Episode 2 Rip Off Britain


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Episode 2

Live episodes of the consumer series. A test reveals the alarming extent to which second-hand car dealers are leaving buyers exposed to dangerous faults.


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Now on BBC One it's time for Rip Off Britain Live.

:00:00.:00:00.

And welcome back to our special week of Rip Off Britain Live,

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where today we've been undercover in the second hand car trade.

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With, I'm afraid, quite shocking results.

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Wait till you hear how many of the places we checked may

:00:19.:00:21.

And we're not talking about some harmless regulation either,

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They're failing to pass on VITAL safety information you

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We asked you to tell us what lefty feeling ripped off and you have

:00:31.:00:45.

contacted us in your thousands. You told us about the customer service

:00:46.:00:50.

that is not up to scratch. They just want to take money from people. That

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is what it is all about. You asked us to track down the scammers. What

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kind of person could do this to an innocent human being? When you have

:01:04.:01:09.

lost out and no one else is to blame you have come to us to stop others

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going through the trap. You have to go through various levels of

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authority. We are here to find out why you are out of pocket and what

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you can do about it. Thanks so much for all

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the comments you sent us We'll be catching up

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with some of them later on. And we hope you'll be equally quick

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to get in touch today. You can do it right now by e-mailing

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us at ripoffbritain@bbc.co.uk. Or of course you can find us

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on Facebook at BBC Rip Off Britain. We really do love to hear from you,

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and remember all of our investigations are sparked off

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by the things that YOU tell us. So, it was your e-mails that sent us

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out to test if you'll be told the right thing if you're buying

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a used car. I think you will be surprised by

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what we have found. We'll look at some of the tactics

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used by retailers to spur you into spending your money that

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bit faster - or risk missing out. And we'll be returning to a subject

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we've looked at several Are some airlines STILL trying

:02:27.:02:29.

to dodge their responsibilities We've news of a campaign

:02:30.:02:32.

to keep them in line. Breakfast's Louise Minchin

:02:33.:02:39.

will reveal her spending secrets. And we're tackling more

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of your problems on the spot in our pop up advice clinic

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outside in the piazza. Simon Calder will be

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tackling your travel And he's standing by to

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answer your questions, along with consumer expert

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Martyn James. But before all that, get ready

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for some crucial advice if you - or anyone you know -

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is ever likely to be in the market Because after this next report,

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chances are you'll know a LOT more about the rules on this

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than the person who's trying If the second-hand car you are

:03:20.:03:29.

buying had a fault which needed fixing, you would probably want to

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know about and the dealers should tell you or even get it sorted. Very

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often they do not. As Anthony and Mandy discovered after they upgraded

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to a much needed bigger car. We had two new grandchildren and wanted to

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take them out during the day and things like that. We could not fit

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them in. We needed three main seeds for the baby seats and two other

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seats for the man and me. We wanted something to take them out that was

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safe to drive. Anthony saw a Vauxhall Zafira for sale. At the

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back of Mandy's mind was that some of these cars might have had issues.

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There was a recall on Vauxhall cars but I was not sure about the model

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war anything like that. Is this the car with the recall is on? He said,

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no. I said, that you or that make or anything. He said it is not that

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model. I was trusting him as a salesman to tell the truth is,

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knowing it was a family car that was being sold. The couple went ahead

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and bought the car. Still not reassured, Mandy thought it best to

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check the recall issue with the manufacturer. I gave them the

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registration details and told them I had been sold the car. They said it

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was on the list and was a recall. The couple could not believe they

:05:06.:05:09.

had not been told about this before they bought the car. From driving

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along normally to an inferno in a few minutes. Family cars bursting

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into flames out of the blue. By 2014, with the issue making

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headlines, Vauxhall admitted there was a problem with some electrical

:05:27.:05:32.

components overheating in a number of the Zafira models. The company

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recall the car for repairs in 2015 and then eight months later. With no

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risk potentially so serious, you would think the dealer might have

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wanted to let the couple no the car needed to be fixed or get it

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resolved. It was frightening to think we had a car that was a

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potential fire risk on our hands with children and grandchildren in

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it. From that day forward, we never felt safe in it at all. Although

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they send the card to a local Vauxhall dealer to have it fixed,

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they were convinced the dealer they bought it from should have told them

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it had an outstanding safety issue. Their requests to return it were

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refused. He has said, if you have not had a fault as a result of the

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recall being completed, there was no problem. That is not correct. The

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DVS say is clear that under safety regulations dealers are obliged to

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inform buyers if the car they are buying is safe and that includes

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telling them about recall is. They told us that is the very minimum

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that dealers should do and where possible dealers should get the

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vehicle fixed. They are not the only people to have bought a potentially

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affected Zafira about the dealer telling them the car had been

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recalled by the manufacturer. Others had had the same experience. At the

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time was not made aware of any outstanding recall is being made to

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the vehicle. When I found out I contacted the finance company and

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the garage to be told it was not their problem. Because of the

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issues, the value has decreased significantly and therefore it is

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not financially possible for me to do this. I felt misled about the

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issues when I bought the vehicle and I am too scared to drive it with my

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children on board. Although Vauxhall cannot know when or where they used

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Zafira is being sold, it says it is working with independent use car

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website so that when a vehicle is being identified as not having had a

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recall it can try to get the dealer to be detained for necessary work.

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Vauxhall told us that 80% of affected vehicles have now had a

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second recall carried out. It describes as a final fix to the

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problem and has apologised to customers for any distress caused.

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It also stressed that safety is the main priority. It recommends an

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owner who has not responded to a second recall to do so as soon as

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possible. But any manufacturer, not just Vauxhall, can only do so much

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to keep track of who owns the car once it has been sold on. One

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manufacturer told us second-hand vehicles can effectively vanish into

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a black hole. It is all the more crucial that dealers, who can easily

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tell which cars are subject to a recall, do pass on that information

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to buyers. In recent years, millions of vehicles have been recalled for

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serious, perhaps even life-threatening, reasons with

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affected manufacturers including Toyota, Honda and BMW. It just

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underlines how important it is for used-car dealers to follow the rules

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and disclose any outstanding safety recall. According to the chartered

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trading standards Institute, if they do not tell you such vital

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information which may influence a decision to buy the car, it could be

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a criminal offence. Well, only the courts can decide that one. Steve

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Gooding, director of the RAC foundation says this information is

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needed by buyers to be known. Anyone buying a car is going to a

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dealership because they expect a certain level of service. They

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expect the vehicle to be roadworthy. That is rather than buying something

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second-hand. They have a right to feel short-changed if they discover

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there is something wrong with a vehicle, particularly if the vehicle

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is subject to a recall and has not been actioned. To get a sense of how

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widespread the problem this may be, we conducted our own test. There

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were ads from dealers listing second-hand cars themselves. Then we

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went to the website of the ombudsman where we checked which vehicle was

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subject to a vehicle. That is something anyone in the market for a

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second-hand car can very easily do as well. Once we identified 50 cars

:10:12.:10:16.

that did still need a repair, we set about calling the dealers to see how

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many of them would tell us that. Remember, the law says it is

:10:22.:10:27.

something all of them should do. We had a truly staggering result. Of

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the 50 second handcart dealers, only one told us the information we

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needed to know. It has a safety recall. OK. What does that mean? It

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is a recall and do need to go to the main dealer to fix it. Good on him.

:10:55.:11:00.

We didn't stop. We went back to some of the dealers to see what they

:11:01.:11:04.

would tell us face to face. There is nothing wrong with it but the

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exhaust. We would not give you a warranty if there was something

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wrong with it. Anything else I need to know? To be honest, it is all

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standard. The same was true at the next place.

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Sounds simple enough but not what we should have been told. At the final

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dealer we visited, we were even more direct. None of these dealers either

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new or willing to tell our team because we were asking about still

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had potentially dangerous problems. Aside from the fact they may be

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breaking the law, it means customers are left without vital safety

:11:56.:11:58.

information which they need to know. Luckily there is another way to get

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it. My advice to anyone buying a used car or thinking about buying a

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used car is to have a good think about the model you are going to

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buy. Before setting out to the dealership, have a look on the DVSA

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website. On that website, you will find a fall register of all

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recourse. When you go to the dealership, why not just ask for

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evidence that the recall has been actioned? And invaluable resource.

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No getting away from the fact that the responsibility for relaying this

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kind of information lies squarely with the dealers. That is why the

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couple were angry they were not given this information before they

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bought the car. Definitely would not have bought it. No way. It is awful.

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It is terrible. So sad. It is money down the drain.

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We got in touch with the retail motor industry Federation which

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represents various vehicle dealers, including used-car garages.

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While stressing its members take manufacturers' safety

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recalls very seriously, it's stressed that not every

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recall necessarily means a vehicle is unsafe,

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and the level of remedial work required depends on the precise

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nature of any issue that a recall has identified.

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But it's confirmed it would expect its members to inform

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buyers of any safety matters they're aware of that remain unresolved

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at the time of purchase, whether it was subject to a

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And, of course, as we saw in the film that information

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So, if WE could find it, it's hard to understand why

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I know you will have a lot of thoughts about this.

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As you did with the topics we looked at on the programme yesterday.

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Not surprisingly, the biggest response was to our story

:14:03.:14:04.

Jules McCarthy called it an eye opener

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and Gary Philips tweeted to say he had no idea these

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And Kim Bloom and Sally Rintoul were among those who e-mailed to say

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they have elderly relatives who ended up with sky high charges

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for calls they either don't recall making, or that they believe were

:14:24.:14:26.

On the same topic, Lawrence Heasman reckons it would be

:14:27.:14:30.

simple for the regulator, Ofcom, to set a maximum charge

:14:31.:14:32.

Ofcom has launched a review into the cost of these calls.

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And, in the meantime, the company behind the 118 118 number

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does have a freephone alternative if you don't mind listening to an ad

:14:52.:14:54.

- a small price to pay to avoid the initial ?8.98 charge.

:14:55.:14:57.

And BT too has a lesser-known 118 service with a flat

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Although one person got in touch to say it is so little known that when

:15:01.:15:13.

they asked BT about it, the person they spoke to had not heard about it

:15:14.:15:16.

either. Very helpful! Meanwhile, as the fall-out

:15:17.:15:20.

from last week's ransomware attack rumbles on, some

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of you have sent in advice Peter Casaru, whose son runs

:15:23.:15:24.

a computer repair shop in Brecon, echoes the advice we gave to back

:15:25.:15:28.

up your files to an But he adds you mustn't leave that

:15:29.:15:31.

back-up drive plugged into your computer, or it

:15:32.:15:42.

too may get infected. Only when an infected machine has

:15:43.:15:44.

been wiped clean and the software reinstalled should you put

:15:45.:15:47.

everything you've backed-up back on. Well, do please keep

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your comments coming! It's what YOU tell us that

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determines everything we talk So, while I'm afraid we can't

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include all your e-mails, I promise you we really do read

:15:55.:15:58.

every single one. We have all got our fingers crossed

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that summer is not too far away and if you are planning a holiday this

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year, it is worth knowing that flights from some of the UK's

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busiest airports are twice as likely to be delayed as they were five

:16:18.:16:18.

years ago. But we know from your e-mails that -

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if that happens - the airlines DON'T always stick to the rules on how

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you should be treated. I am joined by two people who know

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their stuff when it comes to travel. With me are our travel expert,

:16:35.:16:42.

Simon Calder, and Pete Moorey from the consumer

:16:43.:16:45.

organisation, Which. Pete, Which has launched

:16:46.:16:46.

a campaign on flight delays, which presumably is because you're

:16:47.:16:50.

expecting so many people to once Why is it likely to happen again

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this year? The airports are becoming busier and with that comes more

:16:59.:17:03.

delays. The last thing any of us want as we are thinking about

:17:04.:17:06.

holidays is getting to the airport and finding we have got hours of

:17:07.:17:11.

delays. That is why we are running this campaign. We have looked at

:17:12.:17:16.

flight details over the last few years, 2 million flights came in and

:17:17.:17:20.

out of the UK last year, 10,000 of those flights would you compensate

:17:21.:17:24.

because they were delayed by more than three hours, that is the

:17:25.:17:29.

critical information people need to know. If your flight is delayed by

:17:30.:17:33.

more than three hours, you may be owed compensation. Too many people

:17:34.:17:38.

find it complicated to get the compensation and they do not know

:17:39.:17:43.

how to go about doing it. It is complicated, Simon. A lot of the

:17:44.:17:47.

compensation only applies if you are in Europe and using the Europe

:17:48.:17:51.

-based airline. America, you will be lucky! Let me run through the rules.

:17:52.:17:57.

It depends on whether you are three hours late arriving and not

:17:58.:18:01.

departing, they can sometimes make up time. It depends on the length of

:18:02.:18:08.

the flight, up to 1500 kilometres, 250 euros, medium length flight,

:18:09.:18:13.

400, a long flight, 600. That is reduced to half if you are between

:18:14.:18:20.

three and four hours... Already too many facts and figures! Crucially,

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coming back, it only applies if you are flying from somewhere outside

:18:26.:18:30.

the EU, Florida, to buy, only applies if you flying on an EU

:18:31.:18:38.

airline. The compensation airlines hate they have to give away the

:18:39.:18:42.

money so they will do everything they can to stop you -- the

:18:43.:18:47.

airlines. You have to fight it. I was on a flight last week with

:18:48.:18:54.

Ryanair. They sent an e-mail saying here is a letter for your insurance

:18:55.:19:02.

company. I said, no, I am going to claim from you! There is a lot of

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information, is the one place we can find all of this? We have heard

:19:08.:19:11.

people find it confusing and complicated and also if they claim

:19:12.:19:15.

in the wrong way, the airlines will try to pull the wool over your eyes

:19:16.:19:20.

and not give you your money. That is why Which? has taken the stress out

:19:21.:19:25.

of the situation. If you go to the Which? website, you can use our

:19:26.:19:29.

template letters. You need to put in the details of your flight, the

:19:30.:19:34.

delay, we create the letter. Send it to the line and you should get your

:19:35.:19:40.

money back. We hope that if you go away this year, you get the macro on

:19:41.:19:44.

time. Now you know what to do about it. Get in touch with us and we can

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see what we will do. Thank you, both.

:19:52.:19:55.

Next, it's not always just price that determines

:19:56.:19:57.

Sometimes retailers may employ gentle persuasion to suggest that

:19:58.:20:00.

if we don't do it straightaway, it may be too late, as one

:20:01.:20:03.

David loves his gadgets. Do I need an umbrella today? No rain is

:20:04.:20:18.

expected in London today. The 80-year-old from London knows his

:20:19.:20:25.

tablets from his tweets. I am fascinated by modern technology and

:20:26.:20:28.

I just like to do more and more, if I can. The technology I have got at

:20:29.:20:35.

the moment is just the tip of the iceberg and there is so much more to

:20:36.:20:42.

explore. It is unbelievable. Last Christmas, David spotted this

:20:43.:20:45.

newspaper offer for a virtual reality headset from Vodafone for

:20:46.:20:49.

the bargain price of ?9, available while stocks last. I heard about

:20:50.:20:56.

virtual reality before but I just wanted to see what it is all about

:20:57.:21:01.

and have a go. Not wanting to miss out on such a good offer, David

:21:02.:21:06.

headed to his local Vodafone store. It was the first day of the offer,

:21:07.:21:13.

it was only for two days. By the time I went in the afternoon, it was

:21:14.:21:18.

all gone. Despite getting to the store on the day the promotion

:21:19.:21:22.

began, David was told the goggles they had in stock had been sold. I

:21:23.:21:27.

asked the manager, it is not fair I came all the way and she said, I am

:21:28.:21:34.

sorry, we only had ten for this store for two days. So he left the

:21:35.:21:41.

shop empty-handed and disappointed. When we contacted Vodafone about

:21:42.:21:45.

David's experience, they told us, some stores will always sell out of

:21:46.:21:50.

the allocated promotional stock faster than others. Although in

:21:51.:21:54.

fact, overall for this promotion, there was no shortage and not all of

:21:55.:21:59.

the devices set aside were sold. In situations where all the in-store

:22:00.:22:05.

stock has gone, customers can order online with free delivery, they

:22:06.:22:10.

added. The expression whilst Ochs last is common practice across the

:22:11.:22:16.

industry -- while stocks last. It is the job of the chief executive of

:22:17.:22:21.

the Advertising Standards Authority to ensure customers are getting the

:22:22.:22:26.

full picture of what is really available and that companies are

:22:27.:22:30.

following the rules. One of the things they can do is they can make

:22:31.:22:35.

a reasonable estimate of the likely demand for an offer that they are

:22:36.:22:40.

named and make sure they have enough stock to satisfy the demand. That is

:22:41.:22:47.

only fair because people are sometimes making a trip into town to

:22:48.:22:50.

the shop to try to redeem the offer and they do not want to waste a

:22:51.:22:55.

journey. The ASA will act swiftly if they come across any retailers who

:22:56.:22:59.

are not complying with the regulations. A good example of a

:23:00.:23:05.

promoter getting it wrong when estimating demand was Morrisons in

:23:06.:23:09.

2014. They were doing a wine offer and on the first day of the

:23:10.:23:13.

promotion, some of the stock was running out. We did not think they

:23:14.:23:18.

had made a good enough estimate of the likely demand and provided

:23:19.:23:22.

enough stock to satisfy it and we published a formal ruling telling

:23:23.:23:25.

them to take more care in future. Ultimately, we can refer them to

:23:26.:23:30.

trading standards and trading standards can prosecute and find

:23:31.:23:34.

under consumer protection law. Cynics might say that while stocks

:23:35.:23:39.

last is a marketing gimmick to persuade us to buy more quickly or

:23:40.:23:44.

risk losing out and companies have other clever ways to convince as to

:23:45.:23:48.

hurry up and spend our cash and it is these tactics Guy says we need to

:23:49.:23:53.

watch for. You can look at whether they are running the same sort of

:23:54.:23:57.

offer the same time and if they are, it might be a clue this is a trick

:23:58.:24:03.

to hurry you into responding to the offer or a trick to make you feel

:24:04.:24:09.

the offer is better than it is. That is not fair, it is against the

:24:10.:24:14.

rules. In Macclesfield, housing trust peaks and planes organise

:24:15.:24:23.

drop-in sessions for digital skills. Today they will be highlighting some

:24:24.:24:27.

of the tactics used to encourage us to buy things. The classes are run

:24:28.:24:32.

by a specialist consultancy in web technologies. The person sitting

:24:33.:24:36.

next to you can help and guide you as you go. Chris is heading the

:24:37.:24:42.

class and he is keen to focus on the perils of online shopping. There is

:24:43.:24:47.

quite a lot of nudges that organisations and big retail

:24:48.:24:50.

companies use to encourage people to buy things like limited

:24:51.:24:54.

availability, limited duration, and we will effectively show them those

:24:55.:24:58.

and help them understand what they are trying to encourage them to do.

:24:59.:25:04.

First, Vera is looking at kettles from Amazon. When she sees a note

:25:05.:25:09.

saying only one left in stock, order soon, she is feeling the pressure to

:25:10.:25:14.

make the purchase fast or risk someone else beating her to it. The

:25:15.:25:19.

way the industry describes it is persuasion design. If you know

:25:20.:25:22.

someone wants to buy something, you can introduce things that might

:25:23.:25:27.

encourage them to buy quicker. Hotel booking sites often used similar

:25:28.:25:34.

techniques. Two other people are looking at this right now, they are

:25:35.:25:38.

trying to get you to make a snap decision, it has been booked for

:25:39.:25:41.

macro times in the last day. Trying to encourage you to make a choice,

:25:42.:25:47.

when you would normally go and have a cup of tea and think about it. You

:25:48.:25:50.

should be able to browse without being prompted to buy and come out

:25:51.:25:56.

without being compromised. Hotels .com told us the wording on the site

:25:57.:26:03.

is based on current data and it believes customers find the

:26:04.:26:06.

information useful for making informed decisions. We also protect

:26:07.:26:10.

Amazon the words order soon might push people into making a hasty

:26:11.:26:16.

purchase but the company chose not to comment -- we also put to Amazon.

:26:17.:26:24.

David will definitely be more cautious about rushing to take up

:26:25.:26:28.

any offer in future. I was so annoyed with my experience, if I saw

:26:29.:26:35.

an advert again, while stocks last, I will take it with a pinch of salt

:26:36.:26:39.

and I will not take up any more special offers.

:26:40.:26:43.

Well, he may have missed out on the offer, but Vodafone has now

:26:44.:26:47.

sent David the virtual reality headset he was after.

:26:48.:26:49.

Looking at today's papers, there's still lots more

:26:50.:26:58.

on that cyber attack, with the FT highlighting the dilemma

:26:59.:27:02.

for big businesses who need to choose between keeping

:27:03.:27:08.

their operations going round the clock or stopping everything

:27:09.:27:10.

And the Mail is highlighting how much money is raked in by speed

:27:11.:27:15.

cameras on roads with variable limits, typically on motorways,

:27:16.:27:19.

where the limit often changes to help with traffic flow.

:27:20.:27:23.

?20 million is the total, with 4 million of that earned

:27:24.:27:30.

by just one camera on a stretch of the M4 between junctions 19

:27:31.:27:33.

I know it well. None of that 20 million came from the!

:27:34.:27:45.

The same paper says we throw out a staggering ?80 million worth

:27:46.:27:48.

Households typically bin 1.4 million perfectly edible ones each day

:27:49.:27:51.

simply because they're a bit bruised.

:27:52.:27:53.

To tackle that, supermarkets will apparently be advising shoppers

:27:54.:27:56.

on the best ways to use them rather than chuck them away.

:27:57.:27:58.

Cook them! That is too much wasted fruit.

:27:59.:28:04.

And it just underlines that while the big stores come

:28:05.:28:06.

in for a lot of stick over food waste, most of it happens

:28:07.:28:10.

Every home should be issued with a goat!

:28:11.:28:14.

Every morning this week, our team of experts will be

:28:15.:28:17.

grappling with more of your problems in our pop-up advice clinic.

:28:18.:28:19.

And Gloria's out there now to see how they're getting on.

:28:20.:28:22.

I love it out here. I talked to a woman from Wales who has come just

:28:23.:28:28.

to experience this. We've a couple of thorny issues

:28:29.:28:31.

out here this morning - both of them to do with travelling

:28:32.:28:33.

abroad. First off, Simon Calder

:28:34.:28:36.

is here with Bill Bucknell, who contacted us unhappy

:28:37.:28:38.

with the price he paid You went with your son and

:28:39.:28:53.

daughter-in-law. They had a normal cabin, with bunk beds for the

:28:54.:29:00.

children. I booked a single cabin. It only had a single bed. I got

:29:01.:29:07.

charged 48% supplement on what they paid per person. I just think that

:29:08.:29:11.

is penalising the single person unreasonably. Why were you in a twin

:29:12.:29:20.

room? I wasn't. They were. They had one bed out, one bed was in? Single

:29:21.:29:27.

cabins with one single bed. What do you make of that? There are more

:29:28.:29:31.

single cabins on the cruise liners to reflect more people like Bill

:29:32.:29:37.

travelling on their own. The cruise says it is not a supplement, you

:29:38.:29:42.

have got a very in demand cabin, bigger bed than normal, two thirds

:29:43.:29:47.

the size of a twin room and the usual facilities. The reality is the

:29:48.:29:53.

cruise business is designed on the basis of all of the ships will be

:29:54.:29:57.

full all of the time. If there is only one of you in a cabin, you will

:29:58.:30:01.

not be praying all of the tips that are almost compulsory these days,

:30:02.:30:07.

you will not be spending money on expensive alcohol, you will not be

:30:08.:30:11.

taking excursions. What do you make of that? I would disagree with that.

:30:12.:30:16.

They get tips, whether you are single or not. They would get twice

:30:17.:30:22.

as much if there was two people in the cabin. I have no problem with a

:30:23.:30:27.

supplement and they called it a supplement for occupying a twin

:30:28.:30:31.

cabin on my own. You will have to fight this out. You will not get

:30:32.:30:35.

much sympathy! Expedition ships going to Antarctica and they will

:30:36.:30:42.

often give you... I do not think the industry will change. I am sure

:30:43.:30:46.

there will be people watching who will agree with Bill on this issue.

:30:47.:30:52.

I will leave them chatting. Here we have Martin James.

:30:53.:31:02.

She went away to Tenerife and kept receiving calls from a number

:31:03.:31:06.

She didn't answer them, but when she got home,

:31:07.:31:09.

she saw she'd been charged as if she had.

:31:10.:31:12.

And there's a very simple explanation why, isn't there?

:31:13.:31:15.

I was really surprised. And a bit outrageous. It turns out what has

:31:16.:31:20.

probably been happening is she has been receiving voice mails and even

:31:21.:31:23.

though she has not been picking them up, she has been hit with charges

:31:24.:31:28.

and the charges are not obvious. Even if I switch off my phone, I

:31:29.:31:33.

still would pick up the messages? Potentially so. Phones can be

:31:34.:31:38.

different. It can be tricky to know if your phone is off. The safest way

:31:39.:31:41.

is to turn off your phone for the entire trip or get a new SIM card.

:31:42.:31:48.

You are saying there is no clear-cut answer? No. There needs to be

:31:49.:31:52.

something done because the regulations could be tighter. I will

:31:53.:31:55.

get onto this. Good news for Linda. with her phone company -

:31:56.:32:14.

as a gesture of goodwill - I'm sure a lot of people will have

:32:15.:32:18.

been caught out with that one. All this week, we'll be catching up

:32:19.:32:25.

on some of the stories we've And here's the latest

:32:26.:32:28.

on a couple more. Earlier this year, on our Holiday

:32:29.:32:33.

series we met unhappy customers of the travel company, Diamond

:32:34.:32:43.

Holidays. John Essex, 86 at the time, chose to book a coach holiday

:32:44.:32:47.

for a weekend break to London last year. The company's website looked

:32:48.:32:52.

impressive and professional foot it looked like a good deal, a great

:32:53.:32:57.

price. Months later and two weeks before they were due to go that they

:32:58.:33:01.

were finally sent the itinerary for the trip, only to spot the coach

:33:02.:33:05.

journey from Brighton to London would take a whopping six and a half

:33:06.:33:11.

hours. From Brighton to London is 58 miles. The way the holiday company

:33:12.:33:17.

would take us would have been 170 miles. It is three times the

:33:18.:33:22.

distance and three times the amount of time. John and Stephen tried to

:33:23.:33:26.

ask if they could travel by train instead. That failed and they asked

:33:27.:33:32.

to cancel but they were told if they did, they would lose their money. I

:33:33.:33:36.

told them I was 86 and registered blind but they were not interested.

:33:37.:33:40.

After showing their story with as they did get their money back. After

:33:41.:33:45.

our original report went out, we continue to hear from people unhappy

:33:46.:33:51.

with Diamond Holidays. In March, the company announced it had gone into

:33:52.:33:55.

administration due to financial difficulties. The plans for 16,000

:33:56.:34:00.

passengers were scuppered. As the company's passages were protected by

:34:01.:34:06.

ABTA it is expected they will all get their money back. Last Friday we

:34:07.:34:11.

reported on the growing trend for new-build homes to be sold leasehold

:34:12.:34:15.

rather than freehold. It means owners have to pay an annual fee to

:34:16.:34:20.

lease or rent the land which belongs to someone else, usually the

:34:21.:34:24.

developer or another third party. In many cases, that fee can double

:34:25.:34:29.

every few years, a fact that many purchasers say was not made clear,

:34:30.:34:35.

including Lisa from Merseyside. We had no inclination at the ground

:34:36.:34:40.

rent would increase, never mind double and continue to double every

:34:41.:34:45.

period of time. It has just been a lot of worry. In Lisa's case, the

:34:46.:34:51.

?250 ground rent with double every ten years if she stays there for 30

:34:52.:34:57.

years, she would be paying an annual fee of ?2000. It is really stressful

:34:58.:35:03.

and has made us worry about our future, financial security and how

:35:04.:35:07.

we will get our kids to university. The original developer of the estate

:35:08.:35:13.

said whilst it believes the terms of the lease were set out clearly and

:35:14.:35:18.

simply and buyers received independent, professional, legal

:35:19.:35:22.

advice it was putting right difficulties faced by customers

:35:23.:35:26.

because of this. It is converting these doubling leases to ones which

:35:27.:35:32.

are significantly less expensive and, in the future, will now only

:35:33.:35:35.

sell the homes of freehold for the is good news many but will not help

:35:36.:35:39.

Lisa and their neighbours. Their leases have been sold on to another

:35:40.:35:43.

company. There are plenty of other developers selling homes in this

:35:44.:35:47.

way. That is why there are growing calls for action to tackle this

:35:48.:35:48.

right across the industry. Well, we had a huge response

:35:49.:35:51.

to that item last week, with lots of frustrated homeowners

:35:52.:35:53.

getting in touch. And I'm joined now by Paula Higgins

:35:54.:35:55.

from the campaign and advice group Clearly, we've touched a nerve on

:35:56.:36:11.

this. Leasehold has been around for a long time and it is justifiable if

:36:12.:36:18.

you are buying a flat and need to share costs. There is no reason for

:36:19.:36:22.

this with houses. The only reason this to make money out of it. And

:36:23.:36:27.

making a lot and increasing amounts judging by what we saw. Yes. Rights

:36:28.:36:33.

are not there. People are not aware of one of the biggest problems is

:36:34.:36:37.

when people buy a leasehold home and they think they can buy the

:36:38.:36:41.

freehold, they find it has been sold to someone else who is looking to

:36:42.:36:45.

make as much money as possible. Does the small print save the owner of

:36:46.:36:51.

the freehold has the right to up the amount they will charge? It is set

:36:52.:36:58.

in the lease. It will say if it is a doubling of ground rent or whatever.

:36:59.:37:03.

The owner of the freehold can charge extra charges for things. ?100 to

:37:04.:37:07.

put in a request or something like that. That is where people get

:37:08.:37:12.

stuck. With a freehold home you can be charged thousands to convert an

:37:13.:37:18.

extension or a room. What happens if your developer sells up to someone

:37:19.:37:23.

else? That is where it is difficult. If you have a leasehold flat you

:37:24.:37:26.

have the first right to refuse, you have the right to buy the freehold.

:37:27.:37:31.

That does not happen with leasehold houses. The law needs to be changed.

:37:32.:37:35.

At some point you said people should look out for themselves make sure

:37:36.:37:40.

they read the small print. Should they be taking specialist advice

:37:41.:37:44.

before they agree to sign on the line? People should not rely on

:37:45.:37:53.

this. They should get an independent solicitor. That might be why some

:37:54.:37:57.

people have the problem they do today. It is a big purchase and they

:37:58.:38:03.

might regret it later on if they get it wrong. Thank you very much

:38:04.:38:07.

indeed. Good advice. I am sure people will be taking that.

:38:08.:38:10.

Well, a lot of people are using the word scandal

:38:11.:38:13.

We'll keep you posted on what happens.

:38:14.:38:15.

Next today though, we've the consumer confessions

:38:16.:38:17.

Today it's the turn of a face you'll normally see on the Breakfast sofa.

:38:18.:38:22.

But as you'll hear, she has another string to her bow.

:38:23.:38:27.

Millions of us are used to waking up to her on the BBC breakfast sofa

:38:28.:38:35.

every morning. France has elected Emmanuel Macron as its next

:38:36.:38:39.

president. As a presenter and journalists, Louise Minchin gets to

:38:40.:38:42.

interview some of the most famous faces in the world. You are tired, a

:38:43.:38:52.

little bit jet-lagged. What you might not know is that she is also a

:38:53.:38:58.

successful triathlete, who has represented Great Britain in the

:38:59.:39:01.

World Championships. When it comes to all things consumer, what are her

:39:02.:39:06.

top tips? It is great to see you on the set of Breakfast. It is lovely.

:39:07.:39:14.

I normally get up at 3:30am. This morning I got up at 3:40am. Getting

:39:15.:39:20.

up at that time, do have any energy left for shopping? I do not know how

:39:21.:39:24.

I would cope without the internet foot if I shop online for food,"

:39:25.:39:31.

things my daughter's School, so much time is saved by looking something

:39:32.:39:37.

up and doing it that way. You have worked for a long time on Eat you

:39:38.:39:46.

and yours on Radio 4. If you have a complaint with a product, it is

:39:47.:39:55.

worth sticking with it. If you have a problem, chances are someone else

:39:56.:39:59.

has as well. We were offered compensation after we have problems

:40:00.:40:02.

with a holiday for that this is what they offered us. Where we happy? We

:40:03.:40:07.

went back to them and had a negotiation. It can be brave to do

:40:08.:40:13.

that and say, if you are not happy, put your hand up and say something.

:40:14.:40:18.

You are someone who likes a bargain as well. Money was quite tight, so I

:40:19.:40:27.

was always looking for a bargain. If the bicycle cost ?200 and this cost

:40:28.:40:32.

50 and has two wheels and this has two Mo wheels, I would buy the one

:40:33.:40:41.

at 50. I will always look at price will do in the supermarket I would

:40:42.:40:48.

think, this loo paper is ?1.19 and this is ?1.08, I will have that one.

:40:49.:40:52.

I just think every pound in every penny, it all matters. It does.

:40:53.:40:59.

Thank you a much indeed. I am with her on that point of choice. She

:41:00.:41:08.

represented the country, represented Great Britain. Talking of superfit,

:41:09.:41:21.

we are joined by two superfit gentleman.

:41:22.:41:27.

Lily asks if paying with a debit card has the same cover as paying

:41:28.:41:36.

with a credit card? It is often recommended to pay with a credit

:41:37.:41:39.

card when booking a holiday but debit cards are free. We know that

:41:40.:41:44.

paying a fee can sometimes be off-putting. Paying with a credit

:41:45.:41:47.

card does provide you with extra protection than direct debit. Our

:41:48.:41:52.

advice would be comic use both of them rather than using bank

:41:53.:41:59.

transfers. There you have no protection at all. If you ask land,

:42:00.:42:04.

you will lose out. Using a credit card will provide you with some

:42:05.:42:08.

extra rejection. It is wise when you are making a big purchase. Alison

:42:09.:42:15.

was listening to the conversation we were having earlier about delayed

:42:16.:42:20.

flights will. She said she was on a delayed flight, over five hours. The

:42:21.:42:25.

airline agreed to pay compensation. She was told she would get the money

:42:26.:42:30.

in 14 days but a month later she has not got anything. I would write a

:42:31.:42:36.

friendly letter saying if she does not here in seven days, it she will

:42:37.:42:42.

be asking her solicitor. I did not make it absolutely clear the airline

:42:43.:42:45.

does not always have to pay out if it is something like a security

:42:46.:42:49.

alert which closed Leeds Bradford Airport or strikes or whether, they

:42:50.:42:53.

do not have to pay but they do have to look after your provide you with

:42:54.:42:57.

meals and, if necessary, accommodation to get you to a need

:42:58.:43:02.

to be. If fraudsters are trying to steal money from your accounts, why

:43:03.:43:07.

can't banks direct police to the fraudsters? That is a really good

:43:08.:43:12.

question. I think bank should be doing more about this. As I said

:43:13.:43:17.

earlier, if you pay by credit card or debit card to a scammer, you can

:43:18.:43:25.

get your money back. Thank you for coming in again to

:43:26.:43:32.

raise dash today. But we'll be here again tomorrow

:43:33.:43:39.

when we'll be looking at the dramatic rise

:43:40.:43:41.

in pension fraud. We'll hear how the money some people

:43:42.:43:43.

had saved for years has And we'll have advice to stop

:43:44.:43:46.

the same thing happening to you. Plus, are those smart meters we're

:43:47.:43:50.

all being told to install quite

:43:51.:43:54.

A test reveals the alarming extent to which second-hand car dealers are leaving buyers exposed to dangerous faults that haven't been fixed.

Plus the leasehold scandal that has left tens of thousands of new homeowners stuck with charges that even developers now agree are unfair, and the team exposes the tactics some online shopping sites use to make us think we need to order in a hurry.

And, with airlines still not always following the rules when flights are delayed, there is advice to make sure you don't end up out of pocket if your journey hasn't gone to plan.