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  • FIRST POST
    • MSE Martin
    • By MSE Martin 20th Sep 05, 7:05 PM
    • 8,111Posts
    • 42,248Thanks
    MSE Martin
    When they let you down, ask them for compensation
    • #1
    • 20th Sep 05, 7:05 PM
    When they let you down, ask them for compensation 20th Sep 05 at 7:05 PM
    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.

    Debt-Free Wannabee Official Nerd Club: (Honorary) Members number 000
Page 1
  • Gingham Ribbon
    • #2
    • 20th Sep 05, 7:13 PM
    • #2
    • 20th Sep 05, 7:13 PM
    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_Sogood
    • #3
    • 20th Sep 05, 7:18 PM
    • #3
    • 20th Sep 05, 7:18 PM
    Wow GinghamRibbon ... well done!

    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 ....
    • nearlyrich
    • By nearlyrich 20th Sep 05, 7:49 PM
    • 13,335 Posts
    • 16,542 Thanks
    nearlyrich
    • #4
    • 20th Sep 05, 7:49 PM
    • #4
    • 20th Sep 05, 7:49 PM
    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]
    • trisontana
    • By trisontana 20th Sep 05, 7:54 PM
    • 9,000 Posts
    • 13,880 Thanks
    trisontana
    • #5
    • 20th Sep 05, 7:54 PM
    • #5
    • 20th Sep 05, 7:54 PM
    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.
    • Becles
    • By Becles 21st Sep 05, 8:15 AM
    • 12,864 Posts
    • 26,180 Thanks
    Becles
    • #6
    • 21st Sep 05, 8:15 AM
    • #6
    • 21st Sep 05, 8:15 AM
    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
    Here I go again on my own....
  • IvanOpinion
    • #7
    • 21st Sep 05, 8:58 AM
    • #7
    • 21st Sep 05, 8:58 AM
    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
    • Ebenezer_Screwj
    • By Ebenezer_Screwj 22nd Sep 05, 4:06 PM
    • 420 Posts
    • 229 Thanks
    Ebenezer_Screwj
    • #8
    • 22nd Sep 05, 4:06 PM
    British Gas
    • #8
    • 22nd Sep 05, 4:06 PM
    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.
  • katea
    • #9
    • 22nd Sep 05, 5:32 PM
    • #9
    • 22nd Sep 05, 5:32 PM
    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?
  • IvanOpinion
    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?
    by katea
    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
  • tough_ref
    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?
    by katea
    You send a politely penned email to

    ian.el-mokadem@centrica.com

    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 firstname.lastname@companyname.co(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
    Last edited by tough_ref; 22-09-2005 at 8:26 PM.
  • ruiner99
    i've been having many many problems with O2 as detailed in this post

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.html?t=87891

    and if it wasn't for MSE and Saynoto0870 i'd probably be out well over 100 on phone calls alone for the ammount of times i would have had to make 1hr calls to them just to be cold transfered through to another department and have to go throught it all again.

    anyway i asked for a good will gesture from them because i would have made so many expensive calls and had to get my credit report twice (free from using this site but 20 otherwise). well after many many calls and emails they finally offered 5. 5!!!!!!! and that is all. so i gave up and i'm taking my business elsewhere.

    they really really don't grasp the concept that you should atleast try and keep your customers happy in some way. but nooooooooooooooo.

    ah well rant over yet again.
    Hello Floor Make Me A Sandwich!
  • CrazyChemist
    TalkTalk are rubbish when it comes to goodwill, manners or being nice to customers at all, for that matter... I've spend 21 hours on the phone sorting out a problem with our service and the CS manager flatly refused my request for a goodwill gesture, saying that he 'couldn't see what else he could do'. All he did was apologise but nothing more.

    They were efficient enough when it came to taking payment details and setting up continuous credit card authority without my consent...

    The moral of my story is DON'T GET LINE RENTAL FROM TALKTALK - THEY DON'T ALLOW PREFIX PROVIDERS TO BE ACCESSED, SUCH AS 18866, etc. and when a problem occurs you have to inform them, if their office is open, and if it is, you have to wait in a queue for a minumum of 10 minutes max of 38 mins. Then, they log a fault and email their faults department, who perform a diagnostic check on the line. This takes 3 working days to process. Then if they find a fault they contact BT who then take a further 24 hours to contact you and ask you to explain the whole problem again, that is if they can contact you at all if your phone line isn't down then you wait another week for an engineer to come out and say there's nothing wrong with the line, it's TalkTalk's 'system error'. Cue a charge from BT for 75 BT have kindly refunded this but TalkTalk refuse to take responsibility for it.

    I had a genuine line failure about 7 years ago when connected with BT, within 4 hours they had done the checks, an engineer had visited and replaced the faulty wiring leaving the front of my house I'd say leave line rental with BT as it isn't worth the 50p saving per month for the trouble you'll encounter if anything goes wrong.

    Phew sorry to rant on. Feel much better now
    • Al Mac
    • By Al Mac 22nd Sep 05, 11:15 PM
    • 91 Posts
    • 83,892 Thanks
    Al Mac
    Tried to claim from the water company. The water was out when we got home, didn't come on until about 3am. We had been told it went off at midday.

    12 Hour rule applied, yippee, their timings didn't agree with residents

    Also the "resonable efforts to inform" quote from the website, means an answerphone message during office hours only

    I don't trust any company any more.

    If you have electricity in Yorkshire a friend worked all Christmas day, a couple of years back sorting problems. Not on call, but wifey agreed it was the right thing to do. Respect to Tim.
    Competitions - See it, search it, post it, simples

    Cheeky Chicken the complete package

    Al "Purple" Mac
  • catsilversword
    compensation
    Have also come to the conclusion that this works. Recently, after assertively contacting companies, I've had 2 off a DVD from CD-WOW (delay in shipping by 3 weeks yet they take your money when you order), 15,000 pure points from RCI after some crummy accommodation and a reduction in my BT broadband monthly rate for the months after telling them I was planning to swap! None of these were offered when I first approached the companies, it can take persistence!

    By the way - speaking of RCI points - does anyone know of how to sell these them? Martin - could you look into this? It seems you have to sell them , you can't just lapse them as you're still liable for the management fees. Anyone????
  • catsilversword
    Ah yes! It never hurts to go to the top!

    For reference 9anyone who needs it) -Sir Christopher Bland is currently at the helm of BT.....
  • jpieter
    I have been having trouble with Atlantic Electric and Gas for the past 13 months about totally wrong electricity bills. I live in a flat and during this summer they reckoned I had used 430 of electricity !!!!!!!!!!! which is impossible. To cut a very long story short. I had the bill revised drastically ( they put it down to changes in their billing systems ) and only yesterday I had a corrected bill with a 20 goodwill payment!!! It strikes me that for 13 months of extreme hassle it is a very small amount???
    Does anyone know who to contact at Atlantic who is higher than the minions on the floor? and is this a reasonable goodwill payment?
  • tough_ref
    I have been having trouble with Atlantic Electric and Gas for the past 13 months about totally wrong electricity bills. I live in a flat and during this summer they reckoned I had used 430 of electricity !!!!!!!!!!! which is impossible. To cut a very long story short. I had the bill revised drastically ( they put it down to changes in their billing systems ) and only yesterday I had a corrected bill with a 20 goodwill payment!!! It strikes me that for 13 months of extreme hassle it is a very small amount???
    Does anyone know who to contact at Atlantic who is higher than the minions on the floor? and is this a reasonable goodwill payment?
    by jpieter
    To be honest, I thought AtlanticEG had gone into administration and folded a couple of years back. But it would appear they were bought out by Scottish & Southern (Scottish Hydro, Southern Electric and SWALEC).

    If you Google the company name and maybe put chief executive or managing director in with it, you usually find someone at the top who you can email and get things done.

    Did you agree the 20 goodwill gesture with them? If yes, then that is pretty much it. If you haven't then get back on the phone to them.

    Tell them if you took the case to energywatch (the consumer body for the energy market) they would be looking at an initial fine of 50. That is just how much energywatch charges a supplier for having to get involved.

    If the case then went in your favour, you would probably get a reduction in the bill amount by up to 50%. It should be noted that reductions of this are common, particularly where people haven't received bills at all.

    Have you been making payments during this period of error? If so you are in an even stronger position because you have been responsible enough to know that you have been using the energy and making payment towards it.

    If all else fails, use the old well I'll just leave trick. Tell them that you were prepared to stick with them and give them another chance, but if they are not prepared to do something to restore your confidence in them, then you will have to seek alternative arrangements for your energy needs.

    If they dont give you something from that, then pick up your bat and ball and head home!!

    Hope that gives you a little help.

    JC

    PS it is worth keeping in mind that most frontliners are not allowed to give you a lot of compensation. At British Gas, we are not supposed to gove more than 20. We are supposed to discuss alternatives with our Team Manager and if they authorise more then so be it.

    But when you have worked for the company for nearly 5 years, you can tell the chancers from the genuine aggrieved, so I give them what I think is fair and would make happy, if I were them.

    PPS When askinng for compensation/good will, always ask for what you would love to get, cause chances are you wont. Have it set in your mind what you would love and what you would be prepared to accept. Provided you get somewhere in between those two points, you should be happy.

    As the old saying goes 'Aim high, shoot low'

    JC
  • jpieter
    Thanks for the reply 'TOUGH REF' it certainly is good advice.
    Yes I have been paying a set amount each month by direct debit . I forgot to say that you are supposed to get back after a year one months payment , as a thank you, (which I expect you have guessed) I havent had and the second is due next month!!!!
  • katea
    Thank you Ivan and Tough Ref; I will try the CEO this afternoon. Onetel were going to supply me with Broadband but there was a hitch and it all went pear shaped. I have e-mailed and written to Centrica customer services as well as untold phone calls, but hopefully this will be the answer. I'll let you know if it succeeds.
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