Questions Of Cash: 'Why won't EDF let me transfer my contract?'

Q. I came to the end of a three-year fixed price contract for electricity with EDF on 31 March. I decided to transfer to Scottish Power, which was cheaper. I asked Scottish Power to take over the account from 1 April 2010. But EDF wrote on 18 March stating the transfer was refused because Scottish Power had requested to take my supply before the end of contract period. It appears that because I did not write to EDF 30 days before end of contract to authorise the transfer to Scottish Power they would not allow the transfer and I am now contracted to EDF for another 12 months at their higher prices, unless I pay a £500 termination fee. Scottish Power says it is happy to proceed with the transfer. I am livid. PS, by email.

A. EDF has now agreed with you a new contract at "very competitive prices", backdated to 1 April. You have obtained a further 2.5 per cent discount on this price by agreeing to pay your bills by direct debit. EDF agreed a variation in normal procedures as you are "a long-standing, valued customer". It explains you had not complied with the terms of the contract relating to transferring suppliers, as specified in a letter in January that warned you the previous contract was nearing its end.

Q. I believe I have been subject to grossly unfair charges on my Alliance & Leicester accounts since August 2008, when I switched banks. My partner and I switched to A&L, but unfortunately we were not accepted for a loan. My partner then returned to full usage of his existing NatWest account. I continued with an A&L account, which I now realise I was being charged £5 a month for a £250 overdraft – which I had been told was free when I opened the account. When I realised this I also reverted to my NatWest account.

In January this year I transferred £250 into my A&L account and another £250 into our joint account to clear the overdraft. Unfortunately I failed to also close the accounts. Statements from A&L now show charges of £100 on my personal account since January and £195 on our joint account. In addition, there have been monthly charges of £5 on each account for the overdraft facilities. I feel the charges are unfair. LH, Cardiff.

A. Although you paid £250 into your personal account in January, at that point the overdraft stood at £336.27. Overdraft fees for December were then added to the remaining balance as you had exceeded your permitted £250 limit. Further fees have since been applied as you are failing to comply with a condition of the account that you make a minimum monthly credit to your account of £500. You also used the account debit card in April, leaving a balance on the account of £235.27 overdrawn. The joint account was also overdrawn above the agreed £250 limit when you paid £250 in this account in January. With the overdraft and underfunding charges that have been applied since then, this account is now £431.82 overdrawn. You have accepted this explanation of Santander (which now owns Alliance & Leicester), but are unhappy the bank did not do more to make you aware of the state of your account. Santander has agreed with you a schedule of repayments.

Q. I took out a mortgage in 2000 with Scottish Amicable – now owned by the Prudential. I opted for the Home Purchaser package with critical illness cover. I did this to cover myself in case I became critically ill to ensure the debt would be paid off. Circumstances have changed and we have paid off the debt in advance of the maturity date of 2015. I have asked Prudential to cancel it, but it refuses. BC, by email.

A. Prudential says once you opted for critical illness cover this became part of the agreement, which cannot be altered. It insists you are covered against critical illness for the duration of the agreement and must continue to pay.

Q. In June 2006 I invested £1,000 in a three-year Post Office Guaranteed Equity Bond. In July 2006 I invested another £1,000 in the same bond issue. In July this year I received the proceeds from the maturity of one of the bonds, but not the payment for the other bond on maturity. VG, Woodbridge.

A. The Post Office says both payments were made to you by BACs transfers. You have now checked your account statements and accept this is correct.

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: questionsofcash@

Independent Partners; Do you need financial advice on your investments, pension or insurance? Book a free consultation with an independent Financial Adviser at

Finacial products from our partners
Property search
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Ashdown Group: Editor-in-chief - Financial Services - City, London

    £60000 - £70000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

    Ashdown Group: Junior Application Support Analyst - Fluent German Speaker

    £25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

    Guru Careers: Management Accountant

    £27 - 35k + Bonus + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Management Accountant is needed ...

    Guru Careers: Project Manager / Business Analyst

    £40-50k + Benefits.: Guru Careers: A Project Manager / Business Analyst is nee...

    Day In a Page

    General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

    'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

    In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
    VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

    How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

    Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
    They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

    Typefaces still matter in the digital age

    A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
    Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

    'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

    New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
    The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

    Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

    Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
    Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

    Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

    Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
    Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

    Crisp sales are in decline

    As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
    Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

    Ronald McDonald the muse

    A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
    13 best picnic blankets

    13 best picnic blankets

    Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
    Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

    Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

    Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
    Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

    Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

    Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
    General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
    General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

    On the margins

    From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
    Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

    'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

    Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
    Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

    Why patients must rely less on doctors

    Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'