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The HfP chat thread – Thursday 28th October

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We are running this daily chat thread on Head for Points during the coronavirus outbreak.

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Comments (447)

  • Anna says:

    Chris Heyes has been away a long time!

    • Guernsey Globetrotter says:

      I was thinking this the other day too Anna – it’s likely not good news as he was such a prolific poster 🙁
      It did give me pause for thought about how to handle the digital aspects of your life should the worst happen. I participate in a number of online communities (including HfP) which have meaning to me and I feel it important that if something happened to me this could be communicated to my online friends in some way.
      Also, I’d imagine that if you did have arrangements to leave log-in info with next of kin then in turn they may get some comfort from the knowledge that their loved-one had all these connections – messages of condolence at such times can mean so much!

    • Peter K says:

      I was only thinking this last night. Not good news I fear 😞

      • Lady London says:

        Would be very unexpected. With a bit of luck he’s most likely just got the hump with us.

        • Super Secret Stuff says:

          Trying not to jump to conclusions but is indeed very worrying, particularly as time goes on

    • Harry T says:

      I hope he’s alright!

    • Jeff Greene says:

      He’s probably just doing something else with his time

    • Navara says:

      I thought that too but he did say if he was away he switched off his phone

      • Michael C says:

        Hopefully just redirecting his lols for a while/having an extended phone-free trip.

  • Alex J says:

    I’m off to Malta tomorrow for five days – it’s my first time there. I’m staying in Saint Julian’s, but I’m planning to move around a lot and see most of the main sights across the islands. My sightseeing is roughly sorted, but any recommendations for places to eat gratefully received! I typically lean towards cheap and cheerful but not averse to treating myself to something fancier every now and then.

    • Jim says:

      On the fancier side…
      Caviar & Bull in St Julians
      Sciacca Grill in Valletta

    • J says:

      Make sure you check out Fontanella Tea Gardens in Mdina (fantastic views, fantastic cake)

      • Ant says:

        all the above though i was not impressed with Caviar & Bull last time,
        Panorama in Valletta, food is good and terrific view
        Zen at the Hilton Marina
        The Golden Fork – Attard

    • Keely says:

      Venus in St. Paul’s Bay is really good . It is not cheap and cheerful but is worth a visit if you’re around that way .

    • Wollhouse says:

      Non touristy… all excellent. Kuya – Asian – st Julians; Trabuxu- Valetta (there’s 2; one is a wine bar with charcuterie and cheese only; the other is Italian; Ambrosia- Valetta. If you have a car: Baia lovely beachside with views- Lille Armier Bay and finally seafood only, fantastic – tables on the beach- Mgarr Ix Xini. Definitely recommend the Palace Armoury; and the catacombs in Rabat. Combine the latter w Mdina and as suggested cake in Fontanella. If you get your timings right, the restaurant in Mdina at the Xara palace -eat at the more relaxed one downstairs which is reasonably priced; upstairs more touristy and expensive side and (IMO) not worth the money.

    • Alex J says:

      Great advice, thanks so much everyone! Much appreciated.

  • stevenhp1987 says:

    Creation Update:

    Creation have closed my account citing section 12 (me breaking the agreement). They refuse to say what exactly I have done to deserve this only that they have done this under section 12 and they won’t budge. They can’t close me under section 12 without a reason can they? That sounds very odd…

    I’ve never missed a payment etc. I have used Bendy with Ernie and that’s about it. That’s not a crime though.

    They also said that as my account was on notice (60 days to 3rd December) any points earned up to 3rd December wouldn’t be transferred over so I’ve added that to my complaint.

    A total joke.

    • JDB says:

      Looking briefly at the Act, unfortunately I don’t think there is any requirement to give a reason for closure under either 12 or 14 of their T&Cs.

      • stevenhp1987 says:

        Section 14 no (hence the mass closures on 3rd December), but for Section 12 I have to actually breach some term or go into arrears. Neither has happened!

        • Yorkie Aid says:

          You’re on a road to nowhere with that one I’m afraid. I had the same issue with Amex, account closed due to alleged breach. FOS said that even though they were sympathetic to my case there was nothing legally they could do.

        • JDB says:

          I don’t know if it applies to you, but I mentioned a while back before all this blew up that overfunding an account and then spending that overfund can cause a technical breach of your credit limit. I am sure they are watching the closing accounts carefully. As with any business or personal relationship, once someone has said it’s over, it can get messy… I think the 60 days notice requirement must be envisaged for people who just have one account to give them time to organise themselves. In this case, the view seems to be to hammer the account! What they have done to you shows they aren’t messing about, so all the hammering may be in vain; people may or may not get points.

          • stevenhp1987 says:

            Never overfunded the account! Always waited for transactions to clear before paying it off!

    • Sandgrounder says:

      They are under no obligation to do business with you. I had a current account shut down once for using it for business deposits, fair enough, can’t argue but I didn’t receive the closure letter or the two phone calls they claimed to have attempted. Found out when I walked into the branch with a deposit. I got JS off the ombudsman because I already had another account and couldn’t prove consequential loss. Embarrassment and inconvenience are just customer service issues, they aren’t interested.
      They had to pay the fee though so na-na-na-na-naaa-naaa! 🙂

      • stevenhp1987 says:

        No obligation to do business is the reason we were given 60 days notice though surely?! Oh well…

        Well at the very least I’m going to be asking for the points (or monetary value based at 1p per point) that is still on my account as well as the annual night voucher (or ~ £500 monetary value based on last voucher redemption) and pro-rata refund!

        They also said they wiped the £63.35 remaining balance because they couldn’t close it without a £0 balance. That’s quite odd…

        Still a bit of a joke though!

        • Sandgrounder says:

          All they can do is make you whole. As you said try for the points and the free night, and make sure you ask for costs of submitting the complaint, including your time at an hourly rate. These aren’t often paid, but no harm in asking.

      • Lady London says:

        Surely they have to prove receipt of the communications not just claim that they sent them.

        Banks and similar log everything so they should have been able to produce phone records as well. And I’ll bet they couldn’t.

        Other than that, your thing is a good nudge to always be able to quantify a loss (even £1) if you can. But it sounds like they lied, and did in fact breach the terms of their own contract.

        On refusal to refund even pro rata, annual fees taken and a unilateral closure that they couldn’t prove was due to customer’s breach of terms, as well as not paying out nights earned without breaching terms (doesn’t matter what the night is called, JDB) , and IMV even compensating partially earned nights earned without breaching the terms, I think Creation is going to get a huge shock if those who have operated within terms challenge them legally.

        The law’s an ass if it allows accounts to be closed on the basis of allegations impugning on someone’s proper conduct without those allegations being disclosed specifically and proven. There should also be a procedure to warn customers if the business believes a breach has occurred and summary closure allowed only in the case of major urgent breaches.

        • JDB says:

          There is no requirement to prove receipt of the closure notices. See s176 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 and s7 Interpretation Act 1978. On the rest, I’m not sure if you have actually read the two sets of terms and CCA1974, but anyway we will have to agree to disagree.

          • Sandgrounder says:

            Generally, if a notice is posted first class it’s counted as received the next day. No obligation to send anything recorded etc.

          • Lady London says:

            Hi JDB, surely the onus of proof being for them to prove you received any communication due, and not just for them to claim they sent it (even if they do have proof(, comes from outwith the contract? Where I’ve seen it before in a financial context it’s been stated as a general requirement and not one that particularly has to be in any contract.

            Unfortunately I do tend to focus on fairness though and then try to be aware of law that will back that up. It would be very disappointing to find the law is lacking to protect customers so providers could just claim they had a misconduct reason that could deprive the person of benefits and not have to disclose or prove it.

          • JDB says:

            @Lady London if your theory were true, everybody would dodge every formal notice, speeding ticket etc. sent to them. There are very few things, such as a Statutory Demand or documents that might involve the deprivation of liberty that may require personal service, and then effectively proof thereof. The court may waive the requirement.

            If you don’t believe me, ask Prince Andrew who it appears initially took his advice from you!

          • JDB says:

            @Lady London – s176 of CCA1974 specifies the conditions for service of notices, the Civil Procedure Rules contain some specific rules (which are statute) and if a statute doesn’t specify, s7 Interpretation Act 1978 will generally apply – it’s very straightforward: “Where an Act authorises or requires any document to be served by post (whether the expression “serve” or the expression “give” or “send” or any other expression is used) then, unless the contrary intention appears, the service is deemed to be effected by properly addressing, pre-paying and posting a letter containing the document and, unless the contrary is proved, to have been effected at the time at which the letter would be delivered in the ordinary course of post.”

    • Tw33ty says:

      I wonder if rob would still give creation an award like they got a couple of years back for the black card, or if this has changed even his view off them.

  • Triath5 says:

    Trying to Combine My Avios on BA.com with my Iberia account and struggling massively. Does anyone have any tips?

    1) Through Chrome I get a ‘Session has timed out’ in red text in the sub window
    2) Through Firefox it just never finishes loading.

    Any tips on how to make this work? Thanks.

    • Triath5 says:

      *Adblock disabled on both and now getting the same ‘Your session has timed out, please log in again’ message…Gotta love BA’s IT.

    • Sam G says:

      one thing to try is to go via aerclub/Avios.com and try from both the Iberia & BA ends though personally I’ve never had a problem directly either way

    • Red Flyer says:

      I gave up recently as spent hours pulling my hair out and purchased required tickets in minutes via Avios.com instead.

    • Triath5 says:

      Thanks all for your responses.

      Tried a million different avenues through avios.com, still didn’t work.

      In the end (by some miracle), managed to get it to work by enabling cookies in the browser. What a colossal waste of time this was…but result achieved.

  • Paul says:

    Any idea how long to wait to receive the sign up bonus on the BA Accelerate Business card? Made the qualifying spend 10 days ago however have not received the bonus yet, where as I know with personal cards the sign up bonus tends to post with the qualifying purchases base points

    • Sam G says:

      this came up yesterday – the chat told me 8 weeks !

    • Allan says:

      I got mine at the first transfer to Avios following hitting the £5k spend.
      Closed the account after that.

    • Peter K says:

      Not being funny but you ask this question every day. I’m not sure why you expect a different answer from the same group of people with only a 24hr time gap in between? 🤷🏻‍♂️

      • Mikeact says:

        It will hopefully stop this sort of nonsense when the forum is up and running.

  • Sam B says:

    Hello everyone,

    I need to book a one-way flight from London- Singapore for myself, my wife, and son (<2Yo) in Feb next year.

    We have a bunch of Amex 241 vouchers to use up and about 250K Avios (We live in Australia now so don't earn many Avios anymore).

    The only option I can see that works and allows us to use the Amex voucher is Premium Economy to SIN (even then there aren't many flights), so 2 questions:

    At 77K Avios + 241 voucher +circa 650GBP for the 3 of us, is it a bad/good use of my Avios? Should I just save them for a future biz class flight on a future trip to/ from the UK?

    Is it likely BA will release any more biz class seats to SIN for early 2022?

    Thanks!

    • Rob says:

      Depends what the cash price is, of course – in general, miles are outstandingly good for one-way flights because cash tickets would be extortionate. If PE seats are there then why not lock it in and swap if business seats do open (which they will if additional flights get added)?

    • Froggee says:

      I would book it. Good use of Avios. Price up tickets for cash for your date one-way. Valuing an Avios at 0.8p (being the value you get in Sainsburys) would say this is costing you £1,266 + your 241. Only you will know how likely it is you would be able to use the 241 for another flight before it expires and how much value you could get from it. The risk would be that business class would open up and you couldn’t get through to BA to change your flight or get your 241 back in time to book it again.

      In terms of BA releasing more seats, I think it may happen. BA seemed to remove lots of availability when the Vaccinated Travel Lane opened up. If demand is weaker then they hoped then they will probably drop rewards seats back into inventory. It might be worth subscribing to SeatSpy for a few months to keep an eye on this?

    • Sam B says:

      Thanks both!!

  • Anuj says:

    What’s the point in all the American express branding in BST Hyde Park if they don’t offer a adele ticket presale for Amex cardholders.

    • Anuj says:

      Update they do, but it’s tomorrow

      • Youllnever says:

        Yup – today’s one is a general presale.

        • Anuj says:

          Bizarre how they haven’t hyped it at all, perhaps the staff want to increase their own chances hahaha

          • Youllnever says:

            I suspect it’s because people will then reach out asking why the Amex presale is after the general one today.

  • Benilyn says:

    @JDB – what would you do re Creation, irt complaints to the co / FOS / MCOL. If you are a Premium card holder, due points (been withheld) and a free night voucher (anniversary hit and not posted). I’ve never done a FOS/MCOL.

    • JDB says:

      I think MCOL in this case is fanciful and anyway quite a technical argument to make. Whatever you decide, you need first to make a formal complaint but bearing in mind the timing of that if you want to keep using the card until 3 Dec in case they shut you down immediately as seen today. Also, before making the complaint, you should dig out (or ask them) for the full rewards T&Cs (not card ones) that you signed up for or are currently in force to get the complaint right/specific. I’m not sure, but I think the two page undated version may be an abbreviated one. Once you have the final decision/their argument, then decide how to pursue. It may also be that if enough complaints are received they will cave. If your anniversary is after 3 Dec, I think the case is very weak, those inside the 60 days better but still not clear. Instinctively, I feel that going on spending on the card after the closure notice and expecting rewards seems quite rash and wouldn’t meet a lot of sympathy from a judge or FOS. It’s clear the relationship is at an end and the statutory notice period is a formality; it isn’t BAU. Someone may be able to advise how/if closure of your account by the creditor shows on your credit report and if that matters.

      • Anna says:

        JDB – the accounts are either open or closed, you can’t have a “wind down” period where you get some benefits and your card may or may not work! If they are open then Creation have to honour the Ts and Cs, especially if they haven’t even advised that they are intending to withdraw benefits between the date of notification and the date of closure.

        • JDB says:

          You aren’t wrong @Anna in a perfect world! There isn’t any provision for a run off period, but that doesn’t mean things will necessarily remain ‘normal’ or that it will be easy to enforce all the things you hope for during this grey period, so ploughing on has a degree of risk that everyone needs to assess for themselves.

      • Rui N. says:

        So, for you, the customer receiving the letter should expect to be charged for the full year with no refund for the time the card was closed, while at the same time “expecting rewards seems quite rash”. So, the customer has to to keep paying Creation until up to December 2022 (in the worst case scenario), but derive no benefits whatsoever from paying the fee even in the 2 months that the card is still open. All of this with no communication from Creation telling the customer what to expect, and no indication at all that the benefits of the card have been curtailed in any way.
        I really hope you weren’t involved in customer care in whatever job you did.

        • SteveJ says:

          Don’t shoot the messenger @Rui. JDB was asked a question and he’s given his opinion based on his experience. If you don’t like it that’s not JDB’s issue.

          Your issue is with Creation, not someone on the internet.

          • Rob says:

            JDB actually knows what he’s talking about, let’s just say that …

          • Rui N. says:

            I don’t have any issue with Creation. I don’t have a black card, and won’t cry for the 72 points that haven’t posted this month. (I’ll make a complain though if they don’t post). You’re right about the ad hominem stuff. Doesn’t stop it being a silly position though – and I know enough about consumer law to know that it would be very difficult for Creation to allege such BS in court (no idea if it would fly on FOS). And he/she has been proved wrong before Curve T&Cs. Or claiming that people that bank with Revolut wouldn’t be able to get a mortgage.

      • Joints&Piles says:

        “spending on the card after the closure notice and expecting rewards seems quite rash”

        I don’t think it was obvious from the closure letter that no points would be earned. I’m surprised that this may be the case. The letter carried no hint of this. It didn’t even say that the closure was because the cardholder had done something wrong.

        When viewing the card account in the app or on the website it continued to show the points earned for the month’s spend, just like before.

        If they had decided not to award points but did not say so in the closure letter, still showed points being accrued in the spending summary and on the statement, how could that not be seen as misleading and unfair?

        Not that Creation seem to be acting fairly. Fairness aside, I don’t agree that most people (at least, anyone who doesn’t work for the FOS) had any reason to suspect that no points would be earned.

        And if I’m too naughty to receive points on my black card why are they still happy to give them on my white card? I won’t be surprised if the lack of points being posted is down to their incompetent IT rather than anything deliberate.

        • JDB says:

          It may well be an IT glitch or just that they are doing things manually for those whose accounts are being closed adding delay. Who knows? It doesn’t affect me, but once I was told my account is going to be closed, I don’t think I would expect everything to be exactly as before for the following 60 days and experience tells me that if a firms wants to make life difficult, enforcing your rights isn’t always that simple. Experience also tells me that things that seem unfair to a customer don’t always meet the ‘unfairness’ threshold for an arbitrator/judge.

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