Friday 07 May 2021
Our research into the “loyalty penalty” causing mobile phone customers to overpay by more than £100m a year was covered in the Mail Online. There have also been a number of local news stories this week covering issues including consumer rights, Universal Credit and debt.
Mobile phone users overpaying by £100m a year because they fail to switch deals when contract expires
Mail Online, 04/05/2021, Victoria Bischoff
Mobile phone customers who fail to switch to a new deal when their contract expires routinely overpay each month, because they are still being charged for their handset when they should be paying only for calls and data. However, tens of thousands of loyal mobile customers are unaware that they’re being overcharged. We’ve estimated that this “loyalty penalty” is costing customers £113 million a year. We’re calling on the Government to intervene to protect consumers.
”Breathing space” scheme starts for those in problem debt
Council tax, rent and other forms of debt arrears will be awarded relief as the new “breathing space” scheme is launched by the Government today. While this is welcomed, consumers are urged not to forget their financial obligations.
Our debt advice expert, Lorraine Charlton, explains: “If you have unmanageable debts, the new scheme could give you the time to get the advice that will help, and to start taking action. Breathing space isn’t a temporary fix to simply keep your creditors at arm’s length. You’ll need to work with your debt adviser to try and make a plan to deal with your debts.”
Universal Credit: How do your wages from work affect your benefit payment?
The Mirror, 29/04/2021, Levi Winchester
In an article explaining how wages can affect your universal credit payments, Citizens Advice benefits expert, Rachel Ingleby, said: “Understanding how much Universal Credit you’ll be paid can be very confusing, as it can fluctuate from month to month, depending on your income. Your Universal Credit decreases gradually as you earn more. In most cases, each £1 you or your partner earn after income tax reduces your Universal Credit by 63p. If you have any questions, visit the Citizens Advice website or contact your local Citizens Advice where you can get free, independent advice.”
Warning to anyone in Lancashire who made Universal Credit claim at start of pandemic
Lancashire residents who made a Universal Credit claim at the onset of the pandemic are being warned that they might now have to provide proof that they were entitled to it – and urged to look out for attempts by benefits assessors to contact them. Citizens Advice services in Lancashire are urging Universal Credit recipients not to ignore phone calls that could be crucial in ensuring that they do not lose access to the benefit.