Know your rights: August’s debt news

posted by in Debt news

Justice scales law

Justice scales law

We’ve spoken a lot about reclaiming PPI over the last few months and we still keep hearing from clients who  have successfully reclaimed which is good news!

As more and more people become aware that they might be entitled to a refund, it’s no wonder that there’s been a rise in claims management companies that charge for their service. Along with this, complaints about unwanted marketing calls have trebled to almost 10,000 a month since the beginning of 2012. If you’ve been targeted by spam calls or texts, don’t forget to follow our spam text advice.

If you or someone you know was taken advantage of by a claims management company, you’ll be pleased to know that from 2013, the Legal Ombudsman will handle complaints about these companies and ensure that consumers get compensation where appropriate.

Have you got a successful PPI story? We’d love to hear from you as we enjoy spreading the good news and it could inspire others to do the same – for FREE!

Switch if you can

The energy firm SSE has announced they will increase gas and electricity prices by an average of 9% from October so now is a good time to switch if you can. This includes customers of Scottish Hydro, Swalec and Southern Electric.

However, research from uSwitch shows that landlords and letting agents are illegally stopping 10% of tenants switching utility provider. A rental contract is allowed to stipulate that tenants ask a landlord before switching energy supplier, but it cannot refuse permission to switch altogether. Make sure you know your rights when it comes to switching as it could save you hundreds.

Bank accounts

On the theme of switching, we always advise our DMP clients to switch to a basic bank account which isn’t connected to any existing debts to avoid being left with no money. Around this time last year we told you that if you have a basic bank account with Lloyds TSB, RBS or Natwest you could find yourself banned from using ATM (cashpoint) machines owned by rival banks.

MPs are now urging these banks to allow basic account customers to use rival ATMs for free so this may change in the future. Barclays, HSBC and Santander have said they will continue to provide basic bank holders with unrestricted access to cash machines.

With the recent Which? report that warned some bank customers could be paying up to £900 a year in charges it’s even more important to track all expenditure and stay on top of your finances.

That’s it for this month and as always, we love to hear from you. So don’t be shy and comment below if you’d like to get in touch with us. Don’t forget that we’re on Twitter and Facebook too.

Pavan Gata-Aura is a qualified debt advisor with 6 years of experience. She enjoys spending time with her two children, fundraising for charities, has spent time volunteering in Africa and takes part in organised races.

Written by

Tags Debt news
  • david

    I receive regular calls from these companies. In the past I had PPI that I have actually had to claim on due to poor health. I have previously been told that as I made a claim on the PPI that I can’t reclaim . But these companies have started saying that as I was unaware of the limit to how long the repayments would be made for (1 year only) that I may still be able to claim, as I was under the understanding that it would be payed for as long as needed. Are they right or just trying to screw me out of upfront fees?

    • According to Money Saving Expert – the question is answered in “The PPI basics” section of the FAQs, at the top of their Reclaim PPI article – you can still claim although the chances of winning are lower.

      But most importantly, don’t use a claims management company. Read our article on reclaiming PPI for free for more details.

      Hope this helps!