Episode 7 Watchdog


Episode 7

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In the last year or so, as to the complaints we see about packaged

:02:58.:03:02.

accounts relate to people who tell us they didn't even know they had

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this kind of account. Or they were signed up to it without

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understanding it. What most people do understand it is the cost. Of

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the average annual fee has gone from �127 in 2006, up to 187 pound

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now and then there are the benefits themselves. Research shows nearly a

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third of customers they surveyed don't use any of them up and some

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like insurance and breakdown cover can be bought cheaper elsewhere,

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but the most serious complaint concerns the way some of these

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accounts were sold in the first place. Where we see problems and

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upheld complaints, it's usually because the information given to

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the consumer up front has not been clear enough. Maureen and Peter

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visited their local HSBC branch to tidy up their finances. They were

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enticed by the offer of a packaged account which came with a range of

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supposed insurance benefits. young lady went through all our

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outgoings with us. The life policies we were paying was costing

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us just under �60 a month, and she thought was quite a lot of money.

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And then she said, had we heard about this new Advanced account?

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She told us we would get �3,000 on death each, and the amount was

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�12.95 a month. I thought we were very lucky that date. We cancelled

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our other policy, and cancelled our other life policies. And were very

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happy. We thought things were going to be a lot easier. Months later,

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as they were preparing to on holiday, they checked the small

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print of their new account and were shocked to find the insurance

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policies only covered customers aged up to 70. As they were in

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their mid-Seventies, they had no trouble and virtually no life

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insurance. I put my hand up, we didn't go through the documents

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that day. Unfortunately, we are of an age, when the bank tells you

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something, you believe them. I had never for one minute suspected they

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would do this. They would give us an account. It was no good to us.

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Although their complaint happened, the bank said they were at fault

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for not reading the terms and conditions before signing up, so

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the couple were left and insured and it proved to be a critical

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moment in their lives. -- An insured. Since this has happened, I

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have been diagnosed with a cancerous growth. Obviously, nobody

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is going to touch me with insurance when you have been diagnosed with

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cancer. Whether the HSBC agree or not, it is their fault. We gave up

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our cover because we were offered cover by them with a new account.

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It is an unbelievably scary time, especially now with my illness.

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It's a shocking story. Yes, but there is a happy ending because

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HSBC have now admitted making an error. It says it appears they were

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told they could qualify for all the benefits that came with their

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account when they couldn't, so they have been refunded in full, plus

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extra as an apology. We have got a result. They have accepted the

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offer and said they are happy and relieved. OK, that's one couples

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sorted, but what about all the others paying for packaged

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accounts? Should they ditch them? Martyn Lewis has been putting some

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of the most popular ones to the test. Mobile-phone insurance,

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identity theft cover, three music downloads, Will Writing Services,

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airport lounge access, the list of added extras to seduce us into fee-

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paying bank accounts is seemingly endless. No wonder they have been

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able to flog so many of them to us. Are packaged account customers

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winners or losers? I have come to this north London high-street to

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set up my watchdog bank account clinic. My aim is to track down

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package account holders and challenge their assumptions to see

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if they would be better off back with their old free current

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accounts. Wright, who was first? Anthony. He pays �12 a month for

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his package account for the accounting. It gives you annual

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family worldwide travel insurance. I don't really use it. Do you have

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a car? Breakdown cover with Green Flag? Did you know that?

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Mobile-phone insurance? Do I have that? You need to register your

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mobile phone. But you have not registered it? No. You're paying

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for the birth of. What I would suggest to you is whether it's

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worth all that money. No. I believe that there are millions of others

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just like Anthony. They have been sold benefits would sound good and

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they don't need them, don't use them and don't want them, and it's

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a waste of money. Do you drive? It's irrelevant. My breakdown cover

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up. Their often less expensive ways to do it, anyway. You're a pain 96p

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will mobile-phone insurance. Could you could cheaper elsewhere? -- you

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are paying a �96 a year. All we have to pay his 86p a month. They

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didn't mention to you they offer lots of other accounts. For some,

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once they have got packaged accounts, switching would be a

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mistake. I have a large overdraft. For the size of the but so if you

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have got up to that limit, I think you're in the right area. And we

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found some who do make use of the benefits. You have annual cover you

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use and mobile-phone insurance that you use and Green Flag. It would

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have to be substantially cheaper elsewhere. Many add that bank

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customers need to look at their monthly fees. Airport access to,

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how many times a be used it? A not at all. If the added extras are

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worth the money, life cover or work through �1,000? Trouble planning

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and safety? I don't know what that is. You have a, report. A bouquet.

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You are paying �8 a month. The cost is �96 to you. IAD their

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persistence. It has a very limited value of. Some coloured cards give

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it free. Music downloads, a film at a rental, mobile-phone insurance.

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Yes. Are you getting a good deal for �96 for the mobile-phone

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insurance? That's all you're getting for your money. Martin,

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sadly, not in its amazing shirt. I'm in blue velvet for you. What

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more do you want? A lot of benefits but why are so many worthless?

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People really go in and ask for these accounts. They get called up

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on the telephone. You have got to multiply it by 12 and think of the

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annual cost. It's not a bank account but a package of insurance

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products you are buying. Does the person on the phone get a cat?

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but if you're paying �20 a month, for annual worldwide family travel

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insurance, but you don't go out of Europe, you could get one for �25.

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If you're at 78, and can't get cheap travel insurance, then it can

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be good. What about life assurance offered to allow a couple? It did a

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good policy to get for older people. For younger people, it's meant to

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cover 10 times your salary. �3,000 would not cover the average funeral.

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You would need another one on top. Is it difficult to change banks?

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they will let you drop down to free, unless you have a big overdraft.

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Look at the best free accounts out there. Nationwide gives you a good

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account. Halifax will pay you 5p a month on other accounts. There are

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good free deals out there. Chris. The major banks say their accounts

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harbour a few customer complaints and they advise customers of

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changes to prices to ensure they understand all aspects of their

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kind before signing up and are regularly remind them of the

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benefits. If you would like to comment on this, you can e-mail us.

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You can also send us a text message. If you want to follow as on

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Coming up, a scramble for those tickets for one direction continues.

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How does the website explain prices like this. Needs the new guests at

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pontoons. Their sheets are not exactly Snow White. We have come up

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with some great names for those talks, but dodgy were already taken

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because they are starring in tonight rogue traders which may

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once again enraged the many up standing men and women who strive

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to give excellent service at a fair price. We really have not got it in

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for them. In fact, tonight, we want you to do it up for the great

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Yes, believe it or not, we have always had a special bond with

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those who ply their trades honestly day after day. We're all on the

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same side, you see. We want to force the rogue trader's into

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cleaning up their act for the they want the rotten apples to be

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chucked out of the barrel. We see evidence of these shared values

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every time we pull up next to a white van. Hi, guys. Almost every

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time. Can you believe it? He's dodgy, you can tell by the eyes.

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The point remains to be said for sub we are there for the customer

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and a decent honest tradesmen and those who criticise us would do

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well to remind us of that. It looks like you got a chip on your

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shoulder. Really? Yes. Let's go. Sadly, there's no shortage of

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dishonest companies to focus on. Take tonight's. Not to be confused

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with other companies. By Our based in Kent of of of their offer and no

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There's a guy appeared with a great big bag. He went up to the shower.

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Turned it on. He said my thermostat had gone up. I said, I know that.

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He said, I can't get a part now, it's too late for that and he went.

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He later called Carol to say the part was obsolete. Basically, it is

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typical to work out what the �78 was for. Yes. Thank you so much.

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Feel free to close the door if you Carol Leatherby does not live in a

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shower, anymore than Yoko lives in a kitchen. We thought we would

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bring them together. Any way, when Yoko asked to fix a tap, they asked

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for her credit card details. So they could deduct money later, you

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may think, but then she found money debited from the card, before they

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completeed the job. It is like they decided how much you were to pay

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and made the job fit that? Exactly. How did they know what to charge?

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don't know. They did, �360, a massive overcharge and a figure

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strangely similar are to the estimate pending on her account.

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How did you feel after that? I was set up.

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Set up? This sounds like a great opportunity to do one of our stings.

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You're right, but you don't know everything. You know what? What?

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We've stung this lot before. Really? We called a subcontractor

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out to a house in Epsom. It is in here.

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Simple electrical fault, a loose connection in a plug socket. Easy

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to fix, �100 tops. How much did they charge us, then?

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�100, but once the workman took the cash, A Class debited the card, so

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then we ended up paying them twice. So they charge us twice, we sting

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them...? Oh, twice! So, we get a new house, this time in Ealing, and

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we set a new fault, this time, a loose connection in the socket

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switch. We put a call to A Class, who put their man, Lewis Barker on

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the case. So what is the issue? issue is that every time it is on.

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It works for a bit then cuts out. Leave it with me.

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OK, we will. We'll leave you to remove the

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switch cover, a promising start... Then we'll leave you to fiddle with

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your phone. A bit of texting going on... Oh, we

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all do that, don't we?! But... I wouldn't do this... He's touched

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the connection, it has sparked and it has given him a start.

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It would do, it is a live switch, as Lewis should know, what with him

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being an electrician. He says he needs to fetch a part. It may take

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a while. As he is being paid by the hour, time is money.

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I'll be as quick as I can. minutes later he returns with a new

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switch. How did you get on? Alright.

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Great, now he has to fix it with a bit of jiggery, and some pokery.

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Oops, that looks like harikari. That there is an earth cable he has

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pulled out. We may need that. Lewis, don't take it away! He's making a

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real job of this. Electrical masterclass over, Lewis

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says goodbye. He has taken a total of 1775 hours n for are a job most

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electricians would take 55 minutes. So what did we get for all of that

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time and money? He has not earthed the box. This was already efforted

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before he turned up. It -- that was already earthed before he broke it.

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That means that the back of the switch could become live, therefore

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dangerous should a fault occur in the cooker. Cheers, Lewis, you are

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in a class of your own. Or he would be if we had not gone and found

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someone just as bad. Yes, meet the electrician who came to fix our

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lights. That is all live, he is still

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pulling at it. He somehow survived. Keep watching

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it will make your hair stand on end. We had an unbelievable response to

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last week's story about the One Direction Tour. Seats for all dates

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were made available on line 12 days ago, but thousands of fans who had

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waited said that within hours the tickets were sold out. Then they

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arrived later on Get Me In. Now, one of the main selling agencies

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also owns Get Me In, and there is a re-sale fee.

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There are still secondary sale sites. This week we saw a �30

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ticket advertised for an incredible �2,139. You can also get Coldplay

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tickets on Here There, for �2,20. With me is Ed Parkinson, the UK

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head of viagogo. Thank you for coming in, Ed Parkinson. If those

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tickets for more than �2,000 get sold, what is your cut? Well, first

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of all it is important not to be distracted by chancers posting

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tickets up... Answer the question, what is your cut? We get 25%.

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So, on the � 2,000, there is �500. But no-one is buying the tickets.

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We are a marketplace. Sellers post the tickets for any price. The

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tickets on average, they sell for the face value and below. There are

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people that try their luck and sell them for high prices but they do

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not sell at them. Why not put a cap on the amount you

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let people put their ticks on sale for? There had been proposals for

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that, but they are flawed. You could impose a cap on legitimate

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resale services like viagogo, but not imposing a cap on the guy in

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the car park or at the venue. So the imthen is to drive the market

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under ground. The security we have put in place to clean up the market

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is then lost. But, if all of the tickets on your

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site were a reasonable price, no- one would have to go to touts?

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People are always going to buy and sell tickets. Individuals can

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decide to post a ticket for whatever price they want to.

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I can't get away from the fact that the more expensive the ticket, the

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better for you, you make more money? We make money when people

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buy tickets. They will do so when it is a fair price. Are you

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protecting the fans? We are providing fair prices for tickets.

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We are providing a guarantee. That if you buy a ticket on our website

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you get what you pay for. Before viagogo there were two chiess --

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choices for One Direction tickets, to stay at home or go on eBay.

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Supposing a 13-year-old girl is desperate to see a One Direction

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concert, how are you helping her? As the concert approaches, the more

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people put them up for sale. It gets competitive.

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So it would not cost you much to stop the ridiculous prices, there

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is no need for an act of Parliament? No. When the show comes

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around, you can get the tickets for face value. Right now there are

:23:38.:23:48.
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Rhianna tickets and Katie Perry. Ed -- Ed Parkinson, I have to stop

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you there. Now, Get Me In offers is a secure

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option for the market. That they never divert face value tickets to

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Get Me In. Next, Pontin's. Remember we visited

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the camber sands Pontin's last year. In January, the Pontin's was sold

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to the Britannia Hotel Group. It promised Disney-style razzmatazz

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at all five of the Pontin's resorts. So, has it been a Little Park of

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Horrors? Scenes like this hold a special place in our childhood mem

:24:37.:24:46.

res, the -- memories, the fun, the rides, the famous Blue Coats.

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Pontin's may be a great British institution, but the new owners

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stayed was right for an all- American makeover. Complete with

:24:54.:25:01.

costume characters that keep the crowds, entertained at Disney World.

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So, welcome to Pontin's, this is courtesy of a family holiday who

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have had a holiday there this year. So many people have been in touch,

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we have had to come up with a new filing system. There chp filthy?

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The bedding was horrendousous. There were urine stains on it,

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blood, dried faeces. There is Mouldy.

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There was a pillow case with mould spots on. I would not put my head

:25:32.:25:37.

on that. Certainly not my children's. In the bathroom, the

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shower hose was awful. Mould growing on it that had been there

:25:42.:25:49.

for weeks, months, even years. There is Greasy and Groimy.

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We looked at the windows, there was a greasy, fatty film area on it.

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the pool area, there was hair in the bathroom, it was disgusting.

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Nothing for getting Dusty and company shabby.

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There were cobwebs in the sky lights, it had not been cleaned for

:26:11.:26:16.

months. The apartments were shaby. The door frames falling apart, the

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window sills falling apart. Outside of our apartment there was a broken

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plate tarmacked into the floor. And finally, there is Stinky...

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was disgusting. It smelled of sick. The smell was unbelievable. You

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opened the door and the smell hit you with force.

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These reviews come 11 months after Pontin's former company was put

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into administration, nine months after the company was bought over

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by the new Britannia Hotel Group. The talk of changing the situation

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here, it tus not seem to have materialised. More than 100 of you

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have written in about the state of the parks and the living

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accommodation. So, me and the gang are going to investigate, but first,

:27:09.:27:15.

a qi question, thank you very much, Stinky, oh, mirror, mirror, on the

:27:15.:27:25.
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wall, which is the grottiest Pontininess camp of them all? A

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tough choice, but it looks like this year's title goes to Green

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Sands in Somerset. Anyone think of a catchy ad slogan

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for it? The only way to describe Pontin's Green Sands is hell on

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earth. Let's see if you are right. The

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Watchdog team booked two apartments. As I wouldn't ask our dwaarves to

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do anything I would not, I sneaked in as well.

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The first thing as I walk into the room is the smell. It hits the back

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of the throat. It is like a mouldy smell, but it is really strong.

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This place is full of dust and around the toilet, well... It is

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not good. It's not nice.

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Oh, that is filthy! Have you seen this hole in the wall here. The cup

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boards are half falling apart and that is filthy.

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Look at the blood... The smell is coming from here. It's the carpet.

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Ch It's got a rather unique crispy feel to it. It is filthy. Outside

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we found grubby aund run down public toilets. Disused chairs by

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the play area, grime on the floors and dirt on the chairs and litter

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by the crazy golf. It looked like the swimming pool had had a lick of

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paint. Don't think I would describe it as Disney magic, though, but all

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is not lost, we can bring our own touch of Disney razzmatazz, well,

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at least to the Green Sands resort. It is time to bring out the

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dwaarves. # Just whistle while you work... #

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Start at the top and work your way down. What's with the grumpy face?

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You love this, Filthy! Get that spotless. Right, well done,

:29:28.:29:32.

everybody, great effort in here, now it is off to the rest of the

:29:32.:29:42.

park. Go on, quickly! Quickly. # Hi who, hi who, it is off to work

:29:42.:29:48.

we go # Are they tidying up for you? Yes, we don't even smoke, but

:29:48.:29:53.

that is disgusting. Make sure it is spik and span.

:29:53.:29:58.

is not my type of cleaning. We had cups and knives and forks that were

:29:58.:30:01.

dirty. If there are complaints, get one of

:30:01.:30:05.

my men to come in. Just as we were making progress,

:30:05.:30:10.

the security pointed us to the exits. It was hard on the dwaarves.

:30:10.:30:14.

I know you wanted to make sure it was all clean, but we've been asked

:30:14.:30:18.

to go. Maybe even worse news for the

:30:18.:30:23.

Pontin's' guests, who is going to clean up for them now? I could not

:30:23.:30:28.

let my children stay here. It is a health hazard. When my children are

:30:28.:30:31.

naughty at home, my threat is to take them back to Pontin's.

:30:31.:30:41.
:30:41.:30:44.

OK, with me now is Eileen Downey from the Britannia Hotel Group who

:30:44.:30:48.

owned it pontoons. We do go for your holidays this year? I went to

:30:48.:30:53.

Majorca. You didn't have bloodstained sheets? Mouldy

:30:53.:31:03.

bathrooms? Let me tell you, we've owned these parks for 26 weeks.

:31:03.:31:07.

This programme is rather premature. When your camera crew were on our

:31:07.:31:11.

part, they were asked to to have a look at the improved apartments. We

:31:11.:31:16.

wrote to you and ask you again to have a look at another park. These

:31:16.:31:23.

parks are townships. They are three-and a-half 1,000 apartments.

:31:23.:31:30.

We bought them out of receivership and Rome wasn't built in a day. We

:31:30.:31:39.

had put into those parks, 1.5 million. OK. No, you listen. We are

:31:40.:31:44.

putting people but you say you've had complaints. We've had more than

:31:44.:31:49.

100 complaints and these people were in the your chalets with blood

:31:49.:31:53.

stained sheets, holes in the sofa, Knowles in the bathroom, crispy

:31:53.:31:58.

carpets, terrible smells, so what ever refurbishments you're doing,

:31:58.:32:03.

which I appreciate, they didn't experience them. They went for

:32:03.:32:07.

their break and that is what they found. Are you happy that people

:32:07.:32:12.

existed in those conditions? happy the have their wish was I

:32:12.:32:18.

going quicker... What about the people who didn't experience them?

:32:18.:32:22.

It was in a receivership, the company went bust. Nobody wanted to

:32:22.:32:27.

buy it. Why did you give out chalets and when they were not

:32:28.:32:35.

suitable? In this economic climate? To make people unemployed? We have

:32:35.:32:40.

a programme to close some of the parks. You didn't close them in

:32:40.:32:47.

greened Sanz, did you? In November, and out of 1.5 million people, on

:32:47.:32:56.

your account, and 99.9% had a good value. Are you happy they stayed in

:32:56.:33:01.

there? What about those who didn't have good value? What are you going

:33:01.:33:07.

to do about them? Once the refurbishments are done, everybody

:33:07.:33:14.

will have good quality. I'm not prepared to comment further. Back

:33:14.:33:17.

to this company from Kent, not to be confused with companies of the

:33:17.:33:21.

same name. They doubled charged us for one job and overcharged for

:33:21.:33:28.

another. Is there incompetence down to a few bad apples or the whole

:33:28.:33:33.

lot tree rotten? We are going to find the answer because it's now

:33:33.:33:38.

time to call them out again to a typical house with a typical home

:33:38.:33:44.

owner who has developed a problem with her lighting. I think I need

:33:44.:33:49.

and a Titian to look at my a lighting. Actually, our expert has

:33:49.:33:58.

broken up a wire under the Consumer Ewart -- unit. Should be no problem

:33:58.:34:03.

for the manner the company has sent to sort it out. Hello. What's the

:34:03.:34:10.

problem? I have got no lights. heads for the consumer unit to

:34:10.:34:16.

investigate, so why is he going to the light, instead? What is he

:34:16.:34:24.

doing? He should have started at the fuse box. He doesn't know

:34:24.:34:31.

whether it is alive or dead. After lowering the light fixing, he heads

:34:31.:34:38.

for the consumer unit, excellent. He's found a problem. Purple as

:34:38.:34:46.

you're coming out, because there's a bit of a issue. Ouch, his head.

:34:46.:34:52.

There is a consumer unit is on and this is live on. Don't put your

:34:52.:34:57.

fingers in there, mate. That is playing with fire. Strictly

:34:57.:35:04.

speaking, its wire, but I will have to go on this occasion. It's alive

:35:04.:35:10.

and he is pulling at it. Finally, 30 minutes later, he powered down

:35:10.:35:16.

the consumer unit. Will he fix it? Not quite yet. He decides to mess

:35:17.:35:26.
:35:27.:35:27.

with the screws instead. He is checking the tightness. I think.

:35:27.:35:32.

There's no need for that. Why get on with the job when you can fiddle

:35:32.:35:42.
:35:42.:35:43.

about, I suppose? Just clip it in. Fiddling about. He gets his torch.

:35:43.:35:50.

He is reconnecting it now. 1 hour later, he fixes it. A quick

:35:50.:35:56.

reassemble of the unit and he will be on his way. Not before getting

:35:56.:36:01.

his screwdriver out again! OK, let's fast-forward, because we kind

:36:01.:36:05.

of know how this N's. We don't want to sit through another 10 minutes

:36:05.:36:12.

of it. Wake up, you two. We may have been screwed over but at least

:36:12.:36:22.

there's a bright side, because the lights are back on! It is done, OK.

:36:22.:36:29.

The cable was burnt out. What did he to say? The cable was burnt out.

:36:29.:36:37.

I don't think that was a burned-out cable. It wasn't. Unfortunate, our

:36:37.:36:47.
:36:47.:37:09.

So, he has lied about the cable been burned to justify the amount

:37:09.:37:15.

of time he has taken and now Nikola says she wants to see it, he says

:37:15.:37:21.

she can't because it belongs to her. His improvising like crazy. I would

:37:21.:37:31.
:37:31.:37:54.

OK, it's a good effort, Nicole, but give up. Meanwhile, he wants to be

:37:54.:38:01.

paid, �156, double what it should have cost it almost word for a

:38:01.:38:08.

performance worthy of Paul Merton. That was awkward. Yes, in an

:38:08.:38:11.

informative public service broadcasting kind of way. Are you

:38:11.:38:16.

going to confront him? Not yet. I think there's a couple of rotten

:38:16.:38:19.

apples in there but I suspect they are getting their instructions from

:38:19.:38:24.

above. I think this goes all the way to the top and what is better,

:38:24.:38:30.

I have got their way to prove it. Not without some body on the inside.

:38:30.:38:37.

Yes, Roy Ford. Our very own undercover penetration. We ask him

:38:37.:38:43.

to apply for a job using a fake name and CV. After a two-minute

:38:43.:38:47.

phone conversation, success. The next day, they gave him a simple

:38:47.:38:53.

job, resetting an appliance pulls up Roy is a consummate professional

:38:53.:38:57.

and completed in minutes. Surely his bosses will be happy. Won't

:38:57.:39:07.
:39:07.:39:13.

they? I've done everything within OK, speed and efficiency don't

:39:13.:39:18.

impress Roy's new buses, one of whom introduce himself as James, so

:39:19.:39:28.
:39:29.:39:30.

Yes, you heard that correctly, they want their sub-contractors to spend

:39:30.:39:36.

hours on the job. So they can make more money. How can they justify

:39:36.:39:40.

all that time when the job only warrants a few minutes? They will

:39:41.:39:47.

have to explain that to us later. Sky and Virgin battling it out for

:39:47.:39:51.

your custom. Sky's latest fairy tale marketing campaign says we

:39:51.:39:56.

should believe in better, while Virgin Media are trying to poach

:39:56.:39:59.

Sky customers and claimed only their fairy tales are a happy

:39:59.:40:09.

ending. Pool to trust? -- who to Once upon a time it there was a

:40:09.:40:15.

giant company called BSkyB. It promised customers a great services

:40:15.:40:23.

at lower prices up. I will grant you three wishes. What do you most

:40:23.:40:33.
:40:33.:40:35.

desire? I want Sky TV. Fast broadband. Freephone calls. Wicked!

:40:35.:40:39.

But be warned, children, they don't always make people's dreams come

:40:39.:40:44.

true. In a land far, far away, Portsmouth, to be precise, there

:40:44.:40:49.

lived a man called Graham. He wanted to pay less for his broad

:40:49.:40:55.

band so he switched his contract from Sky which cost �17 a month, to

:40:55.:40:59.

Sky unlimited which should have cost seven pound 50 a month, and it

:40:59.:41:07.

all went well. Until the first invoice. It was 9p 50 more than I

:41:07.:41:12.

should have been paying. I immediately phoned up customer

:41:12.:41:16.

services are apologise to both of they reimbursed nine and 52. This

:41:16.:41:21.

went on for five consecutive months. Every month I had to phone them to

:41:21.:41:26.

get it rebated. He huffed and puffed but Sky have not been much

:41:26.:41:33.

help at all. I want to speak to your manager. They eventually

:41:33.:41:37.

offered Graham a small discount as the compensation. But he's not

:41:37.:41:44.

satisfied. It does that sound like happily ever after to you? No.

:41:44.:41:50.

wait until you hear about poor old Tan Sin. She asked a skied to go

:41:50.:41:54.

third television, broadband and telephone but they mistakenly said

:41:54.:42:00.

that two accounts so even though she paid the bills on time, the

:42:00.:42:05.

deeper could account went unpaid and Sky took a phone line and cut

:42:05.:42:10.

it off. She likes to talk on the phone to her friends. Do you like

:42:11.:42:19.

to do that? Yes. Tamsin couldn't talk on the phone up for two whole

:42:19.:42:27.

years. That's how long it took for Sky to fix the problem. But, just

:42:27.:42:31.

when she thought her troubles were over, they started sending

:42:31.:42:36.

duplicate bills again. I can't really believe that they had done

:42:37.:42:45.

the same mistake again. It's got so bad, I'd had letters from debt

:42:45.:42:52.

collectors, and they make things extremely difficult to resolve

:42:52.:42:56.

problems and close an account, but as they are more than happy to

:42:56.:43:03.

continue taking direct debits of up to �85 a month from me. All across

:43:03.:43:06.

the land Sky customers are being promised a fairy godmother style

:43:06.:43:12.

happy ending. More than 1,000 of them have complained to us in the

:43:12.:43:18.

last six months, so perhaps the big bad wolf is more fitting. And

:43:18.:43:26.

that's not the end of our story. Sky has a rival called Virgin Media.

:43:26.:43:30.

They scoffed at skies ads and tried to turn to have their broadband

:43:30.:43:38.

customers promising a real happy ending but Paul, Michael and this

:43:38.:43:41.

couple are review of the 500 customers who have contacted

:43:41.:43:46.

watchdog this year. Paul checked twice the good receive their

:43:46.:43:49.

services before cancelling his other phone and broadband contracts,

:43:49.:43:55.

only to be told they couldn't supply him after all. My broadband

:43:55.:44:00.

was disconnected and I had to wait almost two weeks to be reconnected.

:44:00.:44:05.

It caused me great inconvenience. What angers me is that all my

:44:06.:44:11.

neighbours have had a letter in the last few days from Virgin Media

:44:11.:44:17.

saying, come to us for high-speed broadband and quality TV. Michael

:44:17.:44:21.

switched to Virgin because they offer a cut-price deal but because

:44:21.:44:24.

the salesman put in the wrong code at the type a purchase, he never

:44:24.:44:30.

got a discount. I've never been charged the right price from day

:44:30.:44:35.

one to present day. Virgin Media customer service is abysmal. They

:44:35.:44:40.

will answer the phone in a short period of time but the actual

:44:40.:44:46.

response and sorting things out, never ever happens. Mary want to

:44:46.:44:50.

change her husband's account into her name after he passed away.

:44:50.:44:55.

Instead, Virgin set up a new account, cut off their phone and

:44:55.:44:58.

temporarily then it reactivated it with a different number. All

:44:59.:45:03.

without telling her. It's the same direct debit which I've always had,

:45:03.:45:08.

the same bank account, and all we wanted was a husband's name taken

:45:08.:45:12.

off the mailing list with my name on it and we've had all this

:45:12.:45:17.

trouble. Nothing about a new number because she's had that original

:45:17.:45:25.

number ever since she had a phone, 50 years. So, children, who still

:45:25.:45:29.

believes in fairy stories? And who believes in stories by pigeon media

:45:29.:45:39.
:45:39.:45:42.

Rebecca Wilcox reporting there. Sky have apologised to the customers

:45:43.:45:47.

featured. They have resolved their complaints. They say they came out

:45:47.:45:55.

top in customer satisfaction in a recent Ofcom revue. Anyone unhappy

:45:55.:45:59.

with the service should contact them. The details are on the screen

:45:59.:46:07.

now. As for Virgin Media, they have also apologised. It was incorrect

:46:07.:46:11.

advice inherited from previous cable companies and Michael Froom

:46:11.:46:17.

did not get his account because of an administrative error. They are

:46:17.:46:21.

reviewing the process for handling such cases and are asking customers

:46:22.:46:26.

to contact them, the details are on the screens now. Thank you to

:46:26.:46:32.

everyone in touch about that story, here are a few more.

:46:32.:46:37.

Smoking on TV? It should be banned. Apart from on Mad Men, of course.

:46:37.:46:41.

That is quite cool. Any way, smoking television sets are not so

:46:41.:46:48.

cool. Sony has admitted that a component 6 eight versions of its

:46:48.:46:52.

BRAVIA model is potentially faulty and could overheat. It followed

:46:52.:46:57.

incidents in Japan where owners found their sets emitting smoke.

:46:57.:47:04.

All models have been sold since 2007, Sony stopped issuing a recall

:47:04.:47:08.

but has offered customers safety inspections. It says that the sets

:47:08.:47:14.

are not at risk when switched off it has warned customers to look out

:47:14.:47:18.

for ununusual noises and smells coming from the sets as opposed to

:47:18.:47:24.

the usual ones coming from the kids! To cut down on household fuel

:47:24.:47:29.

bills maybe you should not rely on energy companies for advice. A

:47:29.:47:36.

survey found them giving out dodgy guidance when people rang up to

:47:36.:47:40.

inquire by transferring to another supplier. The research asked for

:47:40.:47:46.

all big six companies to ask for details on the tariffs, but they

:47:46.:47:50.

were nearly given wrong information in all. Southern electric said

:47:50.:47:54.

there was not a big price difference between the tariffs. It

:47:54.:48:01.

makes you wonder why there are about 50, then? Aberdeen Angus

:48:01.:48:05.

cattle, the finest breed, chompioned by the Prince of Wales.

:48:05.:48:10.

The Co-op are selling a steak for a premium price of �9 .3 3 a pound.

:48:10.:48:16.

Why not it is reared in Scotland and with unique marbling and

:48:16.:48:20.

guaranteeed flavour for tenderness, but when you peel back the label

:48:20.:48:25.

there is this: The meat originating from a pure bred Aberdeen Angus

:48:25.:48:31.

bull, but crossed with a cow from another breed. Steve Partridge

:48:31.:48:35.

complained and demanded an explanation, Co-op said that this

:48:35.:48:39.

is permitted under irGovernment regulations but is reviewing the

:48:39.:48:44.

position of its cross-breed statement. Why hide it in the first

:48:44.:48:53.

place? When we last saw A Class UK LTD of Kent, they had given Roy a

:48:53.:48:57.

job as an electrician and stopped telling him to be so fast and

:48:57.:49:02.

efficient and told them to spin the jobs out in order to charge more

:49:02.:49:06.

money. Unusual advice? Or standard operating procedure? There is own

:49:06.:49:12.

one way to find out. Roy has told A Class that he is available for the

:49:12.:49:19.

next job that comes in. Guess where that is going to be? Is that A

:49:19.:49:23.

company class? Yes, speaking. having a problem with the lighting.

:49:23.:49:28.

Yes, it is back to ours, or at least the place we have hired for

:49:28.:49:34.

the day. A Class have texted to see who is closest for the yob, it is

:49:34.:49:39.

Roy who gets this there first. It is a tripped switch on the consumer

:49:39.:49:44.

yuent. Roy can fix it in 30 seconds, but knows that the speedy work will

:49:44.:49:48.

land him in trouble. He better call the head office for advice.

:49:48.:49:54.

So, if I reset it everything is done within the hour, but the last

:49:54.:50:04.
:50:04.:50:09.

Not exclusively. Roy's last set of instructions came from someone

:50:09.:50:13.

called James. Sounds like a different person but with the same

:50:13.:50:23.
:50:23.:50:23.

guidance. Isn't there something you have

:50:23.:50:29.

forgotten? Yeah, absolutely. Take three unnecessary hours, buy an

:50:29.:50:33.

unnecessary part and stick the old one back in. Like any honest

:50:33.:50:43.
:50:43.:51:01.

tradesman, Roy is outraged. You tell them, Roy, that there is

:51:01.:51:05.

the difference between a grafter and a shafter. If you are still in

:51:05.:51:14.

doubt... So, the company motto, the customer is always... Rich? Who

:51:14.:51:20.

exactly is in charge of A Class? We have heard orders from a man called

:51:20.:51:25.

James, the director on paper is a man called Jake Mott and there have

:51:25.:51:30.

been a series of other names. As for the address on the company's

:51:30.:51:36.

invoices, that is just a PO box. We need to gem them out to us. We have

:51:36.:51:40.

chosen a meeting place in Bromley and asked a member of the team to

:51:40.:51:45.

pose as a businessman with money to spend. In a blue checked shirt is

:51:45.:51:55.
:51:55.:51:56.

our producer, John. He has told the meeting that he needs a land Lord -

:51:56.:52:01.

- he has told A class that he is a land Lord with many places that

:52:01.:52:05.

need maintenance. A Class are coming here in 20

:52:05.:52:09.

minutes. They tonight realise it, but they are getting the full

:52:09.:52:13.

English when they arrive. This is our cafe now, all of these people

:52:13.:52:20.

are with me. Are you with me? OK, a bit half-hearted. At 2.00pm,

:52:20.:52:28.

the man from A Class arrives. It is Lewis Barker. The same Lewis

:52:28.:52:34.

who shocked himself on our job in Ealing... But he's had a haircut,

:52:34.:52:39.

look... Why has he come forward to talk on behalf of A Class.

:52:39.:52:45.

What is your role? I'm an electrician, but I supervisor of

:52:45.:52:48.

other electricians. That is interesting, tell me more.

:52:48.:52:58.

I'm doing my listening face. Lewis is really bigging himself up.

:52:58.:53:04.

Don't we need to see the director, Jake Mott? All the man Lewis says

:53:04.:53:10.

is the managing director, is James... He trusts me, whatever I

:53:10.:53:14.

say to do, he will do. Brilliant.

:53:14.:53:18.

Don't you hate it when someone at the next table ear holes your

:53:18.:53:23.

conversation and then butts in. It is so rude.

:53:23.:53:26.

But at what point, Lewis is the bit where you have taken the money

:53:26.:53:33.

before the job's begun, before you have worked out what the yob is --

:53:33.:53:38.

job is, and then the job is longer than it should be as you have gone

:53:38.:53:44.

to get a part which you didn't need? You haven't explained that.

:53:44.:53:50.

This is BBC Rogue Traders. It is all in there. We've been charged in

:53:50.:53:53.

cash and you have taken the money from the credit card and we have

:53:53.:53:57.

asked for a refund and it has never come back. The problem being, when

:53:57.:54:01.

people try to find where you are, there are a number of addresses

:54:01.:54:04.

which are not your operating addresses.

:54:04.:54:08.

But I'm a self-employed lex tradition.

:54:08.:54:13.

But you told our man that you are a supervisor? Yes.

:54:13.:54:17.

You have told him you can look after problems that he has got?

:54:17.:54:21.

Exactly. So, you're the guy in charge?

:54:21.:54:28.

still work for this company. Yeah? So, OK, but you... Hang on,

:54:28.:54:32.

one second, mate. How can you say that we go around ripping people

:54:32.:54:36.

off. We have evidence of you doing that.

:54:36.:54:40.

You are coming out, touting for business.

:54:40.:54:45.

You're touting for business here, that is what you are doing.

:54:45.:54:49.

You are clearly not a monkey, you are an ordering guy.

:54:49.:54:53.

Lewis is adamant he has no responsibility, despite telling

:54:53.:54:58.

John he is a supervisor. He does not know the other than, apparently,

:54:58.:55:03.

so how do they communicate? I get the e-mails, I get these through

:55:03.:55:06.

the post. So you are like our guy operating

:55:06.:55:16.

on the end of a text. You have never met James? 100%.

:55:16.:55:21.

A guy called Jake Mot trbg? I don't know.

:55:21.:55:28.

-- a guy called Jake Mott? If is he is not involved with the company,

:55:28.:55:38.

why is he wearing an A Class LTD T- shirt? Driving an A Class van. As

:55:38.:55:44.

for not knowing Jake Mott who is this, he is Jakey Mott on Facebook.

:55:44.:55:49.

You see, Lewis, you post a face, we find a trace. He told us that he

:55:49.:55:54.

claimed to be a supervisor to get more work. He put the A Class logos

:55:54.:56:00.

on the van himself and maintains he has never met the other than. That

:56:00.:56:08.

his friendship with Jakey Mott is irrelevant. Meanwhile, Jake Mott is

:56:08.:56:13.

grateful we have brought the failings of the company to him.

:56:13.:56:22.

He says he disassociates themselves to staff who string out work and

:56:22.:56:26.

say that Lewis is an honourable trader, not a rogue and he,

:56:26.:56:31.

incidentally, says if he did leave the cooker switch unearthed, it was

:56:31.:56:36.

a genuine mistake. They say that complaints are few, but have sent a

:56:36.:56:40.

dedicated team to deal with him. They have funded us for the double

:56:40.:56:47.

charge, but are unsure about the no-fix, no-fee policy. As for Jake

:56:47.:56:52.

Mott, he needs to check our Rogue's Gallery. There he is

:56:52.:56:57.

Loads of texts from you. Lots of you getting in touch about the

:56:57.:57:01.

packaged bank accounts. Alexander says his account came with break

:57:01.:57:07.

down cover, but when the car broke down it was no use, it applied to

:57:07.:57:14.

within a ten-mile radius of his own. -- own home. A few of you have

:57:14.:57:18.

looked around at your accounts, and you are saying that you don't need

:57:18.:57:25.

them. We have had over 2thouztweets with

:57:25.:57:32.

-- we have over 2thouztweets with regards to the -- we have had over

:57:32.:57:38.

thousand tweets are regards to the woman from Pontin's. Keep sending

:57:38.:57:43.

your stories and tip-offs, just visit the website at

:57:43.:57:47.

[email protected] Click where it says, "Your story ." Or you can

:57:47.:57:52.

write to us, I believe that the address is on the screens now.

:57:52.:57:57.

Coming up next week: British Gas, Scottish Power and the rest. Fancy

:57:57.:58:01.

leaving your supplier for another? It could be harder than you think.

:58:01.:58:05.

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