Consumer affairs

MPs press Treasury to abandon ‘absurd’ inflation measure | Business – Business Article

The government is coming under intense pressure to either abandon or fix the “grossly unfair” retail prices index inflation measure, which MPs say is penalising students and rail passengers. In a rare combined letter from parliamentarians in the House of Commons and the House of Lords, RPI was described as “absurd” and its continued use was labelled “a ridiculous merry-go-round”. In the letter sent to the head of the UK Statistics Authority, John Pullinger, the House of Commons Treasury select…

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Calls for regulator to ensure access to cash after bank IT failures | Business – Business Article

The government is facing calls for a new regulator to protect consumers’ access to cash, following several bank IT failures and thousands of cash machine and branch closures across the UK. The consumer group Which? said cash is still a necessity for more than 25 million people in the UK. It also noted the combined closures of cash machines and branches have left people struggling to pay for essential goods and services. The charity is campaigning for the creation of…

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Exposed: hidden travel agent fees send air fares sky high | Money – Business Article

Online travel agent Opodo seemed to offer the best deal when Des McGhee searched Kayak, the price comparison website, for a flight from London to Glasgow. Until he reached Opodo’s checkout page, that is. The price had more than doubled, from the £116.80 quoted for four tickets with easyJet to £242.80, with £126 of this the cost of checking in four bags at £31.50 each. It wasn’t until he received the booking confirmation from easyJet that he discovered that the…

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Small energy suppliers get a growth boost as their rivals collapse | Business – Business Article

Eight small energy suppliers closed their doors last year as rising wholesale costs tipped them over the edge, and the trend has continued into 2019, with the recent insolvency of Economy Energy, followed by Our Power, which failed on Friday. Industry watchers predict there are more failures to come. The string of collapses has shone a spotlight on unsustainable pricing by new entrants and on the costs all households face from picking up the pieces. What is less remarked upon…

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Tax return 2019: a stress-free guide to tackling it | Money – Business Article

The weather may have turned arctic, but frostbitten fingers won’t get you out of doing your tax return. HM Revenue & Customs has issued a list of the most bizarre (and unsuccessful) excuses it received from customers who missed last year’s self-assessment deadline. They included “My boiler had broken and my fingers were too cold to type”. If you have been putting off the day when you have to gather up all your bits of paper and sit down and…

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Viagogo: directors risk jail over failure to properly protect customers | Money – Business Article

Viagogo is risking fines, or even the imprisonment of its directors, after the competition watchdog revealed “serious concerns” over the ticket website’s compliance with a court order designed to protect consumers. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) had given Viagogo until mid-January to overhaul the website’s much-criticised business practices. While the website did make some changes, such as publishing information about touts who use it to sell tickets at vast mark-ups, the CMA said it was insufficient. “Having conducted urgent…

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