Tony Hetherington is Financial Mail on Sunday fighting the corners of readers, revealing the truth that lies behind closed doors, and gaining victories for those left out of their pockets. Find out how to contact him below.
Ms. MA writes: My Nectar account was deleted just before midnight when I was home and sleeping in bed.
Nectar says it’s up to Sainsbury to take care of it.
However, Sainsbury’s say that without CCTV there is nothing they can do to show I wasn’t at the store and they deleted the camera footage.
Sour Taste: Nectar was a leaky ship – cardholders who complain will be fobbed off, told to contact the police, not the store, or that Sainsbury’s itself destroyed the evidence
Tony Hetherington replies: Nectar is owned by Sainsbury’s. So if you’ve complained to Nectar, you might think that a bit of federated management could have been put in place instead of Nectar shrugging. And you went out of your way to deal with this yourself before contacting me.
You called both Nectar and Sainsbury’s to report that around £ 60 worth of points had been stolen from your account. You even went to the store where your missing points were spent. It is the Sainsbury branch in the Sury Basin in Kingston upon Thames in Surrey. You were told the manager would call you but there was no call and when you returned to the store you were told that the CCTV recording no longer exists.
Sainsbury insisted that your Nectar Points could only be spent if your card was stolen. However, they also insist that your card do not leave your wallet until you drop it off at the checkout.
You suspect that someone, possibly within Sainsbury’s, might have downloaded the details without your knowledge, what you told me would be a staggering lack of security.
Her own detective work uncovered a personable employee who revealed that your points had been spent on purchases that included two large packs of baby diapers. Sainsbury’s described this as “normal shopping,” adding that your points had also bought alcohol and a toy train.
You have been told that “by our normal investigative standards this does not appear suspicious” and that if you think something is suspicious you should go to the police, not Sainsbury’s.
Since you had already told the giant shop that you were sleeping in bed, miles from the Sury Basin, and with your nectar card in your wallet, you could imagine that this might be enough to arouse suspicion.
Even so, Sainsbury saw your trip as normal shopping, and that as a senior you may have bought lots of diapers and a toy train. I asked Sainsbury’s if you’ve ever bought diapers and toys. I also asked how long CCTV recordings are kept before they are deleted. While admitting these two items were inconsistent with your regular purchase, the company made no response about the lack of CCTV coverage.
All Sainsbury would say in the end was, “We are in contact with Ms. A to set up a new Nectar account and refund her missing points. We also apologized for the inconvenience this may have caused. ‘
Unfortunately, nectar point theft is not uncommon. This is the third case I have reported on in the past few months. In one case, the real cardholder was told that Sainsbury’s did not believe in fraud, implying that he himself was the crook.
In another case, Sainsbury tried to say the customer authorized someone else to have an additional card on their account, but refused to provide any evidence.
Nectar is a leaky ship. Cardholders who complain will be fobbed off, told to contact the police and not the store, or that Sainsbury’s itself destroyed the evidence. Stolen points are only replaced after a fight. Either there are bad eggs on the staff, or the cards themselves are too easy to forge and duplicate. Or maybe both are true. In any case, this nectar leaves a sour taste.
I lost £ 5,400 on a canceled California trip
DC writes: I booked flights to California with my 85 year old father for the trip of a lifetime.
The booking agent was Mytrip and the flights were with Aer Lingus but the flights were canceled due to the pandemic.
Mytrip says it requested a refund from Aer Lingus but received nothing, while Aer Lingus tells me I need to take care of Mytrip.
Not so golden: DC lost £ 5,400 after booking flights to California for the trip of a lifetime
Tony Hetherington replies: Mytrip is part of a foreign company called Gotogate that said to me, “We have contacted the airline about a refund and are waiting for their response.” Refunds took anywhere from six weeks to many months, Gotogate added.
Aer Lingus was much more helpful. The agent hadn’t received a refund request, the airline informed me, but after hearing from me they immediately went to return the full payment to Mytrip. I pressed mytrip and it quickly transferred the money to your bank.
The entire ticket price of £ 5,406 is now back in your bank account.
WE ARE WATCHING YOU
A convicted fraudster who ran a fraud wine investment company is now banned from serving as a director of a limited liability company for the next 11 years. Anthony Collins, previously known as Kyrone Collins, ran Dow and Jones Limited from March 2016 to March 2020.
Its salespeople misrepresented the potential profits that could be made by investing in their wines, and state bankruptcy investigators reported, “Wine sold to investors was often around 100 percent above recommended retail prices, meaning a profitable one Return on investment at the level and timeframe specified by the Dow and Jones would not be possible. ‘
Rip off: Dow and Jones charged £ 10,200 for the Duclot Collection
Collins filed inaccurate accounts with Companies House, making his business look healthier than it was, and led an investor to part with £ 111,450 that has disappeared. Investors who paid for wine the Dow and Jones didn’t buy for them are owed a total of £ 809,143.
I warned about the Dow and Jones in April 2017 when they charged £ 10,200 for a mixed set of nine bottles of wine called the Duclot Collection, which I could buy from a real wine merchant for around £ 5,500. Collins, 32, was convicted in 2011 for defrauding the NHS of thousands of pounds by submitting fake bills that had been stamped by a buddy working at a hospital.
He was given a suspended sentence and then worked as a salesman for a former dishonest wine investment company, Prime Trading 5 Limited, before starting Dow and Jones. He is now banned from founding or controlling a limited liability company until 2032.
If you believe you have been the victim of financial misconduct, write to Tony Hetherington at Financial Mail, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5TS or email email@example.com. Due to the high volume of inquiries, no personal answers can be given. Please only send copies of the original documents, which we unfortunately cannot return.
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