Columns

5 Things you need to know about consumer credit laws

18 August 2014 - Credit cards, loan agreements and hire agreements are all part of everyday life for most people. It is therefore imperative that you know what laws govern and protect you in relation to these. The law in question is the Consumer Credit Act 1974, amen ... read more »

Your Rights when you use the NHS

03 August 2014 - I keep receiving emails asking me “do I have rights when it comes to the NHS”? The answer is “yes” and the next time you have a cause to use the NHS you really need to know what they are. The NHS Constitution sets out what you ... read more »

Are you being chased for a debt?

27 July 2014 - Every year banks and other financial institutions review their debtor books (i.e.: outstanding customer loans) and decide which ones are proving difficult to collect and therefore unlikely to be repaid in the short-term. These loans are then generall ... read more »

New costs cap to be introduced in relation to Payday loans

23 July 2014 - I am delighted to say that this week has signalled another victory for consumers in the quest to properly regulate payday lenders and to step on their bad practices. The financial regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has therefore announc ... read more »

More delays for flight delay compensation

14 July 2014 - Jet2 puts the breaks on flight delay compensation Last month I wrote about the victory to consumers in relation to flight delay compensation after one brave passenger took on the airline Jet2.com and won. As a result of this case it meant that the ai ... read more »

Don’t get caught out with a second hand car

14 July 2014 - Consumer tips for buying a second hand car Over the past few months I have received lots of emails from readers who have had disasters with faulty second hand cars. Before you buy a second hand car here’s what you need to know: Who are you buyi ... read more »

Five top tips to keep your money safe when jetting away this summer

07 July 2014 - Don’t risk a hol lot of trouble When you’re spending your hard-earned cash on a family holiday, you want it to be perfect, but sadly, that’s always the case. Tens of thousands of families find their summer breaks turn into a nightma ... read more »

How to right a Wonga scam

30 June 2014 - Wonga to pay £2.6m compensation for faked debt firm letters When I started writing for the Sunday Mirror, almost a year ago today, the first thing I wrote about was payday loans – and in particular the bad practices adopted by Wonga. At t ... read more »

Lender to return overpaid loans

29 June 2014 - West Brom Building Society to pay out £2m in compensation Over 7,500 former mortgage customers of the West Bromwich Building Society were overcharged when they redeemed their mortgagees. Here’s what you need to know: Am I affected? If you ... read more »

Tough new Consumer laws

20 June 2014 - Consumer rights shakeup Consumer law changes 2014 Thanks to a new European Law known as “The Consumer Rights Directive” our consumer rights have been considerably strengthened. Under the new rules consumers are given higher levels of prot ... read more »

Jet2 ruling sees delayed customers compensated

16 June 2014 - FLIGHT DELAY COMPENSATION - UPDATE How to get compensation for delayed or cancelled flights from so called extraordinary circumstances We had a real David v Goliath moment this week when a consumer took on an airline (Jet2.com) over its refusal to pa ... read more »

PASSPORT DELAYS – INSURERS BEWARE

15 June 2014 - Holidaymakers may be compensated due to Passport delays Can I get compensation from uk passport delays? Consumers have been suffering a ‘holiday nightmare’ before even stepping foot on a plane in recent months due to long-delays with pass ... read more »

Insist on a fair deal for faulty phones

09 June 2014 - Can I leave my 2 year contract early if my handset is faulty? Have you taken on a new iPhone or similar smart phone recently and, if so, did you agree a two-year contract so that you could get the handset for free? It might seem like a great deal but ... read more »

Short changed by PPI payouts

09 June 2014 - Are you due a slice of the PPI shortfall? Being compensated fully for one of the biggest banking financial rip-offs seems to be a never- ending story. And it still doesn’t look like going away as many people who have had a pay out have been sho ... read more »

How to end your neighbor hell

02 June 2014 - Your legal rights over Problem Neighbours I receive a lot of letters and emails from people whose lives have been made a misery by noisy neighbors. It is a common problem and it can be tricky to deal with. Always try speaking to the neighbor first. I ... read more »

Know your rights if goods are dangerous or unsafe

02 June 2014 - Consumer rights on dangerous goods After reports this week of Bosch and Hotpoint dishwashers catching fire. I was flooded with emails asking about your rights if you buy a faulty item. In some cases the fires have caused substantial damage to homes & ... read more »

Do I have to pay Npower's delayed bills?

23 May 2014 - Energy regulator orders Npower to fix customer bills There have been horror stories about people getting power bills from their old supplier months or even years, after leaving them. But now regulator Ofgem had told Npower it must end the scandal of ... read more »

Go offline with new web rules

19 May 2014 - The Right to be forgotten If you’ve ever googled yourself you’ll know the internet is a wealth of personal information – and not all of it is flattering. But if you fear that information you might not want it to be know to friends, ... read more »

Get on to E.ON for a slice of £12m

18 May 2014 - E.ON “Sorry” for Miss-Selling This is getting like Ground hog Day, with me telling you yet again about a mis-selling scandal involving a household name. The regulator Ofgem has concluded that energy suppler E.ON failed to have in place su ... read more »

Aviva 'sorry' for you confusion

13 May 2014 - Confusion over Aviva's payouts for past underpayments Many of you have written to me saying you are confused about Aviva’s payouts for past policy underpayments. You’ve said that even though you think you might have a claim you have n ... read more »

Halal Suppliers could be sued

12 May 2014 - What are my consumer rights over mis-labeled Halal meat? One of the big stories of the week has been about some supermarkets, restaurants and takeaways using Halal meat without telling us. I has been reported that big names including Pizza Express, A ... read more »

OFT tells Debt management firms to clean up act

09 May 2014 - Debt rogues on borrowed time Debt management firms told to clean up act Debt management firms have been told to clean up their act by the financial regulator. The Financial Conduct Authority says too many firms are encouraging people to sign up to ex ... read more »

Don't let fraud catch you out

09 May 2014 - How can I protect myself from being scammed? If you're elderly or struggling financially you're facing what Citizens Advice calls an "invasion" of scams - online, by phone, through your letterbox and on your doorstep. May is Scam Aw ... read more »

Refunds are on the cards

28 April 2014 - Mis-sold CPP card protection: Claim your refunds Last year I wrote about card protection policies which had been mis-sold by banks and how many people who signed up for them were owned compensation. A scheme was set up so that, if customers and the H ... read more »

You've got the power to save

14 April 2014 - Save hundreds on your energy bills through collective switching Many of you have told me you're struggling to pay your gas and electricity bills In fact, since I wrote about Ofgem's investigation into the big six suppliers. I've been inun ... read more »

I'd steer clear of logbook lenders

13 April 2014 - How risky are logbook loans? Logbook loans are promoted as a fast and easy way to borrow money without going through a credit check. Like payday loans they attract crazy interest rates - typically 300 percent - but the difference is you have to put u ... read more »

New rules make bad lenders pay

07 April 2014 - New rules govern dodgy payday lenders Despite all their vows, many payday lenders are still reneging on promises and breaking the rules – and it’s the customers who suffer. The good news is that this week the Financial Conduct Authority ( ... read more »

Lloyds bank uses loophole to shortchange PPI claimants

07 April 2014 - Mis-sold? Now don't miss out If you won a pay-out after being mis-sold a PPI policy you’re probably delighted with the extra cash – but you might have been short-changed. Customers who received a payment from Lloyds Banking Group &nda ... read more »

Ofgem's investigation into the Big Six energy providers is long overdue for consumers

31 March 2014 - Ofgem's investigation into the Big Six energy providers The the energy regulator Ofgem has finally got tough with the 'Big Six' providers and referred them for a full competition investigation. So what does this ­actually mean and how ... read more »

Don't let a trim be a saw point - Your rights on overhanging trees

17 March 2014 - Know your rights when your neighbours tree overhangs in your garden If your neighbour’s tree overhangs your garden it can be tempting to give it a trim – especially if it blocks out all-too-rare sunshine. I’ve had lots of questions ... read more »

It's still not too late to make a compensation claim if you were mis-sold PPI

10 March 2014 - Can I still reclaim Payment Protection Insurance? Over the past few weeks I’ve had lots of people asking me if they can still reclaim payment ­protection insurance (PPI) premiums. The short answer is yes, if the policy was mis-sold to you a ... read more »

Help me clean up payday loan hell

09 March 2014 - Don't suffer payday loan hell in silence Payday lenders are still giving consumers plenty to be wary of despite being pressurised to clean up their act. I have written and campaigned extensively about payday loans over the past year and I am plea ... read more »

Big six give your cash back to you

24 February 2014 - How to get YOUR money back from the bank accounts of the Big Six energy firms Read your meter: Get an accurate measure of your energy use Gas and electricity firms love you to pay by direct debit and that does mean you have one less bill to remember ... read more »

Power cuts? - Get the compensation that you are entitled to

09 January 2014 - Electricity suppliers are set to pay out millions in compensation to its customers following the power cuts, which many people experienced during the flooding. If you have been left without power you may be entitled to compensation, here’s what ... read more »

Changes to flight delay compensation announced – but when are they landing?

02 January 2014 - I have written about flight delay compensation fairly extensively this year as it is a subject that touches many people, obviously meaning that flight delays are very common. I have also heard hundreds of stories about your delays and more importantl ... read more »

Beware of the Store cards this Christmas

23 December 2013 - Millions of people will have turned to credit this year to cover the cost of Christmas and many of those will have succumb to the sales patter convincing you to take out a store card. Many high street retailers therefore tempt customers to sign up to ... read more »

Christmas shopping - Your rights when shopping in store

20 December 2013 - Know your Consumer Rights this Christmas It’s that time of year again when we are all in a shopping frenzy leading up to Christmas. It is therefore important that you know your consumer rights. Here’s what you need to know when shopping & ... read more »

Another Banking scandal - Lloyds Banking Group fined a record £28 million

16 December 2013 - Yet another story about a bank ‘mis-selling’ has hit the news This time the Lloyds Banking Group, which includes Lloyds TSB, the Bank of Scotland and Halifax, have been fined a record £28 million by the Financial Conduct Authority a ... read more »

Be Internet Zavvi - Your rights on good delivered by accident

13 December 2013 - Zavvi threatens customers with legal action after delivering wrong goods I have received lots of emails this week about the online store Zavvi. Shoppers who ordered the PS Vita game, which costs £19.99, got a surprised when the goods were deliv ... read more »

A Step closer to proper regulation of the payday lenders

01 December 2013 - Payday loan Interest rates will be caped under new rules I have written extensively about Payday lenders where my message has always been that there is a place in the market for them but they must treat consumers fairly and must be tightly regulated. ... read more »

Beware of Gift Vouchers This Christmas

24 November 2013 - Giver beware - Christmas gift vouchers could become worthless Many of you will either be considering purchasing or will have already purchased a gift voucher as a present for someone this Christmas. However, what many people do not realise is that wh ... read more »

Snow your Employment rights this Christmas

14 November 2013 - Ice Work if you can get there Severe weather has been forecast for the lead up to Christmas and in fact snow has been predicted for as early as next week. This will therefore mean schools closures, travel disruption and issues with getting to work. S ... read more »

Bank insurance mis-selling - CPP card protection

10 November 2013 - CPP SAFEGUARD YOUR CLAIM Several weeks ago I wrote about card protection policies being the subject of the latest mis-selling scandals by the banks. Since then those who took out CPP would have received a letter explaining about the compensation sche ... read more »

Do you know about Home Heat Helpline?...thought not

25 October 2013 - The Home Heat Helpline This week saw the launch of the Home Heat Helpline campaign, backed by Energy UK - which represents the energy companies. The campaign launches as new research shows that hundreds of thousands of households will be left in poor ... read more »

Protection from energy being cut off for the elderly, financially hard-up and people that are unwell

16 September 2013 - Don’t let your energy supplier leave you out in the cold Most of the UK’s energy suppliers are signed up to something called “The Energy UK Safety Net” and as such have pledged to never knowingly disconnect a vulnerable custom ... read more »

Flight Delay Compensation - update on how far back you are entitled to claim

08 September 2013 - Flight delay compensation- how far back you can claim Have you tried to claim compensation for a delayed or cancelled flight only to receive a letter from the airline stating that you cannot claim as you are outside of the 2 year limitation period? I ... read more »

Top tips for tenants - What you need to know

29 August 2013 - Tips on Tenants rights - A fact sheet for your rights and obligations You are likely to be an assured shorthold tenant if your landlord is a private landlord and the tenancy began on or after the 28th February 1997 and the house or flat is let as sep ... read more »

Bankruptcy Q&A

28 August 2013 - What is bankruptcy? Bankruptcy is a formal court procedure which can be started by you or by someone that you owe money to (your “Creditors”). Once you have been made bankrupt, you don't have to deal with your Creditors. An official c ... read more »

Ten top tips if you have been delayed while on holiday

06 August 2013 - How to get compensation if you have been delayed by train, plane or coach Did you know that there is a full set of passenger rights for all modes of public transport? These rights cover the entirety of the EU. You are covered irrespective of whether ... read more »

Save Legal Aid - Our campaign with the Sunday Mirror

05 August 2013 - Save Legal Aid - Legal Aid cuts - No to PCT The Legal Aid system was introduced in the 1950’s after World War Two and was designed to provide a safety net for those who could not afford to pay privately for legal assistance and therefore was su ... read more »

Your PPI questions answered - top ten

29 July 2013 - Lots of questions about PPI this week, here’s the top 10: 1. I cannot find any paperwork, can I still claim? Yes. You are entitled to request a copy of the paperwork from the lender. To obtain this you simply have to write to the lender and req ... read more »

How much can letting agents charge in fees? How to complain if you are overcharged

29 July 2013 - Don’t get ripped off by a Letting Agent The lettings market is booming as more and more first time buyers struggle to get on the property ladder and others struggle to obtain a mortgage and therefore turn to rented accommodation. As always, whe ... read more »

Financial crisis hits disabled people the hardest

25 July 2013 - Financial crisis deepens for disabled people The financial crisis is hitting disabled people disproportionately hard with many of them having to resort to using doorstep loans to make ends meet. A recent study from the disability charity Scope has re ... read more »

Employee owner contracts explained - Would you trade your employment rights for shares?

25 July 2013 - Should I think about signing up to employee share ownership? The Government is attempting to create a new employment status of worker who owns shares in their company in return for having fewer employment rights, though they will retain their right t ... read more »

What to consider if you are planning on driving in Europe this summer

24 July 2013 - A Guide to driving abroad this summer Driving your own car - Does your current car insurance cover you abroad? You need to check if your insurance covers driving abroad and if it does for how many days per year. You also need to check if third party ... read more »

Employment rights - how hot is too hot to work?

17 July 2013 - I have had heat stroke as a result of hot working conditions - What are my rights? The rules covering workplace temperatures place a legal obligation upon employers to provide a “reasonable” environment in the workplace. The rules are lef ... read more »

New Passenger rights - better protection for bus and coach travel

27 June 2013 - Everyone's belts are tightening this Summer and holidaying in England is becoming increasingly popular. Companies like National Express and Megabus provide affordable long haul transport to the entire country. Did you know that if you book a bus ... read more »

Consumer Bill of Rights - Good but more is needed

16 June 2013 - The consumer bill of rights 2013 - more rights against cowboy builders At present consumer laws are contained within 8 complicated pieces of legislation, some of which dates back to the 70s. As a result the current laws are difficult for consumers to ... read more »

Avoid a holiday nightmare - know your rights

14 June 2013 - How can I protect myself while booking a holiday? Tips when booking a holiday to protect your consumer rights We are fast approaching the holiday season and with this being the case many of you will be spending you’re hard earned cash on family ... read more »

Don't get stung with a big mobile phone bill when abroad

02 June 2013 - Vodafone have charged me a hundred pounds while on holiday? What are my rights? Have you got back from being away abroad only to find that your smartphone or mobile broadband operator has stung you with a massive bill for your holiday usage? For many ... read more »

Domestic violence definition widens from 31 March

28 March 2013 - In a dramatic shake-up the definition of domestic abuse is to be widened from the 31st of March to encompass a wide range of coercive or threatening behavior. From now on men and women who bully their partners by verbally abusing them, taking control ... read more »

Loan sharks problems - what are your legal rights?

18 January 2013 - What are my rights when dealing with loan sharks? Loan Sharks, otherwise known as "illegal money lenders" are on the increase as consumers find it more and more difficult to obtain loans from high street banks. Whilst they may seem like the ... read more »

Don't let claims companies take your Uniform Tax Rebate

14 January 2013 - Uniform tax rebate for washing your own uniform If you wear a uniform or protective clothing at work, and have to wash it yourself you can claim tax relief of up to £60 a year. There are also other tax-deductible expenses you may be able to cla ... read more »

Protecting your consumer rights this holiday season

14 January 2013 - How can I protect myself while booking a holiday? Tips when booking a holiday to protect your consumer rights We are fast approaching the holiday season and with this being the case many of you will be spending you’re hard earned cash on family ... read more »

Another banking horror story!

30 December 2012 - 'The cash machine took back my money' What to do if you are charged for a withdrawal but didn't receive the money. Over the past few years it feels like we have heard one shocking story after the other involving banks treating its custome ... read more »

I'm having Difficulties with Re-mortgaging? My consumer rights

23 November 2012 - As with energy supplies there is always a better mortgage deal on the market which can save you money long-term as well as lowering your monthly costs. However, if you have had the same mortgage for some time you may be surprised how difficult it has ... read more »

Government Energy proposals - what does it mean to you?

21 November 2012 - As consumers we have all had a fairly bad deal when it comes to gas and electricity prices in recent years. In this respect we have had an energy market full of overly complicated tariffs which most consumers simply could not fully understand and to ... read more »

Have you suffered flight cancellations due to Hurricane Sandy - know your rights

29 October 2012 - The majority of flights to and from the East coast of America have been cancelled due to the news of Hurricane Sandy. This is devastating news for those who were planning on travelling to the US on holiday for the half-term break, but if this has aff ... read more »

What you need to know about European Health Insurance Card

24 October 2012 - The European Health Insurance Card or EHIC provides UK residence access to reduced or free state – provided medical care while on holiday in the European Economic Area. Including Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. The EHIC is compl ... read more »

Are you paying too much for Gas and Electricity?

18 October 2012 - Energy saving tips for homes It’s that time of year again when we start to consider energy prices and more importantly when people who cannot afford to heat their homes really suffer. This is also a really topical subject this week due to the G ... read more »

Starbucks told investors one thing and the UK tax man another

17 October 2012 - The news agency Reuters has uncovered, after a four-month investigation, that in the last 14 years the global brand has only paid £8.6 million in tax in the UK. It has been reported that the coffee giant told investors on the one hand that the ... read more »

Universal Credit: '500,000 disabled people could stand to lose out'

17 October 2012 - Join us in asking the government to reconsider Universal Credit Welfare reform Universal Credit is a new benefits system set to replace a number of key current benefits, including some Income Support; Income based Job Seekers Allowance, Housing Benef ... read more »

British Gas bills to increase by £100.00

11 October 2012 - British Gas raises gas and electricity prices We hate to say it but there is more heartache for consumers on the way. The Evening Standard have therefore this evening (11 October) reported that British Gas is set to announce a rise in energy prices o ... read more »

Sky announce 18% price increase of its line rental

11 October 2012 - Sky price rise December 2012: Your Right to switch If it is not bad enough that the energy suppliers are set to increase prices it has now emerged that Sky are set to increase the price of its telephone line rental by a wopping 18 per cent! As a resu ... read more »

Earn £4,250 a year TAX FREE from your home

02 October 2012 - Households could generate £65 billion of income ‘tax free’ each year by taking advantage of the Rent a Room scheme Times are obviously still hard for the vast majority of people and with this being the case it is advisable to look a ... read more »

How to minimise the risk of falling victim to skiing holiday fraud

01 October 2012 - Minimise the risks of falling victim to skiing holiday fraud It is that time of year where consumers are starting to book ski holidays and this means that the scammers are out in force, trying all sorts of tricks to con unsuspecting people looking to ... read more »

National minimum wage set to increase

26 September 2012 - The national minimum wage, which employers must pay their employees, will increase from 1st October 2012. The main rate for workers aged 21 and over will increase from £6.08 per hour to £6.19 per hour and apprenticeship rate will increase ... read more »

An end to cheaper car insurance for women

25 September 2012 - Millions of women drivers could face paying an extra £362 a year for their car insurance after a ruling by the European courts. The increase follows a decision that men cannot be charged more for their policies than women and is due to take eff ... read more »

New Child Benefit Scheme

23 September 2012 - New Child Benefit Scheme will affect 1.2 million families On 7 January 2013 a new Child Benefit Scheme is being introduced which will affect 1.2 million families. Who is affected? If you or your partner earn more than £50,000 per year you will ... read more »

Cohabitation - know your rights

17 September 2012 - Cohabitation – Know your rights There is a big misconception that if you live with someone for a period of time you automatically get legal rights. If you have just been living together then you should be aware that there is no such thing in En ... read more »

My mobile phone is broken but its out of warranty - what do I do?

17 September 2012 - My mobile phone is faulty, what can I do? This is becoming an increasing problem, especially with iPhones. Here’s the scenario which for many people will sound familiar. You go to a shop to buy an iPhone and you get told that you can have the i ... read more »

Natwest glitch - What are your real legal your rights

17 September 2012 - THOSE AFFECTED BY THE NATWEST GLITCH HAVE RIGHTS – DEAN DUNHAM OF consumeruk.COM EXPLAINS…. Bank says it does not know when systems will be running normally again after IT meltdown Millions of NatWest bank customers have been hit by one ... read more »

Doorstep selling - What are my rights? campaign -Office of Fair Trading

17 September 2012 - DO YOU KNOW YOU’RE RIGHTS WHEN SOMEONE SELLS YOU SOMETHING AT YOUR DOORSTEP? What are my rights? What's the Doorstep selling Law? Doorstep selling is when a salesperson sells you goods or services in your home or on your doorstep. If you sp ... read more »

Energy suppliers - your rights

17 September 2012 - Your rights with energy suppliers There is no getting away from it, we all need and reply upon energy suppliers as water, electricity and in some cases gas all form part of our basic living needs. It is probably therefore no surprise that energy pric ... read more »
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