Questions Of Cash: 'I wouldn't have been able to claim on policy'

Q. I've paid into an Aviva Permanent Health Insurance policy for 20 years. I've just found out that I would have been ineligible for any benefits had I made a claim. I am a teacher and under the conditions of service I would go onto half pay after six months' illness. Unknown to me, my policy would have knocked this sum off any benefit I would have got from Aviva. My premiums did not take this into account.I have asked Avivato reimburse theoverpaid premiums, but it has refused. MB, by email.

A. You paid a total £4,025 into the policy since you opened it in 1990. Although you say that you were ineligible for any benefits, this is untrue: you would have received most of the benefits you signed up for. Aviva has now gone back through the 21 years of the records of your contributions, calculating the premiums that you should have paid for the benefits that you were entitled to draw. On this basis, you overpaid by £1,065. This amount will be refunded to you, less any premiums due at the time of the payment.

Q. In 2009 my friend booked flights from Belfast to Liverpool to attend an Everton match in May last year. After the game, we went to Liverpool Airport to be told that the flight was cancelled because of problems with the Icelandic ash cloud. We were rebooked for the following day, on the first available flight, and travelled home that day. We then booked a room in the Hilton hotel across the road, which easyJet staff promised would be covered by the airline. But easyJet has refused to cover the cost of the room, £91.45, on the basis that it wrongly claims that the room was pre-booked. I feel as if I have been accused of fraud. JM, Belfast.

A. You referred this matter to us in October and we subsequently made several unsuccessful attempts to obtain an answer from easyJet. We have only now had a response explaining that it made a full repayment to you in October, soon after we referred the matter to the airline. You have now confirmed that this is correct. EasyJet apologises for "the extended processing time" in making the payment.

Q. Last November I phoned Which? to request the free Which? guide to digital television – which turned out to be well out of date – and I was persuaded to take three issues of the magazine for £3. After the third issue was delivered, on 1 February, I phoned Which? and cancelled my subscription via their auto-cancellation service. Later my credit card statement showed that Which? had taken £9.75 on 3 February for the next issue. I phoned to complain, but to no avail. I had been told that I could cancel at any time, but the letter from Which? said that the £9.75 would betaken from my card on 1 February and it couldn't refund my £9.75. Although it has taken my dosh for the next month, the auto cancellation appears to block my access to its web pages. You don't expect anorganisation championing consumer rights to act in this way.CD, Bristol.

A. Which? has listened to the initial conversation between you and its customer services centre. This record shows that you were told that you would need to cancel by 31 January to prevent the first payment being taken on 1 February. Lesley Maslen, head of customer service at Which?, says: "Unfortunately, [the reader] cancelled his subscription late, when the payment for the following month was already being processed. We recognise this was an honest mistake and are refunding his money. We're also revising the text in our confirmation letter to ensure there is absolutely no room for confusion for new members in future."

Q. I booked online at Radisson for a hotel room at Dublin airport for my partner when his flight was badly delayed. I accidentally pressed the booking confirmation key on the website four times and booked four rooms instead of one. I only noticed the next morning, as I had logged off after the first confirmation email arrived. I phoned the hotel, but the staff declined to credit the cost of the extra three rooms – even though they were not used. MW, Derry.

A. The additional three room bookings would have cost an additional €375. Radisson has waived this charge because of the confusion.

Q. In January I phoned the Palace Theatre to purchase two tickets for that evening's Priscilla Queen of the Desert performance. I was told that the only seats available were £20 or £65 and that the £20 seats had a restricted view. When I asked what this meant, I was told that the restriction was "when some things were happening on the far left of the stage". I was surprised and disappointed to discover that this restriction applied to the whole of the front of the stage and therefore a large part of the "action" and set pieces. CA, London.

A. Anna Charles, theatre manager at the Palace Theatre, says: "I accept that the information given out by the call centre operator could have been more comprehensive, and in order to provide more detailed information on the nature of this restriction in future the producer will be creating a briefing sheet for use by call centre operators. However, given that these tickets were £20 each, compared to the top price of £67.75, and clearly state that there is a restricted view, I would not agree that they were mis-sold."

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

Life and Style
Fans line up at the AVNs, straining to capture a photo of their favourite star
life Tim Walker asks how much longer the industry can continue to flesh out an existence
Professor David Nutt wants to change the way gravely ill patients are treated in Britain
people Why does a former Government tsar believe that mind-altering drugs have a place on prescription?
Norway’s ‘The Nordland Line – Minute by Minute, Season by Season’ continues the trend of slow TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jonny Evans has pleaded not guilty to an FA charge for spitting at Papiss Cisse
Life and Style
Kate Moss will make a cameo appearance in David Walliams' The Boy in the Dress
The image released by the Salvation Army, using 'The Dress'
Liverpool defender Kolo Toure
football Defender could make history in the FA Cup, but African Cup of Nations win means he's already content
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

    Recruitment Genius: Customer Relations Officer

    £13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join ...

    Ashdown Group: Junior Application Support Analyst - Fluent German Speaker

    £25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

    Jemma Gent: Project Coordinator

    £12 - £15 Hourly Rate: Jemma Gent: In this role you will report to the Head of...

    Recruitment Genius: Evening Administrator

    £8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established early...

    Day In a Page

    Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

    Homeless Veterans campaign

    Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
    Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

    Lost without a trace

    But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
    Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

    Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

    Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
    International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

    Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

    Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
    Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

    Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

    Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
    Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

    Confessions of a planespotter

    With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
    Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

    Russia's gulag museum

    Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
    The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

    The big fresh food con

    Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
    Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

    Virginia Ironside was my landlady

    Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
    Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

    Paris Fashion Week 2015

    The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
    8 best workout DVDs

    8 best workout DVDs

    If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
    Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

    Paul Scholes column

    I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
    Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

    From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

    Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
    Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

    Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

    The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
    War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

    Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

    Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable