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Understanding what to expect from fee-charging bank accounts is important to ensure that you’re getting exactly what you need from the account. These fee-charging accounts often give you added ‘extras’ like insurance or access to a special overdraft that are useful, as long as they’re what you’re looking for. Sometimes the terminology used in your bank won’t always be easy to understand, and you could be being sold something that isn’t useful to you, so you should always be sure you know what you’re expecting when you go in.

What you need to know about fee-charging bank accounts

You may have already taken out an account, or are in conversation with your bank about the possibility of opening one of these accounts, so you should make sure that you know everything you need before you enter into any agreements you’re not sure about. There are a few things that you need to know about packaged bank accounts:

  1. Fee-charging bank accounts can be great value as long as you’re sure that you can’t buy your insurance for cheaper anywhere else – especially if the insurance you’re offered isn’t particularly helpful for you. For some people travel insurance, breakdown policies or smartphone cover won’t be worth paying a monthly fee. Because of this, you should check that any policies you’re offered are available to you elsewhere for cheaper – the policies that you’re offered are usually high-end when you could make do with a standard policy. If you don’t need these added extras, then you shouldn’t bother with a packaged account.
  2. Always ensure that pre-existing medical conditions are declared for your travel insurance or they won’t be covered and your policy will be void, so you should always let the insurer know before you open the account. Then, if you’re diagnosed or anything has changed after you’ve taken out the policy then you should tell the insurer before you travel. The insurer will then decide if they’ll still cover you, although your health insurance will be reviewed annually for as long as you hold this account (but it might not provide you cover under the same conditions each year).
  3. If you don’t need the insurance then you should get a switching bonus instead – if the insurance isn’t necessary or you’re already paying interest for using your overdraft in your current account then you should ignore packaged bank accounts and go for an account that gives you a switching bonus instead. These switching rates can give you cash bonuses or great interest rates and will be better for your situation.
  4. Having a joint account could be more valuable. Most packaged accounts are valid for all account holders for the same single fee, so why not open it jointly with your partner so that you’re both covered? This way, even if you don’t both use the account at least adding your partner will boost the accounts value – however you should be aware that joining your finances will mean that your partner’s credit rating can affect yours, and vice versa).
  5. Make sure the insurance policies you’re offered cover everything that you need. If the policies aren’t going to pay out when it’s necessary that they’re not worth it, so you should always check them when you sign up for an account. You should also make sure that you aren’t caught out with heavy charges to upgrade your account – so try and choose a suitable account to begin with, or save yourself money by insuring separately.
  6. There has been an incline of mis-sold fee-charging bank accounts, but you can still reclaim if you were mis-sold. It’s worth knowing that many people have had a packaged bank account without being able to use the benefits or sometimes without knowing that they were paying for the account, because they were mis-sold the account. But you can still receive compensation for this, by either contacting your bank and making a complaint, or by reaching out to a claim service to help you investigate.

Make sure a packaged bank account is right for you

Before you make any serious decisions you should truly think about whether a packaged bank account is right for you, as the extras may not be compatible with your needs, or you may feel that you have been mis-sold these additions. If you’re not feeling 100% on your decision to open a packaged bank account it isn’t too late to change your mind, and if you believe that you could have been mis-sold your account then you should ensure you seek compensation for any losses you might have suffered. If you need help figuring out if you were mis-sold then you can contact one of our agents here at Consumer Rights, who will be able to help you to investigate your circumstances.

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Advice

Efficient Household Appliances – Washing Machines

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Energy Efficient Washing Machine
Energy Efficient Washing Machines
Everyone needs appliances to do laundry, keep food fresh, or get the dishes clean. If a device breaks down, many people simply buy another cheap appliance. But by tackling that decision smarter, you make a conscious choice for the environment and your wallet!
 
New household appliances are much more energy efficient than old comparable appliances. A 15-year-old refrigerator uses 450 kWh, while a new refrigerator with the same content only needs 150 kWh. Energy-efficient household appliances save hundreds of pounds in energy costs every year.
 
Especially fridge-freezer combinations and tumble dryers have become a lot more economical; these household appliances now use almost 70% less energy!
 
But what should you pay attention to when you buy new household appliances? And how much can you save with energy-efficient appliances?
 

Energy-efficient washing machines

Cleverly choosing an energy-efficient washing machine can save hundreds of pounds. Energy-efficient washing machines immediately save on energy consumption. Today, washing machines use up to 80% less energy than a 15-year-old washing machine.
 
Water consumption is also lower. That saves a lot of energy and money: the difference in energy consumption between old and newest washing machines can go up to £550,- a year. Check out Which?’s energy-efficient washing machine money saving calculator.
 
But there are also major differences between washing machines that are currently in stores. Cheap washing machines seem to be the best choice for your wallet, but energy-efficient washing machines are cheaper for the long-term! Washing machines last on average for around 10 years. All this time they will be using electricity and water in your home.
 
It is useful to spend some time on the purchase of a new washing machine, because that will save you a lot of money during it’s life-time. Unfortunately, many people are not smart when they buy a washing machine. They mainly look at the price or an offer for a cheap washing machine. But you can save a lot more money by paying attention to a number of things.
 
View the detailed information below on how you do that and ready-made examples of energy-efficient washing machines that save you a lot of money.
 
Energy-efficient washing machines are available in so many types and sizes. But not every washing machine is really economical. What should you look out for if you want to save a lot of money?
 

The energy label

Many washing machines are more economical than the norm for the highest energy rating of A +++.
First of all, it is smart to take a good look at the energy label. Washing machines, like other electrical appliances, carry an energy label. You can see from this how energy efficient the washing machine is. Officially, the most economical label is A +++.
 
But many manufacturers have developed washing machines that use much less energy than the highest attainable energy rating. That is why with many washing machines you see an extra addition to the energy label. The most economical washing machine in 2019 has energy rating A +++ – 65%. This means that the washing machine is 65% more efficient than the standards for the best energy rating.
 
The difference in power consumption between the most economical and least economical washing machine is approximately £ 230,- over the lifetime **.
 
** Average lifetime is 10 years with an average use of 3 to 4 washes per week.
 

Why not buy the cheapest washing machine?

Some people just choose a cheap washing machine because they think that is a good choice for their wallet. But that’s not true..
 
The cheapest washing machines cost around £300 or less. You think you can save money with such a low price, but in practice that is not the case. The cheapest washing machines almost always have the highest energy consumption of all available washing machines. The cheapest and least efficient washing machines have the A +++ energy rating without addition. That costs up to £ 230,- more in electricity compared to if you buy an economical washing machine with an addition on the label, e.g. A+++ -65%.
 
By paying a little extra for your new washing machine, you will have energy-efficient laundry and you will hopefully appreciate the long-term money you save. Read more about other ways you can be smarter with your energy usage here.
 

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Smart Energy Saving in Your Home!

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Energy Saving Light Bulbs

Saving energy only offers benefits. Whether you want to save money on energy costs, contribute to a better environment or climate, it is important that we are less dependent on foreign fossil fuels, or perhaps all of these reasons at the same time …

By saving energy you can achieve all these different benefits. 

Most people do it mainly for their wallets. But tips for saving energy can often be found in two extremes: expensive measures or a fall in comfort. Why should you choose between a cold house or an empty wallet?

There are enough energy saving tips that cost very little but result in high savings! The energy and money you save will be earned back on your energy bill the following year. And that can generate a lot of money. For example, in some cases you can save up to 50% on your gas bill; that can add up to  £1000 a year! But you don’t have to spend thousands of pounds for that. Many tips cost you nothing or just a small investment. As a result, you quickly recoup these costs.

Unfortunately, saving energy does not happen automatically. You have to take action, but this doesn’t have to take too much time. You can easily apply all tips yourself. Doing this will make it a lot cheaper. While energy costs rise, there are many options for reducing your consumption. One thing is certain: the savings will not fall from the sky; you have to save energy yourself. 

Don’t Sacrifice Your Comfort!

Do not sit in the cold in an attempt to save energy, because so much more is possible. Save hundred of pounds without sacrificing comfort. There are many cheap ways to save a lot, for example consider a Radiator foil, or a water-saving shower head. Find more energy saving devices here.

Saving electricity is easy thanks to the many savings tips available online. Some devices in your home use more power than you might think. You can save a lot of money on ‘stealth’ power that is used without you realizing it. See below for some examples.

How a master slave socket works

One device is the master in the socket. For example, this could be a desktop computer. When the computer turns on, the power strip switches on the slaves. That can therefore be the monitor, printer and audio boxes. As soon as the computer is switched off, the slaves are also switched off. This way you automatically save electricity.

The socket reacts to the power consumption of the master. If the power consumption falls below or above a certain level, then the other sockets are also switched off or on. You can easily set this limit yourself. By increasing the setting, for example, the sockets will only be switched on later. This can be useful if, for example, you leave the computer in standby. The computer then consumes a little more power. The slaves then remain switched on.

This way you can easily save power without having to switch yourself! You could also use it with other devices, such as your television, hi-fi and DVD recorder. Be creative and save a lot of energy and money!

Set-Top Boxes

This is your digital TV receiver, also called a decoder. A relatively small device, but the TV cabinet uses power day and night. You do not use the device for most of the day. So you can save a lot of electricity with that.

Research by climate agencies in 2011 showed that set top boxes use a lot of energy. The consumption turned out to even be up to 29 watts. That is £55 electricity costs per year, it may not seem much but everything adds up. The device to watch TV consumes 24 hours a day, while you will probably only watch TV for a few hours.

So it saves a lot to turn off the set-top box during the hours that no TV is watched, this includes any Freeview, Sky or Virgin boxes. For example, think of night hours or during the day on work days when you are not home. You can then turn off the device for many hours and save a lot of money!

Modern, digital time clocks take the work off your hands. There are digital timers that you can set based on time and date. And even on weekdays and weekends. They stay exactly on time thanks to the DCF signal and therefore also switch automatically to summer and winter time. Set the time of activation and deactivation precisely to the minute. Very handy!

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Advice

Flight Delay Entitlement

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flight delay entitlement

Having your outbound or return flight delayed can really put a dampener on your trip, as well as potentially being highly disruptive to your business plans. This is not something you need to simply accept and you may well be entitled to compensation depending on the circumstances surrounding your delayed flight such as the causes and the length of the delay. Flight delay entitlement is something which is well worth looking into if you have been the victim of a delayed flight in the past six years, and can go some way to perhaps covering the costs incurred as a result of your delay or simply making up for the inconvenience you have suffered.

 

Flight delay entitlement doesn’t exclusively apply to delayed flights. You are also well within your rights to claim for a cancelled or even overbooked flight should that match your situation, and the claims process is very much the same.

 

Flight Delay Entitlement Explained

Here we are going to discuss in more depth your flight delay entitlement. Even if you have suffered a significant delay, you may not always necessarily be entitled to be compensated in the form of money. Your airline will, however, be required to help you out in other ways such as food vouchers to account for the additional time spent in the airport, as well as arranging and paying for overnight stays in hotels should the situation require it. All of this depends on the length of extra time you will need to stay in the airport as well as the reasons for which your flight got delayed.

 

Your flight delay entitlement may also be impacted by the actual length of your delayed flight itself, but all of this will become more clear as we explain the flight delay entitlement process.

 

If your delayed flight totals anything under 2 hours you are not eligible to receive any form of compensation, however anything above this means that you may be able to claim reimbursement. For those who’s flight delay was between 2-3 hours you will not be entitled to a financial reimbursement, but you must receive food and drink from your airline, access to a phone or at least some mode of communication and even overnight accommodation if necessary. If your flight is delayed by more than 3 hours you are legally entitled to everything we have already mentioned, as well as actual financial compensation provided that the delay was caused by a fault of the airline. Circumstances such as inclement weather conditions or security issues will mean that compensation will be unlikely. The amount you are likely to gain in compensation typically varies depending on factors such as flight distance, how long your flight was delayed for and whether or not your destination falls within the European Union. You can find out more about the precise amounts which you are entitled to depending on your circumstances here.

 

If your flight delay totals more than five hours then you are faced with a number of options. You can choose whether or not you wish to still board the plane, and if you choose to do this then you could claim as much as £600 as well as all of the additional benefits we have touched on for flights with a sub-five hour delay. If you decide against taking the flight, which you are also well within your rights to do, then you are entitled to a full refund for your ticket as well as any other flights on your trip which may have been affected as a result.

If you would like more information about the flight delay claims process click here for our comprehensive guide to flight delays and how you can go about claiming what you are owed.

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