You’ve been sharing your stories of the everyday fees that really wind you up, from contract termination charges to the cost of updating your address…
Just when you think you’ve got your finances nicely under control, up pops a charge for something that you really don’t think should cost you anything. Naturally, some charges are to be expected and many of them are completely reasonable, but you’ve told us recently on Which? Conversation that there are plenty of fees out there that you don’t think make sense.
A charge crept up on Methvano right at the end of a house sale:
‘Just sold house (in Scotland) and solicitor of buyer deducted £19.20 fee for cost of his client’s money transfer on the sale day, to my account, on the final piece of documentation, which made the sale legally binding. Was I going to withdraw at this point because of this, would you? Daylight robbery!’
Pauline Seaman was not impressed with Saga:
‘We’ve just moved house and Saga charged us £45 fee to change our address on our car insurance. We will not renew with them!’
Excess waiver insurance on car hire can cost a lot more than it needs to, but Simon spotted one possible benefit:
‘If you don’t take out the hire car company’s excess insurance, they’ll usually want a hefty deposit on a credit card. It’s not so bad if they simply put a hold on the deposit amount, but on my two most recent hires, they took the deposit as an actual payment. This was for £1,800 in Iceland, and €950 in Spain. This means that when the refund eventually arrives, the exchange rate might have changed, and you can lose again (as it happened though, I gained £40 from the Iceland hire).’
Moving house, starting a new contract, ending an old one, upgrading to a ‘better offer’: all these situations can lead to headaches and cheeky fees. Joseph Cronshaw was talked into a deal that wasn’t quite what he bargained for:
‘I was coming to the end of my contract, and I checked with BT about the earliest date I could cancel, using the contact form. I got a call from them mid evening, going into how they might be able to help me overcome some of the reasons why I was considering leaving BT. After quite some time going back and forth with different offers, the person convinced me I was on the wrong plan, and came up with a new one that was much cheaper; it also included a mobile phone card for £10 per month. I accepted. Within two months, the bill had climbed back to where I was before, and I asked them to cancel the mobile phone. And then the big shock: I was locked into an 18-month contract and could not cancel the mobile phone even though they could see I had not used it, because I have a Pay as You Go phone that I have been using for years.’
Moving is stressful enough without having to worry about extra fees from your phone or internet provider, as Katie Bainbridge has experienced:
‘Moving house and having to start a contract from scratch with your provider or else be charged (depending on how much time left the contract has to run) a massive fee. If you rent, therefore have to move frequently, the chances are that the only way to get rid of the damned provider is to pay the huge fee, usually the remaining months in full, or leave the country! I’ve been stung by Talktalk because I could not transfer the line. I have a line I cannot afford to cancel all in one go and a service to pay for that I cannot use. Talktalk are holding me to the contract. Not a nice experience…’
Swapping between providers can throw up a few pricey surprises too, as Peter from Carshalton explains:
‘Some years ago I changed from BT to Virgin for my TV, broadband and phone. I have always had a BT Internet.com email address. Unbeknown to me they started charging £1.60 a month for the privilege some time ago, but have now upped it to £5 a month. BT never bothered to contact me about the £1.60 a month charge. To change my email address after all this time would be real pain in the backside—so now I am lumbered with paying £60 a year for having a BT address.’
What’s the most recent surprising fee that you’ve encountered?