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Comet Surrenders in Medieval Total Wars ; QUESTIONS OF CASH

Jun 1, 2007

By Paul Gosling

My son bought a PC from a Comet store to run the Medieval Total Wars 2 game. He discussed his requirements in detail with staff, who told him it would be suitable, but on installation the game would not run because the specification of the graphics card was insufficient. Comet has refused to give him a refund or upgrade. Trading Standards and Ombudsmen enquiries have led nowhere.

BE, Norwich.

Comet staff denied having had such a conversation with your son. But, on the basis of your son's assurance about his discussions, Comet has agreed to exchange his PC for a higher specification model, with your son paying the difference in cost.

Halifax withdrew [pound]240 in overdraft charges from my account, including seven penalties of [pound]30 for going overdrawn although I have a [pound]600 overdraft facility. In my accounts, I found differences between the amounts I recorded for cheques and the sums debited; this has never happened to me before.

LR, London.

Halifax is "satisfied" the charges were correctly applied and does not accept it made any errors in processing your cheques. However, as a "gesture of goodwill", it is refunding [pound]296 in charges.

I was given a company car and sold my own car. I phoned Tesco to cancel my car insurance, but was told that because I'd made a claim in the last year I would have to pay the outstanding balance, or transfer the policy to another car. I planned to transfer it to my partner's van, which he'd not yet bought. But I then got a letter from Tesco saying they had cancelled my car insurance and that I owed [pound]295. Tesco now says that as the policy has been cancelled it can no longer transfer it and I must pay the balance. I feel it's unreasonable to pay for insurance for a car I no longer have.

EJ, by email.

Yours is an annually renewed policy, which you paid for with monthly instalments, so you therefore still owed the balance of that year's payments when you sold your car. Tesco regards it as a benefit that customers can, in circumstances such as yours, transfer the policy to another vehicle - but to do this you must not fall into arrears. By not maintaining payments, you in effect cancelled the contract and made yourself liable for the outstanding balance. As a gesture of goodwill, Tesco has reopened its offer to allow you to transfer your policy to another vehicle.

On 12 March, I applied to Abbey to close a savings account held in the name of my late mother. At the branch, I handed in the required documentation - including a notarised small estates indemnity, notarised by a solicitor, and the death certificate. On 26 April, I received a letter with another indemnity form attached and returning the certificates - but no cheque. I have returned to the branch, phoned twice and written, without success. Abbey promises an investigation - which will take up to eight weeks.

DM, Reading.

Abbey apologises; it has closed the account and sent you the balance, plus a [pound]250 goodwill payment.

My mother took out a funeral plan in 1995 with Sun Life, now AXA Sun Life. She died in December 2006, having paid in [pound]1,320, but the policy paid out only [pound]750, and the funeral cost [pound]2,300. This is unfair.

EH, Warrington.

Your mother took out a life assurance policy designed to pay a specific sum on death in return for fixed premiums payable until a claim was made. The fixed sum is guaranteed after two years from the date on which the policy comes into force; if the holder dies in the first two years, 150 per cent of the premiums are returned. This type of policy is often taken out to meet funeral costs, but it is not offered as a guaranteed way to meet those costs. AXA points out that a person dying early in a policy term would pay much less than is paid out, and that "pooling" of risks underpins many types of insurance. It is important that people who insure to cover a particular future cost - such as a funeral - should regularly review those likely costs and the adequacy of their cover.

In October last year I placed an order with Williams BMW in Manchester for a forthcoming 3 series coupe model, paying an initial [pound]1,000 deposit. Details of the car - price, specification and production date - had not been released at that stage by BMW. The deposit booked a place on the dealer's waiting list until details of the car were published. I was told that the deposit was fully refundable and that I could pull out at any time until the official order date, when I would be asked to pay a further deposit of [pound]4,000 to [pound]5,000 to commit to a full detailed order. I decided in April not to proceed and phoned the salesman, who promised to refund my deposit. Despite leaving numerous messages since then, I have not received my refund.

CS, by email.

The Williams dealership in Manchester has now refunded your deposit. It says that the salesman who took your order is currently ill, and the dealership is therefore unsure why the refund did not take place earlier, but that it must have been "a regrettable oversight". The dealership adds that if you had contacted a member of the management team, rather than only leaving messages for the salesman, the refund would have been made quickly.

(c) 2007 Independent, The; London (UK). Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.

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