which we did for almost two hours.

We were then called onto a different queue and told to take a China Airlines flight to Rome, connecting to a BA flight to London. This added six hours to our journey time, but there were no alternatives offered. We had bought premium economy flights, but these were downgraded to economy for the journey home. I was told to speak to BA in London about a refund. Initially China Airlines said our bags were too heavy, but they agreed to take them after we explained they were packed in accordance with BA's requirements.

When we arrived at London, a BA employee guided us through a security check, but our bags did not appear. After 45 minutes we went to the lost-baggage counter, where we were told the bags were probably in Rome. They were delivered to us five days later, but one of the bags now had a broken handle. I have filled in claim forms and sent emails to BA, but all I get are letters of apology – and not even the reward points for the flights. AN, London.

A. You tell us that as a result of us contacting BA, they made you an offer of £200 in BA vouchers in compensation; 60,000 Avios loyalty points; and a refund of £14 – the difference in cost between economy and premium economy tickets for the return journey. You asked us if we thought the offer was adequate and we suggested that you request BA paid the cost of a bag to replace the one that was broken. BA then came back with a significantly improved offer, paying for the bag and also for your taxi fare home.

A spokeswoman for BA apologises for the problems with the flight, caused, as you say, by severe winter weather in London. She explains that BA's priority was to arrange for customers to complete their journeys in the shortest possible time. Unfortunately in your case this involved downgrading your seats, as China Airlines does not have a premium economy class.

"We have apologised for this disappointment and have offered him the difference in fare plus compensation of either a £100 voucher or £75 in cash per customer," she adds. "We have reimbursed him the cost of his damaged luggage and his taxi fare home from the airport. As a gesture of goodwill, we have also offered 30,000 Avios [points] per customer for the difficulties he encountered."

Q. I have received a letter from a company called Equiniti, asking me to provide proof of identity in relation to an entitlement that is supposedly outstanding. It says that I have 28 days to respond and if I don't they will send someone to look for me. Is this a scam? I am unaware of any outstanding shares or entitlements. NH, Manchester.

A. This is not a scam. Equiniti maintains the share registers of a large proportion of the largest UK companies. A spokesman for Equiniti explains: "In order to ensure this happens securely and accurately, we have both a legal and regulatory duty and practical need to ensure that where possible we always have the shareholder's or investor's current contact details. Unfortunately, some shareholders and investors do not inform us when they move home or change their bank details and when this happens we will always try to contact the shareholder or customer.

Equally, difficulties can arise where the shareholder or investor dies, and this is especially the case when the deceased leaves no record of their assets or does not appoint a representative to deal with their affairs.

However, it is essential that our actions do not create any opportunity for fraud and, for this reason, we are unable to provide details of the assets or any other sensitive information before confirmation of identity. Quite simply, if a shareholder has moved without informing us, we would never impart information that a new property occupier could then use fraudulently." In some instances, the money involved can be substantial, so extreme care must be taken to identify the rightful owner of the assets.

Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown

Life and Style
life
News
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie reportedly married in secret on Saturday
peopleSpokesperson for couple confirms they tied the knot on Saturday after almost a decade together
Life and Style
Chen Mao recovers in BK Hospital, Seoul
health
News
Joan Rivers has reportedly been hospitalised after she stopped breathing during surgery
people81-year-old 'stopped breathing' during vocal chord surgery
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Diana from the Great British Bake Off 2014
tvProducers confirm contestant left because of illness
Arts and Entertainment
Lisa Kudrow, Courtney Cox and Jennifer Anniston reunite for a mini Friends sketch on Jimmy Kimmel Live
tv
Life and Style
fashion

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

    Client-Side web developer (JQuery, Javascript, UI, JMX, FIX)

    Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Client-Side web developer (JQuery, Javascript, U...

    Structured Finance

    Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: CITY - An excellent new instruction w...

    SQL Server Developer

    £500 per day: Harrington Starr: SQL Server Developer SQL, PHP, C#, Real Time,...

    C#.NET Developer

    £600 per day: Harrington Starr: C#.NET Developer C#, Win Forms, WPF, WCF, MVVM...

    Day In a Page

    Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

    The phoney war is over

    Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
    Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

    Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

    The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
    Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

    Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

    Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
    From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

    Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

    After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
    Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

    Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

    Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
    Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

    Salomé: A head for seduction

    Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
    From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

    British Library celebrates all things Gothic

    Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
    The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

    Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

    The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
    Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

    In search of Caribbean soul food

    Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
    11 best face powders

    11 best face powders

    Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
    England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

    Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

    Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
    Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

    Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

    They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
    Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

    Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

    Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
    Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

    Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

    The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
    America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

    America’s new apartheid

    Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone