ASK TONY: I set up a family trust, then changed my mind – but can't get my cash back

I was visited by a representative of Guardian Legal of Peterborough on June 5 last year, who advised on a family trust.

I wanted time to think about it, but the man said it would mean another journey for him, so I signed and paid £2,595 by Visa credit card.

After receiving advice elsewhere, I decided to cancel. I sent the form by recorded delivery on June 12 — well within the 14-day cancellation period specified in the contract — and received confirmation of its receipt.

Every week, Money Mail receives hundreds of your letters and emails about our stories. 

Here are some responding to our article about how profit-hungry telecoms companies are charging customers up to £36 a year for paper bills: 

The Government needs to intervene and outlaw this practice. There will always be a percentage of the population who do not want to, or cannot, receive their bills by email.

R. T., Woking.

HMRC is now demanding that businesses do everything online. 

Not all small businesses use computers and not everyone feels comfortable on the internet. Technology doesn’t always make life easier.

C. S., Bristol.

If you have broadband at your home anyway, you may as well go paperless. We are retired and live on a limited budget. 

We don’t bank online, but we do all our utilities payments paperless — it saves shredding all our bills.

S. M., Brighton.

I still have paper bills and bank statements sent to my home because they’re necessary for confirming my identity. 

Many companies and authorities say that online printed statements are not acceptable.

S. W., by email.

My mother is 96 years old. She has broadband, but it’s only for us to use when we visit. 

At her age, she will have nothing to do with the internet. It’s disgraceful to penalise people who are in this kind of situation.

M. R., Monmouth, Wales.

When you buy something at the supermarket, you don’t expect to be charged for the printed receipt.

It should be the same with telephone bills. There should be a law to stop companies charging for them.

J. S., Rotherham.

I have always understood that companies reward customers who are environmentally friendly. 

I’m a pensioner and I had to pay for my computer. It’s swings and roundabouts. I deserve a discount.

S. F., Melbourne, Australia.

I received my phone service from TalkTalk for nine years.

However, before moving to a new provider, I noticed that over the past two to three years I have been charged for broadband that I do not have (I am 99 years old). 

I called several times to say that I did not have a computer, but nobody took any notice.

G. F., London.

TalkTalk tells me it has not provided a phone-only service for more than a decade, so the most basic package comes with broadband whether you want it or not. 

This affected you in August 2015, when you switched from a basic phone package to one called Simply Broadband with unlimited calls.

broadband

You queried why broadband had been added. TalkTalk says the package was then explained to you.

You called again in November 2016 to query this and were told by an agent that all TalkTalk packages include broadband.

I asked the firm to go back over your bills to check you haven’t been overcharged and it seems you have been on the cheapest service.

Despite this, TalkTalk has made a £50 goodwill payment to apologise for not making things clearer when you called.

There are a few cheap phone-only deals. BT Basic costs £5.10 a month and includes £1.50 worth of calls — but it is available only to those on certain benefits.

Those who don’t qualify can pay £19.99 a month for the basic line rental, which includes weekend calls. Virgin Media’s comparable price is £19. Sky charges £23.99 per month for evening and weekend calls.

Straight to the point 

I switched to Together Energy in May and have been trying to get an up-to-date, accurate statement ever since. I’ve called three times and sent a formal letter of complaint. What more can I do?

R. F., Oldham.

Together Energy called you to apologise for the delay, which it says occurred following an upgrade to its IT system. 

It has now taken your meter readings and provided you with an accurate bill. 

Your account is £226.61 in credit and the supplier has added £30 as a gesture of goodwill.

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BT keeps telephoning me to say that my broadband will be disconnected tomorrow. It never is, and my bill is up to date. Is this a scam?

J. F., by email.

Yes, it is a scam. BT says it would never contact customers in this way and advises you request its free BT Call Protect service. 

This will block numbers it has identified as nuisance callers. You can set up a personal blacklist of numbers, too.

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My house sale is due to complete five weeks before the end of my mortgage term, which means I face a £5,000 early repayment fee. Will the bank waive this?

S. I., by email.

Any early repayment charges would have been laid out clearly in terms and conditions when you took out the mortgage. 

Lenders will sometimes waive these fees if you take your mortgage with you to a new property, but if you want to simply repay the loan, it is likely you will have to foot the bill.

*** 

My wife and I paid in advance for two items of hold luggage when travelling to Madrid last year. 

But, when we arrived, check-in staff claimed we had purchased only one, so we had to pay an extra £56.06. 

I’ve been chasing Iberia for a refund for six months, but no one will respond to my emails, calls or the letter I paid £7.85 to send via recorded delivery.

M. J., West Midlands.

Iberia is not sure what happened, but thinks there may have been a problem with its website. 

It blames a change to its accounting system for the delay in issuing a refund. 

t has written to you to apologise and reimburse the fee, but will not refund the cost of the letter’s postage, as it claims you could have complained online for free.

I have found an old Alliance & Leicester savings passbook which shows a balance of £149 in 1989. 

I have been to Santander, which took over the A&L accounts, and it says it can’t help as it goes back so far.

S. C., Carlisle.

Life would be much simpler if branch staff had access to the details head office teams do.

It seems this was a children’s account opened in your name but held in trust for you by your mother. It was closed (most likely by her) on December 12, 1997, with £205.66 being paid out.

Santander says: ‘We’re sorry that the branch team could not help. This was due to the age of this account and, as he has no current holdings with us, it was hard to trace him on the system. 

‘These records would be kept by the back-office team.’