The below is a template you can use when complaining about the delivery which should get you results!
On the (insert date) at (insert time) I ordered (insert takeaway). I was informed that the delivery would be with me at (insert time). However, the order arrived at (insert time), a delay of (insert length of delay). I paid (insert amount paid).
Firstly, under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, services should be carried out with information given verbally or in writing to the consumer which is binding where the consumer relies on it. Any service must be carried out within the agreed time. Secondly, The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (amended 2014) prohibit trading practices that are unfair to consumers. There are bans on specific practices including Misleading Practices. I expected the delivery to take (insert length of time) and the delay was significant. Therefore I am legally entitled to redress for this delay.
Should I not receive a satisfactory response I will not hesitate in taking the matter further. This will include, but not be limited to, informing Trading Standards and writing about my experience on relevant review websites.
I look forward to receiving a response within 7 days.
Yours sincerely/faithfully (delete as appropriate)
Update 12/08/18 Virgin Media and UKTV reached an agreement. So well done to those who followed my advice and got a discount! BONUS!!!
What’s going on?
On Thursday 19 July 2018 Virgin quietly released a statement on its website. It announced that it would be removing Drama, Really, Yesterday, Home, Gold, W, Alibi, Dave, Eden and Good Food. This includes +1 and HD channels, as well as On Demand and TV Go content.
The situation seems to have arisen because of a failure by Virgin Media and UKTV to reach an agreement on fees to be charged for the television content that UKTV provides to Virgin Media customers.
Eagle eyed customers took to social media to vent their frustration. JayBird summed up most people’s comments in both her original tweet to VirginMedia and her reply which did not get an answer.
So @virginmedia what's your reason for playing unfair in negotiations and laying all blame at the @UKTV channels doorstep. You're clearly VERY poor at understanding your customer demographic. When did you ask everyone what they want? #virginmedia#disgrace
Questions regarding cancelling the contract and getting a reduction in the price people are currently paying were met with the same statement and link or blanked.
I challenged VirginMedia and got the following response:
From Sunday all UKTV channels and programmes will be replaced on Virgin TV. More information here: https://t.co/Yl9kD2kiVJ. We currently have no plans to change your bundle charges right now – we’ll always let you know well in advance should this happen. JY
I disagree with Virgin Media’s tweet. People wanting to cancel the contract should be able to do so. When consumers signed up to the package it included UKTV. If UKTV is removed from the bundle it is not the bundle they paid for under the Consumer Rights Act 2015.
Virgin’s Terms and Conditions state that it can, at any time modify, amend or alter the terms of the agreement and/or the services if: “We decide that the services should be altered for reasons of quality of service or otherwise for the benefit of customers or, our reasonable opinion, it is necessary to do so;”
I am not impressed. This could be considered an unfair contract term, as it is weighed in favour of the company. Who decides if the channels replacing UKTV are better quality? Offering Murder She Wrote rather than the award winning TaskMaster – about to enter its seventh series – is questionable! (If you haven’t see in it you are missing out, it is THE funniest programme on telly).
If consumers are unhappy with the new bundle and want to change or end their current contract without any penalties I advise writing to Virgin Media and stating that it is in breach of contract under the Consumer Rights Act. This and the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations both protect consumers from unfair contracts. You should not be out of pocket and so any refund should be backdated to the date of the change so long as you notify Virgin Media within a reasonable time.
You could also email Virgin Media’s CEO. He won’t respond personally but hey let’s fill up the inbox with hundreds of emails requesting a refund or cancellation! Virgin Media CEO contact details (and any other CEO for that matter!) As a Virgin Media customer for many many years I can tell you that the Executive Office aint good! But keep at it!
I am hearing of lots of people who can’t get through on the ‘phone. You do not need to so this. It would be an unfair contract term to say you can only cancel by phone. There would be no evidence if you want to take the matter further or proof that Virgin Media made the offer it did. To say nothing of saving you time. Why you should write not ‘phone to complain effectively
Some people are not getting discount some are. Some people are getting out of their contracts penalty free some aren’t. My guess is that the people who are winning are quoting consumer law. Make sure you are armed.
Mixed results from people who are ringing Virgin (see the comments under the blog post!) But! People who are following the advice above are getting good results, so do it!
You can also report Virgin Media for this breach through CAB. Enough people do that perhaps we can get them fined as well! Just copy and paste stuff from here or simply send the link, it gives the law breach and their stance. (Unless you write and quote your rights!)
Ofcom also now says could be considered unfair contract term and is in discussions with Virgin Media. So mention this when you negotiate with Virgin Media too.
Well at least we have a statement and a face from UKTV unlike Virgin! The so called new channels from Virgin are channels we should get anyway as they are free on other platforms and just don't cut it! UKTV is a staple in many homes and will be missed greatly on Virgin.
“UKTV ratings have been down by 4% since we’ve been off Virgin Media, and we’ve had thousands of viewers telling us that they’re in the process of switching to other providers so they can continue to watch our channels. We’d love to thank our viewers for all of their support.”
Currently the best programme on tv. A spokesperson for @TaskmasterUnoff (the Twitter account set up by the makers of the programme before the official account was set up by UKTV/DAVE) said “4 million customers have the bundle so that’s 4 million potential viewers down.”
Virgin Media comment
I asked Virgin Media press office for a comment. It refused to provide one.
Didn’t get a response to this either:
a) people don't care that you have invested in other channels, you didn't ask them what they wanted b) UKTV hasn't cut off VirginMedia customers you won't pay the going rate c) people are sick of your cut and paste replies
Also be careful if you go for a price reduction. Look through the offer carefully:
Beware if you are offered a price reduction. The one they offered me was a reduction of £10 per month but on close examination it was a lower specification bundle. So the price reduction was for a further reduction in services!
How’s that for misleading consumers? Those who sign up for UKTV tonight (Saturday 21 July 2018) find that they don’t have it? Oh yes breach of consumer law! Feel free to copy and report to the Advertising Standards Authority.
The Complaining Cow follows up on her Rip Off Britain advice
When purchasing items online it’s easy to get carried away when you see what you think is a bargain. But make sure you know where you are buying from and what your rights are before you part with your money, especially if the retailer is outside the EU.
If you paid extra for speedier delivery and it wasn’t delivered on time, you are entitled to this cost back. If the item is faulty (regardless of whether it is a bespoke item) you should not have to pay return postage and you should be refunded the full cost of any postage paid for sending the item to you. These regulations were put into place in the UK under an EU Directive and therefore you have this cover for purchasing all items online within the EU.
If the item costs over a £100 and you pay by credit card you will also have cover under Section 75A of the Consumer Credit Act 1974, which is worldwide. Notify the credit card provider if you get no redress from the retailer.
For items paid for using your bank debit card you may be able to use Chargeback. It is a voluntary scheme based on scheme rules set by card issuers such as Mastercard and Visa.
You also have cover when shopping with PayPal. However, completing a credit card transaction through a thirdparty payment service means that the credit card provider and the seller are no longer in a direct relationship, so are not equally liable. This applies therefore to services such as PayPal, Amazon Marketplace, Worldpay and Google Checkout. So you don’t have any credit card cover if you use these kind of services.
Rip Off Britain
On the Pop Up segment of Rip Off Britain I heard the case of Kathy, who ordered a dress online but didn’t realise the website was based in, and the product would be delivered from, China. The dress was not as described and was of poor quality. The company would not refund the postage costs. Their website however does say that “However you need to pay the return shipping fee on your own if there is no quality issue.”
As there was a quality issue I advised Kathy it would be worth arguing again that it was of poor quality. I suggested sending an email and including a picture from the website alongside a picture of what was received, as evidence, plus a description of the differences between any description of the item and what was actually received. I don’t know whether she did this so I don’t know the outcome.
That’s all she could do. So take care when ordering online!
How to spot a non UK website
The website only lists prices in US dollars or Euros.
Look for terms and conditions of returns.
Check for poor English. For example on this website in the “Rip Off Britain” case below was the grammatically incorrect phrase “item have stain”.
Search for the return address.
A website domain name is not always an indication of where the company is based. For example, a website address ending in .co.uk doesn’t necessarily mean the site is based in the UK
If you need help with a purchase bought from within the EU you can contact the European Consumer Centre who should be able to assist you.
It’s 2018 and 8 years since the implementation of the Equality Act 2010. You may be forgiven for thinking that companies and organisations had got their act together and were ensuring that all services were accessible. However, recent investigations into London Underground (LU) show there is much work to be done to improve services.
Let’s look at just one case. Last year Alison travelled from Walthamstow Central to Oxford Circus on the Underground with her sister-in-law Claire. Alison’s guide dog is not escalator trained. At most Underground stations, there is a choice of escalators or stairs. At Oxford Circus there are three escalators but no stairs or lift. A fellow passenger saw that they needed help and offered her assistance in carrying the guide dog up the escalator.
Claire then went onto St Paul’s where a member of LU staff told her to ‘phone customer services and inform them of time of travel back as it may be possible to stop the escalator so they could walk down. After ten minutes on hold, Claire gave up. At Oxford Circus another member of staff also said it may be possible to stop the escalator but at the discretion of the station manager. Alison needed to get back to Kings Cross but the Station Manager refused to stop the escalator as 5.00pm was a busy period. The nearest station was Green Park and not convenient. Alison and Claire got a cab to Kings Cross where the driver waived part of the fare.
“Switching off one out of three possible escalators to allow a blind passenger with their guide dog to walk down would not have caused any inconvenience to other passengers as they still would have had the option to walk down or wait for an escalator. The time that it would have taken us to walk down the escalator would have been approximately five minutes, however this was deemed too inconvenient” says Claire.
A recent poll on Facebook showed overwhelmingly that the general public agreed with her. People were asked if they would object to one of the 3 escalators being stopped for five minutes to allow an untrained guide dog and its owner to walk up or down the stairs.
Others, although significantly outnumbered said they would object were worried about overcrowding and safety, particularly at this station.
However, others were just as pragmatic, saying little different to finding an escalator broken.
A tube driver who wanted to remain anonymous said “To be honest, they seem more interested in targets and budgets rather than caring for the safety of customers, most outside tube stations are left unstaffed with just a phone number to call for help, how is that caring?”
There is certainly some confusion regarding policies and what if any of this is part of any training staff have to ensure everyone has the same message and treats people equally. The Accessible Network 2015 document states “We provide our customers with alternative travel arrangements, if needed, when lifts or escalators are out of service. This may mean a taxi provided at our cost.” So not if they are working but can’t be used?
Transport for London also states in Help from Staff that “On the Tube, TfL Rail and Overground, station staff will also accompany you to the train and help you on board and, if needed, can arrange for you to be met at your destination. Anyone can use this service, but it is particularly used by blind and visually impaired passengers and people using boarding ramps onto trains.”
The Equality Act 2010 legally protects people from discrimination. A company must make adaptions for people with disabilities where possible. Here it was possible? Even if the escalator could not have been stopped where was a member of staff to carry the dog to enable a disabled person to use the services?
The TFL underground policy with regards assistance dogs which are not trained to use escalators and believe restricting disabled passengers to non busy travelling times is discriminatory and therefore illegal. The Transport for London’s People with sight or hearing loss policy states that station staff will help find an alternative route however the alternative route suggested would have been a further distance away from the required destination and they gave no further help.
As a result of the service Alison and Claire incurred a black cab fare of £12.60 and despite paying money onto an Oyster card, did not make the journey from Oxford Circus to Kings Cross.
Under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 Alison is entitled to receive services carried out with reasonable skill and care. 1) The customer services line clearly does not have enough people to deal with calls, 2) staff from two different stations said that they should be able to stop the escalator showing a lack of training across customer facing staff 3) no alternative was provided and service was refused. This was refused on grounds of disability which is a breach of the Equality Act 2010.
Claire wrote to TFL about the issues and after chasing twice finally got a response from London Transport over three weeks later. She received an apology and the cab fare.
When I asked the Transport for London Press Office for some clarity regarding their policies regarding stopping escalators for untrained guide dogs, stations able and unable to do this and providing taxi fares, it took 8 days to find out saying that it had had to “…co-ordinate with a lot of different areas in the business which has taken some time”, indicating that there is not a clear understanding across the network. In a statement it said:
“We want blind and visually impaired people to be able to travel around London with confidence and we are putting more staff than ever before in the public areas of stations to provide assistance. Assistance dogs are very much welcome and for a number of years we’ve been working with Guide Dogs to provide a training package so that guide dogs can use escalators.
When a customer travels on the network with their assistance dog, they will usually be helped to access the platform via a staircase or lift. If the station only has an escalator, assistance dogs that have been trained can use that.
For their safety, dogs that haven’t been trained should, if at all possible, be carried. Where this option is not possible, a member of staff can stop the escalator to help a blind or visually impaired person and their dog walk up or down safely.
At some times of day the Tube can be very busy, so there may be occasions when, to avoid overcrowding, we are unable to stop an escalator. In that case our staff will offer blind or visually impaired customers a taxi.”
I emailed the London Transport Commissioner asking for comment on the following:
1) Why it took over 3 weeks to receive a reply.
2) There was not a thorough investigation as clearly shown by the very brief email from Vernon. Every single paragraph is a standard one and does not refer to the individual case in any shape or form other than a sentence acknowledging that a taxi should have been paid for.
3) The policies referred to in the letter were not mentioned at all. Where is any comment regarding the breaches?
4) No reference is made to the unacceptable length of time Ms Williams was left on the phone before giving up, please provide an explanation for this time and what you will be doing to improve wait times
5) No reference is made at all to identifying members of staff despite being provided with dates and times or how you will ensure staff provide correct information in future. “I will make sure our staff are reminded of our policy and apply it”. How, what parts and how will they apply it and over what period of time?
6) Vernon states that LT is not in breach of the Equality Act but makes no reference to staff providing differing information and not providing an alternative and how this does not breach the Act. How is this not a breach?
7) Vernon makes no reference to the Consumer Rights Act 2015 and the breach by not providing services with reasonable skill and care. Please do so.
8) Why weren’t these points answered in the email Ms Williams finally received?
The response? Back came the Managing Director, Customers, Communication and Technology.
“I am very sorry that you that you do not consider my response to have been timely and that I have failed to cover all of your points.
All I can add is that we are committed to making public transport accessible to all Londoners, backed up by record investment in new step-free station schemes and better information and other support to give people with disabilities greater confidence to use our services. We are also human and sometimes make mistakes, as we did in this case.”
As you can see from the extent of the above, London Transport does not appear to investigate complaints properly, does little to help disabled passengers and nothing to ensure that what help there is, is widely communicated to both staff and passengers.
Share your stories of transport and discrimination in the comments below. I have a feeling that there will be a few….
On 23 November 2015 Whirlpool issued a warning regarding 113 different models of tumble dryer due to risk of fire. Since then there have been fires, injuries, possible deaths, product recall research and working party, court cases, questions in Parliament, widespread criticism of Whirlpool and the Government by individuals and consumer groups.
So what has actually happened in nearly 3 years? This report outlines the whole story. It includes contradictions, results of Freedom of Information Requests to Government departments and Peterborough Trading Standards, London Fire Brigade statistics and recommendations, research and investigations. All in one place.