Posts Tagged ‘News’

Product Recall: Kidde Lifesaver Fire Blanket

July 27th, 2015 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

fireblanket 166x300 Product Recall: Kidde Lifesaver Fire BlanketProduct recall time again, and this time it is the Kidde Lifesaver Fire Blanket, which has been identified as a potential safety hazard.

Sold at Asda, and other shops, the recall says that the problem “may impact the fire blankets’ effectiveness in the event of an oil pan fire.”

There have been no reports of any incidents, but testing showed that certain fire blankets are a risk and may not fully extinguish an oil pan fire and/or may allow the fire to reignite very soon after application of the fire blanket.

If you have one of the potentially affected fire blankets, you must not use it on any oil pan fire.

So, if you have one, return it to the retailer it was purchased from as soon as possible. Kidde Safety Europe Ltd will arrange for a compliant replacement fire blanket to be supplied to you which meets the British safety standard.

The recall continues: “The potentially affected fire blankets are 1m2 in size. The fire blanket containers are labelled with the brand name “Kidde” or “Lifesaver” and are marked with the kitemark symbol. The Kitemark Licence Number 35021 is also displayed on the container where marked below. The label on the fire blanket refers to “Homesaver”.

If you have any questions, contact the Kidde Safety helpline on 0800 917 0722 or email to admin@kiddesafety.co.uk. For further information see our website at: www.kiddesafetyeurope.co.uk

They’re still being sold at Amazon and on eBay, so please don’t buy them.

Product Recall: Extension on La Chinata

July 27th, 2015 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

la chinata hot spanish smoked paprika picante pimenton de la vera dop 70g 10599 p 300x300 Product Recall: Extension on La ChinataRemember when we told you about the product recall of La Chinata Smoked Paprika? Well, it has been widened to include batch codes 322 and 324, because they’ve found salmonella in that to.

If you have bought one of these, do not eat it.

The details of the recall are as follows:

Product: La Chinata Smoked Paprika ‘Dulce’ (Sweet) and ‘Picante’ (Hot) – 70g and 750g tins
Batch code: 322 and 324 (batch 320 was recalled in the original recall)

 

So, if you’ve bought the product, do not eat it. You need to return it to the store from where it was bought for a full refund.

Brindisa Spanish Foods, who make the product, have taken the precautionary measure of recalling all of the above batches that may be affected. If you’re unsure, don’t try your luck – return it.

Okay? Good. For all our Product Recalls, click here.

Barristers strike over cuts to legal aid

July 27th, 2015 4 Comments By Mof Gimmers

 Barristers strike over cuts to legal aidWe told you recently about the government shutting down 91 ‘surplus’ courts, and it looks like there’s more legal bother afoot, as barristers are going on strike in a protest against cuts to legal aid.

Criminal barristers are going to start refusing to take on Crown Court cases, as they show solidarity with criminal defence solicitors, who are looking at cuts in their fees of 8.75%. Solicitors have already been striking since the start of July, refusing all new work in Magistrates and Crown Courts.

These cuts will make it harder for small high street law firms to stay in business, which of course, creates the kind of scenario that gives advantage to people with more money.

Jonathan Black, president of the London Criminal Court Solicitors Association, said: “Hundreds of solicitors’ firms around the country will close down, developing instead into mass justice warehouses, legal aid warehouses, where cases will be packed high and sold cheap.”

“High street firms that ordinary people know how to access will be decimated.”

The past two governments have been taking money from the legal aid system, which sees lawyers paid from public money, so that people who can’t afford representation can get the help they need.

So, while criminal defence barristers aren’t actually affected by these cuts, they’re showing solidarity with the legal profession, with the majority going on strike. Joanne Cecil, a barrister at Garden Court Chambers, said that criminal justice is “on its knees and broken” thanks to the measures brought in by the government: “this is really not about our fees, it’s about the wider impact on society.”

“The impact of these cuts to legal aid is not just to defendants, but also victims of crime and witnesses, who have to deal with what is a creaking justice system.”

Tesco to ban Ribena and more from stores

July 27th, 2015 5 Comments By Mof Gimmers

ribena Tesco to ban Ribena and more from storesTesco are going to remove added-sugar drinks from their shelves, which means no Ribena for you. Or Capri-Sun. Or Rubicon. And some other drinks that taste nice.

And why are they doing this? Well, in their bid to ’help prevent childhood obesity’, they don’t trust you adults to buy what you want from a shop. No, they’re going to have to remove things from the shelves so you irresponsible arseholes don’t destroy your children’s lives.

Of course, you might be really responsible and only give children these things once in a blue moon as a treat or, indeed, you might be an adult that doesn’t know any kids and likes drinking Ribena and Rubicon together in the same glass when you’ve got a hangover.

Tesco don’t care. They’re your new dad, now. And from 7th September, these products will be no more, just in time for the kids starting a new year of school.

Naturally, you’ll be able to go to the newsagents nearby and buy whatever you want without having Tesco dictate their values on you. And indeed, you can imagine they’ll still be selling cans of Coca-Cola and the like, so you wonder what on Earth they’re thinking.

And will other supermarkets follow suit? You can bet that they absolutely won’t and will try and exploit this idiotic decision by Tesco by having some lovely deals and offers on sugary drinks. Shall we assume that Tesco are going to get rid of all things that are bad for families, like cigarettes, wine and cake?

We’ll see.

Are Amazon spying on you?

July 27th, 2015 1 Comment By Mof Gimmers

peeping tom spy Are Amazon spying on you?Are you the kind of person who likes to review things on Amazon? Well, you might not want to after a rather serious allegation has been made against the online vendor. They’ve been accused of spying on reviewers’ social media profiles.

The kicker is this: a blogger from New York called Imy Santiago, wrote a book review on Amazon, and it was censored on a number of occasions, saying that she’d violated the rules of the site. Imy questioned Amazon’s decision and found that she had been blocked from reviewing the book in question, because they thought she knew the person who wrote it.

Amazon said: “We cannot post your Customer Review for (book title deleted) by (author name deleted) to the Amazon website because your account activity indicates that you know the author.”

“Customer Reviews are meant to give customers unbiased product feedback from fellow shoppers… we encourage family and friends to share their enthusiasm for the book through our Customer Discussions feature or Editorial Reviews feature.”

The problem was, that Santiago doesn’t know the author at all. So, how did Amazon jump to this conclusion? Well, it has been suggested that Amazon are snooping around reviewers’ social media profiles, looking for connections between those leaving reviews and authors.

On her blog, Imy wrote: ”The Big Brother mentality Amazon is employing is appalling, and crosses an ethical line of unfathomable proportions.”

“What quantifiable and verifiable ways is Amazon using to determine if I know the author of a book, or not? The fact that they refuse to elaborate as to how I ‘know the author personally’ is highly concerning.”

She added: “I applaud Amazon for trying to curb unethical positive/negative reviews from being posted. What I don’t find congruent is them monitoring social media activity as basis to determine associations, because as an indie writer I use social media to network and promote my books, like thousands before me. I never consented to that in their terms and conditions. If Amazon is data mining, we deserve to know, and I stand my ground in saying I do not know this author on a personal level as Amazon claims.”

Who wants to watch people fighting in a Tesco?

July 27th, 2015 4 Comments By Mof Gimmers

Shopping in Tesco can be a frustrating experience at the best of times, but have you ever descended into a full on brawl, going wild in the aisles?

Well, that’s what happened in a branch in London, and handily for you, someone thought “WORLDSTAR!” and filmed the whole thing, even going as far as to do certain bits of it in super slo-mo, for that truly cinematic experience.

The video shows three men and a little lady weighing in on each other, and other people are on-hand to try and stop the absolute nonsense, including a security guard who shouts at them like he’s had enough, and not paid enough.

The Metropolitan Police did confirm that they were called to the Woolwich branch of the Tesco Extra some time around 1.25am on Saturday.

Everyone involved was spoken to, but no arrests were made. Presumably, the police have more pressing concerns and bigger fights to deal with at that time of the weekend.

A Tesco spokesman said: “Our colleagues called the police as soon as they were aware of the incident. They are now working with the police to help with their investigations.”

Every little yelps.

Data corruption on latest MacBook Pro

July 24th, 2015 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

sad apple logo Data corruption on latest MacBook ProApple have sent out a warning to everyone that the latest MacBook Pro has an issue which might cause data corruption. There might be a separate issue with screen damage as well.

Regarding the data corruption, Apple have put out a firmware update to fix the laptop’s flash storage component. It is the 15″ mid-range 2015 Retina model that has shown signs of corruption.

This follows a lot of complaints about MacBooks that have knackered screens. Marks, or ‘stains’ are appearing on the laptops in such volumes that someone bothered to set up a website dedicated to the problem. It is called staingate.org, and shows a number of botched screens.

Just shy of 3,000 people (and counting) have joined a Facebook group about this issue too.

Obviously, one of the big concerns is that they’re going to be rinsed with expensive service fees that they’ll have to fork out for once the warranties or protection plans expire.

Considering that the MacBooks are considerably more expensive than the rest of the market, you can see why people have the hump.

Apple haven’t confirmed whether there’s an issue or not (there clearly is) and it seems to be models from 2013 that are causing the most grief for people.

Vodafone gives 4G to all pay monthly customers

July 24th, 2015 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

vodafone 300x216 Vodafone gives 4G to all pay monthly customersThe folks at Vodafone are offering all pay monthly customers super-fast 4G service, regardless of what tariff they’re on. This was formerly reserved for people on pricier plans, but now, everyone can get at it.

They’ve also said that a 4G service will be offered to customers signed up to Data On The Go Bundles as well, so while you’re on holiday or whatever, you’ll be able to watch more videos of cats and Vine clips while drinking by the pool.

Another thing they’re doing, is boosting the data allowances on SIM-only Red Value Bundles and Data on The Go Bundles.

On the Red Value SIM-only bundles, you’ll be able to make calls home for free in the bits of Europe covered in Vodafone’s Europe Zone, and you’ll get three months’ unlimited data with all SIM-Only plans through Vodafone’s Data Test Drive promotion.

They’re not messing around, are they?

Cindy Rose, Consumer Director at Vodafone UK, said: “Our customers have made it clear just how much they love having generous data allowances as part of their pay monthly bundles. So, if they want to enjoy more brilliant entertainment with a Now TV Entertainment Pass, Spotify Premium or Sky Sports Mobile TV streamed on our ultrafast 4G, they can!”

“With our new bundle structure and Fixed Price Promise, Vodafone customers have the flexibility and security to enjoy more of what they love safe in the knowledge their line rental cost will remain the same for the contract term, making Vodafone the network the puts customers in control.”

Have you done your Christmas shopping yet?

July 24th, 2015 2 Comments By Mof Gimmers

christmas 300x300 Have you done your Christmas shopping yet?You might be thinking it is the middle of summer, and Christmas can go jump under a bus, but some people are already going mad for the festive period.

Apparently, over 1 million Brits have completely finished their Christmas shopping, according to some research. That’s 1,377,000 people, who have patted themselves on the back, that Christmas – bar the food – is taken care of.

Honestly. And Bitterwallet hasn’t even got anything in for its tea yet.

This survey was undertaken by the shopping mad people at channel QVC. They’ve also predicted that a gigantic £29 billion will be spent in total this Yuletide, which is up by £4.5 billion on the £24.5 billion forked out last year.

That’s an average spend of £650 each, including food and booze. And the biggest Christmas spenders are in the North East, which Wales is the Scrooge of the scenario.

Irritatingly, QVC will be making eyes at the organised, and they’re starting their special Christmas broadcasts from today. So if you’re after a dead-eyed doll that soils itself, some diamonique earrings or a scarf you can wear in 46 different ways as well as being a drain unblocker, you’re in luck.

To the rest of you – you’ve got over 150 days to get sorted. Don’t worry yourself.

Apple won’t sell Google’s Nest

July 24th, 2015 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

nest 300x270 Apple wont sell Googles NestGoogle and Apple don’t like each other. They both want to rule the world, but sadly, this Earth isn’t big enough for the both of them. And they’re probably going to squabble about that new Earth that NASA have found, too.

Anyway, onto smaller things and it looks like Apple have pulled the plug on Google’s Nest Learning Thermostat from its physical and online stores.

The people at Nest have said that they consider Apple to be a valuable partner for their company, and they intend to sell their wares through Apple’s channels, even though Apple have taken all the product pages down.

This isn’t the first time Apple have walked away from the Nest – they removed both physical and online listings of the device from their stores earlier in July. However, this time, it looks like they’re doing it for good.

Even though Apple were one of the early adopters of Nest and were willing to promote it, they’re now trying to do their own thing, obviously. They created their own smarthome stuff, with the arrival of HomeKit. Of course, within that range, there’s ecobee3, which is the smart thermostat which is compatible with HomeKit.

Of course, Google showed off Brillo, which is their own version of the HomeKit platform.

Former Apple executives Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers are the co-founders of Nest, with Fadell being dubbed ‘the godfather of the iPod’, but it seems that tech companies just can’t play nicely together, despite what their penchant for twee adverts and ukulele music might suggest.

Mothercare’s shares drop, again

July 24th, 2015 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

Mothercare Mothercares shares drop, againMothercare has been in-and-out of Deathwatch on countless occasions, proving that they’re either beleaguered as a business, or we don’t know what we’re talking about.

Anyway, looks like things still aren’t great at the pram-vendors. Internationally, Mothercare have been doing okay, with only their UK-arm letting the team down. However, the chain’s international business has suffered a fall in sales, which has seen their shares drop.

Mark Newton-Jones, the chief executive, has been trying to turn the company around, but now, it looks like he can’t rely on international sales, which has been propping up the UK division for years. In the Middle East, they’ve stopped shopping at Mothercare, and the weakness of the euro, on top of sanctions in Russia, have hampered sales.

Shares were down by nearly 6% last night, and Newton-Jones said: “Trading across our international business has been more volatile, as we have previously highlighted, with increased macro headwinds impacting consumer confidence in a number of our markets.”

Curse those macro headwinds! They really make a mess of your hair!

Poorly performing stores are being shut down across the UK, after last year, Mothercare said they’d close a quarter of all shops. The company have a plan, which is to move away from the high street and look toward bigger retail parks. Of course, shoppers have shown that they don’t like big retail parks anymore, with supermarkets trying to get away from them, so what Mothercare are doing is not clear to us.

It isn’t wholly bad news for the business – online, their sales have gone up 23.9%, which is encouraging.

Newton-Jones added: “Our strategy in the UK is continuing to deliver results. We have delayed the end-of-season sale to take advantage of well-controlled stock and the warm weather to sell more at full price. As a result, margins are improving without adversely affecting like-for-like sales. Online has also benefited from lower discounts and promotions with the additional benefit of improved functionality.”

monopoly houses 300x225 Rent is on the up, and Buy To Let isnt helpingUnsurprisingly, rent is going up and up, with a third of letting agents seeing rents increase between May and June, which is the biggest climber of 2015. Of course, this is going to continue, as 80% of agents surveyed have said that private rents are set to rocket in the next 5 years.

Why? Everyone is pointing fingers at the Budget, as the impact of it trickles through to the buy-to-let market.

George Osborne has made a number of promises to get tough with the tax relief enjoyed by buy-to-let landlords, however, letting agents say that tenants are going to inevitably pick up the slack. So, while private landlords can claim tax relief on monthly interest payments at up to the 45% top level of tax, as of April 2017, this will be at a basic rate of 20%.

Not only that, but from April 2016, the ‘wear and tear allowance’ will be axed too. Basically, there’s a number of things that landlords will want to claw back, and of course, the simplest way they can do that is by putting up people’s rent.

The Chancellor thinks that the changes being brought in will ’level the playing field for homebuyers and investors’, but not a lot of people agree with that.

“Findings like this continue to prove that the housing crisis isn’t going to disappear anytime soon and it will take a while before we see steps heading in the right direction,” said David Cox, managing director of the Association of Residential Letting Agents, which compiled a report on all this.

‘The impact of the Chancellor’s reductions to the amount of tax relief buy-to-let investors can claim – announced in the Budget this month – will affect the cost of renting over the coming months and is likely to mean it will take even longer to see any improvement in affordability in the private rented sector.”

With private rents growing faster than the price of houses in June, and the average rent at an all-time high of £789 last month, something needs to be done, and quickly.

Scammers have ‘Suckers Lists’

July 24th, 2015 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

scam Scammers have Suckers ListsAn anti-fraud team has found losses of £13m among 200,000 or so people, all who have their names on some things that has been dubbed the ‘suckers lists’.

The National Trading Standards Scams Team (NTSST) have been cracking down on these ne’er-do-wells for the past three years, and  have discovered lists of would-be victims who were being targeted because they’ve previously engaged with marketing mailings.

A lot of these people were vulnerable, so were likely to live alone or be elderly, according to the the NTSST.

These particular scams included fake prize draws and special deals, with the average victim losing out on £1,100, or more. So, keep an eye on nana next time you see her.

Lord Toby Harris, chair of NTSST, said: “To have saved consumers more than £5m in three years is a great achievement and shows the powerful effect the National Trading Standards Scams Team is having. However, we know our work is not done. Criminal scammers are targeting some of the most vulnerable people in society – ripping them off in many cases for thousands of pounds.”

“We are going to continue in our fight to protect consumers and we urge you to help us by reporting suspected cases of postal fraud to the Royal Mail.”

That’s right – the Royal Mail are in on this too. The NTSST have teamed-up with the postal service and have 2,000 staff trained-up, in a bid to spot bogus marketing and other scams. However, such is the volume of these scams, We The People need to help them out as well.

Louise Baxter, who leads the NTSST, added: “We really need the public to help us with this – by being vigilant about mass marketing scams themselves but also looking out for relatives or neighbours, particularly those who are elderly or vulnerable. We often find victims who have lost hundreds of thousands over several years; the impact on individuals and consumers is devastating.”

labrokes betting Ladbrokes merge with Coral to form giganto bookiesLadbrokes have joined forces with Gala Coral in a £2.3bn merger, which makes them the biggest bookies in Britain.

Ladbrokes have been dragging behind William Hill over the years, especially when it comes to online sports-betting. So, they’re hoping that, by tag-teaming with Gala’s digital arm, they’ll be able to get on board with all that lovely money that can be made from prizing the coins out of people’s pockets while they’re messing about on the internet.

Gala’s bingo business is not part of this deal.

“This is a major strategic step for Ladbrokes which firmly accelerates our strategy to improve the customers’ experience and build recreational scale,” said Ladbrokes chairman Peter Erskine. “Ladbrokes and Coral are two highly complementary businesses, with rich heritage and brand presence across the UK and internationally.”

Are you ready to have your experience improved while someone builds recreational scale around your ears? You were born ready, don’t even pretend you weren’t.

Of course, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) are going to be paying close attention to this whole thing, meddling at every turn – but that’s the price you pay when you leapfrog every one of your competitors like this.

“Both Ladbrokes and Gala Coral are confident that the merger is deliverable and are committed to working closely with the CMA in its review,” the companies said. They added that ”it is anticipated that the combined entity will need to dispose of retail stores to satisfy potential CMA requirements”.

They’ve got over 4,000 shops to play with, so if your town has a Coral AND a Ladbrokes, expect one of them to vanish soon.

TSB profits drop 44%

July 23rd, 2015 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

TSB bank 300x177 TSB profits drop 44%TSB – your new bank that is over 200 years old - have reported a 44% drop in profits in the first-half of their financial year.

So what’s the craic? Well, they said that their statutory pre-tax profit for the six months (to 30 June) weighed-in at £23.2m compared to £41.7m in the previous half-year, and one of the things that hurt them was the takeover by Sabadell.

TSB’s statement said: “Lower average loan balances and the recognition of the full-year Financial Services Compensation Scheme levy charge of £14.8 million in H1 (first half) 2015. Statutory profit before tax was further reduced by Sabadell transaction related costs.”

That said, the bank’s chief executive, Paul Pester, is bullish, saying that TSB is going “from strength to strength”. He pointed out that the bank is delivering a 6.7% share of all new and switching bank accounts in the last quarter, which is nice. They also launched a new mortgage broker service, which will coin it in for them.

Pester added: “Customers are really starting to see TSB as a destination for their mortgages, making us one of the fastest growing mortgage providers in the UK.”

“The completion of the Sabadell Group’s acquisition of TSB at a premium of over 30% to our IPO share price is recognition of the excellent progress and great potential of the Bank. We remain unwavering in our mission of bringing more competition to UK banking and, with the extra firepower of Sabadell behind us, we look forward to accelerating our growth plans and continuing to take on the big banks that have had a stranglehold on the UK market for far too long.”