Questions Of Cash: The perils of payment insurance protection
Saturday 30 July 2011
Q. Just over five years ago I went to my bank, HSBC, to ask for a loan to support my university course costs. A loan for £10,000 was approved: the cost of this rose significantly when interest and loan protection insurance was added. I was told by HSBC's staff that the insurance would cover me if I was out of work for up to 12 months. Eventually I did find myself unemployed, applied on my insurance, but to my surprise I was told that I could not claim as I had moved from a permanent job to a contract position. This has caused me considerable financial difficulty and I had to borrow from relatives and friends. I have repeatedly complained to HSBC, but it has not addressed my concerns adequately and I have not been able to speak with anyone who can help me.ZP, Uxbridge.
A. HSBC has now reviewed the sale of the policy and your circumstances and has agreed to refund your payment protection insurance (PPI) premiums in full. You will receive a payment of £3,549.45.
Q. I booked a holiday through James Villa Holidays to stay in a remote part of Umbria last September. It was intended to be special, with my son, daughter, their partners, my one-year-old grandson and my 81 year-old dad all together. We booked and paid for two cars, through James Villa. When we went to collect these from Hertz, we had to wait three hours to be seen. James Villa said we had to pay a €700 deposit by credit card, but my son-in-law uses debit cards, not credit cards. We assumed Hertz would accept the €700 in cash instead, but it refused to accept cash, or the debit card, or use my credit card to cover both cars. Hertz would only offer us a Transit van in place of the two Ford Focus cars I had booked. We had to take this and pay extra to add my son-in-law as an extra driver. James Villa has offered us a £100 voucher against a future holiday, but refuses to accept any responsibility for the problem, claiming the onus was on us to have a credit card for the second car hire. MO, by email.
A. You originally contacted us in November last year. Our repeated attempts at contacting Hertz to discuss the problems were unsuccessful, until we escalated the matter to its head office in the United States. A spokeswoman for Hertz now says: "At the time of booking, the customer was advised, in order to comply with rental qualifications and requirements, that customers must hold a valid driver's licence for one year, be over 25 and hold a credit card in their own name, which must be presented at the time of pick up for security purposes. The customer confirmed this information was relayed back to him, however, regardless of this, arrived at the branch with a debit card as the method of payment. A credit card is required as security for a deposit of any excess fees, optional charges and a full tank of fuel regardless of whether the rental is prepaid or not. Although the customer's debit card was refused as a method of payment, the branch did offer an alternative larger vehicle at no extra cost with the option of adding the second person as an additional driver. The bookings were prepaid through James Villa and not Hertz directly, and it is our understanding the customer has asked James Villa to refund the prepaid amount for the booking that was not used.
As a goodwill gesture, however, for the delay experienced at the time of pick up we have refunded the additional driver charge, €50.82. The delay experienced at the time of pick up is not the standard of service we expect our customers to receive. The request for a credit card as a method of payment is a policy in place to protect the security of both the customers and the company." A spokeswoman for James Villa Holiday makes a similar point. She says: "As [the reader] acknowledges in his question to you, he was advised by ourselves that a credit card would be required on collection of the vehicle. [He] confirmed online that he had read the terms and conditions of the car hire, which included reference to a credit card being required by each driver upon collecting the cars from Rome airport. These are standard conditions imposed by Hertz which we duly advise customers of." It adds that the normal fee for the hire of one Ford Transit is slightly more than the charge for the two Ford Focus cars that you had booked. Your problem highlights the fact that debit and credit cards are different payment mechanisms and that it should never be assumed that if a credit card is asked for that a debit card can be substituted, nor vice versa.
Note: On 16 July, Questions of Cash described The Property Ombudsman as "an industry scheme and not an independent body, backed by statute, as is the case with the Financial Ombudsman". We have been asked to clarify these comments, as they may be misleading. The Property Ombudsman makes the point that although the scheme was not established by statute, it has been approved by the Office of Fair Trading under the Consumers Estate Agents and Redress Act 2007. It also adds that the scheme is independent of estate agents and reports to a council comprised, in the majority, of non-industry members. There is an independent reviewer, to whom complaints about the The Property Ombudsman can be referred. As quoted in our previous column, The Property Ombudsman, Christopher Hamer, explains: "I am not a regulator of the estate agency industry or a consumer guardian. It is my role to review complaints made by members of the public against member agents on an impartial basis, based on the evidence submitted to me, considering an agent's obligations against the requirements of the [Property Ombudsman] Code of Practice."
We apologise for any confusion that might have been caused.
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.
Independent Partners: See how much you could save by switching credit cards. Compare now
food + drinkMichelin-starred Tom Sellers on being this year's hottest property
tvParents (and kids) rejoice! A new wave of fantastic family entertainment is here
booksGeese, gorillas, grandads... and growing up
food + drinkHow one grocery e-tailer is gearing up for the Yuletide rush
food + drink
travelFor broadcaster Mishal Husain, a long-haul Club Med holiday was a chance for her family to explore its sense of 'zen' and 'animation'
- 1 Hundreds arrested as Canadian police smash worldwide paedophile ring
- 2 Sherlock series 3: Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman provide teasers for the biggest comeback in British television
- 3 Why Barcelona chose Everton to educate their latest prodigy
- 4 Mass murder in the Middle East is funded by our friends the Saudis
- 5 Japan cracks down on leaks after scandal of Fukushima nuclear power plant
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Money & Business
£25000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C++ Server Dev...
£300 - £350 per day: Harrington Starr: Leading Electronic Trading Software Ven...
£80000 - £100000 per annum + benefits + bonus: Harrington Starr: Project Manag...
£50000 - £60000 per annum + benefits + bonus: Harrington Starr: Business Analy...
Day In a Page
A three-bedroom Grade II-listed mews house with vaulted ceilings and roof garden
A spacious Grade II-listed family home with annexe and equestrian facilities among four acres of land in Itchingfield
A four-bedroom home with exposed brick walls and open fires in the picturesque village of Northill
A Grade II-listed property with five bedrooms and unique tower, overlooking Hastings Old Town
A charming five-bedroom detached family home, set within half an acre in Kew
A two-bedroom maisonette set on the top two floors of a period building, close to Kentish Town Tube.
Take advantage of the extra space provided by former stables and outbuildings at this five-bedroom farmhouse.
This three-bedroom Victorian terrace is near to Queen’s Road Peckham station, Nunhead station.
A five-bedroom modern house with terrace, swimming pool, Zen treehouse and large carp pond
An unexpected gem with four bedrooms, remarkable vaulted reception and a galleried study area
A five-bedroom house in one of Lymington's most sought after tree lined avenues, moments from the marinas and sailing clubs
A grand early 19th century B&B close to the historic harbour, with four en suite bedrooms
A four-bedroom, 17th century home with walled gardens, a landscaped terrace, cellar and open fires
A six-bedroom house with five bathrooms and four reception rooms spread over 4,000sq ft of luxury living space
A stunning three double-bedroom apartment with two decked terraces in the exclusive gated community, Bromyard House
A 10-bedroom period, family home amid beautiful surroundings in the centre of the Wentworth Estate in Longcross village
A stylish three-bedroom apartment with two bathrooms and private landscaped garden, moments from Fitzroy Square
A Grade II-listed Elizabethan barn with landscaped gardens, exposed elm beams and four bedrooms, all with lovely views
A six-bedroom family home, dating back to 1280 with four reception rooms, barn, swimming pool and tennis courts in Harwell
A spacious two-bedroom flat, refurbished to a very high standard with private landscaped garden, close to Kentish Town station
An exceptional two-bedroom apartment with balcony and underground parking in the centre of Richmond
A one-bedroom, luxury, duplex apartment in the grand landmark building, Imperial Hall
Run a fabulous boutique shop, live above it in a one-bedroom flat and let a second one-bedroom flat that comes part and parcel
A Grade-II listed, thatched cottage in Hundleby village, with five bedrooms, a coach house and three and a half acres
A spacious two-bedroom flat in the heart of Hoxton Square with wooden floors and roof terrace
A five-bedroom family home with stunning pool and gym complex set among two acres of land
A six-bedroom period house with heated swimming pool and a separate two-bedroom annexe cottage in Townlake, £795,000
A spacious and contemporary two-bedroom flat arranged over three floors, with garden patio close to St George Square, £600,000
A one-bedroom flat in a beautiful Regency building opposite the beach in Kemp Town, £190,000
A two-bedroom flat with London skyline views close to Surrey Quays. £395,000.
A seven-storey tower with three bedrooms and a stunning roof terrace. Guide price: £850,000.
A 16-bedroom country pile with nine reception rooms, four self-contained flats and a 13th century Peel Tower. £850,000.
A classic six-bedroom Victorian Manse house 10 miles from Edinburgh. £495,000.
John Lennon's childhood home in Liverpool to be sold at auction. Guide price: £150,000-£250,000.
A six-bedroom detached period property with secluded gardens, ample parking and a double garage in Rye, £675,000.
A large split-level property with three double-bedrooms and roof terrace, close to Crouch End Broadway, £625,000.
A charming barn conversion in the picturesque Cotswold village of Ilmington with three bedrooms, a detached garage, workshop and beautifully manicured gardens £675,000.
A three-bedroom new build, ground-floor flat with two bathrooms, close to Bermondsey tube, £445,000.
A three-bedroom house in an enviable new development moments from Oxshott High Street, with secluded garden and decked area, £385,000
A two-bedroom split-level flat with stunning south-west facing roof terrace in the popular Brondesbury Conservation Area, £549,950.
A charming 16th century, three-bedroom detached house in Bidborough with picturesque garden