Questions Of Cash: 'I've had no refund for my cancelled flight'
Saturday 11 September 2010
Q. I booked a return flight through Travelocity to Stockholm for my wife and me in March. The flight was cancelled because of the volcanic ash cloud. Travelocity initially said that it might take 12 to 16 weeks to refund. Despite reminders, I have not had my refund. CB, Brighton.
A. Travelocity has now processed the refund and sent you £212.06. It says: "We're sorry this customer's travel was inconvenienced by the ash cloud. As part of our commitment to our customers and helping with their inconvenience, we have been liaising with suppliers to facilitate refunds on their behalf."
Q. I am 66 and had a successful heart bypass operation in 2006. My wife is 77 and 20 years ago had treatment which effectively knocked out her thyroid gland, which had been overactive. We are both on prescribed medication. We frequently visit Europe, but never take out travel insurance, relying instead on our E110 cards.
This year, we will fly to Spain, booking via a travel agent. The agent gave me a quote of £77.62 for travel insurance for our 10-day holiday. When I notified them of our medical history this leapt to £246, which I consider unreasonable. Is it really necessary to have travel insurance? If so, can you suggest how I can cut the cost? PW, by email.
A. The E111 (not E110, which is a food additive) has been replaced by the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). While it is important to have an EHIC on visits to other EU countries, this is not a substitute for also taking out health insurance. The EHIC should enable you to have free or low-cost medical care in other EU states. But a person who falls seriously ill (or who dies) and needs to be returned to the UK via air ambulance will be charged for this, and the costs can be huge. Travel insurance also provides cover for theft of valuables and limited compensation for flight delays and cancellations.
There are several specialist health insurers who provide cover for people with impaired health histories: these include AllClear (allcleartravel.co.uk), Free Spirit (free-spirit.com) and It's So Easy Travel Insurance (itssoeasytravelinsurance.com). Since contacting us, you have taken out an annual travel insurance policy with Nationwide for £35 – but this excludes cover for illness or death relating to your past health conditions and consequently cannot be regarded as providing adequate cover.
Q. In March, TalkTalk told me how to get my phone line re-established, which was interrupted against my wishes in January. TalkTalk told me the problem was with BT. I reluctantly agreed with TalkTalk to order a new phone and broadband line, but was promised that the reinstated line would be provided free of charges and on the same terms as I was on previously. But I have been charged installation fees as if I was a new customer and the terms are not the same as before. OL, Brighton.
A. TalkTalk apologises for the problems. It has cleared the charges on your account and has offered you a discount on your future charges, which you have accepted.
Q. I was phoned by TalkTalk in February 2009 and I agreed that I would pay £36 a month to continue its service for another six months. This was the price I had signed up for in a Carphone Warehouse shop. I was given an absolute promise that all overpayments would be repaid to me by September 2009. If repayments were missed, then my agreement would be terminated on that date and would stop completely at the end of 2009.
The operative gave me a phone number to call in September to confirm arrangements, but when I phoned, I was passed around various operatives. I was told there was a note on my file confirming the arrangements, but no one I spoke to had the authority to act on this. I have since been threatened with legal action and now I have received a letter from a debt collector – yet it is Carphone Warehouse that owes me £1,447.14. TG, Buckinghamshire.
A. Carphone Warehouse says it is confident you are "not being overcharged and not owed any credit". It says that in 2009, you upgraded your O2 mobile service, for which you paid £35.23 a month. However, it alleges you repeatedly exceeded your inclusive call allowance, incurring charges of about £30 a month. But it was unable to adjust your direct debit to recover these charges under the terms of the contract. Carphone's internal investigation concluded that you were aware of the products, services and costs you signed up for.
As you have now cancelled the service, Carphone insists you have breached the terms of your contract and it is now demanding £201.84, representing the balance on your account of £126.83, plus a cessation fee of £75.01. We have now exhausted our ability to act on your behalf with Carphone. As you remain unhappy with the outcome, we suggest you take your case to the telephone ombudsman service – both O2 and TalkTalk (the phone operator previously part of Carphone Warehouse) are members of the Otelo scheme. Its contact details are listed on otelo.org.uk.
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.co.uk.
Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown
Culinary experts in The Netherlands thought it was 'fresh' and 'tasty'
Of all the computers Apple has ever made there’s only one that Steve Jobs had to sell his car to finance
- 1 Nokia no more: Microsoft drops once-ubiquitous mobile name – in favour of its Lumia brand
- 2 Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery: 'I'm living a more fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
- 3 Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes too far at the Q Awards
- 4 Australian café owner sparks debate after saying 'No' to having unruly children on premises
- 5 NHS staff banned from drinking tea or coffee on the job because it looks like they're not working hard enough
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
iJobs Money & Business
£350 - £360 per day: Ashdown Group: SQL Developer with T-SQL, Watford, Hertfor...
£24000 - £28000 per annum + bonus & benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Business Syste...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: The SThree group is a world le...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Comission: SThree: The SThree group is a world lea...
Day In a Page
This 17th century beauty is full of rustic cosiness, while the detached home office means you can also run a business
This five-bedroom red-brick beauty overlooks the village green and sits in just under two acres of land
Four exclusive apartments in a Grade II-listed former medical school with 2,275 sq ft of living space and 18ft ceilings
A five-bedroom terraced house on the popular Peterborough Estate, ideally located for both Eel Brook Common and South Park
A state-of-the-art farm-building conversion on the former Cliveden Estate, with 11,420sq ft of internal space, cinema and wine cellar
A three-bedroom, 15th-century cottage with original features in the picturesque village of Sissinghurst
A six-bedroom terraced house with large south-facing roof terrace, cinema room and wine cellar
A new seven-bedroom home built in Queen Anne-style with swimming pool and parkland views in Mortimer
A listed, four-bedroom farmhouse in the rural hamlet of Rushall with detached barn, four acres of gardens and paddocks
A first-floor flat with two bedrooms, a spacious reception room and communal grounds in a leafy part of London
A three-bedroom flat with a spacious rootop terrace and balcony, accessed from a private gated courtyard
A Grade II-listed pile with six bedrooms, stables and 39 acres of grounds in Standlake
A two-bedroom flat with boutique hotel-style interiors, close to the foodie haunt of West End Lane
A two-bedroom flat in a beautiful old vicarage, with many original features, close to the city centre
A three-bedroom 16th-century home with an aga kitchen, private gardens and heated outdoor pool, in Hadleigh
A three-bedrom home in sought-after Queen's Gate Mews, with Italian marble-finished bathrooms
Surrounded by glorious countryside in the village of Udimore, sits this impressive four-kiln oast and barn conversion
A five-bedroom house in the picturesque village of Kettlewell, north Yorkshire
An 18th-century former coaching inn with original staircase, open fireplaces and beams throughout
A Grade II-listed Georgian town house with three bedrooms and a south-facing courtyard, near Arundel Castle
Feel on top of the world at this über chic penthouse on the 37th floor of one of Europe’s tallest blocks.
A Grade II-listed Victorian villa with six bedrooms and two further cottages, all with spectacular sea views
A grade II-listed, Georgian cottage with mature 50ft garden, perfect for summer entertaining
A magnificent Georgian pile with turrets, seven bedrooms, a heated pool and four acres of gardens
Fairoak Farm has five bedroom suites, gym, outdoor swimming pool and golf course
Chic two-bedroom river-fronted flat with a private lift that delivers you directly to your home
A spectacular seven-bedroom Tudor pile, once owned by Henry VIII, with 18 acres of land
A seven-bedroom Georgian property previously used as a picturesque wedding venue
A split-level flat in a church conversion with two en suite bedrooms and 1,200sq ft of living space
A three-bedroom bungalow situated behind an impressive stone wall, £645,000
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads
Chapel House is a former vicarage with nine bedrooms in the beautiful Upper Wye Valley
A five-bedroom B&B and separate owner's accomodation with potential for conversion
Enjoy summer by the Thames in this two double-bedroom converted warehouse in Rotherhithe village
A one-bedroom, luxury apartment with private gym and concierge service in Moorgate
A four-bedroom house in Hermitage Gardens with three reception rooms and landscaped gardens
A seven-bedroom Grade II-listed property with a separate self-contained apartment
A five-bedroom Victorian house with three reception rooms and galleried landing, £695,000
A six-bedroom farmhouse with five acres of land in a former cloth-making village