Questions of cash: 'Thomas Cook wouldn't let me use my voucher'
Saturday 16 October 2010
Q. My friend and I went to Turkey last November. The Thomas Cook representative gave out a booklet at her talk, emphasising it contained a £50 voucher redeemable against a further holiday.
We booked that holiday for the end of this month, sending our vouchers to a travel agency which booked the holiday with Thomas Cook. But the travel agency said that Thomas Cook will not honour the £50 vouchers. The voucher states that the booking should be made through an Abta or otherwise approved travel agent – which it has been. JB, by email.
A. Initially Thomas Cook advised that you booked your holiday before you had been given its voucher. Vouchers cannot be redeemed retrospectively on holidays previously booked, so Thomas Cook confirmed its refusal to provide the £50 discount. When we advised you of this, you insisted that this was untrue and that you had received the voucher before booking this month's holiday.
After a further investigation, Thomas Cook conceded that this was correct. It had, in fact, sold a block of holidays to the travel agency you used before the voucher was issued – but you had not booked your holiday. As those holidays were sold to the agency at a discount, holidaymakers were not entitled to a further discount according to the Thomas Cook terms and conditions. But it seems you were not informed of this by the agency when you booked your holiday. On this basis, Thomas Cook is honouring the voucher and is sending you the £50. However, it blames the travel agency for failing to properly inform you.
Q. For several years I have had an Egg Money MasterCard and an Egg Visa card. I tried to use the MasterCard to buy a guitar for my son's birthday. The transaction was declined, to my embarrassment. Egg told me that my card had been cancelled last year, although the details still show clearly on my internet banking page and there is nothing to say that the card is no longer valid. There is even a credit balance shown.
Egg claims that it wrote to me in August 2009 to say that the account would be cancelled if not used within a month. This was despite the fact that a new card with a starting date of August 2009 had just been sent to me. I have no recollection of receiving a letter saying that the account was about to be closed. When I asked to have the card renewed, I was told to apply for a new card. NS, London.
A. Egg confirms that it wrote to you in August last year, pointing out that you had not used this card for 13 months. It automatically advises customers who have cards that have not been used for 13 months "to protect customers' security and guard against any potential fraud".
You were told that you needed to use the card in the next month to keep the account open and the card valid. This warning was issued despite you being issued with a new card at around this time. You could still view your account online because of the credit balance – which was less than £1. Egg apologises for the embarrassment caused to you, but believes it has acted correctly.
Q. I opened a two-year fixed-rate bond for £77,000, paying 3.5 per cent gross, with Nationwide in April this year. I had to close this in June. I understood there would be a penalty, but I was surprised that this was £750.17. So I received less than I paid in – £76,249.83 of my original investment. HC, by email.
A. Nationwide says this is consistent with the terms and conditions of the account. A spokesman explains: "Fixed-rate bonds are medium-term deposit accounts that offer customers a higher rate of interest in return for 'locking in' their money for longer. Fixed-rate bonds complement savers' portfolio of savings and investments and are intended for those who do not need access to their deposits.
"If a customer does need access to the money in their Nationwide Fixed Rate Bond, they are able to close the bond early, subject to an early closure charge. This is made clear in the society's literature when the bond is opened. It is important to note that some savings providers do not allow any early closure at all except for exceptional circumstances – eg death, bankruptcy – while others operate a similar policy to the society."
Q. I bought flights in March through Ebookers with Continental Airlines for a multi-city trip from London to New York to San Francisco, back to New York and then home to London. But my plans changed and instead of taking the flight from San Francisco back to New York, I flew to Denver with a different airline to visit some friends and start a road trip from Denver to New York.
When I went to check in at New York, I was unable to do so, because I hadn't taken my flight from San Francisco to New York. The rest of my trip was now voided. To get home with Continental I would need to buy a new flight for $1,970. I phoned my parents, who were able to buy online a cheaper ticket with another airline. AB, by email.
A. Continental Airlines says that the "fare rules" issued to you by Ebookers make clear that "once an itinerary is ticketed, all flights must be flown in sequence or the remaining flight segments will be automatically cancelled". Once you were recorded as a "no show" on the flight from San Francisco to New York, your onward flight was automatically cancelled. Continental says that while it is sympathetic, it is the responsibility of passengers to be aware of the rules. Ebookers says these are industry standard rules and that you should have contacted the airline once you decided to change your itinerary.
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; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown
- 1 Rihanna 'nude pictures' claims emerge on 4Chan as hacking scandal continues
- 2 iOS 8 apps and features: eight iPhone settings you need to look at after you install the update
- 3 Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
- 4 'F*ck it, I quit': KTVA reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
- 5 Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
iJobs Money & Business
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 ...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40000: SThree: As a Recruitment Consultant, y...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...
Up to £80000: Saxton Leigh: My client, a large commodities broker, is looking ...
Day In a Page
A three-bedroom, 15th-century cottage with original features in the picturesque village of Sissinghurst
A six-bedroom terraced house with large south-facing roof terrace, cinema room and wine cellar
A new seven-bedroom home built in Queen Anne-style with swimming pool and parkland views in Mortimer
A listed, four-bedroom farmhouse in the rural hamlet of Rushall with detached barn, four acres of gardens and paddocks
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