• Bills

    Millions of households could see the cost of debt fall as the financial watchdog launches a crackdown on high-cost credit and overdraft fees

    Millions of households who use overdrafts and high-cost credit could gain greater protections after the watchdog today announced a crackdown on lenders.The changes proposed by the FCA are designed to create a ‘rebalancing in favour of the customer’.The watchdog is proposing massive reforms following a wide-ranging review into the market, including bank overdraft charges, rent-to-own, doorstep lending, catalogue credit and store cards.It called for a ‘fundamental reform’ to the way banks operate and charge for overdrafts. Improvements: Consumers in persistent debt will gain greater protections under the new proposalsImmediate overdraft proposals will save customers up to £140million a year, it ...

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    Going on holiday and your cat gets sick? Here's how pet owners can claim on their travel insurance if they need to stay home

    In its most basic form, travel insurance covers you if you need to cancel your holiday, you become ill while you're away, or your property is lost, stolen or damaged.But there are also a number of other hidden clauses that may be buried within the small print, such as being able to use it for cancelling a holiday if your pet is ill.In fact some insurers allow customers to cancel a holiday if their dog or cat needs life-saving treatment in the week before they are due to go away. Of the 235 annual travel insurance providers, 10 include pet ...

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    EE will double the cost of some calls from next month - and it won't let you leave without a penalty

    Millions of EE mobile phone customers will see charges rise for a number of out-of-bundle charges from June 25.These will affect anyone who goes over their monthly bundle and those using services not included in their monthly mobile package.Some of the biggest hikes include calls from the UK to Ireland or the Channel Islands rising from 50p per minute to £1 and calls to the EU rising to £1.50 from £1 per minute. High costs: Calls from the UK to Ireland and Channel Islands rising to £1, from 50p, per minCustomers who don't have one of EE's international calling packs ...

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    Home insurance bills rise THREE times faster than inflation as insurers pay out for Beast from the East claims

    Home insurance bills increased 7.6 per cent in the year to April, to an average of £133, new research has revealed.The hike is more than three times higher than the 2.4 per cent rate of inflation over the period and insurers have blamed it on a rise in claims after the freezing weather earlier in the year.The 'Beast from the East' and Storm Emma saw the UK gripped in a prolonged period of snow and icy weather, which resulted in a spike in home insurance claims. Home insurance policies rose 7.6 per cent in a year to an average of ...

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    The auto-renewal insurance rip-off continues: Insurers hiking home premiums for loyal customers

    Insurers are adding an average of £32 per year onto home insurance premiums for consumers who auto renew, new research has revealed.This is despite the fact that home insurance policies – both buildings and contents – have fallen in price over the past few years.The average policy is now £118 a year, and those who do shop around and switch save an average of £43. Loyal consumers who auto renew their home insurance will pay £32 extra per yearInsurers rely on consumers not actively switching insurance policies when their policy comes to an end.This allows them to increase the price ...

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    Seven free or low cost energy-saving ways to make your home greener and cheaper to run (and why green boilers spectacularly failed)

    The Renewable Heat Incentive scheme, set up in 2011 to fit green boilers has failed homes and businesses, a group of MPs said this week.Subsidies are expected to cost £23billion to taxpayers, but the scheme saw just 60,000 boilers installed in the past four years, compared with 6.2million gas boilers in the same time, the Public Accounts Committee said.But while this project was a dud, there are a number of schemes available for free and low-cost energy efficient measures to be installed. And now is the right time to start thinking about making your home ready for the colder months.  ...

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    Facing redundancy? Make sure you know your rights and how much pay you should get

    Redundancy can happen for many reasons and if you’ve been made redundant, or if you are about to, it can cause serious financial issues.Along with re-evaluating your finances and planning your next career move, it’s also important to make sure you know your rights as your employer must treat your fairly and follow your legal rights.This includes following the correct protocol so you are consulted, given the proper notice period and paid any redundancy money due. Playing ball? Your employer needs to follow certain rules when making people redundantYou may also be given help finding a new position, the option ...

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    Are you owed money by your energy firm? Households could get an average refund of £121 - here's how...

    Thousands of households are owed money from their energy supplier of more than £100, new data suggests.This is energy paid for by direct debit and then not used - and people are being urged to check whether they are due a refund.One in 10 households could be due more than £200 back from their provider, comparison website Uswitch has calculated.   Households paying via direct debit may have paid for more energy than they usedIf you pay for your energy by direct debit, a set monthly figure is taken each month to cover your energy usage.This is based on meter readings, ...

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    Thousands with mental health issues who are struggling with serious debt will benefit from 'breathing space' from fees, charges and interest

    The Government has confirmed it will extend the 'breathing space' scheme to all people receiving NHS mental health crisis services.The breathing space is a period of time when fees, charges, interest or collections activity are suspended from a person's debt.The announcement comes as research shows 23,000 people in England struggled with problem debt last year while receiving hospital treatment for mental health. The Government's breathing space policy is designed to help those in serious debtsThe Government first announced the introduction of a breathing space, which is also known as the Debt Respite Scheme, last year.It said only those who attended ...

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    Up to 140,000 households go without heating and electricity because they can't afford to top up meters

    Around 400,000 people, or 140,000 households, have been left without gas and electricity because they didn't have enough money to top up a pre-payment meter, new research has revealed.The majority of people affected were identified as being vulnerable and may have a child living with them or someone with a long-term health condition.Of those affected, just 9 per cent had contacted their energy supplier to discuss the issue and try and find a resolution, the research from Citizens Advice showed. 140,000 households have self-disconnected an energy meter because of a lack of funds'Self-disconnection' happens when a meter loses the supply ...

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    Are you ready for the robot revolution? We test some of them out

    Robots can now handle an increasing number of day-to-day chores. The Mail on Sunday tests some of them out and discovers they can actually save you time as well as money.PLUG IN A HOUSE CLEANERAmong the most tiresome chores is cleaning the home. Even those who can afford a human cleaner might be surprised how costs soon add up.The average cleaner earns £10 an hour so if they visit four hours a week they will cost £2,080 a year – money that you could invest in a robot. In the last century cleaning was transformed by user-friendly inventions such as ...

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    Scottish Power to increase energy prices by 5.5% adding £63 onto bills for nearly 1m customers from June

    Scottish Power has announced a price hike of 5.5 per cent which will add an average of £63 to the typical annual dual fuel bill.It will affect around 960,000 customers paying its standard variable tariff. They will see their bills rise to an average of £1,211, from £1,147, from 1 June.The rise follows on from British Gas and EDF who have both recently revealed price hikes. Prices for 960,000 customers to rise by £63 to an average of £1,147 from the start of JuneCustomers with a SVT who pay by direct debit will see £63, on average, added to their ...

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    Time to switch to a green energy supplier? We look at the companies offering tariffs that don't burn fossil fuels to keep your home running

    Every year, millions of people ditch and switch energy supplier, either because they've found a cheaper deal or they have suffered a customer service nightmare.Last week, British Gas and EDF both revealed price increases for those on a standard variable tariffs, which will hit millions of households.This may prompt another wave of switchers who want to vote with their feet. In recent times, a push towards being conscious about our impact on the environment has led some to switch to a green tariff. Going green: Many households are becoming more environmentally conscious - and are turning to green energy tariffsThese green ...

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    The best and worst telecoms companies revealed: TalkTalk has the most broadband and landline complaints while Sky has the least

    TalkTalk received the most customer complaints for broadband and landline services between October and December last year, according to the latest complaints data from the regulator.There were 31 complaints per 100,000 customers received by Ofcom from broadband customers and 23 per 100,000 received from landline customers.The main reason for complaints from TalkTalk customers was faults with the service followed by issues with its complaints handling process and then problems with its billing, prices and charges. TalkTalk has the most broadband complaints for the second quarter running at the end of 2017For broadband services, this is the second quarter running that ...

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    Electricity bills could rise £200 by 2025 thanks to increasing green subsidies and wholesale energy costs

    Household electricity bills could rise by a third, or by just under £200, by 2025 due to the increasing cost of green subsidies and wholesale prices, a new report has predicted.Green policy costs will account for more than a quarter of electricity bills and wholesale costs will increase by 30 per cent during this time.The data predicts electricity bills will reach an average of £807 over the next eight years because Ofgem will be forced to repeatedly increase its price cap, which is designed to protect consumers from bill hikes. Rising costs: Green policy costs will make up more than ...

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