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Price change a bitter pill

A reader from Dublin recently had to fill two identical prescriptions in the same week for a three-day course of antibiotics.

“The first one was supplied by a pharmacy in Bray town at a cost of €19.50,” she writes.

Three days later at a pharmacy less than five miles away, the reader was charged €27.09 for an identical packet of six capsules, made by the same pharmaceutical company, “a premium of 39 per cent over the price in Bray”.

She points out that unlike grocery shopping, “most people do not shop around and compare prices of prescribed medication.

“Is that why Irish pharmacies can charge private patients whatever they think they can get away with?

“The same prescription would cost me £7.65 across the Border.”

Insurance upgrade did not come with iPhone upgrade

In June 2010, Kate Meagher bought her first iPhone from the Carphone Warehouse and signed up for insurance from what is now called Lifeline, New Technology Insurance. She pays €13.75 a month.

“On November 21st, 2011, I received a call from Vodafone telling me I was eligible for an upgrade to an iPhone 4S, which I accepted,” she writes. “She asked me what colour I would like and I am sure she never asked me about phone insurance. My new phone arrived by post from Vodafone and I con- tinued paying the insurance, presuming it was updated.”

Last week her daughter dropped the iPhone 4S on the kitchen tiles and smashed the screen. “I didn’t panic as I knew I had insurance and everything was backed up,” she says. “I called my local phone shop yesterday and the staff member reassured me I had insurance. I brought the phone to the Carphone Warehouse shop and filled out the claim form. The staff member, James, was very helpful . . .

“He said that there were two ‘layers’ on the screen and because in this case both were damaged, more than likely the phone would need to be replaced. I paid James a €35 deposit for a very basic phone which was to last me seven-12 days until my replacement phone arrived.”

Then James phoned asking where she got her iPhone 4S as it was not the phone named on the insurance (it still had the iPhone 3GS insured) and they could not do anything for her.

“I called Vodafone and when I eventually got through . . . I was told the insurance was not with Vodafone so they would do nothing. I asked him to listen to the sales call they made to me in November 2011 and questioned why they never asked me about the insurance.

“He advised to bring it to a Vodafone shop and get a cost to repair it but ‘it would probably be very expensive as it’s over the 12-month warranty too, sorry’.”

She would like to know who is at fault here. “Am I stupid to think Vodafone and Carphone Warehouse should have updated the files at the time of the upgrade?”

'Aghast' at Dunnes collection decision

Anne Barrett has contacted the paper to express her “surprise and disappointment” at a recent decision by Dunnes Stores to ban animal welfare charities from collecting in or outside their stores.

She says that “in times of recession such as these, where the exchequer is overstretched, fundraising such as this is vital to fund welfare organisations” and she is “aghast at that decision”.

She says large supermarket chains who profit by selling pet products and meat and animal products should have some commitment towards animal welfare.

“I have written to Dunnes but have had no reply,” she adds, “and I believe they haven’t responded to organisations who have asked for an explanation.

“It seems to be a very mean-spirited ban which will make life difficult for the many good people who give of their time, often unpaid, to help alleviate the plight of suffering animals.”

She describes the collection ban as “a huge blow” to their morale “at a time when animal neglect and cruelty is on the rise”.

Anne has appealed to Dunnes Stores to reverse this decision.

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