Episode 1 Rip Off Britain


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Episode 1

Live episodes of the consumer series, featuring a look at how phone fraudsters can make their texts appear to be from a familiar and trusted number.


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But now on BBC One, back with a new series

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of consumer investigations, it's over to Gloria, Angela

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And welcome to the start of one of our very special weeks of live

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Today, we'll be looking at two big stories in the news.

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One of them that global cyber attack.

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And the other, the companies charging up to ?23.97 a minute

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Well, we've got their number all right.

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And what's being done to keep those costs down?

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We asked you to tell us what has left you feeling ripped off and you

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have contacted us in your thousands. You told us about companies you

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think get it wrong and the customer service that is not up to scratch.

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We are all just numbers at the end of the day. Profit comes before

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anything else and that's all that matters. You have asked us to track

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down scammers who stole your money and investigate extra charges you

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say are unfair. Why can't they give you the price it should be. They try

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and charge as much as you can. When you have lost out but no one is to

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blame you come to us to stop others falling into the same trap. When it

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comes to customer services, it's dreadful. Whether it's a rip-off or

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a genuine mistake we are here to find out why you are out of pocket

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and what you can do about it. Your stories, your money, this is

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Rip Off Britain. Good morning and many thanks

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for joining us on one of the weeks of Rip Off Britain that,

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I must say, we all love the best. And that's because being live we can

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get your comments right away on the stories that matter

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most to you. As ever, our team of

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experts is standing You can e-mail us at

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ripoffbritain@bbc.co.uk. Well, I'm sure you'll have plenty

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to say on that directory inquiries And indeed on the other topics we've

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been looking into on your behalf. We'll be unpicking a new scam that

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any one of us could be fooled by. Just wait until you see

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what the fraudsters And with the news over the weekend

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dominated by that huge cyber attack on the NHS,

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we've advice on what to do We've also been testing out wi-fi

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on the go after a disgruntled train traveller told us he's fed up

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of paying a fiver a pop for a service that, he says,

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just isn't reliable. All that, plus consumer champion

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Dominic Littlewood tells us why And outside we'll be

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opening our pop-up advice clinic where our experts will be tackling

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some of your problems. I'm not sure what the collective

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word for a group of experts is, so I'll just say we've a whole bunch

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of them out there today and they're going to be answering some

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of your questions later First, though one of two big stories

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we're looking at today that are very much in the news,

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the rising cost of those And it's not just us who think

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the charges are getting out of hand. ?5. 61 for a 20-second call.

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?103 for a 27-minute call that the person making it had agreed to have

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connected. You have sent us a steady stream of

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complaints about the cost of a call to directory inquiry services. But

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in recent months some of the prices involved have spiralled and gone far

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beyond what many would consider a reasonable charge for finding out a

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phone number. What a great day today. It is. In Southport Mike is

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great friends with his father-in-law Ron. Last October 88-year-old Ron

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received an unusually high phone bill he turned to Mike for help. You

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are younger than me. You are more experienced. He had been charged ?68

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for an 18-membership call to the directory inquiries number, a call

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he couldn't remember making. When I first saw the bill I was shocked. I

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couldn't believe it. I was very worried. Got upset about it and I

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rang Mike. It turned out that that what had happened to Ron was

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something that's caught out a lot of people. He had been trying to call

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the local hospital but after misdialing one digit he got a

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recorded message suggesting he call a 118 service for the number he

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really wanted. So Ron had done just that, not appreciating that when he

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then agreed to have his call put through to the hospital the entire

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cost of his chat would be charged at a directory inquiries rate, in this

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case, ?10. 47 for the first minute and then ?3. 49 for every minute

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thereafter. Ron had called the 118 number

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without realising he was ringing a directory inquiry number. He didn't

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know. I think the charges are unbelievably bad. How can anybody

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possibly justify ?6 a minute or thereabouts for a call to anything?

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I wouldn't pay that if I was ringing Australia. I think people like Ron

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here are very vulnerable to this sort of thing, older people who are

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used to people behaving more honestly than people sometimes do

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nowadays. They're almost too trusting.

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And, for Mike, the point isn't so much how Ron ended up using this

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particular service, but the amount it ended up costing. Basically,

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these people should not be allowed to get away with charging these

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amounts. Regulation should be in force to specify a maximum charge

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per minute. Vulnerable people are being hit with ridiculous charges

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which they can ill-afford to pay and there's no way out of it.

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The company behind the 118820 number has been criticised for its pricing

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before. Back in 2014 it was fined ?60,000 for several breaches of the

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regulator's code, including fair treatment of customers, and the

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prominence of price information. The company is now dissolved and

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when we contacted its former director he declined to comment.

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But of course it's not just one directory inquiries number that has

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had high prices. And that's something about which Martin James,

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who works for the complaints website Resolver, has real concerns. He is

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particularly worried when he hearse stories like Ron's. A lot of the

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complaints we see at Resolve are in relaelgs to misdials where one

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number can result in you being directed through to a premium rates

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line. These businesses must let you know before they connect you or when

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you call through to them what your potential charges might be or the

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fact they could be quite high but the fact that people are still using

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them suggests that those warnings simply can't clear enough. So how

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have we got into this position? You may remember the days when to call

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directory inquiries all you had to do was ring 192. That number was

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operated by BT initially for free. Then later at a fixed price of 40p a

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call. In 2002 the regulator decided to do away with BT's monopoly

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leaving the door open for independent companies to compete for

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the market. It was predicted it would drive prices down. In fact,

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the opposite has happened. In many ways deregulation was that great

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promised land but it didn't deliver very much for many people.

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Competition should mean exactly that, competitive prices. We ended

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up with was a lot of competition looking at different ways to charge

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more money for people. Around 430 companies now offer a directory

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inquiries service. Most of them begin with the numbers 118. But the

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price you will pay with each of them can vary considerably. The most

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expensive charge we found is ?23. 97 for the first minute of a call. As

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stoningishly eight different directory inquiries companies are

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known to have been charging this. Currently the market is dominated by

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two giants which take up around 80% of the business.

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The first remains BT. And although the company has more than one way of

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searching for a number, it is best known service is on 118500. Call

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that number and you will pay an initial charge of ?2. 75. Plus, a

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cost per minute of another ?2. 75. So a total of ?5. 50 for a one

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minute call. As for the other main player, well,

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over the years we have probably all seen the ads.

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# If you are someone new and need help... Who you gonna call...

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A call to 118118, otherwise known as The Number, will cost you ?8. 98 for

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the first minute, a charge that has risen by 2145% since 2003. And the

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phone operator could charge up to 5p a minute on top of that cost. While

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the ads do state these charges it seems we haven't all taken on board

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how much a typical inquiry will cost. As was made clear when we

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asked some shoppers in London to tell us how much they thought they

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would pay for a one minute call to this particular number. I reckon it

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would cost about this much. That's what I expect to pay. I wouldn't be

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surprised if it was that one. This is what I think. It shouldn't be

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higher than that. I would say probably 99p. I would say ?1. 98. I

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would go for... This one. But when we revealed the true cost it caused

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quite a stir. I would never have thought it was

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that much! Shocking! I could buy meat for dinner for the family and

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have change. That is shocking. Wow. No way! Oh my God! It's actually a

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lot, yeah. I wouldn't expect it to be that much. I would never do that.

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Internet is free. While it is true that most phone

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numbers can be found online, directory inquiries remains a

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valuable service for many, including some older people and those who

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aren't online. But not every company makes charges

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clear when you call. They're only obliged to do so if they go on to

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connect you. So some people using the service may not know exactly how

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much it costs or how quickly charges can mount up.

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Older people are traditionally more likely to use directory inquiries

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services and are disproportionately affected by these potential charges.

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If you are used to trusting a telephone number you call through

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to, and it seems straightforward, you would have no reason to believe

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the charges would be as high as they could be. And certainly 93-year-old

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Annie from Manchester had no idea how she ended up having to pay such

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a huge amount. Her Goddaughter Mary got in touch with us ever Annie, who

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is hard of hearing, received an unexpectedly large bill after

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unwittingly calling a 118 number. I was so shocked when you got this

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bill, Annie. I couldn't believe you paid so much for this bill. Then

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when I investigated, I mean, it stood out straightaway, because it

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was ?67, over ?67 for an 18-minute call. I called down to see Annie and

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she was in a terrible state. She was really in a dreadful state saying

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about this phone bill. Of course it gave me a shock. She decided what to

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do with it. I just paid it and that was it. Just wanted to get out of

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trouble! Annie had been trying to speak to

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someone about a fault on her line. And she has no idea how it was she

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came to phone the directory inquiries number 118080, run by a

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company called Simuex. Nor was it initially clear why the call went on

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so long but Mary doesn't think it's right that a call of this nature can

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end up costing so much. I just don't know how it is completely legal.

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It's so unfair, you know, Annie lives alone and it needs to be

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stopped. We contacted the company that runs

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the number Annie called. It told us that calls to this line are charged

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at 3. 60 per minute which it said isn't high compared to the

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outrageous charges that have become the industry norm. Annie's high bill

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must have been because she agreed to have her call connected, so it was

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all charged at a higher rate. But the company stressed the costs are

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made clear in the call so that customers can decide whether to

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continue. We also contacted the two market

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leaders, BT and The Number. BT, which provides 118500 pointed

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customers to its free online directory inquiries. And to its

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lower priced no-frills 118700 service that costs ?1. 45 a minute T

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said the price of calls to 118500 ensures BT can provide a quick,

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accurate and professional directory inquiries service.

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And The Number, which runs 1118118 didn't get back to our e-mails or

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calls but has previously said it offers a range of services at

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different price points because while for some speed and convenience is

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paramount, for others, it may be cost.

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But if you don't have access to the internet, there are ways that you

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can get a number without costing you money. For example, The Number

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offers an entirely free automated service line. That is if you don't

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mind listening to an advert before getting the number you are after.

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BT also offers a free directory inquiries number for people with

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disabilities although to use it you do need to fill out a form to be upt

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countersigned by a GP. Back in Southport after his father-in-law

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Ron's experience, Mike would like to see the regulator take more action.

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Lots of vulnerable people are being charged ridiculous amounts of money

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for short phone calls and in most cases they've no idea they're being

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charged that amount. This needs to be sorted and sorted now.

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Well, I'm glad to say he may well get his wish.

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We've been talking to the regulator Ofcom about this for some time,

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and it too is concerned over 118 prices, as the cost of more

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expensive services has risen significantly in recent months.

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So Ofcom has just announced it will look into these as part

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of a Call Cost Review, to ensure people are protected

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from higher prices, and indeed any unfair practices.

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I am one of those people who use that, I don't Google. I am horrified

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at the price. I will never do it again. When you say Ofcom will bring

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out this report are they going to crack down on charges?

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I don't see the words "crack down" in what they've told us.

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But Ofcom says callers should expect to be told very

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clearly what prices are - and that they are getting

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So it's going to consider whether we get that,

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It expects to publish detailed plans around that later this year.

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What really shocked me in that report wasn't just

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the cost of the calls but the sheer number

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of companies all offering a directory enquiries service -

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I'm sure it will help with that Ofcom review to know what YOU think.

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And some of you have been telling us while we've been on air.

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Chris Todman said his elderly, disabled mother always uses

:16:19.:16:24.

Directory Enquiries and agrees to be connected. By so doing, her last

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quarterly bill included nearly ?400 of charges. Janet, who is also

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watching, has come up with a good point. How hard would it be to make

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it law for premium rate lines to have a recording of the price before

:16:42.:16:43.

the call starts? Well, I'm sure we'll return

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to this topic again. But, next this morning,

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another way of staying connected... You may be using it

:16:49.:16:50.

to contact us right now. And, if you're out and

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about at the moment, you may well have to PAY

:16:55.:16:56.

for the service. But is it reliable enough to give

:16:57.:16:58.

good value for money? Wi-Fi has revolutionised the way we

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communicate. So much so that we now expect to be online rebel we are,

:17:11.:17:15.

outside the home or office and even on the move. Train, bus and tram

:17:16.:17:20.

services across the UK increasingly offer Wi-Fi services. Communications

:17:21.:17:27.

manager Smith Harper has been among those telling us their Wi-Fi

:17:28.:17:32.

experience has not so much been wonderful but distinctly wobbly. He

:17:33.:17:36.

regularly travels on the virgin West Coast line between Manchester and

:17:37.:17:41.

London. When they brought in Wi-Fi I'd thought, great. Be able to do

:17:42.:17:45.

work and stay connected in this hyper connected world. The first

:17:46.:17:51.

time I tried it, I was, that didn't really work. Smith says things did

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not get better which he finds frustrating put up the Wi-Fi he is

:17:57.:18:00.

trying to use is not free from. Virgin charge him ?5 every trip. I

:18:01.:18:06.

e-mailed them and said I had been on this train journey trying to do my

:18:07.:18:09.

e-mails and have not been able to do it I have my money back? Virgin

:18:10.:18:15.

would not refund the money. Record showed that during the journey he

:18:16.:18:19.

had got online and use much more data than is allowed and it's fair

:18:20.:18:25.

usage policy. I went back and forth with them. They then tried to say

:18:26.:18:30.

you have downloaded all these megabytes. I can't say I haven't

:18:31.:18:36.

done that but the e-mail itself just does not work. Smith could not

:18:37.:18:41.

understand how he could possibly have used as much data as virgin

:18:42.:18:46.

said. As far as he was concerned he could barely send an e-mail. The

:18:47.:18:51.

company told him this could be caused by such factors as programmes

:18:52.:18:56.

running in the background, system updates all streaming movies. He was

:18:57.:19:01.

adamant he had not done this. I thought, it's a fiver, it's not

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worth losing any sleep. It niggles and it is a frustration. We want to

:19:06.:19:11.

see if the train Wi-Fi is as patchy as Smith claims? We are joining him

:19:12.:19:16.

on the train from Manchester to London and we made sure that there's

:19:17.:19:20.

nothing running on his laptop which would use updater. I'm going to give

:19:21.:19:26.

Virgin Trains one more chance. To test the connection, Smith will be

:19:27.:19:30.

trying to link up with technology expert Graham wild to see how the

:19:31.:19:35.

Wi-Fi is performing. As Smith sets off on his train, Graham is heading

:19:36.:19:40.

to the BBC's New Broadcasting House in London where he will be ready to

:19:41.:19:45.

receive Smith's Munich and is. I am on the internets I have a speed test

:19:46.:19:52.

running. -- communications. It is perfectly fast enough to make most

:19:53.:19:57.

things work. The Wi-Fi at the BBC and that most homes and offices

:19:58.:20:01.

connects to a fixed, physical source. The Wi-Fi on trains work

:20:02.:20:06.

through the mobile phone networks which can be unreliable. Imagine

:20:07.:20:12.

sharing four and six Mobile internets connections between 300

:20:13.:20:17.

people. Sometimes there are places where there is no mobile signal from

:20:18.:20:22.

any operator. There it will not work at all. Let's see how Smith gets on.

:20:23.:20:27.

I'm just leaving from Manchester Piccadilly on the way to London. I

:20:28.:20:32.

will look into the Wi-Fi and see what happens. Smith pays ?5 for

:20:33.:20:38.

24-hour 's worth of Wi-Fi access. As he leaves the more populated areas,

:20:39.:20:42.

is internets connections start to the Syria -- deteriorate. I am

:20:43.:20:52.

coming up with the request, please try again later. Nothing on

:20:53.:20:57.

Facebook, e-mails. I cannot even go on the BBC website. It

:20:58.:21:02.

disappointment. As the train comes into Stoke, the Wi-Fi springs back

:21:03.:21:06.

into life. To see if any of his communications have got through, he

:21:07.:21:14.

gives Graham a call. How are you? How is short train journey? I have

:21:15.:21:19.

been struggling to get messages to you from Facebook or e-mail. I had

:21:20.:21:24.

something when you set off from Manchester but nothing since then. I

:21:25.:21:29.

did send G1 since then. I wonder where it went too. I think it may

:21:30.:21:37.

have got lost in the ether. I will have to check my e-mails. I have one

:21:38.:21:42.

from you now, so I replied back to that one. Fantastic. While some rail

:21:43.:21:48.

companies charge, on others you can get it for free. On this virgin

:21:49.:21:53.

train that Smith uses there is no Wi-Fi charge for passengers in first

:21:54.:22:02.

class. We know it is a real bone of contention for many of you that in

:22:03.:22:06.

this day and age you ever have to pay for Wi-Fi at all. I never paid

:22:07.:22:12.

for it on the trains. I have before but it was bad so I did not do it

:22:13.:22:17.

again. If you are not in a good place, you feel like you are being

:22:18.:22:22.

ripped off. I have used it on trains before but it is better on the

:22:23.:22:26.

mobile. The laptops you do not get a good signal or usage. What about

:22:27.:22:33.

other forms of transport like coach travel? Graham is going to try for

:22:34.:22:37.

himself the Wi-Fi on national express. He tries to get onto the

:22:38.:22:44.

BBC website. It has loaded quite quickly. That took about a second or

:22:45.:22:51.

so. Mobile coverage along major roads and motorways and so one is

:22:52.:22:56.

much better than it is along the railways, especially in rural areas.

:22:57.:23:01.

That means it is actually a little bit easier for coach companies to

:23:02.:23:06.

offer good Wi-Fi than it is for train companies to do that. So,

:23:07.:23:13.

comes up for coach travel. When a grey and Smith meet up at Euston

:23:14.:23:17.

station in London, Smith is still very unhappy with his experience on

:23:18.:23:22.

the train. -- Graham. It was pretty poor. That has been my experience on

:23:23.:23:30.

Virgin Trains before. The good news is that services like that will get

:23:31.:23:37.

better. The new technology called 5G is much faster and it will make a

:23:38.:23:41.

difference to your Wi-Fi experience. There are special radio networks is

:23:42.:23:45.

being built alongside the railway especially for use for the train. I

:23:46.:23:50.

guess there is good use coming down the track. To use a very cheesy

:23:51.:23:53.

analogy, yes, there is. Well, Virgin Trains accepts

:23:54.:23:56.

their Wi-Fi doesn't fully meet customers' needs,

:23:57.:23:58.

but told us that though they want all customers to have free,

:23:59.:24:00.

fast and uninterrupted Wi-Fi, unfortunately - as the company

:24:01.:24:02.

relies on mobile phone networks for the internet -

:24:03.:24:04.

there's often a very limited service in rural areas,

:24:05.:24:07.

cuttings and tunnels. They say they're working

:24:08.:24:10.

with mobile phone companies to improve the signal,

:24:11.:24:12.

and in the meantime have introduced a free, on-board entertainment

:24:13.:24:15.

service which lets customers stream movies and TV without

:24:16.:24:18.

the need for Wi-Fi at all. Well, difficulties with getting

:24:19.:24:23.

connected are one thing, but - staying with problems online -

:24:24.:24:26.

the big story over the weekend was that global cyber assault

:24:27.:24:29.

that targeted the NHS. It's been described

:24:30.:24:36.

as an historic moment - Joining me now is the the BBC's

:24:37.:24:37.

technology correspondent, Even the headlines today are a

:24:38.:24:57.

wake-up call for the world. 200,000 organisations in 150 countries.

:24:58.:25:00.

Reducing it down to people like myself who are not very good on the

:25:01.:25:05.

website at all, how does the ransomware really manifest? This is

:25:06.:25:09.

the biggest type of cyber crime we are seeing. A recent statistics

:25:10.:25:14.

showed 50% of all offences shown to the police now relate to cyber

:25:15.:25:20.

crime. This is the most serious. What happens is you somehow get

:25:21.:25:24.

malicious software on your computer. The next thing, a message pops up on

:25:25.:25:30.

your screen and says all of your files, your valuable data, is

:25:31.:25:34.

locked. The only way to get it back and unlock it is to pay a fee to the

:25:35.:25:39.

crooks, a ransom. They are quite clever in a way. They do not ask for

:25:40.:25:44.

huge amount of money. Was speaking to a charity and months ago. The

:25:45.:25:50.

manager said they had had one of these ransom things and it was only

:25:51.:25:55.

like 400 quid, proportionately not that much. He said he paid it. He

:25:56.:26:01.

hated himself to pay but he said it would have taken three months

:26:02.:26:05.

because he was not backed up properly to get the info and the

:26:06.:26:14.

cost of an spurt would have cost far more than 400. -- and expert. I

:26:15.:26:19.

think it is sadly the trees. It has taken a global assault. Lots of

:26:20.:26:28.

organisations have experienced this. There are simple lessons around

:26:29.:26:32.

this. You should be keeping your data backed up. You should have a

:26:33.:26:36.

separate hard drive you plug into your computer from time to time,

:26:37.:26:42.

backing up your data. If the worst happens, you should be all right. In

:26:43.:26:47.

this particular case, the one we are hearing about over the weekend, it

:26:48.:26:52.

is mainly directed at large organisations. That is who has the

:26:53.:26:56.

kind of networks where this sort of thing can spread quickly put a bid

:26:57.:26:59.

is not targeted at individuals at home. Would you pay the ransom? I

:27:00.:27:09.

would not be falling for it in the first place, Gloria. You can see why

:27:10.:27:13.

there is a tent Asian to do that. What one hears sometimes is that

:27:14.:27:19.

these criminals are pretty well organised and they will unlock your

:27:20.:27:25.

data if you pay the fees. They know their business. The important thing

:27:26.:27:29.

out of the conversation is to make sure you are backed up and up to

:27:30.:27:35.

date with the companies say. People could have avoided this had they

:27:36.:27:39.

applied a regular Microsoft security update back in March.

:27:40.:27:45.

Well, as Gloria said, that story is still all over the papers,

:27:46.:27:48.

with worries about what other businesses and people might

:27:49.:27:50.

The front page of The Mirror is warning Web Hackers to Strike Again.

:27:51.:28:02.

It goes on to have two full pages of the story inside. It says we are

:28:03.:28:10.

under cyber attack and this is the greatest threat to civilisation

:28:11.:28:17.

since World War II. Probably less of a threat is this story. Busy water

:28:18.:28:26.

can make you fat. That can trigger a hunger hormone which makes you

:28:27.:28:27.

overweight. The Mail is following up

:28:28.:28:30.

on suggestions that Amazon may allow refunds on low-cost items

:28:31.:28:33.

WITHOUT you needing The company wouldn't

:28:34.:28:34.

comment but certainly that It means you get the refund and the

:28:35.:28:37.

item as well. Good idea. And finally the FT says Pension

:28:38.:28:48.

Fraud Losses Hit Record High - that's something we'll be looking

:28:49.:28:51.

at on Wednesday's programme. Well, all this week we'll have

:28:52.:28:54.

updates on some of the stories we've And I'm afraid we've uncovered

:28:55.:29:00.

a whole new twist to a scam we've You may remember a scan we first

:29:01.:29:13.

told about in 2015. Fraudsters have found a convincing to make take

:29:14.:29:20.

calls appear to be from a genuine, trusted number for that they can use

:29:21.:29:26.

widely available at two show a number as coming from, for example,

:29:27.:29:32.

your bank. These two people received an unexpected call and it showed up

:29:33.:29:35.

on their phone as being from their bank, Santander. The number that

:29:36.:29:42.

showed up on my phone was the same number as the back of the Santander

:29:43.:29:47.

card. That convinced me he must be from the bank. We thought that that

:29:48.:29:53.

is it. It cannot be anything else. They were about to become victims of

:29:54.:29:58.

what is called number spoofing by disguising the number they are

:29:59.:30:01.

really calling from to look like one we know. Criminals are able to get

:30:02.:30:05.

around the fact that we're all becoming more wary about who might

:30:06.:30:09.

be on the line. In this case got it meant they could convince the couple

:30:10.:30:13.

their bank accounts were at risk from fraudsters and they should move

:30:14.:30:17.

their money elsewhere. I was in a panic we were losing our money. He

:30:18.:30:31.

said from your cash Isa, we'll move that first found we will take a

:30:32.:30:37.

whole lot out. Trish transferred ?50,000 into supposedly safer

:30:38.:30:40.

accounts that belonged to the fraudsters. The realisation they had

:30:41.:30:45.

been conned hit couple hard. My overall feeling is devastation, to

:30:46.:30:50.

be honest. I did go down into a depression afterwards for quite a

:30:51.:30:56.

long time because we have lost a lot of money. I was thinking, that is

:30:57.:31:01.

our retirement fund gone up the creek. I did feel... I felt really

:31:02.:31:09.

stupid to have been conned. The bank was able to recover ?27,500 of the

:31:10.:31:17.

couple's money. They were left ?22,500 out of pocket. As Trish

:31:18.:31:21.

Adudu authorise transactions, the bank said it could not accept any

:31:22.:31:27.

responsibility for the losses. There has been a further development. In

:31:28.:31:31.

February this year, a man was jailed 18 months for his part in this scam.

:31:32.:31:38.

Unfortunately, as with many scams, this one has continued to evolve and

:31:39.:31:42.

now fraudsters are not only using this method to trick people with

:31:43.:31:47.

calls, they are doing it with texts as well.

:31:48.:31:52.

Well, with us to tell us more about this new version of the scam

:31:53.:31:55.

is fraud lawyer Arun Chohah and Claire Pearson who,

:31:56.:31:57.

I'm sorry to say, fell victim to one of these fraudulent texts.

:31:58.:31:59.

To the tune of ?71,000. That's awful. Terrible. Why did the whole

:32:00.:32:08.

thing seem plausible? I received a text message on a thread of genuine

:32:09.:32:12.

text messages which I thought were from my bank. I had no reason to

:32:13.:32:16.

believe this wasn't a real message from my bank. What were they asking

:32:17.:32:21.

you to do? How did they approach it, they talked about a possible fraud?

:32:22.:32:27.

They said is this your transaction, this is a possible fraudulent

:32:28.:32:30.

transaction, did you make it? Call this number. I was in a rush, I

:32:31.:32:35.

panicked. I was seven months pregnant. I thought I have to get

:32:36.:32:39.

this sorted quickly. Rang the number from the text message. It was all to

:32:40.:32:43.

do with the length of time they kept you on the phone, wasn't it? Yeah, I

:32:44.:32:49.

spoke to the guy for half an hour. Went through a full security check.

:32:50.:32:57.

Cancelled my debit card. At the end of the phone call I was ?71,000

:32:58.:33:02.

short. They had been milking your account. While I was on the phone. I

:33:03.:33:07.

imagine this is a story you have heard before, something similar,

:33:08.:33:12.

Arun. Her bank has taken very hard line with her, saying you did this

:33:13.:33:17.

to yourself, therefore, it's not a fraud that we can say we will

:33:18.:33:21.

compensate you. Do you think that's being harsh? To an extent I think

:33:22.:33:26.

it's being harsh. The criminals are out there intercepting text messages

:33:27.:33:32.

and telephone calls but banks do have monitoring software, they have

:33:33.:33:34.

the ability to delay transactions. So, I think there is more banks

:33:35.:33:39.

could do. But I suppose their worry is opening the flood gaits to saying

:33:40.:33:42.

they could do that and take responsibility. What about us as

:33:43.:33:46.

individuals, what are the dangers we should be looking out for and what

:33:47.:33:50.

should we never do? This new-age type of attack, you have to take a

:33:51.:33:54.

moment and consider the situation. Don't react swiftly. If you are

:33:55.:33:57.

going to make contact with your bank because you see something like this,

:33:58.:34:01.

call the number on the back of the card, don't use the same phone you

:34:02.:34:04.

received the messages from, use another phone. Banks aren't going to

:34:05.:34:08.

ask you to transfer money to an account they set up. They're not

:34:09.:34:12.

going to make you part with money to deliver a card. Take time and keep

:34:13.:34:16.

control of the situation. Do you think if you heard that before it

:34:17.:34:19.

would have helped you in your situation? Yes. I wish I had taken

:34:20.:34:25.

five minutes to stop and think. I would be in a different position.

:34:26.:34:29.

It's great to be wise after the event. Sorry for what happened to

:34:30.:34:33.

you. Thank you. Thank you for sharing that story with us. Thank

:34:34.:34:35.

you, Arun too. Well, all week our experts will be

:34:36.:34:39.

tackling your problems in our pop-up Yes, our experts are already

:34:40.:34:42.

busy getting stuck in. Personal finance expert

:34:43.:34:52.

Sarah Pennells is here along with Lyma Blay who's had rather

:34:53.:34:56.

a lot of trouble with, and indeed Tell us what happened

:34:57.:34:59.

when yours developed a problem. Yes, that's true. It was faulty. It

:35:00.:35:10.

was considered faulty. Taken away and essentially we didn't have a

:35:11.:35:13.

fridge for ten days until it was replaced. Ten days for anybody

:35:14.:35:17.

without a fridge is pretty bad, in kaur case there was a reason why you

:35:18.:35:22.

needed that fridge. At that point I had a 12-month-old baby who was on

:35:23.:35:27.

antibiotics that had to be kept cold and milk and food and so forth. It

:35:28.:35:32.

was really hard. You did eventually get a replacement fridge number two

:35:33.:35:36.

after ten days. Sarah, what are the rules carding -- regarding

:35:37.:35:40.

replacement or moneyback when you have a problem with something you

:35:41.:35:44.

need like a fridge or oven. The law is clear, as the fridge went wrong,

:35:45.:35:48.

soon after she bought it, if it had gone wrong within 30 days she should

:35:49.:35:52.

have been offered a refund. She could have got a fridge the next

:35:53.:35:56.

day. If they wanted to give a replacement, the laws is less clear

:35:57.:35:58.

about how quickly you have to do that. But common sense surely would

:35:59.:36:02.

tell you you shouldn't leave a mother and a young baby without a

:36:03.:36:05.

fridge for ten days. Absolutely not. We know that they did replace it

:36:06.:36:10.

after ten days. That also you feel developed a problem. Yeah. You went

:36:11.:36:16.

back to Samsung. We have spoken to Samsung and they say they have sent

:36:17.:36:20.

an engineer and he can find no fault with the fridge. However, because

:36:21.:36:26.

they believe they believe customer satisfaction is paramount for them

:36:27.:36:29.

they're going to replace that fridge so you are going to get fridge

:36:30.:36:33.

number three. With luck, that one won't have a fault. Do tell fuss it

:36:34.:36:37.

does because we would like to follow it up. Sarah, thank you very much.

:36:38.:36:39.

Join me here. Over here is Andy Webb

:36:40.:36:42.

from the Money Advice Service and Christine Barnwell who's had

:36:43.:36:45.

quite a drawn out process trying to We won't get into all of the detail

:36:46.:36:47.

of what happened but there was something very interesting

:36:48.:36:53.

you were told when you eventually tried taking it up with your

:36:54.:36:55.

credit card company. I missed the opportunity, the window

:36:56.:37:04.

of opportunity was too late. What do you mean? They have a restriction on

:37:05.:37:08.

how long before I can claim the money back. How long was that? They

:37:09.:37:14.

told me 105 days. You were outside of that? I was, yes. Andy, in the

:37:15.:37:18.

office we found this extraordinary because we had never come across

:37:19.:37:21.

this before. We always assume if you have a problem with a credit card

:37:22.:37:25.

that means that you have good protection. I don't think any of us

:37:26.:37:28.

have thought that was a time limit on it. It's important to know we are

:37:29.:37:31.

talking about disputed payments. Maybe you have been charged too much

:37:32.:37:35.

or something you don't even recognise at all. Now, what they've

:37:36.:37:39.

said is contact the person that's on there first of all and say what is

:37:40.:37:42.

this charge and money back or whatever. You should also at the

:37:43.:37:45.

same time contact the credit card provider as well because they'll be

:37:46.:37:50.

able to tell you exactly what these windows are and you are not going to

:37:51.:37:53.

fall out of time like we have here. It varies. Visa and Mastercard is

:37:54.:37:59.

120 days. American Express is 105 days. That's when you have to put

:38:00.:38:03.

your claim in and say I want my money back and hopefully you will

:38:04.:38:05.

get that cash back for a disputed claim. Still got all that credit

:38:06.:38:11.

card consumer protection we talk about like section 75, if something

:38:12.:38:14.

doesn't turn up or it is broken you have longer to get money back. Who

:38:15.:38:17.

would have known there was a time limit on anything we do with our

:38:18.:38:21.

credit cards. Thank you very much, Christine, for flagging that up.

:38:22.:38:25.

Thank you very much to our experts. Still lots of people here with us.

:38:26.:38:30.

We are going back to the studio now. I love the idea that it's all live

:38:31.:38:34.

and you can join us in the pop-up shop any day this week.

:38:35.:38:38.

We'll be tackling more of your problems in our pop-up shop

:38:39.:38:41.

And each day too we'll be sharing the spending secrets

:38:42.:38:44.

First to spill the beans is this very cheeky chap.

:38:45.:38:50.

He is known to millions from shows such as Don't Get Done, Get Dom and

:38:51.:38:59.

Right On The Money which is back on BBC soon. When you pay for the

:39:00.:39:07.

policy, do you pay in a lump sum? That's the wrong answer! It seems

:39:08.:39:11.

Dominic Littlewood has always had it in him to be a consumer champion. In

:39:12.:39:15.

his 20s he took three companies to the small claims court after getting

:39:16.:39:20.

fed up with them fobbing him off. He won every case. So what are his

:39:21.:39:25.

consumer secrets? Dominic, you are here because you are a red hot

:39:26.:39:30.

consumer expert. I want to quiz you about you as a shopper. What is it

:39:31.:39:35.

like when you go into the shop, do they recognise you and think oh-oh!

:39:36.:39:40.

? A mile away they see me coming and the reaction is entertaining. One

:39:41.:39:42.

example, this has happened a few times, people know I am a good

:39:43.:39:48.

haggler, I haggled once on a backet of biscuits to prove you can get a

:39:49.:39:54.

discount. The shopkeeper found it funny someone was bothering,

:39:55.:39:57.

whatever it was 20 off a packet of biscuits. I did it to say look, you

:39:58.:40:01.

can haggle. As long as you do it the right way you can do it, people will

:40:02.:40:06.

have fun with it. Yeah, OK, it's a ?1. 50 packet of biscuits, so what,

:40:07.:40:11.

have fun. You have been a consumer expert for ten years now. What's the

:40:12.:40:14.

main thing you have learned in that time? One bit of advice I would give

:40:15.:40:19.

to anybody, whenever possible pay for everything on a credit card.

:40:20.:40:22.

Now, a few reasons for that. You have to have discipline. I have a

:40:23.:40:26.

direct debit set up so every month it is paid off but benefit of paying

:40:27.:40:31.

by credit card, straightaway you have protection, covered by section

:40:32.:40:34.

75, which means if you have a problem and something goes wrong you

:40:35.:40:38.

can go back to the credit card company and say this person isn't

:40:39.:40:42.

honouring the warranty or anything, they'll step in so you have added

:40:43.:40:45.

level of protection. If I buy a pint of milk in the supermarket, credit

:40:46.:40:49.

card, credit card, credit card. Everything is covered. Job done. No

:40:50.:40:52.

interest. Credit card companies probably hate me. We get a lot of

:40:53.:40:57.

letters and so on from people who are aggrieved because they've paid

:40:58.:41:01.

for something that hasn't worked out the way they wanted it to. What

:41:02.:41:05.

would your recommendation be? For starters, keep calm. Keep cool. I

:41:06.:41:09.

always try and do everything as a normal punter. For starters, when I

:41:10.:41:14.

am on the phone to anybody I record all my calls. Have you noticed when

:41:15.:41:18.

you phone up they say just to let you know, our calls are recorded for

:41:19.:41:22.

training and exercise purposes. I say just to let you know so are

:41:23.:41:28.

mine. Keep a record, it's brilliant because you can go back and say

:41:29.:41:31.

yeah, I did say that or they said that. That helps, if you can't

:41:32.:41:35.

record them make notes just so you have a diary of that, I tell you

:41:36.:41:39.

what you need to fall back on it and if it is there, it's worth its

:41:40.:41:43.

weight in gold. He is a real character.

:41:44.:41:48.

He is. Two of our experts are still with

:41:49.:41:53.

us. They're going to answer some questions. I have to thank Barbara

:41:54.:42:00.

from Bradford and Robbie. This question to Sarah ray, how can we

:42:01.:42:06.

stop nuisance calls from abroad, they're both already signed up to

:42:07.:42:12.

stop unwanted UK calls. TPS does cut down on calls but doesn't get rid of

:42:13.:42:15.

all of them, especially from those calls where they're from overseas

:42:16.:42:18.

companies. Basically, the law changed a year ago and companies,

:42:19.:42:22.

whether they're overseas or nr the UK, should display their number so

:42:23.:42:26.

you can find out who is calling you and unfortunately sometimes they

:42:27.:42:28.

display false numbers, this happened to me. The TPS only covers companies

:42:29.:42:33.

that are registered in the UK. I would recommend if neither of these

:42:34.:42:38.

wr are working and the calls are beginning to bug you, invest in call

:42:39.:42:42.

blocking software, some are very effective. Thank you for that. A

:42:43.:42:46.

question for you, Rory, from John. Morning, John. If the recent cyber

:42:47.:42:52.

attack locks your computer, do you need to reinstall the operating

:42:53.:42:55.

system even if all your files have been backed up, a lot of people will

:42:56.:42:59.

want to know that? Absolutely. I should stress again it's unlikely

:43:00.:43:02.

that people at home will be affected by this. It's mainly big

:43:03.:43:07.

organisations. But if you are, I think you will have to reinstall

:43:08.:43:12.

your operating system, take advice first. Because if you have a backup

:43:13.:43:16.

of your files, the virus, the bug, may still be in your system and you

:43:17.:43:21.

don't want to set it running all over again and possibly infect other

:43:22.:43:25.

computers. For you, Sarah, from David. He wants to know if an

:43:26.:43:30.

unmarried couple can get travel insurance, he and his girlfriend had

:43:31.:43:34.

to come back early from holiday and insurers are not paying out because

:43:35.:43:37.

they're not married. That's an odd one, some will class you as a couple

:43:38.:43:40.

if you have been living together for six months or more. So I think the

:43:41.:43:44.

insurers need to move with the times. There are some that will

:43:45.:43:45.

cover you. I agree with that. Well, I have to stop

:43:46.:43:49.

you there because I'm afraid we're Thanks to everyone who's

:43:50.:43:51.

contacted us this morning. We'll be back tomorrow

:43:52.:43:54.

with a shocking story anyone thinking of buying a used car really

:43:55.:43:57.

won't want to miss. And we'll be looking at some

:43:58.:43:59.

of the online tactics retailers use to make us hurry up

:44:00.:44:02.

and spend our money. We'll see you back

:44:03.:44:04.

here at 9.15am sharp.

:44:05.:44:09.

This episode looks at how the cost of a directory enquiries call has rocketed, leaving some people with eye-wateringly high charges.

There is a new twist on an alarming phone scam - how can fraudsters make their texts appear to be from a familiar and trusted number?

A frustrated traveller tests the reliability of the train wifi he is fed up of paying for, and a familiar face reveals their consumer secrets.