Thomas Cook customers seeking refunds warned to beware of scams
Fraudsters are suspected of targeting a website created to refund Thomas Cook customers, the Civil Aviation Authority said. Customers of Thomas Cook are being warned to use only the official website for refunds: thomascook.caa.co.uk/refunds. This follows warnings of a suspicious Thomas Cook refund website encouraging customers to hand over personal information in return for help with their refund claim. The CAA confirmed “thomascookrefunds.com” is a fake website.
Sainsbury’s Nectar loyalty scheme
Sainsbury’s is rolling out its updated Nectar loyalty scheme to allow shoppers to pre-select personalised bonus point offers each week and scan a new ‘digital Nectar card’ at the till. Customers will continue to earn one point for every £1 spent in-store or online at Sainsbury’s. Paper coupons will still be available in-store but it’s not clear if frequency or the average value of the vouchers may change.
Request an ATM service to be launched
Link, which oversees the UK’s network of cash machines, has set up a £1m fund to pay for ATMs in areas where it is hard to access cash. Communities will be able to request a free-to-use ATM for their area if they meet certain criteria such as a lack of nearby ATMs, a safe location being found, and no Post Office access.
Defeat for women in state pension age challenge
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Campaigners have lost a legal battle against the government’s handling of the rise in women’s state pension age. Up until 2010, women received their state pensions at the age of 60, but the age has since been rising. Although campaigners supported pension age equality, they challenged the speed and lack of information issued about the changes to enable women to make suitable adjustments in time to cope for a time without a state pension. As a result some women who thought they would retire and receive a state pension at 60 have found that they needed to wait longer causing financial struggle.
Tesco to launch a monthly subscription loyalty scheme
Tesco is to launch a £7.99 a month subscription version of its loyalty scheme by the end of this year. The new Clubcard Plus scheme will offer enhanced discounts, for example ten per cent off two in-store food shops each month.
Cost of insurance customer loyalty
The Financial Conduct Authority has reported that home and car insurers regularly increase the premiums of customers unlikely to switch companies, whilst enticing new customers with their best deals. The FCA has proposed restrictions on price rises for those renewing their policies as well as preventing firms from discouraging clients from switching. Auto renewals could be banned or replaced by an opt in only system. Insurance companies may also have to improve their transparency and may have to reveal how much different customers are paying. The FCA will consult on its findings and their final report will be published next year.
Contactless bank card loophole
A security loophole is enabling fraudsters to break the £30 spending limit for contactless bank cards. Some banks and retailers are allowing customers to pay a single bill of more than £60 by making several tap and go payments of £30 each. UK Finance said tougher rules are being introduced that will require customers to enter their PIN after every five contactless payments or once they have spent £130.
Refund scheme for bank scam victims
Banks are still to work out how they will fund a refund scheme for bank scam victims long term. UK Finance proposed a 2.9p levy on faster payments over £30 which banks could pass on to customers. A consultation on the plan ended last week and a final decision is expected at the end of November.
Energy Customer Database Update Open Letter
Ofgem is no longer creating a database of energy customers who do not engage in looking for better deals. Other initiatives are being considered to ensure customers access fairer prices.
Four energy suppliers face losing their licence
Ofgem has warned that energy suppliers Robin Hood Energy, Toto Energy, GnERGY and Delta Gas and Power have a month to pay £14.7 million owed in green taxes, or face losing their licences. The companies failed to meet the September 1 deadline for renewable energy payments which all suppliers must make to fund green initiatives to help end the reliance on fossil fuels. Failure to make payments is usually seen as a sign that a company is struggling.
Energy price cap
Updated energy price caps set by Ofgem came into effect on 1st October. The maximum price for a typical dual fuel customer on a standard variable tariff who pays by direct debit will reduce from £1,254 to £1,179 a year. The price cap for those with prepayment meters will be £1,217.
Barclays blow to Post Office banking
Barclays is the only bank to opt out of the agreement banks have with Post Offices to allow customers to withdraw cash and deposit money. Barclays will let its customers deposit money, but not withdraw cash from a Post Office counter using a debit card. It will, however, launch a cashback scheme at small businesses in remote towns and areas where there is no branch or ATM alternative within 1km. The bank has also promised to freeze last-in-town and remote branch closures for two years.