Questions Of Cash: 'Long-running insurance Saga is a headache'
Saturday 26 March 2011
Q. In December 2010 Saga quoted me £382.18 to insure a Volkswagen Golf, based upon my 60 per cent no-claims bonus discount. It said that the policy would be sent immediately. But the policy did not arrive and I was unable to speak to anyone at Saga, despite repeated phone calls. I wrote on 12 January to cancel that policy.
On 19 January, I received a letter from customer services saying that Saga had "recently experienced high call volumes", but that the policy had been cancelled and a refund would be processed once I completed an enclosed form and it had received this back from me. I telephoned again to say that no such form was enclosed, but it was not until 31 January that I received the form, which was sent back immediately.
No money was forthcoming and I waited awhile to call again requesting my refund, only to be told that the cancellation was not acceptable to Saga Insurance. I then phoned once more to speak to someone more helpful and was told that the cancellation had now been approved and that I could expect a refund within a week or so. This "saga" has been going on for several weeks. PP, by email.
A. There was a sequence of problems in initially processing your insurance policy and then in cancelling the policy and refunding your payment. Saga failed to provide the policy within the time promised. It was then unable to cancel the policy as it had not received from you the return of the certificate of insurance – because you never received this. You then completed a Road Traffic Act declaration form in lieu of the returned certificate. Even then, Saga failed to make a prompt refund. Saga has now refunded your payment of £382.18, plus another £50 as a goodwill gesture. Saga's spokeswoman explains: "We have provided feedback and training to those involved, stressing the importance of processing refunds in a timely manner."
Q. After reading the reader's question "Atol needs all the facts before spending public cash" (Questions of Cash, 5 March), I wanted to add my experience. I booked a holiday through a travel agency to Zante in Greece for last summer, flying with Goldtrail. Following the collapse of Goldtrail I had to book extra flights. I originally paid £423, but then had to pay a further £500. As the other readers have pointed out, trying to get a refund has been hard work and I am hitting the same brick walls as them of automated phone calls, unreturned calls and unanswered emails. JM
A The Civil Aviation Authority says that the delay in processing a refund under the ATOL guarantee was in part caused because you changing address while the refund was being handled. It confirms that all paperwork has now been received and a payment will be made before the end of the month.
Q. My wife's Santander one-year bond matured in September 2010. She advised Santander in advance of the maturity date that she wanted the proceeds transferred to her current account, or alternatively paid by cheque. This is normal banking practice. But Santander required her to present herself at the local branch. This she did, but they were only prepared to release the funds by way of her opening another account which would be "both opened and closed the same day". We objected to this as it appeared a strategy to retain her funds and could damage her credit rating if the account remained open with an overdraft facility attached. But to expedite matters we reluctantly agreed.
We were unfortunately not able to take a cheque away as Santander had calculated the balance wrongly – which became the subject of another complaint! We have made contact with Santander on at least six occasions in the last six months just to close this unwanted account. Each month we receive a statement showing nil transactions, but still the statements come and nothing happens. It seems we cannot close an account and others cannot unlock their equivalent. CD, by email.
A Santander spokesman says: "We can confirm the funds from [the reader's wife's] bond account were transferred out on 20/08/2010 and the bond was closed on 22/11/2010. A complaint in respect of tax deducted and interest earned was dealt with and was eventually referred to the Financial Ombudsman Service, who found that our resolution was fair. A remaining, unused current account has now been closed following receipt of this complaint."
Q. We have a balance of £1,880 on an Egg credit card, which we want to transfer to my husband's Barclaycard as there is a 0 per cent deal on. We need to do this by the end of March. When Egg raised its interest rates last year we stopped using its card, but we still have a balance outstanding. But to transfer the balance to Barclaycard it requires an expiry date for the Egg card. Egg refuses to provide an expiry date, saying that Barclaycard does not need this. SM, by email.
A. Egg has now provided an expiry date for you to provide to Barclaycard, doing so in time for you to make use of the closing date for the Barclaycard 0 per cent balance transfer offer. A spokeswoman for Egg says: "We have contacted the customer and the account has now been closed. It is not our usual practice to provide expiry dates for security reasons and usually a customer can provide their own when they do a balance transfer. However, this was a specific case and we acknowledge we could have dealt with the issue sooner. For this and the inconvenience this has caused we have sincerely apologised." You say that you hope other readers will not suffer the same problem. Barclaycard has just bought the Egg credit card business from Citigroup, so we expect your specific situation not to recur.
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.
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
Consumers given power to choose a green deal
'Scrap the trap': calls for change grow as banks are told to play fair with loyal savers
Bargain Hunter: Eurostar offers child fares for £1 each way to Paris, Brussels and Lille
Relaxed pensions rules: Guide to what they mean to you
Moment of truth for payday lenders: Watchdog plans to curb cost of short-term loans
- 1 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 2 Comfortable in their own skin
- 3 Japanese plant experts produce 10,000 lettuce heads a day in LED-lit indoor farm
- 4 War is war: Why I stand with Israel
- 5 L'Oreal cuts ties with Belgium supporter Axelle Despiegelaere after hunting trip photographs
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
War is war: Why I stand with Israel
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
iJobs Money & Business
£70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, A...
£75000 - £85000 per annum + ex bens: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Biztalk Te...
£60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Trade Desk Specialist (FIX, Linux, Windows...
£35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst (Windows, Active Dire...
Day In a Page
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
A secluded seven-bedroom detached house with large private garden, £490,000
A three-bedroom cottage overlooking Sarratt village green with open fires and solid oak floors
A three-bedroom maisonette flat in a Grade I-listed, Georgian townhouse in a sought-after location
A one-bedroom apartment located within a private gated development, north of Turnham Green
Look forward to a brighter future at two-bedroom Sunny Cottages, ideal for Londoners looking to downsize
A three-bedroom red-brick cottage with outbuildings and pretty gardens, £200,000
This three-bedroom flat within a former textile factory spans the corner of the fourth floor and has a balcony
A charming four-bedroom Oxfordshire cottage with oak floors and chunky-beamed ceilings, £465,000
A beautiful one-bed flat in a sought-after portered block, with access to Norland Square communal gardens
A one-bedroom flat within a Sixties school conversion with high-spec design and open-plan kitchen, close to Lambeth North Tube, £435,000
A 17th century four-bedroom house, with open fireplaces, cellar and pool, £600,000
A three-bedroom, coach house with luxury open-plan living space and contemporary breakfast bar
A newly refurbished one-bedroom flat in the heart of Mayfair, close to Grosvenor Square