Questions of cash: NPower pays up for its broken promises


I have been away from home for a period and my direct debit payments to NPower have led to me overpaying £750 for electricity and £100 for gas. I phoned NPower repeatedly, but my promised refund has not arrived. I was told this would be sent after my meter was read. I came over specially from Amsterdam to allow someone in to read the meter, but no one came. I fear that if I stop my direct debit, my electricity will be cut off. DC, Horsham.

NPower accepts that your meter was not read as promised and that this held up your refund. It has reduced your electricity direct debit to £5 a month and your gas to £30, which has reduced your credit balance to £59.59. This will be refunded – but as a gesture of goodwill, recognising the inconvenience you have been caused, this is being rounded up to £150.

I am joint executor of my late uncle's estate, using a community and a savings account with HSBC. I use telephone banking to transfer funds between the accounts. On 1 April, I used the telephone banking to transfer £400 from the savings to the community account, to cover a cheque presented later that month. On 12 May, I received the community account statement showing that I had gone overdrawn, together with a bill for £80 in unauthorised overdraft fees – £8 per day overdrawn – plus interest at 25.08 per cent. My local branch cancelled an extra charge of £32, but said they could not reduce the £80 already billed. HSBC says it has no record of my original phone call. I don't understand why it couldn't have phoned me when the cheque was presented to warn me – it would then have earned a fee. AT, Sowerby Bridge.

You say you are confident you made the call to HSBC's telephone banking service, but cannot swear that you did so. HSBC has again checked its records, and can find no trace of any such call. It insists that the charges were correct. However, the bank values your custom and has therefore refunded the £80 in charges, plus interest.

I booked flights with Ryanair, but found them cheaper two days later and cheaper again after that. These were all under a promotion of "Italy from £10". On 25 June, the flights from Stansted airport to Alghero were £278.98. Now they are £268.96. How can flights become cheaper – in the same offer period – when we are regularly advised to book early to gain the lowest fare? NH, London.

A spokesman for Ryanair says: "Ryanair offers its customers the lowest average fares of any airline in Europe, and guaranteed no fuel surcharges. Special offers or low fare promotions are occasionally offered near to the date of flight departure. Customers can take the risk of waiting and booking later, but normally fares rise running up to the departure date."

My wife and I are divorced. I have invested money for our children in Nationwide Building Society accounts, and they also have accounts with the Nationwide at their mother's address. When the Nationwide paid bonuses for taking over the Portman, these were sent only to their mother's address. This has meant that full information on the accounts was sent to their mother's home, but I was keeping this information quiet from the children until they became older – the balances are in the thousands of pounds. SW, by email.

Nationwide's spokesman says the address of the children held by the society was that of their mother. It argues that there is no other way that it could have handled the administration and calculation of the bonuses.

Questions of Cash cannot give individual advice. Please do not send original documents. Write to: Questions of Cash, The Independent, 191 Marsh Wall, London E14 9RS; cash@independent.co.uk

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

Suggested Topics
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Recruitment Genius: Admin Assistant

    £12000 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An expanding Insurance Brokerag...

    Ashdown Group: Editor-in-chief - Financial Services - City, London

    £60000 - £70000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

    Guru Careers: Pricing Analyst

    £30 - 35k (DOE): Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pricing Analyst with experienc...

    Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

    £24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

    Day In a Page

    Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

    Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

    His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
    'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

    Open letter to David Cameron

    Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
    Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

    You don't say!

    Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
    Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

    So what is Mubi?

    Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
    The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

    The hardest job in theatre?

    How to follow Kevin Spacey
    Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

    Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

    To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
    Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

    'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

    The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
    Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

    This human tragedy has been brewing for years

    EU states can't say they were not warned
    Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

    Women's sportswear

    From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
    Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

    Clinton's clothes

    Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
    NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

    Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

    A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
    How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

    How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

    Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
    From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

    The wars that come back to haunt us

    David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
    Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders