Maureen Faulkner wondered what had happened after she took out the Post Office’s line Rental Saver and Broadband Essentials package in June.
She signed up at her local branch in Yorkshire and paid £20 towards her bill.
Then strange phone calls began that unnerved the 76-year-old, who cares for her disabled husband.
“There was this low voice asking for me and asking if I was born in 1977, which was the year I got married. It was so confusing I put the phone down,” Maureen told Crusader.
Although she has a laptop and is keen to embrace the digital world, the pensioner admits she is still getting to grips with email.
Fortunately though, she mentioned the calls to a relative who checked her account online and discovered it was showing that Maureen owed £166 and customer services confirmed the calls were probably related to that.
Within a fortnight she got another demand for £17.27.
Perplexed she added: “I just can’t understand how, after such a short space of time, that I owe so much money.”
As Maureen was also unsure about several billed numbers listed as called which didn’t ring a bell with her, we decided to ask the Post Office to clear up any misunderstandings and set her mind at rest.
It discovered that Maureen had agreed to its line saver deal, a package designed to reduce costs in return for an annual upfront payment for the rental.
“When she called to query the charge, we explained all the details and removed the additional features,” said a Post Office spokeswoman.
Upon further investigation Maureen actually did recognise the numbers she had queried.
Nevertheless the Post Office accepted that the different options it is introducing for its home telephone services to help customers get best value, could have been made clearer to her.
“We have stringent systems in place to ensure only calls made on customer’s accounts are charged to bills,” the Post Office explained.
Because of Maureen’s worry, the Post Office has offered her a £25 goodwill gesture.
The stresses and strains of moving house will always be there.
However, more safeguards are now in place that could help protect you and your belongings.
If the contents are delivered to the wrong address, get broken or you were overcharged you now have greater chance of redress.
Removers that belong to a trade body which is part of the Removal Industry Ombudsman Scheme, now fall within the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) fold, which has the power to consider and resolve complaints.
New rules require traders to let consumers know about ADRs and how they can help if a company and their customer can’t come to an agreement.