Questions of Cash: Poor reception for digital TV package


Q. I bought a plasma TV in July, but found that with a communal aerial the reception wasn't good. I was told the only solution was digital TV through Virgin Media. I signed up for TV, broadband and phone package. The day before installation, Virgin Media told me it had not realised mine was a shared property. I was told a new installation date would be arranged. Nothing happened, but I have received a welcome pack telling me about the service I still cannot receive. MH, Bristol.



A. There were two problems installing the cables in your flat. Normally, shared accommodation cannot be connected, which is why you were originally told it was not possible to provide the service. But efforts were made to provide a service and a neighbour and your landlord gave permission for the cabling. However, when Virgin Media sent a technician, it was realised that your property is a listed building – laying the cables would be a breach of the listed protection. Virgin Media has now fully refunded you.

Q. I set up a dual-fuel discount with Lloyds TSB Ideal, for the supply of gas and electricity, paid by direct debit. Last year, our electricity meter was changed. In February this year, our next electricity bill arrived – for more than £1,600. Our supplier, Scottish Power, told me we had not been charged electricity for 26 months. I complained to the Ombudsman, who said Scottish Power had followed procedures. Scottish Power has taken two months off the bill and said I can pay over two years, but I am on Family Tax Credit and a low income. I would have to pay £187 a month but can't afford this. CAB has advised me to make a statement of income and expenditure and send it to Scottish Power. I did, but Scottish Power has refused to help further. BA, by email.

A. Your situation, sadly, is not unique. While Scottish Power has complied with the industry code of practice, you have been left in hardship because of the failure of Scottish Power and a previous utility company to bill you properly. As you found when you inspected old bills, you were previously only invoiced for your gas consumption, not electricity. Your circumstances have been made worse because your monthly energy use is £126, which is probably more than you can afford. Scottish Power is waiving your electricity charges for September 2004 to February 2005, which it is required to do under the code of practice because of the age of the debt. It has also now agreed to enter into an affordable payment plan and advise you how to cut your energy bills.



Q. I am 63 and self-employed. Having watched my Standard Life with-profits pension dwindle, I decided to withdraw it and reinvest in a draw-down plan with another provider. Standard Life quoted me a transfer value, then reduced the figure by £6,903 because I was retiring before the due date of my 65th birthday. I had never given them this date. AW, Cranbrook.



A. Standard Life says when you took out your plan, you nominated age 65 as your retirement date. As you are transferring before this date to an income draw-down plan, the amount transferred is subject to a market value reduction (MVR), ensuring the sum you get represents your fair share of fund value. If you'd transferred to an income draw-down plan at age 65, it wouldn't have been subject to an MVR. Standard Life insists your financial adviser was told the MVR would be applied and advised of "the values available" to you under the various options. We took this up with your financial adviser, who contacted you. You now tell us that you accept that your financial adviser correctly informed you of the situation.

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; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown

Sport
sportSo, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Arts and Entertainment
Dennis speaks to his French teacher
tvThe Boy in the Dress, TV review
News
One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
The Plaza Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia was one of the 300 US cinemas screening
filmTim Walker settles down to watch the controversial gross-out satire
Arts and Entertainment
Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz in Tim Burton's Big Eyes
film reviewThis is Tim Burton’s most intimate and subtle film for a decade
Life and Style
Mark's crab tarts are just the right size
food + drinkMark Hix cooks up some snacks that pack a punch
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
Arts and Entertainment
Madonna is not in Twitter's good books after describing her album leak as 'artistic rape and terrorism'
music14 more 'Rebel Heart' tracks leaked including Pharrell Williams collaboration
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
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

    Selby Jennings: Quantitative Research | Equity | New York

    Not specified: Selby Jennings: Quantitative Research | Global Equity | New Yor...

    Selby Jennings: SVP Model Validation

    Not specified: Selby Jennings: SVP Model Validation This top tiered investment...

    Selby Jennings: Oil Operations

    Highly Competitive: Selby Jennings: Our client, a leading European Oil trading...

    The Jenrick Group: Night Shift Operations Manager

    £43500 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Night Shift Operatio...

    Day In a Page

    A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

    Christmas without hope

    Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
    After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

    The 'Black Museum'

    After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
    Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

    Chilly Christmas

    Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
    Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

    'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

    Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
    Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

    Ed Balls interview

    'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
    He's behind you, dude!

    US stars in UK panto

    From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

    What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

    Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
    Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

    Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

    Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
    Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

    Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
    Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

    Autism-friendly theatre

    Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all