Questions Of Cash: Vodafone plays it hard to get
Saturday 24 February 2007
Q. My wife had to go to South America on an urgent trip and forgot to notify Vodafone. When she did advise Vodafone, there was no reply for three months. Then Credit Solutions, a debt collector, wrote to her on behalf of Vodafone claiming £170.
Eventually, I gave this company my wife's phone number - and it kept phoning her in the middle of the night. To stop this, I paid the money by cash into a NatWest account in August of last year, but Vodafone claims not to have received it - although it left my account at the beginning of September. I supplied Vodafone and Credit Solutions with a copy of the transaction details, but to no effect.
DS, by e-mail
A.< We have spent months trying to get Vodafone to sort out this matter/b>. In October, Vodafone told us that it was in the process of resolving this, but then failed to keep us informed. Now it says that it will only discuss the matter with your wife personally - even though she is still in South America.
A spokeswoman for Vodafone says: "Our customers expect Vodafone to take proper care of the personal details on their account and, in particular, not to discuss those personal details with anyone else without their authorisation. Vodafone has therefore implemented stringent security checks and processes, which our customer management team follow, to ensure that they are speaking to the right person about the right account. These processes have been developed over time to address the genuine privacy concerns of our customers."
We can only suggest that you and your wife now take up your complaint with Otelo, the telephone ombudsman to which Vodafone belongs. Its contact number is 0845 050 1614 and the web address is www.otelo.org.uk.
Q. I recently received a cheque in euros from France. My bank, Abbey, told me that I had to complete a special form, which I had to chase the bank three times to obtain.
Abbey's covering letter explained that cheques can be paid by collection or negotiation, and that collection can take up to eight weeks before the money is paid into my account, whereas negotiation takes about five working days.
I requested negotiation, and sent off the cheque and form on 29 November. When I asked, weeks later, why it had not been paid into my account, Abbey said that the cheque had been sent to its head office and this could take six to eight weeks to process.
I find it staggering that a bank can take this long to clear a cheque in a major European currency.
RL, by e-mail
A. The clearance of euro cheques is a serious weakness across most of the UK banking industry. Sandra Quinn, spokeswoman for Apacs, the UK payments association, explains: "Unfortunately, your reader was told exactly what I would expect her to be told. There is no cross-border cheque clearing system, partly because, as many countries don't use cheques, there's no demand for it. Cheques received in the UK from a bank overseas are generally sent for collection, which is a manual process whereby the bank you have paid the cheque into sends it back to the foreign bank and gets it to send the money back. As the process relies on the foreign bank dealing promptly with the request and sending funds to a bank it may not know, it can be lengthy.
"The customer only gets the funds at the end of the process, which can take six to eight weeks. The 'negotiation' process means that the UK bank will provide you with funds immediately but on the basis that if you use them, and the cheque turns out to be a dud, it's at your risk."
Abbey says that in your case, although you believed the cheque was being cleared by negotiation, it was actually cleared by collection. Clearance by negotiation is made at Abbey's discretion, as is made clear in its terms, it says. However, Abbey accepts that its service to you was poor and has sent you a goodwill payment of £100.
Q. I booked a flight with easyJet and, through its website, car hire with Europcar, paying a deposit of £132 using a debit card. But when we went to collect the car in Pisa, Europcar refused to release it, saying that only a credit card was acceptable. We don't have one. EasyJet says the booking form made it clear that only a credit card would do, and won't release the deposit. We argued, in vain, that in the UK, it is common to use the term "credit cards" to include debit cards.
A. EasyJet now accepts that the terms and conditions are not sufficiently clear - they are being rewritten - and has returned your deposit.
Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown
Questions of Cash: Bupa costs bore no relation to what I'd been quoted
Bargain Hunter: Getting your hands on these baby goodies is child's play
Problem gambling: Amid heavy advertising and a surge in remote sports betting, more and more 16 to 24-year-olds are now seen as 'at risk'
The Cyprus dream becomes a nightmare
Plans to tackle fuel poverty are slammed by campaigners
- 1 Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
- 2 The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
- 3 Danish TV reporter is all business up top, all party down below
- 4 Ross Burden dead: MasterChef and Ready Steady Cook star, dies aged 45
- 5 Businessman charged £75 for three small bottles of water in London hotel
The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Were 'Poor Doors' added to mixed developments so wealthy residents don't have to go in alongside social housing tenants?
A new Russian revolution: The cracks are starting to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Opponents of Israel's military operation in Gaza are the real enemies of Middle Eastern peace
iJobs Money & Business
Data Governance Manager (Solvency II) – Contract – Up to £450 daily rate, 6 month (may go Permanent)
£350 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently looking...
£500 - £560 per day: Orgtel: Java Developer FX - Banking - London - Up to £560...
£350 - £400 per day + competitive: Orgtel: My client, a leading bank, is curre...
£26000 - £30000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Account Manager - (Produc...
Day In a Page
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
A charming four-bedroom Oxfordshire cottage with oak floors and chunky-beamed ceilings, £465,000
A beautiful one-bed flat in a sought-after portered block, with access to Norland Square communal gardens
A one-bedroom flat within a Sixties school conversion with high-spec design and open-plan kitchen, close to Lambeth North Tube, £435,000
A 17th century four-bedroom house, with open fireplaces, cellar and pool, £600,000