The big businesses who owe you money – and you may not know!
There’s nothing like an unexpected cash windfall to brighten your day, and if you’re not counting on winning the lottery any time soon, you might be interested in knowing that with a tiny amount of work on your part, there could be some serious amounts of cash coming your way.
1) Late meter readings
If your energy supplier wants to read your meter, and the meter is not easily accessible, you are not expected to give up your day to sit in and wait for them. They should offer you a two-hour timeslot for the meter reader to turn up in. If they don’t show up in the window you agreed, you get money back as an apology – £20 for a gas meter reading, and £22 for an electricity meter reading. You can claim both together if both meters were scheduled to be read at the same time.
You may also like – Ashleigh’s easy energy switching service.
2) A forgotten pension
If you’ve changed jobs, it’s quite likely that you’ve paid into more than one pension pot and not done anything about it when you’ve left your old position. If you don’t claim that money though, you’ve just wasted it. You worked for it – it’s yours to claim!
In 2012, there was roughly £3 billion in forgotten pensions in the UK, and you can bet that it’s an even bigger figure four years on. The average amount is usually under £5,000, but that’s an average, so there could be some people out there who are owed a lot more!
You can claim it through a free government service called Pension Tracing Service. Don’t get conned by companies who offer the same search and charge a fee for it! It doesn’t matter if you barely remember the contact details of your old employer, or don’t have paperwork to prove you’ve got a pension with them, because they can still search for you, but obviously, the more you can provide, the quicker you’ll get a result.
3) A dormant bank account
If you had bank or savings accounts which you stopped using, or maybe even forgot about, the bank should write to you and ask if you want to close it, even if there’s still money in it. If they don’t get a reply, they freeze the account, and call it “Lost”. Don’t worry – your money hasn’t gone, it’s just frozen, and you can still claim it.
Opened in 2008, a service called mylostaccount.org.uk was started. Free of charge, it lets you hunt for any money which may have been frozen in one of these dormant accounts. It doesn’t matter if you don’t remember which bank your account was with, or if the bank has gone out of business since, it can still get your money back.
Don’t be conned by companies offering a similar service which will cost you money. All they’re doing is putting your details into the mylostaccount website and charging you for that. £645 million has been unfrozen and returned to its rightful owners since the service started, so it’s definitely worth a go.
You may also like – Ashleigh’s easy current account switching service.
4) After a delayed train journey
Are you a commuter? Do you just make the odd trip into town, or to visit friends? It’s quite likely that you’ve been affected by the 47 million train journeys which suffer delays of more than an hour each year.
The rules are different with each train company, but as a minimum, the train companies refund 20 – 50% of your train ticket price if your train is more than an hour late. Even season ticket holders can apply for a refund, with a fifth of the cost of a weekly season ticket eligible for a refund.
Only a third of train passengers who are entitled to refunds claim them – make sure you join them!
5) Your electricity supplier
If you can act quickly, pay as you go customers (that’s those of you who put money onto a key or card and insert that into your meter) can grab £12 of credit from the government. People who are on a contract will have had their £12 credit applied to their bill, but if you didn’t get the letter and voucher which was sent out in November, any key or card customers have been left to figure it out for themselves. You can get another copy of your letter, and voucher, from your provider, so get on the phone quickly!
Your £12 is a government refund after some policy changes to do with the environment, and it’s being issued in the form of credit to your electricity bills. There’s a million of you out there, so find out if your family or friends are eligible and grab that money – you only have until the end of February!
Reduce your energy bills here – Ashleigh Power Switch
Still sitting on your chair reading this? Put the computer down and get claiming! All that money is sitting out there, waiting for you to claim it; don’t let the big boys keep your cash.