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The Sunday Telegraph - Money & Business - - Readers’ Letters - HH, DORSET

Has Aviva let me down?

On my demise I was ex­pect­ing my ex­ecu­tor to have £27,000 with which to pay my fu­neral ex­penses. Now the pol­icy I was bank­ing on is not pay­ing out any­thing – ap­par­ently be­cause Aviva has not taken over Friends Life’s li­a­bil­i­ties, al­though it has ac­quired its as­sets.

Hav­ing spo­ken to a so­lic­i­tor friend, he seems to think that Aviva is be­ing very high-handed. What do you think?


Aviva ac­quired Friends Life in April 2015 and now man­ages all Friends Life poli­cies. It has taken all the li­a­bil­i­ties on for­mer Friends Life poli­cies.

I can­not agree ei­ther with the so­lic­i­tor’s ob­ser­va­tion.

This was a Friends Life Max­i­mum Pro­tec­tion plan, which be­gan in 1990 with a guar­an­teed death ben­e­fit.

Your monthly pre­mi­ums were £72.51, di­vided up be­tween the death ben­e­fit and the in­vest­ment el­e­ment, which was in a with-prof­its fund.

You faxed Friends Life in 2004 say­ing you had in­structed your bank to can­cel the di­rect debit but wanted the cover to re­main in force for the time be­ing. The death ben­e­fit was main­tained, with the pre­mi­ums com­ing out of the sur­ren­der value un­til it re­duced to nil in Septem­ber 2017. Then it lapsed with no value.

Re­cently you asked for the pol­icy to be re­in­stated, but the in­surer could only have done this up to 13 months af­ter the last pre­mium was re­ceived. This, of course, had been years ago by then.

Aviva em­pha­sises that you had death ben­e­fit cover for many years af­ter you stopped pay­ing pre­mi­ums.

Paypal won’t help my garden glow

I bought two “light movers” on ebay and paid £240 via Paypal five months ago. The light movers are used to move “grow lights” back and forth along 6ft 7in rails so that the lights cover larger ar­eas in a green­house.

About two months af­ter re­ceipt, one of them failed. Now the motor runs but only in one di­rec­tion, mak­ing it use­less.

I ex­changed mes­sages with the ven­dor via ebay, but he did not seem to un­der­stand and kept say­ing things like “plug it in again”. Even­tu­ally he stopped an­swer­ing.

The auc­tion site would not help, say­ing it was out­side its money back guar­an­tee pe­riod and I should try Paypal. I did, but it won’t help be­cause I ad­mit­ted that the items worked when they ar­rived with me. Paypal told me: “Paypal Buyer Pro­tec­tion en­ables our cus­tomers to claim a refund if their pur­chase does not ar­rive or match its prod­uct de­scrip­tion. If a pur­chase is faulty on ar­rival, then Buyer Pro­tec­tion can cover you.”

It re­it­er­ated that, as the pur­chase had been in per­fect work­ing or­der on ar­rival and de­vel­oped a fault only af­ter­wards, you should seek a refund or re­place­ment un­der the prod­uct war­ranty from the seller or from the

Why are my meter read­ings ig­nored?

I moved to Econ­omy En­ergy hav­ing given my pre­vi­ous sup­plier cor­rect read­ings. When I got into my new ac­count on­line I re­alised the open­ing fig­ures men­tioned were un­der­es­ti­mated. There was a dif­fer­ence of 51 units for the low read­ing and 65 units for the high one.

I con­tacted Econ­omy En­ergy to point this out. Noth­ing hap­pened. I emailed to no avail. I sent a meter read­ing ev­ery month and even­tu­ally two bills ap­peared two weeks apart. These were es­ti­mated de­spite my hav­ing given the read­ings. Was it try­ing to build up a re­serve on my ac­count, I won­dered? AB, HERTS

You phoned and were promised an amend­ment. Then you re­ceived a bill with the clos­ing fig­ure which you agreed with but with the open­ing fig­ures

Buy­ing green­house equip­ment on­line left one reader in the dark

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