Sky has been making eyes at Vodafone, EE and O2 about a potential deal, and presumably, will be going with the most lucrative offer, rather than the one that will serve their customers the best. Have you ever tried to watch satellite television when the weather is a bit lousy?
Instead of your TV disrupted by a threat of rain, it’ll you be you screaming down the phone: “HELLO? CAN YOU HEAR ME? HELLO? HEL- MUM? HELLO? CAN Y- OH FORGET IT.”
Anyway, with a number of Sky’s competitors offering mobile and broadband packages, it looks like they’ll be going ahead with it, offering mobile services under their own brand.
Sky’s Chief Executive Officer Jeremy Darroch said the company always “remains open to opportunities”.
He said the mobile market is something that Sky “keeps a close eye on”, adding: ”If we thought there was strong customer demand, then we can be in a good place to respond. We’ve got a very significant customer base already that we know we can cross-sell into very successfully.”
Does anyone want to make a joke about Murdoch and phone-tapping so we don’t have to?
Amazon plan to get in an extra 13,000 people to help at their eight distribution centres, as well as looking to employ another 1,000 permanent staff.
The Royal Mail is scoping for 19,000 Christmas workers to help with the additional onslaught that this time of year brings, with contracts from November to January.
Amazon reckon that on their busiest day last Christmas, they had orders for over 4.1 million items – working out at roughly 47 things per second. So yes. Some extra staff might be quite helpful there.
John Tagawa, director of UK operations at the Amazon, said: “The thousands of seasonal associates who join us at this time of year play an integral role in helping us deliver an exceptional experience for our customers during this incredibly busy time.”
“We’re excited to be creating 13,000 seasonal jobs, hundreds of which will lead to permanent, full-time positions.”
“We have created more than 2,000 new permanent roles at our fulfilment centres in the last two years, taking our total permanent fulfilment and customer service centre workforce to over 6,000 employees.”
‘Seasonal associates’. Honestly.
People often like to have a bit of fun with their online orders. Someone asked for their shopping to be delivered by someone in a penguin suit (and they obliged) while others have given dinosaurs with orders.
Well, one hungry redditor ordered a couple of pizzas with some caveats.
As you can see, the customer asked for a crispier than normal pizza crust with the note of “if that’s not vague enough – make it like you’re taking revenge on a cheating boyfriend BUT you still want to reconcile in the not too distant future.” As for the delivery guy, he was told to keep an eye out for a spider called Frank.
There’s three potential responses to this:
1. Urgh! Arseholes! Why won’t they let people just do their jobs without being so bloody wacky and trying to get internet famous all the time! I hope they spat on their pizzas!
2. Aw! How funny! Adding a little humour to the mundane! How fantastic!
3. $20 for two pizzas? Sign me up!
You can decide which category you fall in for yourself.
Want a gadget that is like a Transformer robot that can act like a tablet, as well as a laptop and generally be all swish and fancy for no discernible reason? Well, thankfully, there’s people making such things!
One of them is the marvellously daft Dell XPS 11 2-in-1 Ultrabook, which there just so happens to be a deal on! Starting at £351.90 (with free delivery) with 15% off code, you can get your mitts on one today! Have a look here.
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Many consumers have had bother when receiving their online deliveries. Parcels can be late, go missing entirely, contain damaged goods or in some cases, thrown on a roof for you to fetch.
According to Which!!!, 60% of us prefer to shop online for the convenience, even though 26% of us have had trouble with the delivery process. Seems like a gamble we’re willing to take because we’re all fantastically bone idle.
The biggest problem is late deliveries and not being able to choose a delivery time.
However, not all companies are bad. Some are in fact, rather good. According to a Which!!! poll, the best in the business are WexPhotographic.com, JohnLewis.com, LizEarle.com and RicherSounds.com.
Which!!!’s Richard Lloyd, said: “One of the attractions of shopping online is the convenience of having your items delivered but we’ve found the experience can be anything but convenient. We want shops to do more to ensure that the service is first class, first time. Retailers need to respond to consumers’ demands and stamp out dodgy deliveries.”
So with that, let us look at the best and worst companies when it comes to delivering your purchases.
Ten Best Online Shops
The Worst Online Shops
90. Shop.BT.com (BT Shop )
99. DIY.com (B&Q)
The engine will direct users away from sites where they can half-inch content, pushing them towards less dodgy sites.
Google have caved in to pressure from the entertainment industry, who have been campaigning for the search engine to do something, while they carried on rearranging deckchairs.
Google will now list these legal services in a box at the top of the search results, as well as in a box on the right-hand side of the page, but if legal sites want to appear in the slot, they will need to pay Google for placement, something music trade group BPI has a problem with.
BPI made 43.3 million requests for Google to remove search results in 2013 – the U.S equivalent group, the RIAA, made 31.6 million and Google removed 222 million results from search because of copyright issues
Google’s Content ID system, which detects copyrighted material, scans 400 years-worth of video every day, which they then offer the music labels the choice of having the content removed, or monetising by having advertising placed there.
The report said: “Piracy often arises when consumer demand goes unmet by legitimate supply,’ the report said.
As services ranging from Netflix to Spotify to iTunes have demonstrated, the best way to combat piracy is with better and more convenient legitimate services.”
It’s unlikely that this will have a massive turnaround in the entertainment industry’s favour, who are missing the days where everyone was on champagne and cocaine breakfasts, but people will find a way around it. They always do.
However, with Google directing people to Google Play, making money through advertising on YouTube adverts and other schemes to ‘combat privacy’, it looks like they might be having the breakfast of a ’70s record company executive, so not everyone is a loser in this. We never said they were unscrupulous.
First Apple announce theirs and suddenly everyone’s launching a smartwatch. Microsoft are the latest to get in on the wrist-action and it is rumoured they’ll have a smartwatch due to launch within weeks.
While there’s no word on an exact date as yet, reports suggest that Microsoft would like it out before Christmas. And, ideally, before Apple.
There’s also rumours that the device will offer a two-day battery life, which shades the Moto 360 and Samsung Gear 2′s everyday charging needs.
The Microsoft smartwatch will also have compatibility for multiple operating systems, including iOS, Android and Windows Phone, and Forbes claims it will also be the first wearable to feature an always-on heart rate sensor, making use of Microsoft’s Kinect technology.
According to a report: “When it comes to battery life, Microsoft may benefit from its historic expertise in software, allowing it to create sensor integrations that boost the device’s power train efficiency.”
Microsoft has yet to comment on the speculation. They’re just offering us “GO AWAY” at the moment.
Everyone is still laughing at Tesco as their woes continue apace. The latest is that, according to leaks, investigators from Deloitte and Freshfields have discovered that a number of execs at the supermarket deliberately misled auditors and accountants to try and hide their dismal financial results.
This is all revolving around the £250m accounting scandal and various sackings that Tesco have found themselves lumbered with.
So what’s the skinny? Well, it is thought that Tesco booked supplier payments that were reliant on condition of them hitting sales targets – ones that they were never, ever going to meet. It seems like this practice has been going on for a while, but were increased just before Tesco’s spectacular slump.
To make things worse, it looks like Tesco’s South Korean wing has been selling the personal data of more than five million customers to insurance companies, which is likely to end in prosecution. Things are so toxic in that area that Tesco’s Asian operations could be sold off. However, that can’t happen while there’s an investigation going on.
As a result, Tesco’s share price has fallen by 48% since the start of 2014.
Tesco are a complete shambles at the minute, but it is very, very difficult to feel sorry for them after they aggressively muscled out countless independent retailers out of the market over the years. So, in short – Haw Haw!
The credit card giant are doing tests to see if a fingerprint function would work instead of a PIN number.
The company unveiled the protoype, which they developed in conjunction with Norwegian company Zwipe, who invented the fingerprint technology.
The contactless payment card has an integrated fingerprint sensor and a secure data store for the cardholder’s biometric data, which is held only on the card and not in an external database, the companies said.
The card also has an EMV chip, used in European payment cards instead of a magnetic stripe to increase payment security, and a MasterCard application to allow contactless payments.
The card is currently thicker than the usual ones, as it will have a battery in it to make it work, however Zwipe plan to eliminate the battery and make it the same as other cards, once they’ve started harnessing energy from contactless terminals.
As the fingerprint authentication is quite unique, there’s no limit on contactless payments, whereas other contactless cards have limits in them so that bad people can’t use them to buy diamonds.
Norwegian bank Sparebanken DIN has already tested the Zwipe card, and plans to offer biometric authentication and contactless communication for all its cards apparently.
Hands up if you want Mastercard to store your fingerprints?
In fantastically shocking news that absolutely no-one was more than well aware of, price comparison sites have been accused for hiding the best deals because they’d rather promote the ones that serve them better. It’s almost like this hasn’t been going on for years!
The Big Deal website have started throwing accusations around (so lawyers, if you’d like to go to them instead of us, that’d be lovely) saying that five of Britain’s biggest price comparison sites are being deceitful.
Well, they’ve said that uSwitch never showed the cheapest deal over the Big Deal’s 13 week investigation, as well as regularly hiding three of the top five cheapest deals.
The sites use mechanisms to “hide deals where they ask users if they want to see deals they can switch to ‘today’ or ‘now’”, according to a statement from The Big Deal. By clicking ’yes’ to this option, the websites remove deals which don’t earn the price comparison sites a commission from the energy companies. Those just happen to be the cheapest deals. The Big Deal says that Money Supermarket and Confused automatically tick the ‘yes’ option.
They also say that Compare the Market and Go Compare automatically show users these results without asking the user, adding that “you have to go through several screens to ‘filter your results’ to see the cheapest deals.”
The bad news for these sites is that hiding deals could well be in breach of EU and UK law.
“Price comparison sites are worth hundreds of millions of pounds, make huge profits and with over 5 million people switching a year are a major part of the energy market,” said The Big Deal co-founders Henry de Zoete and Will Hodson in an open letter to the major price comparison sites. ”Yet there is no transparency to how they make their money or how much they charge. Polling by Populus found that 43% of people did not even realise that the sites charge energy companies a commission.”
uSwitch aren’t having it though, saying: “We are fully accredited under the Ofgem Confidence Code, meaning that our results tables are always ordered by the savings a customer can make in a fair, independent and unbiased way.”
“We are fully supportive of Ofgem’s decision to strengthen the code to ensure that all price comparison websites operate to the same high standard.”
Either way, if this is news to you, make sure you tinker with the settings on any price comparison site of any sort in a bid to make sure it is working for you, rather than the middle man.
If you’re not too fussed about being an early adopter and want a console that you can hook-up with all manner of things, and importantly, get a load of games on the cheap, then we’ve got just the thing for you to whittle your free time away while you work on your sofa’s arse groove.
You can get an Xbox 360 in blue, with two free games, for a very reasonable £179.99! There’s a lot of brilliant, modern classics to be played on a 360, and perfect if you’re getting into gaming (warning: video games can ruin your life). Have a look at the deal here.
WHAT? MORE DEALS?
Acer Chromebook for £139
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Basically, if you’re a subscriber to the music streaming platform, you’ll be able to add up to four members of your family for £4.99 each. That means you don’t all have to have separate Spotify accounts at full price.
Spotify’s chief content officer Ken Parks said that a family plan was “one of the most asked for features from our audience”.
Of course, Spotify aren’t the first to do something like this in this field. Rival Rdio launched a similar thing in 2011, while in the States, Beats Music allowed you to add people to your account from January 2014 (they’ve since ditched the deal though, since they teamed up with Apple).
For Spotify, this could be a nice little earner as there are still a lot of people using the free, ad-supported version. According to the company, they have 40m active users, and 30m of those are using the free version.
This new family plan will launch in the UK within the next two weeks.
The frozen food giant is going to offering a cooked whole lobster for a fiver as part of the Christmas line-up.
Coming ‘atcha from November 5th, it’s the first time the prawn-ring and 89p pizza vendor has offered whole lobster.
Lobster has been on sale in the past at Waitrose (for a sinister £6.66), Tesco and Ocado, but this is the cheapest the high street has seen.
Iceland will also be offering what it reckons is the “best value turkey dinner in Britain”, whose chief component is a turkey crown for 12 priced at £14.
Iceland proudly claim a family of eight could buy a full turkey dinner, with starter and pudding, for £29.39, or £3.67 per head.
Iceland themselves aren’t doing too badly either, seeing as they’ve essentially been doing the cost-cutting thing for years, that Aldi and Lidl are now being praised for. Hurrah!