For updated information surrounding the Coronavirus please check the government website: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
Coronavirus: Extension of mortgage payment holiday
Mortgage customers who are struggling financially due to coronavirus will be able to extend their mortgage payment holiday for a further three months, or reduce their payments. However, they should bear in mind that the deferred payments will still have to be paid back later on and so future payments will be higher. Customers will be able to apply for a mortgage holiday until 31 October. The ban on repossessions of homes has also been extended to 31 October.
Coronavirus: Beware of NHS app track and trace scams
Beware of fake tracing apps, only ever download apps from official websites or app stores. Scammers are also sending emails and texts suggesting victims have been in contact with someone with the virus. They demand personal information supposedly to send the person a test kit. The text will include a link to collect personal information – don’t click on any links in the text.
Coronavirus: Tesco extends some Clubcard voucher expiry dates by 6 months
Clubcard vouchers are usually valid for two years but vouchers due to expire in May 2020 have been extended until 30 November 2020. There is no change to vouchers due to expire after May.
Customers often redeem their points with a Tesco reward partner. As many of these are focused on restaurants and days out which are currently closed due to coronavirus, Tesco has announced reward partner codes are now valid for 12 months from their order day. If a customer already has a code, Tesco are sending an email with a new expiry date. Orders made via the Clubcard app will update automatically. However, customers should note British Airways Executive Club and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club are excluded from the extension.
Government blunder means some women due pension payout
Under the old pension system (pre 2016) a married woman could pay a reduced rate of National Insurance contributions “married women’s stamp;”. When their husband retired it meant they could get an increase to 60 per cent of his pension as long as he had a full record of contributions. Married women who had not paid the stamp but had missed out on making contributions due to staying at home to raise a family also qualified for the boost. However, an issue with the government’s computer system meant some women who were entitled to the pension boost when their husbands turned 65 never received it. Women whose weekly payout is less than £80 and who retired before pensions were revamped in 2016 could have missed out and should check they are receiving the correct pension amount. If they have any queries they should contact the Government Pension Service.
Competition and Markets Authority launches investigation into fake and misleading reviews on websites
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has launched an investigation into fake and misleading reviews on several major websites, at a time when customers are using online shopping more. Fake and misleading reviews are illegal under consumer protection law.