Posts Tagged ‘complaint’
The tax helpline has been criticised in a new report by the watchdog of consumers, saying that there had been little improvement in the service since they met up in July with the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), which served them a scathing review of their lengthy waiting times and shoddiness in answering phone calls, which were costing customers £136 million a year.
The service will be in heavy demand in the next two months, as thousands will be completing their self-assessment tax returns before January 31st.
HMRC’s chief executive Lin Homer, reckons that they had been improving the service in recent months.
However, Which!!!’s report details that 29% of calls made by their members, were cut off by an automated answering system carping on about the lines being busy.
Where there were 71 instances of callers not being cut off, they were then put on hold for an average of 18 minutes, with one caller being held hostage for 41 minutes. PAC chairwoman Margaret Hodge said: “Customers of Government services should be able to contact those services easily and cheaply.”
What’s the deal? The paper ran a competition with their Dream Team fantasy football thing and said: “You’re signed up to Dream Team and for that we promise to love, adore and cherish you … You can take your Dream Team experience to the next level by becoming a Chairman and creating a Mini League. Not only do you get to hammer your mates every week, but if you recruit 10 players or more to your league you will get: Entered into a prize draw for a date with a Page 3 girl – we might even let you pick which one, so feel free to start your research now … Don’t listen to your girlfriend when she says size doesn’t matter. The bigger your Mini League is, the more prizes you can get your mitts on”.
Over a thousand complaints were submitted to the ASA, most of which said that they were offended by the prize of a Page 3 girl, saying that it was “sexist and objectified women,” and added that it was also “socially irresponsible”, what with a model offered as a prize was an incentive to gamble.
The Sun argued that it couldn’t be sexist because women played Dream Team as well as men, and that Page 3 celebrities had been connected with Dream Team promotional activity for around six years. They said they “did not use seductive, glamorous or inappropriate images in their promotional emails or on their website.” They also stated that women were not the only prize on offer.
However, the ASA upheld the complaints, saying that pay-to-play fantasy football games were regulated by the Gambling Commission and were a competition that “effectively involved a bet on the outcome of a series of uncertain sporting events.”
The ASA said: “We understood that the Sun’s male and female celebrities, including page-three girls, were involved in the Dream Team game as Chairpersons and had featured in previous promotional activities. We noted, however, that the celebrities were not simply featured in the promotional material, but that a date with a “page three girl” was offered as a prize. In the context of the ad, we considered that to offer a date with a woman as a reward for success in the game was demeaning to women and objectified those offered as prizes. We also considered that the wording “we might even let you pick which one, so feel free to start your research now …”, further enhanced the impression that the women were simply objects to be selected at the whim and enjoyment of the winner, and had no choice in the matter themselves.”
“Because we considered that the email presented the women as objects to be won, we concluded that it was sexist, offensive and socially irresponsible.”
The ad must not appear again in its current form.
Of course, there’s been other issues surrounding The Sun’s Dream Team, with many complaining that they were signed up and charged for Sun+ services without their knowledge.
Last week, the site went offline to all customers following a revamp, however, problems have persisted and a lot of people are well and truly persisted off with the whole thing.
The site was down again yesterday evening (November 4th) and obviously, people took to Twitter and Facebook to vent spleen.
An Argos spokesperson had to do a statement about their website: ”Following planned maintenance to our website and apps, we have been experiencing some technical issues which means customers may have limited access to our website at intermittent periods.”
“We are really sorry for any inconvenience caused. Serving customers is our absolute priority and are pulling out all of the stops to fix the problem as soon as possible.”
Some people have been getting an error message which says: “We’re currently experiencing a very high volume of visitors to our website.” However, with the festive period imminent, customers aren’t happy at all, wondering whether their orders have been completed or not.
Catching a bus is trying at the best of times, what with them being largely grotty affairs with drivers who are a bit too generous with the brakes when you’re stood up and set off before you’ve even got to your seat.
Well, how about bus drivers going on mad rants and squaring up with you and telling you to ‘shut your face’? We suspect a few Bitterwallet readers might have given this fella a smack.
In Liverpool, Shea McSorley got on a Cumfybus (terrible name that) so he could get himself home. However, the driver wasn’t in a good mood. According to reports, there was a confrontation after the driver turned up his radio, sang loudly and shouted at a woman.
The driver of the bus, as you can see in the video above, said: “Shut your face – you got on the wrong bus. Shut your mouth, don’t be giving me grief.”
“You’re going to make a complaint about me? Do I look bothered? You listen to me, this is my bus.”
Naturally, the Cumfybus transport manager James Mitchell confirmed that it was all being looked into: “A driver has been suspended and an investigation is now being carried out.”
McSorley told the Echo: “The bus didn’t move for a while so I went to get off and get in the one behind, but the driver held my arm and told me I couldn’t get off. He made out like it was a joke and I didn’t want any trouble so I sat down.”
The driver then started playing music loudly and shouted at a woman. McSorley continued: “He was driving oddly and he shouted at a lady who was getting on with two little children. It just didn’t seem right. When I complained he told me to get off the bus. He came down the bus to confront me, which I filmed on my phone. It was frightening – I didn’t know what he was going to do next. I told him I have epilepsy and I was worried the stress could bring on a seizure but he wouldn’t listen.”
McSorley said he then tried to get off the bus, but of course, the driver (allegedly) refused and he had to press the emergency door release button before legging it.
Supermarkets and big businesses aren’t best known for their tact, so it comes as no surprise that Walmart is apologising for something they’ve done.
On the retail behemoth’s site, you could access an area in the Halloween category called ‘Fat Girl Costumes.’ Obviously, they’ve deleted it now, but not after it was swiped and screengrabbed and everyone kicked off about it.
Basically, the collection of outfits was aimed at plus-sized women who, when we last checked, didn’t like being referred to as ‘fat girls’.
Walmart, of course, tweeted an apology: ”This never should have been on our site. It is unacceptable, and we apologize. We worked quickly to remove this.”
Apps have been having all manner of issues with the new update and users have been crying over a variety of snags that have made they iPhone and iPad experience the kind of thing that provokes frustrated tears, rather than zen-like calm.
It turns out that iOS 8 crashes more than iOS 7 too, which is no use and, of course, Apple fans have been running to Apple support forums and the App Store to vent their spleen.
One user said on the forums: “After I’ve upgraded to iOS 8, one of my favourite apps no longer works. It opens and then immediately closes. I’ve tried opening it at least 15 times and the same thing happens.” Others have been having issues with iTunes and the Facebook and Dropbox apps.
If you have an older iPhone, you are much more likely to run into trouble, which isn’t a surprise, but it is annoying if you own one.
So what to do next? Here’s some things to try if you want to fix some problems brought about by iOS 8.
Not Enough Space to Install
iOS 8 is a big old update and the download size can be as high as 2GB and needs a minimum of 5GB of free space on your device to update. One way around this is to move all your data on to a computer or to cloud storage (make sure your nudes are safe though, eh?) or, if you prefer, you can use iTunes on a computer to download the update, so the update is stored on the computer rather than your device.
Some users have said that they’ve been having bother with their WiFi connectivity after the update. Go to your settings, select Privacy, then Location Services, followed by System Services. There, disable WiFi Networking. This doesn’t switch your WiFi off, all it does is disables the setting that seems to be tripping up your connection speeds.
There’s a whole host of reasons why your battery might be dying on its arse after the iOS 8 update. We’d tell you how to fix it, but we can’t do better than the incredibly thorough iPhonehacks guide to save your battery’s power. Click here and see advice on what to switch off and more, to maximise your battery life.
A lot of users are finding that the predictive text add-ons in the default iOS keyboard are slowing you down. Of course, Android users have had predictive text for years now, but if you’re an Apple user who hates it, then you can switch it off. Go to Settings > General > Keyboard – turn off ‘Predictive’.
Access Pictures From The Camera Roll
The Photos app has been upgraded in iOS 8, however, you may have noticed that there’s no section called ‘Camera Roll’. The section has been removed, but don’t fret, your photos are still on your device. Now, they are all grouped together under the Photos section and to get at your old photos, go to ‘Photos’ and choose to view them as collections, years or moments. Scroll through and you’ll see all your old snaps.
Have you seen the reports saying that the new iPhone 6 is bending in people’s pockets because it is such a flimsy piece of crap? There’s nothing we can do about that. Maybe wrap the whole thing up in gaffer tape and hope for the best?
EDF Energy have been gits and Ofgem has slapped their legs by ordering them to pay £3 million in compensation to benefit “vulnerable customers” after they’d been found guilty of breaching complaint handling rules.
The investigation followed an increase of more than 30% in the levels of complaints recorded by the company during the the introduction of a new IT system in 2011.
Ofgem found that, between May 2011 and January 2012, EDF didn’t have sufficient or correct procedures in place to adequately deal with, process, record and receive, all complaints in accordance with handling rules.
In English, that means customers had unacceptably long waiting times when calling them to tell EDF they are rubbish.
And if you wanted them to follow up your complaint, that wasn’t happening either.
When customers finally got through, EDF didn’t even make a record of all the required details for the complaints. Basically, customers may as well stuck their hand out of the window and tried to finger the moon.
Sarah Harrison, Ofgem’s senior partner for enforcement, said: “EDF Energy failed to have sufficiently robust processes in place when they introduced a new IT system and this led to the unacceptable handling of complaints. Their commitment to putting things right and paying £3m to the Citizens Advice Energy Best Deal Extra scheme and the Plymouth Citizen Advice Bureau’s Debt Helpline to benefit vulnerable customers is a step in the right direction to rebuilding consumer trust.”
As you can imagine, there’s a lot of people moaning about it.
When you phone EE’s customer service line, an automated message offers callers the chance to jump the queue into a “priority” queue. Customers already have to pay to call the provider at certain times of the day, so some think it’s a bit rich they should be asked for more.
Most of the outrage is on social media, with one disgruntled customer spouting off: “As an already paying @EE customer, why should I have to wait longer for help because someone else with no patience can pay [to] jump the queue?”
Another spat: “I have been a customer of [T-Mobile and] @EE for 10 years now. The call jump system they want to introduce is disgusting. I’ll be off to O2 then.”
Talking to the Inquirer, an EE spokesperson said: “EE’s goal is to set the highest standard for customer service in the telecoms sector. To support that ambition we’re investing significantly in our retail stores, contact centres and account management websites and apps.”
“We’ve already committed to returning over 1,000 roles to the UK from overseas call centres, and have already opened two new UK centres. To contribute to this and other investments in service we have introduced some small charges for certain customer services.”
What do you think? Should EE up their game so they don’t need a priority queue, or is this quite handy as it’s only 50p?
Sometimes, you have to ride out the spiel that people in call centres are paid to dish out. Their bosses make them do it and it can often be quicker to simply let them blurt it out as fast as they can, so you can give an answer and move on.
However, customer retention teams are a different breed altogether. They want to keep you on the phone and seduce you.
They’re the pick-up artists of the business world, all needy and determined like that Ted fella from How I Met Your Mother.
When Ryan Block, co-founder of Engadget, wanted to cancel his Comcast contract, he was met with a member of staff who is absolute agony to listen to. That’s right! There’s a recording! And now Comcast has issued an apology after their representative kept Block on the line for around 18 minutes.
Have a listen to the call here (and don’t worry, it isn’t 18 minutes long).
Block said that him and his wife wanted to switch provider, however, when Block’s wife was transferred to Comcast’s customer retention guy, the employee wouldn’t accept anything for an answer. The Block got involved and more of the same occurred.
“I started the call by (very nicely) saying that we were moving, and that we needed to cancel our service,” Block’s wife, Veronica Belmont, wrote in the description of the recording on SoundCloud. “He asked if we wanted to move our current service. I said no, thank you, but we’ve already signed up for Astound.”
“The representative continued aggressively repeating his questions, despite the answers given, to the point where my wife became so visibly upset she handed me the phone,” Block wrote in the audio description. “Overhearing the conversation, I knew this would not be very fun.”
A Comcast spokeswoman provided the following statement to ABC News today about the recording: “We are very embarrassed by the way our employee spoke with Mr. Block and are contacting him to personally apologize. The way in which our representative communicated with him is unacceptable and not consistent with how we train our customer service representatives. We are investigating this situation and will take quick action. While the overwhelming majority of our employees work very hard to do the right thing every day, we are using this very unfortunate experience to reinforce how important it is to always treat our customers with the utmost respect.”
The figures show that npower were glued to the top of the energy complaints league for every single quarter in 2013 and had been there since the close of 2012.
Over a year ago, npower said that they knew their new billing system was causing problems and they acknowledged that they needed to do something about the level of complaints. However, there’s concern that they’re just not arsed.
Customers’ main gripes are that bills arriving late, payments are being stopped and new accounts are not being set up.
The latest energy complaints table, published today by Citizens Advice and Citizens Advice Scotland, based on complaints made in October to December 2013 showed that one in every 326 customers made a complaint to npower, with ten times as many complaints received about them compared to SSE, and three times as many as the second worst performing energy supplier, Scottish Power.
As for themselves, npower had twice as many complaints about them by the end of 2013 compared to the start of last year. They really couldn’t give a monkeys, could they?
Citizens Advice Chief Executive Gillian Guy said: “Things are getting worse not better for npower customers. It is unacceptable that npower has not yet sorted out the serious failings in its billing systems and customer service which are causing so many complaints and serious problems for its customers.”
“For well over a year now some npower customers have been finding their finances thrown into chaos. Some are not receiving bills and others are ending up in debt because their direct debit was cancelled. Citizens Advice has asked npower to make sure people affected get any appropriate compensation.”
“Time and time again energy suppliers are letting customers down. People will not feel able to trust energy suppliers again if firms cannot get their house in order and deliver decent customer service.”
However, Steve was dealing with Thomas Cook. Now, not that long ago, Thomas Cook were sharing some of the preposterous complaints they get with everyone, but this time, they’re not being funny at all.
It seems Thomas Cook are having problems with their website (more complaints about that here), which is where Steve got stung.
He said: “So, I tried to book a holiday with Thomas Cook UK. The web site kept throwing up errors during the payment process. The booking failed. No records. No booking reference. But guess what? They took my money anyway.”
“I’ve tried their customer service folk online (who, of course, keep asking for a booking reference). No joy at all. What a rubbish company. Don’t bother with them.”
Below, the complaint shows the money being taken out of the account and, at the time of publishing, Thomas Cook haven’t rectified the problem.
Keep an eye on this if you’re booking a holiday with Thomas Cook. Customers have been complaining about the Thomas Cook site not working for some people; the last thing you want is to have your money taken off you with no holiday to show for it.
If you’re booking a holiday, it might be worth waiting for this issue to be rectified before booking.
A while ago, we wrote about iFlorist and the fact that there was something a little fishy about a number of reviews they’d received. It certainly looked like positive reviews were being hastily thrown at sites in a bid to counteract all the negative ones.
Well, the complaints and negative reviews are back again, with people furious at what they think is crappy service.
On BW, one reader got in touch to say: “On March 29, 2014, I paid iFlorist to deliver a bouquet of flowers with a glass vase, a card (which was to be handwritten in) and a box of chocolates, which were to be sent to my partner’s mother for Mother’s Day.”
“After Mother’s Day weekend, the flowers did not arrive, and after several attempts at contacting iFlorist, they finally replied saying that they would try to get my order out and that they would offer me a £5 voucher for my next purchase – no refund (even though there were no flowers!)”
“Finally, on Wednesday, April 2, the flowers were delivered – and were old. No vase. No card. No chocolates. I’ve opened a dispute on Pay Pal and am trying to reclaim my money back. What good are flowers for Mother’s Day if they’re delivered 3-4 days late? Not to mention, 3/4 promised items weren’t even included! I’ve reported them to BBC Watchdog and hope these scam artists are go out of business and SOON.”
Over at MoneySavingExpert, there were more complaints. Shouting “AVOID THIS COMPANY”, one disgruntled customer said that they had “paid extra for express delivery. The roses turned up on the doorstep at 745pm and the courier didn’t even bother to ring the bell. Three of the flowers were blackened and the others looked very sorry for themselves. I cannot believe I ordered flowers through this company having seen them mentioned on MSE Valentines link… their chat link is always dead and they have not responded to support tickets.”
Yesterday, complaints were coming in at the ReviewCentre, where someone spat: “Purchased “designer flowers” for mothers day which were appalling. Flowers were half dead and wrapped in tissue paper that looked like it had been dropped on the floor and danced on! Only wish I had read other peoples reviews first because most people seem to be of the same opinion. Never again – my local supermarket were selling better at a quarter of the price and forget customer services – they are as bad as the flowers!”
A number of new complaints bloomed over at FlowerDelivery, saying “avoid”, “disgusted” and “took money – no refund given!” and TrustPilot was again rife with angry customers, with loads of complaints coming in this week. One iFlorist user said: “Extremely poor product and appalling lack of follow up service,” with products being delivered not as advertised, as well as “the supposed live support service appears to be permanently unavailable” and the customer feeling “cheated and angry. The flowers were a rip off and I have paid for goods and services in addition that I have not received. Now they don’t even have the decency to respond my enquiries by email and it’s impossible to get through to anyone on the phone.”
Other customers said they had been “ignored”, “the WORST company I’ve EVER dealt with”, “WORST SERVICE EVER”, “AVOID THIS COMPANY LIKE THE PLAGUE!”
iFlorist did contact one customer (not all) with an apology and an offer to “e-mail you personally to arrange some appropriate compensation,” so it may well be worth peeved customers giving them a ring on 0844 874 5010 or email them again at their contact page. You can send them a letter if you prefer, at iflorist HQ, Jubilee House, Phoenix Way, Burnley, Lancashire, BB11 5SX.
In the meantime, if an offer online looks like it is too good to be true, then it probably is.
Remember when EE were unveiled as Britain’s best mobile network and everyone laughed? Well, this morning, we saw their customers apoplectic with rage after they were left without a signal for 12+ hours.
Customers were unable to make any calls, text anyone or use the internet.
Naturally, EE customers took to Twitter to vent spleen while EE themselves stuck their fingers in their ears and shouted about ‘Gremlins in the system’.
EE tweeted: “There seems to be some Gremlins in the system – we’re aware of a network outage at the moment & working hard to fix.”
“A technical issue has been causing some of our customers to experience problems with their signal,” they added. “This issue has been resolved for many of those affected, and normal service for all customers should resume shortly. We apologise for the inconvenience caused to our customers.”
However, this morning, there were still scores of customers unable to use their phones and again, Twitter was crazy with angry comments.
“@EE I have had no service since 6pm yesterday and still have none. Not happy. Will my bill be reduced?” shouted @Ditzytart. Meanwhile, @Alex_Segal flatly stated: “Everyone on @EE should get this month for free as compensation,” while @sealeyd clucked: “Definition of irony: After 12 hours without @EE service, the first text I receive is to tell me my data allowance has expired”
Celebrity sorts were affected too! Groovy MP Tom Watson tweeted: “@EE 12 hours without a phone signal. Good prep for the zombie apocalypse. Not so good for my busy day of work.”
Drum & Bass royalty weren’t happy either, with Shy FX (@ShyFX) tweeting: “Dear @EE, I suggest you change your name to NN (nothing nowhere). Safe.”
People are forever winding up companies with joke letters of complaint, but things get really good when companies play along in turn.
And so, to Bic, who make the famous pens. One customer told them that one of their pens must have been faulty because it was erroneously drawing nothing but massive penises. And so, Bic responded to the letter and apologised in a funny fashion.
Have a read of this letter (click on it to make it larger, if needed)
[image via twitter/warrenchrismas]
If you haven’t noticed, because you wisely avoid all comments on YouTube videos, the bottom half of YouTube has been flooded with spam, virus links, rude drawings and distasteful language.
On their Creators blog, the YouTube comments team insisted that the new system, which requires you to have a G+ account in order to post, thereby forcing their failing social network down people’s necks, had solved a lot of spamming problems. Sadly for them, they also had to admit that it “introduced new opportunities for abuse and shortly after the launch we saw some users taking advantage of them.”
As such, there have been some changes including “better recognition of bad links” and has made changes in an attempt to improve the detection of ASCII art (as seen above). They have also had the problem of users posting very lengthy comments (some jokers posted entire Shakespeare plays in the comments).
“We’re moving forward with more improvements to help you manage comments on your videos better,” YouTube said, promising new tools for bulk moderation of comments, which it admitted was a “long-standing creator request”.
What won’t be happening, sadly, is a return to the old system (over 200,000 people have signed a petition to asking YouTube to remove the G+ requirement). There’s trouble for YouTube and Google, as a number of YouTube’s bigger stars have disabled comments on their videos because of this new system, which means advertisers might pull out.