Posts Tagged ‘cashback’

cash 300x225 Now Halifax will share your income details with retailers offering discountsWe like offers at Bitterwallet. We think discounts are divine, cashback is cool and that vouchers are vonderful. But just how personal should retailer offers get? Postcode? Shopping habits? How much you earn?

Halifax bank are launching a new scheme called Halifax Cashback Extras which will see retailers offering you tailored offers, like a 5-15% discount when paying with your Halifax card. The process is streamlined, with no need for codes or vouchers, just a simple opt in on your internet statement.

So far so good. The new scheme is being run in conjunction with Cardlytics, a US-grown company that works with 400 US banks and which has generated sales growth for partner brands of up to 30%.

But the real deal with this scheme is that retailers will be able to target you, not only by where you live, but through your shopping habits and even how much you earn, through data volunteered by the bank. While we all like the idea of getting a great offer, we might be less enamoured with the idea of being excluded from offers because of our income levels and other personal shopping data, particularly if these fluctuate from month to month.

Cardlytics, however, believe the scheme “will resonate well with customers.”

Initial partner companies for the Halifax Cashback Plus include Ocado, Morrisons, Argos, Homebase, Pets at Home and New Look.

New Cashback account pays you to go shopping

August 14th, 2013 11 Comments By Lucy Sweet

Do you, in the immortal words of Mark Knobfler, want your money for nothing and your kicks for free? Well, RBS and Natwest are introducing a new current account that gives you cashback when you shop with your debit card.

cash back 300x192 New Cashback account pays you to go shopping

With the Cashback Plus account you’ll get back 1% of your shopping total, so you’ll receive a penny for every tenner you spend. When you’ve racked up a fiver, it gets paid into your account, or you can donate it to charity or swap it for gift vouchers.

OK, so you won’t be lighting fags with tenners and wiping your bum on crisp fifties, but it’s better than nothing, right? Well, it’s marginally better than nothing, but it might take you a while to get to £5 status. BP, Cineworld, Caffe Nero and H Samuel are amongst the businesses that have agreed to take part – but so far you can only get cashback in 11 shops. So you’re going to have to buy a lot of coffee, petrol and gold sovvy rings with ‘MAM’ written on them.

You might get more bang for your buck if you choose to put your cash into the gift vouchers, which are worth more and feature special offers. (They’re also being accepted by a few more stores – including Halfords, Currys and PC World.) For example, in exchange for £5 cashback, Cineworld will give you 2 adult tickets worth £10.

So there you go. Go forth and spend, then you can reap the rewards. Eventually.

HMRC to tax your Quidco cashback?

March 26th, 2013 5 Comments By Thewlis

money jar 300x300 HMRC to tax your Quidco cashback?Everyone knows the insurance industry is the worst kind of old boys club. Well, perhaps not the worst kind. Still, the fact that financial advisers can be sunning themselves on a cruise paid for on the back of advice given 20 years ago is why the whole financial services regime is currently undergoing a ‘reform’ to make it more transparent for everyone involved, with such ‘trail commission’ payments expected to be banned from 2014.

Now, HMRC have decided to get in on the act, with a new ruling that any such commissions that are thrown back to consumers will, from April onwards, be taxable. Earlier years’ bonuses will not be taxed. The insurance industry are perturbed by this new announcement, but are trying to spread the bad news by insinuating they are merely the first step on an HMRC cashback rampage.

The payments in question are basically repeat commission paid annually on longer term insurance-type investments. If you purchased the product with the help of a financial adviser, you can rest assured that he has been enjoying the benefit of the annual charge-back ever since you took it out. However, if you did not have an adviser, or in certain other circumstances, the investment product provider or broker will get the bung instead. Such firms are under no obligation to show you a penny of this free commission, but some do, notably Hargreaves Lansdowne who repay 16% of any commission received to its investors as a ‘bonus’. It is this cash payment returned to customers, either by way of an account credit or set off against management fees that HMRC have now ruled as chargeable. As far as they are concerned, it is an income generated by your investment, so unless it’s in a tax-free wrapper like a Stocks ISA or a SIPP, it’s fair game.

Hargreaves Lansdown, who is the largest bonus re-bunger, is understandably unimpressed. “It seems the Government is now seeking to tax small savers and investors. This is effectively a second tax on their income,” grumbled chief executive Ian Gorham.

However, he didn’t stop there, complaining to the Telegraph that it wasn’t just sour grapes, he was merely concerned that “the government may have set a precedent in taxing such loyalty schemes and savvy shoppers could well be next with Multi-buys, cashback credit cards and cashback websites all possible targets in the future.”

So should we all be worried about our clubcard balances? Is the taxman going to be making honey out of your Nectar card? Should you start declaring your Quidco and TopCashback earnings on your tax return? Apparently not. HMRC are reported to have dismissed these claims as “complete rubbish”, and the taxing of additional income on an investment product (i.e. designed to make the holder money) does seem to be entirely different from earning 20p from buying a kettle at Argos.

Still, you can never say never with HMRC, and perhaps the good folks at Hargreaves Lansdown have just given them a great idea for next year’s Budget…

Last Minute Christmas tips

December 21st, 2012 No Comments By Thewlis

santa 225x300 Last Minute Christmas tipsBitterwallet is the site that just keeps giving.  As everyone implodes into a last-minute buying frenzy, why not take a moment to check out our last minute tips. They might not be any use to you, but it’s the thought that counts, and we’re always thinking of you.

Cashback

You might think it’s too late to get cashback on your Christmas shopping purchases, and you might be right, but not if you use a check-in app like Quidco’s, or you have registered your debit card for in-store purchases to qualify too. Hey, you won’t actually get the cash in time, but why not save up your cashback all year so you’re well up by next December.

Alcohol

Everyone drinks at Christmas. Even nuns. Especially the blue ones. If you have a load of alcohol-swilling relatives descending on you over yuletide, finding the cheapest place to get your seasonal booze can be crucial to your pocket.

If wine is their thing, Quaffer’s Offers sounds a bit poncey, but does compare which wine offers supermarkets have on, allowing you to select only the cheapest plonk for your nearest and dearest.

Alternatively, buy in bulk, and if you are eligible for a cash and carry store like Costco, you might be able to make back the annual membership fee just on booze. Just because you buy it at Christmas doesn’t mean you have to drink it all at Christmas…

Stamps

You may have missed last posting dates by now, but if you are in receipt of certain benefits you can still (just) get cheaper stamps than the rest of us this Christmas in a scheme run by Royal Mail. Customers on pension credit, employment and support allowance or incapacity benefit will be able to purchase a total of 36 first and second-class stamps at 2011 prices.

The scheme runs until Christmas Eve and will enable customers to purchase a total of up to 36 first and/or second-class stamps at last year’s prices – 46p for first class and 36p for second class. The stamps can be purchased in any mixture of first and second class and can only be purchased in a single transaction, showing proof of benefits.

Obviously stamps don’t expire, so even if you don’t need any now, save them for next Christmas.

If you aren’t lucky enough to get benefits, Superdrug are also offering 5% off first class stamps until December 24.

 

Merry Christmas!

The Government have now officially launched their new Green Deal programme, and, after having read our previous article on the general meh-ness of it all, have decided to add a “first few customer” incentive to try and entice people into taking up the energy savingness on offer.

Government cashback will be offered to the first few thousand customers who take up the Deal, but the availability of cashback will be “reviewed” once £40 million has been spent. That could be in just  ”two or three months if it goes well,” according to a DECC spokesman. However, there is up to £125million available for cashbacking purposes, so it is likely the sweetener will remain, although possibly at lower rates than those initially offered.

 The new Green Deal  so unappetising the Government will pay you to join inThe rates of cashback vary according to the type of energy-saving measure being implemented, but to make sure people are not “over-rewarded” under the scheme, “the amount of cash back that can be received will be capped at 50 per cent of the applicant’s installation costs – so householders will have to contribute at least twice what they can receive in cash back.” Of course, the ‘contribution’ can take the form of a loan attaching to the property rather than an actual cash outlay.

The cashback in available from 28th January 2013, which is the same date that Green Deal improvement loans/works can begin, and is available to anyone who makes qualifying improvements (although there will be limitations on greedy landlords who own a number of properties). Each household is limited to one cashback claim, but the more energy-friendly work you have done, the more cash back you could receive- even over £1,000. In order to make the scheme look like a raging success, DECC are very keen to emphasise that the Green Deal Cashback Scheme is a first-come, first-served offer.

Energy Secretary Edward Davey said:

“The Green Deal will provide unprecedented choice for consumers wanting to improve their homes and make them more energy efficient. This cash back offer will help get the Green Deal off to a flying start. It really is a great offer – the more work households have done, the more energy they stand to save and the more cash they receive.”

There is a strict process to follow though- you have to physically claim your cashback which may be separate from engaging your Green Deal contractor- and there is a time limit of three months for the work to be done (six months for solid wall insulation) and before 31 March 2014.

To get your hands on Green Cashback, you must:

have a Green Deal assessment carried out on the property

get and agree quotes from a Green Deal  Provider (this could be directly with a national brand or through a local tradesperson linked with a Provider)

apply for Cashback voucher online or by phone. To make things easier some Providers will be able to apply on behalf of their customers

receive voucher confirming the Cashback

complete works within specified period

redeem voucher, along with evidence of works completed, for Cashback.

Customers wanting to find out more about the Green Deal can call the Energy Saving Advice Service on 0300 123 1234 or look at this handy information sheet with all the details.

Can you save money on train tickets?

October 3rd, 2012 10 Comments By Thewlis
train 300x239 Can you save money on train tickets?

A train, yesterday.

Train travel is somewhat newsworthy at the moment. We looked at how the Government lets train companies like London Midland do what they want, and today good old Richie Branson is rubbing his hands in glee after his complaining has landed the public with an estimated £40m bill to re-tender the West Coast mainline. What better day to talk about how to try and minimise the shocking cost of train tickets.

Even with the scandalous amount of tax and stuff in petrol, it is still often cheaper to drive somewhere than to get a train, but still the train companies increase their fares every year over and above the rate of inflation, despite the fact that earnings (that pesky small inflow of cash from which most of us actually purchase our train tickets) have not increased at the same rate. But what can we do to minimise ticket costs?

The easiest way to get cheaper fares is to book in advance, even the day before, although larger discounts are available the further ahead you can travel. you can also get cheaper fares if you know which exact train you are going to get- but beware, if you miss your train you may have to purchase a whole new fare at walk-up ticket prices. Better to book a slightly later one than one you might miss. Of course the savvy among you will also know that you can also get cashback on train ticket purchases from the major cashback sites.

What you may not know is that, despite its first-to-market advantage and friendly adverts featuring sheep, thetrainline.com is often not the cheapest site to book tickets from. You may wonder at this revelation, knowing that the ticket prices are largely set by the train companies themselves, rather than the retail site, but thetrainline adds a compulsory £1 booking fee (don’t get us started on booking fees) every time and charges an extra £3.50 for payments by credit card. Other sites, including the aforementioned billionaire’s Virgin Trains do not charge a booking fee or a credit card fee, meaning you could be £4.50 better off before you start.

And the cashback rates can vary too. For thetrainline, TopCashback offers 1.51% and Quidco offers 1.5% cashback on tickets over £25, but both TopCashback and Quidco both offer around  2% cashback on Virgin Trains. Quidco currently have an exclusive 4.5% at MyTrainTicket on first class ticket purchases, and, remembering you don’t actually have to book with the train company you are travelling with,  TopCashboack’s top train company to buy from, with cashback of 6.06% is Southern Railway .

But advance booking and cashback shenanigans aside, what else is there? You may have recently seen Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis, the one who sold out to a comparison site for an eye-watering sum of money, talking on his new ITV show. One of the ways of getting cheaper tickets he mentioned was to buy split tickets. For example, if you are travelling from London to Birmingham, it may be cheaper to buy a ticket from London to Rugby and then a ticket from Rugby to Birmingham. While good, and potentially lucrative in theory (Lewis’ examples saved up to £40), this method may require you to get off a train and wait for the next one, not to mention the requirement to actually know which stations your train calls at, and the faffing around trying to book it. Only you know whether this is worth the saving.

But there are other, less complicated ways too. As reported in the Observer, sometimes a reverse return can save you money on buying a single out of London. When booking super off-peak tickets with First Capital Connect, someone going from London King’s Cross to Cambridge could buy the cheapest (walk up) single ticket for £21.20, or they could buy a return from Cambridge to King’s Cross for £16, saving £5.20. You can also buy these fares online.

But before any train anoraks protest that this breaches the National Rail Conditions of Carriage, these state that you may not use the return of your ticket before the outward part, but in this case, the outward part is not used at all. First Capital Connect denied their single ticket prices were too expensive.

And the final way to save money could be to buy a railcard. While you may not qualify for a 16-25 railcard (although you can still get one if you are over 25, but a full-time student), a family and friends railcard could save more than its £28 cost in one train journey, particularly if you have a big family. As in lots of people, not that you are all overweight. Beware though, the rules of tickets purchases with this card state that you MUST travel with at least one child and the train WILL refuse you if you don’t. We were recently contacted by an avid reader who was refused access to a Virgin Train because his family had decided not to come on a day trip to London owing to illness. Clearly he was trying to play the system by only buying four tickets for his single journey, and despite the fact that he also had a student railcard (which meant he could have purchased a ticket just for himself for cheaper), the train company refused to budge, telling him he would have to purchase a new ticket at walk up prices. The moral- if you have a railcard that doesn’t rely on other people, use that first.

car 300x225 New car insurance widget tells you what your insurance could have cost you...Car insurance just gets more and more exciting. For your reading pleasure, we are delighted to present to you a widget that tells you how much cheaper you could have got your car insurance if you were a girl, a different age or lived somewhere else. All of which is absolutely no use to you, unless you are considering gender reassignment surgery and can falsify your birth certficate. You could move, but doing so purely for car insurance purposes seems a bit unlikely.

[we were going to insert the widget here, which is quite pretty, with purple and orange bits, but unfortunately it only comes in MASSIVE, so it wouldn't fit on the page. If you want to play with it* you'll have to go here instead]

Chopping your nob off is also a fairly extreme way of saving money. We like deals, but we think that’s a bit of a bum one. Especially considering the EU gender directive (which we have previously warned you about) comes into force in December, preventing insurance companies from properly assessing risks based on anticipated life expectancy discriminating against men and meaning that all women (and probably all men) will soon have to pay more for the same insurance. Thanks Eurocrats.

The widget has been produced by Moneysupermarket.com,  and is based on data from 3.3 million quotations which calculate that, on average, women save £100 a year on car insurance. Of course, moneysupermarket are presumably trying to remind you that you can get a comparison from them on your next lot of insurance whether you are male or female (they do not discriminate). And why not do so through a cashback site- even if you don’t  go on to buy an insurance product through them, you can get cashback of…

There is no cashback to be had for visiting Moneysupermarket.com even though they have a pretty widget. However, if you are looking to compare car insurance prices, Quidco is currently offering £1.82 for both GoCompare and Confused just for getting a quotation, or TopCashback will give you £1.51 and £1.01 respectively. It may not be much, but it’s better than nothing. And it would buy up to 18 Freddo Frogs with change.

* the widget

electricity meter 300x187 Thinking of switching your energy provider? Bitterwallet’s top 5 tipsIt is almost September, which means before we know it, it’ll be all cold and dark and the electricity meter will be whizzing round like there’s no tomorrow. And once the children are back at school and the morning rush hour is back to full strength, it’ll be no time at all until Christmas- in fact there are only 116 days and counting until the big day.

So why not start saving money now by switching your gas and electricity bills? A number of companies have recently reported (overly) healthy profits, so now may be a good time to look at liberating some of those profits to top up your own pocket.

But what things do you need to think about? Here are Bitterwallet’s top 5 tips for energy switchers:

1.  Check your tariff and usage

This may sound silly, but the first thing to do is to find out what tariff you are on, and whether you are tied in to your current supplier. Tariff and usage details should be shown on your bill, but make sure you get an annual usage level, rather than just using your last bill- as energy usage is seasonal, this could give you a distorted comparison when you compare prices. Some energy suppliers will tie you in for a fixed period of tariff deal- you should have been made aware of this when you signed up, but a quick call to your supplier can check this if you are unsure. This is crucial, as some suppliers could levy an early exit charge of £30 per fuel, meaning a dual fuel switch would need to be at least £60 cheaper to get any benefit from switching now.

2.  Compare prices and rates

Of course, once you know you can switch now, you need to know whether you should. There are a number of price comparison sites that will compare your usage and tariff with those available on the market, which is why it is important to get these figures right. If you don’t know or can’t find details of your annual usage, you can normally enter how much you pay as a next best estimate. Note though that if you pay by monthly direct debit, and you have overpaid, your monthly payment will likely overestimate your usage (and vice versa).

You also need to consider whether you want a fixed rate tariff. Some suggest energy prices will rise early next year, in which case fixing would be a good thing, as even prices tied to the standard tariff would rise under those circumstances. However, prices fell earlier this year in line with wholesale gas prices, and those on a fixed rate would have missed out.

TIP: Even if you’re not switching, if you do pay monthly and have a large overpayment at the end of the year (normally energy companies nominate one quarter as a ‘settlement’ quarter) you can request repayment of your money. If you don’t make a request, the energy company would much rather keep your money in their bank account, and will likely do so, or may reduce your monthly payment. However, if you would rather a £400 lump sum than a £35 a month reduction, get on the phone.

3.  Maximise switching profit

Once you have explored the different prices out there, maximise your money. In addition to any pay monthly discounts or dual fuel payments you can get by changing your payment method and switching both at the same time, you can also normally get cashback on the switch. Make sure you shop around though, as different cashback providers may have better offers- for example at the moment Topcashback has an exclusive £101 cashback for a dual fuel switch to npower’s standard tariff, while Quidco has a £100 exclusive on the Go Save tariff.  You can normally get a better rate of cashback if the provider has it’s own account with a cashback company, but if not, USwitch.com for example can get you £21.21 cashback for a dual fuel switch. Remember to find the best tariff first and then look for the best cashback on that tariff. Do not switch to the tariff with the highest cashback unless it is the cheapest one for you.

4.  Customer Service

So, after you’ve done all that, you may find that there are a number of options open to you for switching. How do you decide between them? One way would be to try and find out which supplier gives the best customer service. USwitch comparisons have a customer rating against some of the larger suppliers, or our friends over at Which* have compiled a handy customer service rating table. As you might expect, those with the worst customer service tend to be the larger suppliers who often, although not always, also have the cheapest and widest range of tariffs. However, if customer service is really important to you, you might decide to go for a smaller saving and better service. Assuming Which* know what they are talking about that is.

5.  Check the Green credentials

But what if you have decided they are all as bad as each other? Why not see how green they are? After all, green credentials are becoming more important to more people these days.

However, there is a bit of disagreement within the energy industry as to what being a green energy supplier actually means.  Ecotricity think that greenness should be measured by pence per pound of profit invested in alternative energy technologies, probably because they are top of their own league. However, other Green companies like Green Energy and Good Energy claim greenness owing to the amount of green (alternative) energy instead of brown (fossil fuel) energy they provide on their grid. Both Green Energy and Good Energy have 100% green energy tariffs, but npower’s Juice tariff currently has the most green UK customers. Green tariffs are unlikely to be the cheapest, however, but again, if it’s important to you, you won’t mind paying for it. Perhaps.

* insert punctuation mark of your choice

Free money from the Council. Calm down.

April 25th, 2012 19 Comments By Thewlis

child money 300x224 Free money from the Council. Calm down.Some people (not us) have suggested that people in the North* are not as savvy or financially astute as those down South. This is not so. Reports from the Wigan News prove that Scousers are, in fact, the most deal-savvy punters in the country by getting cashback from the Council, when they didn’t actually spend any money.

You see, owing to a Governmental commitment to reduce Council Tax in Wirral by 2-3%, thousands of householders will be receiving a nice little rebate from Wirral Council. Now that is nice, but is essentially only giving you back part of what you have paid out in council tax charges, right?

Actually, no. You see, because the rebate applies to everyone, every householder in the Wirral will get the rebate. Including the 29,000 households who don’t actually pay any council tax, because they get 100% council tax benefit. That’s right, £680,000 will be paid out as a rebate to people who didn’t actually pay anything in the first place.

Labour councillor Phil Davies tutted loudly and said the whole scheme “smacks of an election bribe” while council leader Jeff Green came up with an ingenious way of covering his embarrassed backside by claiming the measure helped the “poorest people in Wirral”, and practising his “we did it on purpose” face.

A spokesman said that it was possible that not all of the 29,000 had received 100% benefit for the whole year.  So that’s OK then.

* if you are from the South East, this means anywhere north of Watford.

 Quidco iPhone app offers cashback for check insQuidco have launched a free iPhone app (soon to be available on Android) that applies the practice of cashback to your local high street spending.

We’ll get the disclaimer out the way immediately – Bitterwallet is part of the HUKD family of blogs; Paul Nikkel is a founder at HUKD and also a founder at Quidco.com. Regardless, if you’re the frugal sort then it’s worth having a play with this app, because it’s packing a lot of features not seen elsewhere.

If you’re already registered with Quidco, you can sign in immediately – if not, you’ll need to create an account. Once signed in, there are three ways to earn or save money with the app;

• find nearby deals and offers at local retailers and restaurants

• register a credit or debit card and earn cashback on in-store purchases

• earn cashback for simply checking in at selected stores

There are dozens of apps that use geo-location to find offers and deals in your neighbourhood, but it’s the other two features that set the app apart. Being able to earn cashback for physical transactions is an enormous boon, and cashback for check-ins isn’t something we’ve seen before – attaching a monetary value to an activity sometimes considered pointless will get plenty of consumers interested.

There are limitations; the app won’t replace use of the Quidco website, even though it tries. You can browse online cashback deals using the app, but then you’re diverted to the website of the retailer in question. Unfortunately, most retailer sites aren’t optimised for mobile phones, and trying to order anything through a fully-blown website on a mobile device is beyond tedious. A good idea would be a dedicated button to place a bookmark on your Quidco account, so you can easily find an offer once you’re on a PC.

It’ll also be interesting to see how much abuse the paid check-ins receive – while plenty of users may incorporate the check-ins into their shopping routine, there are bound to be others who spend their days checking into shops to rack up a free money without spending a penny in them. That said, the check-in radii are very tight – you can’t check into a store from your bed like you often can with Foursquare or Facebook. Perhaps the lure of cash will generate enough additional foot traffic to make it worthwhile for retailers.

As an app, it’s well designed and simple to use; maps and listings are clear although there are a few bugs to work out, with information being clipped or not displayed properly in places. Above all, it’s offering something genuinely different to the local deal features offered by Facebook, Foursquare and Groupon; if it can convert its web users to mobile and avoid losing money to check-in abuse, this app could quickly establish itself as a worthy accessory for consumers.

Virgin offer £50 cashback on broadband

March 10th, 2011 11 Comments By Mof Gimmers

virgin media Virgin offer £50 cashback on broadbandVirgin Media are playing hardball in an attempt to lure customers to them. They’re doing this by announcing the return of a £50 cashback offer for new broadband bundle customers… but you’ll have to be quick.

You’ve got ’til 14th of March to sign up for the ISP’s Triple Play service, which is a package which includes broadband, telephone and TV. Sign up, and they’ve promised to bang your first bill with a credit of £50. If you want, you can combine this promotion with Virgin’s six month discount broadband offer and free installation offers.

From then on, an entry package which combines broadband, TV and phone will cost £10 a month, increasing to £20 after the first six month discount period.

Will they sort out all the faff of telling everyone your new phone number and all that as well? Probably not.

[pcr]

Apple to give you £100 for your old iPad

March 7th, 2011 8 Comments By Mof Gimmers

photo 300x225 Apple to give you £100 for your old iPad

Have you just bought the old iPad? Well, Apple want to give you £100 because they’re really bloody nice or something.

Basically, if you feel a bit peeved because you bought the old model just as the iPad 2 came out, then they’ll give you a wadge of cash to quit your whining.

The small print says that you will have had to buy the old model two weeks prior to the £100 price cut they’ve introduced or you won’t be eligible for the refund.

Oh. Wait. There’s more. The refund is only valid if you bought the device from the Apple website or from an Apple store. If you bought it from Dixons or something, they won’t be able to hear you crying.

Obviously, you’ll need a physical copy of your receipt. Visit Apple here for more details.

The slimmer, swankier iPad 2 hits the shelves of the UK on March 25th, but you can’t hear us as you’re scurrying around your house, turning everything upside down in an attempt to find your receipt aren’t you?

You may remember the cashback promotion ran by Sony in November. Just in case you don’t, the gist of it was that Sony (and retailers) would give cashback to customers who bought particular Sony products – an amount equivalent to the VAT paid.

The issue we unearthed at the time was that while Sony were paying the cashback, the retailers increased the price of qualifying products overnight – in some instances, prices were raised by the exact amount that the customer could claim back. Once this was realised by customers, a potentially generous offer appeared to be little more than a shoddy marketing rip-off.

Bitterwallet SONY VAT offer cashback Sony backs out of cashback for Bitterwallet reader

Well, now it’s February and that offer is all done and dusted, as avid Bitterwallet reader Tom has only just discovered:

SONY has decided not to pay out to me, after I bought a Sony Bravia TV in John Lewis on 13 December. I posted all paperwork off on 14th December. I received a letter from sony on 26th February saying they were sorry but I’d claimed outside the offer, which ended 31st January.

The Sony rep told me they received the application on 2nd February, and that wasn’t a coincidence it was just two days after closure as they dealt with applications daily. When I pointed out that it took until 17th February to print the dated letter, they had no reply other than to say her manager agreed it was not their problem that Royal Mail took six weeks to deliver the mail!

I have been stung for £61. Never be tempted by these offers unless you want to spend extra money on special delivery every time.

It’s absolutely true that the Winter weather delayed thousands or items of mail for a silly amount of time – we’ve seen reports of Christmas cards only just been delivered in the past week. In this instance, however, Tom very much had all the evidence to prove he complied by Sony’s conditions; at the very least, the receipt included with his claim would have been dated by John Lewis, and there’s every chance the letter was franked with last year’s date.

Unfortunately Sony has deleted all trace of the promotion’s terms and conditions from its website, so it’s impossible to say exactly what the wording was. Regardless, Sony no doubt used the weather as an excuse for the late delivery of goods throughout December. Faced with a claim for £62 from a customer who paid several hundred pounds in good faith, it’s disappointing that Sony won’t honour his claim as a goodwill gesture.

A badly executed marketing promotion followed by pernickety, mean customer service – must try harder, Sony.

Quidco’s hottest cashback deals of the week

November 29th, 2010 9 Comments By Paul Smith

quidco logo rgb 300x118 Quidco’s hottest cashback deals of the weekNo beating around the weekly bush of cashback offers – here’s a small-but-perfectly-formed list of the best cashback offers available right now on Quidco.

In fact, we’ve been so slick in getting straight to the deals this week, we haven’t even bothered with the obligatory second sentence to introduce them:

All Saints – there’s 25% off plus free delivery + 15% cashback at until 5th December

Vodafone – £15 per month 12 month SIM Only (600 minutes / unlimited texts) + £110 cashback (saving you 61%)

Microsoft Store the cashback for the Kinect has doubled to 20%, which means the price is effectively £104 with cashback

Come on everybody, let’s give a big ol’ cheer for Sony! HOORAY!

Bitterwallet SONY VAT offer cashback What Sonys VAT cashback promotion gives with one hand...

Yes! Visit your local Sony Centre and add some extra sparkle this Christmas, by claiming the VAT back on a wide range of technology from Sony! And it’s not just Sony – other high street stores including John Lewis and Argos are also part of this cashback-style offer! Merry Christmas everybo-

Yesterday John Lewis were selling:

37EX403U @£450 (£382 when including VAT back)
40EX403U @ £480 (£408 when including VAT back)

However today the prices have rocketed to:

37EX403U @ £522 (£444 when including VAT back)
40EX403U @ £584 (£497 when including VAT back)

Oh. According to the guys and dolls on Hot UK Deals, and folks over on MSE (and here, too), the prices of several Sony products have been increased to offset the promotion, meaning the VAT cashback offer isn’t anywhere near the deal the shiny marketing would have you believe. Merry Christmas.

Thanks to avid Bitterwallet reader Mark