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Four Things you Should Never Pay For

Long Distance Phone Calls

As long as you have broadband you can download free Skype software from the internet. You can then talk to (and see) anyone, anywhere,entirely free as long as they also have the same internet connection entirely. There is no need to pay have heavy international call rates ever again.

Eye Tests

Tesco are now offering free eye tests for everyone at all stores with optician services. So no need to pay £20 at the local optician.

Directory Enquiries

Since BT lost the monopoly for directory enquiries the average cost of finding a number is a whopping £1.00 or even £2.00 from mobiles. Simply use the internet which has exactly the same information for free

Health Care On Holiday

Apply for a free European Health Insurance Card which allows you no cost health care in the majority of European countries that have similar health services to the UK. You will be entitled to discounts in those European countries where you are required to pay. Go to www.ehic.org.uk for full information or call 0845 605070.

Packaged Bank Accounts 

I've just been reading a story in the national press about these packaged bank accounts - 'A customer has accused his bank of mis-selling after his mobile phone insurance failed to cover him for the loss of his £460 iPhone and his travel insurance did not provide the level of protection promised by the salesman.'
 
Fact is, these packaged bank accounts are just the latest way the banks have of making money - they charge the customers at one end and rake-off commissions from those who provide the various services (phone, travel insurance etc) within the package.
 
If you're offered one, at least do a cost comparison, read the small print and realise that what you are being offered is almost certainly overpriced (because it's loaded with extra commission) and probably unnecessary (as you may have other policies in place, such as home insurance, that cover you anyway).
              

Landlord Scams Alert

 

Housing charity Shelter reveal that more than one million people have been ripped off by landlord scams over the past few years. If you or your loved ones rent, be aware of the main scams...
 
Let and Run: Where con artists break into empty properties and then rent them out as their own and unsuspecting tenants hand over large sums of money as a deposit and rent, at which point the con artists disappear.
 
Duped into debt: Where extortionate amounts of money are taken for hidden costs without the tenant knowing e.g. fees for a tenancy inspection which they then ‘conveniently’ forget to inform tenants of, immediately putting people in arrears.
 
Receipt Rip Off: A con artist will ask for money to be wired as a sign of good faith that a tenant is committed to letting a property. The landlord will ask that funds are wired to the tenant’s friend or relative to demonstrate that they can afford the property. They ask for proof of receipt and then withdraw the funds using the transfer details.
 
No need for a Deposit: Rather than asking for a deposit, the landlord will request tenants to provide guarantors. At the end of their tenancy these guarantors can become liable for unnecessary and extremely costly ‘repairs’.
 
Unprotected Deposits: Although a legal requirement, some rogue landlords still avoid putting tenant’s deposits in a tenancy deposit scheme, withholding it at the end for unfair reasons.
 
I've got to say that these scams are carried out when tenants go direct to landlords advertising in shop windows etc. The easiest way to avoid them is to go via a reputable letting agent belonging to a body such as The Association of Residential Letting Agents, www.arla.co.uk

Gold Investing

 
We've been tipping gold as a great investment for some time now and are pleased to see it's just reached an all-time high of $1,274.30 an ounce. And we're still tipping it! Why? Because there are still plenty of scares to come that will drive more and more people into gold and that will keep pushing up the price.
 
You may have noticed that currencies are all doing relatively poorly these days. They may rise and fall against each other. But as a basket case - an appropriate phrase - they are all struggling. Then there's Greece and its debts...talk of more printing of currencies...rumours of the collapse of the euro. It's all bad news - but good news for gold.


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