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 All the information and advice that you need to claim compensation in an easy to understand and easy to use pack. 
Shaw and Co Solicitors
Compensation Pack Blog
Latest news from Compensation Pack, keeping you informed about your right to claim compensation.

Wednesday 17th November 2010 Mobile Phone Contract Disputes
The mis-selling of mobile contracts has been a serious problem in the UK. It has led to many mobile phone disputes, and many consumers being put out of pocket due to a contract they didn't intend to sign up for.
 
Complaints to Ofcom, the UK telecommunications regulator, concerning the mis-selling of mobile communication services, rose from 50 per month in 2004 to 200 per month in 2006. While tackling mis-selling is a priority for Ofcom, it still occurs.
 
Dishonest Sales Staff Hungry for Bonuses
 
It's unfortunate that some telesales staff and mobile phone retailers are providing customers with false and misleading information to earn bonuses and hit sales targets. This leads to situations where customers who think they have agreed to a 12 month contract have actually signed up for 18 months, or where customers who think they only bought a phone have actually bought a phone and a contract.
 
Even if you've not had to deal with dishonest sales staff, there have been instances where mobile phone companies have changed a customer's billing tariff mid-contract without letting them know. Then suddenly they would get stung by £200 per month bills.
 
In an ideal world, you would be able to complain to your mobile phone company or retailer, and they would sort out the problem. Sometimes this happens, but other times your complaint can be met with rude behaviour -- in some instances people have been told they are a liar and that they should live with their contract.
 
Your Rights concerning a Phone Contract Problem
 
Since September 2009, mobile providers are legally obligated to protect consumers in the following ways: 
They must provide customers with all the information they need.
They must make sure a customer is able to enter a contract.
They must make sure that all retailers selling their services offer fair terms and conditions for any cashback scheme.
They must carry out many other checks on all retailers that sell their services.
 
Solve Your Dispute As Painlessly As Possible
 
Solving a mobile phone contract problem doesn't necessarily have to involve lawyers and court rooms, regardless of whether you went to a mobile phone retailer or contacted a mobile provider directly. 
 
As one example, you can solve a dispute through a Alternative Dispute Resolution (or ADR) scheme. Every mobile phone service provider must be signed up to one of the two ADR schemes available. Their services are free for consumers who haven't been able to resolve their dispute with their mobile phone provider. They can make your provider apologize and explain its actions, and force them to pay up to £5000 in compensation.
 
If you've been unable to settle the problem and don't know where to turn, our Mobile Contract Dispute package goes into detail how you can resolve a dispute, even if you're stuck with a stubborn mobile phone retailer or service provider.
 

Posted on November 17th 2010 on 03:14pm
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Labels: mobile phone dispute
Wednesday 10th November 2010 Lost Your Tenancy Deposit? It Can Be Saved!
It's unfortunate that many landlords and letting agencies aren't as honest as they should be. Your tenancy deposit can be seen as a way to make a quick bit of cash, even if it is taken illegally.
 
Thankfully, new laws came into effect on April 6 2007, as part of the Housing Act of 2004, allowing tenants to more easily protect their deposit. Knowing how to deal with a troublesome landlord, in some cases, can now mean you get more than just your deposit back! These laws also means there are clear steps you can take to protect yourself, in the eventuality that your landlord or letting agency should ever turn sour.
 
The Villainous Landlord Toolkit
 
There are several ways a landlord or letting agency can cheat you out of your deposit:
 
Withholding Your Deposit -- They can claim that you've damaged the property or its furnishings when you haven't. Legally, a tenant doesn't have to pay for damages that have occurred over time through normal use (or "fair wear and tear"). Alternatively, they could simply deny they've taken a deposit at all.
 
Disappear from the Radar -- You might call, only to have them hang up on you over and over, or not be able to get in touch with them at all!
 
Letting Agency Goes Under -- In rare instances, your letting agency may go out of business, potentially putting your deposit in jeopardy.
 
Tenancy Deposit Protection Schemes to the Rescue!
 
You don't need to worry if you are suffering from any of the above problems. If your tenancy is an assured shorthold tenancy (if you're unsure, then it probably is) then it is likely that you can recoup your deposit.
 
Tenancy deposit protection (or TDP) schemes, as their name suggests, ensure that your deposit is protected. Landlords and letting agencies have a legal obligation to protect your deposit by using one of the three TDP schemes available.
 
They were created to protect tenants. In the past, resolving deposit disputes could be a big headache, which resulted in many landlords getting away with stealing deposits. TDP schemes put a framework in place that allows tenants to recover their deposit more easily.
 
You Can Recover Your Deposit
 
Within 14 days of your tenancy commencing, your landlord or letting agency must send you details of the TDP scheme they are using. If they don't, you can take them to court and get three times your deposit back. That might make you glad they didn't use a TDP scheme!
 
If your landlord or letting agency has used such a scheme, but is still tried to fiddle you out of your deposit, then the dispute can be dealt with by using the alternative dispute resolution process that is provided for free through any TDP scheme. This means that the courts don't have to be involved. 
 
Whatever your situations, getting the right advice and taking the right action can help you to solve a current dispute or protect yourself should a dispute ever arise.
 

Posted on November 10th 2010 on 03:49pm
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Labels: tenancy deposit dispute
Thursday 07th October 2010 Law Firm in Trouble Under Data Protection Act
It has been reported in the press over recent weeks that law firm ACS Law is under investigation by the Information Commissioners Office after they lost the personal data of thousands of private individuals. The details, which included names, addresses and credit card details were hacked and then leaked online, leaving questions about the firms data security measures.
 
The Information Commissioner will be responsible for investigating the circumstances surrounding the leaked data; circumstances which include claims of illegal file sharing and media downloads on the part of those whose details have been leaked, and determine what action is necessary. Steps taken against the law firm will be qualified under the provisions of the Data Protection Act. 
 
A spokewswoman for the Information Commissioners Office said:
 
“ the ICO takes all breaches of the Data Protection Act seriously. Any organisation processing personal data must ensure that it is kept safe and secure. This is an important principle of the Act. “
 
The story is a prime example of why data protection is such a big issue and why it is important that organisations and companies have data protection measures in place, and take them seriously. As a result of the loss of data by ACS Law, there is now the fear that those people whose data was lost could be targeted by criminals who have downloaded the data. The victims of the data loss could see their credit cards being used fraudulently or even being targeted personally by people who have taken note of who they are and where they live. 
 
The Data Protection Act was put in place for a reason and the Information Commissioners Office is at the ready to police and punish anyone who fails to abide by the legislation. 
 
 

Posted on October 07th 2010 on 11:52am
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Labels: data loss
Monday 09th August 2010 Compensation Claims for Holiday Issues
A holiday should be a time of relaxation, joy and adventure, but the statistics show that this is not always the case. Planned holidays are regularly ruined by a number of possible factors – and often, such factors are outside the control of the holidaymakers.
 
There are many common holiday issues which affect people every year, and most of these can be claimed for.  Many of these pertain to flights: delayed flights, over-booked flights and cancelled flights. You might even be refused boarding, and on a flight you might suffer lost, damaged or delayed luggage. Sometimes, holiday destinations are advertised falsely or misleadingly. You can claim compensation for all of these.
 
In 2009, 26% of flights did not operate on time. This staggering figure is mild in comparison with the 35% in 2008 and 34% in 2007. On average, in 2009, about 4% of flights were delayed by more than one hour. The figures differ from airline to airline. British Airways had a relatively good year with 3.6% but they are usually around the 6% mark. Ryanair saw only 2.9% of their flights delayed by over an hour, and Lufthansa 3.2%. Among the worst was Virgin Atlantic, at a high 8.2%.
 
Sometimes, travellers aren’t aware of their rights. Airlines are obliged to provide details of EU compensation opportunities to any who suffer a delay or cancellation, but they don’t always do so. As an example, if a flight is cancelled which leads to a delay of over two hours, passengers can be entitled to a compensation of £180 or more. This figure increases considerably with size of delay and length of flight. According to new EU law, if a flight is delayed, and not even cancelled, by three hours or more, passengers are entitled to up to €600 in compensation.
 
The Association of British Travel Agents represents about ninety percent of British package holiday providers, and it receives around 20,000 complaints each year. It is estimated that 3 percent of holidaymakers are unsatisfied with their holiday in some way. Over half of the time, the dissatisfaction is rooted in the accommodation, which might be different to what was advertised.
 
The current economic climate means tour operators and airlines are acting with increasing tightness. More concerned with seeing out the recession than maintaining customers every year, these companies are seeking to avoid paying out any money as long as they can get away with it. Thus, the need for making compensation claims about holiday issues is more necessary than ever. You could be entitled to a considerable sum of money if you have suffered holiday issues and wish to claim for it.
 

Posted on August 09th 2010 on 05:40pm
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Labels: delayed flights, holiday claims, lost luggage
Thursday 08th July 2010 How Lost Luggage Affects People Each Year
Every year, thousands of people around the world lose their luggage while flying. It is a major and continual source of huge frustration and disruption for many airline passengers. The statistics are really quite damning. It is estimated that as many as 25 million items of luggage disappear throughout the world’s airports each year. This equates to approximately 1 in 100 passengers losing something.
 
When you consider the effect lost luggage can have on passengers, it is even more worrying. Holidaymakers and business travellers alike can be hugely impacted by lost luggage. The loss of one luggage bag can mean the loss of hundreds or thousands of pounds worth of items. Holidaymakers might be forced to go on holiday without clothes or basic supplies, and business travellers might lose items which are fundamental to their business activity.
 
Of the 25 million estimated lost items each year, just over 50% disappear between transfers, about 15% are not loaded onto flights and about the same percentage go astray during early bag switching, due to either poor ticketing or failed security. A further 7% are lost during loading or offloading. The remaining 12% are accounted for by failure of customers to comply with baggage space or weight restrictions, and also mishandling at the arrival station and tagging errors.
 
It is crucial these days for flying passengers to have the right travel insurance to cover them in case of a lost luggage claim. Most people assume that they won’t be affected, and they might be right in thinking so as 99% of travellers do get their baggage at the other end. However, any person could be that 1 in every 100. The figure is not as low as it sounds, when you consider that a single flight can contain around 300 people – that is, 3 people per flight affected by lost luggage.
 
Of the European airlines, British Airways usually comes last each year for baggage handling success. About 28 pieces of checked baggage are delayed or lost per 1,000 BA passengers. The figure for Swiss Airlines is 10 per 1,000 and the figure for Lufthansa, famed for its German efficiency, is still 16 per 1,000. Air France tends to lose about the same, with the average figure being around 16. 
 
Where do the lost items go? A lot of the time, no-one is quite sure. Perhaps they might end up in the Unclaimed Baggage Centre in Alabama, a somewhat bizarre American tourist attraction. 800,000 people visit it each year and about 6,000 items are added daily. It is the most famous of many auction houses throughout the world that resell lost or unclaimed items of luggage. British Airways auctions off more than 500 lost laptops each year!
 

Posted on July 08th 2010 on 06:56pm
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Labels: lost luggage
Tuesday 08th June 2010 More Lost Luggage Claims for BA
British Airway's reputation has again been hit over the issue of lost luggage.  It was said in The Independent that a survey carried out by an insurance company put the statistics at 1 in every 3.8 BA passengers having suffered from lost, delayed or damaged luggage in the last 5 years. 
 
Virgin Atlantic were put at second in the survey, with 1 in 8.3 passengers having luggage problems.
 
With lost luggage being such a widespread issue amongst the airlines, it's advisable to know your rights before you fly so that you can know what action to take if you end up being one of the unlucky passengers that fall victim to airline incompetence. 

Posted on June 08th 2010 on 04:25pm
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Labels: ba, lost luggage
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