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When they let you down, ask them for compensation

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Praise, Vent & Warnings
28 replies 38.4K views
MSE_MartinMSE_Martin Money Saving ExpertMoneySaving Expert
8.3K posts
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Praise, Vent & Warnings
I was filming a money makeover the other day (see my blog).

I spotted an error in Tracey's (the makeoveree's) electricity bill. It turned out she was still paying for electricity at an old address. After much hassle on the phone towards the end of the call I told her to ask "will you give me a goodwill payment?"

The customer services rep immediately replied "yes".

If you get hassle with a service ask for compensation. The worst that can happen is they say no and they may even say yes.

Click reply to discuss.
Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.
Don't miss out on urgent MoneySaving, get my weekly e-mail at www.moneysavingexpert.com/tips.
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Replies

  • Gingham_RibbonGingham_Ribbon Forumite
    31.5K posts
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    Thanks for this. I had some trouble with a transfer of banks where my direct debits were delayed. I asked for compensation and I received £50 plus a further £10 per direct debit. All 12 of them. I also asked them to send a letter to every company whose direct debit was not received explaining it was their error not mine and got writen confirmation that this was done.

    No hassle, just a written request. Well worth the 10 minutes it took.
    May all your dots fall silently to the ground.
  • Sofa_SogoodSofa_Sogood Forumite
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    Wow GinghamRibbon ... well done! :D

    I wonder if I should ask my husband to ring Halifax up and ask for compen for charging him £20 for non-payment (or similar), when in fact he'd paid up? He got the £20 back btw ....
  • I got 3 months free Broadband internet access from BT, about 5 months ago, they haven't started charging me again yet and I'm not reminding them LOL. This was due to them cocking up my access over a weekend and being completely dumb about expaining what was going on.

    I had £1000 from Sainsbury's Bank when they changed my sole account to a joint account by mistake, long story but they were meant to change my name on 2 accounts when I got married. That's a few years ago.........

    It's always worth asking you might be surprised at what you get offered..;)
    Free impartial debt advice from: National Debtline or Stepchange[/CENTER]
  • trisontanatrisontana Forumite
    9.5K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
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    Because my building society forgot to stamp a letter to me, I had to make a four-mile round trip in my car and pay about £1.20 excess postage. I rang up and complained ,they apologised and credited by account with £5.
    What part of "A whop bop-a-lu a whop bam boo" don't you understand?
  • BeclesBecles Forumite
    13.1K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Photogenic I've been Money Tipped!
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    Sometimes you get compensation without asking!

    Smile made a mistake when I applied for a loan to buy a car. The money wasn't put into my account, so they had to give me a large free temporary overdraft so I could collect the car on the day agreed with the garage, as I'd organised the insurance to swop over on that day.

    I just complained and said it was hassle and they should make sure it doesn't happen to anyone else. I didn't ask for compensation, but they replied and said they'd put £50 in my account as an apology :D
    Here I go again on my own....
  • IvanOpinionIvanOpinion Forumite
    20.6K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
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    Sound advice but the important bit is to ask for a 'goodwill payment' - don't ask for compensation (many people, including CS staff, will refuse to offer compensation but will offer a goodwill payment ... think about it, it is easy to understand ... in one you blaming them for something in the other you are letting them prove how wonderful they are).

    Also make sure that whatever you ask for is reasonable - just because you have had some minor inconvenience does not mean you are entitled to thousands of pounds (you will be laughed at).

    Ivan
    Ivan has left the building ... but reserves the right of reply!
    Use PM to keep in touch
  • British Gas left me without hot water in between taking out the old boiler and fitting the new one.
    I complained about the inconvenience and asked for redress. They sent me a hundred quid.
  • This is all great, but how do you convince the supplier that they've messed up in the first place? Onetel moved me on to casual dial-up access instead of unlimited in July; they have charged me over £700 and only agreed to repay £300 and something - to add insult to injury they say they will knock it off my next bill, which will be £23.99...
    Does anyone know how to make onetel listen, let alone give a goodwill payment?
  • IvanOpinionIvanOpinion Forumite
    20.6K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
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    Katea wrote:
    This is all great, but how do you convince the supplier that they've messed up in the first place? Onetel moved me on to casual dial-up access instead of unlimited in July; they have charged me over £700 and only agreed to repay £300 and something - to add insult to injury they say they will knock it off my next bill, which will be £23.99...
    Does anyone know how to make onetel listen, let alone give a goodwill payment?
    katea
    First off you need to make sure you have all the dates figures and facts accurate. Why did they move you? Was it done by them without consultation or did you (by mistake or otherwise) select the wrong package? Do you have documentation that says you selected the right package but they made the mistake? You don't give much information aboout how this happened.

    Don't accept the £300 (yet - or if you are short then accept it only on the grounds that it is not deemed to be a final offer). You just need to keep bashing away at this and don't take no for an answer. If in doubt send an email or letter to the CEO directly and ask him/her to sort it out for you (does anybody know the address). There are some much more knowledgeable people than me that might help - try the phones board on this site.

    Ivan
    Ivan has left the building ... but reserves the right of reply!
    Use PM to keep in touch
  • Katea wrote:
    This is all great, but how do you convince the supplier that they've messed up in the first place? Onetel moved me on to casual dial-up access instead of unlimited in July; they have charged me over £700 and only agreed to repay £300 and something - to add insult to injury they say they will knock it off my next bill, which will be £23.99...
    Does anyone know how to make onetel listen, let alone give a goodwill payment?

    You send a politely penned email to

    [email protected]

    he is the Managing Director of OneTel and you explain the situation to him. Obviously, he wont ever read the email, but it will be someone in the MD's office who is of senior enough authority to sort the problem out and give you a nice and (usually) sincere apology, together with a favourable 'goodwill gesture'.

    It always pays to be persistent. If deal with customer 'services' doesn't work first time, don't waste your time trying again.

    Find out who the head of the company is and email them. It is almost always [email protected](m or .co.uk or whatever).

    I have done it on several occasions, with various people including James Murdoch (BSkyB), the head of Yorkshire Water (cant remember their name at the moment) and most of the board of T-Mobile UK. It wasn't clear from their website who was responsible for clearing up the mistake that they hadn't been able to sort out in the first six months of our contract, so I emailed the CEO, Marketing Direct, Director of Customer Service and the Sales Director.

    By the following morning we I had received a call from the Customer Relations team in the Chief Exec's office, virtually groveling, fixed the problem, explained why it had happened, giving me 6 months extra freebies, £50 credit to my account and then in the post two days later, a box with two bottles of wine from Next and a lovely card apologising again.

    Persitance pays. Provided the company is the one to blame.

    JC
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