Homeowners quietly stripped of vital protection against unscrupulous doorstep sellers under new EU laws

Loophole: The new law extends the time buyers have to cancel things bought over the phone, internet or from doorstep traders from seven to 14 days - but there's no cooling off period for customers buying bespoke items

From this week, householders who are talked into buying double glazing or conservatories by door-to-door traders have lost their right to cancel if they get cold feet. The revelation has sparked outrage among consumer groups who fear vulnerable people given the hard sell will be unable to escape from rip-off deals.

10,000 households who signed up for mass energy switch can now move to top deal as Green Star Energy offers best discount

Hot deals: Big Deal customers have one month to decide if they want to take up Green Star Energy offer

Green Star Energy, a relatively unknown supplier, beat the Big Six suppliers to win the bid for customers who registered with the Big Deal by offering the best discount.

Victory for Ovo Energy customers as watchdog backtracks on decision to stop the supplier paying interest on bill overpayments

Interest on overpayment: Ovo Energy will continue to pay the bonus after the watchdog U-turn

Last week, Ofgem caused outrage when it tried to ban the firm from paying 3 per cent interest on their balance to customers who have built up a credit.

Complaints to the Big Six energy companies reach record high - up 15% in just one year

Poor show: While some energy companies have performed better than others, the Big Six combined received a record number of complaints in the first quarter of 2014

As many as 1.7million complaints were made in the three months to March – up from 1.48million in the same period last year, according to consumer group Which?.

'I bought my daughter a bike for £5': The smart tricks that can help you uncover an eBay bargain

In the pink: Carleen Bircham picked up a £5 bike for daughter Jessica

Millions of eBay customers have been forced to change their password following a cyber attack - but they could use the crisis to boost their trading skills. There has been a big pricing shake-up at eBay since the cyber attack. We share the top tips for dealing in the online market place.

Superfast broadband is speeding your way: Tough competition means costs are crashing - here's how to connect for less

Ready to switch: Angie Rance moved to  a better deal, but resents having to pay line rental

Lightning quick broadband is transforming internet use in the UK, with Coventry the latest to join York and Peterborough in an elite club of so-called 'Gigabit Cities'.

Shoppers get 14 days to change their minds and return goods bought online as new consumer rights law comes into force

Sneaky pre-ticked boxes on websites will also be banned for payment linked to additional services, such as travel insurance when buying a holiday or flight. The measures are part of the new EU Consumer Rights Directive, which is being brought in to make families feel more confident about shopping online.

Can you save energy at home even when you're on holiday?

Heading abroad? Don't pay for energy you are not using - follow this is money's five steps to cutting your costs

Heading off on holiday? Follow This is Money's five simple steps to avoid paying for energy you don't use while abroad from pulling the plug on your appliances to filling your fridge with water and operating your thermostat while sunning yourself a thousand miles away.

'Loyalty to Barclays and Aviva cost me £10,000 extra over 32 years': Pushy lenders make 1.5m households overpay for home cover

Stumped: Cliff and Josephine Greenhill paid £10,000 extra for their home cover

Figures indicate that one in four owners who bought their house before the mid-1990s have stuck with the cover they bought at the time. Cliff Greenhill has been overpaying on his home insurance for 32 years since he took out a home loan through his bank. He has now saved himself £750 a year, though he now has identical cover from the same insurer.

'I can use my mobile in the US for the same cost as at home': Don't fall victim to the holiday phone charges trap

Yvonne Macfarlane

Yvonne MacFarlane's mobile firm Three added the US to a special deal just before she went to Disney World. Many others are not so lucky and still ring up big bills.

Energy firms try to drag the national grid into competition investigation over high fuel bills

Price probe: Some of the Big Six energy firms have called for the inclusion in the investigation of the companies that operate the national grid

National grid costs make up about £200 out of the average dual fuel bill of £1,300, the second largest single cost after wholesale energy.

We've fallen for Aldi, Lidl and TK Maxx: Spending at discount stores soars 23% as shoppers desert the big chains

Popular: Discounters like Aldi and Lidl have attracted increasing numbers of shoppers looking for bargains

Discount stores continued to enjoy soaring sales last month as shoppers deserted the big chains, according to latest figures on consumer spending from Barclaycard.

Discounts at Tesco, 5% cashback: The seven cards you MUST put in your purse

Carry the right card: Most of the big chains offer a loyalty scheme, but there's no point signing up to all of them

You don’t have to cut back to save money. Simply by carrying the right plastic, you can make loyalty pay. Here are the Super Seven cards you should always put in your purse.

Energy firms hold £1.2billion of our cash: 52% of British households are in credit, with suppliers owing an average of £86

Staggering: Thirteen million UK households are owed an average of £86 by energy suppliers. The proportion is up from 47 per cent last year and appears to be driven by the problem of estimated bills

The proportion of British households that are owed money is up from 47 per cent last year and appears to be driven by the problem of estimated bills.

'I suffered a series of billing errors by npower': A £53m bill for blunders - and STILL getting it wrong

Angry: Zoe Davies suffered a series of billing  errors by npower

After huge fines for mis-selling, the Big Six energy suppliers face more savage criticism over service. Zoe Davies says she has suffered the full npower experience.

What could eBay hackers do with your data (...and why your personal info is more valuable to fraudsters than your credit card details)

Breach: As many as 15 million eBay users in the UK may have had their data compromised following the hack

The personal details of 15 million users in the UK have been compromised following the data hack, which was several months ago but revealed just this week.

Free our phones: Mobile providers urged to unlock handsets for free at end of contract

The new survey by consumer watchdog Which? found that two-thirds of customers think it’s unfair that phones are locked to one provider’s network.

Antiques Roadshow on repeat, painting plates with old spinach and dropping phones in orange juice… We go behind the scenes at Which?'s secret testing labs

Weighing up: Which? compares all sorts of household products

The location is kept secret – to stop manufacturers trying to influence testers – but we were invited for a behind-the-scenes tour, provided we didn’t give the game away. Here expert technicians comb real pet hair into carpets to test vacuum cleaners and hammer nails into potatoes to see how well microwaves contain fires.

Npower most complained about energy supplier by far after being blasted for billing problems and poor customer service

Electrifyingly bad: NPower received three times as many complaints than nearest energy rival

Energy giant Npower is the most complained-about major power supplier after a number of 'serious failings' according to new figures released this morning.

Why energy bills are £100 more in St Ives than Skegness: Households pay more than others on the same tariff just because of where they live

Money to burn: Energy bills are £100 more in St Ives than Skegness

The energy companies claim this is because it costs more to supply energy to certain addresses. But the higher bills are also due to a legacy of privatisation.

Fifteen meals from a fiver...? Frugal top tips from celebrity food campaigner who's got the supermarket shop down to £1 a DAY

Jack: Thrifty

While households are constantly being reminded to switch their energy suppliers or bank providers to stay on top of bills, the weekly shopping list is less often scrutinised. While Jack's challenge is an extreme version, it does show that there are simple steps households can take to cut back on supermarket bills

Insult to injury! How a call to a loved one in hospital could end up costing you 50p-a-minute

Costly call: Speaking to a relative in hospital can leave with you a nasty surprise on your phone bill.

Hospedia runs phone and TV packages for hospital patients, but customers who ring in are hit with high charges because they must call a costly 070 number.

Scottish Power ordered to pay £750,000 for charging customers £180 for not paying by direct debit

Added cost: Customers who do not pay by direct debit can end of spending more than those who do

Energy suppliers can only have different prices for payment methods if the amount reflects the costs involved in supplying those accounts.

Mobile companies still stinging customers who leave mid-contract with exit fees despite new rules

New rules: In January, regulator Ofcom introduced reforms to allow customers with fixed-price contracts facing price rises to leave without a fee

In January, regulator Ofcom introduced reforms to allow customers with ‘fixed-price’ contracts facing price rises to leave without a fee.

Energy bills: Could you cut your bills by switching and where are the best deals?

In from the cold: As energy price rises start to arrive for winter, is it time to switch now?

With an avalanche of price rises from the 'big six' energy providers, now is the time to review your energy tariff and consider locking in to a best-buy fixed-rate tariff before energy companies pull them from the market.


company logo
      33 months interest-free
      Balance transfer offer
company logo
   4;% interest on £5k
   Club; Lloyds Account
compan logo
   Top 3% 5-year fix
   Lower minimum balance
company logo
   M&S; points and £100
   Current Account

Is defrosting the freezer the easiest way to cut electricity bills overnight? It worked for the Lewis family...

Discovery: Ian Lewis and son Samuel, 12, with the family's smart meter and defrosted freezer

The family from Leeds could not work out why their energy usage seemed to inch up every day - until they stumbled upon a surprise discovery. Their usage is now back to normal, saving them about 60-70p every day. 'Over a year it really adds up,' says Ian Lewis (pictured with son Samuel)

Fed up with sky-high energy bills? Here's how to get the best deal on gas and electricity and whether to fix

Not difficult: Don't be afraid of switching providers to make savings

We teach you how to control your spending, switch to the best deals — and look at whether fixing your energy bills is an idea that will pay off.

Fair comparison? How energy switching sites are keeping small suppliers out of the market by 'hiding' deals that won't make them money

Bamboozling: Some switching sites default to only showing deals for which they would receive commission

Switching websites are keeping smaller suppliers from competing in the energy market by obscuring some available deals, a This is Money investigation has found.

'Invading through computers, phones and letterboxes': 25% rise in households falling victim to scams to four million

Watch out: Households are being targeted by scams through their computers, including online shopping and dating scams

Pensioners and struggling households in particular are targeted by scammers, with fraud offences in England and Wales rising by 25 per cent in 2013. A third of scams were over the phone, the charity’s study found, a quarter were through visits to a website, 16 per cent via letter or fax and ten per cent through emails.

I paid £50 for a provisional driving licence for my daughter's 17th birthday present. Instead we got some forms and another £50 bill

The site that tricked the reader SD: Would you be able to tell it was not the government site?

We paid the fee and expected the licence to appear in post soon after. Instead we received some forms that are free at the Post Office and another £50 fee.

De-ice the car with a hot water bottle and stick bubblewrap on windows: Your thrifty (and slightly mad) ways to cut energy bills

All in the name of cutting bills: Would you share a bath to cut energy use?

Last week Money Mail editor James Coney invited readers to send in their own home-spun ways to cut bills and tackle painful energy price rises. Here's readers' weird and wacky ideas to reduce gas and electricity use.

Energy companies accused of getting away with 'green murder' as they refuse to pass on £50 'tax' cut to fixed customers

Rising bills: Even after the green levy rollback energy bills are set to rise this winter

Last week This is Money revealed that EON and EDF will not pass on the full saving to its fixed tariff customers. Today Moneysupermarket called it 'green murder'.

I'm afraid I have spoiled my credit rating by paying electricity bill late: do EDF and other energy companies share data with credit agencies?

Shock: The reader realised they had put the bill in the wrong pile and failed to pay it in time

I thought I had paid the bill, until I got a text message from EDF saying to call them immediately. Will this leave a mark on my credit score?

'We were in credit but npower said our monthly bill had to rocket 70% to £129': How to fight back against energy firms' poor billing service

Heated: Derek and Joan Knowles are
keen to switch

Householders worn down by inaccurate bills and poor service from gas and electricity suppliers are being urged to fight back. The Knowles are keen to switch.


tesco card
NEW: 0% on purchases
Tesco Bank Clubcard
little houses
Longest 0% transfer
Barclaycard Platinum
Lloyds Card
Low-fee transfers
Lloyds Bank Platinum card
BT broadband
1.25% cashback
Amex Platinum

Fix your bills: how to cut your everyday costs and keep saving money all year round

Fix your finances: From your energy bills, to your mortgage and your car,  how to get your bills sorted

Needlessly overpaying for gas and electricity, mortgage payments, home phone, broadband and car and home insurance costs can take its toll - adding up to tens, if not hundreds, of pounds every month. Overhauling your bills can potentially save you thousands of pounds, we deliver all the tools and tips you need in one place.

An energy price war at last? Ovo is first firm to pledge bills below £1,000

Heating costs falling at last? Ovo said it was able to cut energy bills because the wholesale gas price had fallen

Ovo Energy said it was cutting prices for the fifth time since the autumn because the wholesale price of gas has fallen by 9.5 per cent. As many as 72 per cent of consumers would now switch to a small supplier - up from 56 per cent just a year ago and 52 per cent in 2012, a uSwitch survey found.

Slash, dash or keep? Our guide to 'green taxes' – and what they're really doing to your energy bills

Hotting up: The debate around the rising cost of energy and environmental levies is not going anywhere

This is Money probes energy minister Ed Davey, Energy UK chief executive Angela Knight, energy suppliers and experts about the 'green taxes' hot potato.

Latest reports from Bills



'I had to fight for months after my wife died to win my travel cover claim': Victory at last for grieving husband - and a warning over payout delays

Tragedy: Peter Hicks with wife Jean, who died after a fall

'Insurance cost me £68 and saved me £4,000': Trip of a lifetime can end in financial disaster without gap year cover


It is crucial to pack the best means of paying your way, plus an insurance policy that will cover you against potential disaster. Sophie Morbey is glad she bought cover.

'Getting compensation for clinical negligence is not like winning the lottery': Specialist help that's needed to make your money last

Payout: Lynn Robbins adapted her home to help son Matthew, with her daughter Evie

Thousands of people will this year receive big payouts as a result of a serious accident or clinical negligence. Laura Shannon looks at the specialist advice available.

Hotpoint want to send engineer to fix faulty dishwasher - but why should I have to take the day off work when it is their fault?

Hotpoint recall

My kitchen ceiling was flooded after an annual boiler service by Scottish Power. Why won't it pay up?

Scale model home and purple umbrella.

Image by VStock LLC/Tetra Images/Corbis

After the engineer turned the water back on, water flowed into the airing cupboard and over the floor. But Scottish Power denies responsibility.

I paid a bogus website to renew my passport and now I'm £72.50 out of pocket and still have no passport - what can I do?

Use the right website: The official site will not charge extra admin or checking fees

I typed 'passport renewal' into Google and a website called passport.uk.com popped up, which I assumed was the official site. I learned the hard way it wasn't.


Cheapest broadband

Search for the best providers in your area


Cheapest insurance

Compare thousands of policies

Energy bills

Energy bills

You could save £££s on your energy bills. Find out in seconds

Credit check

What does your credit rating reveal?

Get a FREE trial credit check today to see what the financial services industry can see about you



Extended warranties

Get cheaper cover on

Car insurance

Cheaper car insurance

Compare more than 100 insurers in less than five minutes



Best mortgages

See today's latest mortgage rates and get a free consultation with an adviser


Home insurance

Cheaper home insurance

Compare home insurance quotes from 75+ companies