Financial troubleshooter Jessica Gorstwilliams is here to help you with your money problems
Bill hike because I’m not online
I am 85 and joined First Utility in 2014.
I paid £66 a month by direct debit for gas and electricity and gave the firm my meter readings in the first week of each month.
When my contract ended late in 2016 I gave First Utility my readings and discussed the prices for my new contract. We agreed £70 per month.
Then, contrary to that arrangement, I was told that my direct debit would be for £78 per month.
I was told the £70 per month deal wouldn’t apply after all because I hadn’t carried out the change online - although I don’t think this was a problem in the past.
As a result, I decided to switch to another provider.
Then a bill came from First Utility for £22, when I believe it owed me £100.
I challenged this figure and was then told that I actually owed £411.
JM, WEST YORKS.
First Utility said: “After we offered him the cheapest deal, which at the time was a tariff only available online, we emailed a direct link to simplify the process.
“We are sorry that Mr M found it difficult to successfully switch his tariff online and we apologise for the undue stress he experienced during the process.”
Further to my involvement it turned out that First Utility had based the high bill on incorrect meter readings that had been submitted.
However, during the switching process, the new supplier provided correct final bills, which showed that £22 was owed. First Utility took this by direct debit.
First Utility said it is completely transparent about what tariffs there are, which is why you were directed to its website.
However, it should not go back on a deal you understood had been agreed. Its spokesman said: “We are very sorry for the confusion Mr M has experienced.
“We spent some time reviewing his account and listening to the phone calls he made to us before switching supplier.
“We can confirm that, to date, Mr M’s account is fully paid and he is not in debt with First Utility.
“We have apologised to Mr M for any undue stress we may have caused and sent him copies of his last few invoices to put his mind at rest about his payments.”
Despite this you went to the energy ombudsman which acknowledged First Utility’s actions and closed the complaint.
I’m doing my first online tax return
I will need to file my tax return online as I am a bit behind after doing a paper one for the 2016-17 tax year. Is it going to be an enormous chore?
For guidance on filing online see www.gov.uk/ log-in-file-self-assessmenttax-return.
You can register for self-assessment via this link. You can file a paper tax
Can M&S remove my review?
I recently ordered flowers from Marks & Spencer for a special occasion. On the day of the expected delivery I received an email saying the flowers were not going to be delivered (no reason given).
Multiple calls were made to M&S. Subsequently the order was accidentally cancelled by its call centre. Various managers failed to call me back and a replacement bunch was eventually delivered four days later.
I then received an automated request from M&S for an online review. I duly completed it in a factual and accurate way. To my surprise M&S has refused to publish it as it is “about the delivery experience” – not the product.
Surely when you are paying for flowers to be delivered both the “delivery experience” and “product” are relevant?
A reader faced a four-day delay after ordering flowers from M&S