How was your summer holiday? Enjoyable - or exhausting?
Many of us are arriving back from the perfect, relaxing break around now - but some people may have found their getaway got them hot under the collar.
Often, the reason for a holiday being less than a success is down to a money-related mishap having taken place during the trip.
Every year, the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) receives calls from thousands of people who endured the holiday from hell thanks to a blocked bank card, or perhaps a trauma while trying to make a claim on their travel insurance.
Little wonder then that a recent survey by Nationwide Building Society found nearly one in four holidaymakers return from their break feeling more stressed than when they left.
The FOS, which resolves disputes between consumers and financial firms, has some tips for those who have suffered a problem while away:
1.Travel insurance trauma
We take out insurance to protect us should the worst happen while we’re away, so it’s always disappointing if a claim gets turned down. First of all, don’t panic. Ask the insurer to explain why it is refusing to pay a claim. If you don’t understand, or don’t feel the reason they’ve given you is fair, you can give the financial ombudsman a call on 0800 023 4567 to talk it through.
2. Seeing isn’t always believing
You may need to make a claim on your travel insurance if your trip didn’t turn out as expected. Sometimes insurers will refuse to pay a claim based on an exclusion in the policy you have bought. But the ombudsman would always expect to see that these exclusions have been applied fairly.
For example, a policy may exclude claims for events that happen when you’ve drunk alcohol. But it has seen some examples of this being applied after a couple of glasses of wine with dinner - and the ombudsman doesn’t think that’s fair.
3. Flight delays
Hanging around airports is never fun - and waiting around in an airport for 12 hours longer than you expected is even worse. If you experienced a lengthy delay on a flight to the EU this summer, have a look online for “flight delay compensation” to see what you could be entitled to. A recent investigation by consumer group Which? suggests that delayed airline passengers are potentially missing out on millions of pounds of compensation.
Research among 7,000 Which? members found that only four in 10 (38%) people claimed compensation following a delay. While people can use a claims management company to claim for compensation, these firms can take up to one third of a consumer’s payout.
Request compensation for a delayed flight at www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/action/letter-to-request-compensation-for-a-dela yed-flight/ and a letter to request compensation for a cancelled flight at www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/action/letter-to-request-compensation-for-cancel led-flights-.
4. Banking bother
Being stranded abroad with no access to your cash can be very distressing. Whether this is because a cash machine has swallowed your card, or the bank is security checking your account, it makes sense to have the international number for your bank to hand. But if you felt the bank caused you more stress than you needed, give the financial ombudsman a call.