Tony Hetherington is Financial Mail on Sunday's bait detective, fighting the corners of readers, revealing the truth behind closed doors and winning victories for those who have been left out. Read below how he can contact him.
P.F. writes: Last December my wife and I went to the Furniture Village office in Hull for two Rise & Recline chairs, each for £ 1,165.
We are both 75 and suffer from chronic arthritis. The sales manager said that we could get an exemption from VAT exemptions that saved us 20 percent, but we had to pay the VAT and get a refund.
Two weeks later the store told us that we had to wait 90 days for the refund. Then Furniture Village said that there was a change in the procedure and only refunded 10 percent.
Confusion: an e-mail from Furniture Village said that the seats were not eligible for VAT exemption
You have quite rightly said no to the reimbursement of 10%. Furniture Village then offered you £ 300 with the promise to pay the balance of the VAT refund if you could prove your rights.
You accepted the £ 300 on account and contacted the chair manufacturer Parker Knoll. It told you: & # 39; This seems very unusual, and not something we know retailers have had problems with before. & # 39;
The Parker Knoll brochure confirmed the zero valuation for the seats and the advice from Revenue & Customs supported this. In the meantime, Furniture Village remained confused.
An e-mail stated that the store in Hull had decided that the seats were not eligible for VAT exemption. But this was followed by another email that said exactly the opposite, while adding that you had to return the £ 300 before Furniture Village would give you £ 466 VAT back.
I asked the company what had gone wrong. Why can not it hand over the remaining £ 166? After his bad advice so far, it was easy to see why you would not like to hand over cash that you already had, in exchange for Furniture Village's promise to receive more money later.
When the company did not comment, I said last weekend that I would publish your complaint. Within a few hours you got a call from the Hull store, apologized and offered £ 250 on top of the £ 300, which you naturally wanted to accept.
You asked the caller if he heard anything from The Mail on Sunday, but he said he was only asked by his head office to investigate it. Then, at about 5 p.m. last Sunday, the same caller called again to say that he had just received an e-mail from me. He wanted you to tell me that the case was settled.
This was strange. I had not sent such an e-mail. But I got one from the store in Hull, who told me that you & # 39; agreed to not print this letter & # 39 ;.
Riddle: MP Stephen McPartland
Well, look at how that turned out. You asked me – very honestly – nothing of this kind, and said to me: "It has been a long time nine months for your intervention and I would like to thank you for your help."
I argued at Furniture Village for an explanation of the VAT errors, but all that was there was: & # 39; The Furniture Village Customer Service team apologizes for miscommunication. & # 39; The problem was solved and you were happy, it added.
I had hoped for more. I have contacted one of the directors of Furniture Village. His name is Stephen McPartland, conservative member of parliament for Stevenage.
He is also a former chairman of the All-Party Furniture Industry group in Westminster and former vice-chairman of the Disability group for all parties.
Believe it or not, he was also chairman of The Furniture Ombudsman, the organization that rules complaints against furniture companies, including Furniture Village. McPartland did not respond to repeated invitations to respond.
£ 475,000 binary options scammer has been jailed
The boss of a scam business with scams for binary options was imprisoned for four and a half years after he had fooled the victims to earn £ 475,000, which he had spent in upmarket hotels and first-class stores.
No scruples: Lee Denton has set up TB options
Lee Denton, 33, of Oxted in Surrey, founded TB Options Limited in August 2015.
He claimed that he would offer a profit of up to 20 per cent per month by investing investors on whether commodity prices would rise or fall within a specified period. But the truth was that no bets were placed, that Denton had not invested any money and that the online accounts of customers showed false profits to encourage them to invest more. In March 2016 I warned: & # 39; This is a scam with more holes than a Swiss cheese. & # 39;
Denton refused to tell me what experience he had with commodity trading, if there were any.
The terms and conditions of his company were also a legal mishmash, copied from the internet.
Detective Constable Rob Leete, of the Police Fraud Squad of City of London, said: "Denton did not dare to lie to these people and steal thousands of pounds from them, which for some might be their savings. Now they have not had anything. & # 39;
Now … I call that a mess
L.S. writes: I switched phone and internet provider from TalkTalk to Now TV, but a few weeks later I said that another provider was taking over.
I immediately denied denying such a conversion and they said the change had been canceled. But this morning my internet connection disappeared without warning.
Now maintains it had the switching instructions from another provider, but refuses to identify them. It gave me a number to call for details, but then my landline died.
Shambles: now maintains it had switching instructions from another provider
It is difficult to see how Now TV can take a switching request seriously. You just started a one-year contract with the company. After I asked the staff to investigate, they admitted that, despite their insurance, the transfer had not been canceled. Now we refused to mention the new provider that insisted that you were a customer.
Desperate to get things moving, you ordered telephone and internet services from BT, but only the order for a telephone line was activated. Your son, an IT expert, was able to set up a temporary internet link from your mobile, but this cost £ 100.
Meanwhile you and I went back to Now and this time the company moved quickly.
Your phone and internet connections have been restored and your account has been credited for £ 359. You will therefore not be charged monthly until it is all spent.
If you think you are a victim of financial misconduct, write to Tony Hetherington at Financial Mail, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5TS or email email@example.com. Due to the large number of questions no personal answers can be given. Please send only copies of original documents, which we unfortunately can not send back.