Posts Tagged ‘Consumer’
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.
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.
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?
It turns out that one in five of us missed an important bill payment last year, and one in 10 have received a court summons as a result. This cheering news comes from research commissioned by Moneysupermarket.com for their far-too-jauntily named ‘Bill Barometer’, which showed that we’ve missed a total of 15 million bill payments.
And when you examine our monthly outgoings compared to our piffling and paltry wages, you’ll see why we’re ‘accidentally’ losing that gas bill down the back of the sofa. The average household spends £1360 on essential bills like rent, mortgages and utilities.
So what are we neglecting to pay? Well, we’re most frequently failing to pay credit cards, loan repayments, and often childcare costs. And even more worryingly, one in five people say that their outgoings would only have to rise by £50 a month to make them completely unmanageable.
‘Many households are precariously juggling their bill payments, choosing which to pay and which to ignore.’ Says Claire Francis from Moneysupermarket. ‘It’s a balancing act that can’t continue long-term without significant implications. Given interest rates are likely to start rising next year, leading to increases in the cost of borrowing, it is a real concern that many people won’t be able to cope.’
Excuse me, Mr Osborne – before the Bank of England puts up interest rates – please can we have some more?
Despite the fact that payday loans are instruments of the devil, there’s been a huge rise in people desperately applying for payday loans at INFINITY APR. That’s according to debt charity Step Change, who are dealing with an 82% rise in tearful people coming to them after getting into a mess with their Wonga.
At the moment, their average client has a staggering THREE payday loans, with an average debt of around £1700. And on average, they’re struggling to pay them back on a wage of £1,381 a month. Some people have only started out with small debts, which have ballooned because of the ridiculous interest rates. One man only borrowed £200, and now owes almost £2000.
The widespread harm and misery caused by payday loans continue unabated.’ said Mike O’Connor from Step Change.
‘The industry has failed to address the problems causing untold misery and damage to financially vulnerable consumers across the UK.’
In April the FCA is taking over the payday loans industry, and Step Change has suggested running real-time credit checks so that customers can’t borrow multiple loans, as well as a ‘debt escalation cap’ which will limit the amount of charges they can pile onto beleaguered borrowers.
Leaving a train of devastation in their wake, payday loans really are the worst thing to happen to Britain since Jim Davidson.
If you’ve been near a TV in the past month or so, you might have seen a Red Tractor advert featuring the very punchable face of ‘celebrity’ farmer Jimmy Doherty, friend of Jamie Oliver, telling you to ‘give a fork’ about where your meat comes from.
Despite the fact that we would all gladly spear Jamie’s Dorset Cereal eating, checked shirted Mumfordy mates with a fork in the gonads and roast them in hell, Jimmy is now the new poster boy for the food industry, which has decided to carry Red Tractor labels on ready meals containing meat.
After Horsemeatgate, it’s an attempt to reassure consumers that ready meals – usually made in a factory by dribbling, hungover lads called Dave with undiagnosed Hepatitis C – are safe and definitely don’t contain any (perfectly safe) horsemeat.
While we already see Red Tractor labels on meat products, it’s the first time that the Red Tractor logo has appeared on ready meals. Asda will be the first supermarket to unveil the logo on their beef ready meals later in the month, and it’s thought that others will follow suit.
Having said that, if you’re the kind of person who regularly scarfs down Asda beefy ready meals, chances are you probably don’t give a fork about food full stop.
Want your hands to feel as soft as your face? Well, walk away from the sink and go and buy some budget dishwasher tablets, because they’re better than most of the expensive brands.
It’s yet another triumph for Lidl and Aldi, whose own brand dishwasher tablets came second and third in blind test by Which! After being put through their paces with dried on egg and milk, the results were a no brainer. The best of the best was Fairy Platinum, the flashy Mazerati/Rolex/James Bond of the dishwashing world. But that costs a plate-smashing 40p a wash – four times as much as the budget ones – so sod that.
Which! tested 13 brands, including Lidl’s All In One dishwasher tablets and Aldi Magnum All in One tablets. They scored 80 and 77 out of 100 respectively, putting them in the Best Buy category. The complete wash outs were Morrisons and Asda own brands, which were slammed with a ‘DON’T BUY’ sticker. (Boo hiss).
Also, Which! pointed out that if you swap your fancy Fairy Platinum for Aldi or Lidl’s brands, you could save £100 a year. Which could go towards treating yourself to something nice – like hiring a naked butler to empty the dishwasher.
Most of us might not risk drinking or driving, but it turns out that over half of us are not averse to stuffing our faces at the wheel – putting ourselves and everyone else at risk of Krispy Kreme related car accidents.
That’s according to a survey by road charity Brake and Direct Line, who found that three in five drivers have admitted to driving while scoffing some form of tasty service station treat. And 2% of us have actually almost caused an accident while trying open a Big Bag of beefy Hula Hoops.
Experts contend that eating at the wheel is just as distracting as using a mobile phone, which of course, is illegal.
But it turns out that we don’t just use our car as a banqueting hall. 15% of the 1000 drivers surveyed also admitted to personal grooming while driving.
Deputy chief executive of Brake, Julie Townsend said:
‘Driving is the most complicated and risky thing most of us do on a regular basis, so it is vital we give it our full and undivided attention. We can’t afford to treat our cars as an extension of our kitchen or bathroom.’
(You mean we can’t shave, have a bath, do the washing or make a stir fry? BORING).
However Edmund King, president of the AA, rather amusingly said that the problem wasn’t that bad, and that people needed to take the results of survey ‘with a pinch of salt.’
On top of a KFC chicken bucket that you’re eating with a knife and fork in the fast lane of the M6.
When you open a bottle of wine, chances are you’re trying to plunge yourself into oblivion to erase the awful grinding drudgery of the day (Amirite, ladies?).
But Sainsbury’s want to shame wine drinkers just that little bit more by telling them how many CALORIES are in a glass. Their new labels are intending to help us make ‘more responsible health choices’ – although I would say that if you’ve got 3 boxes of Stowells of Chelsea and a Wham bar in your trolley, a nutritional information sticker isn’t going to make much difference.
However, Sainsbury’s think it’s important, because they did a survey and found that 85% of Britons knew how many calories are in a 125ml glass.
Jane Ellison, Public Health Minister, welcomed the move, saying: ‘The use of calorie labelling on alcoholic drinks is a key way the industry can help support responsible drinking. Sainsbury’s are once again helping to lead the way in providing consumers with the information that they need to make informed choices. We welcome this move and urge others to follow suit.’
For the record, apparently there are 228 calories, which is the equivalent of two fish fingers.
(Yes, but can fish fingers get you pished?)