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  1. The issues with disputes involving mobile phones, is that if you do have a dispute and it is referred to an Ombudsman scheme, then if your claim is upheld any award could at best be described as mediocre. One of the key areas that needs to be explained, which may form beneficial to consumers are linked transactions which may fall under the Consumer Credit Act 1974, are thus referable to FOS, which could result in an award exceeding £5,000. When consumers often take out a mobile phone contract, they often have to pay an additional fee to obtain certain handsets, in particular where the I-phone is involved. This additional fee could in many instances be paid by credit card, which in effect, relates back to the Consumer Credit Act 1974. The handset is an essential part of the transaction as you cannot utilise an airtime agreement with O2 etc without one - you need the phone to make the calls ! The airtime contract may sit outside of the Consumer Credit Act 1974, however, the purchase of the handset could be deemed to be a linked transaction. In addition both the handset and the airtime contract are very often sold by the same company. Question, if a dispute was to arise in respect of the phone contract and the consumer was; a. in a position where there airtime agreement debt was sold to a debt collector. b. involved in a dispute arose about the product being fit for purpose. ie no signal area, faulty phone etc Then surely FOS would be able to provide an opportunity to adjudicate and award the consumer enhanced redress if any dispute was handled in an efficient manner ? At present we are seeing thousands of consumers accounts being handed to companies such as Lowell's, whom would appear to pursue consumers whom often have genuine disputes, without the risk of such companies being penalised sufficiently for the manner in which they handle complaints. At present there is not enough facilities for consumers to seek redress where a. airtime contracts are concerned and b. where consumers are unfairly harassed by DCA's when they have been incorrectly targeted or the debt does not exist.
  2. Here (Just be aware this post will change accordingly with updates from Sky News ) The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has confirmed it is to refer the payday loans market to the Competition Commission to investigate "deep-rooted" problems. It announced its decision following a period of consultation, having already issued the market's biggest participants with an ultimatum to clean up their act or risk being closed down. The OFT said it was worried about a number of areas, including: :: Practices that make it difficult for consumers to identify or compare the full cost of payday loans, undermining competition over price for loans. :: Barriers to switching between lenders when loans are rolled over that prevent other lenders competing for this business. :: Variable levels of compliance with relevant laws and guidance leading to firms that do invest time and effort complying being at a competitive disadvantage to firms that do not. :: A significant proportion of borrowers have poor credit histories, limited access to other forms of credit and/or a pressing need to borrow. The cost of the loan may therefore be a less significant factor for borrowers, which may weaken competition on price between lenders. The watchdog said it was also concerned that lenders were competing primarily on the availability and speed of loan approval, rather than price and that some business models appeared to be predicated on making loans which were unaffordable, leading to borrowers paying far more than expected through rollovers, additional interest and other charges. It said lenders appeared to derive up to 50% of their revenue from such practices. The OFT had previously identified a series of other issues, including lenders not carrying out proper affordability checks before lending or rolling loans over. Firms were also accused of failing to explain adequately how payments will be collected and acting aggressively to claw back debts. The OFT said it expected responses by the end of July from all 50 payday lenders it contacted earlier this year, giving them 12 weeks to demonstrate they complied fully with their legal obligations. To date, five of the 50 lenders have informed the OFT that they have left the payday market while three firms not included in the crackdown have had their consumer credit licences revoked. More follows...
  3. Customers are currently being charged as much as £12 to use their cards when they pay, though the transactions can cost as little as 20p to process. Jo Swinson, consumer minister, said companies had been getting away with using hidden charges to "rip people off" for far too long. Surcharges have risen dramatically in recent years, particularly among low-cost airlines. The extra fees have been levied on everything from cinema tickets to utility bills and holidays. In some cases, the surcharges are higher than the value of the item being purchased. Airlines, which currently impose some of the largest fees on bookings, make around £300 million a year from them, while rail companies make around £50 million a year from charging customers extra. More: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/9974318/Government-bans-companies-from-charging-rip-off-card-fees.html
  4. Most folks have some sort of debt these days and, a lot of folks have problems from time to time. What really angers me, is when you try to sort out debts, the companies sell the debts on time and again and you have no idea who the original debt was for and how much, because they have added extra onto the original debt. Why can this not be stopped?
  5. My company has merged with another and the other company's employees have been Tupe'd over to ours but now the management are trying to change some of the working conditions i.e. they start at 8.30 and us at 9 a.m. and we get 3 days at Christmas whereas the other company has to take those days out of their annual leave allowance. Can they change our conditions giving us less favourable terms based on a merger? Many thanks for any advice.
  6. Hi All Just wondering if anyone can help? I run a small business that employs 6 people. We sub-contract to national carrier delivering office Supplies (clues in the name), they have just appointed a depot manager who is hell bent at reducing costs no matter what it takes. He recently asked me to take a cut in rates as they were not making any money. This is despite the fact that we are doing the work for approx £100 per week per route less than they can do it themselves. as you can imagine we are down to the wick on the rates we are paid already so I informed them that we couldn't do it. This was approximately 2 weeks ago and today he has rang me at home (im off as i was in hospital for surgery on Monday) and informed me that he would not require our services as from the 3rd March.The problem i have is that we have a service contract which states that they have to give us 90 days notice in writing, which he clearly hasn't done. He can only terminate with immediate effect if we commit a severe breach of the contract (which we have not) and again this must be in writing. Again if there is a drop in service they must inform us in writing and give us 10 days to improve. We have serviced this contract for 2 years and feel that they must honor the terms of the contract. Im also worried about my staff! Surely they must offer them positions under Tupe law as we have not become insolvent or breached the contract. If anyone could give any pointers Im worried, not just for myself,that my staff who all have families to support are going to be thrown into the gutter through no fault of their own.
  7. It would be very helpful to build up a picture of which parking companies manage which retailers carparks. If you know that XXX supermarket is managed by YYYY parking company, please let us know here. We aren't looking for individual carparks. Presumably each carpark owner only deals with one carpark operator. Thanks
  8. Recently received a renewal notice for the electricity supply for my small business from SSE. This stated that I would need to pay 19 weeks supply charges up front, and may also have to pay increased unit cost charges. SSE claimed that the reasons for this was due to my failing a credit check, but when I contacted them on the phone they were unable to outline the reasons for my failing, or to explain why I had passed the 3 previous checks with no problems (all since reference checks started). This seemed to like SSE clawing extra profits out of hard bitten small business customers, and in my case the fact they had been providing me with electricity for 13 years, with no issues related to payments, did I felt have some bearing on the situation. Over the course of a couple of days I spoke to several SSE droids about this situation, with one of them claiming that charging deposits, and increased unit costs did not result in higher profits! A customer of mine works in an executive position in one of the smaller energy companies, and I discussed this with him. It would seem companies such as SSE are dumping higher risk small business customers, by far more stringent credit checks, which mean customers either pay the deposits required, and in some cases unit cost increases of up to 30% higher. The reason for the use of this strategy, is down to the fact they cannot lawfully refuse to supply a customer, so are encouraging them to go elsewhere using the method outlined above. I wonder have any other forum members running small businesses got one of these notices? Seems to me that the greed of these people is astonishing, and bearing in mind the current economic situation, and the enormous profits the energy co's posted last year, that the press might be interested in what seems to me an obvious way of sidestepping the law, to ensure even higher profits?
  9. Is there a Forum post on Say Cowboy Builders, or any dodgy companies eg Double glazing, Dampproofing, Car Garages etc, or would it be too much. Just trying to find out how to tell everyone about bad workers, companies, shops, etc, or is that not what this group is really about. You wont offend me in any replie
  10. I have over the last few months estabilshed that the following companies search (or dont in some cases) the CRA's listed below: Bank Of Scotland Experian & Call Credit Bank of Ireland Experian Leeds Building Society (mortgage) Equifax Leeds BS Credit Card (MBNA Equifax) Creation / Sygma Bank Equifax Santander Experian Halifax Experian Barclaycard Experian & Call Credit Ikano Experian Nationwide Experian Interestingly I got Credit from the following companies and NO credit check has been registered either as a full search or a 'soft' search Moto Novo Finance ( 2 x car credit agreements agreed and paid out Pay 4 later (part of Standard trust Bank ? ) 2 x furniture agreements paid out etc... Hope this may help
  11. Hello I have gotten into a bit of a mess with these Payday Loans ... I have five, all of which I am not going to be able to pay on Friday ... Following advice on this site I have already set up my new bank account and transferred all my DDs (except the PDL ones) ... tomorrow I am closing my old bank account (just to make sure they cant take me overdrawn), changed my bank details with work for my salary and contacted HMRC for my child benefit ... I have also contacted Payplan and done my budget with them and they are going to set up a DMP for me (I have older debts which I am still paying off also). My question is ... do I wait for the payday loan companies to contact me (I will not speak them on the phone other than to give them my Payplan reference number and that PP will be in touch), or do I inform them tomorrow of my situation (this I would prefer to do by e-mail). Does anyone have the e-mail addresses for the following ... Wonga Quick Quid Payday UK Payday Express WageDayAdvance Advice appreciated Thankyou
  12. we have been given a £750 penalty from companies house for late filing, although it was our accountant that filed it a month late after much nagging from us to get it done. i am making an appointment with the senior partner today to discuss our complaint.. from what i have read we should just pay the fine, then try to get it back from the accountant, but for £750 is it financially worth it, legal costs etc?... is there anything we can do? it sticks in my throat to do nothing. obviously we are taking our business elsewhere, but all too late!
  13. I have setup a new basic cash account that i can use to pay Payday Loan companies to prevent them raiding my bank account whenever they fell like it. My wages will be paid into this account on the 27th of the month. I'm just not sure whats the best way to pay these companies. I know that Direct Debit is a no no from reading others experiences here. My first question is if I set up a standing order to leave my account on the 27th, will this go out before my wages get paid in? My wages generally get paid at 1 or 2 am in the morning. If i make a normal payment to another account using online banking on the 27th , will they see my account details and if so is there a way that they could go and setup a Direct Debit on the new basic account and clean that out? Thanks
  14. Why it is important to keep the complaints to OFT rolling http://www.independent.co.uk/money/loans-credit/payday-loans-firms-raided-by-watchdog-8201373.html
  15. just wondering if you miss an interview with a company who advertised the position on the directgov, will they inform the jobcentre even if your not matched to the vacancy? this hasn't happened to me i'm just interested thats all:-)
  16. Chapple's latest companies registered and ones to definitely watch out for are: Get Lolly Finance Limited - Incorporated on 24th August 2012. Tune Tribe Finance Limited - Incorporate 20th July 2012. Iceland Finance Limited - Incorporate 17th July 2012. Community Pay Day Loans Limited - Incorporated on 30th May 2012. All registered to 15 Lyndhurst Terrace,London,NW3 5QA All fronted by Oliver Larholt's stooge Garry Chapple. D.O.B: ?.Feb.1966. (Publicly available info for the record) Looking forward to seeing what develops from these "new" entities:?:
  17. A strange one here folks, not sure what to do.... Moved into my house a few years ago, and Scottish Power supplied the Gas, EON supplied the electric. In December 2011 I switched the Gas to EON, and have been paying them for Dual Fuel since then. July 2012 I receive a letter from Scottish Power demanding ~£350 for Gas. I call them, raise a dispute and someone says they will look into it over a few weeks. August 2012 no response from the dispute, but another letter demanding ~£500, and a few days later a letter from an SP agent who visited while I was at work, and gave me a few days to sort payment before a warrant for entry / prepayment meter was applied for. I had to pay £100 to SP to stop this action, and set up a payment plan. SP are adamant i'm with them, EON have confirmed i'm definitely with them, so i'm now paying for Gas on 2 direct debits while both companies and their agents and Team Managers seem unable to help. SP also tell me that my property is supplied by an IGT, so I cannot even confirm with XOServe. Can anyone advise what to do...
  18. People who get poor service from claims management companies will soon be able to go to the Legal Ombudsman for financial redress. Claims management companies (CMCs) have been criticised for exploiting consumers' mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI) and they are responsible for the lion share of complaints. Yet they take a cut – typically 25pc – of any compensation awarded to the consumer. The Government has announced that from 2013 the Legal Ombudsman will handle claims management complaints. The Ombudsman has the legal power to ensure consumers can get compensation where appropriate. This change will also enable the Claims Management Regulation Unit, which will remain within the Ministry of Justice, to refocus its resources on working with the claims management industry to improve standards and take wider action against CMCs who consistently breach the rules. Head of claims management regulation Kevin Rousell said: “This reform is a win for consumers and provides yet another tool to help stamp out malpractice in the industry.” Chris Lawrenson, head of legal services at the Building Societies Association said: "The matter is urgent as it is clear that the CMCs operating in the PPI sector are generating by far the most consumer complaints, 74pc according the Ministry of Justice. More: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/insurance/incomeprotection/9503310/Claims-management-companies-to-be-held-accountable-by-Ombudsman.html
  19. Hi My husband is a self employed DJ but after losing his main income now only works 4 hours per week at a club, this income is declared to HMRC. He is looking for alternative work and is thinking about setting up a mobile car valeting business...... How does this work for tax purposes, does he submit 2 tax returns or does he add all income together and do as 1 tax return? Also, after expenditure is deducted off income, what rate of tax is paid on the profit and what is the figure you can earn before paying tax? Just trying to get it right in my own head Thanks
  20. Hi, Been reading through some posts with interest and wanted to just clarify how i understand things. For a debt to be classed as 'dead' we have to have made no contact/payment with the credit agency (or whatever you call them!) Does letters sent by them class as contact for the 6yr rule or just as long as we havent replied to them? We have debts from 8yr+ who we havent responded to - are these now 'dead'?
  21. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/bills/article-2174196/Mobile-phone-firms-attack-price-rises-fixed-tariffs.html
  22. This just occurred to me earlier. The other week, I went to Phones4U to buy a new mobile. I chose it, the assistant got the box, everything cool. I open my wallet and hand her £80 in cash (£70 phone and mandatory £10 top up). Assistant: "oh, if your paying in cash, then you can only have the phone if you buy a £20 top up!" Me: "Why?" Assistant: "Because, if you pay by card, Orange will get your name, address, bank details etc, and thus offer the phone with only £10 top up" Firstly, there is no sign in the shop, or indeed in Carphone Warhouse that states you have to buy more credit if paying by cash. Secondly, if I walk into Phones4U and buy a phone on my card, at what point in that transaction have I authorised Phones4U to pass my personal data, ie, everything they can harvest from my Visa Debit Card, to a seperate company, Orange? There are no signs stating that anything I do means I am waiving my data rights and allowing them to pass my details on, I am not asked to sign a waiver, indeed, a normal transaction is, choose phone, assistant scans phone, I put my card into machine, pay, get my receipt, walk out. Surely they are breaching Data Protection?
  23. Its that time of year again... searching for car insurance quotes. been on confused.com, rang up brokers etc etc as you do... not one of the figures that I got quoted on the website was the actual price. They were all at least £40 more than quoted without changing any details! After talking to one insurer (Swinton) it appears that the way they get around this is as follows. Paying monthly attracts a lower base premium (apparently something to do with commision) and this payment is the one shown- but it doesn't include any interest.... so you get given one figure (10 x monthly payments) but have to pay another higher fee for a year's payment in full. understand? I didnt either to start with, but its really cunning. The lowest price they quote is a price you will never be able to pay!
  24. he OFT's market study has provisionally found that the following practices appear to inflate the cost of replacement vehicles provided to not-at-fault drivers, making it on average £560 more expensive each time: After road traffic accidents, many insurers of not-at-fault drivers, brokers and repairers, refer those drivers to credit hire organisations that tend to charge higher daily hire rates, in exchange for a referral fee of between £250 and £400 per car hire. Not-at-fault drivers appear to receive replacement vehicles for longer periods than necessary, leading to inflated bills for the at-fault driver's insurer to cover. The report also provisionally found that the following practices appear to be inflating the cost of repairs to not at-fault drivers' vehicles, by £155 on average each time: Certain insurers receive referral fees and rebates from repairers, paint suppliers and parts suppliers. It appears that the cost of paying these referral fees and rebates to insurers increases the repair bills being passed to the at-fault driver's insurer. Certain insurers have agreements with their approved repairers to charge higher labour rates when repairing the vehicle of the not-at-fault driver which they insure, leading to higher bills being passed to the at-fault driver's insurer. http://www.oft.gov.uk/news-and-updates/press/2012/44-12
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