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Fi­nan­cial trou­bleshooter Jes­sica Gorstwilliams is here to help you with your money prob­lems

The Sunday Telegraph - Money & Business - - Readers’ letters -

Visa ap­pli­ca­tion be­came a real saga

Ear­lier this year I ap­plied for a visa through a web­site that claimed that the pro­ce­dure would be done within two hours if all the in­for­ma­tion sub­mit­ted was accurate.

It did not ask me for any­thing fur­ther, so I as­sumed that all was in or­der. As I had not re­ceived my visa within this time frame I started a “live chat” on­line, dur­ing which I was told that my ap­pli­ca­tion was “in process”.

I im­me­di­ately asked to can­cel and for a re­fund of my £44.71 fee. I ap­plied di­rectly to the rel­e­vant coun­try’s au­thor­i­ties and ob­tained my visa within hours.

RA, EAST SUS­SEX

Then you re­ceived an email stat­ing that your ap­pli­ca­tion through the web­site had been re­jected be­cause a visa had al­ready been is­sued for the same pass­port num­ber.

This clearly in­di­cated that its ap­pli­ca­tion had not been made un­til af­ter you re­ceived your visa from the other source. You tried to have a charge­back done through the Saga Plat­inum credit card you had paid with. This failed and I spoke to Saga for you.

It spoke to Al­lied Ir­ish Bank (AIB), the bank that pro­vides the Saga credit card. I was told the mer­chant had dis­puted the charge­back, ar­gu­ing that its terms and con­di­tions did not al­low for re­funds for items can­celled by a card­holder.

Saga said: “Un­for­tu­nately, there is noth­ing more that AIB can do in a sit­u­a­tion such as this.”

In fact, my in­volve­ment had led to AIB re­fund­ing the £44.71 it­self, for good­will.

It is so easy to get en­tan­gled with third­party web­sites, dis­cov­ered through a search en­gine, which of­fer a ser­vice that would be bet­ter pro­vided through of­fi­cial chan­nels.

Other read­ers who have writ­ten to me af­ter be­ing caught out in this way in­clude those mak­ing a Land Reg­istry search, some­one ap­ply­ing for a pass­port and another seek­ing a driving li­cence. All would have been served bet­ter had they gone via the of­fi­cial gov.uk web­site.

Hol­i­day illness hit me in the pocket

Ear­lier this year my wife and I trav­elled to Madeira. While on hol­i­day I de­vel­oped pneu­mo­nia and the med­i­cal staff who cared for me rec­om­mended I go pri­vate.

On my re­turn I sub­mit­ted an in­sur­ance claim, which was re­jected on the grounds that “your GP in­di­cates that the med­i­cal con­di­tion was be­ing treated but you did not de­clare any past med­i­cal con­di­tion when pur­chas­ing your pol­icy”. I can­not see that I could de­clare med­i­ca­tion for a con­di­tion I was go­ing to get six months in the fu­ture.

Can you change the out­come for me?

TB, CAMBS

Dur­ing the emergency, your wife, a nurs­ing sec­re­tary and the hospi­tal’s head of ad­min­is­tra­tion all tried un­suc­cess­fully to con­tact the in­surer by phone.

This was an Al­lianz Global As­sis­tance UK pol­icy you had bought on­line. It in­cluded the words: “You and/or any­one else

A reader’s hol­i­day in Madeira ended up with a hospi­tal stay

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