Banks help fraudsters but not customers

How is it that fraudsters are able to open multiple accounts to launder the money they steal from bank accounts?  We are now 20 times more likely to be robbed through our online or telephone bank accounts than mugged in the street.   The Office of National Statistics reported last year that there were 5.8 million fraud and computer crimes in the UK in 2015. Hundreds of millions of pounds are stolen each year aided by the ease with which thieves can set up new accounts.  And while fraudsters seem able to open lots of accounts using dodgy documents to cash […]

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The poor and old will still pay too much

The poor, the old and the vulnerable should beware.  Good intentions could cost them dearly.  The government through the energy regulator is capping the price of gas and electricity paid for through prepayment meters.  They also want to solve the housing problem by “persuading” the elderly to leave their family homes and move to special retirement properties or warden-assisted flats. Costs are more than better off customers pay First of all Ofgem reckons that the 4million households with prepayment meters should save around £80 a year from April .   This long awaited measure recommended by the Competition and Markets Authority […]

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Travel industry still exploiting holidaymakers

Exploiting passengers and holidaymakers seems to be the mission statement for the travel industry. Today we hear that some rail companies will make it easier for travelers to get the cheapest fare from later in the year, but not all of them. The way fares are currently charged means that passengers often pay three or four times as much as they need to.  Especially those who buy from the ticket machines. I abandoned the ticket machines in Sussex that never offer the cheapest fare a long time ago and always queue up to buy the best deals or buy online […]

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Claim compensation for rail delays

Claim now and claim often for delays on trains.  Too many commuters and other passengers are letting the rail companies get away with running late trains without claiming what they can.   The companies still do not make it easy but money is available for delays of 15 minutes. The companies are saving £100m a year because travelers do not claim what they can.  With fares up 2.3% this year the compensation can help.   Southern Rail claims it is running a normal service from today, even though ASLEF, the train drivers’ union, and the RMT union is still banning overtime. Southern […]

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Energy bills rise 28%

Just as the cold weather is arriving the cost of my household energy bills are increasing by a whopping 28% and there is more to come.  I am not alone.  Anyone who has been on a fixed price tariff that is coming to an end will find their costs are increasing similarly. And the companies are getting away with it without any adverse publicity because they are not putting up their standard tariffs yet. Their fixed rate tariffs are under the radar, although they have been used by the energy companies to demonstrate that they are not making much profit […]

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Retailers should refund customers for faulty goods

Retailers are keen to get us into their sales and seem to have forgotten about the items we paid good money for before Christmas.   Faulty items are a nuisance so are the customers who bought them.  We all need to tough it out.  Yes it is worth taking things back for a refund. A very small example has caused disgruntlement in Money Fight Club Towers.  A pair of cashmere socks bought as a gift were wrapped up by the sales assistant with the security device still attached.   First of all we were annoyed that the retailer thought so little of […]

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Feudal leasehold contracts trap buyers

Two leasehold triumphs today but there is still a long way to go.   Leasehold, a feudal form of tenure unique to England and Wales has been trapping home-buyers for decades with contracts that cost them dear. Today Taylor Wimpey, the builder, has said that it will no longer build new  leasehold houses with ground rents that can double every ten years. These leases have trapped buyers, who have been unable to sell on their properties. Last year 95% of all new properties sold in London were leasehold  and 670,000 of houses were leasehold in England and Wales, including 2,829 new […]

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Beware supermarket vouchers

We are in Advent.  The trees are up and the Christmas shopping lists are made.  And every time we go to a supermarket we get another voucher offering great riches…or not. You need to be wary not to be conned into spending more than you would normally and to understand how little you will get with some of the offers and how many hoops you will have to go through to get any cash at all. And the stores are probably hope that the lure of points will take your eye off the price of the food on the shelves. […]

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Don’t be fooled by energy companies

Don’t be fooled by the apparent generosity of the energy companies that have frozen the price of gas and electricity until at least the end of the winter. Their marketing people are earning their money with their full page advertisements published on the coldest days so far of this winter telling us that they are not putting prices up.   What the ads did not tell us is that the companies bought their gas electricity in the wholesale markets when prices were much cheaper.   And they are only freezing their already very expensive standard variable rates. They are not however freezing […]

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Energy bills unfair to all

The chancellor announced in his Autumn Statement that the domestic energy bills are to be looked in to by the Government to make sure they are fair to all.  It cannot come a day too soon….and no doubt it will not be soon at all. The company’s tell us that they are making minuscule profits on our energy bills because they have historically used the cheapest tariffs for their calculations.  They could then say their profits were only 4% on a typical customer.  But if they used the standard variable rate it would be much higher. And all this was […]

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