Frank Field MP
Your MP for Birkenhead
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Rip-Off Charges

Frank launched a campaign in January 2014 against a series of rip-off charges facing ordinary people, and which add to the poverty premium faced by poorer households.

He exposed rip-off schemes such as:
  • A disproportionately large number of cash machine charges in poorer areas
  • Higher-rate 0845 numbers used by government services such as Jobcentre Plus, as well as charities and financial services     
  • Higher bills for people who use prepayment meters for gas and electricity     
  • High car and home insurance premiums in poorer areas
  • Car parking charges in NHS hospitals
  • The excessive cost of goods purchased through certain high street hire purchase schemes
Frank’s campaign, which was supported by The Sun newspaper, has already forced the Government, the banks and energy companies to take action to stop ordinary people from being ripped off.

The campaign’s early victories include: 
  • EDF Energy is offering a two-year price freeze to all 6 million prepayment customers across the country, which will bring these tariffs into line with cheaper direct debit methods.
  • Energy suppliers are slashing the time it takes to switch from one company to another.
  • The banks and insurance companies have joined the Citizens Advice Bureau in agreeing to scrap their expensive 0845 numbers.
  • The Health Secretary is to refund car park charges for poorer patients and families using NHS hospitals.
  • And, having shown them around Birkenhead, the cash machine industry has committed itself to installing a raft of free cash machines in Birkenhead to replace some of those that charge for withdrawals.

Frank is also urging the Government to oblige the major energy companies automatically to place all customers on the cheapest available tariff. You can read his correspondence with the Prime Minister and the Energy Secretary by clicking here.

Frank is pushing for more action and would like to hear from you if you are aware of any further rip-off charges. If you would like to share these with Frank, please email fieldf@parliament.uk

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