02/08/2014 Your Money


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On television, on iPlayer, on catch`up, on demand,


it's your weekly guide to making the most of your cash.


Fees release me ` the broadband companies that charge


We'll find out if you can avoid the exit charges.


The higher costs of everyday life if you have a disability `


we'll see one attempt to keep those costs down.


And doing what they say on the tin ` what it means


If a company provides a shoddy service, you'd think you


But, for some broadband companies, not only do you have to pay


for the bad service, they also make you pay an extra charge


And they call in the heavies if you don't pay.


Citizens Advice says the average cost of getting out of


a broadband contract was ?190, but it found some cases where customers


It had 3,000 complaints about internet and broadband


from customers in Wales and England last year.


Nearly one`quarter of them were complaints


Just under one`fifth of complaints were about how


the companies handle complaints themselves and put them right.


Around three in 20 complaints were about the cost of the service


Laura Bunt is head of policy at Citizens Advice.


It might stagger some people that if a service is not up to scratch you


have to pay more to get rid of it. We will come to that in a second.


When our company is allowed to impose extra charges, and how do we


know in advance that we will be clobbered by them? Consumers should


not be being punished for switching from poor broadband service, or when


they have experienced persistent faults with their service. We have


seen too many examples of people being hit by cancellation fees when


we have dealt with consistent issues. A woman saw us who was hit


with eight B even though it was not in terms and conditions that she


would be asked to pay a fee but her service was so poor that she was


having to a local Internet cafe, and paid for that service, rather than


rely on what she had at home. So anally broadband company and paying


someone else as well? You mentioned terms and conditions, is it always


in the contract that you will have to do maybe things? People should


always check terms and conditions, and if you are experiencing problems


with your Internet service you should tell the provider as soon as


possible so we can try and resolve it. Make sure you keep a record of


where the issues have occurred and when you have spoken to the buy .com


and check your terms and conditions to make sure they are not in breach


of contract. Trying to work out whether there is some advance


warning that you might face these charges, or whether the company


could argue, you signed up to it, it was there in advance, and you can


complain about it now but your signature is on the contract, so


top. A good broadband service should be one that works for you, so you


need to ensure you are getting the service you expect, check with your


neighbours, shop around, make sure you are getting what was advertised


in terms of the quoted speed and service that you receive. You


mentioned the important steps of, if you do complain, keep a record,


write everything down, because that information, you don't know when it


will come in useful and it is important it is written down at the


time so it has a per Rafferty. What happens if the companies take this


to extremes and it is passed to a debt collector because you have


fused to pay this charge? Cancellation fees can be really


difficult, because it can turn into a shop that, and for many people who


are trying to manage with stretched budgets that can be challenging, it


can be difficult to pay immediately. If you are hit with a fee, or if you


are struggling to pay immediately, come and talk to Citizens Advice, we


might be able to negotiate with the supplier on your behalf or work with


you to sort out a repayment plan. Thank you very much for joining us.


Government figures this week showed more than 27,000 people in England


and Wales became insolvent in April, May, and June this year.


If you are struggling to pay your debts,


One, don't ignore it ` it won't just go away.


Two, you don't have to pay to get debt advice.


Several charities will help you sort out your finances free of charge.


Ernie has just given us another chance to become a millionaire.


The Premium Bonds have brought back the second million`pound


The odds of winning reckoned to be 40 billion to one.


But if you don't win, you still keep your money, and you're still


And, important for working mums and dads, and for low paid workers,


you've got more time to renew your tax credits, if you need it.


The deadline for many was the 31st July.


That has been pushed back to 6th August because of a strike.


If you don't renew your tax credits in time,


If you have a disability, just living


Chances are you'll pay more for everything


That's what a new commission is trying to find out.


Gene has a syndrome which causes her joints to dislocate regularly. The


most mundane tasks in the kitchen and around the house can be tiring


and painful. She says dealing with the condition takes a big chunk of


her income, too. I have two by the ergonomic seating for my wheelchair,


which was ?90. I was given a box standard rigid walking frame, but


there is no way to store it in my flat so I had to go and purchase a


folding walking frame, which was ?35. When I need it risks rents, I


had to buy them. I have been told I need specialist knives to prepare


food in the kitchen more easily and more safely, they are ?25 per


blade. We never seem to have the money to be able to buy them.


Specialist items can really mount up in cost. The charity Scope says


disabled people face a living cost previa of about ?550 per month.


About two thirds of that is covered by the main benefit and welfare


system, but what about the rest? That is a question posed to this man


who, after 30 years in the financial services industry, is chairing a


commission investigating the extra cost of disability. I want to


achieve three broad objectives. First of all, highlight the size and


attractiveness of serving the disabled sector with additional


goods and services, and provide greater competition. Secondly, we


want to expose the extent of bad practice, where unscrupulous


companies charge disabled people more for the same goods and


services. Thirdly, we want to harness the power of the purple


pound and help disabled people the consumers. Many disabled people say


sappy shopping does not bring down high insurance premiums, but the


industry insists it is fully open for business. I think insurers are


always looking to improve the service they offer to all of their


customers are always looking to develop products to meet people with


particular needs, for examples insurers may have different


disability groups, some are able to offer low`cost contents insurance to


people in social housing, and insurers are always looking to


develop products to meet different people's needs. They are there to


include customers, not exclude sectors of society. Jean just wants


to ensure companies compete for her custom to make her financial outlook


more comfortable, because she knows that, physically, life will continue


to be tough. If you are buying a new boiler or redoing a bathroom, you


will look for the kitemark which means that an item has been checked


and assessed and meets the high standards of the British standards


institution. Now, it will be used on savings accounts and insurance plans


that are easy to understand and do what they say on the tin. Carol


Sergeant run a government backed review of products, which came up


with the idea of the kitemark. Your review was pretty straightforward


and has said a lot of policies are too confusing and it is not clear


what they are charging and consumers need a bit of help in navigating


finding the best one for them? Yes, we found that consumers found that


products are complicated and the market is competitive, and they did


not have enough trust and confidence in them, so the proposition was to


produce simple, straightforward products which literally do what


they said on the tin, no frills, no gimmicks, no nasty surprises, but


then reassure customers that they really do deliver that by having


them certified and kitemark by the British standards institution. So if


you see the kitemark on the brochure or in the advertising literature,


what does it tell you? It is telling you that product meets the standards


that we set out in that review, that there are no unfortunate bells and


whistles, that there are no hidden charges, that it is all very


straightforward, that you will get exactly what you think you are


paying for, and that that has actually been investigated by the


British standards Institute to award the kitemark in the first place, but


then they do ongoing monitoring of quite a rigorous nature. They don't


hand these things out to anybody? They certainly don't, they have been


around for over 100 years and will not risk their reputation by putting


their kitemark on something that does not deliver. To be clear of


what it is not doing, it is not giving you a financial


recommendation, it is not advice? It is not telling you that this is the


best return all the lowest fee? It deliberately does not put the price


cap on the product because we want healthy competition and previous


initiatives with price caps simply didn't work, but it does require the


price to be entirely straightforward, with no hidden


tricks, no bells, no unreasonable charges, no nasty surprises, so you


can see exactly what you are going to pay, and that is it. Is this


about changing the behaviour of the banks and financial companies? It is


a mixture of two things. It is about helping to deal with the fact that a


significant part of our population is under provided in terms of rainy


day savings, the stuff that gets you through life, and in terms of


insurance, so only a very small proportion of people with dependents


have insurance at the moment. If they can be made more confident in


products, if the product can be made more straightforward to buy and to


manage, so that you don't have to worry about whether the terms are


going to change and so on, and you can easily get out of the product if


you change of mind, we think more people will buy them. At the


challenge now is for the rest of the industry to come up and start


offering their customers these very, very straightforward, totally


trustworthy kitemark product so we can get some good competition. And


have they bought into this? The report was one that involved the


collaboration of charities, consumer groups, the industry with the


regulated government observers. They all signed up to the report. As a


good idea, Barclay's have gone ahead and have done the first product. The


challenge has now been laid down to the rest of the industry, were you


and why you not offering your customers straightforward products.


Thank you for coming in today. That is all for today. You can keep


up`to`date on our website on the page now.


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