Bournemouth EchoMartin Lewis: reclaiming - could you be owed £1,000s? (From Bournemouth Echo)

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Martin Lewis: reclaiming - could you be owed £1,000s?

Bournemouth Echo: Martin Lewis: reclaiming - could you be owed £1,000s? Martin Lewis: reclaiming - could you be owed £1,000s?

Are you owed £10,000s? It sounds a ludicrous lottery-esque question. Yet, sadly, in recent years our country's been so rife with mis-selling, poor service and performance that many are able to reclaim big money. Crucially, you don’t need to pay anyone.

I’ve been campaigning about reclaiming for years, and each time I launch a new one, a claims handler somewhere jumps on the back offering to do it for a 30% cut. You can do it yourself, just as easily, for free.

Check for hidden insurance added to loans, cards, mortgages and more

You've almost certainly heard of PPI reclaiming. But it's important to understand you may have PPI without knowing – even if you were asked if you wanted it and rejected it.

This insurance that usually covered debt repayments for just a year was systemically mis-sold by banks. Over £12 BILLION's been paid back, and much more's still due. Instructions and free template letters are at www.mse.me/PPI

The proof: I've had 5m of my templates downloaded so far. Here's Ingrid, via email: "Thanks so much for giving me the courage to reclaim my PPI - I've received £35,000. It's been life-changing."

Shop at Tesco?

Many Tesco Clubcard holders lose or forget to use vouchers sent out for points earned shopping. Yet you can quickly claw back two years of unused vouchers to print out or use online by logging into www.tesco.com’s Clubcard section’s ‘Find Your Vouchers' bit.

The proof: One of my site users, AnnaV: "WOW - I've got £413 of unspent vouchers. Ridiculously excited."

Been delayed on a flight since 2007?

For most flights to or from the EU, if you were delayed over three hours, you're due £200 - £500 per person. It must be the airline's fault, so weather and security issues don't count. Full help and template letters at www.mse.me/flightdelays

The proof: Amanda, emailed saying: "I used the template to complain to Thomas Cook about a delayed flight to Egypt in 2010. It's compensating us £1,040. Made my day."

Mis-sold CPP card protection?

Over 7 million were mis-sold credit card and identity. theft cover. £1.3bn has been allocated to compensate those targeted.

A redress scheme to guarantee you money back if you were mis-sold in 2005 or later was given the thumbs up by the High Court on 14 January.

Anyone mis-sold will be auto-informed and able to reclaim, so keep an eye out - claim forms will arrive in Feb. We've already seen big payback successes, from those complaining directly.

The proof: Martin (another Martin) emailed his story: "I received a cheque for £461 which included interest."

Are you in the wrong council tax band?

Check you’re not in too high a band, up to 400,000 may be, because the original English and Scottish valuations were done at speed and not meant to last the 23 years they have.

Not only can you get your band lowered, but a back-dated rebate from when you moved in. First see if neighbours in identical or similar properties are in lower bands via www.voa.gov.uk (www.saa.gov.uk in Scotland).

Then use the web to value your house for free, and convert it back to its key 1991 price. See www.mse.me/council for a special calculator and how to safely reclaim.

The proof: Kay, via email, told me she was in Band F, while others of a similar size were Band E. She says: "I phoned the Valuation Office on 4 October 2013. On 6 December, I received a call to say my tax band had been reduced to a Band E. I got £3,300."

Wear uniform to work?

If you wear a branded T-shirt, overalls or a nurses' uniform for work (not just fun), wash it yourself and don't wear it elsewhere, you're entitled to a tax rebate each year.

Many haven't claimed, so can get a backdated payout going back four years. Just write a letter to the taxman with details and it should work, if you need further help or templates see www.mse.me/uniform

The proof: One of my site users Jinx80 says: "I rang the tax office and I'm getting a rebate of £60/year for the last four years. Really chuffed I didn't use a middleman."

Racked up big fees for going beyond your overdraft?

Rumours of the death of bank charge reclaiming are greatly exaggerated (especially by the banks, funnily enough). The door's nowhere near as wide open as it used to be, but if the charges have put you in financial hardship, reclaiming is possible. Full help and templates at www.moneysavingexpert.com/bankcharges

The proof: Carol emailed and explains: "Although I was a bit sceptical, I sent the template. My bank contacted me to say it would refund my charges + interest - over £2,000."

Do you pay (have you paid) a fee each month for your bank account?

Fee-charging packaged bank accounts are great for some, but useless, or worse, mis-sold for many. If you signed up by a sales call or 'upgrade', rather than actively choosing it yourself, mis-selling's far more likely.

Typically, you'd be upgraded to an account with travel insurance, but weren't told you're excluded for your age, or pre-existing conditions. Make a formal complaint to the bank, and if they reject it, take your case to the free financial Ombudsman service.

The proof: Linda emailed me her story: "Thanks for alerting me. I was told I had to have the account in order to get an overdraft. I got over £1,500 compensation in three weeks."

Comments (2)

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4:34pm Mon 20 Jan 14

Townee says...

Don't be fooled by the tax band bit. I live in a road where half are in band D and half are in band E. I contacted the valuation office with fact on same size house in different band.
The answer I got was when the lower band houses are sold they will be rearmed to the higher band. I asked them how come and was told that when the valuations were original done, it was local estate agents who did the valuation with a drive by, not entering any houses. So this just goes to show what a farce it is same house different band. Perhaps the valuer should have gone to spe savers because they obviously didn't know what they were doing and I wonder how many more home owners in Charminster are in the same boat? Ok if you are in the lower but you have lost out on thousands in over paid council tax.
Don't be fooled by the tax band bit. I live in a road where half are in band D and half are in band E. I contacted the valuation office with fact on same size house in different band. The answer I got was when the lower band houses are sold they will be rearmed to the higher band. I asked them how come and was told that when the valuations were original done, it was local estate agents who did the valuation with a drive by, not entering any houses. So this just goes to show what a farce it is same house different band. Perhaps the valuer should have gone to spe savers because they obviously didn't know what they were doing and I wonder how many more home owners in Charminster are in the same boat? Ok if you are in the lower but you have lost out on thousands in over paid council tax. Townee
  • Score: 0

8:50pm Fri 7 Feb 14

Scotty62 says...

How do you claim ppi when you have no mortgage documents and you ended paying the mortgage in 1990. The bank informed me that they were unable to trace any details since it was longer than 6 years. It is difficult to believe that the bank has actually destroyed old digital data since it so easy to store and it is more a case of they don't have to or don't want to!
How do you claim ppi when you have no mortgage documents and you ended paying the mortgage in 1990. The bank informed me that they were unable to trace any details since it was longer than 6 years. It is difficult to believe that the bank has actually destroyed old digital data since it so easy to store and it is more a case of they don't have to or don't want to! Scotty62
  • Score: 0

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