ASK TONY: The thwarted pilgrimages left me praying for £ 1,500!

I booked two pilgrimages with Joe Walsh Tours to Medjugorje in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Padua [Padua] in Italy.

Both have been postponed from the original dates to 2021.

I made payments of £ 574 and £ 50 by check in December 2019. I paid the balance of £ 900 for the trip to Padua by bank transfer on January 31, 2020.

At the end of April, I learned from our parish organizer that Joe Walsh Tours was in liquidation.

Trails and tribulations: Reader lost £ 1,500 when tour operator she had booked pilgrimage trips with to Bosnia and Italy went into liquidation

My son filled out an online claim form with the liquidator and my daughter contacted Marks & Spencer Bank. I didn’t hear anything either.

My daughter and I have contacted M&S Bank several times since and felt we could make a complaint. Then I got a letter saying that since I was outside the 120 day limit, they wouldn’t do anything.

The £ 1,524 is a huge amount for me.

Television, Macclesfield, Cheshire.

Tony Hazell replies: Your letter – which details many failed attempts to obtain reimbursement from M&S Bank – is an object lesson about the dangers of paying by check or wire transfer.

You are essentially offering additional protections offered by using a debit or credit card.

With card payments, you can request a chargeback through your bank. This works for debit cards and also on a credit card if your purchase is less than £ 100.

For items costing over £ 100, the Consumer Credit Act is the law for credit card purchases.

You only have to pay part of your credit card for the entire purchase to be covered.

But when it comes to bank transfers and checks, you’re in the hands of the administrator or liquidator. Joe Walsh was based in the Republic of Ireland and is being treated there.

I’m surprised you don’t have travel insurance you could qualify for. You should always remove it when booking a vacation as it should cover cancellations and discounts (although read the fine print carefully in times of Covid).

However, M&S Bank (which, incidentally, no longer operates current accounts) admits that it has falsely raised your hopes.

A spokesperson said: “The customer was first informed that a dispute would be raised, when there was no chargeback right.”

He apologized and, best of all, refunded the full amount of £ 1,524 – a wonderful gesture of goodwill

Please use a debit or credit card on your next booking and purchase travel insurance.

Do you have something to say

ASK TONY: The thwarted pilgrimages left me praying that I could get £ 1,500 back!

Every week, Money Mail receives hundreds of your letters and emails regarding our stories. Here are some of your views on the growing number of aging mortgage holders:

If homeowners pay a reasonable level of contributions into a Sipp, then they should be able to afford a mortgage in retirement.

Having a mortgage can reduce inheritance taxes. Home loans are very cheap right now.

RE, Exeter.

I was lucky when I learned that my mortgage application had been accepted after my husband and I divorced. That meant I would pay it until I was 70. I would rather do it than rent.

KS, Dublin.

Considering the current state of affairs, I think we will all be working until at least 75 years old. Today’s high home prices mean that many of us need more time to pay off our mortgages.

BD, by e-mail.

This is worrying news, because not all of us will have a job or have the same level of pay at this point.

You could also be in poor health or face high bills for other things. It is certainly a concern.

PE, Croydon, London.

I don’t understand why people in their sixties still have mortgages. I am 55 years old and my first house was bought for £ 43,000 in the 1980s with a salary of around £ 9,000. House prices today can be between ten and 12 times a person’s income.

TP, Cheltenham.

As most young people will retire after 65, this is no longer a milestone.

I set my repayment date at 68, knowing that I would pay less up front and that my retirement capital would pay it off if I needed it.

LB, Chester.

Part of the problem is that many people in their late 50s and early 60s have been trapped in endowment mortgages and never thought about whether they would be able to pay off their home loans.

UP, Durham.

Can we exchange apartments with our neighbor?

We want to exchange apartments with a neighbor. Ours is a two bedroom apartment on the first floor and theirs is a one bedroom apartment on the ground floor.

There is no mortgage and both parties want a direct exchange. Could you advise me please?

EW, Bromley, SE London.

Tony Hazell replies: On the surface it sounds simple, but Sarah Dwight, a Birmingham-based lawyer and a member of the Law Society’s Assignment Law and Land Committee, says: “Just because it looks simple doesn’t mean it is.

“The parties may think they can just exchange properties, but all the same legal work has to be done as if they didn’t know each other and these were two ‘stand-alone’ transactions. They will both have to appoint their own lawyer.

If the properties are leasehold, they may have different terms, such as higher ground rent revisions, or have different terms.

There will also be invoices, including stamp duty for property tax.

At one point, if both properties were of the same value, you could have made a direct trade tax-free or only had to pay on the difference. Now you will both be taxed on the total value and it has to be a realistic estimate.

From October 1 it will be zero on the first £ 125,000, then 2% on anything from £ 125,000 to £ 250,000 and 5% on the next £ 675,000.

So if your apartments were worth £ 250,000 each, you would pay £ 2,500 each. Sorry!

To the point

It has been six months since I requested the transfer of my Shawbrook Bank Isa to Nationwide. What is taking so long?

PC, Stevenage, Hertfordshire.

The construction company called you because you forgot to include your sort code in the app.

You were told this would be emailed to his team Isa, but it was never picked up. A Nationwide spokesperson apologizes and says you won’t lose interest.

***

It took me many moons to complete enough YouGov polls to finally make £ 50. I applied, but the money never arrived.

JR, Uttoxeter, Staffordshire.

YouGov apologizes and says your payment was blocked for some reason, so it had to be processed manually. Additional reward points have been offered to you as compensation.

***

I have about £ 7,000 in debt which I am slowly paying off in fixed installments to three creditors.

I continue to receive Facebook messages, advertisements, and texts about a government program that will help drastically reduce debts of this size. Does this pattern exist?

BS, by e-mail.

These unsolicited steps and promotions are sounding the alarm.

Anyone struggling with money can get free, unbiased advice from a charity like StepChange by calling 0800 138 1111 or Citizens Advice on 0800 144 8848.

***

I paid £ 129 for a Randox Health PCR test, but it was delivered to the wrong address.

I ended up having to go to a clinic to get one, but Randox will not respond to my emails asking for a refund.

RL, Cheshire.

The courier seems to have been wrong, but your contract was with Randox. After making contact, he agreed to reimburse you.

HSBC will not pay the mothers group reimbursement

From 1991 to 2012, I volunteered to lead a mother-baby group, one morning a week, in a local health center.

Moms paid £ 1 each for drinks and cookies.

I opened an account with HSBC on behalf of the group in September 2009.

In November 2012, we had to close the group because the clinic was being renovated.

I closed the HSBC account and split the remaining balance of £ 305.68 between regular members and assistants.

On June 15 of this year, I received a letter to the group telling me that we had to reimburse ourselves.

I sent them the Identity Verification form, along with copies of a cleaning bill and my current bank statement.

They now say they are unable to pay the refund because “the bank account you requested the refund to does not meet our payment criteria. The account holder must be the person or entity that owes the refund. ‘

MB, Welwyn Garden City, Herts.

Tony Hazell replies: Sometimes the banking bureaucracy can make me want to tear my hair out strand by strand.

Banks need to take action to prevent financial crime, but we’re talking about £ 131 and you could prove your identity.

HSBC has apologized.

He says that when a group no longer exists, they must see the appropriate legal documents or clear evidence to confirm where to pay the funds.

The money comes from incorrect charges on the community’s current accounts between July 2005 and June 2020.

I hope you and the former members and assistants of the group take advantage of your windfall.

  • Write to [email protected] co.uk or Ask Tony, Money Mail, Northcliffe House, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5TT. Please include your phone number, address, and a note to the offending organization giving permission to speak to Tony Hazell. We regret that we cannot respond to individual letters. Please do not send original documents as we cannot take responsibility for them. No legal liability can be accepted by the Daily Mail for the answers given

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