I was refunded £621 by LW Theatres for cancelled tickets. But the money never reached my Virgin Mastercard account. LW Theatres has sent screen grabs to prove the refund was made.
I opened a dispute with Virgin which then promised to send a form, saying it would take three weeks. Four weeks later, it hadn’t arrived, so I phoned again to be told it would send another.
Another four weeks later, it still hadn’t arrived. I asked Virgin to email one and then, suddenly, I was told there was a form I could download!
Vanishing cash: A reader was refunded £621 by LW Theatres for cancelled tickets. But the money never reached her Virgin Mastercard account
I sent this by signed-for delivery with all the relevant print-outs and proof. After two weeks, I phoned again. The call took more than one and a half hours during which I had to tell my story three times to different people after being transferred and sitting on hold.
I am sure this could be rectified in minutes if someone would just help.
Your assessment was correct. You emailed me and I forwarded the message to Virgin the next day.
On that same day, it contacted you to say your dispute was resolved. Virgin says the agents you spoke to did not follow the correct procedures and should have done more to help.
The core of the problem was that the refunds were refunded to an old card number.
This had been replaced after the booking was made due to fraudulent transactions on your account. The money has finally been transferred to your current card.
A Virgin Money spokesman says: ‘We’re very sorry to have fallen short of Mrs S’s expectations and, in recognition of this, we have credited £100 to her account as a gesture of goodwill.’
You have YOUR say
Every week Money Mail receives hundreds of your letters and emails about our stories. Here are some about our article on how property prices are booming during the stamp duty holiday.
When the property market reopened, I knocked £20,000 off the price of my house.
I had reserved a new-build and a delay could have cost me my deposit. Now houses smaller than mine are going for £30,000 more.
I have two friends who recently sold homes in Hull. Both had sealed bids more than £10,000 over the asking price. It seems everyone wants to move North and get away from big cities.
We’re selling a flat in the South East and buying a house in the South West.
We started the process before the pandemic, but our patience has paid off as the stamp duty freeze has saved us thousands.
F.N., Rochester, Kent.
We put our house on the market just as lockdown was enforced. We had no viewings for months, then two offers in August below the asking price.
We ended up selling for £4,500 less than we bought in 2008.
These rises seem to be driven by people wanting to continue working from home.
They are moving from London to the North East, but what happens when their employers want them back in the office?
My daughter and son-in-law have agreed ‘work from home’ contracts with their employers, sold their flat in London and bought a house in Cheshire for a little more money.
The only people making money at the moment are estate agents. Repossession firms will be profiting from this soon.
I invested £21,000 into a Norwich Union (now Aviva) with-profits bond in June 2002. I had been satisfied with its performance but, when I received my annual statement for June 2020, there was no bonus and they had taken £1,419 from its value.
I spoke to an Aviva representative but his explanation was baffling.
I decided to cash in the bond on the condition I received a letter in layman’s terms as to why this had happened. The cheque arrived, but there was no letter of explanation.
L. A., Portsmouth.
With-profits bonds are extremely complex, holding a mix of shares and other investments such as corporate bonds.
Fund managers aim to smooth out the more dramatic moves in the stock market. Each year, an annual bonus is added to the value. This cannot be taken away.
At the end there is a final bonus which should reflect the total return while you have held the bond. Your statement will show an estimate of this, but the amount is not guaranteed and can be reduced.
Your 2019 statement showed a predicted bonus of £14,403. But, in March, Aviva reduced final bonus rates to reflect the fall in the stock market.
Yours was reduced to £12,285 and the overall value of your bond fell from £48,619 to £47,180.
I asked Aviva whether it had done a second revaluation of final bonuses to reflect the recovery in the stock market since March, but it has not.
I am sad to say you chose to cash in your bond at the worst time. If the stock market continues to recover, final bonuses should improve next year.
Aviva staff have listened to the call again and are satisfied it was handled properly. A spokesman says: ‘Our call handler explained that the fund value was still growing steadily, explained with-profits and smoothing, and that it was the reduction in final bonus rates that’s caused the drop in value.
This is the difficulty with complex investments managed without independent financial advice.
The potential for you to lose more was limited, but you really needed someone to reassure you.
Straight to the point
I ordered £833 worth of bedroom furniture from Robert Dyas, thinking that it would be delivered assembled to my room.
I later received an email saying it would be left outside my front door.
As I’m in a wheelchair this wasn’t convenient, so I cancelled. I’ve repeatedly asked for a refund but, almost three months later, I am yet to receive one.
D.B., by email.
Unfortunately, Robert Dyas received conflicting information about whether the furniture had been delivered or not.
After I contacted the retailer, it refunded you. A spokesman apologises for the time taken to resolve your complaint.
M&S Bank sent me a text saying I had used 90 per cent of my credit card limit of £3,500. I then received a letter asking for me to pay at least £79, as the total was nearly £4,000.
I pay my bill in full every month, so why am I being told I allegedly owe more than £3,500?
R. S., Glamorgan.
M&S says it is processing a chargeback for unrecognised transactions on your account. It has applied a temporary credit in the meantime.
We couldn’t afford our Sky and Sky Sports subscription due to lockdown, so cancelled it.
But we have since had a letter saying we owe £38 and, if we didn’t pay, it would be passed on to a debt recovery agent.
I phoned up Sky and l was on the phone for nearly 40 minutes getting nowhere.
C. N., Denbighshire.
Sky says it incorrectly only cancelled your Sky Sports subscription. It has now refunded and cleared the account.
Vodafone said it would cost £25 to fix my phone, which I refused. I later found out I could resolve the issue by turning it off and on again.
Why couldn’t it tell me this instead of trying to rip me off?
Vodafone claims that you requested an in-store tech team appointment which uses specialist advisors and costs £25.
However, it has now contacted you to explain you can speak to the firm 24/7 free of charge if you need any more help and has credited your account with £25.
My husband and I are planning to move to a new-build home in Devon. The developer will require us to pay the asking price in full probably before our present home is sold.
We can do this but have been advised that if we own two homes, even for a short period of time, this will attract stamp duty of around £12,000. I believe I may be able to claim this back from HMRC, but I’m not sure how long it will take.
J. W., Stafford.
The problem you have identified is that you will technically be second-home buyers, so will have to pay the 3 per cent stamp duty surcharge. You say this will be about £12,000, so I am guessing your home will cost £400,000.
The good news is that you will not have to pay any more because of the stamp duty holiday on homes bought for less than £500,000. You can apply for a rebate of the £12,000 once you sell your home.
The basic rule is that you must sell your current main residence within three years of buying the new property, unless there are certain exceptional circumstances.
You need to contact HMRC within 12 months of selling your home, or within 12 months of the stamp duty filing date on your new home — whichever is the later. There is a form available at gov.uk.
Once it has the details, HMRC should process your claim within 15 days.