The Money Shot - April 13th 2012

Covered mag, presented by
  • | by Kristian Dando


The rumours of the Money Shot’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. After a two week lay-off (one comprising of a rare occasion of being allowed to leave the musty basement of HQ which we call our home in order to travel to London to attend a super-riveting, not-at-all tedious conference which at no point made The Money Shot lose the will to live, the other spent maxing and relaxing over the Bank Holiday weekend) we’re back, with, er, a ‘bang’

So, with two whole weeks of hot, frothing money news to catch up on, it’s difficult to know where to start. In the past two weeks we’ve had the government’s rather heavy-handed response to the fuel ‘strike’ that never was,  a crackdown on jolly, avuncular philanthropists apparent ‘tax dodging’ ways, not to mention the bombshell that retailers will be limited on the amount of stamps they are allowed to buy in bulk leading up to this month’s controversial price rise – a veritable cornucopia of rich pickings for painfully lame ‘laughs’ and ‘hilarious’ riffing.

But we’ve decided to lead this week with the BBC Watchdog investigation last night which ‘exposed’ the fact that car insurance companies seldom repay their customers’ loyalty, slapping them with ever-more expensive premiums despite years of trade, and that customers would do well to shop around for a better deal rather than letting their policy auto-renew at the end of 12 months. Who’d have thunk it? This, in case you hadn’t noticed, is a particular loud, sonorous drum which has been banging with aplomb since we were just a cheeky price aggregation glint in our directors’ eyes back in 2006.

Since then, we’ve helped millions save money on their car insurance. In fact, some customers have saved over £800 on their policy price renewal – whatever your current financial situation, that’s not a figure to be sniffed at. But don’t just take our word for it – you can watch the BBC's hard-hitting program on the great renewal debacle right here.


The banking trade saying one thing and doing another is hardly news. But anybody reading this week’s papers would have had reason to choke on their toasted maize cereal when it was revealed that despite trying to get cheques phased out, our beloved financial institutions have been using the old skool payment fan’s medium of choice to transfer customers money, making them wait for cash they could have instantly. A bit rich, you might think, as the banks effectively ended the cheque as a viable day-to-day payment method by abolishing the cheque guarantee card last year.

Sarah Brooks, director of financial services at campaign group Consumer Focus, harrumphed: ‘It seems a complete double standard that banks are pushing to phase out cheques for consumers, yet it is often their default to pay ISA transfers by cheque. " Meanhwile, Dr Ros Altmann director general of over 50s financial services and holiday specialist Saga (who perhaps has a particular interest in the situation, given that the form of payment is generally favoured by a demographic of a, er, certain vintage) said: ‘There is no reason why it should take 15 days to transfer a cheque.”

In the news this week

Millions of people have been denied compensation from being mis-sold energy contracts, despite a lot of big talk on combatting the issue from the team in Westminster.

Speaking of energy firms, the government is making them get in touch with customers once a year to tell them that they might be able to save money by switching to a different tariff.

On News over the past few weeks

Ever fancied joining the landed gentry, if only in name? Well, Felicity Hannah (or should we say, Lady Felicity Hannah) did. Here’s how you can do it, and the benefits (or not) you can expect.

Rachel England painted on a comedy spiv’s ‘tache, donned her camel coat and gave us advice on how to haggle.

That sound you heard over the bank holiday was that of the collective ‘GAH!’ emitted by thousands of well-intentioned have-a-go DIY enthusiasts making mess of something they probably should have left to the pros. If only they’d read this piece from Jon Severs first.

Got an expensive whatsit or thingamy? Then you’ll have doubtless agonised over whether to invest in separate gadgets insurance cover, or just add it to your contents policy. Well, fret no longer! Maxine Frances Roper has the answers.

Energy companies – they giveth, and they taketh away, as Kristian Dando found out in this case of a dodgy electricity meter.

Join us next week for another THRILLING edition of THE MONEY SHOT.