Questions Of Cash: Strange tale of the missing faulty ebook reader
Saturday 26 June 2010
Q. In January I purchased an Iriver Story e-book from Play.com for £179.99. In March, the screen went blank. I tried to contact Play.com, but it has a 28 days returns policy because they are in Jersey. I did not know this when ordering, assuming I had UK rights to return goods that went wrong. I therefore contacted Iriver, seeking to return this under warranty. It sent me an address in Germany, with a return authorisation number to put at the top of the package. I sent it at a cost of £12, insured for £200. After a week I contacted Iriver because I had heard nothing. It asked me for a copy of the postage receipts, which I scanned and emailed. It then told me I had sent it to their "old address" – but this was the specific address Iriver had emailed me the week before. Iriver said they were sorry and would contact me if it ever arrives – but I have heard nothing more and it seems unlikely the device will now be delivered. BM, Birmingham.
A. Play.com does accept returns after 28 days where goods are faulty and the company says that it complies fully with UK law in terms of consumer rights. It is reviewing its website to make its returns policy more explicit. The company has sent you a replacement e-reader, plus a refund of £13 to cover your postage costs. It will discuss with Iriver the problems you have experienced to ensure they are not repeated for other customers.
Q. I have had an account with Orange for many years. Since 2007 this has been linked to my broadband account, paid through direct debit. I recently realised that Orange has been successfully claiming two monthly payments by direct debit – one for this account and a second payment of £30 per month. I don't understand why this second payment has been claimed. The phone number referred to on this second monthly payment is not one I recognise. After several calls to Orange, it claimed that it had no written record of this number being ordered, "so it must have been a verbal instruction". Yet that second phone number has never been used and I have never received a bill for it. Apparently I have been charged for this number since August 2006. DM, London.
A. Orange argues that the payments from your account were triggered by someone impersonating you and carrying out a fraud. However, our examination of the circumstances suggests there is some doubt about this – not least because although a mobile phone number was generated, the account seems to have never been used. Although Orange accepts that you never ordered the mobile phone line, nor ever used it, Orange declined to refund you directly with your overpayment. Instead, Orange insisted that you seek the money from your bank, NatWest, using the Direct Debit Guarantee. This guarantee is supposed to be of assistance to individuals in situations such as yours – but in the event it became a barrier to repayment, with Orange referring you and us to NatWest for repayment, while you tell us that staff in your NatWest branch told you this was not possible. When NatWest conducted its own investigations it agreed to fully refund you on the basis of the Direct Debit Guarantee and has refunded you £1,300. Orange says it has, in turn, now refunded NatWest.
A spokeswoman for Orange says: "We have thoroughly investigated this and believe the details used in the creation of this account were provided by an individual fraudulently claiming to be [the reader] and had nothing to do with details on the customer's other Orange account. As soon as [the reader] advised that she had not authorised the connection of this account, the account was cancelled immediately. As with all fraudulent activity relating to a direct debit, it is standard to advise the customer to speak to their bank to request a direct debit indemnity form, to ensure the customer will be reimbursed by their bank within 24 hours of receipt under the Direct Debit Guarantee."
Q. I was unable to travel to Budapest when easyJet cancelled my flight from Gatwick. It claimed this was because of the Icelandic ash problem, but it was before the airspace was closed. I was told by easyJet at the airport – and this was confirmed in a letter handed to passengers – that it would refund my costs for travelling to Budapest by train or bus. Instead, easyJet has refunded only £200 – half my return plane costs to Budapest. The journey by train involved my travel companion and myself getting one train to Paris and then making a further six connections to Budapest, costing us £900. I provided easyJet with the receipts, but it has refused to reimburse us. EasyJet is applying a strict interpretation of the European Directive on compensation for cancelled flights and says that the rerouting entitlement does not cover trains. The booked return flight was unaffected and we travelled back by plane. MS, by email.
A. You were fortunate enough to have been given the wrong letter by easyJet staff, which promised you a refund for travelling by rail to your destination. Apparently this was an old version of its letter to passengers whose flights are cancelled and all copies should have been destroyed. The easyJet spokesman Andrew McConnell says: "EasyJet apologises for the cancellation of the flight, this was due to the air space closure caused by the Icelandic volcano. In accordance with the European Regulation, the airline's obligation in respect of rerouting is either to provide another flight at the earliest opportunity, another flight at a later date, or to refund the original air fare. However, since in this instance the passenger was given a written assurance that easyJet would reimburse expenses for rail or bus travel, we have as a gesture of goodwill reimbursed these costs." Other readers who were not inadvertently given the same letter by easyJet are unlikely to be as lucky.
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.
- 1 JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
- 2 Finland schools: Subjects scrapped and replaced with 'topics' as country reforms its education system
- 3 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 4 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
- 5 Cate Blanchett loses temper during interview: 'That's your f**king question?'
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Vote Ukip, says far-right group Britain First
iJobs Money & Business
£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A position has arisen within th...
£50000 - £63000 per annum + excellent benefits : Ashdown Group: IT Manager / D...
£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Applicants must hold a valid SIA Door Su...
£50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Business Analyst - Financial Services - The C...
Day In a Page
A four-bedroom apartment on the ground floor of a stunning period property in North Yorkshire, with two kitchens and a large south-west facing garden.
This high-spec two-bedroom home is part of a smart collection of new flats at Beaufort Park and has a large decked balcony that's perfect for summer drinks.
Capitalise on the fabulous views of Trevone Bay by taking two homes and creating one spacious boutique B&B. Just a cliff-top walk from Padstow.
Overlooking a golf course, this six-bedroom Edwardian detached home spans four storeys and retains many period features including the original, operational servants' bells...
On the edge of the city, this six-bedroom home comes with an outdoor swimming pool and a large garage block that has annexe potential.
In a Grade II-listed manor just outside of Bath, this three-bedroom home is arranged on two floors with a skylight in a vaulted roof line.
Open the living room's bi-fold wooden doors to reveal a retro-style kitchen, and a conservatory leading to a paved garden at this three-bedroom home.
A Grade II-listed, four-bedroom home, in a charming Somerset village, with a two-storey studio that could be converted into a holiday cottage
A modern four-bedroom Victorian home, within walking distance to the high street
A luxury apartment in the Gothic mansion of Wyfold Court in Kingwood, offers six bedrooms spread over three floors and a turret
This school conversion, near Stockwell Tube, oozes New York loft style. The one-bedroom flat features double height ceilings and exposed brick work
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 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
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads
A boutique mews house, set around a central courtyard, with three bedrooms and a private roof terrace
A four-bedroom farm-conversion with three bathrooms and two reception rooms
A two-bedroom detached house with ensuite bathrooms and a sun-drenched decked terrace, £750,000
A modern and spacious two-bedroom, penthouse flat with two bathrooms in a prestigious development
A beautifully renovated five-bedroom terrace with three reception rooms and a courtyard garden, £700,000
A four-bedroom period house which has been extended to provide almost 2,500sq ft of living space, £675,000
A pretty three-bedroom Georgian home with a 22ft drawing room and a master suite with a balcony, £525,000
A substanstial family home with five bedrooms and landscaped gardens in the much sought-after Branksome Park area
A well-presented three-bedroom house with front and rear gardens, close to White City station, £475,000
A handsome five-bedroom house in a sought-after location close to the city centre
A five-bedroom country home with valley views, equestrian stables and 27 acres of land, £725,000
A six-bedroom farm house with separate, detached cottages and 371 acres of land
A two-bedroom cottage with parquet floors, chunky beams and an open fireplace
A three-bedrrom flat with 2,733sq feet of living space, a beautiful private garden and 15 acres of communal grounds
A four-bedroom chalet bungalow with three bathrooms and a spacious garden, £525,000
A two-bedroom flat with an open plan kitchen and two balconies, close to Arsenal station