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Posts by: Advice Hub

I’d like some advice on keeping my energy bills down please. I work in admin for a big corporation. We’ve been working from home since lockdown, and have been told we’ll not be back in the office before March at the earliest. Now the weather has turned, I’m freezing sitting here all day in front of my computer! I’m worried if I turn the heating up my bills are going to go through the roof!

I’m sorry this is causing you to worry. However, fortunately, there’s lots you can do to keep bills down. Firstly, see if you can get a better deal by changing your energy tariff or supplier. However, as well as comparing prices, it’s a good idea to check the customer service record of a company before […]

I posted a parcel recently using a parcel comparison service – having carefully measured and weighed it prior to purchasing the appropriate postage rate (£30.40). The firm are now claiming that the width of the parcel was incorrect (they say it was audited by UPS) and they are demanding an additional £123 payment. I have responded electronically disputing this, and have provided the firm with an image showing the original parcel (taken to protect against any damage in transit issues) and comparison photos showing the same area of floor with the disputed dimensions marked on it. The firm has provided no evidence that the parcel measurements were different. I checked reviews of the firm and found a large number highlighting what appears to be a widespread overcharging scam. I have contacted Action Fraud about this but am yet to get a reply. In the meantime, the firm continue to demand £123. What else can I do?

This is increasingly happening and, whilst there are many reputable firms out there, it sounds like you have been unfortunate and chosen one that’s less scrupulous. Firstly, you need to ensure that can’t deduct money from your account – do they have any of your card details? If so, contact your bank for advice on how […]

Do I have to work over Christmas?

It’s up to your employer to decide whether or not you have to work on bank holidays. If your place of work is closed on bank holidays, your employer can make you take them as part of your annual leave entitlement. Some employers might give you bank holidays off and pay you for them on […]

This Christmas has been a bit of a struggle – I did not start buying things early enough so was left with a lot to do and get and I overspent. I am determined that I will get my finances in order in 2021 and this will not happen again. Do you have any tips?

You are not alone in overspending at Christmas or in feeling that you need to regain control over your finances in the New Year. At Citizens Advice Carlisle & Eden we are expecting to see an increase in people seeking advice on financial matters in January – people are more likely to research financial decisions […]

About five years ago my father-in-law was the victim of a scam artist who fleeced him out of £5,000. Once he realised, he was devastated and we were able to work with his bank to get some of the money back. We thought it was all in the past but in the last six months he’s received numerous calls, letters and texts from what look like other scammers. We want to try and keep him safe as his memory isn’t the best, what can we do?

Unfortunately, falling victim to a scam once can increase exposure to further scams. Citizens Advice has found that, once someone has responded to a scam, their personal details can sometimes be sold onto other criminals. This then opens the door to more scam mail, emails, phone calls or home visits.   If you recognise a […]

My mother has asked me to ‘make all the arrangements’ when she passes away. I’ve never had to do anything like this before and, with all the recent news stories, I’m worried about the high cost. Is there any information or advice you can give?

No one wants to have to arrange a funeral at what is already a difficult time. If you do, having an understanding of what is involved and how to deal with problems will help. Most funerals are arranged by the nearest relatives and if not by a close friend. If there is no one, the […]

My employer says I owe them money. What can I do?

When you leave a job, your employer can only ask you to pay back money if it’s for something you’ve specifically agreed to in writing. Even if you do owe your employer money, they can only take it from your pay if there’s a written agreement to say they can. Check if you owe your […]

I’ve just had my hours cut at work. I’d like to take on a second job, but there’s nothing around. It sounds ridiculous to talk about Christmas now, but I’m already worrying! I usually start buying the kids a few presents really early to spread the cost – but that’s going to be impossible this year. How can I make less go further, without going into debt?

I’m sorry to hear about the cut in your hours, and what it means for you. It sounds like you’re normally very organised, and I’m sure this will stand you in good stead. There are steps you can take to avoid your bills from building up. Look at ways to boost your income. A fall […]