Questions Of Cash: 'Why didn't I receive free wine when I opened a Smile account?'

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Q. I recently opened a bank account with Smile. A few days later, Smile launched a special offer: any new customer would receive a free case of wine. I e-mailed Smile asking if I was entitled to this and the bank said that if I paid £1,500 into my account, I would qualify for the wine. I was then told there had been a mistake and that I did not qualify. PH, Bexley.

A. The e-mail you were sent was wrong - you did not qualify for the offer. But in the light of this error, Smile has agreed to credit your account with £50 - the equivalent value of the wine.

Q. My partner and I booked a Thomson flight to Kefalonia, online. We tried to cancel the option offering in-flight meals, but were unable to - and the charge included £12 each. But when we received the tickets, they stated no meals were included. When we phoned Thomson, it said we had to pay extra for meals - we already had. We tried to speak to a supervisor, but were told this was impossible. MH, by e-mail.

A. Thomson said its records show that your payment did not include meals. Your husband has now deleted the e-mail flight confirmation and so you cannot prove your case. We can only suggest that next time you safeguard e-mail payment records as carefully as you would your paper records.

Q. A year ago we had to spend nearly £2,500 on our four-year-old Toyota RAV4, which needed a new flywheel and clutch at 35,000 miles.

Toyota customer services told us the parts failed through fair wear and tear, but we think a flywheel should last the lifetime of a vehicle. We understand this part was subsequently the subject of a recall and that the repair is being carried out for free to other owners. Do we have a claim against Toyota? SM, Isle of Mull.

A. Toyota says you have been misinformed and that "Toyota has not issued any RAV4 safety recalls or customer satisfaction campaigns relating to clutch/flywheel issues". Although your car was repaired outside of the warranty period, Toyota says it gave you a goodwill gesture of vouchers for its following service. In the circumstances, this is all you can hope for.

Q. My mother has just died, leaving her house to be divided between her four children. In 1984 my parents purchased their council property - qualifying for a discount of 40 per cent. My sister agreed to pay 30 per cent towards the monthly mortgage repayment. In 1986 our father died without life insurance to cover the outstanding mortgage. In 1987 my sister and brother-in-law arranged for a deed of trust to be signed by my mother without notifying myself or her other sisters, holding the property in trust for them in the event of her death. Does the will supercede the deed of trust, or does the deed supersede the will? DK, by e-mail.

A. Stephen Pallister, a tax and trust partner at solicitors Charles Russell, says: "Prima facie, the deed of trust will govern the ownership - provided it is a valid trust and effective to pass the property to your sister and brother-in-law. Otherwise the house will pass under the will.

"Ask when your sister began contributing to the mortgage; whether it was subject to a deal that she would be given an interest in the house in return; if you are sure that on your father's death the house passed to your mother; and what deal was struck on the house's ownership between your sister and your mother."

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