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Archives for March 2012

Over-50s plans that disappoint...

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Elham Rizi | 18:45 UK time, Thursday, 29 March 2012


AXA Sun Life, Sainsbury's and Liverpool Victoria are just some of the many plans offering special insurance policies aimed at the over 50s. As long as you pay a monthly fee, they promise a fixed lump sum payable on your death.

These plans are aimed at covering funeral costs, and more than 2.3 million people have them, but Watchdog has found that that they could prove very costly. Martin Lewis reports.

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Rogue Traders: 1st Call Environmental Services Ltd

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Elham Rizi | 18:30 UK time, Thursday, 29 March 2012


1st Call Environmental Services Ltd of Derbyshire, trading as 1st Call Services - not to be confused with companies of a similar name - is a company that Rogue Traders first came across in 2005. Back then, the company was mainly doing drains work. But it seems that in the past seven years, they've had a career switch, as these days they are mostly in the pest control business.

David Dolphin

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The white paint that yellows...

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Elham Rizi | 18:15 UK time, Thursday, 29 March 2012

Painting a room can do more than make your walls look smarter: they can alter your mood, change the atmosphere and even lift your spirits... that's according to the new Dulux adverts. But their new ad campaign has unfortunately coincided with complaints about their Pure Brilliant White Gloss Paint. The paint that, according to some customers, does not do what it says on the tin.

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OPC: Breaking BPA code - and the law...

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Elham Rizi | 18:00 UK time, Thursday, 29 March 2012


The DVLA gets over £3million a year by selling our names and addresses to private companies. These companies then use that information to pursue drivers for parking charges, which can be extortionate. But it's alright, according to the DVLA: they only pass on details to reputable companies, who are approved by the British Parking Association (BPA).

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Which Easter eggs have over-egged the packaging?

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Elham Rizi | 16:00 UK time, Thursday, 29 March 2012


Chocolate: Sweet. Satisfying. Sensuous. And some may say fattening... but you may not have to worry too much about your weight if the size of this year's Easter egg packaging is anything to go by.

A range of Easter eggs

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Ricks Rants: Do Brits get a raw deal...?

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Elham Rizi | 19:00 UK time, Thursday, 22 March 2012

If you're looking for a quick way to save money, it seems that Rick Wakeman may have discovered the answer: move abroad. You'd be surprised at how everything from clothing to holidays are significantly cheaper across the pond - meaning us Brits get a bad deal. Our resident grump Rick has been investigating further...

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Yodel: New name, but delivering the same old problems?

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Elham Rizi | 18:45 UK time, Thursday, 22 March 2012

Amazon. Currys. Boots. O2. If you've ordered something from any of them, chances are it'll be delivered to your door by Yodel. Or maybe it won't. The company formerly known as HDNL, had a trail of unhappy customers when it featured on Watchdog in 2010. Sixteen months on, new name, new promises - same old problems. Rebecca Willcox reports.

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Rogue Traders: Goldstar Gas and Heating Services Ltd

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Elham Rizi | 18:30 UK time, Thursday, 22 March 2012

Goldstar Gas and Heating Services Ltd may be a company but it's a one-man band - and that man is Rodney Goldson. Based in Mitcham, South London, Rodney specialises in boilers and has his own special catchphrase: "Do you want the bad news or the bad news?"

Rodney Goldson

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Pet peeves: pet insurance that isn't renewed...

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Elham Rizi | 18:15 UK time, Thursday, 22 March 2012

Halifax and Lloyds TSB's decision to pull out of the pet insurance market has left thousands of animal owners facing crippling vets' bills because their pets need long term treatment - and no other company will agree to insure them.

Halifax and Lloyds both advertised their policies as offering lifelong cover, but some of their customers now face an agonising decision - to find thousands of pounds to pay for future treatment, or have their pets put down. Springwatch presenter Kate Humble reports.

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How to reduce your household bills

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Elham Rizi | 18:00 UK time, Thursday, 22 March 2012

Electricity, gas, digital TV, insurance, telephone, broadband; the list of bills for an average family goes on. We all know we could cut outgoings by switching suppliers, but Watchdog has found that you could save hundreds of pounds by threatening to leave your current providers - simply by picking up the phone. We sent Chris Hollins to the village of Billington to investigate.

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Rogue Traders: The Smiths

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Elham Rizi | 19:00 UK time, Thursday, 15 March 2012

The Smiths: A family run firm who offer tree surgery, gardening and driveway cleaning across East Kent, where key skills have been passed from one generation to the next.

We've heard from customers who reported overcharging of elderly customers, poor workmanship, as well as pushing customers into work that doesn't need to be done. Like many family businesses with everyone sharing the same surname, it has been difficult for customers to work out who is who.

Wayne Smith

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FIFA 12: Ultimate let-down?

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Elham Rizi | 18:30 UK time, Thursday, 15 March 2012

At the end of September 2011, EA Sports released its latest version of the FIFA football series, FIFA 12. It subsequently became the most successful sports computer game ever with 10 million gamers having bought FIFA 12 in the first three months alone.

One of the most appealing aspects of the new game is the Ultimate Team aspect, which allows you to play against others online and, of course, build your ultimate team and watch them rise up the rankings. Sound good?

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Leaks that last for days and weeks

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Elham Rizi | 18:15 UK time, Thursday, 15 March 2012

It may only be March, but the UK is shaping up for drought. It's already affecting huge swathes of southern England and is predicted to spread further as move in to spring and summer.

Thames, Southern and Anglian Water have all warned of hosepipe bans, and called on customers to restrict their water use. It's just a shame that they are wasting billions of gallons themselves. Riz Lateef investigated further for Watchdog.

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Just how secure is Shurgard?

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Elham Rizi | 18:00 UK time, Thursday, 15 March 2012

Self-storage is a booming industry. In the last twenty years, 800 storage facilities have appeared in the UK. Whether you are a moving house, storing your equipment or just unwilling to part with your treasured possessions, self-storage offers the space you need and Shurgard are one of the leading brands offering that space, with 22 facilities across the southeast of England.

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