12/04/2014 Your Money


12/04/2014

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the last ride, so nobody knew if we had won it or not all. That's all

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the sport for now. It's now time for Your Money with Declan Curry.

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Hello and welcome to Your Money ` your weekly guide to making the most

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of your cash, here every weekend on BBC News television, available all

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week on the BBC iPlayer. Over`charged when we go over`drawn `

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the financial watchdog launches an investigation into bank fees. We'll

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look at the cheaper ways of going into the red. And how to stop the D

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in DIY standing for disaster. We've got some hints for hassle`free home

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improvements. How much does it cost you to go into

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the red? The City watchdog says probably too much. It says many of

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the banks have high charges and it's often difficult to find yourself a

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better deal, because the wretched things are so complicated. James

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Daley campaigns for consumer rights. He runs a website called Fairer

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Finance, which assesses the banks for price, customer service, etc. 30

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million accounts have overdrafts, but the watchdog says most of us

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would struggle to work out what going into the red actually costs.

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What makes them so complicated? What has happened over the last few

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years, is the cost of overdrafts has come down a little, but it has got

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more complicated. Ten years ago, it was a matter of, here is your

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interest rate. Nowadays, it might be a daily age, it might be a monthly

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fee, you might have a offer so that you can go beyond limit without

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being charged. It is difficult for customers to compare like with like

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when looking at bank accounts. Sometimes something that looks cheap

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might not be. We are talking about the new Barclays overdrafts

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arrangements, that was a fortnight ago. It is a daily fee and it

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doesn't look very much, but if you add it up over the month, the

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typical customer is paying far more for their overdraft than they were

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previously. Exactly. If you turn some of those daily fees into annual

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charges, its works out at hundreds of percentage. You cannot compare

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like`for`like without doing some sums and working out if this is

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right for you, depending on how often you go into the red. The good

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news is, there are actually some great services out there full top

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government sponsored website has a tool that allows you to compare

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accounts by entering how much you are in the raid each month. The

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important thing is to be orders. A lot of people say, I would call them

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out limits many times a year, but that is when it gets expensive.

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These are not trivial amounts, it could cost you 50 or ?60 each month.

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Exactly, hundreds of pounds a year. The worst excesses I did have been

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shaved off, but there are still banks charging people a lot. But if

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you think, actually, I am the kind of person who goes over their limits

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ex times a year, then it is a good idea to shop around. More of us are

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complaining about the companies that supply our gas and electricity. The

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energy ombudsman says ten, 638 customers complained between January

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and March ` that's three times as many complaints as a year ago. Most

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complaints were about bills ` 2,062 people said they didn't get a bill

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when they should have. 1,474 complained about the charges on

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their bills. And there were 1,067 complaints about bad customer

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service, though the watchdog said not all those complaints were

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justified. Energy UK ` the industry body that speaks for the companies `

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says most people have no problem with their energy firm. If you do

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need to complain about the company you use, you should contact the

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energy company first. You should find their details on the back of

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your bill. If the problem hasn't been sorted out after eight weeks,

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then you can go to the ombudsman. All of the big six energy firms have

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signed up to the ombudsman scheme. It's an independent watchdog ` and

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it's free to make a complaint. Do an internet search for Ombudsman

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Services. One of the smaller energy firms has

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promised to keep some of its bills below ?1,000 a year. OVO says it can

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cut prices ` because of a near`10% fall in the market price that it

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pays for the energy it sells us. The price applies to its fixed`rate,

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duel`fuel deal for customers who pay by direct debit.

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A TV advert for the payday lender Wonga has been banned ` because it

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didn't make it clear just how much interest it charges. Wonga is one of

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those lenders that can charge thousands of pounds in interest if

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you borrow just a few hundred quid but don't pay it back quickly

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enough. And we mentioned earlier switching your bank account to get a

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better deal. The Payments Council says over 600,000 people have

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changed their current account under the new scheme to make it easier.

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Remember, once you ask your bank to move your account ` it's up to them

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to do all the work, and they should do it within seven working days.

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The sun is out ` daffodils are blooming, Easter is approaching.

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What's that dreadful noise? It's the next door neighbours, with their saw

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and their drill and their hammer. DIY season is upon us. We spend

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millions of pounds on it every year. But make a mess of it ` and it will

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cost far more than it could ever save. You can decide for yourself

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which camp our reporter Kevin Peachey falls into.

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With these shorter nights and spring sunshine comes a fashion for

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hammering away at home improvements. But does gelling holes in the wall

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after rebus with a bigger hole in our bank balance? Do your research

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before you start any job. There are plenty of resources online. Make

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sure you don't buy ridiculously expensive tools stop a power drill

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costing ?50 is perfectly good, you don't need to spend ?300. Make the

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most of the offers retailers come out with, especially on bank holiday

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weekends. You might need these tips, because a certified by the

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nationwide building society suggests we are willing to spend. DIY

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projects cost an average of 3500 homes, but the average bill goes up

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as we grow older. Younger home owners are likely to turn to

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short`term credit to funds the work. I enjoy it when it is finished, but

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not doing it. I don't think I am bidding at its. I said to my husband

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if he buys me a jigsaw under drill, I would be brilliant at it. I do

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painting, I'm not great at woodwork, so you will get me with

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the roller up and down the walls. I hate gloss, so anything that's is

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gloss as to be sanded down, and I am not good at that. DIY dreams can

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quickly turn into nightmares, raising the cost of repairs, but a

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really bad job can cause a property sale to fall through, bringing even

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more sleepless nights. It may pay to bring in experts rather than risk a

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botched job. The builder has to find out what you have done wrong, take

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it away and then fix it, so it can cost you twice as much. It is common

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sense, but a lot of people believe they know what they are doing and go

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at its themselves. Many home insurance policies include

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accidental damage cover, allowing you to claim if things go horribly

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wrong, but surely it is better to know what you were doing before

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doing it yourself. I think the jury is still out on

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that one. That's all from Your Money for this week. Keep up to date all

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week long with energy bills, savings, pensions, mortgages on the

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BBC's website. You can get updates ` by following our feed on Twitter...

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We're @ BBC Your Money. No show next week ` got some DIY to do ` more in

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a fortnight. A good part of this weekend will be

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dry`mac for

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Weekly round-up of news about mortgages, savings, credit cards, bank accounts and pensions. Helpful tips and advice on how to get the best deals, consumer rights and making your money work harder for you. With Declan Curry.


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