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  • sophie maxwell
    My big question is why when I post a thread asking for help do I get a whole load of abuse in return? Is that what this site is about? :rolleyes:

    Don't get me wrong, I got some helpful replies but a large number were plain abusive towards me. It's completely turned my impression of this site upside down.

    • MSE Martin
    • By MSE Martin 21st Sep 06, 1:33 PM
    • 8,116 Posts
    • 42,310 Thanks
    MSE Martin
    I don't know the answer to that Sophie. I dont know which the thread was. Yet this is a Chat Forum - and over 100,000 people post here - sadly some aren't always polite or nice like any community.

    Yet this thread is about articles not the forum - and subjects you'd like to be written - for the 1,000,000 users of the main site - if possible it'd be great if we can stick to that. If people are rude or abusive to you - please report it to the abuse team - as indicated by the orange bar at the top of every page

    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

    Debt-Free Wannabee Official Nerd Club: (Honorary) Members number 000
  • beaz
    Big Questions etc
    Another 'big question' you may have some ideas about is
    "First time Mortgages." Such as Bank of Ireland '1st start'. They are very cagy, they don't have info on site or to send out. You have to ring, all beit free (0800 109010). This where your parents income can be taken into account, but their house is not at risk, only the mortgagee's house. Parents only guarantee the monthly payment in the event of problems.

    There must be other schemes, it is trying to find them as they are rarely on the leaflet rack in the B. Socs. (Your blog on owning a house engaged my brain on this one!!)
  • hotbod
    Hi I Would Really Like You To Look Into Why Ema Has Done A U-turn After Abolishing Pilot Area Schemes In April 2006
    Which Meant My Daughter Would Now Qualify (we Dont Live In A Pilot Area)
    Have Decided To Extend It To April 2007
    After Receiving Notice Of Entitlement(noe) And A £30 Payment She Has Now Recieved A Letter Saying"sorry But Due To An Incorrect Interpretation Of The Revlevant Legislation Noe Was Issued In Error" How Can It Be Right? There Must Be A Lot Of Students In This Same Position Who Have Never Been Able To Claim
  • Trojansid
    Offset mortgages vs traditional repayment mortgages. Which is the best? What are the advantages and disadvantages of both?
    • pavlovs_dog
    • By pavlovs_dog 26th Sep 06, 1:20 PM
    • 9,834 Posts
    • 24,109 Thanks
    i would like to second the pensions and what to do with free shares suggestions.

    and may i also suggest

    life insurance - what are the options, how does it work, is it worth it

    and wills - the best way to go about ensuring your assets go where you want them

    and perhaps (im not sure if you've already written one), tying in with the will idea, how to legally avoid inheritance tax so that the people you choose to give money to get the most benefit from that gift
    know thyself

    Nid wy'n gofyn bywyd moethus...
    • MSE Martin
    • By MSE Martin 26th Sep 06, 3:08 PM
    • 8,116 Posts
    • 42,310 Thanks
    MSE Martin
    Actually folks most of the recent suggestions are already covered

    1st time mortgages - its in the new mortgage guide
    EMA - there is an article on EMAs, sorry to hear about the U-turn, but this is more about managing finances than campaigning on the specifics
    Offset - this is covered in both the mortgage and remortgage guides in detail
    Life insurance and inheritence tax both have articles on the site (life insurance is due an update soon)

    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

    Debt-Free Wannabee Official Nerd Club: (Honorary) Members number 000
    • pavlovs_dog
    • By pavlovs_dog 26th Sep 06, 3:13 PM
    • 9,834 Posts
    • 24,109 Thanks
    will venture out of the forums and go look for those

    cheers big man
    know thyself

    Nid wy'n gofyn bywyd moethus...
    • Fluffy_Bunny
    • By Fluffy_Bunny 26th Sep 06, 6:44 PM
    • 17 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    How about an explanation of endownments? I know you have covered how to claim if they have been mis-sold. But as I do not qualify for that, I really need to know if I should cash them in or hang on to them. I have three policies covering my mortgage, and ideally I would like to get rid of them altogether and change my mortgage to a repayment mortgage, but I don't know if:
    a) that makes financial sense or if it is throwing more money away
    b) if I do get rid of them, should I cash them in with the company that sold them, or sell them to another agency that buys policies.

    (I have received letters from the different companies telling me one is on track and the other two are predicated shortfalls...)

    I simply don't understand how they work at all !!

  • david shaw
    You were right Paul Lewis' book on Pensions was great.
    Pick an ETF that tracks the FTSE.
    Unfortunately the brokers fees to get into an ETF prohibit their effectiveness.
    I have probably missed a trick,could you eor Paul explain how best to get an ETF
  • RoCas
    Hi Martin,

    I second the suggestion regarding SERPS / contracting back in. I realise that each situation is different, but are there any general guidelines?

  • markcramer
    Hi Martin

    This may be more of a utility than an article, but something to make sense of the train system would be great. Others in the forums have recommended splitting the journey into segments to save money on the tickets, but trying to find the cheapest way to split it is difficult, so something like FlightChecker where we can list our start and end points, and it returns the cheapest way of booking those tickets would be great. I hope that makes sense!

    • MSE Martin
    • By MSE Martin 4th Oct 06, 1:08 PM
    • 8,116 Posts
    • 42,310 Thanks
    MSE Martin
    If you look in the Cheapest Train Fares article.... all will be revealed
    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

    Debt-Free Wannabee Official Nerd Club: (Honorary) Members number 000
    • tanith
    • By tanith 4th Oct 06, 1:24 PM
    • 7,981 Posts
    • 8,589 Thanks
    Hiya, how about the question of wether to rent or struggle to buy in the present climate of houseprices seemingly never ending climb.. I know there are lots of differing opinions on this but all I see is them rising slowly or not so slowly. I have younger family members who have been hovering and frightened to take the plunge for several years now continually hoping house prices would come down a little and give them a chance..

    Not sure if this is the type of thing that you are looking for...
    #6 of the SKI-ers Club

    "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing" Edmund Burke
  • quorn99
    Normal Price Motorway services
    Its long been the bain of my life that motorway services charge a complete rip off. Does anyone think an article of collated near by alternatives would be any good? e.g. normal priced alternatives near junctions on motorways.

    Martin - how about a campaign for this rip off to be stood up to/ boycott??
    -surely anythings a start. After all this is the same high street burger offered for over twice the price usually if not more.

  • quorn99

    Can u add to the gas/elec switching articles about the charges British Gas charge (and maybe others too) if you switch whilst under a price protection scheme. I wasnt aware and they charged me 30 penalty for each when i left under 2009 protection. After about 3 weeks of arguments i eventully got the charges lifted. They didnt notify me oof the charges either verbally when signing up nor was it mentions on the confirmation letter (no dodgy asterisks !!). Others may be aware or may feel it unlikely to leave whilst under a protection scheme but i feel im not the only one who thinks BG are still a rip off for this too.

    As such could the switching article point out that these penalty can apply

    • YoBear
    • By YoBear 4th Oct 06, 10:11 PM
    • 34 Posts
    • 11 Thanks
    My suggestion for a major consumer revenge article
    Hi All,

    I think this is my first post on here? I was actually going to first contribute to the redundancy thread but shall start here:

    One of the major rip-offs happening right now is Letting Agents and the fees they charge.

    Having taken redundancy and relocated to Brighton area I began looking to rent a small apartment. There are a lot of letting agents down here and I eventually found a wonderful flat. I put in an offer but was gobsmacked to find the agent, Tingleys, wanted a fee of I think no less than 165 + VAT for credit references and to draw up an agreement. That is in effect an extra 27.50 over six months on top of the rent! I did take issue and boy, did they suddenly get VERY funny with me saying thats what they charge as everyone is.
    Hang on here - I pointed out that I am also a Landlord and they market their service and their fees charging Landlords to do exactly that.
    No comment and she put the phone down on me!
    I thought I would phone the ARLA (Association of Residential Letting Agents) they belonged to and spoke to a representative there about it.
    Apparently once upon a time Letting Agents didn't charge but some started and the others followed.
    I questioned the charge level I was being asked for - the lady replied that it was one of the most highest she had heard. In effect she said there was nothing she could do but advised me to go back to Tingleys and ask them to justify the charges.
    So I did. But the girl wouldn't answer and put me through to the MD. When I asked him to justify it he said everyone else did and asked me to name some agencies which don't charge (he wasn't prepared for me to tell him of two agents who don't)
    I asked him to justify the fee he was asking - he rudely replied he didn't have to justify and expalin anything to me. Would you believe it???!!!!
    So that's how we parted.
    Can you imagine anyone just saying, "200 please.", "What for?", "I don't have to tell you that!"

    In short - its a rip-off and always mentioned at the last moment just as you set your heart on the property.

    I basically walked away and refused and found a lovely flat without a fee.
    I told the story to my tenants who took my place. They told me the agency that arranged my letting tried the same but waived the charge when they said they wouldn't move in....

    This is a horrible scam and a rip-off and deserves your attention Martin and more importantly consumer revenge!

    I'm sorry if I've gone on a bit here. My apologies. I do feel much better to have told you all though!
  • southernscouser
    What about snowballing? Although it might tie in with the 'don't pay minimum payments' bit!

    It can save hundreds if not thousands!
  • sophie maxwell
    Common debates that never seem to get resolved on this site are..

    Heating on 24/7 vs on a timer, which is cheapest (when all other conditions are identical)

    Supermarket fuel vs BP/Shell etc.. which is best, what is the difference (if any).

    These arguments go around in circles. If you have any "contacts", it would be nice to have an official answer to put the discussions to bed once and for all, and hopefully save people a lot of money over the winter in the process.


    Quorn, there is a book, and a website (I think), which lists all the eateries, petrol stations etc within a few miles of motorway service stations.. I forget the details, but it will come to me.
    by albertross
    Was it "Greatest Motorway Secrets" by any chance?

    • Glad
    • By Glad 6th Oct 06, 7:05 AM
    • 17,966 Posts
    • 39,918 Thanks
    the website is here
    the great motorway secrets
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