Questions Of Cash: 'My disabled parents have lost out on scooter refund'
Saturday 15 January 2011
Q. My parents are both disabled and retired. They ordered two mobility scooters from Virgo Healthcare for £4,600 last March. They quickly discovered they were unable to use them, so they contacted Virgo Healthcare, which agree to a full refund and collected the scooters on 27 April. Since then, no refund has been supplied. KB, Hertfordshire.
A. At about the time you contacted us last year, Virgo Healthcare ceased trading. This followed a BBC programme which alleged that Virgo Healthcare systematically mis-sold disability products. Had your parents paid by credit card, we would have been optimistic that they would have recovered their losses, as credit suppliers are jointly liable for the supply of goods. Your parents instead paid by Visa debit card – which provides a more limited guarantee. You state that the reason why your parents rejected the mobility scooters was that they did not conform to the description provided by Virgo Healthcare. However, your parents merely said at the time that they were unable to use the scooters.
We have spent several months trying to persuade Lloyds, as issuer of your parents Visa debit cards, to accept that the goods were mis-sold and on this basis that the Visa guarantee should apply. Lloyds adamantly refuses to request a Visa chargeback. We believe that Lloyds should have sought a chargeback, rather than insist that it was debarred from doing so because your elderly parents did not initially fully explain why they had rejected the scooters.
Lloyds states: "Regrettably, the fact the company has ceased to trade has no bearing on the Visa chargeback rules and I am sorry to inform you, after further investigation, our position remains the same. The chargeback rules are determined by Visa and can only be applied if the goods are damaged or not as described. You have already stated the scooters were not damaged and the reason your parents wished to return them was because they were not able to use them. The chargeback rules will also not apply if the goods were delivered but then returned."
Hertfordshire Trading Standards has advised you to pursue the matter with the Financial Ombudsman: we agree. Trading standards officers in Derbyshire, where Virgo Healthcare was based, confirm that the company has ceased trading, but believe there are no assets left in the business against which your parents might recover their losses.
Q. We took my father on holiday to Egypt with Page & Moy. It was supposed to be a holiday of a lifetime after he was widowed. We picked Page & Moy because the hotels in its brochure appeared better than others, and we thought it would be worth paying the extra cost. But there were many problems: the hotels were in poor condition, the English guide was unhelpful and did not know much about Egypt; there were far too many people on the trip so we couldn't all get into rooms/tombs or hear the local guide. When I complained, Page & Moy only offered me £150 refund in vouchers, despite me asking for one third of the cost to be repaid. AP, Croydon.
A. Page & Moy apologises for your disappointment, but says that 95 per cent of holidaymakers on this tour rated it as excellent and 94 per cent said they would recommend it to a friend. However, future similar holidays will now be limited to a maximum number of 25 guests and tour guides must now be people with expert local knowledge and who live locally. Page & Moy has converted the refund offer from vouchers to a cash refund, but is not willing to increase the level of compensation. The total cost of your holiday was £1,650 for your party: you do not believe that the £150 refund represents a reasonable level of compensation. Page & Moy is a member of ABTA, the Association of British Travel Agents, which operates a dispute resolution scheme. We recommend that you pursue your complaint through ABTA.
Q. I recently applied for a bank account with First Direct. Initially I was warmly received by them, but then I found there was a problem with my Experian credit report. This was because I was wrongly shown as not being on the electoral register – a mistake that was rectified two years ago. LR, London.
A. Experian says that your credit report correctly shows you as being on the electoral register and this is not the reason for any problems you have with First Direct. The agency suggests you purchase a copy of your credit reference report – which can be obtained for £2 – that should enable you to determine where any problems actually lie. If, as seems likely, an adverse entry has been made as a result of a past dispute between yourself and a financial institution, you can request that you are allowed to insert an entry to summarise your own version of the dispute. Experian indicates that it will assist you in doing this.
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.
Customers paying up to £250 more on energy bills than they should every year
10 tips for taking out a personal loan
Has your Premium Bond won the £1million jackpot?
There are 'dark corners' of the investment and pensions industry, says Pension Minister
Simon Read: You're guilty until proven innocent when HMRC sends in the tax credit detectives
- 1 Home Office says Nigerian asylum-seeker can’t be a lesbian as she’s got children
- 2 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 3 Japanese island overrun with cats after population explodes
- 4 Apple and Google users being spied on for a decade because of 'Freak' security flaw
- 5 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
iJobs Money & Business
£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...
Voluntary post, reasonable expenses reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Would you ...
£36,000 - £40,000: Christine McCleave: Are you looking for a new opportunity a...
£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...
Day In a Page
This six-bedroom Georgian home is on three floors with open fireplaces, a two-oven Aga, an annexe, and cottage gardens with outbuildings and a car barn
High Crest House covers an impressive 9384sq ft, with almost three acres of grounds including a tennis court and summer house enclosed by electric gates
A six-bedroom farmhouse with separate accommodation in converted stables. Situated in the village of Church Aston, within walking distance to the market town
A two-bedroom flat with under-heated walnut floors and bespoke built-in storage. The Tube and Clapham Common are a short stroll away
A refurbished seven-bedroom townhouse with staff quarters, cinema room, superb gym, steam room and plunge pool
A minimnalist four-bedroom home designed to the highest spec, featuring glass walls and a kitchen space lit by a glass roof
Hibernate during winter and make your living during the summer at this busy guesthouse with panoramic sea views, in the village of Lynton
A four-bedroom penthouse next to the Tate with direct views of St Paul's from two floors of luxurious living space
A four-bedroom detached home surrounded by spacious gardens and woodland, close to New Pudsey
An 18th-century, three-bedroom home near Langstone Harbour built from ships beams with vaulted ceilings and wood burning stoves
A five-bedroom semi-detached home with a mix of period and modern features in a popular and convenient location
This five-bedroom red-brick beauty overlooks the village green and sits in just under two acres of land
A three-bedroom villa with self-contained flat, minutes from Lake Windermere
A deceptively spacious, beautifully presented Georgian home with 3000sq ft of living space and five reception rooms
A five-bedroom Victorian home with four receptions, superb gardens and paddock in Pembury
An eight-bedroom house on the south side of the The Green with cinema, wine cellars and summer house
This 17th century beauty is full of rustic cosiness, while the detached home office means you can also run a business
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