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News Tag: Which?

December 3, 2012

Households struggling with debt

by Jan Harris
Households struggling with debt
Nearly a third of people surveyed by consumer group Which? said they are struggling to manage financially, and the situation could worsen if further benefit cuts are announced in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement this week. Which? surveyed 2,100 people in October and found that nearly 10 per cent of the 25 million households in the UK have defaulted on their mortgage, rent, loan ...




October 24, 2012

Dental insurance could increase patients’ bills

by Jan Harris
Dental insurance could increase patients’ bills
Dental treatment is expensive, prompting many people to take out insurance to ensure they aren’t faced with a large, unexpected bill. However, research carried out by consumer group Which? suggests that this may be a false economy as dental insurance could actually end up costing patients more. The organisation tested dental insurance policies and dental payment plans against two treatment scenarios, and compared ...




September 19, 2012

Which? calls for Big Change to bank culture

by Jan Harris
Which? calls for Big Change to bank culture
Consumer watchdog Which? has launched a new campaign calling for banks to put customers first. The ‘Big Change’ campaign will put pressure on the banking sector to focus less on profits and more on the services they offer. Its launch precedes a meeting of the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards in December, which will consider proposals for legislative action on ...




August 21, 2012

Which? report claims free banking is a myth

by Jan Harris
Which? report claims free banking is a myth
A new report by consumer group Which? highlights the high charges that can be applied to ‘free’ current accounts. While these accounts are free while in credit, charges can be applied if a customer goes overdrawn, especially if they do so without permission. Customers can also be charged for overseas transactions and for agreed overdrafts. The interest on agreed overdrafts can ...




July 25, 2012

Payday loan code falls short of expectations

by Jan Harris
Payday loan code falls short of expectations
A new code of practice for payday lenders has been launched but consumer groups say it amounts to mere rebranding and doesn’t go far enough to protect borrowers. The code was agreed following lengthy negotiations between the payday loan industry and government. Four trade bodies - the Consumer Finance Association, the British Cheque and Credit Association, the Consumer Credit Trade ...




May 18, 2012

Payday loans trapping people in debt

by Jan Harris
Payday loans trapping people in debt
Payday loans have soared in popularity over the past few years, but consumer group Which? warns they are trapping people in a ‘downward spiral of debt’. Problems start to escalate if people are unable to pay back their loan on time, with some companies charging excessively high penalties for late repayments. Which? discovered that Quid24.com charged £150 for repaying a ...




April 19, 2012

Consumers can reclaim mis-sold PPI for free

by Jan Harris
Consumers can reclaim mis-sold PPI for free
Consumer groups are encouraging victims of PPI mis-selling to claim their money back themselves, without the help of a claims management company. An intensive 'no win no fee' advertising campaign is tempting many companies to turn to claims management companies to reclaim PPI. moneysavingexpert.com and Which? have now joined forces in an advertising campaign of their own. They have produced a ...




April 18, 2012

Which? highlights unnecessary insurance costs

by Jan Harris
Which? highlights unnecessary insurance costs
According to two separate reports by consumer champion Which?, insurance customers are facing unnecessary costs. Which? has found that 10 out of the 12 largest water companies are promoting pipe insurance from third parties such as Homeserve. This insurance costs consumers more than £100m in total and in many cases it is unnecessary Which? claims. Water companies provide their own repair schemes ...




March 28, 2012

Interest gap narrows between ISAs and standard accounts

by Jan Harris
Interest narrows between ISAs and standard accounts
There are just a few days left for savers to use their Isa allowance for the current tax year, which ends on 5 April. However, savers who miss out on this year’s allowance may get almost as good a deal from an ordinary savings account according to new research by consumer group Which? Isas have traditionally offered a higher rate of ...




March 26, 2012

Which? criticises insurance comparison sites

by Jan Harris
Which? criticises insurance comparison sites
Consumer group Which? claims that price comparison sites may not always find the best insurance deals for consumers. More and more people are turning to price comparison sites such as GoCompare.com , Confused.com and MoneySupermarket.com to help reduce their outgoings, but a report by Which? suggests that consumers can find better deals by contacting an insurance company directly. The report claims ...




March 5, 2012

Saga sees financial green shoots for over-50s

by Jan Harris
Saga sees financial green shoots for over-50s
Saga’s latest quarterly report is slightly more optimistic about the financial health of the over 50s than its report for the final quarter of 2011, but the organisation warns that the “green shoots” of recovery are very tentative at the moment. Compared with a year ago, the report suggests that the quality of life for over 50s has worsened, with ...




January 17, 2012

Which? calls for action on overdraft charges

by Jan Harris
Which? calls for action on overdraft charges
Consumer group Which? is calling for unfair overdraft charges to be stopped after finding that charges are too complicated and impossible to compare. Which? asked a number of volunteers to calculate how much an unauthorised overdraft would cost at RBS-NatWest, HSBC/First Direct, Lloyds, Barclays, Halifax, Nationwide and Santander. The volunteers, who included a maths PHD student, were only able to ...




September 22, 2011

Accountant fails energy bill test

by Gill Montia
Accountant fails energy bill test
Energy tariffs are so complicated that even an accountant could not calculate how much they should be paying, according to latest research from Which?. The consumer group asked 36 people including a solicitor, an engineer and an accountant, to work out their domestic energy bill using only the information from the supplier’s website, and a calculator, pencil and paper or Excel. ...




June 22, 2011

SVR mortgage holders will suffer when interest rates rise

by Kay Mitchell
”SVR
Consumer group Which? has warned homeowners with SVR mortgages that they will be financially squeezed once interest rates are lifted. A Standard Variable Rate (SVR) is a mortgage in which the rate of interest is varied from time to time by the lender but it is usually set at about 2% above the Bank of England’s interest rate. Consequently, ...




February 11, 2011

OFT to launch investigation into card surcharges

by Kay Mitchell
”OFT
Consumer group Which? is concerned about surcharges imposed on to consumers who pay by debit or credit cards. It has therefore asked the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) to investigate the matter - which sees retailers, local authorities, estate agents and cinemas all impose the charges. However, the “worst offenders” are said to be budget airlines including Ryanair, Flybe and easyJet. According ...




October 26, 2010

Which? report concludes savers losing billions in interest

by Kay Mitchell
”Which?
Savers are missing out on billions of pounds in interest payments, according to a report by consumer group, Which? According to the report, by leaving money in low interest accounts, savers are missing out on a possible £12 billion. According to the consumer association, interest rates are not made clear to consumers on their bank statements, while banks are neglecting to ...




September 27, 2010

Consumers missing out on competitive online finance products

by Kay Mitchell
”Consumers
According to consumer group Which?, people without internet access are missing out on competitive rates for online financial products. A report by the group said, on average, online savers earned 37% more interest than those who only had branch-based accounts. Which? said branch-based instant access accounts paid 0.65% a year on average versus 1.14% for online savers. The group acknowledged that banking ...




July 29, 2010

Banks hide rate cuts from savers

by David Masters
Banks hide rate cuts from savers
Banks are keeping their customers in the dark about interest rate changes on their accounts, new research has found. The study by Which? Money found most banks rely on newspaper adverts or customers popping into their local branch to keep savers informed of rate cuts Only four of the twelve banks investigated guaranteed to keep customers informed of all changes to interest rates ...




June 24, 2010

Lloyds TSB reduces overdraft charges

by Kay Mitchell
”Lloyds
From 2 December, Lloyds TSB will reduce the overdraft fees on its current accounts. The move comes just a month after the new coalition Government said it would introduce measures that will see an end to “unfair” bank charges, as well as excessive interest rates on credit cards. The banking industry was successful in a legal battle last year against the Office of Fair ...




May 25, 2010

Travel agents sell rip-off insurance

by David Masters
Travel agents sell rip-off insurance
Travel agents are selling rip-off travel insurance policies to British holidaymakers, Which? has claimed. An undercover investigation by the consumer advice group found travel agents selling policies worth just £20 for up to £80.99. Over half of the travel agents visited (17 out of 29) failed to provide basic details of the insurance policies they sold. Six travel agents failed to enquire about pre-existing medical ...