Questions of Cash: United Airlines' refund offer hasn't got off the ground
Saturday 23 February 2013
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: email@example.com
- 1 Double chins could be 'cured' without surgery or dieting using new injection
- 2 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 3 Christian blogger says she will not wear leggings in public because they entice men and cause them to look at her 'lustfully'
- 4 Thank heavens for Louise Mensch and her foul-mouthed tweets to world leaders
- 5 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Louise Mensch says 'F**K YOU' in explosive tweets about David Cameron, Saudi Embassy and the Queen over King Abdullah tributes
iJobs Money & Business
£16500 - £16640 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing Finance compa...
£30000 - £32000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This rapidly expanding business...
£25 - 28k + Bonus: Guru Careers: An In-house / Internal Recruiter is needed to...
Day In a Page
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 deceptively spacious, beautifully presented Georgian home with 3000sq ft of living space and five reception rooms
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
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