Episode 3 Rip Off Britain

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Episode 3

Live episodes of the consumer series. Viewers reveal how they have lost their savings after companies targeted their pension pots.

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the programme and thank you for coming and thank you for watching,


and up next it is Rip-off Britain. We will see


Welcome to another live edition of Rip Off Britain with some


devastating examples of the kind of pension fraud I'm sorry to say is on


the rise. Savings built up over years and years have effectively


vanished, leaving people tens of thousands of pounds out of pocket


and facing, when you look at it, a very uncertain future. The thing is,


you may well be approached by companies offering plans for your


money so we're going to have advised to let you decide and recognise if


they really do want to make your pension grow or just disappear


altogether. We asked you to tell us what has


left you feeling ripped off and you contacted us in your thousands.


You've told us about the companies you think get it wrong and the


customer service that simply isn't up to scratch. Once they've got your


money, they are not interested in coming back to you or to give you


customer service. You've asked us to track down the scammers who stole


your money and investigate the extra charges you say are unfair. I think


prices are going up and nobody is actually doing anything to improve


that. And when you've lost out but nobody to blame, you've come to come


to us to stop others falling into the same trap. Just leave me alone!


So whether it is a genuine mistake or a blatant rip-off, we are here to


find out why you are out of pocket and what you can do about it. Your


stories, your money. This is Rip Off Britain.


Hello, and welcome to the halfway point of our week


We're loving being here - and we're thrilled by the response


we've had on the topics we've covered so far.


Yes, I'm delighted to say we've been inundated


So many thanks to everyone who's taken the trouble to get in touch.


And we hope you'll do it again today!


If you are going to do it, it is very simple.


ripoffbritain@bbc.co.uk is the best way you can


Or we're on Facebook - just look for BBC Rip Off Britain.


And we're sure you'll have plenty to say about the subjects we'll be


with wedding season about to get under way - we'll see if some venues


might be pulling a fast one by holding onto the money if you end


We'll also be asking if the smart meters we're


all being encouraged to install are always quite as clever


And my friend Aled Jones will be telling us why he leaves everything


We'll be back outside with our experts as they get


to grips with more of your problems at our pop-up advice clinic.


Today it's personal finance whizz Sarah Pennells and our legal expert


Gary Rycroft who'll be stepping up to the plate.


There they were, standing by ready to answer your questions later in


the programme. But before all that,


new figures from the City of London Police show that more


than ?8 million was stolen from our collective pension pots


during the month of March. That's ten times as much


as was taken in the previous month. But those figures -


however shocking - Because after seeing this report,


it's the impactof losing those savings that will stick


in your mind the most. My heart hit the floor. It was


devastating. I don't really know where my money is and I'm just


scared that half of it could of gone, three quarters. I have no idea


where it is at. Both these men should be making the most of the


money they've paid into their pensions all their working lives but


they're not because, effectively, their money has gone. And if you've


got a pension, there may be people targeting yours in a similar way.


But, for John Fowler from Harrow in west London, it began in 2012, when


he received a call out of the blue from somebody describing themselves


as a pensions advisor. Normally cold calls I give short shrift to. I'm


not rude but I just say "No thank you" and put the phone down. Since


he knew who I was and where my pension was, that's when I thought,


if they knew where it was, maybe somebody at that side of it was


quite happy for them to approach people. It gave it a bit of


legality, I suppose. John was told the pension he had had with a


previous employer, with ?212,000, wasn't performing well and could be


invested more wisely. Not only that, the caller said that right now John


could have a tax-free lump sum from his pension of ?75,000. I couldn't


believe my luck and because my daughter had been through


university, my son was in university, I had a car that was


older than myself, the windows were falling out, and if I was sitting


outside sometimes, I thought we would get the windows done, which we


had been bidding for years, and the car. I thought, I can get a car now.


John agreed to transfer his pension pot to a particular company and was


given his lump sum. The rest of his money, he assumed, was being


invested wisely but in 2013, he was shocked to learn that following an


investigation the pensions regulator had appointed new trustees to the


scheme and a key part of their role was tracking down what has happened


to investors' money - in other words, it wasn't clear where his


savings had gone. I told my wife and she said, what does that mean? I


said, I think I've done something really stupid. I think I've


transferred into a company and they've wandered away with our


money. My heart hit the floor. It was devastating. It isn't just my


pension fund, sorry. It's my wife's as well. It is our pension-fund. And


I had stupidly, you know, chucked it the way. But, believe it or not,


worse was to follow. It turned out that the lump sum John had received


wasn't, as he'd been told, tax-free. He would only have been eligible for


any tax-free sum if he had been 55 and, sadly for John, he was just


short of that. So HMRC slapped him with a huge tax bill. He would have


to pay back over ?41,000, 55% of the lump sum he took out on the advice


of the company. It is just distressing because it is on my mind


all the time. I go to bed worrying about it. Wake-up worrying about it,


and worry about it during the day as well. Of the ?212,000 pension pot


that John had diligently saved for years, it seemed only 33,000 is


left. Meanwhile, two of the directors of the company had simply


gone on to set up another company. There must be some mechanism that


would allow them to catch these people and bring them to task. How


they are walking around free at the moment, I don't know, with all that


money gone missing. Just ridiculous. But it seems John is just one of a


string of people whose pension pots were decimated after they got


involved with 5G Wealth Management. At the pensions regulator, Andrew is


in charge of tackling pension fraud and scams. First of all what I did


was to attract about ?60 million of pension money from innocent


consumers and legitimate pension schemes and they invested that in a


variety of overseas unlisted and unregulated investment vehicles.


When we intervened, that 60 million had dwindled to less than ?1


million. Three weeks ago, the pensions regulator announced it had


banned the directors of 5G Wealth Management from going near anyone


else's pension ever again. But that is bittersweet news for John, who is


no closer to knowing if he will oversee the rest of his money again.


We got in touch with the directors of 5G Wealth Management Limited. One


of them chose not to comment for legal reasons, and the others didn't


get back to us at all. But the pensions regulator has a huge task,


tackling pension fraud, with so many people's savings having been


targeted. We know from the police that they get a lot of reports of


fraud and theft in relation to pension schemes. If you total it


altogether from the various agencies, you get to a number that


is many billions of pounds. Some people would say it is as high as 9


billion or 10 billion. The answer is, we don't really know. A lot of


people are really embarrassed if they have been scammed. They don't


like to tell their family or admit it to their friends and they don't


even tell the authorities about it, so I suspect that the true number is


very much higher than the numbers we know about. Another person who has


lost their savings through a different company is Gary Bradley


from Manchester. He only realised what had happened after we


highlighted on this programme how this type of fraud had increased


since 2015, when the industry introduced greater freedom on


investing your pension. At almost to being able to breathe because you


think, my goodness, what's about to happen here? Seeing that story got


Gary thinking. I ended up seeing this pension scam that was on there


and the more they went through these two case studies, the more I started


thinking I'd gone down a similar Avenue. I hadn't met the people I


was supposed to meet, it was all done on e-mails. And you're


thinking, these people have lost all their money. Am I going down the


same way? Have I gone down the same Avenue as they have done? Gary had


transferred just over ?54,000 from his pension pots to a company that


cold called him. He signed the paperwork in this very bar. He knows


his funds were transferred abroad but now the company he dealt with no


longer exists and he has been getting letters from another


company, saying his money has dwindled away to talk I don't really


know where my money is. I know where I think it has gone. I have some


paperwork from these people who have got it and it could possibly still


be with them but you just want to put it in a place and have them look


after it for you and I'm just scared that half of it could have gone,


three quarters, I have no idea where it is that. To help Gary try to find


out where his money is, we've enlisted our family Freud lawyer. --


fraud lawyer. I understand they had some concerns about the type of


pension schemes you were looking to move your money to. They had


concerns about the places it was going because they may be a bit


risky, and they thought, if you move them to these places, you could end


up losing money as well as gaining it. The whole thing to do with the


risk, and they said all the right noises. But I was still convinced


that I thought the one I was told, that these were the places that were


going to make is the best amount of money for a frozen pension pot, so I


was quite happy with continuing at that time. But whatever the company


promised, where the money has ended up is uncertain. I can say from


experience of investigating these cases, when you are having to deal


with parties overseas, if they are dishonest they know how to frankly


fob you off, they know how to tie you up in circles. You go around and


you just can't get to the bottom of it. That was their plan. Because you


are overseas, they may not listen to any court orders we have over here


or pay attention to those. The sad truth for Gary is that once you lose


track of your money in any pension fraud or scam you are unlikely to


see it again, which is something the pensions regulator sees frequently.


Our mission really is to try to prevent people from getting into the


scam in the first place, to make them aware of the hallmarks of a


scam, to stop them making the transfer. Once the scammers have got


your money, the chances of getting it back are very, very low indeed.


That's why the organisation has a website with simple advice on how to


spot if a scheme is a scammed. We've got this need to check list at the


bottom which sets out what the hallmarks of a scam are, so if they


bothered me a free pension review, if you text that box, it is almost


certainly a scam. Guaranteed return on your investment is the hallmark


of a scammed. Exotic sounding investments overseas is a favourite.


I click submit and that says, that is a scam. Run, basically. Andrew is


clear that one thing above all should sound alarm bells. No


reputable pension company will cold call you or come knocking at your


door or send you unsolicited texts. Any kind of unsolicited contact in


relation to pension schemes should be illegal. That won't stop it


happening but it allows us to say to consumers, if anybody contacts you,


it is a scam, definitely, because it is against the law to do it, so that


would help enormously. All this is too late for John, of course, though


he has his own tips on how to avoid falling into the trap he did. My


advice is just, do your checking. The internet is a fantastic


resource. You can really go through all the different avenues that are


available to you instead of actually listening to some sweet talking scam


artist on the end of a phone. They promise you the world and deliver


you nothing. I think it is worth reiterating the advice from the


pensions regulator. Whatever you do, don't be seduced


by the promises of anyone contacting you out of the blue


about your pension - however convincing


the line they spin you. We all felt so sorry but it is


savings that are hard to get and how to hold onto. Sorry for the family.


Well, a ban on cold calling about pensions has been mooted,


And, in the meantime, do let us know if anyone's


targeted your savings - particularly if they might be trying


If you can forewarn viewers that is the first line of defence.


Meanwhile, you sent us plenty of comments


You'll remember we revealed how used car


dealers may be breaking the law by not telling you about any


outstanding safety recalls on the vehicle you're buying.


Which prompted all manner of car-related emails.


One was from Denis Williams - a former policeman -


who got in touch to emphasise that under the Consumer Protection from


Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, anything that may affect a decision


to purchase must be declared at the point of sale.


He reckons that's something not all car dealers may want you to know!


I think our report yesterday showed that.


We also talked about the tactics some retailers use


And David Ashbridge emailed to say he occasionally buys things


from TV shopping channels - where presenters excitedly tell


you how fast you need to act if you don't want


David thinks they should be compelled to make clear how many


items are actually in stock - perhaps with an icon in the corner


of the screen that goes down every time one is sold.


That way viewers will know exactly what the true situation is.


David, interesting idea but who knows - perhaps


as the number went down, it would just add to the pressure?


And you may recall we discussed flight


delays yesterday too - after which Jen and Ian Aldridge


told us they'd been delayed five and a half hours a couple


But they got nothing back because the holiday company said


it was due to a bird striking the plane - and therefore


They ask, is that really a genuine excuse to not pay compensation?


To which the answer I'm afraid is now yes, after a test case


in the European Union Court of Justice confirmed the point


Next this morning, chances are you've had a letter


encouraging you to get a smart meter fitted to keep better track


But some of you have asked whether those meters are smart


enough when it comes to switching supplier.


I have come to fit your meter. With more than 5 million devices fitted,


Smart meter installation is well under way. You will be able to see


exactly how much energy you are using. As this advert shows smart


meters are aimed at making our lives easier by helping us keep track of


the energy we are using and on the whole the idea seems to have gone


down very well. I have got one and I think it is fantastic. It makes you


turn things off. Use things like this. I do not fill the kettle like


I used to. I have just had a smart meter put into a flat we have and we


are not always there though it is handy that I do not have to always


keep going and reading my meter downstairs. Because I have this


meter installed I tend to switch the lights off and I will say to my


wife, do not leave the lights on in the kitchen, switch it off and let


us try to save some money. The aim is that every UK home has the smart


reader installed by the end of 2020. Peter from a price comparison


website believes the idea is a good one. The benefits of a smart meter


are they provide information to the supplier for the consumption of


energy in the home. From a customer point of view it means the end of


estimated bills because it allows the supplier accurately calculate


how much the customer spending. This man loves converted mill outside


Sheffield and energy prices is something he has been wary of


particularly in the winter. A large part of your expenditures for gas


and electricity so the more you can save the better. About three years


ago we noticed the prices were going up so much and we were trying to


think of ways of reducing the cost. He was interested when his supplier


British Gas told about a new way he could monitor his energy consumption


even more closely. We had a lot of pressure to have a meter from the


energy company that we were with at the time. The thing that convinced


us in the end was that on a number of occasions the rural Michigan is


by the energy company of our meters. Our neighbour's meters were close to


ours and often they would read the wrong meter and it would take


several months to sort out and get the Bell correct. Ken was careful to


make sure that his new gadget would not become an issue if he chose to


switch supplier again in the future. I asked the engineer who installed


it whether or not we would have a problem if we moved another


supplier. He said no, it would not be a problem. In fact nine months


later when Ken fancied switching supplier it turned out it was a


problem and his smart meter was not smart enough to work with SSE, the


company he hoped to move to. We thought this would be a simple


change however we spoke to SSE and said we had a smart meter and they


said it is an incompatible system. Rather than have the hassle of


getting his new supplier's smart meter installed he decided to stick


with British Gas because he knows he is likely to switch suppliers again


and cannot bear the idea of having to change his meter every time, even


if that means he has been left without a meter that is no longer


very smart at all. It means we have none of the functionality we had


before. So that we have a monitor which is useless and everything has


to go back to as if it was a -- manual meter. Ken thinks the rush to


rule out manual meters it has not been made clear that a meter may


only work with one supplier. I contacted the regulator and sent


them an email saying that this seemed a ridiculous state of our


fears and as this was a government initiative I had presumed that would


be more effort put in the first place to make sure a standardised


meter was used. We got in touch with his old supplier who denied that its


engineer would have told him he did keep his smart meter if he switched


but they told a smart meters are not just about easier switching but have


a whole host of other benefits. It said it ensures that customers


switching to British Gas to retain their smart services but when


customers switch from British Gas it is up to the new supplier to make


sure the smart benefits are maintained. His new provider SSE


blamed the issues he and others had experienced on significant delays to


the UK smart meter infrastructure going live. SSE said that it makes


customers aware of this when they book a smart meter installation and


both companies stressed that steps are being taken to ensure that in


the future switching will not mean losing your smart meter


functionality. Ken is not the only person to get in touch about there


not so smart meter. We have also heard from you in Northampton who


was to discover his smart meter would not function in smart mode


after he switched suppliers. Stewart wrote to see how irritated he was


when after changing to a cheaper tariff he found his smart meter was


no longer quite so clever. One of the problems with the first


generation of smart meters is that the information that should go


between suppliers is not happening with some of those smart meters and


in essence that is leaving customers in switching Limbaugh not knowing


whether the right decision as to stay with their current supplier,


which might mean they are overpaying, or move to a new


supplier and potentially lose some of that smart functionality.


Fortunately there is light at the end of the smart meter tunnel


because it is expected that these early smart meters will be upgraded


so they are smart enough to do the job if you switch supplier and a


second generation of smart meters is being developed. These will


eliminate the problem is the current generation of meters have and will


allow consumers to switch supplier very freely. Unfortunately the


second generation will only be implemented later this year and by


that stage up to 10 million customers will be on the first


generation of meter. At the moment smart meters only save the average


customer ?11 a year but it is hoped it will rise to ?43 by 2020.


Consumers say it is not always clear that the benefits of those smart


meters will not always transferred to a different supplier. I felt so


strongly about this than I am not somebody who normally complains but


there seems to me crazy because you lose out.


Well, Smart Energy GB, which describes itself as the voice


of the smart meter roll-out, says that even if customers do


temporarily lose some smart functionality after switching


supplier, they'll be switching with more confidence,


because they'll have an accurate picture of their previous energy use


and therefore be better able to choose the right tariff.


It says eight out of ten people with a smart meter


Well, joining me is Lawrence Slade from Energy UK, which represents


Lawrence, we've sparred many times on energy prices,


so it's nice to be talking about something else.


I do, I have a smart electricity and gas meter. What are the advantages?


They are great. We moved house and change supplier and I kept my smart


functionality and it gave us a guide as to how the house, how efficient


it is and allowed us to save quite a lot of money. You're one of the few


where the functionality remained because some say 6 million, some say


a million, on the first batch of smart meters, they are not


functional. This is a huge programme. 53 million metres or


something in that nature. We are at the beginning of the programme and


while I share very much your contributors' frustrations of losing


that smart functionality there are programmes under way to make sure


you get that back and I want to make sure no one is put off switching.


You do not have to have your meter replaced. I am about to query my gas


bill and when the gas man came he said you have to put in a smart


meter. How much of a role with that cost me? About ?60 as an


installation fee including your bill in the same way as your current


meter cost. It would be on my bill. At my stage in life I am looking at


the figure, ?43 by 2030, I will be in a box by then. It seems a small


amount of saving. It is about saving and helping you understand your


efficiency and making sure you get accurate bills all the time so every


month of you want to pay by direct debit you are paying for the energy


you use so you're not rubbing up debit or credit with your company.


You can understand your energy better, get accurate bills and pay


for the energy you are using... What I do not understand, why it was a


meter not made that would do all? We are all being encouraged to switch,


why did you not make a meter that would fit everything? It is a


development of the meter so these were the first meters rolled out


nationally and a under way now to looked how we can make sure you keep


the smart functionality. When? As I discovered for some companies it is


there now and it will be rolled out over others over the next months.


Somebody said later this year, is that accurate or will it be next


year? Towards the end of this year, air early next year, it is a huge


programme that has had some challenges. We are talking about


moving from analogue meters effectively to digital meters and


they will give more benefits as we get down the line. Thank you. I am


sure I will see you again. I look forward to it.


Well, all this week our experts have been tackling your problems


We have all decided that by 2030 will not be in your box, you will be


on the box! Simon Marcus, who's had trouble


trying to sort an issue Simon, your home had damp


proof coursing installed by the previous owner and it came


with a ten year guarantee. So why hasn't the company


honoured its guarantee Tell me what the problem is. When I


bought the property I was told was a guarantee and there has always been


our problem with damp since I bought it. I was told it was guaranteed.


The guy said because I do not have a physical copy of the guarantee that


I cannot do anything about it. It is quite frustrating. It must be


because you have no physical proof this work was done. I have an


invoice that purchased the guarantee but I do not have the guarantee


itself. What is your advice? It is all about the paperwork. If you are


told there is a guarantee get the paperwork, and then make sure it is


assigned to you because you have to have a legal relationship with the


man who bids in the dump row. Should that be in the huge document we sell


it when we sell our house giving the new purchaser all the information


they need? Yes, the property information form. The seller should


disclose guarantees, the conveyancer should get a hold of the copy and


explained to you how you can get that assigned to you. You have to


have the benefits of the guarantee personally to claim later. Brilliant


advice for in a buddy watching. In the meantime you should talk because


he should be able to give you advice.


Hopefully we will have a better outcome to this one with Sarah


because we've had a letter from Margaret, who can't be with us


today, but she has a problem with a prepaid virtual visa card for


shopping online. I don't know what that is. These prepaid cards are


very similar to a debit card that you use the shopping. Charity-macro


key differences. The first is that you can only spend money you've


loaded up on in advance and the second is, you don't get physical


card but in your wallet or purse, you just get the details online.


Margaret says that the problem is that many of the shops she's tried


shopping won't accept the card because she's not been using it,


they are now charging her a fee because it is inactive and she wants


to stop the card and get all her money back. What can she do? The


problem with these cards is that many of them do have these either


for loading up or if you don't use them. The card company has actually


said they will help Margaret to close her account and they won't


charge her. All she needs to do is give some additional information and


to redress for compliance reasons. I can understand why she was


frustrated because having looked at the terms and conditions, it does


seem to imply you can use it anywhere visa card is accepted but I


will be keeping an eye on them just to make sure they do close her card


as they promised. Sarah is on the case so we will get that result!


Thank you very much. That's it from the Piazza. It's all yours!


Lots of consumer stories are making news again today.


Most papers report on the latest inflation figures, which show prices


rising at their fastest for four years.


You can see here the Guardian cites two main reasons for that,


Electricity Costs And Air Fares Push Up Inflation.


I smiled at her story in the Daily Mail today that says that eggs are


so good for you that they should be on the script and. I agree with that


because I love eggs and always have but when you read on in this report,


it is based on a study by the British egg industry council. Well,


you would expect them to say that but I do food programme last year


and the professor in question said an egg has everything in it that you


would want, even better than a stake. That is unexpected news! Have


a look at this headline. Figures say that an rise in adolescent obesity


is down to teenagers being hooked on their mobiles. No surprise there but


what does stand out is that it is you girls in Scotland that are


number one in the world for that. I wonder how they arrived at that!


They are probably not watching, they are on their phones.


Well, all this week we're updating some of the stories we've featured


And here's the latest on a couple more.


One of the biggest consumer stories of last year was the news that 5


million tumble dryers manufactured by one of the biggest names in the


business, Whirlpool, were at risk of catching fire. Investigators


discovered they had been linked to at least 750 house fires since 2004.


A review discovered potential safety issues where excess fluff in the


dryers could catch in the heating element. As we reported in our last


live series, one such fire in the home of John Wood from Hampshire led


to the death of a family pet, Holly. I broke down in tears that night. I


have been for the past few nights after that. The wife was devastated


because it was our first family pet that we had together. It was a


member of the family. The problem affected models sold under the


Hotpoint, Creda and Indesit brands, manufactured between 2004 and 2015.


Once it was discovered, whirlpool embarked on the biggest safety alert


in British history. Good afternoon, you're through to whirlpool,


speaking to Heather, how can I help? At the company was criticised for


the advice it was giving for customers while it was waiting


further dryers to be checked and modified. Whirlpool insists that the


drivers are still used to -- dryers are still safe to use the meantime


but just to be sure, the company has told customers not to leave their


appliance unattended when it is switched on and to check out through


the filter after every use. But on this programme, after a dramatic


blaze in a tower block in Shepherd's Bush, London Fire Brigade's head of


investigations disagreed. London Fire Brigade believes they should


change their advice to their customers, that they should not use


those tumble dryers until they have been fixed by one of their


engineering team. In February of this year, Whirlpool did finally


change its advice. The company issued a new statement telling


owners of affected models to unplug it and not use it again until the


necessary modification had taken place. The company says safety is


always its number one priority and that it has gone to extraordinary


lengths to trace owners of the affected products and rectify the


issue. It also says an independent review has confirmed that it has


acted responsibly. You can find out how to check if your dryer is


affected on our website. In April last year, we met these


unhappy brides, both of whom were horrified when the caterer they had


booked for their wedding failed to deliver the food she promised. It


was really, really embarrassing and devastating for us. I did a lot of


crying and no bride should have to go through that. Following that


report, it emerged that those two brides were among no less than 700


customers all let down by the same company, Bake A Cake Catering


Services, with a funeral and birthday parties world as well as


weddings. You shouldn't feel, oh, my wedding was ruined because I didn't


have any food, but it is part of the whole day and it is a day that I


should have been looking forward to, not dreading. And in March this


year, the woman behind the business was jailed for three years after


pleading guilty to several counts of fraud. The judge described her


actions as irresponsible, cruel and deceitful. Her husband was also


jailed for laundering the proceeds. Well, as someone knee-deep


in planning a wedding myself, Actually, that is not true, my


daughter is doing all the planning and I am just signing the checks!


I must confess that story filled me with horror.


But catering isn't all that can go wrong with a wedding.


And with me to discuss that are wedding expert George Watts


George, ?25,000 as the average spend on a wedding. That staggers me to


drop it is crazy and quite often people spend their whole life saving


for a wedding and with their families. It is a big investment so


you do have to spend wisely. You will find in some cases just


mentioning the word wedding adds 40 present a certain venue so you have


to watch carefully. What about the issue of the deposit? Supposing you


have to cancel your wedding, but because you have fallen out of love


with your intended but perhaps there has been a drama of illness or


something in the family, you have no alternative but to cancel, and yet a


lot of these companies won't give you back your deposit, even if you


give them lots of motors? The important thing in the beginning is


to check the schedule of payments and also the deposit, because it


should be quite a small deposit. Most good venues will just take a


small deposit in the beginning, so then if you do need to cancel, you


are in a better room to negotiate and barter what you can get back.


Gary, what is the legal position? Obviously, wedding companies are


entitled to be payback for their expenses but it has to be fair so if


you are cancelling three months before, you may be looking at losing


all the deposit, 12 months may be quite a lot of it but 18 months,


certainly not, that's not fair. Wedding companies would be able to


resell the date and mitigate their loss that way. Say you've given them


plenty of notice and they are still playing hardball, do you have any


redress? It is all about the terms and conditions, which should be


explained to you at the outset. It is not very romantic but sit down


and look about contract because that will be the basis of your argument


with the wedding venue and that should be explaining to you have the


deposit will be repaid. Gary used the word not very romantic but,


actually, you would endorse that. You've got to be very hard-headed.


You have to be very hard-headed. I have known venues charge to cut up


the wedding cake it up if you don't want a white tablecloth, you have to


pay extra, if you want the party to go on past midnight, you have to pay


extra. It is so important to look after those venues. Thank you very


much indeed. Next, it's time to reveal


the spending secrets But, as a consumer,


is his head in the clouds? He's been a household name for over


30 years. So we're a few days into the season of Lent. If you given


something up or have taken something on, our opening hymn should give you


some strength and encouragement. Aled Jones began his career as


Britain's most famous choirboys and now presents radio and TV programmes


including Songs Of Praise. He still makes records and on a recent album


even duetted with recordings of his 15-year-old self. Allott, literally,


you travel all the time, whether it is in this country or abroad, so who


looks after all the bills and the Finance in your household? OK, time


to come clean, Gloria. Who do you think doesn't it? My wife! I am


hopeless with money. The way I see it is, as long as I'm earning money,


then I can spend it, but how it all works, without my wife I would be in


a ruin. Do you never check the bills are anything? Would you know what


your electric and gas bill is? No, my wife does it all. Even when I'm


in arrest in the bill comes, sometimes I just pay without even


looking. That's so bad, isn't it? Does your wife do that on your


behalf? Yes, she is there in every aspect of bills and where the money


goes in the household. I'm quite lackadaisical. I've never told


anyone that! Do you ever go shopping together? She's completely useless


at shopping. I'm really, really good at shopping. If anyone wants to


check out your outfits, I'm your man. Love that one, Gloria, maybe


not that one. Mum and Dad worked really hard. Dad was an engineer,


Mum was a teacher so we weren't loaded. I think dad was very much a


saver. Did he teach you to save? No. I know you got two children, one


daughter, one son. Do they ever ask you to go shopping with them or to


take them shopping? My son is not interested at all. The only shop in


his life is one that sells bricks that go on top of one another, you


know where I'm going with this? He lives for Lego so would be much


easier in the grand scheme of things if I just gave Tampa sent my wage to


Denmark! It honestly would. -- 10% of my wage. It is lovely to see you


because I have been seeing you since you are in short trousers and you


had lovely knees either men! Thanks a million.


He is such a nice boy! We have to say apologies if anyone was offended


by an odd, that one of our contributors made on the pop-up shop


this morning! Sarah Pennells and Gary Rycroft


are still with us, poised to answer some of the questions you've sent us


while we've been on air. One for you and maybe you, Gary,


about the fact that he went into jury service and lost ?700 for the


two weeks he was in court because employer wouldn't pay. Is that


right? It is a great thing to do jury service, it is what we should


all do in a civilised society, and you should be paid for it so he


needs to have a word with the court service and they will advise him


where he needs to go. Sarah, I have one for you. Mick Buchanan has got


one for us. He bought hot air balloon tickets for ?260 but every


time he calls to book the flight is cancelled because of bad weather.


They won't give him a refund because he has on-board insurance. Help, he


says. This is a real problem with hot air balloon rides because, as


you can imagine, the weather has to be very calm, it can't be windy, and


there are cases where people have bought these as gifts and then can't


take the right. Unfortunately, the terms and


conditions of these contracts normally say that these rights are


weather dependent. What companies generally will do is extend the life


of the voucher. Some of them, if you've cancelled over a long period


of time, we'll give you your money but the that is and ex-grazier


payment and not something they to do by law. He might have to wait until


he is 120? Wait for a sunny day! I have a comment from Lorna Curran.


She says something that sums up what we are all about which is on the


pension story we told you about earlier. She says she has been


contacted by somebody offering a free pension review. Suspicion! She


said it was due on Friday and she will now decline and I think that is


a very good decision, Lorna. Well done. We've given you hopefully lots


of good information today but it's all we've got time for on this


programme but we will be back tomorrow, asking when we buy things


on social media, where everything is all about likes and how many friends


you have, are we all too quick to let down our guard?


We'll also be looking at why the age at which child discounts give way


to the full adult price can vary so wildly.


And we'll see why broadband speeds still aren't always


Have a good day and we will see you in the morning. Goodbye.


As viewers reveal how they have lost their savings after companies targeted their pension pots, what has happened to all the money?

Plus why some viewers have been left frustrated by the smart meters that aren't quite as clever as they had hoped.

More problems are resolved at the pop-up shop, there is advice to avoid being short-changed when planning a wedding, and another well-known face reveals their consumer secrets.