Questions of Cash: Mobile firm sorry for giving RAF officer the runaround
Friday 08 February 2013
Q. I started a 24-month mobile phone contract with T-Mobile, now part of EE, in January 2012. I am a serving officer in the RAF, so before agreeing the contract I asked whether I would be able to suspend the contract and monthly bills when I was deployed away from the UK and unable to use the mobile. I was promised this was possible. The period of suspension would be added on to the end of the contract, so I would still pay for a full 24 months. I agreed the contract on this basis.
I am now about to deploy away for four months serving my country. But when I spoke to the EE call centre, I was told it was impossible to suspend the contract and this never had been possible. I requested a manager to return my calls, but no one has done so. I went back to the store where I signed the contract and was again told the suspension was possible. I phoned the call centre again, but it is still not returning my calls. I am out of pocket and spending my last days before leaving trying to sort out a mobile phone contract. KT, Shrewsbury.
A. This is now resolved satisfactorily, with the contract suspended for the duration of your service overseas. A spokesman for EE says: "The account has been frozen from the date originally requested. We have offered to waive line rental for three months from the reactivation date as a gesture of goodwill. We apologise for any inconvenience caused."
Q. My friend went on a P&O Cruises liner, the Aurora, in late summer aged 91 and fit. While he was there, he contracted norovirus, spent three days in the liner's medical centre and was given a bill for treatment of £1,700. P&O Cruises insisted he pay before he left the ship. Nor could they provide a wheelchair for him to disembark: passengers had to assist him off and in doing so destroyed his expensive suitcase. Yet when there was a norovirus outbreak on another P&O Cruises ship, the Oriana, the company agreed to meet the medical expenses for about 400 passengers afflicted. P&O Cruises refuses to provide any recompense. JC, Portsmouth.
A. P&O Cruises has reviewed this and refuses to change its position. A spokeswoman says: "Any passengers who require medical treatment on board our ships are charged accordingly as a matter of course. Having said that, it would be fair to say that we did take a different approach during cruise X221 on the Oriana due to the unusual situation that developed [where there was a major outbreak of norovirus]. However, as this was an isolated incident in [the reader's friend's] case, we would not be able to retrospectively adjust the charges that may have been imposed on passengers previously." P&O Cruises is not connected to P&O Ferries: the companies demerged in 2000.
Q. I own a second home in Edinburgh, where gas and electricity are supplied by Npower. On 4 January I received a letter from Npower regretting that I was moving to another supplier. I phoned Npower to deny this and was told that Co-operative Energy had informed them that it was to supply my electricity from 17 January. I had never heard of Co-operative Energy and certainly did not have any contact with them.
Npower advised me to contact Co-operative Energy to find out my meter point administration number or supply number, which I should then pass on to Npower to cancel the proposed transfer. Npower was to then confirm in writing that it would continue to supply my energy. I did not receive this letter, but assumed everything had been resolved.
But then I received a final electricity bill from Npower, repeating they were sorry to lose me. I phoned them again and was told that Co-operative Energy was already supplying electricity to my property, despite my insistence that I did not want this. I am concerned that the change of supplier was able to take place without my authorisation or any contact with me. HC, London.
A. Npower says it is "not at fault here at all … Co-op[erative Energy] took over [the reader's] supply without our or the customer's consent. We have put things right for the customer – switching can take up to six weeks either way. We'll bill the account as if she never left and her direct debit discount will not be affected."
A spokesman for Co-operative Energy said: "[This] property was a flat. We incorrectly registered meters at [the reader's] flat instead of a neighbour, who had requested to switch to Co-operative Energy. This is quite a frequent occurrence in the energy industry, particularly with flats as the numbering can sometimes be complex. An erroneous transfer process was initiated to return the meters back to the original supplier as soon as this was raised by the customer. The customer has received a full explanation and apology."
Q. I booked a medium sized car from Alamo to collect at Sarasota airport [in Florida], to fit two large adults, two medium sized adults and one small adult, plus one large bag and one small bag. I expected to pick up a Chevrolet Aveo or similar, but on arrival I was instead given a Fiat 500 and had to pay for an upgrade. While the Aveo has five seats, the 500 has four seats and is not "similar". Alamo has since changed its online descriptions of these cars to include them in different categories. I have been unable to obtain any reply to my complaints. PE, by email.
A. We raised the matter with Alamo in the United States – the Alamo brand in the UK is operated by a different business. We have been unable to obtain a statement from Alamo in the US, but the company promptly resolved your complaint upon our intervention. It sent you a suitable apology, accepted your complaint was reasonable and refunded you with $274.38.
- 1 Malaysian cyclist could face disciplinary action after 'Save Gaza' gloves protest
- 2 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 3 Fifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage from US parenting groups
- 4 McDonald’s removes chicken nuggets from the menu in Hong Kong amid major food scare
- 5 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
iJobs Money & Business
£600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Comission: SThree: SThree, International Recruitme...
£280 - £300 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Test Analyst, Edinburgh, Credit Ris...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...
Day In a Page
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
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