I was horrified when water starting coming through my ceiling, so I rang the British Gas emergency number to report a burst pipe. But what happened next left me in floods of tears.
I chased them several times and someone arrived seven hours later. He said he could not fix it then but would come back after the Bank Holiday. This was at Easter. He suggested putting a bucket under it. I did not sleep that night and came down at 6am to a terrible mess.
I then rang a local plumber in tears. He came within ten minutes and repaired the leak within an hour and charged £80. So having paid British Gas insurance for emergency repairs I had to pay someone else to fix my burst pipe. To add insult to injury I have just received a call — two weeks after the burst pipe — to say someone will come to fix it.
J. S. Poole, Dorset.
Crying shame: British Gas’s plumber said he could not fix the burst pipe then and suggested putting a bucket under it
British Gas says the contracted plumber was at your house for about an hour and a quarter and located the leak under a vanity unit in your bathroom.
I am told he made the floor safe before leaving.
It seems the contractor kept no records of any attempts to reschedule the appointment.
Further delays were due to engineers being furloughed and ‘processes missed’.
So, as far as they knew you could be wading around and facing an inflated water bill.
British Gas has spoken to you to discover the full extent of the work you had to pay for.
Your overall costs were £350, which British Gas will reimburse. A spokesman apologises for the inconvenience and for you having to arrange your own plumber.
In July 2017, my mother was admitted to hospital where she remained until October before moving into a care home.
I had power of attorney so contacted the Department for Work and Pensions to find out how much she needed to pay back from her Attendance Allowance [which helps to pay for carers].
They asked for £498.60. I sent a cheque on November 13 which was cleared on November 29. In 2019 I received a couple of letters saying the amount was still outstanding and threatening debt management.
I checked with the bank and wrote back asking DWP to check their records as the money had been paid.
My mother died on the May 2, 2019 and I received another letter from DWP.
I handed the paperwork to the people dealing with her will, contacted the bank to get a copy of the cheque and passed this over as well.
The estate has only just been settled and I’ve discovered the executors paid the bill again to complete the estate.
P. W., Norwich.
How frustrating to have done everything correctly only for the executors to create another job. Equally frustrating was that the DWP was chasing a bill you had already paid.
DWP admits it made an error and has refunded the £498.60 to you. It has also apologised for the inconvenience and stress this caused.
It says that if any customer wishes to make an enquiry about an Attendance Allowance claim, they can phone 0800 731 0122 or write to Attendance Allowance, Mail Handling Site A, Wolverhampton WV98 2AH.
My daughter went through an insurance comparison website and Halifax came up as the best choice.
In January, her three-year-old threw his toy car which broke the screen on her TV.
Halifax declined her claim on the basis that she had two previous claims made within three years saying they don’t give insurance on that basis.
She explained that she had entered both claims into the comparison site.
This went back and forth with Halifax. The comparison site says Halifax is to blame. My daughter is 37 weeks pregnant with no insurance because a decline on her record makes it far too expensive.
P.M., by email.
While I have some sympathy with your daughter’s situation the facts are these.
The information provided to Halifax was that your daughter made one claim for £1,500 on December 13, 2017 and a second on January 3, 2018.
The second claim was put at zero but in fact there had been a payout.
The policy documents showing this information that Halifax sent to your daughter were clear.
Halifax is adamant that it would not have accepted your daughter as a customer if it had known that two claims had been paid out.
Your daughter paid monthly and one payment of £26.80 has been refunded.
Her option now is to go to the Financial Ombudsman.
Having seen the evidence, I do not rate her chances of challenging Halifax highly.
Your letter serves as reminder that we must all check policy documents sent by insurers to be sure they are correct.
STRAIGHT TO THE POINT
I am 80 and pay for a package deal with Virgin Media which includes broadband, a landline and a wide range of TV channels. When the BBC scraps free TV licences for over-70s, will I have to pay for one of those as well?
If you watch or record live television on any channel, either through your TV or website, then you must have a licence. You also need one to watch shows on BBC iPlayer. From August, you will only be entitled to a free TV licence if you claim pension credit.
I asked NS&I to settle my late mother’s premium bonds and Isa account six weeks ago but have still not received the money.
A. B., Pedmore, West Midlands.
NS&I says it received your claim on April 1 and replied on May 15, asking you to send a Grant of Probate, which it has not yet received. It says it can only make the payment once you have sent this.
My flight was cancelled and I had to fork out £1,784 for another to Mumbai at short notice on top of the £858 I had already paid. I think Expedia should pay me compensation for the stress caused.
D. O., by email
Expedia refunded the cost of the original ticket as it was unable to find you an alternative direct flight. It has suggested contacting the airline you had booked with originally to see if it will consider any out of pocket expenses.
On March 13, I tried to withdraw £200 at my local Sainsbury’s ATM. But while I was putting my card away, the cash was sucked back into the machine. I reported it to my bank, Barclays, but the money has still not been returned.
B. S., Conwy.
Barclays told you that if the money did not appear in your account after 24 hours it would investigate, which can take 12 working days.
It did this and the money has now been repaid. Barclays has also given you £50 for the inconvenience.
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