I bought an iPhone 6 on eBay for £200 plus £5 postage. The seller sent the phone to me straight away via Royal Mail's 'signed for' service. On the day it was apparently delivered I was out.

ASK TONY: iPhone delivery was signed for but never arrived

I bought an iPhone 6 on eBay for £200 plus £5 postage. The seller sent the phone to me straight away via Royal Mail’s ‘signed for’ service.

Unfortunately, on the day it was apparently delivered, my husband and I were both out. When I got home I saw online that the parcel had been delivered and signed for.

I checked with my neighbours and looked for the parcel to no avail. Royal Mail spoke to the driver who apparently said that he had left it in my mailbox.

My address is in a small hamlet and is notoriously difficult to find. Numerous parcels from couriers have gone missing or ended up at the wrong address.

The sender provided proof of posting. I contacted the police who just issued a crime number.

Eventually I used the chargeback scheme with my bank to recover the £205. But now the sender, with whom I am in touch, is furious.

K. R., Cambridgeshire.

Missing mobile: One reader was forced to recover £205 through her banks chargeback scheme after the iPhone she ordered from Ebay failed to arrive

Missing mobile: One reader was forced to recover £205 through her banks chargeback scheme after the iPhone she ordered from Ebay failed to arrive

This is very mysterious. Every party is adamant they’ve behaved honestly, yet the iPhone you ordered is not in your hands and the seller is £205 out of pocket.

I spoke to Royal Mail which conducted a thorough investigation. They are convinced everything is above board on their side. They spoke to the postman, a long-serving employee, and still cannot get to the bottom of it.

So in the spirit of seasonal goodwill they will be paying £155 to the person who sold you the iPhone in addition to the £50 already paid.

HOW THIS IS MONEY CAN HELP

This will refund him for the chargeback you made — and effectively means he has been paid for the phone he sold you.

But this does give me a chance to give a timely pre-Christmas reminder to make sure that when sending presents you pay the correct postage, use the appropriate postal service and make sure your parcel is insured.

In the case of the person who sent your phone, they correctly opted for ‘signed for’ delivery but only paid for £50 of insurance. So when the parcel went missing this was all they got.

A Royal Mail spokesman says: ‘In a case like this where customers are sending high-value items, we would urge them to choose the right service with the right cover.’

YOU HAVE YOUR SAY

Every week Money Mail receives hundreds of your letters and emails. Here’s what you had to say when we revealed saving has fallen to a record low…

There is little point in having cash in the bank. They have your money and use it to make more money for themselves but do not give you anything back.

S.P., Norwich.

Savers have borne the brunt of the recession. A lot of older people have seen their savings eaten away while people with mortgages have been laughing.

J.D., London.

At last the savers have cottoned on to the new banking scam of keeping interest rates low. Banks deserve all that’s coming to them.

J.B., Essex.

I’m doing better with Premium Bonds than I can hope to with my savings account.

B.R., Bristol.

The cost of housing is the main problem for many — how can you save a deposit for a house when the cost of renting is so astronomically high?

L.Z., Bristol.

Savers have been thrown on the heap. If you manage to save anything, the interest rates are so pathetic that there is no fear of being taxed on the interest.

D.M., Shropshire.

I think that once banks start to pay a meaningful interest rate, people will save.

S.D., Sunderland.

I don’t understand why people think saving is pointless due to low interest rates. I appreciate that you’re not earning off it, but you’re still putting aside money that you may need for an emergency or a big purchase.

D.S., Winchester.

I have seen too many of my mother’s generation scrimp and save and live like misers. It was like an obsession not to spend money on anything at all — even the basics, such as eating healthy food.

Saving is good as long as it is not at the expense of living and enjoying the one life that we have.

C.Y., Kent.

Our satellite box wasn’t working, so I called Sky and was quoted £115 to install two new Sky Q boxes on September 13.

I waited in while my wife attended a hospital appointment but no one turned up.

I ‘threw my rattle away’, as my wife would call it, and cancelled the account. I received two emails saying they would refund £20 and £54 but no mention of the £115 we paid for installation. I have now spent a small fortune calling Sky and would like my £115 back.

G. W., Peterborough.

Sky’s response when you complained left you steaming.

broadband

You say the person who called you was ‘quite rude’, had ‘no empathy or understanding of why we felt the need to complain’ and started by asking: ‘Why have you written to the Daily Mail?’

To which the answer should be obvious: Because you felt you were getting nowhere with Sky. Here’s the sequence of events. You ordered the Sky Q and thought September 13 had been agreed. In fact, Sky’s operative said they’d call to confirm.

They neither called nor turned up. Your rattle went flying, you cancelled and were offered your £115 back plus a £20 goodwill gesture.

However, the money you owed for the month was deducted from the £115 resulting in £54.30 being paid plus the £20. You then ordered Sky Q at a retail stand for £70 under a special offer.

Separately, Sky offered you a further £70 goodwill gesture.

You said you would think about it and asked for a statement of the account.

Now this statement sent my eyes spinning and Sky admits it ‘shows a lot of transactions’ which ‘relate to our internal processes’. Apparently this is not the sort of bill normally given to customers and was only sent because you requested more details.

You’ve so far refused the £70 but I think you should accept it, move on and keep your rattle primed for other issues.

STRAIGHT TO THE POINT

My energy account with First Utility is £100 in credit. For four months I’ve tried to get a refund to no avail. What next?

R. B., Bristol.

You resorted to stopping your direct debit until the money was repaid. I wouldn’t recommend this as it can make matters worse — but everything is finally sorted.

You are no longer in as much credit and First Utility has sent you £30 as an apology.

***

I recently received a vague letter asking me to visit a Barclays branch and take proof of identity with me.

When I called to ask about it and explain I’m no longer a Barclays customer, I was told to ignore it. Should I follow up again?

V. B., London.

You must be glad you did call again. It turns out Barclays had been trying to find you because it owes you compensation.

A few years back the bank discovered it had sent thousands of personal loan customers statements that did not comply with the Consumer Credit Act.

Because of these errors, Barclays had to repay any interest charged over that period. As you’d moved home since repaying your loan, it hadn’t been able to reach you.

The letter was vague to ensure that if it fell into the wrong hands someone else didn’t try to fraudulently claim the money.

***

Norton emailed to say my computer virus software was due to expire and would be automatically renewed if I did nothing.

But it took the money a month before the expiry date, giving me no time to shop around for an alternative.

I was also charged £59 when it advertises the same deal for new customers at £24.

R.M., London.

Norton says it told you when it would take the money in the small print of the email.

It adds that it takes the money a month before the renewal date so that there is no gap in your cover should there be a problem with the payment.

However, it has refunded you the £35 difference between its renewal price and new customer offer.

***

I received a voicemail from a Lisa Williamson claiming to work for HMRC. She said I should call back on 2031 296 283, or I’d incur high costs.

I phoned but didn’t get an answer. Should I be worried?

F. P., Grimsby.

HMRC confirmed this call was from a scammer. It says if you cannot verify the identity of a caller, do not speak to them.

Two years ago I was riding my motorcycle along the South Circular in London when a car nudged the rear of my bike.

We both pulled over. There was no damage to my bike but there was a hole in the front of the car which looked odd to me. We exchanged details and I informed my insurance company, Zenith, and the police.

Zenith informed me that the other party’s insurance was looking to issue proceedings as I have always claimed no responsibility for the incident.

Zenith arranged for an engineer to inspect my bike and take photos, which I have. I have lost my no claims bonus and I am fairly sure what happened was a scam.

R. L., London.

I took your case to Markerstudy Group, which owns Zenith, but it would not budge.

It says that although it sympathises with cases like yours, they are very difficult to prove in terms of liability.

Steve Cross, head of claims, says: ‘We feel the 50/50 decision is appropriate to the evidence of the case.’ He also says its ‘thorough investigations’ did not support your description of events and it does not feel the claim is related to fraud.

However, it does appreciate it could have done more to keep you abreast of its findings and would therefore like to offer £100 as an apology.

You can, of course, take your case to the Financial Ombudsman. The numbers are 0800 023 4567 or 0300 1239 123.

EDITOR’S DEALS OF THE WEEK
For current account rewards and interest conditions may apply eg. using provider’s full switching service, min deposits and direct debits. For savings, access maybe limited, min/max deposits may apply. See T&Cs. Representative example: If you spend £1,200 at a purchase interest rate of 18.95% p.a. (variable) your representative rate will be 18.9% APR (variable).

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