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An expensive trip to the dentist

dentists operating
BBC Radio 4's Money Box
Saturday, 02 June 2012 at 1204 BST On Radio 4 and Online

Money Box has learned that more than one million pounds worth of fines have been levied on patients who applied for and received free dental treatment when they were not eligible.

Similar penalties can also apply to people who claim more than one free eye test in a two year period. But is it made clear to patients what they are and are not entitled to?

And how fair is it to fine people when there is no formal appeal against these civil penalties?

Money Box hears from a jobseekers claimant and a pensioner who have been hit by these fines. Paul Lewis is also joined in the studio by benefits expert Will Hadwen from Working Families.

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Insurance troubles

A major insurer refuses to refund the holiday costs of a woman who suddenly became too ill to travel.

The problem - her illness was mental rather than physical.

We speak to Graeme Trudgill, Head of Corporate Affairs at the British Insurance Brokers' Association about how common it is for travel insurers to exclude cover of mental illness.

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FSA change rules for investment firms

The city regulator the Financial Services Authority has decided to cut the amount which investment firms tell us our money might make when they sell us a pension or other investment.

At the moment they have to show three scenarios - annual growth before charges of 5%, 7%, and 9% a year in a pension or ISA and 4%, 6%, and 8% in investments that don't get tax relief. But the FSA has decided to make substantial cuts in these projection rates.

In future it will mean that the projected value of pensions or investments will look rather lower than they do now. And that has led to many complaints by people who run investment funds and financial advisers who sell them.

Steven Cameron, head of regulation at pension and investment firm Aegon speaks to the programme.

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The cost of receiving voice-mails

Do you know how much you pay for receiving messages to your mobile phone?

Many phone users assume that calls to voice-mail are included in their contracts but Money Box reveals that some customers may be running up significant charges without realising.

We have top tips on how to avoid paying for messages from Dominic Baliszewski, telecoms expert at

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Competition Commission to look at car insurance costs

Car insurance costs are set to be studied by the Competition Commission after the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) said the market was "dysfunctional."

The OFT says artificially high car hire and repair charges add £225m a year to drivers' premiums and it wants the commission to investigate the sector. Bob Howard reports

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BBC Radio 4's Money Box is broadcast on Saturday at 1204 BST.

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