Questions of Cash: Why didn't Thomas Cook tell me my flight was cancelled?


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Q. I have arranged to do voluntary work in Gambia with Save the Children. I booked flights to Banjul with Thomas Cook, but its flights have been cancelled – and the passengers, including me, have not been notified! I only discovered the flight suspension by reading third-hand accounts on Trip Advisor.

When I logged on to "Manage My Booking" on the Thomas Cook website the flight still appeared to exist. Surely this is highly irresponsible of Thomas Cook and unethical. If I had already flown out I could have been left stranded in Gambia without notification from Thomas Cook. VB, London.

A. Thomas Cook confirms that some flights have been cancelled, but says it is still flying to Gambia on a reduced schedule. A spokesman says: "We'd like to apologise for the delay in making contact but we're pleased we've been able to help find alternative travel arrangements."

Can I change my ISA or should I cash it in?

Q. I have had individual savings account (Isa) units in Brown Shipley's UK Flagship fund account for many years. I have now been told by them that they are going to close this fund and transfer my Isa units into one of their internationally managed funds if I don't notify them urgently. Are any alternatives for my investment, or would it be better to cash it in? RJ, by email.

A. You can transfer the Isa to another Isa to avoid losing the investment tax's free interest, points out Philippa Gee, managing director of Philippa Gee Wealth Management. "There are so many different funds to choose from you need to carry out the appropriate research, or appoint someone to advise you," she says.

"First of all you need to consider a 'platform' where your Isa would be transferred to, with which you could invest with a wide range of different fund-management groups so you should have access to a range of holdings and monitor them more closely. If you are unhappy with one of your new funds, you would just switch to an alternative. Next you need to consider exactly what funds might suit you; are you looking for income or growth, what time frame and risk?"

Why doesn't Scottish Power take payment?

Q. In May we switched energy supplier to save money, choosing an online, fixed-priced tariff offer from Scottish Power. A couple of weeks later we received a letter from Scottish Power saying our electricity meter "was not supported by them". They stated they would cancel the transaction and return us to our old supplier. The previous supplier refused to have us back, so Scottish Power was forced to become our supplier. However, we still received gas from the previous supplier, while now receiving electricity from Scottish Power, both on standard tariffs.

The obvious solution was to now switch the gas supply. I did this over the phone and was told it was successful, that they had our direct-debit details and we would be on a new, online fixed-price tariff to June 2015. The direct debit was to be taken on 24 June. No payment was taken in June. I then contacted Scottish Power again, who said they did not hold any bank details and that we did not have a gas account with them. They took our bank details again and said they would create a gas account.

This was in July, but they said it was too late to put the direct debit in place for that month, but it would definitely be taken on 24 August. I rang again in the middle of August and was told the direct debit was definitely in place, that they were in the process of creating a gas account, but it was taking longer than normal. The payment has still not been taken. LD, Nottingham.

A. A Scottish Power spokeswoman responds: "We have apologised to the reader for the delay and are working to resolve the issue as soon as possible."

Questions of Cash cannot give individual advice. But we'll do our best to help if you have a financial dilemma. Email us at:

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