Posts Tagged ‘News’

Starbucks to start delivering

October 31st, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

starbucks logo 300x300 Starbucks to start deliveringStarbucks are planning to do a delivery service through their mobile app in some parts of America. You can assume that, if this works, they’ll be rolling this out across the globe.

So what made the company decide to do this? Well, the coffee giant has reported lower-than-expected quarterly sales. Just imagine if they’d paid more tax too. They’d be weeping into their piggy banks.

“We are playing offence,” CEO Howard Schultz said, like a git, adding: ”Imagine the ability to create a standing order that Starbucks delivered hot or iced to your desk daily.”

Starbucks is hugely popular and there’s money to made through delivering a load of brown liquid to people in offices. It goes without saying that there’ll be some who don’t understand the point of it all, preferring to eat spoonfuls of Mellow Birds or whatever, but you can see this becoming a popular thing.

The coffee chain is looking at ways for getting consumers involved through online shopping rather than plain old brick-and-mortar stores. As well as a delivery service, Starbucks are going to allow customers to pre-order drinks on their smartphones by next year.

Looks like Starbucks aren’t happy with other businesses stealing a march on them.

Tesco: now with ‘Click & Collect’

October 31st, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

tesco Tesco: now with Click & CollectGood news shoppers! You can now collect the shopping you’ve done online with Tesco from every Tesco store – and yes, that includes Tesco Extra and Express shops.

So now, you can skive at work while putting tins of pineapple rings and sink unplugging juice into a virtual basket and then pick them all up at your convenience.

The order cut off time for next day Click+Collect has been extended to 5pm too and there’s an earlier collection time of 3pm. This is all incredibly exciting isn’t it? You’ll also be able to pick your shopping up from ‘selected Tesco partners’ if you don’t have one near to you.

If you order by 5pm (Sunday – Friday) you can collect in store after 3pm next day. If you order on a Saturday, you can collect your shopping after 3pm on Monday (that doesn’t include bank holidays).

You’ll need to take some ID and a copy of your confirmation email when you collect your order, which is all pretty standard.

If you don’t believe us, and think this news is too fantastical and far too good to be true, Tesco have announced it on their website where you can see the full glory of their announcement. See it here.

Look out! There’s more phone fraud knocking about!

October 29th, 2014 1 Comment By Mof Gimmers

telesales telephone Look out! Theres more phone fraud knocking about!Time to get vigilant, dear Bitterwallet reader, because there’s a scam doing the rounds that tricks you into believing you’re talking to a trusted business on the phone.

We wouldn’t be doing our civic duty if we didn’t inform you of it, but if you’re one of those lazy people who can’t be bothered reading an article, then the solution we offer is to never, ever answer a phone call, just to be on the safe side.

For those who insist on answering phonecalls or, indeed, want to learn about doing some fraud for some extra beer money, here’s the low down.

This scam has been dubbed ‘number spoofing’, where ne’er-do-wells clone a telephone number of an organisation and basically impersonate them so that, on your caller ID, you’ll think it is all legit and above board. The people at Financial Fraud Action UK reckon that this has become a bit of a problem in recent weeks.

Of course, this type of scam has been knocking around for years, but it is on the increase and criminals are using it to steal your money. At the moment, according to FFA UK, the main targets are businesses, but personal banking customers are also finding themselves being contacted by these snide gits.

Basically, fraudsters are posing as bank staff or police officers and ask you for your personal and financial details. They usually tell you that fraudulent activity has been detected on your account, which is a bit rich seeing as the scam ends up with fraudulent activity all up in your business.

If the scam artists don’t get your details, they’ll try and get you to send money to another account for ’safe-keeping’. Frankly, if you’re going to fall for that, then you need to start worrying. Remember though – no organisation, including your bank, will ever, ever ask for your password and PIN number in whole. Anyone doing so is absolutely trying it on with you.

Craig Jones, spokesperson for FFA UK, said: “Number spoofing is becoming increasingly common and it’s not difficult for the criminals to fake a caller ID. So if a number appears on your phone’s caller ID display, you shouldn’t assume you know where the call is being made from.”

“Remember that if a caller is trying to draw your attention to the number on your phone display, it’s very unlikely the call is genuine as there is no legitimate reason to point it out.”

Banks want action on payday loan brokers

October 29th, 2014 2 Comments By Mof Gimmers

payday loans Banks want action on payday loan brokersThere’s been a sharp increase in complaints about payday loan brokers taking money from people without them knowing.

The Royal Bank of Scotland Group have said that they’re working to close payday loan brokers thanks to receiving 650 complaints-a-day between July and August alone. They say that there are 1 million attempts to remove money from account per month, and that one customer of a payday broker who was getting charged £700 in fees from a £100 loan.

The difference between brokers and lenders is that they don’t lend the cash themselves, but rather, charge fees to people, even if they don’t end up being approved for a loan. Worse still, is that some brokers will pass on your bank details to another party who will then also try and take money from your account.

The Financial Ombudsman have issued a warning about these payday brokers, after around 11,500 people had contacted them to complain about credit-broking websites. That figure comes from April alone.

In two-thirds of complaints the Ombudsman looked at, they agreed that the customer had been unfairly treated. They added that most people using brokers thought they were applying for a loan directly and didn’t realise that they were actually giving money to a middleman where loans might not even be given out.

Senior ombudsman Juliana Francis said: “In too many of the cases we sort out, no loan is provided and people’s bank accounts have been charged a high fee, often multiple times. If money has been taken from your account unfairly or without warning, the good news is the ombudsman is here to help.”

Terry Lawson, head of fraud and chargeback operations for RBS and NatWest, said: “We’ve seen large numbers of customers incurring charges they don’t expect when using a payday loan broker since July this year. Customers’ account or debit card details are gathered and sent on to up to 200 other brokers and lenders who charge them fees for a loan application.”

“At its height we were seeing up to 640 calls a day on unexpected fees, but we’re pleased to say we’re seeing this decrease on account of the actions we’re taking to help stop these sharp practices.”

There’s been huge problems surrounding payday loans as a whole, so they’re largely best avoided altogether. However, if you are desperate, be sure to read all the small print and make sure that the loan you’re getting won’t see you in more trouble than when you started off.

If you are having problems with anything regarding this, then contact the Financial Ombudsman here, or call 0800 023 4 567 on a landline, or 0300 123 9 123 if you are calling from a mobile. They’ll phone you back, if you’re worried about the cost of the call.

Serious Fraud Office to investigate Tesco

October 29th, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

tesco extra Serious Fraud Office to investigate TescoTesco time again! On this occasion, being investigated by the Serious Fraud Office over that preposterous accounting debacle they got themselves mixed up in.

The SFO has, according to reports, told Tesco that they’ll be launching a formal criminal investigation into the scandal and to expect a statement on the whole thing this week.

As we know, the Financial Conduct Authority are already investigating the retailer – soon, Tesco will have to open a new aisle just for people in business suits tutting at spreadsheets and mainlining instant coffee.

Deloitte, the accountancy lot, have completed their enquiries into this wretched mess, and Tesco are declining to comment on it all, apart from saying that the practices at the centre of the scandal had been going on for longer than they’d originally thought. That’s what resulted in a missing £263m.

It has been said that a ‘small group’ of employees were behind it all, and Deloitte’s investigation unearthed “inappropriate behaviour” and the fact that there’s been “deliberate intention” to pull a fast one on auditors.

Tesco shares are plummeting as a result of all this, so if you think Tesco are big and ugly enough to sort all this out and win everyone’s trust again, it might be worth buying some stock and making hay while the sun shines.

In Japan, Pepsi do all manner of crazy things. Remember the Pepsi flavoured crisps? Well now, they’ve released a Pepsi drink that tastes like strawberry milkshake. That’s not some strawberry milkshake with Pepsi branding – that’s a glass of cola that tastes like fruit and milk.

zmcygkcqctjy3iyxsvuk 500x281 Anyone for Pepsi that tastes like strawberry milkshake?

In the past, Pepsi have given the world Ice Cucumber Pepsi, Salty Watermelon Pepsi and other completely baffling things in a bottle.

If you’re in Japan in December, then this latest concoction will go on-sale on December 9th and, it goes without saying, those who have tried this drink (it was previously on-sale in 2011) say it is fantastically sweet.

Which drink dissolves a mouse the quickest remains to be seen.

Amazon selling mobiles on contract

October 28th, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

Amazon Smartphone 300x180 Amazon selling mobiles on contractAmazon UK have, without much fanfare, started flogging pay monthly mobile phones to its online store.

As of today, you’ll be able to get over 90 phones on deals starting from £13 with nothing to pay upfront. All of Amazon’s plans are 24 months long and are through the O2 network, should you care about those details.

There’s some decent offers too. You can get the HTC One for £0 upfront and £28 per month (with unlimited texts and 1GB of data) or the Nokia Lumia 735 for nothing upfront and £15 a month.

Of course, this gives Amazon the chance to flog their own Fire Phone too, which you can get with a new Amazon contract. With unlimited calls and texts and 1GB of data, you can land one for £0 upfront and £28 a month.

Don’t bother looking for an iPhone though because it looks like Amazon doesn’t want anything to do with Apple. Not yet at least. You can check out Amazon’s deals and phones here.

There’s little that pleases us more than a company creating a brand design or logo that looks like someone’s undercarriage. We’re incredibly puerile, yes.

This week, someone noticed that Tesco’s buttermilk had a packaging design that looked rather like someone’s flaccid junk. And once you see it, it really can’t be unseen.

tesco buttermilk Tesco cock up with buttermilk (and other logo fails)

That got us thinking of other times when logos have ballsed-up. Of course, these articles aren’t particularly original, but like re-runs of You’ve Been Framed, we can’t help but laugh at immature stuff, so we’re going to share our favourite accidentally dirty logos and want you to share your favourites with us.

One of the most notorious is the Catholic Church’s Archdiocesan Youth Commission logo which, with some clean, simple lines, depicts the dismal abuse that has been routinely covered up by the Vatican.

catholic churchs archdiocesan youth commission Tesco cock up with buttermilk (and other logo fails)

Then, of course, you’ve got the fabulous China Restaurant design, which looks like someone inserting a rocket ship directly up someone’s poo hole.

china restaurant Tesco cock up with buttermilk (and other logo fails)

The importance of the correct typeface is one that some aren’t concerned about and can see words being used that alludes to another. Here, we have something that, while clearly photoshopped, shows how the humble mince pie could be read as something completely different.

minge pies Tesco cock up with buttermilk (and other logo fails)

Another favourite is the Clinical Dental design, which is obviously supposed to look like a stick-figure dentist looking after a patient. However, the end result forces puns about “filling someone’s cavity” and all that.

clinica dental logo Tesco cock up with buttermilk (and other logo fails)

Then, there’s the brillinat Computer Doctors logo where some graphic designer drew a mouse freehand and a whole team of people missed the fact that it looked like the tip of someone’s wang.

computer doctors 500x353 Tesco cock up with buttermilk (and other logo fails)

Of course, these are small companies who might not have scores of people working for them, so things are easily missed. No such excuse for the Office of Government Commerce who got a fancy logo designed that looked like a fella fiddling with himself.

ocg 500x373 Tesco cock up with buttermilk (and other logo fails)

Our favourite though, just for the sheer size of the distribution, is the One Euro coin that placed a nice cock and balls into the pocket of every man, woman and child who lived in the EU. Easy to miss, thanks to missing Norway off the map, everyone ended up with a Scandinavia that looked like a very accurate outline of a man’s parts. Fabulous.

euro Tesco cock up with buttermilk (and other logo fails)

Like we said, feel free to send us your own favourites, or indeed, complain about how you’ve seen all these before and how perfectly good sites are succumbing to Buzzfeed-style reporting.

Regarding the latter – we won’t hear your moans because we’re too busy laughing at things that look like wonkers.

porn Dirty websites to do more to stop minors watching smutThe internet is filled with mucky stuff, but now, dirty websites are being asked to do more with regards to verifying the age of people accessing adult material, as there are too many underage people looking at bongo films.

Mobile phone companies and credit card firms are going to now ensure that someone proves they’re older than 18 to get access to explicit material – unless of course, they’re just looking at naughty pictures that come up on Google Images. No-one will be policing Google, that’s for sure.

This is all because a study showed that one in 20 visitors to adult sites are under 18.

The research for Atvod shows that 6% of people aged 15 or under had been looking at adult-material online over the course of a month and that 112,000 minors accessed PornHub from the UK.

Atvod said that young people using porn sites was an issue so urgent that it was ‘critical the legislation is enacted during this Parliament.’

These new plans don’t just cover smutty sites, but also places that sell guns and other age restricted things. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport is working on the plans with Treasury minister Andrea Leadsom.  A DCMS spokesman said: “We take the issue of child safety online very seriously and have set out a series of robust measures, including family friendly filters, to help keep children safe online.”

“We are always looking at ways to build on these measures to make children even safer.”

There is a small snag though – these rules will only cover UK-based websites, and seeing as most dirty films are made, distributed and hosted outside of the UK, it won’t be making a blind bit of difference to most porn-lovers.

Facebook reinvents the chatroom with Rooms

October 24th, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

facebook mobile Facebook reinvents the chatroom with RoomsWe spoke about Facebook’s anonymous app that they were toying with, and now it is here, in the form of a rejigging of a good ol’ fashioned internet chatroom! And it is called Rooms.

So what’s the skinny? Well, each ‘Room’ acts like a Facebook newsfeed or tiny message board that gets a name, wallpaper and then, people are invited to share stuff on it like photos, videos and jokes stolen from Reddit.

You can adopt a new identity or nickname in each room if you like, as there’s no link to Facebook profiles (or Twitter or any other profile for that matter). Facebook have set some of these chatrooms up already, so you can see what the deal is. Fans of Japanese cup-and-ball toy, Kendama, are in for a treat.

In an even more backward looking thing, you are invited to the chatrooms via QR codes. Honestly. Are we going to see people redesigning pages with CricketSoda like they did with their old MySpace pages?

It looks like Facebook have seen the sprawling, but addictive mess that is Reddit and decided to try and ape it, of a fashion. By giving users the control of a page’s content, they hope that it’ll end up a bustling area for discussion. However, thanks to it being mobile-only and users need to be invited to these chatrooms, they may have hit a stumbling block.

Will this work? Facebook aren’t daft, so it might just take off… provided of course, people are willing to walk away from the services they are already using.

Toys R Us ban Breaking Bad figures

October 24th, 2014 1 Comment By Mof Gimmers

breaking bad 300x182 Toys R Us ban Breaking Bad figuresToys R Us have pulled Breaking Bad figures from their shelves after a campaign by a concerned ‘Florida Mom’.

She started a petition to get the collectibles off the shelves, because they’re related to a violent TV show about crack cocaine. Of course, these figures could only be found in the section designated for adults, but there you go.

The stars of the show aren’t best pleased about it either. Aaron Paul who played Jesse Pinkman tweeted: ”Wait, so @ToysRUs pulled all of the Breaking Bad figures from their shelves and still sells Barbie? Hmmmm…I wonder what is more damaging?”

He added: “And what about all of the violent video games you sell @ToysRUs ? Do you still sell those? Florida mom really messed it up for everyone.”

Toys R Us said in a statement: “Let’s just say, the action figures have taken an ‘indefinite sabbatical.’”

Bryan Cranston tweeted his ire too: “Florida mom petitions against Toys ‘R Us over Breaking Bad action figures.’ I’m so mad, I’m burning my Florida Mom action figure in protest,” adding: “Toys R Us puts Breaking Bad toys on ‘indefinite sabbatical.’ Word on the street is that they were sent to Belize. Nicely played Florida Mom.”

So there you have it. America, where you can’t buy toys from a toy shop, but you can get a free gun when you take out a loan. Crackers.

Apple send porn to company

October 24th, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

SFW 300x185 Apple send porn to companyIf Apple weren’t in enough bother for forcing a U2 album on everyone, they’ve now started sending smut to people too!

Carl Smith, who founded Ngen Works in That America, have been send a photo of a bloke messing about with his bare junk by Apple, who were letting them know about an app they’d created which can be used to view mucky material.

The dirty attachment was sent with no warning from Apple.

Writing on his blog, Carl said: “It turns out Apple thought the best way to tell us our app could be used to surf porn was to surf for porn using our app. Then send us some pictures and say take a look at these! Except they said, “Please see the attached screenshot for more information.” So with no warning…”

“Apple sent us pornography without trying to mask it and with no warning of what we were going to see. This means they exposed employees of my company to things Apple themselves said was objectionable. How is this acceptable?”

The picture in question, made modest by Smith, is here for your viewing pleasure. Seems very odd that Apple would send such a thing to another business, but there you go.

1 X I0XVTF2WSTkEiEjNIEvg 281x500 Apple send porn to company

[top image, like all our porn coverage, c/o the wonderful SFW Porn]

Asda face legal action for underpaying women

October 24th, 2014 5 Comments By Mof Gimmers

ASDA logo Asda face legal action for underpaying womenWhile Tesco have been through the mill of late and many other supermarkets having a tough time, Asda have been fairly quiet, getting on with business.

Until now that is. The retailer is looking at huge legal action by the women who work in their stores who claim that they’ve not been paid the same as men who work in the distribution warehouses, even though their jobs are of “equivalent value”.

This case will look at how Asda decide how much they pay staff throughout the business and, if the women involved in this are successful with their claims, then the rest of the sector should start getting worried as there could be legal action against everyone else.

Over 1,000 employment tribunal claims have been submitted already and, a lot of the cases are being taken up by men who are employed by Asda as they would get a pay rise if the case is successful. Lawyers note: Asda has said it will vigorously defend itself from these claims and say that they do not discriminate.

Lauren Loughheed, the solicitor with Leigh Day who is leading the case, told the Beeb that the difference in pay could be as much as £4 an hour in difference. If the case sides with the workers, then there’s going to be some gigantic back payments.

An Asda spokesperson said: “A firm of no win, no fee lawyers are hoping to challenge our award-winning reputation as an equal opportunities employer. We do not discriminate and are very proud of our record in this area which, if it comes to it, we will robustly defend.”

Ebola email spreads malware! IS NO-ONE SAFE?!

October 23rd, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

hackers Ebola email spreads malware! IS NO ONE SAFE?!Even your computer isn’t safe from the threat of Ebola. Hackers and spam merchants are taking advantage of people’s panic about the disease by sending out emails that look like they’re from the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Obviously, they’re not from the World Health Organisation.

These messages encourage you to open an attachment, which will show you how to protect yourself from Ebola. However, instead of helping you, it’ll infect your computer and download malware into your system and then, as ever, will allow people to get at all your lovely personal information and bank details.

There is also a scam doing the rounds which is much less believable, where the email is from ‘an Ebola expert’. If you’re daft enough to open the attachments in that, then frankly, you deserve everything you get.

Message topics to look out for are: ‘What you need to know about the deadly Ebola outbreak’, ‘So Really, How Do You Get Ebola?’, ‘Is there ANY way to cure Ebola?’ and ‘The #1 Food Items You’ll Need In An EBOLA Crisis’.

Seeing as most people are ignoring the small threat of Ebola in real life (unless you work in a newsroom of course, where it is being heralded as the new plague), the best advice is to treat any emails with the same laissez faire attitude you’ve been employing thus far.

loom bands Dad gets slapped with £1,792 phone bill over daughters loom band videosLoom-bands – elastic bands masquerading as craft – as really captured the imagination of the young people of the world.

One young lady called Trinity Groves was such a fan, that she watched tutorial videos so she could improve her looming. However, in the process, she ran up an enormous phone bill over a fortnight after her home’s WiFi stopped working.

Her dad, Philip, was blissfully unaware she’d been using Vodafone’s premium rates to get online, and after 28 hours of videos, dad got the unpleasant surprise of a £1,792 phone bill.

Philip is not happy at all. He said: “She was only learning how to make loom bands so she could trade them with her pals. We thought we were using the WiFi for a good fortnight and there was nothing to suggest it had disconnected.”

“We didn’t know we were using up all these charges for the internet at a premium rate. As far as I was aware, the WiFi was connected. I wasn’t informed otherwise. If a phone company sees a discrepancy in your bill or a huge surge in usage surely they have an obligation to let you know?”

“Suddenly I had this bill through from them on my doorstep, demanding all this money. I was absolutely gobsmacked. Now they are threatening to take me to court – it’s frightening that they can bully you this way. I might have to sell my van just to afford it, but I rely on that for my livelihood. I don’t know where to turn.”

After disputing the bill, Philip got another kick in the groin when Vodafone informed him that he was now blacklisted. They still want paying too.

Philip added: “They cut me off within five minutes. I told them I was going to go to an ombudsman but they have done nothing. They have just demanded I pay £1,410 by next week but I have been out of work recently because of an operation, I can’t afford it. How many of their clients pay this much for their internet? It’s disgusting. I have always had good a credit rating but since this, I have not been able to get a loan or anything.”

Trinity isn’t happy either, saying: “When I come home from school I usually get my phone and all my loom bands… I used to love watching the tutorial videos but now I know it cost my dad £1,792 I have had to stop watching them – it’s made me very sad.”

A spokeswoman for Vodafone said: “We can only confirm at this stage that we will launch a thorough investigation into the matter. We will then get back in touch with the customer once our inquires are concluded.”