Tag: top tips
A little-known flaw in the Consumer Credit Act may put Jersey shoppers at risk of losing their money if things go wrong.
Under Section 75 of the UK Consumer Credit Act, shoppers who make payments between £100 and £30,000 on a credit card can get their money back if the goods turn out to be faulty, not as described or don’t arrive. The UK law makes the retailer and credit card company jointly liable. Jersey consumers usually benefit from this protection due to terms and conditions reflecting the UK Consumer Credit Act.
However, a little-known loophole revealed by a MoneySavingExpert means that consumers will only be reimbursed if there is a direct link between the customer, their credit card provider and the supplier. If the payment is processed by a third-party company then the protection under Section 75 does not apply.
So, if you bought a concert ticket through an agent on a credit card, you may not be able to get your money back using Section 75 if it doesn’t arrive.
The same may apply if you booked a holiday through a travel agent. However, the travel industry may very well have their own financial protection schemes in place.
You may also not be covered for credit card transactions made through online payment platforms, such as PayPal, because it breaks the chain between customer and supplier. However, if the firm you’re buying from has a “Commercial Entity Agreement” you’ll be able to make a claim under Section 75 even if you use PayPal. PayPal has its own Buyer Protection scheme. This covers online purchases made on eBay and other websites if the item does not arrive or match the seller’s description. Property, vehicles, custom-made items and industrial machinery are among some items that are not guaranteed.
Amazon is another firm where Section 75 may not apply. Shoppers who buy items on a credit card from third-party suppliers on the online marketplace will not be covered. If you buy directly from Amazon then you could make a claim.
Confused, it is not surprising! Trading Standards offers the following advice:
- Know who you are buying from and who will take your payment
- Wherever possible put payments on your credit card
- If you are entitled to protection, you are still covered even if a small proportion, part payment or deposit was paid using your card
- When things go wrong, don’t delay. If you don’t have Section 75 protection you may alternative protection through platform buyer protection schemes, but these are often time limited.
Free confidential consumer advice is available from Trading Standards on 448162 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also drop in, they are in the Central Market under the clock.
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’.
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.
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.
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
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’.
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.
The Jersey Financial Services Commission has launched a campaign this year to raise awareness in respect of the mis-selling of financial products. Of particular concern are cases when individuals with limited resources and little or no knowledge of complex investments have been advised to invest in high-risk products that are suitable for sophisticated and experienced investors only.
Here are some key points to remember when taking advise about a financial investment:
- You may have a good relationship with your investment adviser but remember, ultimately this is a business transaction. In a small community, the lines between business and friendship can easily blur. Are you too close to the person advising you?
- Assess the advice on the merits. Do you properly and fully understand what the risks are: Can you clearly explain those risks to a family member or friend in just a few short sentences?
- Most members of the public are retail customers and not sophisticated investors – is the product been put forward for your consideration intended for the retail market or is it only suitable for sophisticated and experienced investors? If you don’t know the answer to this question, ask.
- If you are invited to sign documents, make sure you have read and understood the contents of those documents. If you need more time, you are entitled to take it. Has your investment adviser set out in writing the key risk factors relating to your product? Do you agree with the risk profile that has been ascribed to you by your adviser? If you disagree, say so.
- If you are advised to cash in early a relatively low risk investment or a pension, be extremely careful before agreeing to do so. This is particularly so if you are at or near retirement age.
- Take a step back and ask: does it sound too good to be true?
The Financial Services Ombudsman is able to adjudicate on complaints arising from the mis-selling of financial products and the obvious advantage of this system is that the investor does not incur costs by engaging the Ombudsman. However, the Ombudsman cannot consider complaints arising from events prior to 1st January 2010 and can only award a maximum of £150,000 in compensation. For those investors who have suffered losses in excess of this sum, or who acquired a financial product prior to 2010, the appropriate step is to bring a claim in the Royal Court.
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 email@example.com
In August this year a blaze ripped through an 18 storey high rise in London. It took 120 firefighters to put it out. The cause was believed to be an Indesit tumble dryer which was subject to a safety notice issued by Whirlpool.
Alison de Bourcier, Director of Trading Standards in Jersey is in contact with Whirlpool UK and receiving local updates. She estimates as many as 5,000 units were supplied in Jersey between April 2004 and September 2015, however many of these will have come to the end of their natural life.
Whirlpool appointed two local service agents who are carrying out modifications. At the end of July, 1,249 Jersey consumers had registered with Whirlpool customer services for the free of charge modification. The safety notice only affects a number of models of Hotpoint, Indesit, Creda, Swan and Proline tumble dryers. Retailers in Jersey were quick to respond to the Whirlpool safety notice in checking that any new stock being supplied had been modified. Whilst the agents are working through the list of registered customers, Alison de Bourcier would once again advise consumers to check if there model requires modification by visiting https://safety.hotpoint.eu or alternatively call a dedicated helpline (0800 151 0905). She is also encouraging Islanders to register for notification of other product recalls and safety notices published on MyGov (www.mygov.je).
“It is increasingly difficult for consumers and businesses to keep up to speed with product recalls and safety notices. Safety is our primary concern.
It is really important that you are informed of any potential safety issues and know what to do if you think you have an affected product.”
Whilst there are mounting pressures in the UK for Whirlpool to do more, Trading Standards are reminding consumers who may be awaiting a modification to;
- make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions on using and maintaining your electrical appliances, including checking and cleaning the filter after every cycle and ensure proper dryer venting
- don’t put appliances such as washing machines, tumble dryers and dishwasher on when you are going to bed or going out
- turn off electrical appliances when they are not in use
- fit smoke and or heat detectors to your home. You should have at least one smoke detector on each level of your home and they should be tested weekly
- never tackle a fire yourself; get out, stay out and call 999 If you need help in identifying if your tumble dryer has been affected please contact Trading Standards on 448160 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Holiday fraud: look before you book
Get Safe Online is joining forces today with ABTA (the UK’s leading travel association), Action Fraud and the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) to warn you about the dangers posed by holiday booking fraud. Anyone booking a holiday either in the UK or abroad is at risk.
For information and advice on safe holiday and travel booking, click here
We all look forward to our holidays, and often they can cost a considerable amount of money, which most of us simply cannot afford to lose. Unfortunately, more and more people are being affected by holiday fraud, which means that not only do you not get your holiday … you normally end up losing your money too. The holiday, accommodation or flight they paid for doesn’t exist, or the booking hasn’t been made.Read More
Telco Contracts – when does ‘Fixed Mean Fixed’?
When you sign up for a mobile phone, telephone or broadband contract you know you’re going to be committing to a fixed length contract, usually 12, 18 or 24 months.
You also know that the terms of that contract – including how much you pay for it – should be fixed over that period. The consumer is tied into that contract unless they pay an early termination charge (“ETC”) to leave before the end of the minimum contract period.
Remember that the Telco providers’ terms and conditions usually allow for price increases and variations to your contract during this term.
Thanks to a licensing condition called ‘fixed-means-fixed’ imposed by the regulator in April 2014, if your provider decides to increase prices part way through your fixed term contract, you should be given two calendar months’ written notice before the price rise and an option to end the contract penalty free. For example, if the amount of data included in your contract is reduced, you may end up paying more than originally agreed. As a result of change to licence conditions, you can exit the contract without penalty if the provider increases the cost of their deal.
This right only relates to changes to products within the list of services paid for by the recurring fee / subscription charge. If your deal includes a number of free services, the key point will be whether those were included in the original offer. If they were not, even if they were free originally, the operator is able to introduce a charge for them in future. It also does not apply other ‘out of bundle’ prices such roaming charges.
Please be aware that the protection afforded to you under ‘fixed-means-fixed’ only covers price increases ‘in-bundle’. In other words, your monthly allowances.
‘Out of bundle’ costs, being the amount you pay for exceeding your monthly allowances or new charges introduced for something which was originally free are likely to not be caught by this protection.
Our advice is to make sure you fully understand what is ‘in’ or ‘out of bundle’ when you sign up to a new contract and be aware that prices can change.
Holiday Car Hire: Top Tips
Hiring a car abroad can often be a minefield. There are numerous ways in which car rental companies can charge you for extras that you may not want or need, and it is not always easy to understand what you’re buying.
But you can find trouble-free, cheap car hire abroad if you know what to look for. We have researched some key points for you from Which and the Guardian to help you avoid the pitfalls.
Follow our checklist to make sure you’re not forking out money unnecessarily for car hire abroad.
Before you know it, you’ve paid for them all (just to be on the safe side) and the price you now have to pay bears little relation to the one you thought you’d agreed on.
And all this before you’ve even got the car keys and you may find unexpected costs when you return the car at the end of your holiday, too.Read More