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Jersey Consumer Council

Author: Consumer Council

Contactless Payments – Guidance

April 20, 2017 Banking No Comments
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Contactless Payments – Guidance

What are contactless payments?

Contactless payments allow you to make fast and secure payments for amounts up to £30 just by touching your card on the card reader.

You do not need to enter your four digit Personal Identification Number (PIN). You can make payments with debit, credit, or prepaid cards, which have the following contactless symbol: Other methods of contactless payment include mobile phone apps and wearable devices (wristbands and watches).

Some UK card providers are not currently issuing contactless payment cards, and contactless card readers are not available at all retailers.

Are contactless payments safe?

• They offer the same level of fraud protection as standard Chip and Pin transactions.
• You no longer have to enter your PIN for purchases of £30 and under. However, from time to time, you may be prompted to enter your PIN as a security measure. This is to verify you are the authorised cardholder and are in possession of your card.
• If your card is lost or stolen you may be protected against fraudulent activity and will not be liable for any losses incurred. However, if you have given your card to someone, you could be found liable.

Tips

• If you carry more than one card in your purse or wallet, take your contactless card out to make the payment. This will ensure the correct card is debited.
• Going contactless does not mean you should go without a receipt. Always accept the offer of a receipt, or request one if you are not automatically given one. This will make it easier to return goods if necessary.
• If you are not comfortable using a contactless card, or have concerns about fraud, contact your bank to enquire about their ‘opt-out’ service. Most banks offer this facility, but terms and conditions may vary.

FAQs

Q: Is it possible for a thief to copy my card information?
A: Although the risks are low, it is possible. A device would probably need to be very close to your card before a thief could copy your details without you knowing.

Q: Is it possible to make an accidental purchase?
A: It is possible to accidently pay for something without meaning to, but only when you are very close to a card reader. The cashier would need to have activated the terminal, which would reduce the chance of accidental payments being taken.

Q: If I present my card to the reader twice, will I be charged twice?
A: No, the reader will only take one payment per transaction.

Q: Can I use the contactless function to get money out at a cash machine?
A: No, you will need to enter your PIN each time you use a cash machine.


Digital Assets

April 20, 2017 Home life No Comments
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Digital Assets … Spare them a thought

Digital assets should be viewed as a form of property. They can be transferred or bequeathed to those who you wish to receive them by way of a will.

What you will need to consider

Unlike physical property, digital assets are intangible and invisible. The rights of ownership, control and access of digital assets are intertwined with complexities of privacy and security protection as laid out in various service provider policies. It is therefore a good idea to check these before you consider leaving digital assets in your will. Your digital legacy should be divided into ‘digital assets’ and your ‘digital presence’.

Digital assets

will include your music, film and book collections that that you have bought and downloaded online as well as any online bank accounts or investments that you may hold.

Digital presence

includes any social media accounts, e-mail or personal websites which make up your online footprint. In the case of digital presence, many people want to be able to shut down the online accounts of loved ones after their death but may struggle to do so because of the terms of the account’s policy.

Planning ahead

It would be extremely useful for your Executor if you could leave a list of your digital assets, details of your digital presence and a list of all of your online shopping accounts with your will or with a loved one. You will then have dealt with your digital legacy as carefully as you have dealt with your tangible assets.


Funeral costs comparison

March 28, 2017 Money Matters No Comments
Funeral

Funeral costs comparison


Death should not be a topic which we all avoid discussing – it is best to talk about death regardless of your age; remember it is a fact of life and your funeral service shouldn’t leave your family in debt.

We would recommend that you visit each of the Funeral Directors in Jersey to view their premises
and meet the staff who would be caring for your family. Each business offers bespoke personalised services and your relationship with the Funeral Director is really important throughout the planning and service stages.

“Understandable lack of shopping around by consumers at their lowest ebb, and an industry where costs can be opaque; the reality is a huge range in pricing, which could potentially save consumers hundreds of pounds”

Simon Cox, Consumer Protection Proposition Lead, Royal London Group1 SunLife’s annual 2016 report titled ‘The Cost of Dying’ is the fastest rising of any fixed cost in the UK – rising much faster than living costs, such as rent, food, utilities, insurance or clothing: ‘the funeral – which makes up 44% of the cost of dying – has soared by 5.5% in a single year. The average funeral in the UK now costs £3,897 which is more than double what it was when SunLife first started tracking funeral prices in 2004’.

Read more


Mar 2017 Edtn 82 JCC Newsletter

March 12, 2017 Newsletters No Comments
ersey Consumer Council Newsletter March 2017

Top Tips for employing builders or tradesmen…

Having building, general maintenance or home improvement work done can be difficult and stressful. It is important that you develop a positive and honest relationship with those undertaking work for you; the tips listed below will help you achieve that. Do not be afraid to ask lots of questions, do your research and know exactly.

Read more…


Christmas Planner

November 29, 2016 Top tips No Comments
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Christmas Time

Do you feel under pressure and tempted to spend money that you cannot afford at Christmas? To help you stay within your budget, the Consumer Council has put together a food and present planner.

If you use this or any planner, you are less likely to exceed your budget, and your money should go further.

Can’t print it? We can pop a copy in the post to you. Please call on 611161 or email us at jcc@jerseyconsumercouncil.org.je

Read more…


DEC 2016 EDTN 81

November 24, 2016 Newsletters No Comments
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Yuletide Puddings & PriceWatch

we taste tested 4 budget and 4 slightly more luxurious Christmas Puddings from our local supermarkets – Now it is your turn to see if you agree with our testers!

Heading out for a festive meal? Can a Service Charge be added to your drinks bill? Equip yourself with the knowledge to fully understand service charges.

We have joined forces with Trading Standards to list out Ten Tips to help survive Christmas

The Channel Island Financial Ombudsman has been in operation for a year now and the latest results show just what you have been complaining about and whether they can help or not.

Fancy joining us for one of our #free lunchtime seminars? The next topics include Financial Mis-Selling, Long Term Care, Curatorships, Consumer Protection, SCAMS and more….

Read More…


Scary but Safe

October 21, 2016 Consumer Skills, Health Matters, Home life No Comments
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In the build up to Halloween, the Fire and Rescue Service and Trading Standards are reminding parents to


check Halloween costumes for the CE mark,

• always follow instructions and safety information,

• avoid naked flames by replacing candles with LED equivalents, and

• make parents and children aware of what to do if any costume or clothing catches fire – ‘stop, drop and roll’

Background

The safety of children’s costumes, in particular Halloween costumes, came to the attention of the public and gained prominence in 2014 when television presenter Claudia Winkleman’s 8 year old daughter was severely burned after her witch costume caught fire, having been in contact allegedly with or close proximity to a lit candle inside of a pumpkin.

In September 2015 a nationwide investigation into the safety of children’s fancy dress costumes was commissioned.
These costumes currently have to comply with toys safety standards. The standards do not require costumes to be non-flammable, but the rate at which they burn has to be within an acceptable range, and where applicable relevant warnings are present, to minimise the risk.

Results of the 2015 investigation

A program of sampling was co-ordinated and of the 309 samples submitted for testing, 80% passed.
Of those that failed, 14 costumes were too close to the prescribed limit so they were recorded and neither pass nor fail.

47 costumes failed.
10 of these were technical failures due to the absence of warnings.
37 were due to the rate of spread and therefore unacceptable failures.

Trading Standards up and down the UK have been working with suppliers to improve the compliance rate.

An interesting fact to come out of the investigation was that the cost of the outfit had no real bearing on compliance. Therefore cheaper costumes did not result in more failures.

There was also little difference in the failure rate when sampling costumes purchased through UK local or national retailers.

A number of national retailers now voluntarily ensure their costumes meet higher standards contained within the Children’s Nightwear standard.

Advice to parents


In the run up to Halloween, the advice is to avoid naked flames, replace candles with LED equivalents and to make parents and children aware of just what they should do in the event of a costume, or any article of clothing for that matter, catching alight through the Fire and Rescue Service’s advice of ‘stop, drop and roll’.


SEP 2016 EDTN 80

September 26, 2016 Newsletters No Comments
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Islands Pricewatch, Insurance Tax and 16 lunchtime talks to choose from…

Islands Pricewatch

We collected 103 prices across 9 items. Jersey was the most expensive for 8 out of the 9 items; and also cheapest for 5 out of the 9 items (notably three of these were at Rosedale Stores Gorey; whilst limited stocks last).

Insurance Tax

Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) is a UK tax applied to general insurance premiums. There are two rates. Standard at 9.5% and a higher rate of 20% for travel insurance, mechanical / electrical appliances insurance and some vehicle insurance.

16 lunchtime talks to choose from…

We are pleased to offer the following ‘free’ lunchtime talks. The talks all run between 13:10 – 13:50. These sessions will be informative yet informal – you are welcome to bring your lunch.

Read more…


Seeing your Doctor?

September 7, 2016 Health Matters, Home life No Comments
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Seeing your Doctor?

Here are a few tips…to make the most of your time with your Doctor

Be Prepared…lists will always help and read them out at the start of your appointment. This helps the doctor to see the whole picture and to avoid leaving the embarrassing ailment until you are about to leave.

Try to pre-empt your doctor’s routine questions, prepare answers for: ‘how long has it been going on? Have you had it before and has anyone in the family had the same thing? And be specific and upfront about your history.

A symptom diary can help; these are helpful for tracking times when symptoms hit.

Your doctor may ask you to return to discuss one of your problems – it maybe that he or she feels that it deserves more time and a more detailed evaluation. A repeat visit will almost certainly incur a further charge.


Are you paying unnecessary IPT?

September 7, 2016 Insurances No Comments
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Are you paying unnecessary IPT?

Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) is a UK tax applied to general insurance premiums. There are two rates. 
Standard at 9.5% and a higher rate of 20% for travel insurance, mechanical / electrical appliances insurance and some vehicle insurance.

Premiums for risks located outside the UK are usually exempt. Therefore if you are taking out an insurance policy with a UK supplier, ask about exempting IPT before you enter into the contract or renewal.

Some suppliers may ask you to fill out an IPT exemption declaration form confirming your residential status as being permanently outside of the UK for the period of insurance. It is likely that you will have to return this before the supplier deducts the IPT. Ask what the arrangements are before you sign up or renew. In most cases they will not refund retrospective overpayments.

3 Recent Case Studies
Mick and Pam have private medical insurance. They are automatically charge IPT even though the supplier knows they are non-UK residents. In the past, they used to send Mick an IPT exemption form to fill out with their annual renewal. When it was returned they would send out a revised renewal with the IPT removed. They have stopped this practice and it is now down to Mick to request and send in this form on renewal and he will not receive a reminder. Remembering to follow these steps on renewal has reduced their premiums by £60 per month, although the provider will not entertain a retrospective refund for the couple of years Mick did not realise he was being charged IPT.

Vicky and her friends required travel insurance for a European holiday. As they booked through one particular operator, they opted for their travel insurance which was available online (through a third party provider). After obtaining a quotation, Vicky resisted the temptation to pay there and then. Instead, she called the provider giving her quotation reference and asked for the IPT to be deducted. After a little convincing and reference to their own website to prove the policy extends to Jersey, the provider was happy to take payment over the phone for the insurance cover less the IPT and the insurance policy was then emailed to Vicky.


Finally, Rob had experienced a few problems with hire cars. On one occasion he refuelled his hire car with the wrong type of fuel which turned out to be a costly mistake! He was also concerned that he would have a high insurance excess but felt the additional insurance available on the hire car desk seemed to him to be excessive (often referred to as Excess Waiver Insurance, Super CDW). As he was likely to hire other vehicles in the coming year he decided to look into an annual car hire excess insurance policy. He found one online that included £6,000 towards the hire car excess, £1000 towards misfuelling and other key benefits. Whilst ‘checking out’ he couldn’t see how IPT could be deducted. He sent the provider an email enquiry and they came back to him advising that if he took out the policy and sent them the policy number and the last 4 digits of the payment card used to pay for the policy, they would be happy to refund the IPT within 5 working days. Rob is now driving his hire car safe in the knowledge that he has comprehensive annual European car hire excess cover but also paid a reasonable price less the IPT!

Check out your insurance policies and let us know if you are paying unnecessary UK IPT. How much can you save?