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terrypc last won the day on August 19 2011

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About terrypc

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  1. Thank you so much andyorch! You have guided me along paths I never knew existed ha ha! I shall wade through this lot. Many thanks again
  2. Hi everyone Hopefully I am in the right place but couldn't find a section to suit this .... I am really annoyed. My Hive heating set up is broken. After 3 or 4 calls to Hive including 2 resets of the system etc etc (an hour on the phone each time), they have conluded over the phone that my hardware is broken. Now for a start, no engineer has seen it to confirm something is broken - I don't think it is, I think it is on the blink due to an update they did of the system over Christmas. There is no signal between all three components at the same time. Initially the Hub was offline and would not go online and the thermostat lost signal with the receiver. I called Hive and after about 50 mins on the phone and much fiddling, she concluded that my Hub was broken and quoted me £40 for a new one. Fair nuff I thought but was reluctant to buy anew one so I didn't. 2 days later it all went wrong again and the thermostat/room controller would not connect to the receiver so no heating or hot water at all. On the phone to Hive they guided me through another reset of the system and she concluded that the Thermostat/controller was not working - odd eh? Oh and no I can't buy a new thermostat as they are factory paired so the whole kit for £250 plus installation (hard wiring) = £400. Great, not. After yet more fiddling (by now I know how to do almost as much as the call centre staff) and hey presto the thermostat now talks to the receiver but not the Hub. This means that I have only the temperature and ON/OFF functions but no schedule or timer. It is now costing me a fortune as it is all on either 24/7 or nothing. My question/issue is this: How long are they meant to last? I would say that 4.5 years for a cost of £250 is not long enough considering this came with my new boiler installation (from British Gas) and thats guaranteed for 10 yrs minimum. Should I or anyone be expecting to buy new controller for the heating every 5 years at £400? I see their guarantee is for 1 year only. They obviously don't really know why my system has failed and are grasping at straws, should they be telling consumers to shell out again for a new system when the fault is not actually properly diagnosed? How could I prove it has been caused by their update recently where many people I see online have complained about their system going down and losing signal afterwards. Of course Hive deny it's anything to do with them. I think all this needs exploring. If they are selling this product, people need to know that it will all be useless in 5 years and that maybe the system is designed to fail after a period of time. You cannot repair or replace parts of it, you can only get a whole new set up. Also I want to say that for the elderly, young children, ill people, I would definately not trust this system to deliver consistent heating/ hot water reliably, I have woken up with no heating or hot water in the freezing cold because it has dropped signal in the night, even before these recent problems. What are my rights here? These systems are starting to fail (the early ones) and for £400 initial cost, I never expected that after the 1 year warranty was up, I'd be on my own with non-working junk and a cold or boiling hot house 24/7 expecting to shell out again. I feel like I've been had. Help!
  3. Just to add in here, that I have been sent a letter by Chandlers stating that debit card payments incur a £1 fee for EACH payment you make. My instalments were £3.40 weekly, so thats a hike of nearly 25% fees ON TOP OF the court order. The only free way of paying is by cheque, but then there's postage. You can send cash in the post by recorded delivery or by bankers draft, but these incur costs. So I sent them this letter: (use it if you like) Dear Sir/Madam I am writing to you to complain about the charges levied by your firm in accepting payment of my outstanding balance by instalments. My Council tax ref no. is: xxxxxxxxxxx Chandlers Ref No: xxxxxxxx Amount Oustanding: £xxx Instalment Agreement: £xpw I have telephoned your office today to explain that I cannot afford to pay a £1 for each payment I make by debit card. I am unable to get a cheque book from my bank, nor go to my branch (incurring a £4 bus fare) in order to get a weekly bankers draft. Instead as with other creditors, I suggested paying by BACS or electronic transfer which requires minimal handling costs and would be a normal part of your monitoring process of overseeing account payments. I suggested this on the telephone to your staff but was told that this method of payment is not acceptable. I have taken advice and have been told that Regulation 14(2) of the Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992 states that there is a legal levy of charges laid down by Parliament and that the £1 charge per payment of monies owing is not legal and is in fact a criminal law issue with regards to council tax debts. I request a response from yourselves on this matter stating how this £1 charge falls within the Act stated above and how you are interpreting this Act to allow your actions to be legal. I am also seeking further action to allow myself and on behalf of those that this affects, to be able to pay what we owe without incurring further costs and debt to ourselves. This is especially pertinent where others (such as myself) are on means tested benefits at the minimum the LAW WILL ALLOW us to live on. There are several avenues to pursue in attaining this outcome as I'm sure you are aware. I look forward to hearing from you. Yours Terry c.c. xxxxxxxx Council, Council Tax Dept. RESULT: Within 15 minutes (record time!), I got an email stating that they have handed my case back to my local council tax office. Hotter than hotcakes?
  4. I think yours is a particularly complicated case and so would not attempt to give you advice here. This is a crucial time to get an in depth calculation of your possible entitlements and your options. This will determine how and when you step out of the business. In short, claiming benefits whilst previously self-employed is fraught with issues. There are also tax implications. Do make an appointment now to see a good benefit advisor and get a good look at your choices going forward. Terry
  5. I agree with previous answer. I would try and compromise thereby showing a willingness to adapt by requesting a financial settlement such as an Essential Car User Allowance? Say 120 quid per month for life? This might help you get and maintain a vehicle and would certainly be cheaper for them. Don't forget you have to sign an amendment to changes of t and c's, how far will they go to get your signature? The ball's in your court. Also is there a reason why you have a van? Do you carry equipment etc that you could not easily carry in a car? This might point to insurance issues if your new van is carrying their stuff and you aren't self employed. Minefield. But just a vague thought this was. Something to use in your defence. But really, I've heard of some quite generous settlements employers will use to swing the terms their way. After all, the new company thinks it can make money out of the company acquisition, they sometimes forget about the staff! Haggle!
  6. Yeah except most students don't have mortgages and are approaching 50! I'd never pay it off again, so it is different to other students who mostly have mummy and daddy.
  7. I completely agree Flumps, we have to feedback to govt about how these private firms are performing. It is our benefit money that they are trying to get off of us that is paying for their services! Also the point about cv's and degrees: it is my bugbear that it is considered that you are ok because you have a degree. Granted you seem more attractive to employers whereas those with difficulties educationally are obviously more disadvantaged and should get more support. But... Why oh why is it that I can't get to sit down with an advisor or someone (anyone!) who can tell me based on my skills what jobs the country needs doing and help me get the training? I would gladly do whatever - maths teacher (my maths is rubbish though!), osteopath, whatever. I have looked at the skills shortage information for immigrants on the govt website and it gives a list of people they want to attract to Britain i.e nurses etc. I have asked if I could have support in pursuing these careers (teaching in my case). No I can't!! I have to get loans and allsorts and I did the maths and it was shocking. I would be living on £4000 a year (slightly more than the dole) for 2 years and then have accrued about £15000 debt at the end of it. And of course with cuts in services there's no guarantee of a job at the end. I'm not going to bang on about immigrants but I can see the govt just wants people in and out to do work as is expedient and not train its own people. The JCP gave me a leaflet on "Executive and Managerial Recruitment Skills Course" - I thought "at last" but it costs £150 for one day and I'd have to pay it!!!! After 60 applications for call-centre, shop and admin jobs in 4 months, I didn't even get an interview. That's when the JC told me to get rid of the degree and just focus on how well I can answer a phone and use a photocopier on my cv, which I find personally insulting to my skill level.
  8. Same here Leemack. I can't tolerate the injustices anymore and the often consequential loss of life I've seen over this sort of thing. And everyone throws blame at everyone else and not at the people at the top making money directly out of the misery caused (Atos and govt pals for example).
  9. I can only think of self-employment as being the only exclusion to a single person working over 37 hours on £210 a week (below min wage that is) and not getting WTC.
  10. I know Leemack but he won't have any of it. I drafted a letter for him to sign of complaint about the way he has been not kept informed, long delays (they lost a sick note and he had to get another one) and other problems (like not phoning him back on time) and he wouldn't sign it and has just had enough and feels better with JSA (as he feels not labelled as "sick" anymore). Terrible stigmatism of claiming sickness benefits some people hold onto especially as he was a mental health nurse before getting ill.
  11. Have you tried the online calculator on the HMRC tax credits website? It can work out 2009/10/11 etc based on your new information as well as the original wrong information, so you can get an idea of both scenaios and the difference between them. It'll give you an idea of what's going on. It also states what should be done with the SMP amounts. I would try that to throw some light more on the subject.
  12. They had given him £200 recently and said repeatedly that the claim is "clerical". Despite letters, calls etc they cannot say when the DM will reach a decision. Their screens show the claim as closed. He can't take anymore of it and has given up against my advice.
  13. I have put in a complaint about one private "training provider" contracted to the JCP as they turned up 1 hr late at the venue and sent the admin girl who looked quite shaken and admitted she knew nothing about the course for the day. She was hoping someone else from her office would "rescue" her. There was anger in the room as many of the participants just needed a cv and was told the day was to get them sorted with one. There were no computers at the venue and the admin girl said that they just talk about how to do a cv all day but do not give help with using a computer. If the claimants didn't turn up or present a cv to the Jobcentre, they lose benefits. It was dire. Also my friends son went to Prospects (private provider) for work help but they admitted on Day 1 there was nothing more they could do and sent him home. 6 months later he gets a letter asking him to come back to their office and fill in a form so they can get 6 months funding for "assisting him with jobsearch" and will pay him £10 in cash as "expenses" for going. Isn't this blatantly fraudulent bribery? The taxpayer is paying ££££££'s for this contract!
  14. Well there is a difference in that if you were earning £210 a week in full-time work, you could claim Working Tax Credit!
  15. Yeah Rae, have a crack at it. I've never heard of anyone successfully being under the Permitted Work rules ok though and was advised by benefit advisors not to just incase they say you are capable of work and migrate you onto JSA. It's a catch 22 or just a catch in my opinion.
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