Questions Of Cash: 'I didn't pay enough interest to account small-print'

Q. A year and a half ago I responded to a promotional interest rate offer from Alliance & Leicester, investing £75,000 in its online saver account. After six months I received my first interest payment, which was only on £25,000. It emerged the maximum investment was £75,000. I am not normally careless, but I obviously did not read the small print. Alliance & Leicester refuses to pay the extra interest. MG, London.

A. As well as contacting us, you also referred your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman, who found in favour of Alliance & Leicester. As a result, Alliance & Leicester feels its approach has been vindicated. One of the terms of this account was that: "No interest will be paid on any amount invested, which is in excess of the maximum investment permitted in the account," which was £25,000. There is a strong onus on customers to act with care and you admit you were careless. Others may learn from your experience.

Q. On 13 October, my bank account was debited with ten charges of £2.49 by AOL UK Services. This appears to have been a charge for McAfee security, yet I do not have it on my computer. I switched provider from AOL to Virgin Media in 2008 so why have I been charged this money without notification. CW, St Albans

A. The charges were for an AOL Virus Scan Service that you had signed-up to and not cancelled. There was confusion because Carphone Warehouse bought part of AOL, but the charge came from the part that was not bought by CPW: attempts at resolving the problem with CPW were unsuccessful. AOL has now fully refunded the charge.

Q. I had to call out a BT Openreach engineer to repair the telephone system in my home. He spent 20 minutes replacing a corroded box in my lounge, yet I was charged £184 plus VAT by BT. This is £552 per hour plus VAT. BT told me this is the standard call-out charge regardless of the time spent at the property, but it appears extortionate to me. GJ, Aberystwyth.

A. BT has confirmed it carried out work because the box was damaged by damp. While BT says you were liable for a standard call-out charge, this is £125 and you were wrongly overcharged. BT is contacting you about a refund.

Q. Vodafone has billed me for cancellation charges on the early termination of my account. But I did not cancel it, so I do not owe them the money. I suspect Vodafone cancelled the account based on a communication sent before the start of the new contract. The matter is now with its debt collection agency, CapQuest, which has put the matter on hold. I have told Vodafone why I should not be liable for this cancellation charge, but have had no response. AG, Nottinghamshire.

A. Vodafone has declined to provide any explanation to us, but as a result of our intervention it has now responded directly to you. You tell us that Vodafone now accepts that the charge was wrongly imposed, has cleared the account and instructed the debt collectors to cease action. Vodafone has confirmed it regards the matter as now resolved.

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:

Independent Partners; Do you need financial advice on your investments, pension or insurance? Book a free consultation with an independent Financial Adviser at

Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvName confirmed for third series
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
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

    Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

    £40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

    Neil Pavier: Management Accountant

    £45,000 - £55,000: Neil Pavier: Are you looking for your next opportunity for ...

    Sheridan Maine: Commercial Accountant

    £45,000 - £55,000: Sheridan Maine: Are you a newly qualified ACA/ACCA/ACMA qua...

    Laura Norton: Project Accountant

    £50,000 - £60,000: Laura Norton: Are you looking for an opportunity within a w...

    Day In a Page

    Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

    Abuse - and the hell that follows

    James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
    Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

    It's oh so quiet!

    The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
    'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

    'Timeless fashion'

    It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
    If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

    Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

    Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
    New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

    Evolution of swimwear

    From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine