Your consumer queries answered
CONOR POPEanswers readers' queries
Cereal killer for hubby who did the shopping at Tesco
Catherina has been in touch about the price of wheat biscuits in Tesco. She took our advice before Christmas and changed from Weetabix to an own-brand option from the retail giant. When they made the switch, the Tesco option cost €3.09. Last week her husband did the weekly shop “and to our amazement the cost has risen to €4.59, a whopping increase of €1.50”. She wants to know what is behind the increase.
We contacted Tesco and were told the higher price was as a result of human error. A spokesman said it would be corrected over the weekend.
What's with our drug prices?
While visiting Tenerife recently, Teresa checked the price of her prescription medicine.
In Dublin the drug Eltroxin costs €14.69 for a month’s supply.
“What a surprise to purchase three months’ supply for €4.25.Why are we being ripped off here?”
Why indeed? Have you come across any drug-price differentials you’d like us to highlight? Please get in touch.
Can you be charged for paying a bill?
Bernie is one of a number of readers who has been in touch about UPC’s billing service. She has a phone, internet and TV bundle for €66 a month. She pays her bills as they come in.
“My most recent bill came in at €72.29”, which she says “is €6.29 higher than my standard agreed bill. When I went through it I discovered a ‘Payment Administration Fee’ of €3.75.”
This was confusing as her bill had been paid in full.
“I phoned the customer helpline and after a nine- minute wait I got to speak with an adviser. I was told this charge was for the bill. I kid you not, I am actually being charged to pay my bill.”
She was told it was because she did not have a direct debit set up with UPC. She was told she could do this at any time. “However, as I have had numerous problems with UPC billing, resulting in me having to query my bill almost on a monthly basis, I am reluctant to do this.
“A company that overcharges on the majority of my bills should understand why I might be reticent to give them direct access to my bank account. However, I am appalled that if I don’t, I will continue to incur a monthly fee of almost €4.”
Another reader, Freda, is on long-term sick leave and on a social-welfare payment. “I pay my UPC account online and I’ve never had arrears or outstanding payment. My latest bill has an ‘other charge’ of €3.75 and it’s called an administration fee.”