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The HfP chat thread – Tuesday 22nd September

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We have decided to run this daily chat thread on Head for Points during the coronavirus outbreak.

Historically, the daily ‘Bits’ articles were the de facto repository for random comments and questions.  With the news flow being lighter, we are running fewer ‘Bits’ articles.

The comments under this article are where you should post questions about travel and, indeed, anything else on your mind.  At this tricky time, and given that many of you are at home, we want the HfP community to have a place to chat.


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Comments (252)

  • Grant says:

    Any experiences of the Crown Plaza in Marlow? Failing that any IHG / Marriott / Hilton recommendations within easy reach of Legoland – preferably somewhere nice to spend an afternoon / evening? Needs to be kid friendly and a bonus if we can get 2 adults and 2 young kids in one room.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Pretty sure the rooms have just been through a complete renovation

      • Rob says:

        Yes, I read that. We went a few times when the kids were little and it was very cheap (we used to get a suite for £99). Bizarre location but on a dry day it is a very pleasant walk into town down the riverbank and the pool is good for kids.

    • Rob says:

      HI Maidenhead Windsor has a pool IIRC.

    • Grant says:

      Thanks both

  • Solo_adventure says:

    Slightly strange thing happened, I was looking at booking a BA holiday this morning to leave next week, I got distracted and didn’t get a chance to complete the booking but when I’ve come back to it the deal has disappeared… but it comes back again if I change the booking to 2 people. I’m going on my own so that isn’t massively helpful lol. Does anyone know why this would be happening and if there is any way around it?

  • Wally1976 says:

    Had an email from Ernie today with news of them slashing their interest rates. I know the interest rates aren’t the main attraction for most of us on here but I was a little shocked by the scale of the cuts. E.g. Direct Saver down from 1% to 0.15%, income bonds from 1.16% to 0.01%. Rates take effect 24th November. No mention of changes to the prizes/effective interest rate for Premium Bonds.

    • BJ says:

      There was a little discussion around it yesterday. Good times for those with mortgages to plough everything into them as opposed to saving.

      • Genghis says:

        I disagree. You should keep cash for liquidity only. Paying off mortgage generally makes it highly illiquid (unless offset but those rates higher).

        • Harry T says:

          Where are you putting your cash savings now, @Genghis? Good places to stash an emergency fund are dwindling.

          • BJ says:

            The magic roundabout perhaps, stashing not exactly necesaary provided you have all the popular toys to play with.

          • Genghis says:

            Opened Skipton last week, 1.2%. Closed now I believe.

          • BJ says:

            1.2 possibly still available at Coventry.

          • BJ says:

            Just checked Coventry, the 1.2 is variable so will likely go down.

          • Lady London says:

            The Martin Lewis site usually puts the new savings offers front and center of their weekly newsletter.

            A lot get closed soon after they appear on there – massive takeup I guess.

        • BJ says:

          Well, that you should keep some cash goes without saying but my choice of words was poor. However, I am presuming most mortgages these days remain flexible in which case you can have your cake and eat it by accepting a little potential inconvenience.

          • Genghis says:

            Most are inflexible, ie you make the payment, you cannot forgo mortgage repayments down the line. Only way would be when remortgage. Not exactly where you want to keep your liquid cash…

          • BJ says:

            A bit surprised at that, just assumed mortgages would have become ever more flexible with time. Interest rate on my mortgage back in the day was all the incentive I needed to get rid of it very quickly but then savungs were good too 🙂

    • Genghis says:

      Premium bonds down to 1% effective

  • John W says:

    AGHH – warning to everyone , just been on the phone to the BA New Delhi call centre for 1 hour and 10 mins . They do not know what to do with the future travel voucher – totally clueless I am afraid – Want to charge me booking fee also for using it
    I am so frustrated

    • Lady London says:

      if BA would re-shore that call centre it would remove recurring discontent on the part of customers who come to grief at their hands.

      After all, India wages are nor quite so bad anymore in some ads I’ve come across so with the recent reductions in compensation of UK employees perhaps the gap wont be so large and BA could in-shore it?

      • Steve says:

        Not sure why onshoring helps. The issue is a lack of training, an onshore rep knows as much or as little as an offshore rep based on their training/guidance

        • Lady London says:

          Sadly Steve the difference is empirically felt widely.

          A bit like it’s always worth you are talking to Brighton if you need something sorted out with Amex. If you’re talking to their outsourcing and don’t realise it you can get 1 or 2 hours of “computer says no” on perfectly righteous cases.

          The vast, vast majority of the time this is not the case with inshore call centres.

          • Lady London says:

            PS Chunks of my work involve helping people not to make obvious mistakes when working with offshore call centres and processing centres and how to get the best out of them.

  • rams1981 says:

    PayPal – still have issues with them. Does anyone have any suggestions to escalate quicker and not get bot like replies from their message centre?

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