23/11/2013 Your Money


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Doctor Who celebrates its 50th anniversary today. A special episode


will be broadcast tonight in more than 90 countries.


Time for this week's Your Money. If you have ever tried to buy a


broadband package and you have been bamboozled by the wording in the


advertising, we will have the answers for you. Do you know the


difference between a megabyte and a megabit? They are spelt differently?


We will have the answer on this week's programme.


This is your weekly guide to making the most of your cash, hear every


weekend on BBC News. Available all on the BBC iPlayer.


Not everyone will be enjoying the festive period in their own house


this year as some people face the prospect of losing their home.


Shelter is bracing itself a deluge of calls in the run`up to Christmas.


If you want peace of mind when buying big electrical items this


Christmas you might be tempted to buy an extended warranty, but is it


worth it? Ever been bamboozled by broadband


advertising? You are not alone, and in some cases it could mean you are


paying more. We will be cutting through the jargon.


While most of the UK will be enjoying Christmas at home with


family and friends, many families will face the threat of homelessness


as the rising cost of living bites. Shelter is bracing itself for a rise


in demand after a surge in demand last Christmas. I'm joined by


Antonia from the charity Shelter. Why is the many people calling you


at this time of year? At this time of the year, people's problems come


into focus. We know that the most important thing is that whatever you


do, if you can, keep up with your rent or mortgage payments. If you're


getting into trouble, make sure you get help and advice early. After


Christmas is when people begin to get into trouble with their rent or


their mortgage. Will the banks listen to someone if they cannot pay


their mortgage? What we have found is that banks are willing to talk to


people as long as they tell them early that they are getting into


trouble. If you're struggling to make your mortgage payments, please


get in touch with Shelter. Look at our website, there is a really good


guide on what to do if you were worried about making your mortgage


payment. Also you can call our helpline. It is open every single


day and we can really make sure that you can stay in your home. We are


not just talking about people with mortgages, we are talking about


people who are renting as well? Absolutely. One in four renters are


struggling to pay their rent in this country. Rent is at the highest


level ever. There is help and advice available, please do call our


helpline. Make sure you make your rent your priority payment every


single month, try not to go for short`term measures like payday


loans. There is a simple message, people always think, I can pay the


mortgage, I will put it to the side. But they do not prioritise


properly. If people are getting into trouble they need to ask for help,


there is no shame in it. People should know there is help available


from the government and charity. When should the alarm bells start


ringing? When should you think, actually I need to do something


about this right now? If you are beginning to think this month may be


the month you cannot make your rent on your mortgage, that is when your


alarm bells should start ringing. It is important to make sure your rent


and mortgage are your first and most important payment. If you think you


are going to struggle, get some help, get some advice. No one needs


to lose their home this Christmas. If you are worried about losing your


home, you can ring the Shelter helpline. Here is the number:


you can find a lot of advice on that website as well.


It is merely the season to be jolly and spend on Christmas presents. How


much are you willing to fork out for that extra peace of mind? Every year


we spend about ?1 million on extended warranties which retailers


promise will protect our purchases over a longer period than


manufacturers guarantees. But do we really need them? It is the


beginning of the Christmas shopping season and shoppers are buying gifts


for loved ones. But with that new item, many people are paying extra


to protect their purchase. We looked at three of the best`known


electrical retailers in the country. If you are planning to buy a


television from Currys PC World, a standard five`year extended warranty


will cost you ?89. The same warranty from Tesco will set you back ?64.99.


John Lewis offer a free five`year warranty on all of these


televisions. Which? Has done research on extended warranties


which casts doubt on whether they are needed in the first place. They


are sold heavily by staff at retailers. You come to the desk,


your body new TV, and someone is selling you peace of mind for around


?100. That is tempting, especially if you have spent a lot of money on


TV. The truth is you do not need to buy an extended warranty. In


reality, your product is very unlikely to break down the first


place. When the manufacturers' guarantee on your cattle or


toaster, the extended warranty will kick in. It can cover you for things


like damaged but not where on terror, fire or theft. Of course,


this all depends on the contract. `` but not wear and tear. They are not


good value for money. You get 12 month warranty anyway. I have bought


one and I am delighted with it because it is for my cooker. If they


were not so expensive maybe I would. I try to avoid them, they are profit


opportunity for the retailers. Some experts believe warranties can be


worth it in the right circumstances. If you're buying an expensive


electrical item, then look at something like an extended warranty,


just to cover you for those additional costs after the


manufacturers' 12 month guarantee is over. If you are buying that item on


a credit card, you also will be covered. An additional thing to look


at is your home insurance which will cover you for extended damage.


Before paying for peace of mind this Christmas it is worth considering


the benefits and the cost. Fed up with unsolicited calls and


text from claims management companies? The law is about to get


tougher with them. Stricter rules to crack down on these firms were


announced by the government this week. The claims management


regulation unit at the Ministry of Justice will be taking on more in


force on staff to deal with these problem companies. 5375 new homes


were bought in the last six months using the governments Help to Buy


scheme. 92% of them were sold to first`time buyers. The scheme was


launched in April to help people buy new`build homes with a shared equity


loan. It has been extended to all types of homes. Under the second


phase up to 50% of the value of the home can be guaranteed by Treasury.


Yorkshire building society is to offer new mortgages to people with


just a 5% deposit. The dealer is being seen as a sign that


competition amongst lenders is increasing. The UK mortgage market


is continuing to revive. Gross mortgage lending rose to its higher


level for five years reaching ?17.6 billion in October, a 9% rise


compared to September. Drivers are paying the lowest


average price for petrol in more than two and a half years. The


average price of unleaded has fallen from just over 130 2p per litre to


130.4 p this month. Prices have fallen 8p since September. You


should get an extra ten miles compared to two months ago.


Do you know you're a megabyte from your megabit? You're not alone if


you do not. One in five of us cannot decipher the words or abbreviations


used in broadband advertising. 46% of those surveyed say they do not


understand the majority of words used to describe their own broadband


packages. And millions of customers could be paying up to ?100 extra in


unnecessary charges because of this. With me now is the lender, chief


executive of a company dedicated to giving accessibility to women and


technology. What is the difference between a megabit and a megabyte? 8


megabits in `` equals one megabyte, but most people don't know, and most


people have no desire to know the difference. I think it is up to the


broadband companies to make it simple and make it easy for us to


understand. In terms of the advertising, are the times when you


have seen things on adverts and you think, somebody does not need a lot


of the things on offer? Often it is misleading, cause `` because you are


comparing apples and pears. We need to understand what level of service


you are getting. We are obsessed with performance, but a lot of it is


unknown. We want to focus on the service, so when something goes


wrong, do people know what level of service they are going to get? I


chose broadband because without Internet it is a disaster. I chose a


provider that actually guaranteed that they would service it by the


end of the next day if something went wrong. So let us focus on the


after service. You have to be quite technically


savvy to understand what a lot of these adverts are saying, do you


think the companies are conning us, or do you think it is an innocent


stake the way that they sell broadcast `` broadband packages to


ask? The problem here is that the people creating these products are


engineers, and most people using broad and our mums, kids, families,


and ultimately they just want the thing to work and work well. So


there is a lack of empathy from the broadband companies. We talk about


download speed, why should the normal consumer care how fast the


broad and is? What they want to know is how much contact `` content they


can consume. What I care about is how much hours of BBC iPlayer and so


on. Companies are using meaningless jargon that nobody understands. In


your job you are quite technically savvy. Do a lot of people say to


you, I do not have a clue what I am paying for? Yes, and people do not


want to look stupid and ask all of this, but they do not want to spend


hours reading a manual. It is important that the companies stop


bamboozling us. Keep it simple, think about the after sales as well.


There are a lot of deals out there, ranging in price as well. You might


get a broad package for ?3 a month, 230, ?40 a month. Why is there such


a different `` difference in price? You are comparing different things.


Get recommendations, because it is likely if your neighbour is not


getting a good signal from a certain provider, you are not going to


either. The key thing is, for companies to realise that this is an


issue, and broadband companies must start to keep it simple and avoid


the children `` jargon. Thank you for joining us.


That is all for this week. Advice on saving, borrowing and spending on


the money pages on the BBC website all week long.


You can follow our feed on Twitter. We are back next week.


I for now. `` goodbye for now. This is BBC News. Let us look at the


headlines. Foreign ministers from the world Paris `` are gathering in


Geneva amid reports that a deal over Iran nuclear capability could be


close. The Attorney`General says


politicians need to wake up to the problem of corruption in some


menorah to groups in Britain. Latvia declared three days of


mourning for the 52 people killed when the roof of a supermarket


collapsed in the capital


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