The Ombudsman Omnishambles continues… Even on Conflict Resolution Day…
OCTOBER 20, 2016
Press release. Today (20th October) is Conflict Resolution Day. Created in 2005 by the Association for Conflict Resolution 1. It is now an annual celebration aimed at increasing awareness of the various peaceful, non-violent methods of dispute resolution (ADR) available to traders and consumers. Helen Dewdney, The Complaining Cow blogger and author of How to Complain: The Essential Guide to Getting Refunds, Redress and Results! recommends ADR to consumers as a cost effective (usually free to consumer) and speedier process than going to court.
Why use the Financial Ombudsman?
JULY 24, 2015
I’ve used the Financial Ombudsman a couple of times and obviously both times he found in my favour! Both times were Halifax too! Here, Patrick Hurley, Director of General Casework describes why and at what point you should contact the Financial Ombudsman. Patrick Hurley Director of General Casework. People often ask, what does the ombudsman service stand for? But what is fairness?
Ongoing Ombudsman Omnishambles
NOVEMBER 2, 2016
by Helen Dewdney, The Complaining Cow consumer blogger and author of How to Complain: The Essential Consumer Guide to Getting Refunds, Redress and Results! and Marcus Williamson consumer champion and editor of ceoemail.com. The idea of going to an Ombudsman has been part of the British consumer system for many years. What’s wrong and how can it be fixed? This is a clear conflict of interest.
Everything you need to know about complaining about car hire
FEBRUARY 13, 2017
Before hiring a car, shop around and check what is included in the contract. Some quotes may appear cheap but there may be hidden add ons, such as different insurance levels. Theft protection may be extra (it is mandatory in Italy). This is one of the times it is probably better to deal with one of the larger companies based in the UK. It will be easier to complain if things go wrong too!
Rail delay compensation – Light at the end of the tunnel?
JANUARY 27, 2017
The Southern Railways debacle has caused misery to its many passengers. But whilst passengers are entitled to refunds for tickets purchased and not used, or for services delayed due to a rail company’s fault, are they missing out on compensation for delays as well as other issues? All rail companies are signed up to National Conditions of Travel which states that the amount of compensation offered by train companies in their Passenger’s Charter varies between them. However, as a minimum, if you arrive more than 60 minutes late at your destination station you will be entitled to compensation.
How to complain about a non/late delivery
JULY 11, 2016
Goods must be delivered within the time frame agreed with the seller. If one hasn’t been agreed (you have agreed a time frame if the listing supplies a time frame) the trader must deliver ‘without undue delay’ and at the very latest not more than 30 days from the day after the contract is made. After this time you are entitled to a full refund. Dear xxx. Re: Item. Yours sincerely/faithfully.
Does Sports Direct treat customers as badly as staff?
JANUARY 18, 2016
What do you think of Sport’s Direct reputation? Sports Direct shares continue to tumble largely due to The Guardian’s investigation into the treatment of staff by the retailer. It uncovered that the company effectively paid thousands of temporary workers below the national minimum wage of £6.70 an hour and subjects warehouse staff to a regime of searches and surveillance.
Make sure your holiday in the sun doesn’t burn a hole in your pocket
JANUARY 21, 2016
Blue Monday is over and people are thinking about holidays, but with the multitude of ways in ways in which people can book we need to be much more careful of how we book with whom and be aware of consumer rights. Press release. Starts: Make sure your holiday in the sun doesn’t burn a hole in your pocket. Booking through companies not based in UK. She was also £982.50 out of pocket.
How to provide great customer service (when things go wrong)
JANUARY 10, 2016
Time I feel for a story of how customer service should be done? Occasionally I write up a story of good customer service. Not often but I do like to give credit where credit is due, such as the Dunelm story. I always say that every company makes mistakes sometimes but it is how they deal with them that matters. My friend (remember The Clamer Cat ?) Peeved we were, peeved.
All You Need To Know About Comparison Websites
MAY 18, 2015
These are a must for finding the cheapest deal. Try to use more than one comparison site as they do not all list every company. It may seem like tedious work but it can save you hundreds of pounds. You can use these for insurance, broadband, TV, energy and banking. Check the terms and conditions of the site and tick the box that says you don’t want to be contacted by anyone! It could be considered an Unfair Contract if the site states that it is not responsible for the information it provides. Ofgem Accreditation. Ofcom Accreditation . Financial Conduct Authority.
Full steam ahead to a better consumer deal for Rail passengers
OCTOBER 1, 2016
Press release. It’s good news for rail passengers today, as their rights are boosted by the Consumer Rights Act, giving a much better deal on compensation for delays, cancellations and overcrowding. When the Consumer Rights Act 2015 was implemented on 1 st October last year, Sea, Rail and Air were made exempt from its conditions. However, following the Which? Designed by Freepik.
Customer Satisfaction is up – but so is the time customers take to get issues resolved…
JANUARY 21, 2017
Press release. Customer Satisfaction is up – but so is the time customers take to get issues resolved… The Institute of Customer Service yesterday released survey results revealing that the overall level of customer satisfaction has increased. But the survey of more than 10,000 customers also shows that customers are having to work harder to explain. Consumer Rights Act 2015).
The Omnichannel Customer Engagement Playbook
Why you should write not ‘phone to complain effectively
JANUARY 24, 2016
Writing v ‘phoning complaints. As many of you who follow this blog know, I always advocate putting your complaints in writing as one my Top Tips for effective complaining. Writing means you aren’t left on the ‘phone waiting to get through to people at call centres where a lot of other issues come into play too! Recording calls & the Law. Be careful here of what you can do! The
All you need to know when your phone/energy bill is wrong
JUNE 17, 2016
It has been in the news a lot recently about Vodafone and their billing mistakes. It moved It moved to a new billing platform and since then there have been masses of reports of serious blunders, such as direct debits incorrectly set up, people being put on the wrong tariff and credit agencies wrongly being told that customers have missed payments. So what if you are one of these customers or indeed if you receive bills of any sort what should you do? Check your bills. Always check your bills. Check that it is what you think it should be. What to do if you find a problem. Taking it further.
What to do when your flight is delayed
JULY 31, 2015
Denied Boarding Regulations. The Denied Boarding Regulation applies to passengers departing from an airport within the EU, whatever the airline is, and also applies to passengers departing from an airport outside the EU for an airport within the EU, if the operating air carrier is a Community carrier. carrier with a valid operating license granted by an EU state).
All you need to know about complaining to telecom providers
JULY 4, 2016
Telecoms and Energy – the worst sectors. dreadful. I get asked a lot about how best to complain in these sectors. have therefore provided the links you might need here: All you need to know when your phone/energy bill is wrong this was about the Vodafone fiasco with their billing system and provides advice about how to complain when your bill is wrong and provides other useful links.
9 ways that the high street and small biz are being killed
APRIL 25, 2016
Supermarkets often get the blame for killing our high streets. But are they really to blame and if so are they the only reason? When I asked consumers what they thought was killing the high street and independent businesses, supermarkets weren’t top of the list. 1) People recognised high rents and rates as significant factors. Council There’s big killer for you. Appallingly.
Do Morethan just comparison websites for insurance quotes!
AUGUST 23, 2015
How do you take out your contents and building insurance? hope you don’t just renew every year and that you look at comparison sites for switching insurance, energy etc. I do this but do do a little more. also check the site that comes out the cheapest. Comparison v direct. Last year MoreThan came out cheaper on the Moneysupermarket comparison site. But this is when it got odd. Complaint.
Tesco reduce Clubcard loyalty offer?
APRIL 26, 2016
Tesco’s clubcard as it currently runs is probably the best loyalty programme out there and if Tesco wants to remain that way it needs to ensure that it stays the leader in the field and not go backwards and lessen the offer as Sainsbury’s has. So what has it done? We’ll update you with more details on this soon.” Many of us like the boost on wine at Christmas(!) Older people, single people etc.
All you need to know to make a complaint about energy
AUGUST 22, 2016
So much to complain about in the energy sectors?! Listed below are links to various helpful posts about any issue you may be having with your supplier, your rights, how to get it sorted and gain redress. All you need to know when your phone/energy bill is wrong how to complain about a wrong bill. How To Take Charge of Your Energy Bills – advice and tips about switching.
Support the NHS challenge Hunt in judicial review
MARCH 13, 2016
Hurrah. group of NHS staff and patients announced today that they have instructed Bindman’s LLP solicitors to investigate judicial review proceedings. Excellent news. So what is it all about and how can we the public help? What is a judicial review? It is a type of court proceeding in which a judge reviews the lawfulness of a decision or action made by a public body. Hmmmm. The review.
JULY 9, 2015
Ombudsmen Omnishambles Press release. New privatised system of Alternative Dispute Resolution threatens consumer complaints chaos – but even its own implementation has now been delayed… A new EU-mandated system of private ombudsmen which was due to come into force today, 9 July 2015, will not now be implemented until 1 October 2015. Private companies will then be handling consumer complaints in sectors including retail, aviation, furniture and property. Apart from the delay in implementation, there are many problems with the system as it is proposed. Email: email@example.com.
UK’s first class action on behalf of mobility scooter users
NOVEMBER 7, 2016
Guest post by Chris Haan. Chris Haan is a solicitor at the firm Leigh Day specialising in group actions related to defective products and services and breaches of consumer and competition law. Last month I was speaking at a conference where Chris was talking about the first ever class action currently underway. Brilliant I thought and must be shared! More power to consumers! What is a class action?
The Complaining Cow releases new edition of bestselling consumer rights guide
SEPTEMBER 3, 2015
Press release. Third edition of the popular book – Now updated for Consumer Rights Act 2015. Helen Dewdney, The Complaining Cow consumer campaigner and blogger at www.thecomplainingcow.co.uk has rewritten her Amazon bestseller “How to Complain: The Essential Consumer Guide to Getting Refunds, Redress and Results!” to reflect the latest changes in consumer law. The Consumer Rights Act 2015 comes into force on the 1 st October 2015. It consolidates a number of laws including the most commonly known Sale and Supply of Goods Act 1994 and Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982. Buy this book.
Tesco takes flak in the battle of the Christmas adverts
DECEMBER 2, 2015
Christmas adverts. loathed the John Lewis one, it was truly awful. Stuart Heritage wrote a piece in the Guardian that summed it up quite well. It’s almost as if the makers of previous John Lewis adverts did Sainsburys this year because that one does bring a smile to your face. It’s familiar to anyone who grew up with Mog or has children and it is a great story. The Tesco adverts. Really?
Dodgy tumble dryers – your legal rights & what to do
FEBRUARY 21, 2016
Many people have what some of us might consider as dodgy tumble dryers and have asked what they should do if they think they are affected and how long is reasonable to wait. So what is going on? Current situation. 1) 113 different Hotpoint, Indesit or Creda tumble dryers have been recalled. However, it is not a full recall in that all machines are being replaced. The machines affected were manufactured between manufactured between April 2004 and September 2015. Dryers affected could pose a fire risk if fluff should come into contact with the heating element.
How to spot and avoid a fake electrical purchase
NOVEMBER 28, 2016
Recently an investigation from Electrical Safety First revealed that one in six consumers had bought a fake electrical product as a Christmas gift in the past. The Charity found that the majority of people couldn’t tell a genuine from a fake electrical product. Electrical Safety First is a UK Charity dedicated to reducing and preventing damage, injuries and death caused by electricity. link].
Will your Gift Cards keep on giving?
JANUARY 10, 2017
Or will they expire before you can use them?! If you‘ve come here after watching the report on The One Show about gift cards, here are some of those tips and more with the links you might need. Plus other useful links at the end. The press release with more background information on the story can be found on Looking a gift card in the mouth. 1) Carefully check the expiry date of the Gift Card, which could even be different to advertised! Many independent restaurants can be 6-9 months and experience days are usually 6 or 9. After that time a repair or replacement may be offered. 10 months.
International Day of Older Persons: Treat older customers properly & fairly, says consumer campaigner The Complaining Cow
SEPTEMBER 30, 2016
Press Release. The 1 st October 2016 is the International Day of Older Persons. Older persons can be vulnerable to a number of things including elder abuse, ageism, and exploitation. We hear often of the stories of carers abusing older people and employers not treating older people equally. Designed by Freepik. Ofgem has Quality of Service Guaranteed Standards in place. she declares.
Everything you need to know about Payday loans
SEPTEMBER 25, 2016
In the first six month of 2016, complaints to the Financial Ombudsman about payday loans more than tripled to 4,186 compared to the previous six months. What is a payday loan? payday loan is very short term loan at a high rate of interest. typical example is if you borrow £200 to be repaid the next time you are paid – hence the name “payday loans”. The regulator says loans should be “affordable”.
Putting an End to Misleading Prices Guest Post by Which?
NOVEMBER 11, 2015
Regular followers of this blog will know that I bang on about supermarkets a lot! See my many posts and communications with Tesco, last and current CEOs in History with Tesco , commenting on the radio about supermarket figures and researching, writing and speaking about supermarkets most annoying habits in the media. In the latter, many complaints were about pricing. So I asked Which? Which?
A guide to credit cards and the Consumer Credit Act 1974
NOVEMBER 9, 2015
If you have a problem with an item you have bought or service you have received you can contact your credit card company. You may want to do this for example when the company has gone bust, is refusing to give you a refund or does not respond to communications from you. Purchases over £100 and less than £30,000 are covered. For an example of using the Consumer Credit Act 1979 see this post.