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  1. Hi all, > I am trying to put together a letter to Lenovo due to an issue I had with my laptop. We paid an extra amount (£68.40 for a 3 year two business day repair, which actually turned out to be response (ie: an engineer contacts us in 2 business days to resolve the issue). Timeline: Raised issue 18/7 Chased 20/7 Chased 23/7 at which point it was escalated. No idea who to as they still won't tell me. 24/7 finally get a call to make an appointment for 26/7. 26/7 - No show. Called to find out what was going on, and the engineer was ill. New appt made 1/8. 1/8 - No show. Called to find out the matter, some parts issue. Will come 2/8. 2/8 - No show. Still some parts issue. I'm off on holiday now. Appointment made for 21/8. 21/8 - No show. Tried to complain but complete waste of time. Eventually manage to get a booking for 3/9. 3/9 - No show. Parts problem. As I don't have a salary, and my work is in property development mainly, should I just take the total on last year's self assessment and divide it up by 365? To be honest I don't think Lenovo is going to be responsive. Thanks!
  2. http://www.standard.co.uk/news/crime/police-warning-after-reports-of-fake-new-5-notes-in-circulation-a3514691.html Got that wrong then, didn't they ?
  3. Wholesale gas and electricity prices in the UK hit a five-year low at the end of 2015, energy market analysts have said. A mild winter and lower global commodity prices were behind the fall, according to market information provider ICIS. Pressure is mounting on the UK's big six energy suppliers to cut their prices in line with falling costs. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-35309741
  4. Hello All, I have this bad experience with Lycafly. They have taken a long time to return my money for cancellation of a flight due on 28-Nov-2014. I have been literally stressed and had to do a lot of chasing to get my money back. They are going to return after all this chase this Friday. Do I have legal rights to claim compensation for such a long delay they took. Please advise. Thanks
  5. Five disabled social housing tenants have lost their Court of Appeal bid to have benefit cuts for those with spare bedrooms ruled unlawful. Judges said the court could not intervene in the government's "controversial" housing benefit changes - dubbed a "bedroom tax" by critics. Lawyers for the group had argued the regulations applying in England, Wales and Scotland failed to reflect the accommodation needs of disabled people. They said they planned to fight on. The court also ruled against two lone parents who claimed the government's cap on the total benefits paid to families violated human rights laws and common law because of its impact on vulnerable families. More ...
  6. A technological revolution is under way in banking, with computers lined up to replace humans in branches Intelligent machines could replace human bank staff in high street branches within five years, the Telegraph has learnt. Several major banks are understood to be in talks to introduce "express" branches, which would be similar to self-service checkouts in supermarkets. These smaller outlets would be almost completely devoid of human interaction. If trials are successful, the new format is likely to be adopted across Britain, sources said, with larger branches slimmed down and staff numbers reduced in branches. Martin Shires of banking technology firm NCR said: "As early as next year, you could see one of the major high street banks buying a convenience store location and fitting it out with ATMs that mean you can do 95pc of your transactions through self-service. Within five years this will be a common sight." He said technology is now so advanced that all transactions could be screen-based, enabling banks to replace over-the-counter staff and leave just supervisors in branches. More: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/consumertips/banking/10468109/How-your-bank-could-look-in-five-years-time.html
  7. Around five million customers of Lloyds have had their current accounts transferred to the new TSB bank this week. Lloyds Banking Group, which is part-owned by the Government, has been forced by regulators to spin off part of its retail banking operations in order to promote competition and TSB is the result. New TSB customers were informed of the switch several weeks ago and Lloyds says that they should see no significant changes as a result of the move. For example, current account holders will retain their Lloyds sort codes, account numbers and debit cards, with TSB-branded cards being introduced in due course.Meanwhile, 631 Lloyds branches across the UK have now been rebranded with the TSB logo, although customers of both banks will be able to use each other’s branches for the foreseeable future.The Co-op Bank was originally planning to buy these branches from Lloyds but a deal collapsed in April. Kevin Mountford, head of banking at MoneySupermarket.com, said: “The launch of TSB bank today can only be good news for consumers as it creates greater competition on the high street. And entering the market with the eighth largest UK branch network, this brand immediately has the scale to become a meaningful challenger to the big four banks.” More: http://www.express.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/428500/Five-million-switched-to-TSB Mountford added that savers who had money in accounts at both Lloyds and the new TSB would be fully protected by the official Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). It means the Government will guarantee the first £85,000 per customer, deposited at each bank, should either institution get into financial difficulty.He said: “In reality this switch should be relatively smooth but for those customers who are unhappy with the change, they can of course switch elsewhere.” TSB is expected to be floated on the stock exchange as a separate company in 2014.
  8. Reality TV star Kerry Katona has been declared bankrupt again and dropped as the face of payday lender Cash Lady. The former Atomic Kitten singer made a petition under the name Kerry Jane Elizabeth Katona at Wigan County Court, today – less than five years after the last time she applied for bankruptcy. In 2008, she filed for bankruptcy due to an £86,000 unpaid tax bill. Bankruptcy status usually lasts for a year, but Ms Katona's status was extended eventually lasting nearly three years. It was suggested that Ms Katona failed to meet requirements set by the court. In May, an advertisement for payday loans featuring Ms Katona was banned by the industry watchdog, partly for suggesting the money could help to fund a celebrity lifestyle. Ms Katona, who promoted frozen food retailer Iceland after winning "I’m a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here”, talked about her former “money troubles” in the TV ad. Link: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/borrowing/10155766/Kerry-Katona-declared-bankrupt-for-second-time-in-five-years.html
  9. Five cities in the UK have seen the average payday loan debt rise by £400 or more in just a year, new figures have shown. Research from StepChange, which was formerly the Consumer Credit Counselling Service, shows that average payday lending balances in London, Cardiff, Liverpool, Leicester and Birmingham have risen by between £397 and £563 and have reached £1,859 in the capital. "These figures offer a frightening insight into how certain communities appear particularly vulnerable to increasingly high levels of high-cost borrowing which could result in serious financial hardship," said StepChange external affairs director Delroy Cornialdi. The figures come as the Office of Fair Trading prepares to announce whether it will refer the £2 billion payday lending sector to the Competition Commission on Thursday. The watchdog published a damning report into the sector in March and proposed to refer the industry to the Commission, which has strong powers to ban or limit products and shake up whole markets. Information placed on the OFT's website said that the body had received 20 responses to its provisional decision to refer the payday market to the Commission. More: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/borrowing/loans/10141306/Five-cities-with-fastest-growing-payday-loan-debts.html
  10. Latest data from Which? reveals the extent to which UK families are struggling to pay for essentials such as food. The group’s April consumer tracker survey shows one in five households (five million) using credit or savings to fill the fridge, as people find they are unable to manage on their monthly incomes. This group is largely made up of low-income families, with four in 10 of these households headed by people aged 30 to 49 years, the majority with children, and an income of £21,000 or less per year. Of those who are using credit or savings to pay for food, the tracker also reveals that: Nearly six in 10 find it difficult to cope on their current income. A third borrowed money from family or friends in the last month. Two-thirds are worried about their level of debt and one in 10 defaulted on a bill last month. Other findings from the April data include: Only a quarter of people say they are living comfortably on their incomes with around a third of respondents feeling the squeeze. More than half of people questioned are worried about their level of savings and two-thirds are worried about interest rates on their savings. Over two-thirds of respondents described the state of the UK economy as poor. Populus, on behalf of Which?, interviewed 2,099 UK adults online between 26th and 28th April 2013 with data then weighted to be demographically representative of all UK adults. Link: http://www.bankingtimes.co.uk/2013/05/05/five-million-households-pay-for-food-with-credit-or-savings/
  11. Hi I traded in my Clio for a BMW 2008 with 100k on the clock from a reputable (or what seemed like on) garage. It came with a new mot and Full service history. Week two of owning the car, i had to get a fuel filter issue sorted which cost £125. Week five, the car starts to shake, like violently shake. I called them and they said they would look at it next week under the terms of the 'warranty' which is an external one. I took it to a BMW specialist today and they said the issue is coming from inside the engine and they need to strip it down at quite a cost! The car was £8500 and I will take it to the place I got it from next week to give them the opportunity to fix it but I get the impression they are not going to do much as the external warranty only covers a fault if something is 'broken', which is what they said over the phone! If they refuse to fix it, where do I stand legally? Surely I can reject the car under the sale of goods act? I have only owned t Five weeks!! What if I reject it and they refuse to refund me? Do I have to Take them to court? I traded in a perfect car and ended up with a dog Looking at other forums, I am not alone with buying a poor quality car from this garage, one thread had 57 pages of complaints. Thanks
  12. The major UK banks saw a 45% rise in core profits in 2012, but that hike was wiped out by a mix of regulation and their own mistakes, a KPMG report says. Its performance report looks at Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, RBS and Standard Chartered. It says the banks' combined core profits last year were £31.5bn. But this was eliminated by the "cost of past mistakes and increased creditworthiness of their own debt", the audit firm's report says. "Dire" This development meant that the major banks actually saw their statutory profits slump 40% on the previous year, at £11.7bn, KPMG added. The banks, it says, were hit by PPI costs of £7.4bn - up from £5.7bn in 2011. In addition, there were other fines and penalties from regulators and "redress provisions" of £4.7bn, and a £12.8bn accounting hit for losses caused by the revaluation of "own debt'", "reflecting the credit markets' more positive view on bank issuers and interest rate movements". "Banks had a better performance year in 2012 but their improved core profits were eaten up by fines and other exceptional items, leaving them down on 2011," said Bill Michael of KPMG. He added: "In terms of their reputations, 2012 was a dire year. This is why it is so important for them to address cultural and ethical perceptions and issues. Restoring customer trust is critical." 'Essential function' However the report does acknowledge the improvement in core performance from the banks, and says it is due to two main factors. Better credit performance has meant that impairment (bad loan) charges have continued to fall with continued low interest rates enabling the majority of customers to pay their mortgages and even reduce their credit exposures. And stronger investment banking results have meant that revenues were generally up, especially in rates businesses, helped in large part by more positive sentiment surrounding the future of the eurozone. But the report also points out that current events in Cyprus show that such sentiment can be transitory, "Overall, banks have made progress," said Mr Michael. "They have strengthened their balance sheets and made strides to bolster their capital. "They are becoming better able to carry out their essential function of providing support to businesses and promoting economic growth. However, the necessary changes to address conduct and behavioural failings will have a significant cost." More: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21916653
  13. First direct has launched the market’s cheapest five-year fixed rate mortgage at 2.64 per cent. The deal has a £1,399 fee and is available up to 65 per cent loan-to-value. It is available as either a repayment or offset loan. The lender also today launches a 2.49 per cent three-year fixed rate, also available up to 65 per cent LTV, with a £1,499 fee. It has also launched a 2.38 per cent tracker mortgage with a £1,699 fee. First direct head of retail products Andy Forbes says: “Over the last month we have seen competition increase in the mortgage market. In particular our five year fixed rates have been extremely popular. In response to this demand we have lowered the rates on many of our five year fixed rates, to ensure our customers have access to our most competitive rates.” Link: http://www.mortgagestrategy.co.uk/latest-news/first-direct-launches-markets-cheapest-five-year-fixed-rate/1067756.article
  14. Yorkshire Building Society is today launching the lowest ever five-year fixed rate at 2.64 per cent and cutting rates by up to 0.1 per cent. An offset option is available for the five-year fix at 2.84 per cent and the product, which is available up to 60 per cent LTV, has a £1,495 fee. The product is available direct-only. Moneyfacts notes this product represents the lowest five-year fixed rate on record, overtaking the Post Office’s 2.74 per cent rate as the market leader. Link: http://www.mortgagestrategy.co.uk/latest-news/yorkshire-building-society-launches-markets-lowest-ever-five-year-fix/1066551.article
  15. Rich Ricci, one of Barclays' top bankers, told MPs that the bank has fired five out of 13 people "disciplined" over the Libor scandal - but that many had already moved on. The bank is attempting to rebuild its reputation after being fined a record £290m in June for manipulating the London interbank offered rate (Libor), used used to fix the cost of borrowing on mortgages, loans and derivatives worth more than $450 trillion (£281 trillion) globally. After launching its own investigation, Barclays “terminated” five of 13 people disciplined, Rich Ricci, head of Barclays’ investment banking arm, told a parliamentary committee hearing. However, he said that many others who would have been involved had already moved on to “other institutions”. “A lot of the individuals that would have been in that disciplinary process had left,” he said, adding that Barclays had informed these people’s new firms of its findings via the authorities. Pressed by MPs over the bank’s failings, Mr Ricci admitted that in the past it and the wider City had given too much emphasis to employees’ financial performance over other factors. More: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/libor-scandal/9709314/Barclays-has-disciplined-13-fired-five-over-Libor-scandal.html
  16. Millions of Britons fail to tell their partners of their outstanding debts, savings or investments. Twenty per cent of Britons - or 6.2 million of us - have debts that they have not disclosed to their partners. The average value of these outstanding debts is £9,546. Other financial skeletons include hidden savings and investments, with 4.3 million people admitting that they have private nest eggs of savings and investments kept secret from their other halves. On average, these concealed finances are worth £2,004. According to a survey by Prudential which examined the attitude towards financial planning among cohabiting couples over 40, 14pc of respondents say their partner does not know how much they earn. For 9pc of these people, this is because they claim they do not discuss earnings – despite living under the same roof. However, the remaining 5pc admitted this is because they deliberately mislead their partners into thinking they earn more or less than they actually do. When those who had admitted to having hidden debt were asked how the situation arose, more than a third said they had borrowed money to cover everyday living costs. Thirty-three per cent said they had borrowed the money to pay off other outstanding debts, such as credit card bills, and a further 6pc said the debt arose through travel costs. More reasons for this hidden debt included overspending due to an emotional situation, with 5pc claiming this was the reason for their financial trouble, and a further 5pc said their debt had been inherited from previous relationships, such as joint mortgages. Link: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/savings/9693612/One-in-five-hide-savings-and-debt-from-their-partners.html
  17. A debt advice charity has seen almost 16,500 people approach it this year with problems linked to payday loan debt – with more than 2,000 of them struggling with five of these loans or more. The Consumer Credit Counselling Service (CCCS) said it was on course to see a record number of people this year, having assisted almost 17,500 clients last year and just under 6,500 in 2009. Such loans are intended as a short-term stop gap to tide people over for a few weeks but the charity said that 73 people it had seen this year had 10 or more of them. The typical amount owed on payday loans has increased by almost a quarter in the last three years to reach £1,458, which is roughly equal to the monthly average income for a CCCS client. The charity fears that the figures could climb higher still as hikes in fuel bills and food costs push more households towards seeking out "crocodile help". Peter Tutton, the advice service's head of policy, said: "We would expect payday lenders to tell people there are better options rather than feeding into that and offering crocodile help. We need payday lenders to get on top of responsible lending." More: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/borrowing/loans/9615276/2000-borrowers-have-at-least-five-payday-loans.html
  18. Five years on from the day the global financial crisis officially started and the public are more disillusioned with the banking sector than ever before. As the Parliamentary Inquiry on Banking Standards prepares to get underway, a new Which? survey has found almost three-quarters (71%) of people don’t think UK banks have learnt their lesson from the financial crisis – up from 61% in September 2011. Consumers also have low expectations that the Inquiry will lead to change, with only a quarter of people (26%) confident that it will lead to positive improvements in UK banks. Since the start of the financial crisis consumers have been bearing the brunt of the recession with the Which? latest wellbeing survey showing that nearly half are worried about mortgage rates (45%) and the level of their household debt (42%). At the same time, consumers have been hit by a series of bank scandals, which have further exposed the broken culture and mismanagement in UKbanking. These include the mis-selling of Payment Protection Insurance (PPI), which is now on course to be the biggest financial scandal of all time, Libor interest rate rigging, and IT system failures at Natwest and Nationwide. Which? is calling for the Banking Inquiry to produce tough new proposals to force banks to work better for consumers by tackling the lack of competition and culture in banking. More: http://www.ccrmagazine.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=7456&Itemid=35
  19. Mortgage rates for the equity-rich are on a race to the bottom, with NatWest trumping HSBC's 2.99pc five year rate with a 2.95pc product. NatWest has set a new record for the lowest-ever five year fixed mortgage, indicating a 'race to the bottom' amongst lenders competing for desirable customers. The bank, which is part of Royal Bank of Scotland, trumped HSBC's record 2.99pc rate with a 2.95pc product. "We are really seeing a mini price war" said mortgage broker Stuart Gregory, who indicated that other lenders may also launch new rates in the coming weeks. HSBC announced its new five-year rate earlier this month, However, only those with a large amount of equity in their homes who are willing to pay a steep fee will be able to benefit from either bank's low rate. You will need to have 40pc equity in your home and pay a fee of £2495 to get the 2.95 per cent rate. If you do not wish to pay the fee the rate is a less competitive 3.69pc. Mr Gregory, from Lentune Mortgages, said that the three month Libor rate – the rate which banks use to lend to one another – has been reducing since January, meaning that it is cheaper for the banks to lend money. "Also we are reaching the midyear point where lenders are assessing how much they have lent – and perhaps finding out how far behind their own targets they are," he said. He urged those on variable rates to consider these five-year fixes, which bring greater certainty. "Although there are no signs of the Bank of England base rate rising anytime soon, it's important for borrowers to realise that base rate has little effect on these fixed rates we are seeing. Borrowers who feel secure on a base rate linked Tracker or Variable rate should be wary of waiting too long before reviewing – wait too long and the jump in monthly payments from their current lows could be higher." More:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/9439032/NatWest-sparks-price-war-with-record-five-year-mortgage.html
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