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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.

Thursday 29th August 2013

Millions of people are joining the money-for-nothing revolution as they cash in on schemes that save - and even make - them cash as they shop



No longer satisfied with simple half-price pizza vouchers or BOGOF (buy-one-get-one-free) supermarket offers, they are rapidly turning cash rebates worth a few pence into hundreds or even thousands of pounds a year.


The Mail on Sunday shows you how to boost your spending power for free.
 

GET PAID JUST FOR SHOPPING

Quidco and TopCashBack are the two biggest players in paying you to do your shopping online. They direct customers to big- brand retailers which pay them for the leads and then let you share in the profits.



Less than 10 per cent of Brits have adopted this tactic – meaning armies of shoppers have yet to discover the benefit of getting paid for purchasing items they would have bought anyway.



It is easy to do. Simply create an account, which takes just minutes, log in, find cashback rates for anything from a broadband deal with BT to clothes shopping with Debenhams, and click on a link taking you to the shop’s website, where you make your purchase as normal.



Patience is required as it takes weeks – sometimes months – for the rebate to land in your online account. This can be siphoned into a current account or used to make further purchases online. 



More than 3.5million members shop via Quidco, which says 90,000 new customers join every month – each earning an average annual sum of £280, with a family accumulating about £780 a year.



Andy Oldham, Quidco managing director, says: ‘Recently we found that shoppers dedicate around 30 minutes a week to using money-saving tools, including cashback sites, which adds up to a saving of £18 a week.’



More than two million people use rival website TopCashBack, which says an average £316 is paid out to members each year. But a growing number of customers are pushing the boundaries even further by ‘compounding their cashback’ – earning cashback on their cashbacks. 



They do this by using credit cards that also pay a small percentage of spending back into a customer’s account as a reward for their business.



For example, this can be done with American Express Platinum Cashback and Sainsbury’s Cashback credit cards and by RBS and NatWest customers who have registered their debit cards to earn 1 per cent at certain shops. 



When these cards are used in tandem with Quidco or TopCashBack, customers get money back into their account a second time but for the same purchase.



Canny users can aim for a triple payout by also ordering a cashback credit card through one of the money-back websites. For example, TopCashBack members can earn £21 for taking out an American Express Platinum Cashback Credit.
 
 
 

BEST CASHBACK CREDIT CARDS

  Provider Cashback*
1 Barclaycard 6%
2 Amex Platinum 5%
3 Capital One 5%
4 Sainsbury’s 5%
5 Santander 123 3%
*introductory offer periods vary
 

LINK UP DISCOUNTS

Jordon Cox – the 16-year-old known as The Coupon Kid – made headlines recently after his prolific use of vouchers enabled him to whittle down £106 worth of food shopping to less than £2. 



Such success is hard to beat, but other shoppers have come up with impressive money-making and saving techniques. 



John Housden, 60, an actuary from High Halden, Kent, has applied his mathematical skills to bolster his savings. By regularly shopping through TopCashBack since the website was in its infancy in 2007, he has earned more than £2,500. 



He prudently converts his repayments into Amazon vouchers and by doing this boosts his spending power by 5  per cent because of a deal struck between the website and the online retailer. But John’s cleverest trick to date earned him more than £40 in free rail tickets.He achieved this by boosting £20 of cashback into £21 of Tesco Clubcard points, which has its own Clubcard Boost scheme, allowing him to double the value of points to £42 worth of rail fares with RedSpottedHanky. 



But once he converted the points, he visited the train fares website via TopCashBack before spending them, coming full circle and earning him another payout. Even though the second rebate was only a matter of pence, he says the payout he has earned so far speaks for itself.


John, married to Judith, 54, says: ‘People new to cashback websites shouldn’t expect to receive money back too quickly; it does take a while. But once that momentum is there, it doesn’t matter so much. And if you don’t take the payout as cash, but as vouchers or points elsewhere, it can be worth more.’ 



To maximise his discounts John pays for shopping with a cashback credit card, sending 1 per cent of all spending back into his own pocket, and he also uses TopCashBack’s voucher codes. Used alongside regular cashback offers, these codes offer the chance to save more money – known as ‘double dipping’. 



Quidco also allows customers to double up with discount codes and calls the method ‘stacking’. Both websites have smartphone apps allowing you either to earn money back by taking pictures of till receipts or rebates just for walking into a shop.
 

OFFERS JUST FOR YOU

The idea of personalised advertising was seen as futuristic when it featured in the popular 2002 science-fiction film Minority Report, starring Tom Cruise. But now it is for real. 



Barclaycard’s new service Bespoke Offers monitors individual spending patterns to determine offers and discounts you are likely to be interested in, then sends them to your smartphone or computer. A mix of retailers are signed up to the service, which anyone can use for free. 



You do not need to be a Barclaycard customer. David Herrick, managing director of Bespoke Offers, says: ‘It’s a challenging time with people spending less and looking for value every day. Meanwhile retailers are looking for smarter ways to reach customers. ‘There is a scattered approach at the moment, with discounts going out to everyone. But Bespoke provides consumers with offers that are relevant to them individually.’



Shopitize – a free smartphone app – does something similar but with grocery shopping. You scan barcodes of products using the phone and take a picture of the till receipt. Your account is then credited with cashback, which can be withdrawn when the sum reaches £5. You can earn up to £15 a week and over time exclusive deals will become more relevant to you based on your typical shopping habits. Fledgling website iLikeOffers also uses a special algorithm – an elegant and technical computer process – to understand users’ likes and dislikes to cut down time spent hunting for bargains and deliver recommended offers based on an individual’s favourite brands and interests.



WHERE TO GO FOR HELP

Bespoke Offers: bespokeoffers.co.uk or 0844 824 5093.



Crowdology: crowdology.co.uk or email Crowdology@redshiftresearch.co.uk.



National Rail: nationalrail.co.uk / 08457 484950.



Quidco: quidco.com.



Rant and Rave: 66099.co.uk or text 66099.



Swagbucks: swagbucks.com. 



TopCashBack: topcashback.co.uk.


MAKE TRACKS FOR RAIL REFUNDS

Rail fares only ever seem to go up in price, but too often the service is poor. Where punctuality is slack, the best course of action is to claim a refund – but many travellers simply do not bother. 



Fares for cancelled or delayed trains must be refunded if a customer decides not to travel – but even if they do, they can still apply for compensation from the train operating company. This applies only when the train company is responsible for the delay and not for circumstances beyond its control, such as severe weather.



For delays of more than an hour, the minimum refund is 20 per cent of the value of a single ticket or 10 per cent for a return ticket. Make a claim within 28 days by writing to the train company’s customer services department or go to the station’s ticket office. 



Compensation is in the form of National Rail Vouchers. Some train companies operate a ‘delay repay’ system and pay more than the minimum for delays of more than half an hour, irrespective of the cause.



For example, East Coast pays back half the price of a single ticket if the delay is between 30 and 59 minutes and a full refund if passengers are late by an hour or more. Anyone living in or visiting London can load National Rail Voucher refunds on to pay-as-you-go Oyster cards.



Vast numbers of Londoners also claim for delays of more than 15 minutes on the Underground – but millions are still missing out on refunds because they don’t bother. Claims must be made within 14 days by filling in a form online at the Transport For London website or printing it out and posting it.



You get a voucher matching the price for the single delayed journey. Alternatively, the smartphone app Tube Refund does the hard work.



'I rarely have to do much apart from giving my views': How you can make cash from your opinions

Florist Kate Maxwell, 31, gets paid to tell big brands, such as Papa John’s Pizza and National Express, what she thinks about their products and services.



Kate uses a new free smartphone app called VoxPopMe and says: ‘It’s good fun. You don’t earn huge amounts but it is money for not having to do very much except having an opinion. The videos only have to be about 15 seconds.’



Although it is a matter of pence, it can mount up. Users of the app were recently offered 30p to give their opinion on the new Dr Who – Peter Capaldi. Questions can be targeted at individuals according to their interests. As a vegetarian, Kate has given her opinion on how restaurants have catered for that. She aimed to upload one video a day and after a few weeks made about £5.



Kate, who lives in Selly Park, Birmingham, with her husband James and their cockapoo dog Brutus, says: ‘The sum paid varies depending on the question. I once got 50p and another time £1. But if more big businesses get involved, there could be bigger payouts in future.’



Meanwhile, Rant and Rave, a new company encouraging people to text, call or even send a picture of a brand name along with feedback, offers the chance to win £50 of shopping vouchers on ‘feedback Friday’.



Happy and disgruntled customers can send in their thoughts before the last Friday of every month for the chance to win Love2shop high street vouchers. For a definite payout, you could sign up to a survey site, such as Crowdology, which pays between 40p and £10 depending on the length of the interview.



Alternatively, join Swagbucks via Facebook and earn virtual currency for answering surveys. Once you have earned enough Swagbucks you can exchange them for gift cards to spend at the likes of Marks & Spencer and PizzaExpress.



'Browsing on Facebook got me cheaper car insurance'

Michelle Watson, 42, from Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, was the first person to buy car insurance through a Facebook ‘quote app’ launched by Sheilas’ Wheels. The married mother-of-two, who is a kitchen supervisor at a primary school, was quoted a cheaper premium than the one from her previous insurer and was attracted by the promise of a £20 charitable donation if she used the app.



She bought fully comprehensive insurance on her Renault Laguna for just under £500, with extras thrown in. She says: ‘The premium included motor legal protection, personal injury benefit, key cover and Green Flag breakdown assistance.



‘My previous insurance policy was more expensive without any of the extras.’ 



While other insurance companies appear on the social networking website, Sheilas’ Wheels claims to be the first to sell a policy this way. The innovation comes on the back of research showing that British women are particularly savvy and save an average of almost £1,500 a year through online deals and voucher codes – and also cut the time taken by a day-and-a-half a year by ordering over the internet.



Despite setting a potential trend for buying insurance through social media, Michelle says she used to be wary of hunting internet discounts and buying online and only now feels confident enough to change her shopping habits.



But 16million other people over the age of 15 lack basic online skills and are in danger of always paying more for essentials and entertainment, according to research by charity Go On UK. In response, the Tinder Foundation manages a national network of online centres helping people to improve their computer skills and adapt to the digital age.



To find your nearest centre call 0800 771234. Guides about shopping and banking on the internet


 

 


Posted on August 29th 2013 on 10:13am
0 Comments
Labels: cashback, money
Tuesday 27th August 2013 Martin Lewis: how to get cash for flight delays

It sounds like a flight of fancy, but if you’ve been delayed on a plane at any time since 2005, you may now, by law, be entitled to compensation. The amounts aren’t trivial, either, possibly £1,000 per family, and I’m swamped with success reports. So strap in, and prepare for the ride.

Last October the European Union’s Court of Justice passed a judgment that many consumers who arrived over three hours late at their destination would be due compensation. This clarified a long-standing rule which airlines had previously challenged. As is my wont on such occasions, we quickly put together a MoneySavingExpert guide to test if frustrated flyers with a legitimate case would get the cash. The answer is a resolute ''yes and no’’. Many simply write a letter and within a week or two are sent wads of cash by the airline – yet others hit a brick wall of rejection. It seems binary; there’s little in between.

Among the sizeable chunk of people who have succeeded is the gracious older gent who, with his wife by his side, interrupted my filming at a Costa del Sol cash machine (about overseas ATM charges, but that’s a story for another day). He delightedly told me that “We were held up by BA in Miami in 2010”, and that he’d followed the info, banged off a letter and a couple of weeks later received £1,074.

Some stories stretch back much further, like last week’s young tweeter who was bursting to announce: “Mum said wait till the cheque [clears] but I can’t… £1,014 off Monarch for flight delays from over five years ago!”

 

Flight delay compensation – the key rules

Now of course, this isn’t a willy-nilly have delay, get-compensation arrangement. There are important qualifiers:

 

It’s only for EU flights

The flight can be any leaving an EU airport, or an EU airline arriving at an EU airport – whether these are scheduled flights, chartered, or part of a package holiday. So a delayed Manchester to Miami flight qualifies, regardless of airline. Yet for Miami to Manchester, you are entitled to compensation flying Virgin or KLM, but not on Air India.

 

The cut-off is 2005

You can apply for this compensation not just for flights delayed from now on, but any past delays stretching back as far as February 2005.

Yet in the UK, due to the statute of limitations, if you need to take the airline to court to get the cash (not too common; don’t be unduly worried), you can only go back six years (five in Scotland), so older claims can be tricky.

 

Delays must be more than three hours

Compensation for delays is only due on flights arriving three hours or more late. Yet if the delay is due to flight cancellation, compensation should be available – the later you arrive, the more you get.

If you’re struggling to remember if your delay passed the crucial three-hour cusp, try flightstats.co.uk. It’s a free site, though you need to register to use it. It’s worth noting the site’s terms and conditions, which say it can’t be used in any passenger rights claims actions, so best to consider it a belt-and-braces check that your memory of the event is correct. After all, the airline will hold its own data on flight delays.

 

Connective flights

For flights with connections, what counts is how late you arrive at the final destination. If you fly to Cape Town via Johannesburg and the first leg arrives two hours late so that you miss the on-time connecting flight – arriving four hours late at your final destination – that counts. However, if you booked those two flights separately, then as the first flight wasn’t more than three hours delayed, and your second flight wasn’t delayed at all, you’re not entitled to anything.

 

It has to be the airline’s fault

You are only entitled to compensation if the delay was something within the airline’s control. Staffing problems, under-booking and not having the aircraft in place all count. But political unrest or bad weather don’t.

Of course, remembering the cause of a delay years ago can be tricky. But the airline certainly won’t have forgotten, and will disclaim responsibility if it can.

 

The compensation is fixed, regardless of flight cost

This is compensation for a delay, not a refund on the ticket price. The amount you are due is fixed in euros and dependent on how long you were delayed and the distance travelled.

Some airlines will offer compensation in vouchers, but you don’t have to accept this; you’ve a right to cash, as laid out by the EU. The compensation is per person, so for a family of four, quadruple it.

 

Flight length 

Arrival Delay 

Compensation 

Up to 1,500km (eg UK to Paris) 

3 hours plus 

€250 (£220) 

1,500 to 3,500km (eg UK to Istanbul) 

3 hours plus 

€400 (£350) 

3,500km plus (eg UK to New York) 

3 to 4 hours 

€300 (£260) 

3,500km plus (eg UK to New York) 

4 hours plus 

€600 (£570) 

 

How to reclaim

If you’re feeling the burn to take on a nagging injustice, here’s what to do.

First gather any evidence, including proof you were on the flight, such as receipts, emailed confirmation or, better, the boarding pass. Even if you don’t have all these things, as long as you know the flight number and length of delay, the airline should have passenger logs. Ask it if it has confirmation you checked in – some people tell me they’ve succeeded on this alone.

Then write to the airline, quoting the ruling “EC Regulation 261/2004”, listing your delay and the compensation request for each of those in your party. Full help on this and free template letters are available at moneysavingexpert.com/flightdelays.

If the airline you flew on has been taken over, it is likely the new parent company took on its liabilities, so write to it.

If it’s gone bust, I’m afraid you’ll need to claim off the administrators as a creditor, and frankly that means you’re unlikely to see much back.But if you paid using a credit card and the flight cost over £100, then the card company is jointly liable, so you could try that.

In your complaint, briefly explain what went wrong and state what you want in terms of compensation and/or reimbursement. Use our template letters, which are based on information from the Civil Aviation Authority.

 

What if your claim is rejected?

There is no Ombudsman here, but you can ask the Civil Aviation Authority (or the European Consumer Centre in certain non-UK departures) whether it believes you are entitled to compensation. This ruling isn’t binding on the airlines, but it may be enough to swing the balance to let you push the airline to pay up. If not, the last resort is to take the airline to court.

These claims should fit within the small claims limit, so you won’t need a lawyer.

 

[Source - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/consumertips/10054434/Martin-Lewis-how-to-get-compensation-for-flight-delays.html]


Posted on August 27th 2013 on 10:00am
0 Comments
Labels: flights, holiday
Friday 23rd August 2013
Britain’s banks will face up to another major mis-selling scandal on Thursday when the City regulator announces details of a compensation scheme for insurance customers that could cost the culpable lenders up to £1.5bn.
 
Sky News has learnt that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is finalising a statement that will set out the terms of a redress scheme for consumers who bought identity theft and credit card protection from CPP, a York-based company, over a period of several years.
 
The FCA is to announce that about a dozen financial institutions – including all the major high street names, such as Barclays, Lloyds Banking Group, HSBC and Royal Bank of Scotland – have signed up to the deal.
 
Insiders said the figure contained in the FCA statement, which will be timed to coincide with the credit card insurer’s half-year results announcement, would fall between £1bn and £1.5bn – slightly lower than some recent estimates.
 
Some of the banks involved will make separate announcements detailing their individual financial exposure.
 
Under the terms of the agreement, the banks which sold CPP products will write to customers to inform them that they may be eligible for compensation.
 
The industry along with CPP and the FCA will then administer a mechanism called a solvent scheme of arrangement, sanctioned by the courts, to deliver the funds.
 
The initiative will be unusual because CPP customers will be asked to vote in favour of it before it can get underway.
 
Although the £1.5bn payout pot is significant, it is tiny by comparison with the deluge of funds that banks have had to set aside for compensating customers who were mis-sold payment protection insurance.
 
Recent additions to the provisions by the biggest banks have taken the total to more than £15bn, while they are also confronting a multibillion pound bill for mis-selling products designed to protect against sharp movements in interest rates.
 
Details of the CPP compensation scheme will emerge almost a month after it secured its immediate future by negotiating a new financing deal with its lending banks.
 
The agreement involves deferring £23m of commission payments due to be paid to the banks over the next year, and a £13m borrowing facility.
 
The agreement with Barclays, HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland and Santander UK came as a relief to hundreds of CPP staff employed who have faced an uncertain future during on-off talks about a takeover of the company.
 
Under the terms of the new financing deal, however, CPP would be in default if more than 25% of its customer base successfully applies for compensation as part of the redress scheme. CPP, which calls itself an "international life assistance provider", operates across more than a dozen countries and expanded rapidly after listing on the London Stock Exchange in 2010.
 
It was accused by the regulator of overstating the risks of identity theft, and of providing expensive insurance policies which were effectively already provided automatically by the banks.
 
The company sold more than four million policies to customers, many of which were the result of introductions by the major high street banks.
 
It recently disposed of its US business in an attempt to raise funds following a £10.5m mis-selling fine imposed by the City regulator last year.
 
CPP is one of several specialist insurers to have fallen foul of regulators in recent times. Homeserve, which provides insurance against household mishaps, was also the subject of mis-selling allegations in 2011.
 
CPP, the FCA and the major banks all declined to comment on Wednesday.
 
 

Posted on August 23rd 2013 on 10:11am
0 Comments
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