Questions of Cash: United Airlines' refund offer hasn't got off the ground

 

Q. I bought return tickets for my two grandchildren, who live in Wyoming, to fly with United Airlines to Manchester from Washington and return to Denver via Washington. I paid extra for the children to be accompanied, especially as the return trip involved changing terminal.

The flight to Manchester was satisfactory, except that the lady meeting me off the plane forgot to give me their passports! The return journey started well as they were met and escorted onto the plane. Things went wrong when they arrived in Washington. The person meeting them had a very poor command of English and did not know what to do.

Because of this incompetence, the children were subjected to unnecessary immigration procedures and my granddaughter's bag went on the wrong plane and was delayed for two hours. I was promised by United Airlines that it would refund the accompanied travel fee for the return flight, but I have not received this despite reminders. JM, Denbighshire.

A. United Airlines apologises for what it describes as "a processing error". It has refunded the promised €99 (£85.51), which is being credited to the payment card used to make the booking.

Q. In November 2012 I transferred my gas and electricity supply from Npower to First Utility. But First Utility was unwilling to collect my monthly direct debit payments on the day that suited my monthly budgeting – the first of each month. All my phone calls to First Utility went unanswered. I decided to return to Npower for a slightly better deal than I had before.

In the middle of December, I authorised Npower to take back supply responsibilities. But although it transferred back my electricity supply at the beginning of January, no one can give me a firm date for the transfer of my gas supply. Consequently, First Utility collected £108 for the combined gas and electricity supply at the end of January and Npower collected £55 for electricity. As I cannot get the companies to agree an end to this process, it looks as if I will be charged substantially more for the time being than I paid previously. JC, Ayrshire.

A. Both Npower and First Utility apologise for mishandling this. Npower apologises for what it describes as "a system error, which stopped the account number being set up" for the invoicing of the gas supply. A spokesman adds: "We've contacted our joiners team to have this completed and we will be contacting the customer to let him know. We have suggested in the mean time that the customer cancels their direct debit to First Utility as they no longer supply [the reader]."

Dave D'Arcy, director of customer operations at First Utility, adds: "On this occasion a processing error occurred. We are pleased to confirm that both his electricity and gas services have now been transferred over to another provider. Unfortunately our billing system and account transfer system are run separately, so although his service had transferred the billing system hadn't yet issued a final invoice which led to the regular payment being taken in January. A final bill will be produced this month and the invoice will be deducted from the credit that [the reader] has already accumulated. No further monies will be debited from his account. If there is credit remaining on the account after the final invoice has been received then we will be happy to provide [the reader] with a rebate within 15 working days."

Q. In May 2011, I purchased a Samsung twin-fan oven from Currys. Since then the oven has broken down four times. The fourth breakdown occurred on 26 November and it took the repair engineers two weeks to respond to the call. When the engineers eventually called on 11 December they declared the oven was beyond economic repair. I wrote to Dixons Retail – which owns Currys – on 29 December and have contacted Samsung almost daily.

When Currys responded to my letter it asked me to phone them, which I did – but no one answered. So I wrote again requesting they phone me, but no one has. Samsung keeps telling me that it will make a proposal to me once it has received the engineers' report, which it has apparently not received. It is now two months since my oven broke down and still no offer to resolve the problem has been made. PM, London.

A. We have been in regular discussion with both Dixons Retail and Samsung for three weeks to obtain a solution. There have been several difficulties involved in obtaining a satisfactory resolution. One complication was the need to have agreement involving yourself, Dixons Retail and Samsung. Eventually this was achieved. A spokesman for Dixons Retail/Currys PC World says: "We were sorry to hear about [the reader's] issue with his cooker and for the delays in dealing with its repairs. As a goodwill gesture, we have offered a full refund of the cooker without substantiation of its latest fault, and have covered the installation costs of [the reader's] new cooker."

Prior to Dixons Retail obtaining a solution by agreement with Samsung, an offer had also been made by Samsung. This was less generous than the offer finally made by Dixons Retail and involved a reduction for depreciation from the original purchase price. That would have led to you receiving a refund of £175, compared to the purchase price of £249.99, plus VAT. The suggested settlement was considerably less than the purchase price of a comparable new model from Currys.

Understandably, you have already replaced the oven, which Samsung says was one of the reasons for the delay in reaching a satisfactory solution. "Ordinarily, if a customer decides to go ahead and purchase a replacement unit prior to reaching agreement with ourselves we are unable to assist further," Samsung said in correspondence to you. Without being able to assess the oven in situ, Samsung had difficulty in diagnosing the faults. We are pleased a sensible solution has now been achieved.

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; Do you need financial advice on your investments, pension or insurance? Book a free consultation with an independent Financial Adviser at VouchedFor.co.uk

Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Recruitment Genius: Mortgage Administration Team Leader

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This company prides itself on its ability to p...

    Recruitment Genius: Mortgage Advisor

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This company prides itself on its ability to p...

    Ashdown Group: Solvency II Project Manager - 10 month contract - £800 p/d

    £800 per day: Ashdown Group: A highly successful, global financial services co...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulant

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250...

    Day In a Page

    Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

    Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

    I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
    Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

    Margaret Atwood on climate change

    The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
    New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

    New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

    What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
    Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

    The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

    Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
    Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

    Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

    The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
    Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

    Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

    The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
    Let's Race simulator: Ultra-realistic technology recreates thrill of the Formula One circuit

    Simulator recreates thrill of F1 circuit

    Rory Buckeridge gets behind the wheel and explains how it works
    Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation' over plans to overhaul reverse-chronological timeline

    Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation'

    Facebook exasperates its users by deciding which posts they can and can’t see. So why has Twitter announced plans to do the same?
    Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag - but what else could the fashion house call it?

    Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag

    The star was shocked by a Peta investigation into the exotic skins trade
    10 best waterproof mascaras

    Whatever the weather: 10 best waterproof mascaras

    We found lash-enhancing beauties that won’t budge no matter what you throw at them
    Diego Costa biography: Chelsea striker's route to the top - from those who shared his journey

    Diego Costa: I go to war. You come with me...

    Chelsea's rampaging striker had to fight his way from a poor city in Brazil to life at the top of the Premier League. A new book speaks to those who shared his journey
    Ashes 2015: England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

    England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

    The biggest problem facing them in Birmingham was the recovery of the zeitgeist that drained so quickly under the weight of Australian runs at Lord's, says Kevin Garside
    Women's Open 2015: Charley Hull - 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

    Charley Hull: 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

    British teen keeps her feet on ground ahead of Women's Open
    Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

    Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

    Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
    Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

    Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

    Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'