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  • Beware ongoing online payment commitments.

    Mon 12th June 2017

    Lesson learnt from companies whose T&C  only offer ongoing payment  commitments:

    A few years ago I signed up for LOGMEIN, which is a software programme that enables you or a nominated person access to your computer, at a cost of some 60US Dollars, although having only used it on one occasion at the time it was needed for a computer fix I’d unfortunately  forgotten about having set it up altogther. What went unnoticed was that each year a charge is made to your credit card without any warning  each year. Unlike your utility provider, household insurance and the likes of pet insurance, whereby the provider informs you of the amount and due date of the charge in good time, LOGMEIN simply carry on charging regardless.

    The last sum charged was 299 US Dollars which I only recently discovered, and  was simply kicking myself for not having noticed previous charged entries.

    What became apparent is that I ticked their T&C box that allowed LOGMEIN to charge annually and that the fine print allowed them also to charge whatever fee rates applied in the future without stating a figure. According to the T&C you can only cancel by phone or email, so you are dependent upon the company being honourable to ensure the account is not charged again.

    After it was brought to the companies attention that the service was only used the once in the first year, they kindly credited the last payment of 299 US Dollars, but not the previous 2 payments that had gone unnoticed.

    I then took this up with my Natwest credit card provider, who informed me that they get a huge amount of complaints from their clients complaining about this type of ongoing fee commitment, not just because of my loss and stupidity but also because others may be unaware of this bad practice generally.

    Natwest advised they could do nothing about it with the company concerned, although very kindly credited me in full for the previous payments and also for the difference in exchange rate on the last charge.

    I enquired to Natwest if this practice can be outlawed by credit card providers, simply as it appears to me unreasonable & unfair that such practices are employed by some companies, but this suggestion did not gather any traction.

    I do think it is incumbent upon all companies to inform their client/customer that a charge is going to be made in advance and each year, in order the client/customer is given the opportunity to be aware of the cost and to cancel the service if they wish to.

    To reinforce this there should, in my opinion, be a credit card regulation that ensures proof of a client having accepted any new higher charge on an annual basis, in the event of a dispute.

    I was lucky in this case and am now aware more so of such ongoing commitments for online services made.

    Posted by Bruce Gibson

  • EU mobile phone roaming charges dropped

    Thu 08th June 2017

    Free mobile Roaming charges have been a long time in coming about, but thanks to EU rules on roaming charges it has finally come about and starts on the 15th June 2017, whereupon all roaming mobile phone charges will cease when you travel to Spain, or other EEC countries.

    However, it is being pointed out by moneysavingexpert   that if your deal with your provider is a very low tariff one then you could still be affected if you go over certain usage levels, so it’s therefore important to check before you travel what your limits are, if any.

    Also, do note that if you are traveling to the Pyrenees in Andorra then roaming charges will continue to apply. If you’re perhaps taking a beautiful scenic detour to Spain via andorra for a short period of time then it probably hardly matters, but if you intend staying a few weeks then you can consider getting a Sim card to put into your phone: available from the local telephone provider in Andorra la Vella itself, for which the cost is around 15 Euros.

    Useful details for driving down to Spain and approx costs can be found here at driving down

    Posted by Bruce Gibson

  • Car Hire Scam Continues The Guardian reporting.

    Wed 11th January 2017

    Unwitting holidaymakers that rent a car anywhere in the world are still getting caught out with extra charges demanded at airport destination car hire offices - details

    We have reported this numerous times and show on our website some examples under car hire, but clearly we need to repeat the media coverage in case it is not seen.

    Check this out if going to Alicante for a longstanding family local car hire firm that includes all charges including fully comprehensive insurance at our car hire page

    Posted by Bruce Gibson

  • Fairer exchange rates – for everyone

    Wed 23rd November 2016

    Worldpay has announced a new currency card that is worth checking out - details

    Posted by Bruce Gibson

  • Blue flag beaches on the Costa Blanca

    Mon 09th May 2016

    ONCE again, Spain has become world leader in the number of blue-flag beaches now that the awards have been officially handed out – the prestigious emblem will fly from 586 beaches and 100 yacht marinas in the country this year.

    Turkey, Greece, France and Portugal follow Spain, in that order.

    This year, nine extra beaches were awarded the kitemark which denotes superior quality, cleanliness, safety, accessibility for the disabled, and facilities, and which explains why millions of visitors from colder countries return to Spain again for their summer breaks.

    The Comunidad Valenciana came out top for blue-flag beaches, with 125 gaining the coveted award, followed by Galicia with 123, Catalunya with 98 and Andalucía with 76.

    Murcia got 40 and the Balearics and Canaries 45 each.

    Catalunya saw the greatest improvement on last year, with nine new flags, followed by Valencia with five, and Murcia, Asturias, the Basque Country, the Canary Islands and the Spanish-owned city-province of Melilla on the northern Moroccan coast gaining one new flag apiece.

    The Balearic Islands is the region which lost the most kitemarks this year – the towns of Son Sant Josep de Sa Talaia and Sant Joan de la Labritja lost all their blue flags, a total of 11 between them – whilst Galicia lost eight and Andalucía, two.

    Barcelona has doubled its flag number – whilst the Llevant beach has lost its kitemark, but Nova Icària, Barceloneta, Somorrostro and San Sebastià i Sant Miquel have gained new ones whilst Nova Mar Bella and Bogatell have kept theirs from the previous year.


    Posted by Bruce Gibson

  • Travellers' Top Tips to Pack Smart

    Mon 09th May 2016

    • Pack light to travel light. If you can manage with a carry-on, do it. Try taking half of the things you need and twice the money. You can make buying a few new items a fun part of the adventure.
    • Pack a sleep mask and ear plugs. These can come in handy on a plane, train or in your hotel room.
    • Capitalise on empty suitcase space. Roll your clothes, instead of folding them. Stuff socks, underwear, and accessories inside of shoes. Leave no space unused.
    • Keep a sarong or pashmina in your carry-on. They can be used as a blanket on the plane, a scarf if it’s cold or a shawl on an evening out.
    • Bag it. Kitchen sandwich bags can be used to hold your accessories, vacuum pack bags can be space savers, and bin bags have multiple uses (laundry bag, shoe covers).
    • Skip airport snacks and bring your own. You can save yourself a bit of money and keep your hunger at bay in case you have a delayed flight.
    • Create compartments. Two words: packing cube. If you are visiting more than one city during your trip, packing cubes will keep your suitcase organised and save you from having to pack and unpack.
    • Share your packing space. Travelling as a couple? Split your clothes between two suitcases on the off chance one of them gets lost during the flight.
    • Bring a multi-socket extension cord. Although newer hotels have USB ports in rooms, it’s best to have an extra outlet to charge all of your electronics at once.
    • Make photocopies before leaving home. If you’re travelling out of the country, make two photocopies of your passport. Use your smartphone to take pictures of your car in the airport’s car park and do the same for your luggage and its contents in case it gets lost.

    Posted by Bruce Gibson

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