I explained to Claritas I had been tested by other firms who said they could not help me. I have a problem with pitch sounds, it seems.
However, the Claritas audiologist said they could sort this out and I would be given time to try them out.
I explained that, as music club secretary, I needed the aids on concert nights to hear music clearly, record it and to write magazine reviews etc.
They turned out to be unsuitable but I have been unable to obtain a refund.
Claritas says the hearing aids are as described and that a trial period was not offered. However, the salesman had told me in front of my wife that this was not an issue.
L. O., West Midlands.
Hearing aids are a very personal item. Those who use them often seem to struggle in noisy environments, particularly modern restaurants. I am therefore surprised that a trial period does not come as standard.
Claritas still says it believes you need more time to get used to them to derive the benefit.
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It also says a refund would usually be offered immediately if the sale was made under the terms of the trial period or if the hearing aids were not as described or fit for purpose.
It says it can find no evidence the sale was made under the terms of a trial period.
It also says the hearing aids dispensed are in its opinion both as described and fit for purpose.
It says the audiologist explained that you may have issues with sound quality when in groups and in large spaces. It also says it tried to counsel you and make adjustments to the hearing aids.
However, it understands you wish to draw a line under this, so has given you a full refund as a gesture of goodwill.
This clearly comes down to your word against the salesman's and readers must draw their own conclusions.
You have YOUR say
Every week, Money Mail receives hundreds of your letters and emails about our stories. Here are some from our article about how High Street shops are struggling to cope with ever-increasing business rates:
My friend rented a small shoe shop. She spent £10,000 doing it up, then £3,000 per month on rent.
But it was the £8,000 per annum business rates that smothered her. You'd have to sell a lot of shoes to have a chance of breaking even.
S. K., Leeds.
It's terrible. I know a woman who opened a jewellery shop — she did well at first, but had to shut down in the end as the business rates were crippling. Many people said how sad they were that the shop closed.
B. V., Wiltshire.
Years ago, the level of local rates allowed small traders to operate a viable business. Back then you saw where your money was going: rubbish was collected weekly and you didn't have hit-squads of traffic wardens.
S. B., Southampton.
We've lost a lot of shops in Wandsworth. My friend owns a newsagent and he told me it's because of business rates. We have no bookshops now.
J. S., London.
Charity shops are businesses and they compete against other retailers. They already have a big advantage because they don't have to pay for their stock.
In my opinion, they shouldn't be exempt from business rates. They make enough money to pay their CEOs well.
B. C., Huddersfield.
We used to go to town to visit the bank and browse the shops. We'd have a meal and enjoy a day out.
But I don't see why I should now it's £5 for parking. Local and central government are completely out of touch.
W. D., Kent.
In your Prudent Investor column you write that my wife and I are able to leave property and savings of £325,000 each (total £650,000).
You also said that those with children will soon be able to leave £1million free of inheritance tax. When will this new upper limit come into force?
Our circumstances leave my wife and I over the lower figure but just below the upper.
K. P., by email.
As journalists we aim for clarity, brevity and simplicity. I succeeded in the latter two when talking about inheritance tax, but failed on the clarity score.
The problem when we are writing to a specific length is always what to leave out and I chose to surrender the finer details of the IHT changes. So here they are in full for you and others.
In the summer 2015 Budget, then Chancellor George Osborne added further complexity and unfairness to inheritance tax with a new residence allowance.
This would be worth £100,000 per person from April 6, 2017, rising to £125,000 from April 2018, £150,000 from April 2019 and £175,000 from April 2020.
The allowance is in addition to the normal £325,000 — so by April 2020, individuals will be able to leave £500,000, meaning married couples and civil partners could leave £1million between them.
The current limit, including the residence allowance, is £450,000 per person or £900,000 per couple.
But there are provisos. The residence allowance applies only to the main residence so a couple would need a property worth at least £350,000 to benefit in full.
Special rules protect the allowance for those who downsize from a larger property or go into care.
Most controversially, it only applies if the property is left to direct descendants. This includes children, grandchildren, step- children and adopted children —but not nieces and nephews.
So those who have chosen not to have children, or are unable to have them, face discrimination.
Straight to the point
We booked a Fred. Olsen cruise called Lochs of Scotland. It was a disaster.
The itinerary was changed and we saw not one loch! The firm has sent us two 20 per cent discount vouchers for a future cruise, but we do not wish to travel again with Fred. Olsen. Can I get any compensation?
J. V., Hove, E. Sussex.
Fred. Olsen apologises for the late-notice change of departure port, from Liverpool to Rosyth.
It says further changes to your itinerary were due to bad weather, which is beyond its control so, it says, it is not required to compensate you for this.
It gave you the vouchers as a goodwill gesture. If you are still unhappy, you can refer your complaint to the Association of British Travel Agents (abta.com or write to ABTA Ltd, 30 Park Street, London, SE1 9EQ).
I buy a prescription prepayment certificate. This costs £29.10 every three months and means I can get as many NHS prescriptions as I need.
I didn't realise my last one had expired and now I've been fined £105.60 by the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA). I feel this is disproportionate as it was a genuine mistake.
I. G., by email.
The NHSBSA refused to discuss your case with me, but says it is the patient's responsibility to check they are entitled to free prescriptions when signing the declaration on the back of the prescription form.
Anyone who wants to challenge a penalty fine should contact it to explain their circumstances.
The phone number is 0300 330 1341. If you can demonstrate you did not act wrongfully or with any lack of care, the NHSBSA says the fee can be waived.
I visited my local NatWest to withdraw £150, but I was told I'd have to withdraw at least £250, visit the Post Office, or use the cash machine.
I'm 81 and I don't feel safe using a machine to withdraw such a large sum. Why did this happen?
A. S., Sheffield.
NatWest apologises for the confusion. Your branch was due to close down three weeks after you visited and the member of staff probably just misunderstood your query and was trying to recommend places nearby where you could withdraw cash when it had shut.
The bank does not demand that customers withdraw a minimum amount when using the counter.
My 85-year-old friend has had a Sky account for about 12 years paying by direct debit. She has no savings and struggles on the state pension.
Last year she stopped most channels but kept sport. Recently, with debts rising, she tried to close the account entirely but was told she was under contract until February.
She says she did not sign a contract. Can you help?
J. A., Glenrothes.
When your friend downgraded her TV subscription last August, the adviser told her the change would activate a new 18-month minimum term.
Sky says it sent a letter outlining the changes. It also says it tried to phone on three occasions but could not get through.
Your friend phoned again in May this year to close the account which was when she was told about the minimum term again.
This highlights a problem with 18-month minimum terms. Surely downgrading your subscription is a sign you are trying to cut costs and should not automatically trigger a new contract, especially in the case of elderly people.
Sky says there was no fault or error on its part, but it has spoken to your friend and removed the minimum term and balance owing on her account as a gesture of goodwill.
A spokesman says: 'At Sky we take every customer issue seriously and we always try to give our customers the best possible experience.'
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