Posted on: 1st September 2020 9:46pm
A video of an incident at a Morrisons store in north London recently surfaced on social media. The video was recorded at the Morrisons in Palmers Green and depicts a female employee furiously shouting abuse at a black customer. The altercation had already begun before the video starts, initially the woman is off screen and the customer in question can be seen being held back by a Morrisons security guard. It is unclear how the confrontation between the two individuals started, however the employee can at first be heard saying “All I said to you was turn the card over you stupid f**** c***.” In response the customer says, “They’re going to sack you now”. Meanwhile bystanders are gathered around completely confounded.
The employee then storms over towards the customer once again screaming as co-workers attempt to deescalate the situation. She shrieks “Come and hit me, hit me then I can take you to f***ing court you c***”. Shortly after the employee who seems to be an ethnic minority of south Asian descent herself then screams, "Hit me you f***ing p***k, you black c***". The racist remark was received with scornful gasps from nearby shoppers horrified by what they had just heard. The woman continued to berate the man with abuse even making a threat. She said "I'll get someone to come and hurt you, you're going to hate me. You don't know who I am you p***k, you don’t know who my family is". At this point the employee and customer had moved far apart from one another. Finally, the employee complains aloud that she continuously encounters ‘mental abuse’ from customers. The woman was subsequently sacked from her position at Morrisons, although Morrisons have declined to comment on the incident.
Posted on: 31st August 2020 8:27pm
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has resumed critiques of the transnational banking corporation HSBC in regards to its recent action in Hong Kong. Earlier this year in June the US Secretary of State had condemned HSBC when it first gave its approval to China’s new security law and said Beijing had used ‘coercive bully tactics’ to gain such support. Most recently however, Pompeo has alleged that HSBC has been covertly aiding the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in its repression of political dissidents in Hong Kong.
It comes after many executives of the Hong Kong based media company Next Digital Ltd were unable to access their HSBC accounts. Previously the founder and part owner of the pro-democracy media firm Jimmy Lai had been arrested by the Hong Kong authorities in August due to the new security law. In recent statements Secretary Pompeo has claimed that HSBC is actively supressing accounts of those who are in favour of democracy and freedom in the region, and maintaining accounts of those seen to be conforming with the draconian policies of the Chinese Communist Party. Secretary Pompeo went on to state “Free nations must ensure that corporate interests are not suborned by the CCP to aid its political repression.”. HSBC has neglected to make any formal comment on the matter.
Posted on: 29th August 2020 7:26pm
Santander has been facing various technical issues through Friday morning and into the afternoon. The bank’s UK customers reported that they had been having trouble trying to log in to their online bank accounts and settling digital transactions. Santander immediately responded on Twitter the same day to acknowledge the issues. They announced on the social media platform that “We are currently experiencing issues with customers logging in to Online Banking”. The bank has since stated that the technical issues have been resolved. In a formal statement a spokesperson for Santander stated the following, “We apologise for the problems some customers faced earlier today using our digital banking services - These have now been fixed and we can confirm that any payments due today will have been processed.”.
For most customers this temporary glitch in the bank’s online system will constitute little more than a minor inconvenience. However, for many it caused a rather significant disruption. Especially as the technical issues come just as millions in the UK expect to receive their monthly salary at the end of the month. Sophie Rivett for example, a local resident of Worcestershire, said that she had major problems in attempting to pay numerous bills as she moved into a new property Friday, even stating that she had to borrow a large sum of money from a family member. Many more Santander customers have displayed outrage and are demanding some form of compensation for what they perceive to be unacceptable negligence from the large multinational banking corporation.
Posted on: 26th August 2020 8:46pm
In a ballot carried out by the GMB union consulting its 10,000 British Gas members on the necessity of industrial action, 95% of respondents voted in favour of strikes against the company. This new turn of events comes in light of British Gas’s proposed fire and rehire scheme. The GMB union claims the energy giant is seeking to sack a considerable amount of its workforce, in order to then reinstate them on new contracts with less favourable terms and conditions.
In June of this year, Centrica reported that it was seeking to restructure its operations with a more customer focused approach. As part of this there are plans for 5000 redundancies, as well as changes to contractual terms, conditions and pay. The British Gas parent organisation stated to trade unions that it would indeed give some employees a notice of termination for their contracts, before offering a new contract with updated terms for the same job, yet that these new terms and conditions would be aligned with the market average. Centrica did also state no changes to base pay will be instated and that pensions were also to be protected during the restructure.
Justin Bowden, national secretary of the GMB union stated in response that ‘Centrica bosses are holding a box of matches and threatening to set fire to the terms and conditions of this loyal and dedicated workforce. It’s a complete and utter betrayal of the British Gas brand… The company have already burnt through the confidence of its staff. Today’s 19 to 1 vote demonstrates GMB members are not prepared to tolerate fire and rehire threats’
Posted on: 26th August 2020 3:01am
British telecoms giants Three and TalkTalk are found to be the among the worst rated in customer satisfaction according to the Ofcom’s new telecoms league table. Polls extracted from the annual survey find that TalkTalk is considered the worst broadband supplier for general service for the fourth consecutive year. Having 22% of customers divulging a sense of dissatisfaction with the service they received. TalkTalk’s complaints procedure was also poorly received in the survey with 56% of customers dissatisfied with this process.
Three was found to be largely considered the worst of the mobile service providers. Despite this it did have a reasonable 89% of customers giving their approval of the mobile operator. Never the less, it was seen that Three had double the market average of customers which found grounds to complain at 6%. To add to this, Three customers also spend the most amount of time on hold while contacting the provider via telephone. With an average of 2 minutes and 37 seconds on hold, double the market average of 1 minute and 18 seconds.
It must be noted, the date from these surveys was collected in January 2020, therefore it will not represent any potential changes in customer satisfaction seen since the outset of the corona virus pandemic.
Posted on: 25th August 2020 11:00pm
Protests of around 50 people were seen outside Scottish Power’s HQ yesterday. Falkirk’s Forgotten Villages – Ending Fuel Poverty, a pressure group formed late last year by residents of Falkirk, Fiona Gordon and Claire Mackie mobilised members and gathered outside Scottish Power’s company headquarters on St Vincent Street, Glasgow on Monday the 24th of August as part of their campaign against “astronomical” gas and heating bills, and the “fuel poverty crisis”.
The pressure group claims that residents of Falkirk with energy provided by Scottish Power are falling victim to exorbitant energy prices due to both the newly installed THERMAflow electric heating system recommended by Falkirk Council, as well as Scottish Power’s own unreasonable energy tariffs. Many being charged prices of up to £150 a week. Earlier this year the group had seen success to an extent through both an online petition which afforded a meeting with Scottish Power chief executive Andrew Ward, and lobbying which made the council agree to installing gas central heating in 700 homes around the Braes area of Falkirk. Yet that being said, the council has stated the installations will not proceed prior to winter. This most recent protest comes in light of this fact.
Previously in television interviews, Scottish Power CEO, Andrew Ward, has stated that there is assistance available for all those concerned and that Scottish Power are available for any enquiries over the phone. However, Falkirk’s Forgotten Villages have made it clear they don’t see this to be the case. On the contrary, Claire Mackie states no help is provided (other than a single £20 emergency payment) and that Scottish Power are difficult to reach by telephone. In an official statement, Scottish Power have stated it remains ‘committed to working with the local community to address their concerns” and that “We sympathise with the tenants who have had long standing issues due to the heating system the local authority installed in their homes and can understand their frustrations.
Posted on: 19th August 2020 8:35pm
The major British financial and banking institution Lloyds Banking Group Plc is to reduce interest rates for both those holding current accounts with Lloyds Bank and its subsidiary, the Bank of Scotland. These cuts will be in effect from October 1st. The reductions to interest rates follow a trend of cuts across the market this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and its concurrent political and economic effects.
Those holding a Club Lloyds account, or a Vantage account from the Bank of Scotland currently earn 1% annual equivalent rate (AER) interest on balances between £1 and £3,999.99. The AER on these current accounts is to be slashed down to 0.6%. For customers holding accounts with balances of between £4000 and £5000, the interest rate will be decreased from 2% to 1.5% after October 1st. These rate reductions equate to a loss in real terms of around £25 interest annually for the maximum account value.
Lloyds Bank and the Bank of Scotland are cutting down rates to the bare minimum, similar to many of their competitors such as NatWest and HSBC. These drops come after the Bank of England dropped the base rate to as low as 0.65% in a series of successive cuts throughout the year. It is currently unbeknownst as to whether or not the base rate will decrease further, although it is not out of the question as economic depression looms. What is clear however, is that these cuts from both banks certainly won’t afford any admiration from their customers. Something which Lloyds Bank and the Bank of Scotland ought to be seeking to achieve considering they both were ranked relatively low in a recent survey on customer satisfaction for all major banks in the UK. With 40% and 42% of respondents stating they would not recommend the services of Lloyds Bank and the Bank of Scotland respectively.
Posted on: 16th August 2020 11:36pm
Telecoms giant TalkTalk is expected to increase prices on its broadband and television services later this year. Earlier this month, ISPreview reported that price increases were indicated on TalkTalk’s website, and that such price rises are to come into effect on October 1st. However, it must be stated that the price increases shall only affect certain voluntary additional services such as paid boosts and call charges. TalkTalk does have a fixed price guarantee, which ensures standard service prices for broadband will remain constant for the duration of one’s contract. Despite this, the fixed price pledge does not cover these additional extras which are to have their prices subsequently altered.
The initial price change a TalkTalk customer can expect to encounter will be to landline telephone calls in the United Kingdom. However, this excludes any inclusive minute allowances specified on one’s contract. Specifically, the price change will be an increase of 2p a minute from 16p to 18p on calls to UK numbers. To add to this, TalkTalk customers should expect to see a change to the ‘International Max’ boost. This optional extra gives an additional 1000 minutes on calls to 50 international locations as well as the Channel Islands. The £2 increase on this add on will bring the final price to £12 a month. Finally, those currently subscribed to TalkTalk TV’s ‘Entertainment Boost’ should also expect to see a £2 increase to the monthly price.
These price increases come in spite of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent economic fallout. A consequence of which being that TalkTalk even had to start offering payment holidays to its broadband customers earlier this year over concerns for their financial circumstances. Regardless a spokesman for the corporation has stated that “Changing our pricing is never a decision we take lightly, and we remain committed to providing the best value connectivity”. It does remain to be seen how TalkTalk’s customers receive this new range of price increases to the various services.
Posted on: 15th August 2020 11:11pm
NatWest is expected to slash up to 800 retail branch jobs. The major commercial bank has stated that it will discard the 550 positions through voluntary redundancies made by application and also supported by a “comprehensive support package”. The bank has made clear it shall not be enforcing any mandatory redundancies. However, Rob MacGregor, a national officer for the trade union Unite has stated redundancies will be up to 800 once part-time workers are also included into the nationwide job cut.
The bank had been considering streamlining its retail operation with redundancies even before the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown. NatWest has reported that it has witnessed a gradual decline with in person branch transactions over the years as online banking has emerged and become more popular. NatWest therefore was already due to undergo a £250 million reduction in order to downsize its retail operations. Despite this, the bank has made clear it does not plan to close down any of its actual branches entirely.
To add to the redundancies, NatWest also plans to liquidate one of its three London offices. The Regents House office which is to be closed down accounts for 2500 NatWest employees. A NatWest spokesperson stated “As part of these changes, we will be ensuring our buildings will work better for us in future, creating spaces where colleagues can come together.” As a result, the bank has decided to restructure its remaining offices at both Bishopsgate and the Strand.
Posted on: 13th August 2020 9:28pm
TalkTalk has accidentally over charged thousands of customers with late payment fees despite a payment holiday with the broadband corporation having been agreed due to concerns over customers’ financial status during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Previously in April of this year, TalkTalk had offered its customers a one-month long payment holiday to ease pressure on those financially effected by the corona virus lockdown. After which time a financial plan could be arranged to settle the outstanding debts owed. Regardless of this, at least 2000 TalkTalk customers were still charged a late payment fee of £12.50 for having not paid their broadband bill on time in spite of the aforementioned arrangement.
The exact cause of this mistake is still unknown, never the less, TalkTalk has confirmed that all those affected by the wrongful charge have since been identified and fully reimbursed. Further to this, TalkTalk have apologised in a formal statement they released. "A small number of customers were charged a late payment fee in error, for which we sincerely apologise. These customers will all be reimbursed and we have put additional controls in place to ensure this does not happen again." a spokesman for TalkTalk stated. Despite this mistake TalkTalk will not be providing any compensation to the customers affected by this error. However, for those still being affected financially by Covid-19, TalkTalk is still providing extensions on bill deadlines to its customers and also wants to make clear the error will not have had any detrimental effect its customers’ credit scores.