ITV's Tonight ""How much can you save" - 31 January 2013

Wywth Posts: 5,079 Forumite
I was matching Martin on the ITV tonight programme last night and saw a few errors, I think that all related to the first couple.

I realise the couple were in financial problems, and were getting themselves out of it but:

1. Did they really say they tried to repair their boiler themselves ... and failed? :eek:
Gas boilers really shouldn't be worked on by non-competent people, even if they do own it. Gas is extremely dangerous.

2. When looking at saving money switching energy suppliers, Martin said stick with monthly by DD payments if acceptable as that is always the cheapest.
I would disagree. Paying monthly by DD if often the cheapest solution, but I have found in the past paying by other methods could be even cheaper. e.g. Scottish Power used to pay a considerable discount for prompt payment quarterly on receipt of bill . As this was a fixed amount rather than a percentage, low users could actually save more by paying quarterly on receipt of bill (paying this quarterly bill by DD essentially guaranteed it was paid promptly, assuming the DD didn't bounce)than paying monthly by DD.
I think the comparison site they were actually using was, which is particularly good because it also gives the option to display tariffs from all payment options.
If you do this, you can actually see all the options and won't miss any odd balls (like the one I mentioned above, but is no longer available)

3. When the guy put his yearly electricity consumption in kWh into the site, I'm sure it said I hope this was corrected as I'm sure it should have been 4000 ish.
He would have got a misleading output if he claimed his annual electricity consumption was less than 5 kWh per year!

4. Finally I was amazed about the claims of insurance costs they were paying.
I think they said they were paying an astounding £1200 insurance per year (for a mid-terraced, 2 or 3 bedroomed house)

They then came back saying they could get the same cover for about £300.

The insurers came back saying they hadn't compared like with like cover, missing off this cover and that cover. Now I appreciate they may have decided they didn't want accidental damage cover (or whatever) but to put in the wrong number of bedrooms could have left them with void insurance in the event of a claim :eek:

The insurers said the actual cost on like for like cover, and making a truthful declaration of the property, should be more like £700. I think in cases like this, proposers may be better off actually going to a broker - it will cost more, but better to pay a bit extra to ensure you have proper cover than trying to save money and finding out when you come to claim, that the insurer refuses to pay out due to incorrect declarations at policy inception.

Oddly, I think Martin said he managed to save £1000 on the insurance in the end? If so, how was that? Was it arranged through a different insurer, and does it really provide the cover the couple want and need (and were previously paying 6 times more for)?

Finally I did have to smile at Martins closing statement about it still being January so sort it out ... as there were only about 4 hours of January left.
(But I realise this programme was originally scheduled for last week but the powers that be decided it was more important that we heard Prince Harry boasting he shot the Teleban, than sorting out the real problems of real people here at home)


  • Wywth
    Wywth Posts: 5,079 Forumite
    Oh I forgot about the wake up call about the cost of fixing your gas and electricity prices today.

    I think the couple found it would cost about £120 extra to get a fixed tariff for a year. (or about 10% of the average bill)

    I think that would be too high a cost for me. All the major companies have just increased their prices so lets assume there is no further changes for 6 months.

    That would mean the suppliers would have to increase their prices by at least 20% in 6 months time, just to break even.

    At that price, I really would take my chances on a variable rate for now. Remember, the price of energy can go down as well as up ;)
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