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  1. I have an ex Friends Life with profits investment bond now under the ownership of Aviva. This was transferred to me by my mother. Over the past three years I have made a number of successful partial withdrawals on the policy without issue. This all changed when in early September of this year, I submitted another partial encashment for £3000. After not receiving the money within 10 days I contacted Aviva and was told that due to a technical issue sufficient units could not be cancelled to action a payout. Therefore, the process was delayed. To exacerbate, the issue, I had a building project which was underway and tradesman and materials need to be covered. Towards the end of September I decided to encash and cancel the whole policy. I was reliably assured that this would not be hindered by ‘the technical issue as it was a full encashment. I submitted a claim for a full encashment for £28000. Once again, after 10 days I still had not received my funds I contacted Aviva. This time it was claimed that I needed to submit certified copies of my passport and bank statement despite Aviva having paid out in the past from the policy to my bank account, Aviva suddenly needed to check my documents. I had these stamped by the bank on Friday 12th October and sent them off. On Friday 19th October, I was assured that all was fine and that the payment was on the way. Having not heard further I again phoned on Wednesday 24th October only to be told that actually the payment was delayed again as they needed on the verification documents, the contact details of the person at the bank who stamped the documents. I would therefore have to resubmit new verification documents again. Even at that stage I felt that the handling of the matter was unacceptable especially with different customer agents giving confusing and contradictory assurances and information. However, I resubmitted new verification documents this time stamped with contact details of the person verifying them. On Wednesday 31st October, I was informed that the documents had now been verified and payment would now be authorised the next day and sent out. On Tuesday 6th November I phoned Aviva again to check on the progress of this payment. I was told that the payment had just been authorised but it would be with me in “3-5 working days” By Tuesday 13th November I still had not received any money I contact Aviva, yet again. I was informed that the payment was definitely on the way and I should contact my bank to see if it was coming through. On Friday 16th November, Aviva finally admitted that there may be a problem and that my money could be missing. My bank told me not to worry and that they could trace it if given a payment reference number. Despite requesting this on both Friday and today, the Aviva/Friends Life call centre have been extremely reluctant to furnish me with this simple information which would help Barclays easily trace the money. Today it is Monday 19th November and a payment that I was due to originally receive on September 15th is still delayed with no one seemingly knowing where it is. Any suggestions would be most appreciated as I have lost all faith in the ex-Friends life branch of Aviva and am starting to suspect there has been a misappropriation of funds. Two weeks ago, I was offered and given £100 compensation for the stress and inconvenience caused by the initial delays but I think any objective person would agree that in the circumstances, £100 is extremely paltry compensation. In short, you have to remember that the original request was submitted in early September. We are now in late November and I still have not received any of the money from the policy (apart from the £100 compensation!) Also, I needed that money to pay bills and tradesmen as soon as possible. The two-month payment delay has led to me having to resort instead to credit cards to pay for my £50000 renovation project as the builders became fed up with my excuses as to why their labour and materials had still not been paid for. The cost of this interest has been astronomical. This has been so stressful, but I believe I can’t take this to the financial ombudsman until Aviva close the matter (?) so any suggestions would be very much welcome.
  2. Telephone and broadband provider Talktalk saw profits more than halve following a hack attack on its systems last October. Profits fell to £14m compared with £32m a year earlier. That fall is partly due to the costs of last year's serious cyber attack, which cost the company £42m. TalkTalk confirmed that 95,000 customers had left the ISP in direct response to the cyber attack. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-36273449 This is a huge wake-up call for every company that stores customer details. If they don't take security seriously, it will cost them dearly.
  3. Hi all. I'm new here but I'm hoping that I can get a little information as it seems a bit of a grey area. I recently had my benefit stopped for housing and council tax benefit as after being requested for my company accounts for last year I did so and have been told that because the profits are above £16,000 (the threshold), I am not entitled to any benefit. Is this right? I ask because this money isn't mine, it's the company of which I am a director of. Hoping for some facts please as I'm still building my business hence the profit that was retained in there. Many thanks in advance. Dom
  4. british gas (now there is a misnomer if i have ever heard one..they are actually a french owned company) profits have risen by 23% in the last quarter, yet they are now saying that gas prices will have to rise again for the winter period! is it not now time for uk govt. to consider the renationalisation of all the utilities companies in the uk today. it is pretty obvious that we are now being bled dry by these companies, as prices rise year on year, all in the interest of shareholders and multinational companies. i do fear for our security of supply, and whether people can continue to absorb these hikes in prices that are year on year being put on us the paying customer. it is not like we actually have a choice, most of the big companies are very close to each other in price, and actually changing supplier can sometimes be more hassle than it is worth. we need in this country energy suppliers who are not totally reliant on making huge profits but are run by the people for the people
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