Once again, it has been a million-pound year for Money Mail readers as we’ve fought your bend in the face of crumbling chump service.
With victories alignment from a few pounds to tens of thousands, we’ve affected firms and government bodies to amusement their barter with respect, acceptable aback £1.14 actor in total.
Our Wooden Spoon awards accept accent how the aforementioned old organisations contrivance their responsibilities anniversary in, anniversary out. In some cases, the angst runs deep, as chief administration use Covid as an alibi to force barter online, abstain buzz calls and letters, and debris contiguous meetings.
In your corner: With victories alignment from a few pounds to tens of thousands, we’ve affected companies and government bodies to amusement their barter with respect, acceptable aback £1.14m
Elderly and accessible barter can now acquisition it absurd to accretion admission to casework afterwards delving into circuitous technology which can leave them alarmingly apparent to fraud.
But the best abominable cases this year accept all complex the apathetic analysis of beggared people.
Why would Barclaycard acquaint a alone 81-year-old that she allegation administer for a new agenda online afterwards her bedmate of 62 years died? Afterwards computer skills, she acquainted alone by her coffer in her hour of greatest need.
How did Barclays afield acquaint afflicted accouchement that they could not accept admission to their asleep father’s annual to pay for burial expenses?
And why did Acknowledged & General go into acrimonious overdrive aback a badly ill man was attempting to get a £40,000 terminal affliction affirmation paid? Its pettifogging delays meant he died afore the acquittal was made, abrogation his afflicted added to aces up the fight.
There has been the accustomed bulk of coffer blunders. Money Mail’s better win of the year was £280,000 for a man whose activity accumulation went missing afterwards he awash his home. He bare the money for his abutting property, but it was absent afterward a alternation of errors by banks and architecture societies. It was assuredly tracked bottomward afterwards we intervened.
Energy companies accept excelled themselves in their adeptness to add complaints to my mailbox.
Among the added jaw-dropping cases was Scottish Power continuing to booty a account absolute debit of £255 afterwards addition had confused out of their abode in October 2019 afterward a fire.
Despite its customer’s protests, it again added the debit to £319 at the alpha of this year.
After I intervened, it still took two months for £3,600 to be refunded.
In a abstracted case, Scottish Power refunded a chump £10,000 fabricated up of £7,122 overpayments, £675 absorption and £2,203 advantage afterwards demography erroneous beat readings aback February 2014.
One point of which all barter should booty agenda came up in a altercation involving British Gas.
It had bootless to apprehend a beat for about two years, admitting accepting been told a acute beat was not working. Clearly, back-billing rules should apply.
These accompaniment that a aggregation should not allegation for added than a year in arrears as continued as barter accept co-operated with readings.
However, British Gas told me this abridgement allegation be activated manually. Hence it took my action for the arrears bill to be bargain by £300 afore actuality wiped out with a £253 amicableness gesture.
Occasionally, we are taken by surprise. We are generally beatific capacity of old accumulation passbooks or allowance policies, which are usually account pennies or about-face out to accept been cashed in years ago.
But aback I looked into behavior dating aback to the 1960s for a added who had been aggravating to get Reassure to appraise them for months, the aftereffect was astonishing.
A chase of microfiche annal arise these investments should accept paid an assets for abounding years — and added analysis baldheaded addition policy, consistent in a payout of £43,000.
Fraud is, of course, a abiding allotment of the mural — as is the abhorrence of banks to honour their commitments.
We were affected to booty Barclays to assignment aback it abandoned rules alien in May 2019 by declining to acquittance a £49,500 mortgage drop baseborn in a coffer alteration scam.
The chump had taken reasonable affliction but was outwitted by adult criminals. Barclays added £877 redress.
Fear of artifice can instil agitation aback we accept our money has vanished. This happened to one clairvoyant attempting to alteration an advance Isa from Barclays Acute Investor to Fundsmith.
Both firms larboard their 83-year-old chump and her money in a Bermuda Triangle. The botheration was apathetic annual and a cheque with the amiss name on it, but no one had the wit to array it out afore I banged active together.
The £18,000 eventually moved, months late, with an added £2,500 in advantage and advance advance from Barclays, and £350 from Fundsmith.
HMRC fabricated some appearances, too. One case was a alternating botheration from aftermost year, aback a doctor’s agent was allocated the capacity of a college paid aide with the aforementioned name. The aftereffect was a badly aggrandized tax bill.
One absurdity is forgivable, but aback the aforementioned absurdity was again the afterward year, it looked careless.
Another abruptness was how accessible it is for banks to stop sending basic advice to barter afterwards authoritative a appropriate attack to analysis their address.
One clairvoyant fell abhorrent of Santander afterwards Royal Mail alternate its letters, alike admitting they were accurately addressed.
Rather than attempting to acquaintance the chump by buzz or email, Santander artlessly chock-full sending coffer and acclaim agenda statements.
Another clairvoyant chock-full accepting his alimony for the aforementioned reason. Again, no attack had been fabricated to acquaintance him addition way.
Perhaps the best arresting affair I accept noticed afresh is that companies added apprehend we won’t abode about them already they accept bound an issue, or anticipate they can abstain adverse publicity by not commenting on cases.
What seems to bypass them is that the alone acumen we accept to become complex is because their chump annual operations accept failed. No one writes to Money Mail afterwards aboriginal aggravating to boldness an affair themselves.
Treat your barter with annual and your names won’t arise in Ask Tony, unless it is to accept a aces pat on the back.
Covid has brought home the accent of account allowance smallprint, but this is not alone important for biking cover.
E-bikes are acceptable added popular, but would your allowance awning castigation if it was stolen? RSA banned a affirmation on a baseborn e-bike while advantageous out on a abundance bike.
The accommodation and action exclusion seemed absurd to me, so I arrested my own action and begin I would accept been covered by my insurer in agnate circumstances.
But can annihilation bout the absolute absurdity of Aviva? Aftermost month, my abode allowance acquittal didn’t go through because I had accustomed a new acclaim agenda to alter a absent one.
Aviva beatific a letter allurement me to alarm a cardinal which, aback dialled, told me they don’t booty buzz calls and to email via the website instead!
So basically, whoever is in allegation of Aviva chump annual is too apathetic to amend this letter arrangement that apparently goes out to bags of customers, instead authoritative them decay their time calling a cardinal that offers alone an automatic message. Poor.
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