ASK TONY: My adult son quit his mobile phone deal but got a £1,800 bill after they kept charging 

ASK TONY: My adult son quit his mobile phone deal but got a £1,800 bill after they kept charging 

My adult son is extremely dyslexic and relies on me for help with financial matters.  Recently, I spotted he had two monthly payments being take

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My adult son is extremely dyslexic and relies on me for help with financial matters. 

Recently, I spotted he had two monthly payments being taken for his mobile phone, one to Orange and the other to EE, which operates Orange.

It seems that, after he terminated a contract on October 31, 2014, monthly payments continued to be taken. I worked out he was owed £1,777.35. 

I now realise I missed one month’s payment from my total, so the amount is actually £1,812.20.

One reader was horrified to discover that her adult son was paying for two mobile phone contracts despite having cancelled one

One reader was horrified to discover that her adult son was paying for two mobile phone contracts despite having cancelled one

One reader was horrified to discover that her adult son was paying for two mobile phone contracts despite having cancelled one

We were told everything would be settled in ten to 14 days and he would receive £1,766.19 from EE. There was no explanation as to why the amount was reduced.

Six weeks have passed and he has still received nothing.

Mrs L. K., South Glos.

EE tells me the original contract was never cancelled and that’s why direct debits continued to be taken. But it can see there has been no use, so it is happy to make the refund.

It says it tried to process the repayment directly to your son’s bank account, but the details were not valid, so it sent a cheque instead. Your son has now received £1,766.19.

EE has also given him a month’s credit on his new account to settle matters. It has suggested you are co-named on his account in case of any future issues.

You have YOUR say 

Every week, Money Mail receives hundreds of your letters and emails about our stories. Here are some from our article on how certain pet insurance firms try to wriggle out of paying claims…

Insurance firms always ask how they can refuse, recoup or reduce claims. I used to work as a loss adjuster. I know the drill.

T. S., Ashford.

Always check the policy smallprint. The premium may seem small, but it’s not worth it if it doesn’t cover what you need.

H. N., London.

It would be more sensible to open another bank account and use it to save up for vet bills than to take out an insurance policy.

I. C., by email.

In 1995, my cat was killed by a car so I claimed on my pet insurance. I was told to send a photo and a signed statement from my vet to prove the cat was dead.

B. C., by email.

Pet insurance is just a scam. Firms usually stop paying out in full once an animal is eight years old, which is when it is more likely to need treatment.

C. R., Paris.

I was left legacy shares in Rexam plc. This was taken over by Ball Corporation in July 2016. 

How can I sell these shares, which I don’t believe are listed on the London Stock Exchange?

L. C., by email.

I have a number of ordinary shares with BP that I would like to sell. Can you tell me the best way to go about this?

M. P., by email.

I’ve had a few questions about selling shares. I am guessing these are from people with old certificates, as opposed to those who hold them electronically via broker nominee accounts.

I took these questions to Andy Parsons, head of investments and product proposition at The Share Centre.

‘If the shares are held in a nominee account, all that needs to happen is for the customer to call the holding broker and request a sale,’ he says.

‘If the holding is held in certificated form, the customer should contact the registrar stated on the certificate to check the validity of it and ask who they have as their designated broker for selling.

‘If you hold any foreign stock with your nominated broker, these should generally be in electronic form and therefore relatively easy to trade.’

Apparently, when Rexam was acquired by Ball Corporation, investors would have received a choice of cash or new shares in Ball Corporation.

Costs can differ between brokers and it is worth shopping around to see who offers the lowest dealing charges, but with paper certificates it is likely to cost at least £20.

Straight to the point 

Plusnet has not billed me for my broadband or landline since November. It says the system will be sorted soon, but I’m still waiting.

D. W., Harrogate, N. Yorks.

Plusnet says some customers are having issues with its new billing system, which it introduced last year. 

It adds it is working hard to fix the problem and will backdate bills for a maximum of only three months when the issue is sorted.

*** 

I accepted a temporary nursing role through an agency which promised, in an email, to pay £9.78 an hour, but I was paid only £9.07 an hour. I was told I must accept the lower sum.

H. M., by email.

It is useful that you have written evidence, says Martha McKinley, an employment law solicitor at Stephensons. 

If you signed a contract, even better, as the firm would likely be in breach had it failed to notify you in writing of the new rate before you completed the work. 

You should make a formal complaint and request the shortfall is reimbursed. If it refuses, seek legal advice.

*** 

My friend and I lost our jobs and can no longer afford to go on a booked group holiday. Our friends don’t want to go without us, and easyJet is refusing to refund all our fares.

N. H., by email.

EasyJet says it was sorry to hear of your circumstances, but your tickets are non-refundable. It recommends taking out comprehensive travel insurance to cover such situations.

*** 

E.on sent me an estimated bill that was too high. When I called to provide my actual readings, the sum was reduced, but E.ON still wants to increase my monthly direct debit.

J. M., Colchester.

E.on reviews direct debits twice a year to stop customers building up debt. However, because you have solar panels that, in summer, generate more electricity than you need, it’s hard to work out what you should pay. E.on has now agreed to lower your monthly bills.

We are selling our house for £105,000 and moving into rented sheltered housing. 

We would like to give this money to our three children before we die. Will they have to pay inheritance tax if we do?

G. C., Paisley, Renfrewshire.

In short: no, unless you have considerable assets elsewhere.

You and your wife each have an inheritance tax (IHT) allowance of £325,000. In addition, you have a residence allowance of £150,000 each, so long as the property, or the money from it, is left to direct descendants. 

So, together, you can leave £950,000 without your estates being liable to IHT.

The one issue I will raise is that of care fees. If, at some future date, you or your wife have to go into care and are not self-funding, then the local authority may decide that you have deliberately deprived yourself of assets in order to avoid paying care fees.

In this case, it could seek to recover the money you have given away in order to pay for your care. However, it can do this only if you had a reasonable expectation of needing to pay for care when you made the gift.

This is complex, so you may wish to seek legal advice before proceeding, either from a lawyer or your local Citizens Advice.

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