Having my consumer rights denied sends me into a blind rage.
Every company makes mistakes — and that’s OK.
But when you’ve been wronged, there is nothing more frustrating than knowing you are entitled to a refund or compensation and then being told you can’t have it.
It is particularly irritating when the reason for the rejection is that staff are unable to override a tick-box computer system.
Fight back: When you’ve been wronged, there is nothing more frustrating than knowing you are entitled to a refund or compensation and then being told you can’t have it
It’s no less amusing when it’s because they just don’t know the rules — or, worse yet, because they assume you don’t know the rules and think they can fob you off.
What’s so infuriating is that if you persevere — by quoting the correct piece of legislation or just demanding that your complaint is escalated to the right team — you often win.
But that can involve weeks of calling the same number every day, furiously typing out narky emails and generally annoying everyone, including yourself.
Sometimes, it seems as though firms look for loopholes to avoid paying out on genuine claims.
My washing machine started leaking last week, just 18 months after I’d bought it.
I assumed I’d be entitled to a repair or replacement.
But no. The machine had been bought by my builder from Howdens Joinery when I’d had my whole kitchen refitted.
When I called Howdens, I was told that, unless I had proof of purchase, I have no consumer rights, because it’s a trade- only business.
Foolishly, I hadn’t thought to request an invoice from my builder at the time, so now I’m stuck.
I can only imagine how the Currys PC World customers feel, after first being flogged insurance they didn’t want and then refused a refund because they can’t prove they tried to cancel their cover or there is no record of what the salesperson told them.
It’s customer service at its worst. The High Street giant has now promised to investigate, but the trust has already gone.
On a more positive note, last week we revealed the launch of a Death Notification Service that allows bereaved families to notify all major banks of a loved one’s death by completing just one form.
It is a brilliant step forward, but the key now is making sure that people hear about it.
One reader suggested putting up posters in GP surgeries and pharmacies. Even better, banks could also work with councils, so that when people register a death — which everyone has to do after a bereavement — they are given details on it.
These could also be distributed to hospitals, Macmillan cancer centres and even funeral homes.
Energy giants have been totally stitched up by the Government.
Ministers are demanding that every home in Britain be offered a smart meter by 2020.
Following a series of delays to vital technology, it is a completely unrealistic target.
And yet they refuse to shift the time frame.
Firms that fail to meet targets are fined hundreds of thousands of pounds — as EDF Energy was last week. No wonder our postbag is full of letters from readers complaining about feeling pressured into having a smart meter fitted.
Suppliers are getting desperate. It’s no excuse for bully-boy tactics, but I almost feel sorry for them. Well, I might, if they stopped hiking our bills to line their coffers.
After months of nagging my partner, he finally headed to our local High Street to upgrade his mobile phone.
Two hours later, he returned all in a fluster.
Along with a new iPhone, he’d been flogged insurance, a new case and God knows what else.
Friends say they, too, have felt pressured into taking out pricey contracts they didn’t need.
If you’ve been into a mobile phone store recently, tell us of your experience. Write to us at moneymail.co.uk or Money Mail, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5TT.