Frozen out and cashless

It is a nightmare of modern banking.  You want to pay a bill or withdraw cash and you find the bank has frozen all your accounts with no explanation. Frozen bank accounts are the subject I get more complaints about than any other.  Customers are left helpless unable to pay their regular bills or to get cash. More importantly they cannot find out why their accounts are frozen. The situation has become worse during the pandemic as bank staff are working from home or even been furloughed so there is no one to answer phones when customers try to find […]

Read More…

No money, no panic, but only just

While we are using less cash we are increasingly dependent on cash machines as bank branches reduce their hours or have closed during the pandemic. Only 6% of payments are made in cash nowadays but it is useful to have a few folding plastic notes to hand for tips or taxis. Down to my last £20 I stopped at the machine outside my local supermarket. Card was accepted, so was the personal identification number. I opted for cash with receipt and the machine whirred, and whirred. A queue formed behind me – at a social distance – and the man […]

Read More…

Leasehold and train battles continue

Two successes but we have to make sure we do not allow ourselves to go soft and stop fighting.   The Government has announced that it plans to ban builders from selling new houses as leasehold.  At Money Fight Club, in the Financial Times and on Share Radio I have long campaigned for the feudal leasehold system to be reformed.  The Leasehold Knowledge Partnership has also been brilliant. Sajid Javid late last night announced that the market was broken and was harming home buyers.  Builders and the companies that make fat profits from buying freeholds from property developers to inflate […]

Read More…

Read the small print or get conned

We all do it.  Tick the box stating that we have read and agree the terms and conditions before placing an order.   Mostly we get away with it, but in the last week or so I have come across several dodgy contracts produced to make extra money for the business at the expense of the customer. The first example was a hotel in South London that a relative booked for two nights.  He paid the £126 cost, but did not actually end up using the room or even visiting it.  A good deal for the hotel you might think. […]

Read More…

Commuters should fight back at reduced service

Commuters need to fight back. Southern Rail has decided to officially reduce its service.  Nothing to do with the year long strike.  Nothing to do with lack of demand.  No it is because Southern appears to believe that it runs the trains for its convenience and not as a service to the hundreds of thousands of commuters, who pay heavily for the privilege. The rail company has decided to cut the late trains from both Victoria and Brighton and to cut the first trains from Brighton.  Southern had recently  been providing a service with fewer cancellations apart from when its […]

Read More…

Beware stealth price rises

As you make a shopping list for the Easter supermarket shop this weekend remember two things.  Supermarkets are increasing prices by stealth and that could be why Tesco could report a 30% increase in profits this week. While milk and bread are likely to be the same as last week and the week before those items you buy infrequently could well cost more.  I reckon that for every reduction there are two bigger increases in other aisles.  Then there is the regular yo-yo pricing that has everyday items such as loo rolls or mayonnaise moving up and down week by […]

Read More…

Prices are rising fast but official index misleads

Inflation is rising fast, but the Government and the supermarkets would have us believe that prices are not soaring above earnings.  Experts tell us we are mistaken when we think our weekly shop is more expensive. Today we are told that prices in the newly configured inflation basket have increased by 2.3% year on year.   That is according to the official consumer price index invented a few years ago and according to the new CPIH index that includes the economists’ take on the cost of owning a home unveiled today was also exactly the same as the CPI, which does […]

Read More…

Unfair contract traps to be outlawed

Hidden traps in consumer contracts that cause us to pay out far more than we expect  and for longer are to be outlawed in next week’s Budget according to Government pre-briefing. But don’t hold your breathe it is likely to take years for businesses that have spent decades devising new ways to con us to reform. They will kick and scream and be in denial about what they have been doing and legislation will probably take longer than Brexit  so prepare for an avalanche of unfair tricks to part us from our money in the meantime. We will have to […]

Read More…

Motor insurance set to rise

Motor insurance is set to rise again after another Government announcement.  The insurance industry has been given another excuse to increase premiums just  months after the Chancellor announced another increase in the tax on insurance premiums adding around £25 to premiums.    Now an average increase of £50 to £75 is on the way thanks to the new way that compensation for accident victims will be calculated. The insurance industry is rubbing its hands with glee and  telling us how much more we will have to pay because compensation payments to those seriously injured will increase under a new formula […]

Read More…