Friday, 11 September 2015

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Can I get my insurance back?

When buying on hire purchase, there is an insurance fee you are charged in case of damage or loss of an item bought. Lets say nothing happens to the items and you finished paying for them in that agreed period. Why can't we claim back the insurance charged?

You can’t claim them back because that’s not how insurance works.

When you purchase an insurance scheme you are paying a company to take a risk for you. If your car is stolen, a member of your family dies or you have a burglary at home, the insurance company will pay the price instead of you.

Even if none of these bad things happen you still were receiving a financial protection against them happening throughout the lifetime of the policy. It might not feel like it but you were receiving a benefit throughout that period. Would you rather a tragedy had happened so you could have claimed?

However, there’s a much more important issue here. You should NEVER accept the insurance policy offered by a store when you buy something on hire purchase. The costs of these insurance policies are scandalously expensive. Instead of agreeing to the insurance cover go to a reputable insurance company and buy a household insurance policy and then take the paperwork to the store to prove that you already have cover. I’m not exaggerating when I say that we’ve seen store hire purchase insurance schemes that are six or seven times more expensive than a household policy. It’s yet another reason why hire purchase is such a horrible way to buy things. It is ALWAYS better to save up instead of borrowing to buy something. Even if the item is something you desperately need you should think of buying something second-hand instead. You’ll save yourself a fortune.

Must I sign?

Can you please advise. After swiping in a shop is it a must to sign and provide your phone number? I am banned from swiping in a certain supermarket because I refused to do so.

Thank you in advance.

You ask two questions. Must you sign the slip when you’ve swiped in a store? Must you give the store your cellphone number?

First things first. Yes it IS compulsory to sign the slip if the machine asks you to do so. If you’re using either an old-fashioned card or the store is using an older point-of-sale (POS) device then the slip produced will ask for your signature. In that case then yes, you should sign it. However if you’re using a newer “chip and PIN” card that doesn’t need the signature and the store uses a modern POS device then no, you don’t need to sign it. In fact you’ll often see on the slip that it says “no signature required” because your PIN is sufficient proof that your card has been used correctly and by the right person.

And the cellphone number? That’s entirely up to you. You have to ask yourself why the store wants the number? Personally I’m usually suspicious about it and normally refuse to give it to anyone. However I know other people who are happy to give their number because they’ve had good experiences with stores calling them to tell them that they were accidentally overcharged or that they left something in the store.

My suggestion would be to ask the teller why they want your number. If you like the explanation then give it to them, otherwise not. Remember it’s your choice. And your money.

Finally, I’m shocked that a store would have banned a customer just because they refused to do something they weren’t obliged to do. I’ll contact the store to get an explanation.

No comments: