Mozilla are currently hopping mad and investigating claims that Dell have been charging users to install Firefox for them. One report states that people have been asked to cough-up £16.25 to have the browser installed on their new computer.
Of course, Firefox is open-source and completely free. And it is an absolute doddle to install as well. Mozilla have said that there’s “no agreement” with Dell to permit this fee.
“Our trademark policy makes clear that this is not permitted and we are investigating this specific report,” said Denelle Dixon-Thayer, vice-prez of Mozilla’s general counsel.
If you look at Mozilla’s policy document, it says: “If you are using the Mozilla Mark(s) for the unaltered binaries you are distributing, you may not charge for that product. By not charging, we mean the Mozilla product must be without cost and its distribution (whether by download or other media) may not be subject to a fee, or tied to subscribing to or purchasing a service, or the collection of personal information.”
So what is Dell’s excuse? Well, they’ve said that they’re simply charging for time and labour: ”In this particular situation, the customer would not be charged for the Mozilla Firefox software download, rather the fee would cover the time and labour involved for factory personnel to load a different image than is provided on the system’s standard configuration.”
Are Dell just exploiting the dimwitted or is this an outrage? Comments please, readers.
Nearly half of people who shop online have had some kind of problem with their purchases in the last two years. That’s according to Which!, who showed that 46% of people were left vaguely unsatisfied by their online shopping experience.
34% of those polled said they’d had issues with Amazon, and 29% had a bone to pick with eBay. So what are people most upset about? Mostly, the problems are with deliveries arriving later than expected or not turning up at all. Other issues concerned faulty goods and packages being left outside their house without the customer’s permission.
It also found that we have no clue about our consumer rights when we shop online. After all, do YOU know what the Distance Selling Regulations are? (No, me neither). Apparently, DSRs state that you have seven days to cancel your order – from clicking your mouse until the day after you receive your package. You’re also entitled to information about the seller, and if you’re sent duff items, the retailer has to pay the postage by law.
Consumer powerhouse Ricardo Lloyd said: ‘With people increasingly shopping online and millions experiencing problems with their purchases, it is vital that consumers know their rights on late deliveries and faulty products.’
So if you’re one of the 46%, you can swot up on your consumer rights here.
The Co-operative are having a terrible time, what with a scandal or two, losing a lot of money and they’re selling off their farms. However, they can’t just admit defeat. They’ve got to do something about it in a bid to revive themselves.
It seems the Co-op think success lies in convenience and they’re set to double the number of convenience shops they have, to around 4,000 in the next five years.
The company’s retail chief executive, Steve Murrells, wants to turn around the Co-op’s food business and said that he’d be overseeing an expansion that would double its capital expenditure to around £300m a year, as well as investing in cutting prices, smartening the stores up and growing their range of own brand products.
There will be 150 Co-ops opening per year, with that target looking to increase if all goes according to plan as Murrells hopes to become the UK’s “leading store retailer”. ”We want to have a shop on every corner in every community around the country,” Murrells said.
You’ll have to fight Tesco for it.
You know what it’s like – you’re a train guard and you think ‘I know, I’ll just go to Sainsbury’s for a can of Rubicon and a bag of Mini Cheddars’ just as rush hour hits.
That’s what one Southeastern Trains employee did yesterday, leaving passengers on the 19.53 to Hastings high and dry for an hour while he went on his break. Passengers were told over the tannoy that the reason for the delay was because ‘the guard could not be found.’
Soon afterwards, he was spotted in Sainsbury’s. He driver relayed that news to the passengers, who were understandably delighted. The delay caused the train to be cancelled and passengers had to be shunted onto another train.
When that train eventually left, it contained three train loads of delayed and harassed commuters who wanted to KILL HIM.
It’s the latest in a catalogue of disasters for Southeastern Trains, who came second from last in a recent Which! customer service poll. Furious customers have called them ‘a rip off’ and denounced them for their ‘poor service’.
Southeastern blabbed: ‘The shift timing was thrown out of place because of a knock-on effect of earlier delays, and we didn’t have a standby conductor available to work the train in his place.’
But Amber Rudd, MP for Hastings, took a dim view, and said: ‘It has been a very disappointing experience. Southeastern must up their game if they want to get their franchise renewed.’
If you think you weren’t being exploited enough by advertisers, think again.
Moneysupermarket.com are hoping to develop a new revenue stream worth millions, by selling consumer data from approximately a third of the UK.
Advertisers will have access to a wealth of personal data, if these plans go ahead. Moneysupermarket revealed that their financial growth over the next 12 months would be driven by the exploitation of the company’s data and users.
“The data asset in Moneysupermarket is a real foundation for growth,” said Peter Plumb, chief executive. “I don’t think there’s any other business out there that has the breadth and depth of quote data that we have.”
The company, whose revenue passed £225 million in 2013, expect that they can rake in around £10 million from this, but stress that it wants to offer trend data rather than sell off individual customer data.
Now throw your internet into the sea. We’re all for sale basically.
The high speed train ferried 10.1 million travellers in 2013, up 2% on 2012.
The company has seen passenger numbers grow significantly over the last ten years, and has now carried 140 million since it started 20 years ago.
Eurostar also reported that its 2013 sales revenue had risen 7% to £857 million, while operating profit was up 4% to £54 million.
Eurostar chief executive Nicolas Petrovic reckons that “2013 has proved to be a record-breaking year for Eurostar and we are pleased with the sustainable growth in both traveller numbers and sales revenues reported today.
“After a period of economic uncertainty we are now starting to see more confidence in the business market. In comparison with this time last year when the overriding sentiment was still very cautious there are more encouraging trends and in some sectors there is clearly a greater appetite to invest and look for business.”
It might be made from 4 legged chickens from hell, but the Advertising Standards Authority have rejected complaints that last year’s KFC Christmas advert ‘mocked elements of Christian worship.’
The snarky musical ad encourages people of all faiths to set aside their differences at Christmas and chow down on a grease-ridden bucket of genetically modified poultry.
The 30 Christian complainants got cross at the scene which features a group of carol singers, who trill the lines: ‘We turned up at your house again, singing all our stupid songs.’ In reply, the homeowner sings: ‘Normally I’d hose you down but now it just seems wrong.’
(STUPID CHRISTIAN SONGS! Songs about angels and the Baby Jesus – stupid?? Surely not!)
While it was a bit tongue-in-cheek, KFC maintained that they didn’t intend to mock any faith or religion, and that the homeowner was meant to be like Scrooge. As anyone with even a sliver of a sense of humour could interpret. But 30 outraged people didn’t see it that way.
Even so, it’s a triumph for common sense as the ASA found it ‘unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.’
You know what’s actually offensive? The new KFC Triple X-tra meal, aimed at REAL MEN, and containing a whopping, artery-rupturing 1130 calories.
Looks like energy companies are still the country’s worst offenders- on just about everything. This week, new research from uSwitch.com shows that energy providers are not just charging us an arm and a leg they are doing so incorrectly, with almost two in ten households (19%) being incorrectly billed by their energy company within the last two years.
With 19% of households incorrectly billed- and a total of 11% who have had this happen more than once, only HMRC is considered more inept at getting bills right, with Council Tax, mortgage companies and insurers all coming up roses over the last eight years of the survey. While customers who have been overcharged have been in the news recently, as the energy companies hold on to refundable cash, 39% of those surveyed, equivalent to 10.14 million people, were surprised with an unexpectedly large bill following a ‘bill adjustment’, with the average extra amount owed being £146. More than one in ten (14%) have unexpectedly ended up owing £200 – £400, while 7% have ended up owing over £400.
And when extra amounts are incorrect? It is taking even longer for energy companies to sort out the problem- the average time is now just under two months, up from one month a year ago.
Ann Robinson, Director of Consumer Policy at uSwitch.com, says: “Consumers are typically paying over £100 a month for gas and electric, so the fact that they cannot rely on the accuracy of their bills is simply unacceptable. With energy bills accounting for the largest chunk of household expenditure after rent and mortgage payments, billing blunders can leave consumers feeling frustrated, susceptible and out of pocket.”
We’ve already had Jamie and his empire of Italian chain restaurants that charge £15 for an underwhelming bowl of pasta. But who is the next sweaty, corpulent and bad tempered chef to gain UK wide domination?
Step forward Gallic bad boy and uber-wanker Marco Pierre-White, who has put down his beefy stock cube for five minutes and signed a deal to roll out 50 new restaurants in his name across Britain in the next five years.
The deal is with a hotel development company, and will incorporate his two brands – Marco-Pierre White’s Steakhouse Bar and Grill and Marco’s New York Italian restaurant. The latest will be in the Indigo Hotel in Manchester, which will open next year. There are already three successful restaurants in Birmingham, Liverpool and Newcastle, and he plans to spread like a culinary PAN-demic around other major cities very soon.
The depressing onslaught of the celebrity chef continues unabated, and their cache means they can charge £60 a head for food that couldn’t give the Berni Inn a run for its money. And the chef with the name above the door (and on the walls, and on the menu) is invariably conspicuously absent.
But will this be different? Well. Jay Rayner, food critic of the Observer, visited White’s Steakhouse in London and said ‘everything we ate was awful in that “someone must be punished” sort of way’.
Before you book your summer holiday, it might be a good idea to acquaint yourself with the latest online travel scams – of which there are many.
According to a new report from the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, travel-related internet scams are diddling customers out of about £7 million a year, and last year there were 5000 reported cases of holiday fraud.
So what should we be looking out for? Well, fake ads for apartments and villas are very popular amongst Internet fraudsters. 3 out of 10 victims fell for imaginary accommodation advertised on Facebook, so before you get the credit card out, it’s a good idea to check that your dream destination actually exists, and isn’t just a stock photo of some random guy’s house in Tenerife.
21% of cases involve people falling for airline ticket fraud, where people pay for tickets in advance, with the promise of a booking, and the booking is never made. And because these ‘companies’ rely on paperless ticketing, fraud is rife – particularly on flights to Africa.
The solution? Check, check and double check. ABTA says you should do a thorough background check of any holiday company before you book, and read all customer reviews in case there are any grievances or evidence that other victims that have been scammed.
Anyway. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!
Privilege checkers are always asking celebs and politicians about the price of a pint of milk. But now there’s an easy answer, thanks to Tesco, who have sparked a price war over the white stuff by charging just £1 for four pints.
Tesco has undercut its rivals Morrisons and Sainsbury’s by 39p – and they’re using milk as a weapon in the latest bid to compete with their budget rivals. Asda already sell four pints for a quid, but this is the first part of Tesco’s concerted effort to win back customers and offer them cheaper deals.
CEO Phillip Clarke admitted that Tesco had ballsed up by not helping customers enough during troubled times. He said: ‘Businesses which don’t change with the times don’t succeed and we did not change enough, not enough for our customers. But now we have changed.’
They’re claiming that their price cuts, which come with the not-very-catchy slogan ‘Prices Down and Staying Down’ could save customers £100 a year. They’ve also slashed prices on onions, carrots and other everyday fruit and veg.
But the National Farmers Union are furious, claiming that Tesco is ‘devaluing milk’ and causing problems for already cash-strapped dairy farmers. They called on the other major supermarkets not to follow Tesco’s lead.
Still, in the meantime, knock yourself out. Go mad for the milk. Have a bath in it, wash your hair with it, have cereal for breakfast, lunch and dinner! It’s cheaper than water! (almost).
When you’re buying a house, what do you look for? Plenty of space? A garden? A dining kitchen? Close to vital amenities, like a kebab shop?
Well, according to a survey of 3000 people by Rightmove, speedy broadband has shot up the list of requirements for house hunters. In fact the people surveyed placed decent broadband up there with decent transport links and decent schools – and if your broadband is slow, it could knock up to 20% off the value of your home.
It’s now such a concern that Rightmove have introduced a Broadband Checker button on their site so you can work out whether your prospective property will be 4G or ye olde dial up.
Bernard Phillips from Rightmove said: ‘Broadband has become ingrained in people’s lives and is an important factor when choosing a home.’
Some experts have called it ‘the fourth utility’, and as super fast broadband is available in three out of four homes, people are starting to turn down houses in areas that don’t have it.
After all, who wants to buy a country pile and then find out you can’t even get Netflix? What would you DO all day? Walk the dog, breathe the country air, devote yourself to simple real life pleasures like cooking and gardening?
If you’ve got $1m (and you’re a prize fanny), you can now buy a roadworthy replica of the ‘Tumbler’ Batmobile seen in the Dark Knight films.
You – yes you, Comic Book Guy from the Simpsons – can finally show the people at work and all those girls who never talk to you that you are the boss man of Gotham City! (Batphone not included).
The limited edition car is currently selling on the James Edition website, which specialises in luxury goods for attention seeking rich people. It comes with 44 inch tyres, an 8 cylinder engine, Bluetooth, and five cameras to stop you from shunting it into other cars when you’re
parking outside your Nan’s house saving the world from the Joker.
But before you rush out to the building society to raid your Super Squirrel savings account, take heed. You can only get it in left hand drive, and although it’s legal to drive it on the roads, it’s not exactly equipped for popping to the shops.
As the makers say: ‘We have built this insane vehicle to be street legal however please understand that this is not a daily driver!’
‘Robin – to the Tw**mobile.’
We all know that any responsible government would put an outright ban on fixed odds betting machines, rather than sticking up pointless Gambleaware helpline numbers in the window of William Hill.
Instead, the Association of British Bookmakers has decided to take the problem into its own hands, by introducing a new code of conduct to stop the scourge of problem gambling. They’re installing new technology on gaming machines, so that gamers can set limits on their spending. (BECAUSE OF COURSE PROBLEM GAMBLERS ARE GOING TO SET THEIR OWN LIMITS.)
But it’s better than nothing, and the technology will also give staff an alert if someone has spent up to £250 or has been playing for half an hour. It’s being installed on 33,000 machines in England and Wales from today, and hopefully, will discourage vulnerable gambling addicts before they can get into any more trouble.
Chief exec of the ABB, Dirk Vennix said:
‘We recognise growing concerns that some customers are spending too much money or too much time on gaming machines. We want to take steps to protect them because one problem gambler is one too many.’
So, as they say in Glasgow, ‘you’re ontae plums’ – meaning that you have lost your game on the fruit machine and you must walk away from the nice flashing lights and step into the cold, wretched grasp of long term unemployment.
But will the technology work? Is the £250 limit still too high for players who are gambling with non-existent money? Maybe it would be less expensive and more effective to reconfigure the slots so that they only take 2ps, like one armed bandits in Scarborough?