A new series of the programme fighting to get viewers' problems resolved, with Gloria Hunniford, Angela Rippon and Julia Somerville investigating why consumers feel they've been ripped off or had a raw deal. Today, the team meet people angry they've been left out of pocket, investigating a big name high street store letting customers down, and a battle to save a wedding - and get money back from the banks. Plus, how the airlines justify a sky-high charge, and more problems solved at the Rip Off Britain Pop-Up shop.
Information and Advice from Today's Episode
How to Complain
At Rip Off Britain we always encourage you to complain if you have been treated unfairly or the service you have received isn’t up to scratch. But how can you complain effectively and get the result you want?
We asked Sarah Pennells for her top tips:
The first thing you must do is complain directly to the company and keep a hold of all correspondence between yourself and the company
Complain as soon as you realise you have a problem as some companies have time limits for complaints
Try to stay calm and always be polite
Make a note of every attempt to contact the company even if you don’t manage to get through – this will serve as evidence
It’s always better to put things in writing. In your letter or email make sure you detail the events in a logical order, explain why you're dissatisfied, and what you would like them to do to rectify the situation. Include all the details relating to your account such as the policy or reference number
If you prefer to make your complaint by phone, keep a record of who you spoke to and the date and time of the conversation
Calls are often recorded which you may be able to get access to as evidence
If you’re unhappy with their response, or lack of response, and the company you are complaining about is a financial company, such as a bank or insurer, you can contact the Financial Ombudsman Service
The ombudsman is an independent body which aims to settle disputes between customers and companies and it is completely impartial
The business has up to 8 weeks to sort out the complaint itself or tell you that it disagrees with your complaint before the ombudsman can get involved
There are other ombudsman schemes which you can complain to such as the legal, energy and property ombudsman
You can also get help from Citizens Advice
Writing a Letter of Complaint
Paying by Credit Card - Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act
A vital piece of advice that we know has saved the day for many Rip Off viewers is to, where possible, pay with a credit card.
Michele Shambrook from the Citizens Advice consumer service told us:
'If you use a credit card to pay for goods or services, you may be protected under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act if something goes wrong. This legislation provides that your credit card provider can be held jointly responsible for any valid claim that you might have against the trader, for example if goods are faulty, not what you were expecting or never arrive. We recommend approaching the trader first, but you don't have to wait until you've heard back from them before getting in touch with your card provider. Section 75 can be particularly useful if you've had difficulty contacting the trader directly, bought the goods from a company which has gone out of business or from on which is based abroad.
You can claim under section 75 if the total cost of the item is between £100 and £30,000, even if you didn't pay the whole amount on your credit card. If you decide to make a section 75 complaint then make sure you follow your card providers complaints procedure, and if it hasn't been resolved in 8 weeks you can take it to the Financial Ombudsman Service for more support.'
Citizens Advice provides a template letter to send to your credit card company if you need to make a claim under section 75.
To find out more visit Citizens Advice.
Small Claims Court
|Executive Producer||Rob Unsworth|
|Executive Producer||Rob Unsworth|