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  1. Comparison sites accused over calls The "big five" comparison websites are directing callers to energy tariffs that earn them commission despite being asked for the cheapest deal - months after they faced allegations that they used similar tactics online, it has been claimed. Collective switching website The Big Deal has released recordings of phone calls and transcripts from last month in which it claims that all five of the biggest comparison sites - uSwitch, Go Compare, MoneySuperMarket, Compare the Market and Confused.com - failed to mention deals that did not pay them a commission. In the case of uSwitch, the difference between what it claimed was the cheapest deal and the actual lowest tariff was £60, The Big Deal said. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/pa/article-2935857/Comparison-sites-accused-calls.html You can read the phone call transcripts here: https://thisisthebigdeal.com/blog/PCW-Miselling-Over-The-Phone Last October it was revealed that the price comparison sites were hiding the cheapest “switching” deals in favour of suppliers who pay them commission. Consumers were only given access to the full range of deals – that is, including suppliers who did not pay the sites commission for referring potential customers – if they unticked pre-selected boxes. Confused and MoneySupermarket have since stopped hiding energy deals, but uSwitch, Go Compare and Compare the Market still only show deals they make commission from by default.
  2. been accepted for a Barclaycard 0% interest. a bit new to this. i cant find anything to say that if you havent cleared it by the end of the 0% period. interest is back dated to the date of balance transfer is this true i found this site http://jmjohta.online-review.net/credit/31637.php
  3. Hi all, unsure whether this belongs here or another forum area so please move if needed I noticed something this morning on an item I've had in my Amazon basket for a while. It was priced at £250 for a couple of weeks and the same item was the same price in Argos, John Lewis and even Halfords was similar (Couple of pounds more) What seemed like seconds before todays lightning deal kicked in for that item, the price went up to £268 and the lightning deal kicked in @ 30% off RRP. To me RRP was £250 and from what I can see, the item was increased in price for the deal. If I remember correctly, shops used to do this before in-store promos and was deemed either wrong or maybe even unlawful though I may be wrong here. Online chat was pointless and they just maintain prices go up and down but I find it too much of a coincidence it was increased seconds before the deal. Deal still means it's cheaper than JL but it's more the morality of it. What do you think? Looking too much into it? cheers
  4. The unauthorised sales practices of staff working for major estate agencies including Countrywide, Connells and Spicer Haart have been exposed in an investigative documentary. As part of Channel 4’s Dispatches, broadcast last night, an agent from Countrywide, the UK’s largest estate agency group, was secretly recorded telling a reporter that his firm had exclusive rights to promote the second phase of the Help to Buy scheme. The agent told Channel 4’s reporter: “The scheme kicks in from next year but because Countrywide does so many mortgages for the main lenders they’ve given us the go ahead on it now.” A spokesman from PalmerSnell, part of the Countrywide group, issued an apology on behalf of the “one branch” which had deviated from agreed marketing material regarding Help to Buy. Abbotts estate agents, also part of the Countrywide group, was later exposed for advising the sale of buy-to-let mortgages to buyers who were unable to obtain residential loans. When asked by undercover reporters what options were available when the employment history they provided were insufficient for traditional mortgage lenders, the agents proposed the route of buy-to-let - saying it was “a bit naughty.” The programme also featured several secretly filmed visits to estate agencies by an undercover reporter posing as a homebuyer. On one such visit to Barnard Marcus, part of the Connells group, the reporter was informed that using an in-house mortgage adviser would result in the buyer getting to view properties earlier than those who did not. Further to this ‘priority viewing’ practice, Felicity J Lord - a member of the Spicer Haart group - said it would recommend offers from buyers who opted to use the agency’s in-house mortgage broker. A Barnard Marcus member of staff also told an undercover reporter they would remove a property from the market once an agreement was in place to use an estate agent’s in-house mortgage adviser. Both estate agencies offered a response to Channel 4 in light of the revelations. Barnard Marcus said: “Our in-house services are entirely optional. We treat all buyers equally, regardless of whether they use additional services. “We take allegations of pressurised selling very seriously. We have a legal obligation to qualify buyers and forward all offers in writing to vendors.” Felicity J Lord said: “We seek to act in the best interests of our customer, the seller of a property at all times. It is not our practice to discriminate against any consumer because they decline to buy in-house services. “Our mortgage advisers compare rates across the whole of the market in order to find the best deal for buyers.” A spokeswoman from Countrywide Mortgage Services says: ”We do not condone such actions and take these matters very seriously. Once this matter was brought to our attention, we took immediate action and implemented our internal investigations process. The individuals identified have been suspended pending formal internal investigation.” Link: http://www.mortgagestrategy.co.uk/2002318.article
  5. State-backed Royal Bank of Scotland has become the latest High Street giant to abolish interest-only mortgages for homeowners. It follows hot on the heels of Nationwide and Co-operative Bank, who stopped handing out these once popular loans earlier this year. Many other rival major lenders have also axed interest-only, or dramatically cut back on who they allow to borrow this way. However, most of these moves came before the release of the Financial Services Authority’s Mortgage Market Review, which made it clear that it believed there was still a place for interest-only borrowing, as long as it was assessed properly. The in-depth report, however, highlighted huge problems in the mortgage system, due to the widespread selling of interest-only mortgages throughout the 2000 to 2007 lending boom, without any checks that borrowers could pay them back. Interest-only mortgages require borrowers to repay only the interest on their home loan each month. This lowers monthly repayments. Instead of paying some of their debt off each month, homeowners are supposed to put aside enough savings to repay their initial debt in one lump sum. But hundreds of thousands of homeowners have failed to do this — leaving them with loans they cannot afford to pay off. Over the next nine years 1.3 million interest-only loans worth £111 billion are due to be repaid. Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/mortgageshome/article-2239682/RBS-NatWest-abolish-mortgages.html#ixzz2DXWsVrSP
  6. Hello ! Travel company Clear Sky Holidays increased their price by £25pp. According to them i was too late to make a booking (deadline was 26/10/2012). I did it online on 25/10. I know that according to their form I was not giving them the exact details, but fine print says: "Booking required via Clear Sky Holidays at "web site mentioned which I can`t post according to this forum rules" or by phone: 0844 493 4655." So that means I completed my first step. After a while I received an email: Hi Tom, Thanks for the interest in the offer that we were advertising. If you can contact me on my direct line number 02085111742, so that we can discuss the holiday and book it for you. I would be in the office from 09:00am till 06:00pm you can contact me anytime during these times. Kind Regards Alan Clear Sky Holidays 02085111742. Called them back to a number showed above, but company said that they have to increase a price, because I was too late to make a booking, that was my fault and blamed me. Yes I called them few days after I received an e-mail. I was away. But according to fine print there is a choice: online OR by phone. On the online form there is no mentioning of additional phone call which I have to make in order to "complete booking" (so I though that I have done everything before deadline comes), in e-mail there was no period of time as well. So was it a fair play from their side or am I being ripped off ? Cheers ! Ernie
  7. Small businesses have been ‘systematically exploited’ by bankers in a loan mis-selling scandal of enormous proportions, MPs said yesterday. One dubbed it the ‘new PPI’ – a reference to the £9billion payment protection insurance scandal that has cost banks billions in compensation. In an explosive Commons’ debate, MPs from all parties said their constituents were among up to 300,000 small firms who took out loans which are now crippling, or even killing, their businesses. Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2162976/Bad-business-Scandal-crippled-small-firms-exploited-bankers-mis-selling-loan-deals.html#ixzz1yWJzcV3F
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