UPS throw your package and pee on your house

January 29th, 2015 3 Comments By Mof Gimmers

If you think you’ve had bad service from someone delivering a parcel, think again. The worst you go was unnecessary packaging, or maybe someone not knocking on the door when you’d stayed in to take the delivery.

Well, over in Houston, a UPS delivery man took it to the next level by lobbing a package over a fence and then taking a leak on the house he was delivering to.

Ben Lucas, the customer in question, has CCTV on his house and checked the footage after he got in and found his parcel all smashed up. And the best bit? Lucas was getting hundreds of dollars’ worth of ammo delivered, as well as chemicals and a gun-cleaning machine.

“You’re paying someone to take a package to go from point A to point B, so basically I paid someone to come to my house and pee on it,” Lucas ranted. “I don’t know how UPS trains their employees to go to the bathroom, but probably not someone’s yard.” He called UPS and offered to send them the offending video: “I just wanted them to hear me and maybe give me an email address where I could send them the video… they simply just didn’t want to see it.”

 

UPS didn’t apologise hard enough, more interested in the package than a man urinating on someone’s property, so Lucas thought he’d stick the video online to get his attention – most notably, on UPS’ Facebook page. It was then that someone from UPS took note and sent Lucas a “we’re sorry” card.

“I just wanted someone to say, ‘Yeah, he shouldn’t have done that — we’ll try to make sure that doesn’t happen again,’” Lucas added.

In a statement, the company said: “UPS was dismayed by actions that violated decency and delivery care. The local management team did take action to terminate the individual who was a seasonal delivery helper. However, they were wrong if they did not clarify this resolution with Mr. Lucas at the time. UPS sincerely apologises to our customer. No behaviour like this is acceptable.”

Terminate the individual? That seems a bit much UPS!

Tesco recall squash with disgusting pong

January 29th, 2015 4 Comments By Mof Gimmers

tesco Tesco recall squash with disgusting pongHave you been trying to drink Tesco’s No Added Sugar Double Concentrate Apple and Blackcurrant cordial? Have you been opening the bottle, to find your face recoiling in horror, pouring some out and your eyes start watering, then putting it to your lips and feeling like you’ve just uncovered a corpse in a woodland area?

You’re not alone as Tesco has recalled their squash after a number of complaints about it having a “disgusting smell”.

The supermarket behemoth have withdrawn the drink after a flavour additive was added “in error”.

Mercifully, this problem isn’t a food safety risk, but the supermarket had to admit that this additive has a “strong odour – similar to garlic, which customers are likely to find unpleasant”.

This follows the news that Tesco will be closing 43 stores and are looking to give the boot to even more in the coming year.

However, this recall isn’t the end of it for Tesco, as some parents have noticed that, after drinking the squash, their children were left with upset stomachs – although, being parents, they probably said ‘tum-tums’ or some other twee nonsense. Over on the PlayPennies website, parents have described the smell as “absolutely disgusting” with another saying it smelled like “rotten eggs”.

Some parents noted that their children had been vomiting and suffering from diarrhoea after drinking Tesco’s No Added Sugar Double Concentrate Apple and Blackcurrant.

Tesco have said: “We have investigated with our supplier complaints about Tesco No Added Sugar Double Concentrate Apple and Blackcurrant 750ml and 1.5l. A flavour additive, which is not part of the ingredients for this product, has been added in error. The additive is called Dimethyl Disulphide and is a common ingredient in food products.”

“It is an approved additive and poses no food safety risk. However, it does have a strong odour, similar to garlic, which customers are likely to find unpleasant. Only products bought since the New Year may be affected, they will have a best-before date of October 2015.”

“Any customers can return this product, open or unopened, to any Tesco store.”

If you’re wondering which juice it is, it is this one, as seen on the Tesco site. If you have an unopened bottle at home, it’d be a good idea to take it back before you end up with a child that ends up crapping everywhere.

Waitrose to create 2,000 jobs

January 28th, 2015 No Comments By Ian Wade

waitrose 1 300x224 Waitrose to create 2,000 jobsExciting job news now, as Waitrose have announced they plan to create 2,000 jobs. Someone’s doing alright aren’t they? Now they’re stopping all that free coffee business at least.

The fancy John Lewis-owned anti-Lidl is planning on opening 14 new stores in 2015, after it had a strong Christmas.

These new stores will be divided between convenience and actual supermarkets.

“Our expansion story continues as we take the brand to more customers,” said Nigel Keen, the supermarket’s development director. Last year many of our new branches received than more than 10 applications for every vacancy.”

Waitrose left the big four supermarkets crumbling, by outperforming them with a 2.8% rise at established stores and a 26.3% increase in sales via Waitrose.com.

Two of the new locations confirmed so far include Wollaton in Nottinghamshire and Milngavie in East Dunbartonshire. They’ll be dancing in the streets in Wollaton and Milngavie.

There’ll also be one at Kings Cross which will also have a cookery school in it. So you can work out how to peel an olive or something.

There’s also 100 new jobs being created at a new e-commerce depot in Coulsdon, south London, which is due to open in March. The facility is replacing Waitrose’s existing depot in rancid old Acton, west London, which has a staff of about 400.

Snapchat’s Discover woos more firms

January 28th, 2015 No Comments By Ian Wade

The likes of Daily Mail, CNN and Vice are among early media adopters of Snapchat’s new Discover feature.

The Discover feature grants users a snapshot of content every 24 hours, allowing Snapchat users to flick through new content on their Discover channels.

Let’s look at some filmed content:

Discovery Channel, ESPN and Warner Music are also on board with more set to follow. The Daily Mail have even dedicated a team of four to re-purpose editorial content for the app, which will no doubt point via nosy pictures at Kim Kardashian pouring her curves into a slinky winning dare-to-bare outfit, or throwing shade at various degrees of dressed down celebrities getting coffee with pixelated children.

A Snapchat spokesperson said: “Snapchat Discover is a new way to explore stories from different editorial teams. It’s the result of collaboration with world-class leaders in media to build a storytelling format that puts the narrative first. This is not social media.

“Social media companies tell us what to read based on what’s most recent or most popular. We see it differently. We count on editors and artists, not clicks and shares, to determine what’s important.”

It went on: “Discover is different because it has been built for creatives. All too often, artists are forced to accommodate new technologies in order to distribute their work. This time we built the technology to serve the art: each edition includes full screen photos and videos, awesome long form layouts, and gorgeous advertising.”

pensions 300x187 NS&I spend £2million advertising Pensioner Bonds  the most popular bonds in recent history...Some people say the best kind of advertising is free, and with the widespread (good and bad) media coverage of the launch of the new NS&I Pensioner Bonds, you could be forgiven for thinking that you must have been living under a rock to have not heard about them. However, it seems the boffins at NS&I have developed an alternative view, and have spent millions advertising these bonds that were, even before launch, already expected to sell out. Genius.

The eagerly anticipated  market-leading Over-65 Bonds were launched two weeks ago, to a flurry of media attention, including complaints over a website that couldn’t handle the high traffic generated. Already, more than 10% of the £10bn Treasury funding has been allocated, and the rest of the bonds are expected to be snapped up over the next few months. Why then has NS&I spent £2million trying to direct even more visitors to the creaking website?

It sounds madness but NS&I do have their reasons- although whether these reasons are worth £2m is perhaps debatable. NS&I said part of the advertising spend was to direct people to the website as the easiest method of investing- presumably despite the problems- as people might otherwise think postal or telephone investment (which presumably costs NS&I more  to administer) was the only way to do it.  NS&I are also looking to attract those who wouldn’t normally be an NS&I investor with their adverts. While wanting everyone to get a piece of the high-interest action is perhaps a noble aim, those with thousands of poundsof spare cash to tie up for three years are likely to read the paper and/or be on the lookout for market leading rates anyway, surely…

A spokesman for the state-owned savings bank said it had spent “about £2m” on marketing the bonds adding insult to injury by saying: “The launch of the Pensioner Bonds has proved hugely popular, with the biggest opening sales of any retail financial product in Britain’s modern history.”

However, the bank went on to say that it is “keen to ensure that potential customers, including non-NS&I customers, are aware of the market-leading rates on offer.”

£2 million well spent then…

The end of the free coffee from Waitrose!

January 28th, 2015 5 Comments By Mof Gimmers

waitrose shopping bag 20 jpg The end of the free coffee from Waitrose!Remember when all those middle class ponces were frightened of being besieged by riff raff when Waitrose started offering free coffee?

Well, the supermarket has decided that this coffee business needs sorting out and have tightened up the promotion, saying that if you want a free brew option with your myWaitrose loyalty card, you’re going to have to buy some food at the same time.

Waitrose have been trialling this new promo at a number of stores, which isn’t surprising if you believe the figures of one retail expert who reckons it is costing the company as much as £150,000 a week to provide the free drink.

From February 9th, you’ll need to buy a butty or a cake to claim your free coffee across all the Waitrose shops. You’ll have to show a receipt if you want in.

Phil Dorrell, director of the retail consultancy Retail Remedy, said: “It was a very good commercial marketing ploy that has over the last few years become a little bit abused. It costs them money to do it and they’ve got to ask themselves is it worth it? Booths do exactly the same thing. Does it really benefit the actual Waitrose customer?”

“The execution of it at store level has been a little poor and allowed people to come in, get a free coffee and then not really shop – and a lot of these people would tend to do that on a frequent basis. That was not the intent of the card. The intent was a thank you from Waitrose. I think Waitrose when they did it were under pressure from all the other supermarkets doing a price war.”

“They wanted to make a statement to their customers saying “we’re different too”. It’s just a sort of expression of the fact that they were different.”

Dorrell reckons that the ingredients of the tea or coffee available at Waitrose is around 12p and 15p. According to his calculations, that’s around £150,000 a week going down the pan for the supermarket.

A Waitrose spokesman said: “Most people who have their myWaitrose free drink in the café understand that they should buy something from the café to have with their tea or coffee, and so we are simply confirming that. MyWaitrose members who would like to drink their free tea or coffee in the café will also need to buy something, in the café such as a sandwich, cake or piece of fruit to go with their drink. Customers can still buy a drink in the café too.”

“Of course myWaitrose customers can still get their free hot drink from the self-serve machines whilst they are shopping with us.”

Tesco to close 43 shops

January 28th, 2015 3 Comments By Mof Gimmers

tesco clubcard 300x168 Tesco to close 43 shopsTesco, in their bid to save a load of money, have announced that they’re going to be closing down 43 stores across the UK.

The majority of these closures will be Tesco Express shops, and it means around 2,000 people will be losing their jobs, or being moved around. On top of that, Tesco will be leaving their HQ in Cheshunt in 2016 after 40 years at the site and there looks like there’s going to be another 49 stores getting the axe too.

Lewis said: “In January I announced that our performance as a business has fallen significantly short of where we would want it to be and that to protect the future of the business in the UK we would close 43 unprofitable stores.”

“The decision to close the stores has been exceptionally difficult to take. I recognise it will affect many hard working colleagues, our customers and local communities.”

And so, to see if you live near one of the Tesco outlets that will be closing down, here’s a long list of place names.

Tesco Express Store Closures

Bearwood
Belvedere
Church Street Ballymena
Heaton Chapel
Heybridge Essex
Houghton Regis
Liverpool Kensington
Longbridge Road Barking
Northfield Birmingham
Raymouth Lane Worksop
Sheffield Manor
South Tottenham High Road
Tredegar
Troon Express store
Walsall Wood
Wealdstone
Whitley Bay
York Road Hartlepool

Tesco Metro Store Closures

Bicester
Bootle
Caerphilly
Crossgates
Devizes
Grangemouth
Mexborough
Morecambe
Ormskirk
Runcorn
Smethwick
Woodseats

Tesco Superstores Closures

Bedlington
Chatham
Connswater
Cregagh Road
Doncaster
Kirkcaldy
Wrexham Dodds Lane

And there’ll be these closures for Homeplus

Bristol Cribbs
Chelmsford
Chester
Edinburgh
Southampton
Staines

Apple Watch has a release date at last

January 28th, 2015 No Comments By Ian Wade

Remember the Apple Watch? Oh you must do. It was mentioned in passing around that Apple launch where U2 made massive tools of themselves.

Well, news has come that it will start shipping in April.

apple watch 500x334 Apple Watch has a release date at last

Tim Cook confirmed that it would be in April, having previously said that ‘early 2015′ was the time frame. ‘Early 2015′ usually suggests January in our minds, but we’re not Apple.

The Apple CEO delivered details of the wearable’s release during a quarterly earnings call with investors and the press.

If you recall, the Apple Watch will come in men’s and women’s sizes with a choice of six different straps which is quite nifty and could actually catch on – or at least, that’s what Apple is hoping.

Cook had already gone on record to declare that users will use the device so much, that they’ll be charging it up daily. Which is obviously good news for the planet. There’s no actual price as yet, but early estimates of the original $349 (£230) mentioned back in the launch.

This follows the news that Apple posted the biggest profit ever, after selling 74.5 million iPhones in its fiscal first quarter. Revenue went up to $74.6 billion from $57.6 billion a year earlier.

ASDA logo Asda change minimum spend on home deliveries to £40There’s going to be some furrowed brows and promises to shop elsewhere as Asda have changed the minimum spend terms & conditions for a home delivery.

Previously, the minimum you spend was £25, meaning you could get a weekly shop delivered to you and not worry too much about your spuds growing tentacles and your salad leaves not liquefying in the kitchen.

However, that’s all changed and now, the minimum spend for an Asda home delivery is £40. That’s according to their website, which you can see here.

There’s some grumbles online too. One Asda customers ranted on Twitter: “Not happy with @asda @AsdaServiceTeam changing their minimum home delivery from £25 to £40. You’ve just lost a customer. Next stop @Tesco”

Another said much the same thing: “So pissed off that @asda is now doing £40 minimum spend on food shop home delivery’s … guess ill be buying from Tesco’s now.”

Another added: “No longer a happy customer. Since [when] did you have to spend minimum £40 for home delivery?! @AsdaServiceTeam @asda”

So, by the looks of things, Tesco will be doing alright in the coming weeks, who still have a £25 minimum spend on their grocery delivery service. Other supermarkets are available…

logo edf EDF Energy finally cut prices but may as well not have botheredEDF Energy have finally joined the chorus of the Big Six energy companies and cut their prices.

The company – one of the most complained about energy solution providers out there – have pushed the boat out and knocking a whopping 1.3% off.

That works out at approximately £9 a year, or 17p a week, based on the average gas users usage. Hardly worth bothering with, really. It’s almost as if they’re daring the customers to flee.

According to MoneySuperMarket’s Stephen Murray: “This is truly the most underwhelming of the lot. On top of that, we see that bill payers will again not feel the full benefit of lower bills immediately.”

The company defended their measly 1.3% price reduction claiming that the vast majority of gas EDF bought for its customers was purchased well in advance and at higher prices.

Beatrice Bigois, managing director of customers at EDF, said: “EDF Energy has a strong track record of acting independently in the interests of customers who have benefited from the best standard variable prices for the majority of the last three years, in comparison to other major suppliers. Today’s price cut means our standard tariffs will continue to be among the most competitive in the market. At the same time, one and a half million customers are benefiting from fixed price deals with no exit fees.”

On Monday SSE said it would lower gas prices by 4.1% but not until 30 April. On Friday, Npower announced it would reduce household gas prices by 5.1% from 16 February. They’re still somewhat higher than 1.3 bleedin’ %.

Anyway, EDF’s wondrous gesture kicks in from 11th February.

Google Translate kills homophobic slurs

January 27th, 2015 7 Comments By Mof Gimmers

Google has said sorry after their translation app included some slurs against gay people. All Out noticed it and launched a campaign to get the offensive words removed, which Google have duly done.

In a statement to All Out, Google said: “As soon as we were informed…we immediately worked to fix the issue. We apologize for any offense this has caused people.”

As you can see from the screengrab, there were some unsavoury alternatives offered before Google fixed everything up.

translations 500x293 Google Translate kills homophobic slurs

All Out said: “We won! Thanks to our mobilization, Google implemented a fix on Friday to take out anti-gay slurs from its translation tool.” Apparently, the worst translation suggestions happened when coverting English into Spanish, French, and Portuguese.

Previously Google has a good record on equality and has pulled games from its Google Play Store because they are homophobic.

All Out added: “This isn’t just about political correctness gone mad. Degrading language feeds negative attitudes and stereotypes. And anti-gay slurs can lead to bullying and attacks on lesbian, gay, bi and trans people.”

This, presumably, will lead a load of people to say that it is ‘PC gone mad’ regardless. Either way, good on Google for getting this sorted.

cash back 300x192 New compensation scheme for lost/stolen card protection policiesA new compensation scheme has been agreed between 11 banks and credit card issuers and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), to reimburse customers who were sold card protection policies that were, essentially, useless. This is separate from the ongoing card protection policy claims, as this centres on one policy issuer offering protection that was totally not required.

An estimated two million affected bank customers will be sent a letter in April or May, asking them to vote in favour of the compensation scheme, which could see people receiving up to around £300 each.

The policies in question were offered by a company called Affinion and sold by the banks and credit card firms. The FCA explained that one unnecessary element of the insurance covered losses due to the fraudulent use of a card that had been lost or stolen. “This was unnecessary because the customer’s card issuer was typically responsible for any transactions after the cards were reported as being lost or stolen and, in the period before reporting the matter, customers were only liable for unauthorised transactions in limited circumstances,” the regulator said, adding that “the bank or card issuer usually covered customers for anything over the first £50 if transactions took place before the card was reported missing.”

As a result the policies, which went under the names such as Card Protection, Sentinel, Sentinel Gold, Sentinel Protection, Sentinel Excel and Safe and Secure Plus, were essentially charging customers for protection they already had, and it is this element that is being reimbursed. An average policy cost £25 a year and the compensation will also accrue interest of 8% a year, minus any taxes and any money actually paid out on successful claims, meaning people could get up to £300.

This new scheme follows a similar compensation payout made last year for similar policies offered by CPP, who were fined £10.5m in 2012 by the FCA’s predecessor, the Financial Services Authority (FSA), after using deliberate mis-selling tactics to trick people into thinking they needed the insurance cover.

Tracey McDermott, director of supervision and authorisations at the FCA, said: “We have been encouraged that, working closely with the FCA, a large number of firms have voluntarily come together to create a redress scheme that will provide a fair outcome for customers. ”

The 11 banks and card issuers involved are:

AIB Group (UK) trading as First Trust Bank in Northern Ireland and Allied Irish Bank (GB) in Great Britain

Barclays Bank

Capital One (Europe)

Clydesdale Bank

HSBC Bank

Lloyds Bank

Northern Bank Limited trading as Danske Bank

Santander UK

Tesco Personal Finance

The Co-operative Bank

The Royal Bank of Scotland.

The scheme will not cover bank customers who had a card insurance policy as part of a packaged bank account.

Tweetbot: victim of its own success

January 27th, 2015 No Comments By Ian Wade

Twitter Logo1 Tweetbot: victim of its own successTweetbot for Mac has been pulled from the Mac App Store. The third party app has hit a cap imposed by the social network on the number of users it can have.

Tweetbot originally started life on the Mac App Store back in October 2012, and has now the latest casualty of the Twitter rule of limiting new clients to 100,000 users.

The rule dates back to August 2012, when Twitter announced that any new app which was mainly used to access the users’ timeline would need explicit permission to have more than 100,000 users.

The post was widely seen as an attempt to kill off third-party Twitter clients, and eventually forced users onto the official Twitter app.

Mainly as Twitter cannot display adverts on third-party apps, and it has no control over which of its new features get rolled out when, you can imagine why they got a bit itchy about it.

While other apps have managed to escape such a fate – the rules were imposed in August 2012 – Tweetbot for Mac fell foul and is now ostracised. The ruthless world of social media!

Remember us telling you that Converse were suing the entire world for ripping off their iconic Chuck Taylor trainers? Well, things are starting to take hold and Ralph Lauren are trashing an entire range.

ralph lauren shoes 500x500 Ralph Lauren destroy trainers after being sued by Converse

Over 30 companies have been hit with legal threats and several major brands have been accused of copying Cons’ famous canvas kicks and they’re demanding that the infringing articles get pulled from shelves and stop being produced.

New Balance decided to play hard-ball and are counter-suing Converse, but Ralph Lauren have decided to give 36 different sneakers the boot.

Ralph Lauren’s decision followed an out-of-court settlement with Converse, who just happen to be owned by Nike… and Nike have some very tasty lawyers indeed. Ralph Lauren agreed to destroy all of the “related molds, parts, tools, marketing, packaging and promotional materials” of the copycat trainers.

They also have to pay an undisclosed amount to Converse as part of the settlement.

Russell Hobbs recall: what’s the hold up?

January 27th, 2015 3 Comments By Mof Gimmers

Russell Hobbs Russell Hobbs recall: whats the hold up?At the end of last year, there was a recall on a number of Russell Hobbs irons. Initially, customers were happy with the way things were being sorted out, but alas, things seem to have gone awry.

There’s been a raft of complaints to Bitterwallet, saying that things seem to have dried up at Russell Hobbs, in terms of helping those who had faulty irons.

One avid BW reader got in touch to say: “I contacted Russell Hobbs 9th Dec, again week before Xmas, again on 7th January. Have had promises made each time of either replacement iron or refund within 7 – 10 days. Still waiting. On 7th I had duty manager call me and he promised he would arrange refund. I called again today and just the usual rubbish had to give all details for the fourth (or 5th) time if you count duty manager and then same apologies and promises. I doubt we’ll ever see this refund. Congratulations to Russell Hobbs you have absolutely exceeded diabolical customer services.”

Another got in touch to say: “On the phone we have been reassured that a returns label would be sent and instead of a replacement iron we have requested a refund which has been an advertised option. On each occasion since the beginning of December we have not received anything at all. Customer services through their website hasn’t bothered to get back at all. It leads me to believe that this is not a genuine recall and that Russell Hobbs have no interest in making amends to their customers – what a joke!”

It was a similar story with other correspondence, with one reader saying: “We have since had to buy a new iron and have returned our faulty iron to Russell Hobbs so really starting to feel out of pocket on this debacle!”, and other adding that, after being told to wait 28 days and “after telephoning an 0800 number four times with no response it has left me bitterly angry”

Over on the Russell Hobbs Facebook page, one angry customer said: “I don’t wish to be fobbed off about how busy you are. You told me that I would get a reply in 5 working days. Why are you so busy? Too many faulty goods! I have yet another faulty kettle which was sent as a replacement to a previous faulty kettle less than a year ago. This has resulted in me purchasing another kettle from a different brand. If you need the details of the goods they are in the email previously sent to you.”

Another said that “Made several follow up calls. Phoned again 2 weeks ago, the customer service chap said he had to check (manually) through a spreadsheet……that wasn’t in alphabetical order (what???) couldn’t find my logged call so logged again. Have received a ‘returns’ form- NO replacement iron.”

So we decided to get in touch with Russell Hobbs and we got pretty much the same story. High volumes of requests and such have seen some returns taking longer than others. When asked what customers are supposed to do without their irons, it was very much a case of ‘we’re getting through the backlog as quickly as we can’.

No solutions here sadly, which means you can either wait for a replacement and wear some wrinkly tops in the meantime, or you could again try their customer service lines and ask for reimbursement rather so you can buy an iron from somewhere else. The numbers are Freephone 0800 307 7616 for landlines or 0333 103 9663 for mobiles.

It looks like a full refund would be advisable, rather than wait for a new iron, after all this waiting. Let us know how you get on and we can chase it up further.

**UPDATE**

We got further correspondence from Russell Hobbs, and a spokesperson said: “We are currently dealing with a backlog of enquires but please be assured that we are working through them as quickly as we can. We would like to apologise to any inconvenience this is causing our customers and thank them for their patience.”