A round-up of Action Desk issues over the last month.
A Sheffield pensioner was struggling to understand why she was paying Vodafone for three phones - when she only had two contracts.
Marjorie Irwin, of Wincobank, Sheffield, was delighted when she was offered an upgrade from the phone company in February, which she accepted.
She was told she would be sent a new SIM card, but if she preferred she could use the old card so would not lose any of her numbers. She decided to use her old SIM card.
Her husband’s phone was also on her account and together she was meant to pay £16.16 a month.
But since the upgrade, her monthly payments ranged between £22.62 and £26.16.
Mrs Irwin said: “I’ve been ringing Vodafone and they told me I was being charged for three phones, despite only having two contracts.
“Each time they say they will sort it out and I’ll get a refund within 72 hours but they are still charging me each month. I’ve paid £58 extra in total.
“I don’t want the new phone any more. It’s too difficult for me to use so I would much rather go back to using the old one.”
Action Desk contacted Vodafone on Mrs Irwin’s behalf and was told she would be refunded the money.
She was also sent a post bag to return the unwanted handset, but confusion at the post office meant she had to shell out £7.25 to post it.
Vodafone said it was a pre-paid bag but agreed to refund the postage she had paid.
A few days later, Mrs Irwin called and said: “Vodafone has put all the money back into my bank account. You were our last resort and I can’t thank you enough for sorting things out.”
David Heath had waited eight months for a refund he had been promised. But after his many phone calls were met by the same voicemail message, he decided to contact Action Desk for help.
Mr Heath, of Wharncliffe Side, Sheffield, had a kitchen, worth more than £6,000, fitted by Wren Kitchens in January. The fitters were not able to complete the job fully to the design specification.
Mr Heath said: “There was a piece of timber that needed to be fitted to the ceiling.
“Wren said they couldn’t get the timber that was needed for the job.
“I used to be in the building trade – I’m an ex-joiner – so I said I might be able to find the piece.
“They said that if I got it they would reimburse me.
“I managed to get the timber and the district manager said if I gave him the bill, which is for £58, he would send it to head office to get me a cheque.
“I was given the name of the woman dealing with it and I’ve been ringing since March. All I keep getting is her voicemail saying she isn’t at her desk.”
Within a couple of hours of Action Desk contacting Wren, Mr Heath got the result he wanted – a cheque in the post.
The Trading Standards Service has issued a warning to consumers after independent tests on Carbon Monoxide alarms found that eight out of 10 failed British Standards tests.
Consumers are urged to check their appliances are in proper working order and to test their alarms to alert them to the ‘silent and invisible killer’ after tests showed many devices were faulty.
The alarms alert people to rising and deadly CO levels, yet when Trading Standards sent 10 types of alarm for testing to the British Standard, eight failed in one way or another.
John Stones, managing director of Gas Safe Europe, said: “Carbon Monoxide is a silent killer and yet one that is easy to protect against.Consumers should fit alarms and regularly test them to ensure they’re in working order and fit for purpose.
“To test CO alarms and ensure landlords meet the new legislation by having working alarms they need to test the sensor and not rely on the so-called test button which just tests the battery, buzzer and electronic circuit. This can only be done by injecting a specific and safe level of test gas over the alarm.”
The warning comes as new smoke and carbon monoxide legislation comes into force demanding that all private sector landlords regularly test smoke and CO alarms in all rented properties.
The new legislation, that came into force at the beginning of the month, is expected to prevent up to 26 deaths and 670 injuries a year.