Episode 8 Watchdog

Episode 8

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Switching from British Gas - not worth the trouble. Repairs from PC


World - are they worth the hassle? This hotel package from WH Smith -


definitely not worth the money. Plus, BT, Shell and then there's


the Halifax. They need to mind their language. It's Watchdog, the


Hello and good evening. Welcome. We are live as usual from Television


Centre. Tonight - fed up with high gas and electricity bills? Wait


until you try to switch supplier. They've been charging me for


someone else's gas for the last six months, which was absolutely


disgusting. Also tonight, Nissan, the diesel engines kind to the


environment, but tough on your bank balance. WH Smith, fancy buying


these gift cards? There could be less to them than meets the eye.


Currys and PC World, same old complaints. Some old stories from


me tonight, except they all have exciting new endings. Yeah, we are


catching up with some of the rogues we have featured and telling you


what happened to them next. They must be delighted to be on TV


again! Well, OK, not all of them. This is Nicky Date, fly-tipper


extraordinaire, exposed by us and prosecuted by the authorities and


here offloading outside Cardiff Magistrates' Court. We'll let you


know what happened when he stood up in front of the beak a little later.


First, rocketing fuel bills. Huge company profits, confusing tariffs


and three reasons why the Government called the big six gas


and electricity suppliers to Downing Street this week. The main


outcome - Energy Secretary, Chris Huhne, advising if you want a


better deal, switch supplier. Easy to say minister. Have you actually


tried? The Government's now telling us to switch, but the companies


themselves have been saying it for years. There's never been a better


time to look around and make sure that you've got the best deal.


thing that the viewers need to know, they can make big savings.


sounds simple. If only it was. As you've been telling us, switching


can be time consuming and annoying. Hopelessly confusing too. Even if


you manage to wade through the hundreds of tariffs on offer and


find a better deal with another provider. You may just wonder why


you bothered. Like these five. Switched-on energy customers, all


with nightmares. The first one - cancellation fees. Rod and Glynn


Annell decided to switch when their bills rocketed this summer. British


Gas increased their prices by an average of 20%. Shortly after I


joined them that happened so I decided to switch to EDF. You also


decided to switch? Yes. I received e-mail notification from Scottish


Power and their prices would have meant a massive increase, so I


shopped around for another supplier, which just happened to be EDF.


told British Gas he was leaving. And she told Scottish Power the


same, but they were both in for a shock. Switching was going to cost


them. They told me if I wanted to switch there would be a �60


cancellation fee. Glynn, you insisted on an itemised bill?


and it's only when I scrutinised them I realised a cancellation of


�20 had been applied. Both complained and rightly, because


although they can charge exit fees, on these occasions they were in


breach of rules drawn up by the industry regulator Ofgem. What the


regulations mean for consumers is if you are affected by a price rise


you have 30 days to inform your supplier that you want to leave and


if a termation fee applies you don't have to pay it. There's no


excuse for the suppliers getting this wrong. Ofgem reminded them all


about the rules in August. Meanwhile, here's another one that


isn't always followed. Paul Millington decided to leave British


Gas for EDF last winter. They told me I could switch and I wouldn't


incur the increased prices. When I got my final bill guess what was


there? The increased prices. They shouldn't have been on Paul's bill,


because when he decided to switch his existing payment rate should


have been frozen. When he complained, British Gas blamed a


computer fault and sent a correct bill and offered �25 compensation.


Here's the bill that she sent you? This is the the -- this is the


final bill. You'll see the �25 and you'll still see the increased


prices. What they've done is offset the increase against what they say


is a good-will compensation. I don't think there's much in that.


At least Paul managed to switch. Others have been bogged down in


delays. Lloyd Bonson's one of them. He notified EDF of his intention to


leave earlier this year, but a series of computer errors means


he's still on their system. His new chosen supplier can't take him on,


even after five months. It should take between six and eight weeks to


switch. It's unacceptable for it to take up to five months. It's very


frustrating. I'm left in the dark and it's annoying. Which is exactly


what it shouldn't be. Since the big six suppliers all signed up to the


sew-called peace ov mind guarantee. -- so-called peace-of-mind


guarantee. According to the suppliers siching has never been so


easy. Tell that to Melissa who switched from Scottish Power to


British Gas last year. Five months after that switch, Scottish Power,


who she thought she had left, wrote demanding five months' worth of


payment. That's because she was still their customer. British Gas


had failed to switch her over. But they had been billing her. They've


been charging me for somebody else's gas for last six months,


which was absolutely disgusting. I don't understand how it at all


happened. British Gas have since refunded Melissa, enabling her to


settle her outstanding bill with Scottish Power, but that still may


not be the end of it. Scottish Power have then passed on my debt


to a debt collecting agency and I'm just really worried that my address


will be black listed for something which is out of my hands. Five


customers - five switching nightmares. Surely the energy


companies can make it simpler than this? The Department of Energy and


Climate Change says it's aiming to limit the time to takes to switch


to three weeks and cut the hassle out of switching with a new method


of checking and changing. You can find the advice on this special


website: The big six energy companies say they're committing to


making switching as easy as possible and agreed to write to 8


million customers advising them of the best ways to save money. With


me now is Ian Marlee, from off yem. -- Ofgem. So much for the Energy


Secretary saying switch. You see what happens if you try. Firstly, I


think we should say that sadly your film reinforces some of the


concerns that we ourselves have identified and expressed recently,


about how the energy companies are failing their consumers. There are


definitely good deals out there and we would encourage people to switch,


but we know it's not as easy as it could or should be. On your own


figures, 85% of people don't even try and switch, do they? That's


right. Switching has gone down in the past few years and we think


that is for a number of reasons, mainly around things like tariff


complexity, which makes it very difficult, but it's important to


say that a couple of years ago, we set up the ombudsman to try to deal


with the kind of complaints on your film, and really he is there if


people are finding that actually the companies aren't dealing


properly with their complaints, they can go there. Last year, he


dealt with 5,000 complaints, of which the vast majority were found


in favour of the consumer and in two out of three cases they


received financial compensation. the regulator, 400 different


tariffs have grown up in the last four years. Were you sitting by and


smiling? You are absolutely right, that the market is too complex.


haven't you done anything about it? We have been doing things. Over the


last few years, we have done a number of things, where we have


identified problems and dealt with them. For example, a couple of


years ago we introduced - we found out that the suppliers were


charging unjustified price differences to consumers. For


example, if they were on prepayment metres. They are some of the most


vulnerable consumers and we banned those unfair price differentials.


That is locked in about 300 million worth of savings for consumers. The


important thing is that the suppliers are still failing


consumers and therefore we are about to undertake the most radical


reform of the retail market that we have seen in the last ten years.


But you have warned them so many times. Surely, if you had done


injure job properly, there wouldn't have had to be a summit at Downing


Street. The profits increase every year and consumers are being more


and more punished, to the point where they can't afford energy?


have been dealing with the problems that have been there. What we are


now saying - Why aren't you doing it quicker? The tariffs - they've


increased by double the amount over the last couple of years. We need


to address that and say, look, we threw down the gauntlet to the


suppliers and they haven't cleaned up their acts. For 75% of people on


standard tariffs, why should there be more than one payment type.


soon will we see your efforts in our bills? With the reforms, there


will be the radical simplification and we have said to the company -


If they don't? They have until spring to respond positively and if


they don't, then we have the option of senting them off to the


Competition Commission. Thank you. Some company responses to the film.


British Gas have apologised to two the customers and blame an


administrative error on the mistake on Rod's bill and they say


Melissa's name was wrongly entered, meaning they took over the wrong


supply and that's been rectified. As for Paul, they say they was


charged higher rates because they didn't receive notification from


his new supplier. However, they've refunded his �25 as a gesture of


goodwill. Scottish Power have apologised to Glynn for applying a


cancellation charge. They are compensating her for the time spent


rectifying the problem. ED if have apologised for the delay to Lloyd,


blaming a system error and have offered him compensation. If you


would like to comment on this, or any of toe fight's stories, please


e-mail us: Coming up - this WH Smith hotel gift package. Price on


the box, �109. Price at the room as little as �60. Nissan, they


advertise this model as urban proof, whatever that means. Beware if you


are driving it around town. Dear Matt, why don't the rogues you


feature ever get arrested at the end of the show? Dear Mr Matt, why


go to all that effort catching them only for them to runway? We get a


few of these, but you see, it's not our job to bring wrong doers to


justice. It's up to the authorities to do the prosecuting and very


often they do. Tonight, briefly, you can come away from your key


boards because we are going to reveal what happens to some of our


Dan and I enjoy the cinema. I am into Korean classics, early French,


anything by a Coen brothers. What do you think, down? Pretentious. I


prefer the Back To the Future trilogy. OK, wisecracking cool kid


with eccentric sidekick. I like it. Also it is fitting because we are


about to travel back in time. Hold on, is this a sequel, a


prequel, or a third, or something else? OK, what this is, is ask


telling people what happened and then Updating them with new


information for the nation. terms of Star Wars, where are we?


As Luke been born yet? That is how we have to understand it. We are


sitting on the Death Star. We are watching old films of the pod race.


And we are telling everybody what happened. I have got it. Round the


film. Les meet tonight's first leading man, who we met first last


September. Nicky Date. He liked to roam the streets of Cardiff


collecting people's rubbish. He then roamed the streets of Cardiff


looking for somewhere to put it, which was usually on the streets of


Cardiff. And for this, he has been jailed in the past. We heard he was


back at it and when we called him out he quoted as �80. Not much, but


then he did not do much work, either. He even got our research


Oh, yeah, it is coming back to me. It is when you wore the outfit you


bought from the motorway services. This is our chair, our bed box. Not


very nice if he wants to get his car out there. Another chair. You


might see things all over the country and think nothing of it,


but it is one of those things that makes life a little bit worse. And


of course, our council tax goes to pay to clear it up. Thank you,


Nicky Date. That is the bit I remember. What happened? We called


him back to another job and I brought along some friends. Monkey


Helen? Not those kind of friends. The Cardiff Arms male-voice choir.


They are not your real friends. Maybe, but they are good men with


great voices and lovely sweaters, as Nicky Date found out when we


called him back to collect some Hello, Matt Allwright from BBC


Rogue Traders. Do you recognise that tune, it is the Ash Grove.


With you, it becomes the trash growth, because you fly tip.


Unfortunately, the ones that we have seen have ended up in someone


else's skipper, or down a back alley like that. That is the ones


that we know that you have fly tipped. And you have been convicted


for in the past. You are still matted, so many years later. You


are a fly Tipper. That is what we gave you and that is where it ended


up. You did that, didn't you? It is coming back out. It might as well


end up in our front yard, as in someone else's backyard. We are not


Do you see what we did there? Nicky Date, one of South Wales' premier


fly tippers. Do not give him yours. That is where the story ended and


now you're going to give us the epilogue. I would not leave you


without an epilogue. On 26th May this year Nicky Date appeared at


Cardiff Magistrates Court to get a sentence on two charges of fly-


tipping. But these charges were special, because he was tipping oil.


Look at that. He could have left it in the container but he has tipped


it all over the ground. For this, and the other charge of fly-tipping,


he received a six-month suspended sentence, 12 month supervision


order, 200 hours of unpaid work and an ASBO MACRO hanging round his


neck. This was him arriving at court, before he had even found out


what was going to happen. He is about to do a dance with the


photographer. Only real men can wear pink. Your footage was used as


supplementary evidence which helped to secured a five-year ASBO against


him. Fly-tipping is a major problem in Cardiff, costing the city


council of to �1 million a year to clear-up. Thank you, Steve. Yes, a


good one, but don't go away as there is plenty more real justice


to be dished out, including the tasty tale of the TV repairman who


overcharged us by hundreds. Do you lack imagination, or do you just


like prison food? Can you tell me? I will tell you what happened after


that report a bit later. It is delicious! All of that talking


about food has made me hungry. How about you and me, dinner for two?


Look what I have bought you. �49, Amazing Adventures gift, experience


from WH Smith, Restaurant Discovery for Two. How much do you think it


is worth? �49. You would have thought so. One viewer received it


and was offered a meal worth just �20. Here is another question. A


weekend for two? Yes, even more. The price on the box, �109.


would expect a room worth �109. but it could be a lot less, like


this one, for Tony Artemeo. Recently, some good friends of ours


to help us celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary gave us a


voucher from WH Smith's for �109 for one night bed-and-breakfast for


two people course that I found a suitable bed and breakfast just


over an hour from where I live. I phoned the proprietor and he


informed me the voucher was not worth �109 but �60. I think this is


all full value for money and not something I would recommend to


anyone. What is going on? Although the gift experience is sold in WH


Smith, it is run by a company called Activity Superstore and they


are taking a big slice of the money for themselves. When we called


participating hotels to find out what �109 would entitle us to, here


is what three of them told us. received a voucher from a friend


I was wandering, how much is the Out of interest, how much do they


take? And can I ask, how much is We did call another hotel who said


we could get �100 roomed with a �109 voucher. And what do Activity


Superstore say? They say that over 99% of customers have no complaint


and only 0.1% complain about value. Of course. There are 57 hotels to


choose from. They say each is Independent with its own pricing


structure. In addition, many charge different rates depending on the


time of year, day and week, but because the voucher is valid for a


year it covers these many different prices and customers can stay at a


time convenient to them. What about the �49 restaurant Boucher that was


worth less than half? Well, Toby Joyce alerted us to that one. A �20


a meal was all that he was offered when he tried to use it because


that is what the restaurant said it was worth to them. Activity


Superstore say that it should have offered him a tasting menu worth up


to �50, and all of the 100 participating restaurants have


agreed to do that. They have now offered Toby a free meal as an


apology. WH Smith says that it is sorry some customers have been


disappointed with the Amazing Adventures packs. It says it will


be contacting Activity Superstore about the issues and will support


them with selecting the outlets offering the packages to customers.


In a nutshell, I could take you away on the cheap, very exciting,


even on the cheap, by booking a room director one of the hotels we


called for �60 and it is not only exciting but I would be �49 in


pocket. Exactly, a bottle of champagne!


Up next, Fiat and Nissan, two companies with diesel models


perfect for driving around town. Kind to the environment, but not on


your wallet. Whether it is doing the school run,


commuting, were doing a big shock, a city car seems the perfect


solution for the city driver. And they come with tempting incentives,


like this baby, the Fiat 500, named city car of the year by Business


Car magazine. Low emissions and low tax. And if you choose a diesel,


you might save on fuel consumption, too. In that case, I might give it


another spin. Damon bought his brand new Fiat 500 two years ago.


bought the car as a city runaround. I was looking for something that


was compact, easy to drive, especially in town. I wanted


something economical and environmentally friendly.


within one year, a warning light came on the dashboard and he


discovered his little Fiat had a big problem. If I spoke to a


mechanic who told me that because it was fitted with the component


that is used to control emissions, I would need to take the car out


regularly for 20 minutes and drive it constantly for 50 mph for it to


function properly. Fiat do mention this part in their manual but Damon


says he was not told about it when he bought the car. I went for a


test drive and no one mentioned about a diesel perhaps not being


appropriate for town or city driving. I am left with a car that


I have to take out for longer drives than I normally would do,


and I wish I had bought petrol. This is the part in question, the


diesel particulate filter, DPF. It is fitted to the exhaust to trap


the soot and reduce emissions. But if you were using the car


exclusively for city driving, you could be in trouble. The part


usually cleans itself when the engine runs at high speed, a


process called regeneration. If this has not happened for a while,


a warning light indicates the filter has become blocked. It must


be clear by driving the car at high revs by a sustained period, easily


done on the open road but more difficult around town. And it is


not just these cars that have this filter. The part was introduced to


bring cars in line with new EU green emissions rules. Most modern


diesels are fitted with it. So it could be a problem if you're


thinking of buying a so-called urban proof Nissan, as the diesel


version could end up costing you. Report hours from our local Nissan


dealership. We spoke to the sales man in the dealership and we asked


if there were any problems with it. He said you could get an issue with


the diesel particulate filter on them, and he asked what type of


driving we do. We explained normal day-to-day commuting as well as


pulling a caravan. He assured us it would be fine. Five months later,


the warning light came on. manual said that what I should do


was to take the car to a dual- carriageway, somewhere I could get


it above 50 mph, and drive it for 30 minutes, or until the filter


light went out. That was what we did. One month later, the light


came on again, this time accompanied with the engine


management liked. It said to take the car to a local dealership for


further investigation. His films are needed to be regenerated, but


as a previous owner had already claimed Ford, Nissan charged him


nearly �250. They later agreed to a one-off refund. Any more problems,


and he is on his own. It is quite likely to happen again, thus


costing me another �250 to sort out. I don't think it is urban proof at


all. It cannot cope with normal day-to-day commuting and I do not


feel confident in it. Watchdog has received over 200 complaints about


blocked diesel particulate filter has, a problem affecting diesel


cars made by most manufacturers. Some drivers have had to pay


hundreds to have them clear, whilst one customer needed a replacement


costing over �1,000. Manufacturers should instruct dealers to ask


searching questions of potential customers. If the customer says


they needed for the urban commuting and not regularly for a run down a


motorway, the dealer should say, with this technology, it could be a


problem for you. In fact, nearly all diesels built


after 2009 have one of these filters. The question any owner


will ask is, how do I stop it blocking? Manufacturers advise


driving the car at around 40 mph continuously until regeneration is


complete and the warning light goes off. It is difficult to do that in


built up areas but our expert believes it is more about the revs.


You can get the revs up by driving at a good speed in a lower gear


than normal. But the Reds have to stay up for about 15 minutes in


order for the filter to be cleared, and that is not always easy, as I


We are up to 60 and immediately it's below 2,000. That wouldn't


generate enough heat to clear the filter. You need to speed up so


even at 60 you need to be in one gear below top. I'm a city driver,


can I do this at 40? Of course you can. You need to put it into gear


to give you 2,500 rpm. What have you got on your 40mph road in town


traffic light, round abouts. Every time you stop the process goes


right back to the beginning and has to start all over again. OK. Not


everyone agrees with that advice. The Society for Motor Manufacturers


and Traders says normal driving, even in towns and cities, is


usually enough for the filters to regenerate automatically. Fiat, who


point out they've never marketed this as a city car, say the


regeneration conditions required for that model are not as exacting


as we have shown. Their advice is on the website and the information


packs and handbooks they give to new owners. You can find it on our


website. Nissan say their sales literature explains DPS and they


say the staff are trained to help staff make the right purchase


choice and very interesting this - they say they would recommend one


of their petrol or electric cars for anyone planning to use their


vehicle for short journeys only. Next, travel insurance. Although


millions of people in the UK buy annual policies covering them for


all overseas trips, some travel companies are still adding


insurance to your bills automatically. You might not even


spot it. Booking a holiday is often an exciting and emotional


commitment. When doing it on-line, often you want to skip to the end


and just book it. However, hold on. Within the final pages there may


lie a whole lot of extra options and with some, if you are not


careful, you could end up paying more than you expected, as they


pre-select extras. By ticking an option like travel insurance it


gets added to your bill. Even though you may already be covered


or could find it cheaper or better elsewhere. Luckily, though, there


are EU regulations that prevent them doing this. So none of them


would still be at it, would they? I've been clicking through a sample


of on-line travel sites. The result - big names are costing you big


money. By opting you in, unless you check the terms, they'll be jacking


up your price. Last month, I searched for a week in Florida for


a family of four. Look at this. Expedia. They automatically added


travel insurance to the price, putting a massive �127.50 on my


bill. They even listed travel insurance as included, so it looks


like you are getting a discount for not taking it, but it was never


included in the original price, so it's an added extra, and I had to


ensure I deselected it, but it's easy to miss. If only it would just


-- it were just the one. I found last minute.com at it. It


automatically added �99 and opodo. That was �110 for the week. But


this isn't just about travel insurance. Thompson and Flybe say


baggage is an optional extra. They pre-select this, so how are they


all getting away with this? The EU has rules in place to stop


companies doing this. It's a clear breach, but these haven't yet been


incorporated into British law. It's expected by the end of the year, so


there aren't any penalties available for breach. However, the


UK's airline industry regulator wants them to follow the EU rules


now. The European law on pricing transparency is very clear.


Optional extras should be clearly displayed and only offered on an


opt-in basis and we are doing work with the Office of Fair Trading to


make sure all the tour operators have no doubt they need to comply


with this. It's really important that people actively choose to buy


these optional extras and that things aren't slipped into their


basket without them noticing. can be easy to miss what has been


added to the bill and if you fail to opt out, you'll pay. Ending up


paying for travel insurance when you already have a policy -


unacceptable. Making sure you know how to deal with it - esen sal.


Martin's here -- essential. Martin's here now. You have an


update? Expedia and Thompson have agreed not to do this any more.


There are still many more doing it. Isn't this just a question of your


mandatory of reading the small print? You always do that, but some


people are in a rush and the whole sites are designed to get you to


sign up for the extras. People out there, maybe unfamiliar with the


internet, so there are problems, but let me tell you, even Evan


Davies, one BBC economics editor, presenter of the Today programme


and dragsions' den tweeted he had been caught out by this. It is not


acceptable. Did they get his money back? I believe he did. If anyone


looks and realises they've gone and signed up for travel insurance they


don't need, what do you suggest? Write to the company and it is


strong if you have another policy so you really didn't need this one,


but I would like to start a mini armchair revolution tonight,


because the financial ombudsman has never had a case like this, but it


says it would look at it and customers need to be treated fairly.


If the company says it won't give you the money back, take it to him.


It can award compensation. What we need to do is hit them in their


pockets. Wonderful. Thank you. Chris. Thank you very much. A few


other company responses to the report. Last minute. Dom say they


are concerned that uninsured travellers may not be able to


afford issues whilst abroad. Opodo say customers can remove insurance,


or on the next page of the booking process before they main. Flybe say


they are complieing with all regulations on the way they offer -


- come plying with all regulations on the way they are offering extras.


Still to come - Shell it claimed the fuel offered drivers big


savings. Oh, no, it doesn't. BT - why one of their discount deals


could end up costing you more. Back to Rogue Traders II, this time it's


personal. The sequel that lets you catch up with some of the people we


have exposed over the last couple of years. In one moment, we reveal


what happened to a clamping firm in Essex. Before that, the TV repair


man who cheated the people of Birmingham. Take your seats. It's


about to begin. Salted or sweet? Mixed. Couldn't make my mind up.


What is next? Were you not listening to what I just said in


the studio? I don't know! Anyway, this is the story of Mr Sharma,


until recently, based in Birmingham. In 2006, he was sentenced to 12


months after breaching a court order designed to stop him cheating


customers and he was served with a further order. By 2009, he was back


at it again, making your TV problems disappear. He also made


your TV disappear, according to some of his customers. He came and


he said it would have to be taken away for repair and I've never seen


the television since. TVRC went under many names posing as local.


We gave them a TV. Should have done it. Instead, we were told the set


was irreparable and offered a replacement. Remind me, what did


the telly need? A built of soldering. Taking? Ten minutes,


maybe, tops, half an hour. Yeah. We said no at which point the TV was


repairable, but it cost more more than double what it should and


wasn't really fixed at all. plot is dragging a bit. I'm sorry,


but it's essential background. We gave them another one with a


nackered switch. Replacement should cost �150, including labour. They


charged us �345 to repair it. When I say repair it, it would switch


itself off after a couple of hours, so not particularly helpful.


doorstep confrontation. In a supermarket car park, somewhere in


the Midlands. How are you? The thing I'm wondering is how you can


go to prison for running a dodgy TV repair company and yet three years


later be doing exactly the same thing. Have you lot your car?


Because, that's what you are doing and we have heard from your


customer, yes, this one back here, we have heard from your customers


who tell us that just like before their TVs are not coming back to


them. Have you -- have you lack of imagination or do you like prison


tood? Is that what it -- food? Is that what it is? Big fella. In big


trouble, because after it aired on the country's favourite show he


took time out. He soon returned to his old tricks. Trading Standards


decided to prosecute again and he appeared in April in court and


jailed for 15 months for breaching that order. He must like the food.


Next! Yes, this part is a double- feature with the second film


featuring LBS Enforcement Limited, a clamping company who took no


prisoners. That's wrong. They took prisoners. They said �150 for clamp


releasing as the fee and �200-odd for the truck and I said, well,


what do you mean? They said we have deployed a truck to tow your car.


Then there was Jenny King. She doesn't deny she parked in the


wrong place, but one of several people who was intimidated by the


LBS clamper. I was out on Saturday shopping. Came back to my car being


clamped to this very big, ugly man. He wanted me to pay �435 there and


then. I paid it. I was very frightened and I just paid him.


�400 just blown us away. I do work, but I'm a single parent. You can't


afford that, can you? I'll say. As ever, we needed to see them at work


for ourselves. Our researcher, Hannah, yes, she is back, only


stopped for five minutes in this Ben blocked her in and demanded


We later caught up with one of the directors of the firm and clamped


his car. The good news is since then the authorities have caught up


with the company too. Ben Collins, and Edward Lapenna and director


Mark Stone have had their licences taken away. They have also been


given 13 weeks' suspended jail sentences for using threatening


words and behaviour when posing as debt collectors and the Inland


Revenue has won an application to have the company wound up for non-


payment of taxes, all of which will bring a warm glow to the motorists


of es em, not to mention Hannah. -- Essex, not to mention Hannah. She


did get out in the end. As for our next rogue - you have sold us a car


which has been clocked. As you know, that is against the law. He tried


to escape too. He may have got away from me. Straight down the middle


there. But he couldn't outrun the courts. Find out what happened to


him in about ten minutes. A few e- mails from you about diesel filters.


One driver here says, he bought the car to drive around town, but he's


had to spent half an hour on the motorway every week to unblock the


filter. Lots of you also getting in touch about switching energy


supplier too and we'll have an update later on. Next, Currys and


PC World and their repairs aftersales team. We featured them


last year. They were season standard with repairs and had


terrible customer service. They've been relaunched as knowhow and


according to Dixons Retail Group, things are very different, but


surprise, surprise, according to customers, who have contacted


Millions of people are tuning into Strictly. I love nothing more than


a Saturday night in front of a corporate video. The board are


excited about this and that does not happen often. A have seen the


plans and they look exciting. the most excitable thing that has


happened to us for a long time. have the opportunity to do


something amazing in UK retail. Wow! Thank goodness they are


excited because for me there is nothing less tedious them those


annoying technical issues. Knowhow not only promise to help you set up


in store and repair your laptop, TV or desktop, but they also offer


plenty of advice and lots of reassurance. They collected Rob's


laptop when his hard drive failed, but then Knowhow themselves failed


to send it back. They could not tell me where the laptop was,


whether it had gone out for delivery, whether it was in the


repair centre, only that the systems they were working from were


not agreeing with each other. is reassuring! I was getting a


story saying it was at the Despatch Centre and they were looking for it.


It was a different story each time. Two weeks on, Knowhow were still


searching for the laptop. When I phoned back the next day, they were


stating that an entire palette had gone missing. They said it had been


sent to the wrong Despatch Centre. Hang on, a palette? Well, they may


have told him that originally, but they have since denied losing the


palate. His laptop, yes, that had gone missing. But by the time they


offered a replacement, he had had enough. After two weeks and hours


of phone calls, I was disgusted to the point where I just wanted to


separate myself from them. Since the launch of Knowhow in March, we


have had over 100 complaints, mainly about the servicing of


laptops. But with their state-of- the-art repair Lab, which sounds


fancy, surely they have the know- how to fix an obvious fault. Let's


hear from Sarah Taylor, whose laptop kept switching itself off.


She arranged for Knowhow to repair the fault. They sent it back within


seven days. I plugged it in and I was happy, the laptop was back. 15


minutes later, it stopped working again. I was straight on the phone


to them. Again and again, she sent off her laptop to Knowhow to get it


fixed. Frustrating. But at least she could keep up-to-date with


repairs thanks to their trains and track system, couldn't she? I wish


I could tell you about it but I never had a tracking number. The


only number I ever received was a booking reference number, so I


cannot tell you how great the service is, because I never


received one. After seven attempts, they eventually admitted they did


not have the know-how to fix her computer and offered a replacement


instead. I feel I have been treated very badly by Knowhow. They are not


providing the service they should. They need to make a good impression,


provide an efficient service, the repairs will be done. Simply not


true. It still, at least she got a new computer for her troubles but


things do not always turn out so well. One customer was so tired of


waiting for a computer to be repaired that she asked for it back


and got a sticky reminder of Knowhow's customer care. And when I


say sticky, does anybody know how to get this off? OK, not great so


far, but at least you can pay a little extra for their premiere


cover. You know, the one that is supposed to give you the best


possible cover when things go wrong. Just as they did for Michele Morgan.


When I phoned the faults department and said my daughter's laptop was


not working properly they were extremely good and I thought, all


well and good. Sadly, that was as well and good as it got. Speedy


repair service? Weeks later, still no sign of the computer. Every time


I phoned, they would give me a different delivery date and then it


would not arrive. I phoned the delivery people, I phoned the


warehouse where it was being repaired. They could never give me


a concrete answer. The good news - after five weeks, Knowhow did


deliver a laptop to Michelle. The bad news - it was the wrong one.


could not believe what I was seeing. My main concern is, who has got my


daughter's laptop? She is a 14- year-old girl. I did not want


anybody looking through her computer. Knowhow agreed to replace


her daughter's laptop and managed to trace her lost data. And for her


troubles they offered �40. I feel, in my heart, that I would never


again take out premier club cover with Knowhow. I have no trust


whatsoever in the company, in anything they have done. So, new


name, new slogans, but for some customers it is the same old story.


Dixons Retail Group says that Knowhow has a 99% success rate but


human error means they have occasionally let down customers.


Any customers having problems should e-mail them direct. The


address is on screen. They apologised to every customer we


featured, offering repairs, replacements or refunds where


appropriate. Thank you to everyone who has been in touch about that


story. Here are a few more. Halifax, part of Lloyds Banking


Group, committed to building relationships with customers,


focussing on and addressing their needs. So why did it tell one


potential customer to (ahem) off? The abusive message was scrawled on


a letter to Steve Smith, a schools examination officer from Lancaster.


The offending F-word, spelled out in full, appeared at the top of an


application form for a new Clarity credit card, a card that Steve,


unsurprisingly, has decided not to apply for. He says he was stunned


by the message and angered by Halifax's response when he


complained. An operator brushed it off as the work of someone with a


grudge against the company. But now a spokesman has apologised for the


distress, saying that "a regrettable error in systems


allowed a spurious application to progress beyond initial checking".


Looking forward to making big savings with Shell's FuelSave


Unleaded? It's not going to happen. The oil giant has been ticked off


for bigging up the effects of its petrol in a print and radio ad


earlier this year. One featured a man dressed in a lab coat holding a


measuring glass with the promise that drivers could save up to one


litre per tank at no extra cost. Shell argued that its tests showed


that the fuels achieved a 2% saving more than 10% of the time. But the


Advertising Standards Authority said it had exaggerated the effects


and banned the ads for being misleading. On a brighter note for


the company, its second quarter profits were up 77% this year. It


made �4.9 billion in just three months, which works out at more


than �54 million every day. Ponder BT. If you have a Friends and


Family Mobile discount deal you could be paying more than those who


haven't. Thousands of customers signed up for the $4.50 per quarter


plan, which promised the lowest prices when calling a mobile from a


BT landline, just 7p a minute. But BT have since cut the cost of


calling mobiles for other customers to just 5.3p a minute during the


evenings. So undercutting the Friends and Family plan. But BT


says it has no plans to change the terms of the deal, and says


customers who are on it can still make big savings when calling


mobiles during the day, which hasn't impressed John Matthews


who's demanded a refund for both his quarterly fee and the price


difference on all the calls he's made. Looks like they've just lost


OK, intermission over. It's time for the final act of tonight's


Rogue Traders sequel, with one more story in search of an ending, an


unhappy ending for the rogues, a And that's because these guys are


so bad they gave used-car salesman a bad name, and that is bad. These


brothers made a business of selling cars with hugely reduced mileage at


massively inflated prices. Tricky, this one. We were fairly sure the


cars were clocked, but we needed to get them to clock a car for us.


know. I was there. If I remember correctly, the Magic Tree air


freshener was sandalwood. First, we had to sell them the car, and then


buy it back to prove beyond doubt that they knew what they were


selling. The car had 128,000 miles on the clock when we sold it to


them, but was showing 47,000 when we went to buy it back, which meant


they could ask �6,200, not the 2300 they bought it for. Nice business.


Yes, in any illegal way. We organised a test drive, with one of


the brothers coming to show us what was what. But what actually was


what was that the car was staying away, while he was going to have a


chat with me. Matt Allwright, BBC Rogue Traders. When we sold you the


car, it had 128,000 miles on the clock. Now you are trying to sell


it back to us and it has 47,000. Normally what happens here is that


I throw a few questions, the rogue drives off. Today is going to be


different because we still have his wheels. Funny! You are running!


you familiar with the term clocking? You have sold us a car


which has been clocked. As you know, that is against the law. You are


dealing with cars which will look younger, fresher than they are, and


look like they have done a fewer miles. That means you are conning


people, doesn't it? Do you mind if I put this award over your head? I


am not touching you. He gets on the phone. We have got you already. He


is trying to call in reinforcements, and we need help, too. Our camera


crew is struggling to keep up. Who needs a car, to be honest, when you


can move like this? And it is another two miles from here to his


home. I will tell you what, we are walking down the middle of the road.


I would say this constitutes a health and safety hazard so I might


leave you to it. There he goes, straight down the middle of a dual


carriageways. That his cars, clocking him, turning the clock


back on one of our cars and then trying to sell it on, the crucial


OK, so what is the update? Both brothers were prosecuted under the


Consumer protection from unfair trading regulations 2008 for the


supply of clocked cars. They pleaded guilty and got 200 hours'


unpaid work as a sentence. They calculated that they took half a


million miles of cars in one month. That is the distance from here to


the moon and back again. Wow! That is the distance across the Gamma


Quadrant. You have Star Wars and Star Trek mixed up. Dangerous!


Wildly erratic, let's acknowledge the work of the authorities who


caught up with the brothers and Nicky Date and a TV repairman, and


the guys from LDS enforcement limited. Let's hope we will not see


any of them on a screen near you any time soon.


And while we're at it, let's hope we don't see this character again,


either. Clive Bramall of Oxford and Abingdon Washing Machine Repairs


who conned his customers into handing over money for appliances


that didn't turn up. The question we would like the answer to his,


where has all the money gone, because you have taken thousands of


pounds off different people. Well, earlier this year he was charged


with three counts of fraud. He pleaded guilty, received a six-week


suspended jail sentence, and was ordered to carry out 250 hours of


unpaid work. Which brings us to the end. But before we go, don't


confuse any of the companies we featured with those of similar


names. Lots of people getting in touch


about switching energy supplier. It is a nightmare, says one. One says


that nobody warned her her filter would become blocked when she


bought her a diesel car. She has just spent �1,000 replacing it.


Keep sending your stories and tip- offs. We would read them and follow


up while we are off air. Just visit the website.


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