Friday 19 July 2019
Research into energy pricing discrepancies across the country has been published by home finances website Youtility.
Utility prices vary across Britain as regional pricing reveals discrimination
Mirror.co.uk, 18/07/2019, Graham Hiscott
Families in Liverpool typically pay £81 a year more than those in Leeds for energy, home finances website Youtility has found.
It explains the different pricing depends on how much suppliers are charged by Britain’s 14 distribution networks operators.
The article refers to Citizens Advice’s finding that network firms are making £7.5 billion in excessive profits. While it recognised that there were different costs to build the infrastructure and transport energy in some parts of the country to others, it said the “excessive profits we’ve identified are not reflective of the underlying network costs.
More than half of UK public “don’t trust energy suppliers”
Energy Live News, 18/07/2019, Jonny Bairstow
According to the latest Public Attitude Tracker from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy “more than half of the UK public say they do not trust energy suppliers very much or at all.”
The results of the survey do show however that levels of trust were highest for Citizens Advice and Trading Standards.
Experts call for heat networks to be regulated
This Is Money, 16/07/2019, Fiona Parker
Households reliant on heat networks – hot water to heat multiple households through insulated pipes, removing the need for boilers – for their hot water and central heating must be given greater protection.
Citizens Advice has called on Ofgem to commit to regulating the sector by July 2022 amid rising complaints, often involving billing errors and high standing charges.
A spokesman for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy says it will consult on how to better regulate the sector.
‘We’ve been charged £7-a-month for a Sim card my autistic son never received’: O2 customer left unable to cancel a contract due to GDPR
This Is Money, 18/07/2019, Grace Gausden
An O2 customer claims the telephone provider has been taking money from her son’s bank account for the last seven months – even though he had never received the Sim card promised.
The article refers to information on Citizens Advice website on what to do if you’re paying for something you haven’t received. The advice states that if you bought something from a business to be delivered, it’s the seller’s responsibility to make sure the item is delivered to you.
You can also report the seller to trading standards if you think they have broken the law, for example, if they took your money and refused to deliver the item.
Facebook launches tool to shutdown online scams
FT.com [paywall], 16/07/2019, Madison Darbyshire
Facebook has launched a new tool aimed at shutting down online scams following a lawsuit filed by Martin Lewis.
The tool will allow users of Facebook UK to flag advertisements on the social media site that link to scams. Facebook has also dedicated £3 million to anti-scam initiatives run Citizens Advice.
Martin Lewis said: “Millions of people know a scam when they see it, and millions of others don’t. So now, I’d ask all who recognise them to use the new Facebook reporting tool to help protect those who don’t — which includes many who are vulnerable.”
Gillian Guy said: “This project means we cannot only support people who have been targeted, but also raise awareness of what to look out for to help prevent online scams happening in the first place.”
Katie Martin, Director of External Affairs spoke with BBC Radio 5 Live about the new service saying: “We want to help people identify what a scams is, ideally we want people to not fall victim to them in the first place.”
My quest to track down the tricksters who targeted my mum in cruel lottery scam
Mail Online, 14/07/2019, Jeff Prestridge
Jeff Prestridge – whose 83-year-old mother was targeted by a lottery scam – goes in search of the people allegedly behind the scam. Prestridge has little luck going to the addresses listed on the scam letters, one being a building site and another not existing at all.
Citizens Advice said 38 per cent of all mail scams it received details of last year involved fake lotteries. Gillian Guy said: ‘Lottery scams are worryingly common and usually target people who are isolated or in vulnerable situations. Remember that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.’
Renting: How landlords can refuse to let to tenants with children
BBC Online, 12/07/2019, Kevin Peachey
Tom Dedynski who has two children, aged nine and five, found a two-bedroom home to rent in Peterborough with enough room for his children but was unfortunately turned down by the landlord.
“I was honest with the letting agent that the kids would visit,” the 33-year-old says. “I was told the landlord did not want children – and that was that. I was disappointed. It felt a bit harsh. This was a small family home.”
There is nothing in law across the UK that compels a landlord to have to rent to tenants with children despite 1.7 million families raising children in rental properties across England. The article points to Citizens Advice toolkits prospective tenants can use if they think they’re being discriminated against.
In other news
Water bills in England and Wales are set to fall by an average of £50 between 2020 and 2025, under plans published by the industry regulator.
More than 600,000 members of so-called ‘Generation Rent’ are facing an “inevitable catastrophe” of homelessness when they retire.