Questions of Cash: Poor reception for digital TV package
Saturday 03 November 2007
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; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown
- 1 Emma Watson on Jennifer Lawrence naked photo leak: 'Even worse than seeing women's privacy violated is reading the comments'
- 2 Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
- 3 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 4 Cee Lo Green: It is only rape if the victim is conscious
- 5 Nigerian witch-finder Helen Ukpabio threatens legal action against human rights organisations
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
Ashya King: 'Cruel NHS has not given us the treatment we need', says father of five-year-old with brain tumour who fled to Spain
iJobs Money & Business
£55000 - £65000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A Global Financial Service Organi...
£60000 - £70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A prestigious leading professiona...
£40000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A Global Financial Service Organi...
£50000 - £70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: One of the global leaders in prov...
Day In a Page
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
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