Questions Of Cash: The Kodak moment that nearly wasn't
Saturday 01 April 2006
Q. I bought a Kodak digital camera for £195 for my daughter's birthday in January last year, but it stopped working in the summer. It was repaired under guarantee in September, but broke again. Kodak refuses to repair it now unless I pay £49.49 for a "low cost repair", saying repairs are only guaranteed for three months. My wife and I had hoped my daughter would use the camera for our golden wedding anniversary. I have wasted a lot of money for a camera that could only be used for three months, but I would now rather throw it away than spend even more.
A. Kodak received your complaint from us two days before your anniversary (24 March) and sent an urgent replacement to you by motorbike courier to arrive the day before your anniversary. It apologises for your problems.
Q. Lloyds TSB charged me £35 for returning cheques when I went overdrawn, but I only went overdrawn because the queues in the branch were so long I couldn't make payments into my account.
The £35 is a large part of my weekly income of £100, yet Lloyds TSB made £3.28bn profit in 2005. Such charges hit vulnerable people like me very hard and help generate this profit.
A. Lloyds TSB justifies its charges, saying that on two previous occasions when you went overdrawn without authority it waived charges. But it is not prepared to do this on a continuing basis. It says that, while it sympathises with customers when branches are busy, you could use the deposit facility outside the branch, or ask the branch's "welcome officer" to let you make a "fast track" deposit with a cashier. We understand you have now taken your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
Q.I had a mobile phone contract with 3, from June 2004 to June 2005. I was so unhappy with the customer service that I cancelled by phone in July last year and again in August. My account was not closed, so I cancelled it again through 3's website.
Again nothing happened, so I phoned again to cancel. I lost confidence in this process, so cancelled the direct debit authorisation and turned off my 3 mobile at the end of August. Yet I am still receiving bills from 3, which claims I owe nearly £100. Please help.
KR, by e-mail.
A. 3 says the account has now been closed and has waived the £97.64 balance on the account.
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