Anorak

Money | Anorak - Part 93

Money Category

Money in the news and how you are going to pay and pay and pay

Mark Keenan £65 Divorce-Online Hits Our Screens

mccartney.jpgIN a move that will have middle England decrying that this is the end of civilisation, while secretly making a mental note of the phone number on the screen, adverts for cut-price divorces are to be beamed into our homes for the first time later this month.

Divorce-Online, the brainchild of Mark Keenan, offer cheap and maybe even cheerful divorces for £65 plus VAT, with couples posted all their forms to sign and even spared the hassle of attending court.

Their adverts will be broadcast on digital channels as well as YouTube and Keenan is convinced that he is providing a worthwhile and ethical service. Says he: “We do a good, professional job for people and provide an alternative to high street solicitors, and we just charge a tenth of the price. The number of marriage breakdowns is sad but these are already happening. We just help people keep more of their money to benefit themselves and their children.”

In responding to criticism that the cut-price divorces could encourage more people to spilt, Keenan also tells us: “I’ve never had someone ring me up and say, ‘My wife’s just annoyed me, I want a divorce right now.'” Although surely he’d be delighted if they did.

A recent survey found that uncontested divorces usually cost between £850 and £2,500, rather more than Divorce-Online’s £65, which is about the price of a five month subscription to the Playboy Channel for newly single men…
No stranger to divorce himself, professional Scientologist Tom Cruise has splashed out on a £50,000 custom-built Italian motorbike, no doubt to help him escape the persistent rumours about his ‘colourful’ private life.

Posted: 23rd, May 2007 | In: Money | Comment


Barclaycard Penalises Small Spenders

barclaycard.jpgNO matter what fines they have to pay, no matter how much justice we think we are getting, the big banks will always find a way of getting their own backs.

Barclaycard are the latest company to formulate a new get-even-richer-even-quicker-scheme which could involve charging customers £20 if they don’t use their cards enough.

The credit card giant are currently pondering the idea which would affect around one million customers. With Lloyds TSB already penalising its credit card-shy customers with a charge of £35, the likelihood is that this kind of carry on will become standard practice.

A spokesdrone, I mean spokesperson, for Barclaycard says: “We think this is a fair approach and gives customers a choice. We will do everything we can to improve the deal we give people, encourage them to use our card, not someone else’s and avoid fees. As a last resort, we are considering a fee for a minority of customers that simply do not use their card.”

How’s that for service?

Uswitch’s Nick White is less positive. Says he: “Implementing a fee for inactive credit card customer is not the key issue here, the problem is the level of transparency displayed around the criteria used to select the customer charged. Without this, customers do not know how to manage their credit card account to ensure they do not fall into this category in the future.”

Surely its time to bring back the bartering system – one pig for a garden makeover or a box of carrots for high-speed broadband installation etc.

While multi-millionaires such as Jamie Oliver, who himself is looking a bit tubby these days, continue to lecture the poor about their diets, the price of some vegetables have risen by more than a third, with last summer’s heat wave the culprit.

Posted: 23rd, May 2007 | In: Money | Comment


Banks And Estate Agents Cop Record Complaints

complaining.jpgWE may somewhat revel in our image as a nation of whingers, but when it comes to banks and their petty thievery we are totally justified in complaining and, according to the Financial Ombudsman Service, we are now speaking up for ourselves in record numbers.

The FOS has revealed that this year it was currently handling about 1,000 complaints a week concerning those pesky bank charges, compared to the 10 it received on average last year.

Another popular group of people, estate agents, have also been targeted by consumers, with the Ombudsman for Estate Agents revealing that he had received 8,472 calls from consumers in 2006, an increase of 41% from the previous year.

However, despite the rise in enquiries, ombudsman Christopher Hamer reveals: “When viewed against the number of house sale transactions in a year, frequently quoted at 1.2m, the number is still thankfully small.”

I say we target lollipop ladies next. Just for the laugh.

Labour deputy leadership hopeful John Cruddas kept things rather low-key when he launched his campaign in a hall which cost just £31 to hire. How very humble. How very un-New Labour.

Posted: 23rd, May 2007 | In: Money | Comment (1)


Studs (Studzinksi) Up For The Tate Modern

tate_modern.jpgTHE American-born London-based banker John ‘Studs’ Studzinski has given £5 million to the Tate Modern – the largest gift in the museum’s history.

Now the modern art mecca is appealing to other loaded City boys to cough up for its £215million extension with Paul Myners, the chairman of the Tate’s trustees, hoping that the growing “unequal distribution of wealth” in London would encourage the big City hitters to fund the modern art mecca’s new giant glass ‘Cubist’ extension.

But surely this “unequal distribution of wealth” would be better addressed by giving the money to the poor rather than to museums mainly frequented by the well-off?

Then again, multi-millionaire Myners is chairman of the Guardian Media Group and global property giant Land Securities, so he’s hardly in touch with the needs of the capital’s erm, non-millionaires.

As for ‘Studs’ Studzinski, the Telegraph describes him as a ‘colourful character’, which is usually code for something.

Still, the reportedly uber-Catholic philanthropist, who is famed for his extravagant parties at his Chelsea home, apparently often works in homeless shelters across the capital.

Colourful indeed. Grey even…

Studzinski’s fellow rich American, Democrat nominee hopeful John Edwards, is in hot water for charging a university £27,500 for a talk.

Posted: 23rd, May 2007 | In: Money | Comment


HIP HIP Hooray: Home Information Packs On Hold

THE monumental disaster that is the Government’s ill-conceived Home Information Pack scheme was thrown into even more disarray yesterday after the Government’s Minister for Opus Dei, Ruth Kelly, performed an embarrassing climbdown and put the whole scheme on hold.

The controversial sellers’ packs, which include all kinds of property details and an energy-efficiency rating, will still be introduced, although two months late and only for houses with four or more bedrooms.

Critics have now warned that wily estate agents and house sellers could try to escape the £300-£600 cost of a HIP by categorising their fourth bedroom as a study or a boxroom or maybe even a transcendental meditation space, thus adding more chaos to the situation.

Kelly blamed a lack of accredited inspectors needed to carry out the energy performance certificates despite the fact that only last week her deputy, Yvette Cooper, dismissed criticism that there wouldn’t be enough snoops.

So where does that leave all those home sellers who rushed through sales in order to dodge paying for a HIP?

But on a brighter note, journalists and sub-editors appreciate the opportunity for some easy puns.

No details, as yet, have been released on whether or not there will be a HIP replacement…

Posted: 23rd, May 2007 | In: Money | Comments (7)


Harassment At The Halifax

BANKS – helpful institutions which keep your money safe or ‘legitimate’ cartels that fleece you for every penny they can get? Who are we to say?

Anyway, the banking industry is set to lose even more fans after it was revealed that the Halifax has been harassing one Alison Turner for unpaid overdraft charges she didn‘t owe.

The mum of two from Plymouth received a total of 33 phone calls and letters from bank staff demanding she pay back the £775 in charges even though the bank had already agreed to wipe them out.

However, like thousands of people all over the country, Turner decided to fight back, bringing a legal action against the Halifax under the Protection from Harassment Act.

She won. And is expected to receive a cash payment after the bank agreed to settle out of court.

Hurray for justice.

A bruised and sullen Halifax mumbled tersely, “We have no comment other than it’s settled.”

What, nothing about it being an isolated incident, computer problems, staff retraining etc. etc. ?

Posted: 23rd, May 2007 | In: Money | Comment (1)


Road Pricing Targets 4x4s

off_road2.jpgTHE ubiquitous 4×4 may give its owner a sense of prestige as they look down from on high at the great unwashed beneath the wheels, but these heavy-duty Chelsea Tractors block the roads and are far more likely to injure anyone they hit. They are about as eco-friendly as an oil spill.

And so it is that drivers of these gas-guzzling giants could face higher road pricing charges under proposals released by the Government.

The draft Local Transport Bill has a strong environmental slant and insists that councils who propose a pay-as-you-drive system will have to take each car’s green credentials into account.

The bill follows Ken Livingstone’s plans to introduce a £25 congestion charge in London for larger cars.

However, critics have branded the new bill a “Trojan Horse” for a planned nationwide scheme of road pricing.

The AA’s Paul Walters is particularly concerned about the proposals to give passenger transport authorities a say in any road pricing scheme. Says he: “These authorities are not directly elected and we fear they would be at the very least one step removed from the ballot box.”

Meanwhile the alternative to driving is to walk (and inhale the fumes), cycle (and get run over) or pay a fortune to take the slow train and wait and wait and wait for the relief driver to return from his toilet break…

Posted: 23rd, May 2007 | In: Money | Comment


Getting Shopped Online At Work

WHERE would we be without the internet?

Well, probably still here, although not reading this, obviously.

Instead we’d be far more bored, twiddling our thumbs and firing rubber bands at the geek across the desk from us. Yet, let’s be honest, we would be far more productive at work,…and richer.

According to a survey by Play.com, office workers are spending more than eight working hours a month shopping online – the average every employee spends £15 per month online during the working day.

Why do workers feel the need to splash their cash online? The number one reason given was that it makes work more fun. Other reasons submitted include – buying presents for your office lover, wasting time in the office and stopping family members from keeping tracks of your purchases. Office lovers? Hiding things from our families? What a seedy nation we are.

The Sun quotes “office worker and online shopaholic” James McShaw. Says he: “I order from online stores at least once a week when I’m meant to be working and get it delivered to my office for convenience. The only problem is that I don’t seem to take a lot of it home, especially as my girlfriend would go nuts if she knew how much I was buying.”

Well she’ll be going nuts now James. If she reads the Sun, that is.

Posted: 22nd, May 2007 | In: Money | Comment


OAPs Get A Second Life

AGEISTS all over the Britain can no longer bemoan the nation’s old folk and pose the question: “Just what do they contribute?”

The old dears contribute a whopping £59 billion each year to the economy.

The eye-opening figures are included in HSBC’s Future of Retirement study, a major undertaking which interviewed over 20,000 people in 21 countries.

The study found that, worldwide, more and more over-60s are eschewing retirement and staying in employment and more older people are providing financial, practical and personal care than are receiving it.

In the UK, the state takes around £5.5 billion in tax each year from people between the age of 60 and 80; a staggering £50 billion of caring support is provided by UK retirees each year.

Help The Aged’s David Sinclair is more downbeat. Says he: “This report shows many older people are leading full, active lives and that pensioners are increasingly becoming aware of their contribution to society. That’s fantastic. But for large numbers of older people in the UK the reality is still quite different. Many UK pensioners face barriers to an active lifestyle – ageist attitudes, badly thought out transport planning and an increase in public toilet closures.”

Still, be nice to Grandad and Grandma as you never know how much cash they have under their beds.

The likelihood is that most people who partake in the online virtual world ‘Second Life’ are under 65, but these geeky gamesters could now have to start paying real taxes after a US congressional investigation into the strange alternative universe.

Posted: 22nd, May 2007 | In: Money | Comment


Money Growing On Trees At Chelsea Flower Show

moneytree.gifTHE housing market may well be showing signs of cooling, but when it comes to gardens the price of that little piece of outdoor heaven continues to go through the roof.

At this year’s Chelsea flower show, a two-storey timber children’s den with central heating, double glazing and a balcony is going for £35,000; conservatories worth £100,000 are also on show.

According to Phillipa Jones, who sells African art for upmarket gardens, “People are getting fed up with just doing the house up, so they are saying ‘let’s decorate the gardens’, and sculptures are now a large part of that.”

The Royal Horticultural Society will also show you how to spend £300,000 on a garden makeover.

About a quarter of the price of Alan Titchmarsh’s appearance fee at the event.

Posted: 22nd, May 2007 | In: Money | Comments (2)


City Bends To Flexible Working Hours: Home Office Free iPods

ipodkennedy.jpgTHE high-pressure world of the City is finally grasping the concept of work-life balance. (Pic: Bo Beau D’Or)

According to a new report by the campaign group Working Families, more and more City firms are allowing their senior managers to benefit from flexible working patterns.

Focusing on 23 senior managers at some of the City’s top companies, including Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse, the study found that a policy which encourages job-sharing, three-day weeks and working from home will benefit the employer by boosting enthusiasm, loyalty and effectiveness in the staff.

However, the report also warns that a suspicious attitude to flexible working hours still remains in many of the top organisations.

Author of the report Pam Walton says: “Organisations are beginning to accept that in many of these jobs it is outputs that matter; where and how you do it should not be the issue.”

Then again, if City firms thought they could make even more money by allowing their staff to be naked and work up a tree, they’d do it.

In another management incentive, the Home Office have given twenty of their top civil servants iPods on which lessons in leadership have been downloaded. Total cost – £8,800.

Posted: 22nd, May 2007 | In: Money | Comment


The £8,000 Fraud Of The Dance

AUDACITY is a word that springs to mind in the case of cheating dancer John Dennis.

According to the Mirror, the 47-year-old continued to claim £8,000 in disability benefits while teaching dance classes four times a week at three schools and two dance studios.

Dennis, from Llandewi Brefi, Cardiganshire, claimed his knees had been destroyed by arthritis and even hammed it up using walking sticks.

He had initially started to claim both living allowance and incapacity benefit after sustaining an injury while working as a stage dancer. However, even after recovering from his injuries he continued to pocket the extra cash. After four years, his dance of deception came to a sudden halt when investigators received a tip-off.

Yesterday at court in Aberystwyth, Dennis was in no mood to dance when he was sentenced to 200 hours community service.

Commenting on the case, a Work and Pensions spokesman says: “There are no excuses for taking money that isn’t yours.”

Unless you are a bank.

Spare a though for another shyster, this time in the rather more sinister form of jailed crime boss Terry Adams. The poor dear is claiming that he has been ruined by a £5.5 million legal bill.

Posted: 22nd, May 2007 | In: Money | Comment (1)


Marks And Spencer’s Ethics And Sell-By Dates

marks-spencer.gifIN a bid encourage its customers to go green, Marks & Spencer is to start charging for plastic bags.

The new scheme, starting in the summer, is being trialled at 14 stores in Northern Ireland where customers will have to pay 5p for every carrier bag they use.

If successful, the scheme will be introduced across the UK later in the year with other retailers also likely to follow suit.

While the Republic of Ireland saw plastic bag use fall by 90 per cent when it introduced a tax back in 2002, the British government has continually dodged the issue. However, if the new M&S scheme is successful, ministers may be forced to act.

It is estimated that shops in the UK hand out over 13 billion carrier bags every year with most of them ending up in landfill sites, where they take up to 500 years to break down.

M&S are expected today to announce profits of over £1 billion, up a quarter on last year, with experts attributing this success to the company’s growing image as an ethical retailer.

M&S competitors Sainsbury’s and Tesco are accused of deliberately extending sell-by and use-by dates on fresh food on a BBC 1 ‘Whistleblower’ documentary tonight.

Posted: 22nd, May 2007 | In: Money | Comment


Peter Hain Targets City Fat Cats

john_prescott1.jpgPERMA-TANNED Welsh Secretary Peter Hain launched his Labour deputy leadership tilt by declaring war on the City. (Pic: The Spine)

The apartheid-activist turned Iraq War apologist wants the enormous bonuses paid out in the City to be capped and warned that Government could step in if the “staggering” bonuses aren’t curtailed.

Speaking at the launch of his campaign for the pretty pointless job of Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, the 57-year-old says: “We should take some immediate measures to promote a greater sense of responsibility in Britain’s boardrooms. British citizens who do not pay their tax in the UK should not receive honours, write government reports or become members of quangos. They should not be allowed to serve in a reformed House of Lords.”

An end to City excess? Responsibility in Britain’s boardrooms? Is he deliberately trying to undo everything Tony Blair has achieved in the last 10 years?

Speaking of the outgoing Prime Minister, hundreds of gifts given to Blair during his stint at leader are to be sold off in a high-class yet low-key sale.

Posted: 22nd, May 2007 | In: Money | Comment


Consumers Wising Up As Housing Market Cools

ARE British consumers starting to take care of their finances after a long period of mindless money mismanagement?

According to a new report by the Building Societies Association, mortgage approvals fell in April compared to the same month last year, down from £4.2 million to £3.9 million.

Central to this slowdown in the housing market has been the recent flurry of interest rate rises; according to Hamptons International Mortgages, 70% of borrowers fixed their mortgages before the Bank of England’s last interest hike earlier this month.

This new-found parsimony is also backed up by British Bankers’ Association figures which show that both unsecured personal borrowing and credit card borrowing experienced little change in April compared to March.

BBA statistical guru David Dooks says: “Lower mortgage demand, weaker deposit growth and little change in personal loans or credit card borrowing all point to people paying more attention to their finances. High house prices and increasing monthly repayment costs are causing a slow down in the mortgage market and people are using money from their accounts instead of borrowing to meet their spending needs.”

But the debt is still there to pay…

If you are still willing to splash the cash on a new home, then why not go for “Belle Tout”, a lighthouse on Beachy Head which is on the market for £850,000, just six years after the council sold it for £900.

Posted: 22nd, May 2007 | In: Money | Comment


Andy Warhol Print Goes For Record Sum

warholcrash.jpgCONSIDERING that it was originally picked up for £125 back in 1962, the £14 million paid for Andy Warhol’s ‘Lemon Marilyn’ print represents rather a good bit of business.

The work was one of 13 sought-after silk prints made by the idiosyncratic Warhol of Marilyn Monroe using a still from her 1953 film Niagara.

The £14,090,452 price of the work was double the estimate. But still small change compared to the record £36.04 million splashed out at Christie’s in New York yesterday for another of Warhol’s silkscreen prints, Green Car Crash (Green Burning Car I). That print, of a 1963 Newsweek photo of a Seattle car crash, is considered the Holy Grail of Warhol’s work. It was bought for £36,000 in 1978.

Both pieces went to private collectors. And should cover that nasty stain on the wall very adequately…

Posted: 18th, May 2007 | In: Money | Comment


NHS GPs’ £300 Million Drug Waste

IN bathrooms across the land, lurking at the back of the cabinet, will be at least one half-used bottle of tablets, years past its use-by-date. Add up all those unused medicines and you have a mountain of medication, and a huge waste of money.

According to a new report by the National Audit Office, Britain’s GPs are wasting over £300 million by prescribing expensive branded drugs to patients or drugs that are never used.

The NAO accuses some doctors of allowing their NHS patients with long-term conditions to build up huge stockpiles of medicines while many patients were either failing to collect drugs from their pharmacy or not bothering to take them when they got home.

More than £8 billion was spent on medicines by the NHS in 2006, equivalent to £22 million a day. And in the last ten years, the primary drugs bill has shot up by 60%.

The report also found that, in relation to the prescribing of more expensive branded drugs, two-thirds of the GPs surveyed blamed local prescribing advisors rather than marketing from the pharmaceutical industry for influencing their choice of medicine.

The other third were too busy out on the golf course. Or in private practice…

Posted: 18th, May 2007 | In: Money | Comment (1)


Come Fly For Free: Ryanair Gives Flights Away

JUST when you thought flights couldn’t get any cheaper Ryanair decides to give flights away for free – paying the taxes, fees and charges.

After the offer went live yesterday at 10am, the Ryanair website collapsed as 4 million attempts by frenzied travellers were made to secure the tickets in the first five hours.

With low-cost airlines experiencing an unexpected drop in demand last month, as well as being hit hard with the recent doubling of air passenger duty, Ryanair are desperate to fill their planes.

According to the company’s spokeswoman: “This is about getting bums on seats. We are paying to get passengers into our planes – we’ll be paying the tax that they would normally have to pay. There’s no point in flying planes empty.”

However, the move has been condemned by Friends of the Earth, with aviation campaigner Richard Dyer calling the giveaway “grossly irresponsible”. Said he: “Passengers may be getting a free ride, but the planet certainly isn’t. It is unbelievable that Ryanair is resorting to such tactics.”

The company hope to recoup the travellers’ taxes it is paying for by encouraging them to cough up for add-ons such as onboard meals and snacks, travel insurance, car hire and hotel bookings.

However, with the likes of Ryanair, EasyJet and even BA all admitting that they are struggling to fill their planes, the industry in general could be about to experience some turbulence.

Posted: 17th, May 2007 | In: Money | Comment


Penalty Pointless: Insurance Firm Ignores Penalty Points

BOY-RACERS will be revving their souped-up engines in joy today after it emerged that drivers with penalty points could see their insurance premiums fall.

In a move that is predicted to be followed by all the major insurance companies, Swinton Insurance announced that those drivers with six or nine penalty points on their licence would now be treated almost as though they had a perfect record.

A Swinton spokesperson tells us: “Penalty points used to be the yardstick for dangerous drivers, but with up to 10 million drivers collecting them, they are so common place that they have almost become pointless. We will be looking at each driver as an individual and not automatically upping the cost of their premium if they have six penalty points on their licence.”

With more than 6,000 speed cameras now in use, trapping around two million motorists a year, clean licences are become far less common. Critics claim this move is an indictment of the system.

Lobby group SafeSpeed’s head honcho Paul Smith says: “This announcement is all the proof we need to know that driving licence points no longer indicate risky drivers. The vast majority of licence points are for speeding offences detected by camera.”

Posted: 17th, May 2007 | In: Money | Comment


Jagger And Hall Can’t Get No Satisfaction

jagger.jpgMONEY is consistently cited as one of the biggest causes of arguments in a marriage. And for Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall the subject is still a bone of contention despite their split eight years ago.

In response to Hall’s recent claims that her ex was “pretty tight with the day-to-day stuff”, multi-millionaire rock icon Jagger has hit back.

Says he: “I find her remarks absurd. I have always paid all expenses for the children as well as the lion’s share of the costs relating to her lifestyle, and been more than happy to do so.”

Jagger has always been a financial squirrel, raking in record profits from the Stones’ seemingly constant touring.

The sixty-something rocker also managed to negotiate a comparatively low £10 million divorce pay-out in 1999 after claiming that his then marriage to Hall nine years earlier wasn’t legal.

Hall is no doubt learning that you can’t, er, always get what you want.

Posted: 17th, May 2007 | In: Money | Comment


Quiz Show Scandals Hurt ITV

ITV, home to such intellectual luminaries as Jeremy Kyle and Vernon Kay, has admitted that the recent phone-in and quiz show scandals have seriously damaged consumer confidence.

Following the revelation back in February that Channel Four’s Richard and Judy show had been misleading entrants in a phone-in quiz, a whole host of similar dodgy premium rate scams came to light, including one concerning ITV’s X-Factor show.

Now, ITV expect to see a substantial drop in the income it receives from phone-ins and quizzes, which brought in £100 million last year.

Ahead of their annual shareholder meeting, ITV said “the poor execution of these services across the sector has reduced consumer confidence and is having a material impact on premium rate telephone service (PRTS) revenues.”

Unfortunately there was no mention of axing “This Is David Gest”…

Posted: 17th, May 2007 | In: Money | Comment


Water Companies Get River Of Complaints

HOSPIPE bans and apparent water shortages have become as synonymous with the British summer as a Tim Henman failure at Wimbledon and wasps.

A new report reveals that many companies who impose the bans have been experiencing increasing levels of complaints from customers.

The Consumer Council For Water says that complaints about water companies in England and Wales rose by 10% last year and are now at their highest levels since the mid-nineties.

Over 13,000 complaints were received by CC Water in the 12 months up to the end of March with many customers enraged by billing errors.

Severn Trent received the largest number of complaints – 2,652, up 36% from the previous year. And South East Water will also be disappointed by the findings – complaints to their company jumped by a massive 74%.

Chairwoman of CCWater, Dame Yve Buckland, says: “We have a right as consumers to expect high quality customer service, even though water companies are monopolies, and therefore most consumers have absolutely no choice over their supplier. Water companies cannot be complacent and should strive not only to satisfy customers’ expectations, but exceed them.”

Expect another summer of drought-ridden lawns. And Henmaniacs…

Posted: 17th, May 2007 | In: Money | Comment


Credit Goes To Graham Norton

graham_norton.jpgTV funny man Graham Norton has been persuaded to disassociate himself from presenting an unpopular award at a finance industry bash to be held on Thursday evening.

The Irish presenter had been pencilled in to present an award for the best home credit lender at the awards ceremony at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel. However, after an appeal from pressure group Debt On Our Doorstep, the comedian has decided to pass on handing out the gong.

The nominees up for the award include Bristol Finance & Credit Services, a company which charges as much as 1,068% APR on loans of £100 when a payment is missed.

Debt On Our Doorstep chairman, Damon Gibbons, says, “There shouldn’t be any place at an awards ceremony for any of these lenders. They rip off the poorest, keep them in a cycle of increasing debt, and degenerate entire communities. We’re delighted that Graham has agreed to sit out that part of the ceremony, and send out such a message.”
Er, not quite. Despite sitting out that particular presentation, Norton will still front the overall event.

Graham Norton and a room full of money people – sounds like a wild night.

Posted: 16th, May 2007 | In: Money | Comment (1)


A Kewell Customer: Liverpool Backer Wins

kewell.jpgLIVERPOOL FC’s oft-injured Aussie star Harry Kewell helped a punter to £178,000 after netting a last-gasp penalty in the Reds’ 2-2 draw with Charlton Athletic.

The unnamed gambler from Sawston in Cambridgeshire had correctly predicted the other results from the final day of the Premiership but needed Liverpool to draw in order to complete his accumulator bet.

Then, with only seconds remaining in the game, Kewell tucked away his spot-kick to earn the punter a small fortune.
Corals, who paid out the money, said it was one of the betting company’s biggest-ever pay-outs. “It’s cost us a fortune,” says a spokesperson through gritted teeth, “but we have to congratulate him.”
The £10 bet came in at staggering odds of 17,841-1, about the same price you’d get on Kewell going though next season without picking up another injury.

Posted: 16th, May 2007 | In: Money | Comment


Over-The-Odds Home Insurance

HOME insurance may make us all sleep a little bit better at night, but new research by the Post Office is sure to give us all a wake up call.

According to the Post Office, over eight million homeowners are paying too much for their home insurance, with the overall national figure overpaid reaching at least £1 billion.

The survey found that one in ten thought it was compulsory to buy their mortgage lender’s insurance while one third were convinced that their mortgage would be at risk if they shopped around and bought elsewhere.
The Post Office also claim that over 60% of homeowners could save £90 by switching insurance and a further 10 per cent up to £173.

However they failed to explain why they lose so many of our bloody letters.

Posted: 16th, May 2007 | In: Money | Comment