THE Consumer Crew is here to solve your problems.
Mel Hunter will take care of readers’ consumer issues, Jane Hamilton will give you top tips for buying your dream home, and Judge Rinder will tackle your legal issues.
Jane Hamilton, real estate expert
Tik here for a free refurbishment
BECOMING an interiors influencer is an increasingly popular way to fund your home renovations.
Thousands of homeowners have received items ranging from paint to kitchen remodels to sunrooms from companies eager to advertise their products online.
Today, a new study from the Roofing Megastore reveals how many subscribers you would need to fund your DIY projects.
Managing Director Gian-Carlo Grossi said: “Clearly there is real money to be made with enough followers, and it is possible to recoup the cost of smaller projects such as the painting and tiling with only a few thousand followers.”
COMPLETE RENOVATION OF THE HOUSE
- Average cost of £70,000
- Instagram Followers Required: 1,404,000
- TikTok views required: 3,052,173,913
- YouTube Views Required: 12,208,696
- Average cost of £11,500
- Instagram followers: 230,000
- TikTok views: 500,000,000
- YouTube views: 2,000,000
NEW FRONT DOOR
- Average cost £435
- Instagram followers: 8,700
- TikTok views: 18,913,043
- YouTube views: 75,652
FOLDING DOORS TO THE GARDEN
- Average cost £5,500
- Instagram followers: 111,000
- TikTok views: 241,304,348
- YouTube views: 965,217
- Average cost £875
- Instagram followers: 17,500
- TikTok views: 38,043,478
- YouTube views: 152,174
More at roofingmegastore.co.uk/tiktok-renovations
Purchase of the week
SEA what everyone is talking about. Rhos-on-Sea in North Wales tops the list of buyer search hotspots, with online interest in the town up 858% on last year.
Buy this two-bed beachfront apartment for £315,000 at rightmove.co.uk/properties/110704070.
The PROPERTY MoveStreets portal has become the first UK player to move into the Metaverse.
He has reclaimed his own digital plot in The Sandbox, where plots sell for over £580,000.
Neighbors include Atari and Adidas. General Manager Adam Kamani said, “This experience should be much more immersive than anything currently available and should take the concept of virtual viewings to a new level.”
Offer of the week
Organize your home with a stylish key hook. It will lift any hallway and costs just £6 on tofs.com.
SAVE: £4 on similar styles elsewhere
Judge Rinder, legal expert
“Hospital staff discovered that I had severe
state of health during the operation on the leg but failure
to tell me. Can I ask the doctors?
Q) TWO years ago I had a lower leg amputation. It was a planned operation and as far as I am concerned the operation went well. I was in the hospital for ten days under surveillance.
Then last July I was due for surgery again, but it appeared on notes sent by the physio from the hospital where I had my first surgery that I had sleep apnea.
It was a shock to me and I stopped all further surgery until it was treated. I now have to wear a mask connected to a machine to sleep.
My concern is why no one told me about this sleep issue while I was in the hospital and why no one followed up.
Can I file a complaint against the surgeon and the anesthetist for not informing me of this condition? It really upset me.
A) The fact that the medical team who performed your first operation did not inform you that you suffered from a life-threatening illness caused you great distress.
The legal issue in this case, however, is that although your doctors failed to disclose that you have sleep apnea, a court would have to be persuaded that the lack of treatment you received significantly aggravated that condition or that you suffered any other injury (including severe anxiety) as a result.
There are a number of excellent firms that can give you quick and free legal advice on whether you may have a claim.
Although I think it’s long, I will contact one of these lawyers as soon as possible.
Q) I bought a dress for my sister’s wedding for £175, and when it arrived it looked fine. However, on the morning of the wedding, it wouldn’t close because the zipper was faulty. I was horrified.
I had to rush home to find something else to wear, almost missing the wedding.
I returned the dress to the merchant who refused a refund and sent a replacement. I contacted the company again and told them I didn’t want a replacement, I wanted a refund as it was not fit for purpose. The company did not respond to my email.
I sent the replacement back and contacted my credit card company. The credit card company demanded a refund of the funds from the merchant who refused on the grounds that the garment was worn and the tags removed.
The credit card company now says there is nothing more they can do. Am I not entitled to a refund – and how will I get it?
A) You need to look carefully at the terms and conditions of the clothing website you purchased this dress from (they sometimes have strict rules about refunds once the tags are removed).
Whatever their conditions, it is clear that the zip was faulty. Following this, you should be entitled to a full refund.
The tricky issue here may be proving the zipper broke as a result of a pre-existing flaw in the dress rather than damaging it after putting it on.
Write back to the seller’s customer service manager and make it clear that you are perfectly willing to take this matter to small claims court and let others know of their inability to reimburse you.
I will write to your card company at the same time. Be as tough as possible. You are not legally obliged to pay for damaged goods.
loser of the cruise
Q) IN November, I purchased a travel insurance policy for a cruise we were to take in February. The policy cost £75.99 and only covered the cruise.
But the cruise line canceled the trip and refunded the cost.
I phoned the insurance company asking them to cancel the policy and refund me the £75.99 I had paid. But since I had exceeded the 14-day reflection period, I was not entitled to a refund. Is it correct?
A) I am afraid it is highly unlikely that you will be entitled to a refund. Take another look at the terms and conditions of the policy.
While most policies (like yours) give customers a 14-day free cancellation option (or cooling-off period), after those two weeks they don’t give you the legal right to cancel and get a refund unless, for example, there was an element of fraud, which is certainly not the case here.
Readers’ Champion Mel Hunter
Un-Thai my ticket tangle
Q) IN March 2020, I had British Airways flights canceled from Thailand to Edinburgh. I had to book another flight, returning home the day the lockdown was imposed, which cost me over £300.
After many back and forths between the agent and BA, I am not making any further progress in my reimbursement request.
A) You waited a very long time to get your refund. BA confirmed to me that you should be refunded, but as you booked through a third party, Travel Up, I needed to follow up.
So I contacted the online agent. He raised his hand, admitting the refund should have happened by now, and promised to sort things out within days.
It took another three weeks, and a few more nudges from me, until he finally paid £177 into your bank account. However, you estimated this to be less than the amount this return leg of the flight would have cost you.
Pursuing this, Travel Up told me it had incurred a £50 administration charge – which was quite rich, I replied, considering you had waited over 18 months to get your money back.
Eventually, another £50 landed in your account, as a sign of goodwill.
From the start, I think BA had a duty to get you home, but times were confusing, and with no initial contact from BA or Travel Up, you had to take matters into your own hands.
Almost two years later, I’m glad I helped bring things to a close.
Q) I PAID for a Currys fridge freezer with estimated delivery a few weeks later. It arrived a week late and was damaged so I told the driver I expected a replacement.
I was told it would be delivered in seven days, but on this occasion the driver said it was damaged again and would arrange another delivery.
The store told me it would arrive the next day. This was not the case. When I finally got it back two days later, it was damaged again. I told the driver that I wouldn’t accept it.
She offered 15% off but I declined as I wanted the undamaged goods I had paid for.
The store contacted Currys head office, but five weeks later I heard nothing.
A) I always urge readers not to settle for less than they paid for.
Currys told me he was actually offering ten percent off your device – the third damaged one he attempted to deliver.
The retailer agreed that you rejected it and then it did not come back to you. Currys has apologised, offering £100, consisting of a 20 per cent discount and a goodwill gesture, for you to keep the device. You have accepted.
A spokesperson told me: “We are very sorry for the problems Mr. Barber has had and for the lack of communication.”