Questions of Cash: 'Unusual transaction' wine buy on John Lewis card caused a headache
Friday 29 November 2013
Q. I made a purchase from the Wine Society, using a John Lewis Partnership MasterCard, as I had done many times previously. But payment was refused, apparently on the grounds that it was an 'unusual transaction'. I was not told a problem had arisen, which gave rise to some embarrassment. I have written to John Lewis twice, as I would like to know what constitutes an 'unusual transaction' so I might avoid doing this again. I also want to know whether my credit reference has been damaged. Unfortunately I have not had a reply. DC, London.
A. Justin van der Pant, general manager operations for the John Lewis & Waitrose Partnership Card, says: "John Lewis & Waitrose Partnership Card has rigorous standards in place to protect customers. We always closely monitor transactions to help prevent fraud and we may block payments and contact the customer to clarify whether the transactions were genuine. Unfortunately, we were unable to reach [the reader]. We can assure him his credit rating has not been affected. In recognition of the inconvenience caused by this particular incident, we will, as a gesture of goodwill, send [the reader] some John Lewis vouchers." You now have £50 of vouchers to spend in John Lewis or Waitrose stores.
Commission sounds high, but chasing lost shares may pay
Q. I have recently been contacted by a company called Stern Levenson, which claims it can trace a lost investment for me. It takes a 25 per cent commission, which seems high. How does it know about my lost investment, and is there a way of tracing it myself? BS, Preston.
A. Stern Levenson did not reply to our enquiry, so we made our own investigations. You bought shares in three companies in 1987. All three – Concorde Energy, Burnett & Hallamshire Holdings and Blue Arrow – used Lloyds Bank as their share registrar. As the Lloyds share registrar business was sold off as Equiniti, we contacted Equiniti for information on the three companies.
Concorde Energy became Kelt Energy on 19 May, 1988. It was acquired by Henkel Loctite Investments for cash on 6 July 1995. Burnett & Hallamshire Holdings was renamed NSM on 19 April, 1988 and HMRC accepted on 5 April, 1998 that ordinary shares in the company were of negligible value. Your only shares that could be of value are those that were issued by Blue Arrow, which became Manpower on 2 April, 1990 and was acquired by Manpower Inc on 14 May, 1991. We emailed you to ask how many shares you had in Blue Arrow but you did not reply.
However, Equiniti's own enquiries suggest that Stern Levenson does not usually contact holders of unclaimed shares, but is more likely to be pursuing unclaimed assets that were part of a legacy in a deceased person's estate, or other lost real estate. We suggested you make your enquiries as to whether any family members might have died and left you money, as this might provide an opportunity to claim the asset without paying the 25 per cent commission fee.
However, again you did not reply. Unless your personal enquiries provide the explanation, it would seem that contacting Stern Levenson to obtain the assets is worthwhile. Equiniti suggests you speak to Stern Levenson, request information on the value of the lost assets and seek to negotiate a lower commission.
Crossed lines with voda over a replacement phone
Q. We have been Vodafone customers for nearly three years. But Vodafone sent us the wrong new phone and a bill for £200, plus a £62 contract. My husband ordered a black iPhone 5S 32GB on 2 November. He needed a phone urgently as he was going in for surgery. Instead he received a white iPhone 5S on 5 November. We phoned for a replacement. After 32 minutes, the line went dead.
On a second call, he was promised someone would contact him. They didn't. I phoned again and was told the request for a replacement phone had not even been logged. I was promised the correct model would be with us in four days. But my husband then had another call from a person at Vodafone, who said she had no idea our enquiries were to request a replacement handset. My husband asked her to explain the procedure for returns, which she did, very briefly. When he asked her to repeat these, she said: "I have said it once, and I cannot repeat", and hung up! I believe this is in complete breach of the seven-day returns policy. It is terrible service. KF, London.
A. Vodafone apologises. A spokeswoman says: "We're sorry the reader has had this experience, especially at such a stressful time. We have spoken to her husband to apologise. The unwanted phone is now back with us and although we offered to send a replacement, he has decided against this and has reverted to his old phone and price plan. We have credited the account with £30 as a gesture of goodwill and we will review our processes to see what went wrong in this case."
Questions of Cash cannot give individual advice. But we'll do our best to help if you have a financial dilemma. Email us at: questions firstname.lastname@example.org
Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown
- 1 Jeremy Clarkson 'sees no problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC
- 2 'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
- 3 Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
- 4 London restaurant 34 creates champagne glass modelled on Kate Moss’ left breast
- 5 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians
iJobs Money & Business
£550 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Business Analyst - Traded Credit Risk - Investmen...
£55000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A financial software vendor at the forefro...
£600 per day: Harrington Starr: .NET Developer C#, WPF,BLL, MSMQ, SQL, GIT, SQ...
£65000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A financial software vendor at the forefro...
Day In a Page
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
A three-bedroom red-brick cottage with outbuildings and pretty gardens, £200,000
This three-bedroom flat within a former textile factory spans the corner of the fourth floor and has a balcony