A round-up of Action Desk issues over the last month.
OAP’s TalkTalk nightmare
Dorothy Canning did not know where to turn to get help for her twin sister.
The 93-year-old had been trying for weeks to get the phone line working at her sister’s home in Greenhill.
Her sister, Nellie Green, lives alone with the help of carers and since September she had been unable to make or receive calls.
She also has Aid Call, a nurse call system, which needs a working phone line to operate.
Mrs Canning, of Fulwood, said: “Her only daughter lives in France and although I have called TalkTalk numerous times, and spent at one time 46 minutes 59 seconds on the phone, I have got absolutely nowhere.
“Her daughter was here for two weeks and before that she was trying her best to get some result from France, with no response.
“On September 16 I wrote to TalkTalk’s head office in London and didn’t get a reply.
“My sister has dementia and doesn’t get out so the telephone is a lifeline to us, but we have always told her not to let anyone in or talk to someone on the phone she doesn’t know.”
Action Desk contacted TalkTalk and was told the problem was at the local exchange and the company was waiting for BT Openreach to carry out the repair.
A few days after Action Desk got in touch with BT, engineers had carried out the repair.
A TalkTalk spokesman said: “We are very sorry it took such a long time to repair a fault affecting Ms Green’s service.
“This was a complicated fault at the local telephone exchange, which required specialist engineers from BT Openreach, which carries out this type of work on our behalf.
“We aim to provide a good service along with great value, and to learn from instances like this when we could have served our customers better.”
Concern over postal scam
Action Fraud is reminding everyone that a chain email warning about a postal scam that could leave you £315 out of pocket is a hoax.
The warning, often circulated by email, reads: “Can you circulate this around especially as Christmas is fast approaching – it has been confirmed by Royal Mail, The Trading Standards Office are making people aware of the following scam.
“A card is posted through your door from a company called PDS, Parcel Delivery Service, suggesting they were unable to deliver a parcel and you need to contact them on 0906 6611911, a Premium rate number.
“Do not call this number, as this is a mail scam originating from Belize. If you call the number and you start to hear a recorded message, you will already have been billed £315 for the phone call.
“If you do receive a card with these details, then please contact Royal Mail Fraud on 020 72396655.”
Action Fraud said if you receive a delivery card or email with this on just delete it or throw it away and do not forward to anyone.
PhonepayPlus, previously called ICSTIS, which regulates premium rate phone numbers and services in the UK, said it is aware of the warning about an alleged scam.
The organisation said the warning refers to a service shut down by PhonepayPlus in December 2005 and the company operating it, called Studio Telecom, was fined £10,000.
To report a fraud, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use its online fraud reporting tool at www.actionfraud.police.uk
Advice for currency rates
When exchanging currency, always check you have been given the correct rate.
David Taylor from Sheffield visited Eurochange on Pinstone Street in the city centre to buy Polish Zloty.
He said he reserved £150 worth of the currency for collection, which came to 870 in the Polish currency. The rate at this time was 5.76 Zloty to the pound.
However, when he returned to the shop on Tuesday, November 24, he was told the rate provided would be the in-store rate and was provided with only 720 Zloty.
He later checked the exchange rate when he got home and the exchange was at a rate of only 4.8 to the pound, which was an incorrect rate.
David said he contacted the company’s head office and was refunded the £25 he had been over-charged.
Eurochange told Action Desk that the error was due to problems with their IT system and the issue had now been solved.
Tips for buying currency:
n Always check you have been given the correct rate and shop around for the best ones.
n Remember that commission-free doesn’t necessarily mean the best deal, as fees are likely to have been loaded into the rate, and look carefully at flat fees and minimum charges. These can make it more expensive to change small amounts of money.
n Don’t wait until you get to the airport to change cash – it is usually a lot more expensive.
n Consider using a pre-paid card. These are easy to use because you simply load them with money before you go on holiday, then use the card to withdraw cash from ATMs or to make purchases. If you lose the card you can cancel it or report it stolen so it a fairly safe way of carrying money rather than lugging around wads of cash.
Get in touch
From December there will be new ways to contact Action Desk with any issues.
To get in touch contact Lauren Clarke on 0114 2767676 extension 3523 or email firstname.lastname@example.org