Questions Of Cash: How can Royal Mail take nearly two months for a special delivery?
Saturday 28 October 2006
Q. I paid for the Royal Mail redirection service from 4 September. Two days later, it made a special delivery to my old address. I called Royal Mail twice in two weeks and made an online complaint. Royal Mail said it would collect the package from my old address and redeliver the week of 18 September. Nothing has happened.
A. Royal Mail has finally collected the item and redelivered correctly. It apologises.
Q. I had belongings worth £2,000 stolen from my house. Prudential was engaged as insurer by my parents, before the house was left to me when they died. The solicitors acting as executors renewed the policy. But after my property was broken into, Prudential, on the advice of its loss adjuster, refused to pay as I don't live there.
Prudential says I didn't inform it that I have a lodger - but the person living there is a friend and I don't take rent from him. Were the executors negligent in appointing Prudential?
A. Prudential has refused to change its decision - understandably. It is the policyholder's responsibility to ensure that the terms of an insurance contract are complied with. Your policy made it clear that it was issued on the basis that you live in your property, and you do not. The fact that your friend lives there rent-free is not particularly relevant.
Prudential tells us that you were in breach of a second requirement of its policy as the security of the property was below that specified.
Still, we have been able to obtain a repayment of past premiums from Prudential, which it had previously been slow to send you. We also offered to examine the decision taken by the executors in renewing the policy, but you failed to respond to our offer.
However, it appears that the executors' policy renewal took place 18 years ago, so it is highly improbable that the executors could be held responsible for your current problems. You should take the terms of insurance policies more seriously.
Q. I recently read the article in which you urged readers to check their credit-reference files from time to time. I then looked at my Experian file and found it did not show me as having been on the electoral roll for the entire period at my address - though I have been, as my council confirmed to me.
When I spoke to Experian, it said that it couldn't amend its records. I obtained a "Guide Reference" from the council to give to Experian. But Experian merely wrote restating the incorrect information it had about me on the electoral roll, and offering me the opportunity of applying for a copy of my credit report.
I then obtained an e-mail from the council confirming that it had checked its electoral registers from 1981 to 2006, and that I was on these, and I forwarded this to Experian. I again asked Experian to amend its records and confirm this. Experian again sent me my uncorrected credit file.
Once more, I phoned Experian and it wrote to me to say this was being investigated. Then it sent a letter saying that it had confirmed that the information originally held was correct.
After I wrote to the company's managing director, Experian sent me a letter (using a wrong name) saying that it had corrected my record and had sent the amended information to all companies that had enquired about me in the last six months - including five banks with which I have no relationship.
I can't believe how difficult it has been to get wrong information corrected at a company whose business is keeping correct information.
A. Experian apologises and says that your experience "does not represent our usual levels of customer service". It adds that it had not sent your credit files to the listed five banks - this was a further error on its letter to you. It is sending you an "up-to-date" copy of your credit report - which we hope will be correct this time. It is also sending you £25 to say sorry.
Q. In May, I signed with T-Mobile for an agreed price plan, but I received a different package. I have had to pay an extra £250 for international calls and "European roaming", even though my contracted 500 minutes can be used to make calls to Europe and the USA. I am also not being allowed my 300 texts each month, as specified in the contract.
T-Mobile refuses to allow me to go on to the pricing plan I signed for in my contract, claiming that I cannot afford this. Instead, it is imposing charges that are even more expensive.
A. T-Mobile has not approved the original deal you were offered by the retailer, on the basis of your poor credit rating. But it has agreed to give you a £30 monthly credit to compensate you until your credit rating improves and you can move on to the pricing plan you requested.
Questions of Cash cannot give individual advice. Please do not send original documents. Write to: Questions of Cash, The Independent, 191 Marsh Wall, London E14 9RS; firstname.lastname@example.org.
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