Posts Archive

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2022
  • August 2nd : Sara Williams talks debt – The Complaining Cow Consumer Show
    Sara Williams Debt Camel helps you manage debt and more   Sara Williams is an adviser at Citizens Advice who has her own website Debt Camel where she blogs about everything to do with debt and credit ratings. Go to person about anything debt or credit score related.         Sara guest posted Ten […]
  • July 29th : CMA tackles fashion industry “Green Washing” claims
    The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has today (29 July 2022) announced that it will investigate sustainability claims about fashion products sold by ASOS, Boohoo and George at Asda. What is green washing? When a company professes to be environmentally conscious for marketing purposes but actually can’t back up their claims and is not making […]
  • July 26th : Streaming services: How to cut subscriptions and save money?
    Television streaming services were many people’s saviour through the pandemic lockdowns. They felt like essentials, as many of us binge watched numerous series and films, subscriptions rose by more than 50% to a total 30 million subscribers across the UK. However, with the current cost of living crisis and many subscription prices rising, some people […]
  • July 25th : Helen Dewdney talks to James Jones from Experian
    James Jones is Experian’s Head of Consumer Affairs and leads the company’s public education programme, advising people on, for example, credit reports, credit ratings and identity fraud. James is frequently on TV and radio, and regularly answers people’s questions through both traditional media and online via the Experian website, Facebook and Twitter. He began his […]
  • July 17th : Helen Dewdney talks to Ofcom Director of Consumer Protection
    This week I spoke to Cristina Luna-Esteban on The Complaining Cow Consumer Show on East London Radio. Ofcom looks after communications in the UK. From phones and broadband to TV, radio, post and wireless devices, we regulate services at the heart of people’s everyday lives. Cristina Luna-Esteban is Director of Consumer Protection at Ofcom which she joined […]
  • July 13th : Latest Ofcom complaints statistics
    Today (13/07/22) Ofcom released its latest figures regarding complaints about broadband, mobile, landline and pay-TV services. Report: Complaints about broadband, landline, mobile and pay-TV services Ofcom is the telecoms regulator and although it cannot deal with complaints directly, it does collate statistics on complaints. Every quarter it compares the number of complaints per 100,000 customers […]
  • July 11th : East London Radio Show – Janine McDonald declutter expert
    This week I spoke to Janine McDonald on The Complaining Cow Consumer Show on East London Radio. Janine, is a down-to earth, fun-loving mum of two from Manchester. She’s passionate about helping people to clear out the clutter from their homes and minds, leaving them free to enjoy a better quality of life. She helps people go […]
  • July 5th : Customer complaints reach their highest ever
    Latest Customer Satisfaction Index shows further increase in complaints The Institute of Customer Service (ICS) released its bi-annual UK Customer Satisfaction Index (UKCSI) survey today (5 July 2022). 10,000 consumers across 13 industry sectors were surveyed on their customer service experience and the impact this has on business. The results show that 17.3% of UK […]
  • July 4th : Helen Dewdney talks to Brad Burton
    This week I spoke to Brad Burton on The Complaining Cow Consumer Show on East London Radio. Brad Burton is the UK’s #1 Motivational Business Speaker. However, he left school with no qualifications, spent years on benefits before starting his own business in 2006. With £25,000 of debt he was delivering pizzas at weekends to help keep […]
  • June 26th : Helen Dewdney talks to Paul Newton Mental Theft
    This week I spoke to Paul Newton on The Complaining Cow Consumer Show on East London Radio. Paul Newton is a Public speaker and magician. With a wide range of skills in magic, mind control, mental theft and hypnosis, he has built a large following by being entertaining and educational.   His career has grown out of […]
  • June 19th : Helen Dewdney talks to Kate Hall food waste expert
    This week I spoke to Kate Hall on The Complaining Cow Consumer Show on East London Radio. Kate Hall Kate Hall is a Food Waste Expert and Founder of The Full Freezer. Kate helps busy households to reduce their food waste and cook from scratch more easily by using their home freezers more effectively. Unlike batch cooking, The Full […]
  • June 12th : The Complaining Cow Consumer Show – Linda Reynolds
    Talking Travel chaos – Summer 2022 This week on The Complaining Cow Consumer Show I spoke with Linda Reynolds, a Personal Travel Agent. We covered a wide range of topics, including: What is the media reporting about airline travel. What is actually happening with airline travel. Whether people are still booking holidays. What you can […]
  • June 6th : Helen Dewdney and barrister Christian Weaver – your rights
    This week I spoke to Christian Weaver on  The Complaining Cow Consumer Show on East London Radio. Christian Weaver Christian is a barrister at Garden Court North Chambers, a leading human rights law firm. He regularly represents clients whose rights are at risk. He previously worked at INQUEST and volunteered at Liberty and Nottingham Law School’s Legal […]
  • May 29th : The Complaining Cow Consumer Show
    Today I started my new programme series – The Complaining Cow Consumer Show – on East London Radio. I’ll be talking all things consumer including money-saving, consumer rights, complaining effectively, etc. Expert guests and the occasional celebrity will be joining me. Last Friday I was on BBC 1 Morning Live talking about how to complain […]
  • May 23rd : Checking out the options: Self-service or Staffed?
    Self-service checkouts have been with us at supermarkets for the past twenty years. But it seems that there is now a push for even more and shoppers feelings about them are mixed.   Recently Pat McCarthy set up a petition against Tesco titled Tesco Stop The Replacement of People by Machines. She says “My local […]
  • May 18th : Ofcom customer satisfaction survey results 2022
    Half full or half empty? Ofcom has revealed the results of customer satisfaction with telecom providers in its yearly research. In 2021 it found that “only half of customers were satisfied with how complaints are handled. Call-waiting times and complaints-handling are areas of particular concern.” “On average, one in five broadband customers, one in ten mobile […]
  • May 4th : Energy companies under scrutiny for Direct Debit hikes
    On 3 May the Business Secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng announced that Ofgem will undertake a series of “market compliance reviews”. These are to include a “stricter supervision of how direct debits are handled” by suppliers. The Government announced that some energy suppliers were hiking the prices of Direct Debits by more than is necessary. In some cases […]
  • April 27th : 10 Tips for saving money on food – Stop Food Waste day
    Today (27/04/22) is Stop Food Waste day. Whilst we will live through the ever growing cost of living crisis, we need to be saving money where we can as well as the planet. Kate Hall is a Food Waste Expert and Founder of The Full Freezer.   and has written this helpful blog post to do […]
  • April 22nd : Earth Day – making a difference with your shopping habits
    Today (22/04/22) is Earth Day. The Theme is “Invest In Our Planet. What Will You Do?” Most people understand that we have a climate change problem in the world. Most of those people understand we need to change our habits to make a difference. But whilst people are struggling to pay bills, how environmentally conscious are […]
  • April 12th : British Gas must pay compensation over price guarantee shambles
    Paloma Kubiak from YourMoney and I have worked together on an article exposing British Gas. The full story can be found at: British Gas must pay compensation over price guarantee shambles Former People’s Energy and Neon Reef customers who were moved to British Gas say they received misleading and confusing emails about the price they […]
  • April 1st : Rail compensation improvements announced
    The Office for Rail and Road (ORR) announced changes to licence requirements on train companies today. (01/04/22). Train companies will now have to provide passengers with clear information regarding delay compensation before and during their journeys. They will also have to publish data on how well they are meeting the new obligations. The ORR press […]
  • March 31st : How to complain effectively – and get results
    This is a version of the article How to complain effectively – and get results that first appeared on The Guardian website 21 March 2022. How to complain effectively When you have faulty goods or receive poor service, it can be really hard to get redress. Companies fob you off, you don’t know your rights […]
  • March 29th : What is a consumer champion & how they can benefit business
    What is a consumer champion? A “consumer champion” is the name given to an individual or organisation that speaks up for consumers and their rights. I am a consumer champion, go to person for the media to talk about topical consumer matters, customer service and consumer rights and I also work with businesses to increase […]
  • March 22nd : How to complain about poor rented accommodation conditions
    On my blog I cover most areas of consumer rights. However there are some topics where I ask a specialist to give expert advice. I have asked Christian Weaver, barrister and author of The Law in 60 Seconds: A Pocket Guide to Your Rights* – to explain your rights when it comes to problems with […]
  • March 14th : What are your rights regarding tenancy deposits?
    On my blog I cover most areas of consumer rights. However there are some topics where I ask a specialist to give expert advice. I have asked Christian Weaver, barrister and author of The Law in 60 Seconds: A Pocket Guide to Your Rights* – to explain your rights when it comes to problems with […]
  • March 7th : The high and lows of airline customer service
    What businesses can learn from the airline failures in customer service It has been a hard couple of years for companies in the travel industry and also for their customers. Many airlines have not treated customers well, such as British Airways taking advantage of the law not being clear on refunds. And, of course, it […]
  • February 28th : What you are entitled to when moving into a rented property
    On my blog I cover most areas of consumer rights. However there are some topics where I ask a specialist to give expert advice. I have asked Christian Weaver, barrister and author of The Law in 60 Seconds: A Pocket Guide to Your Rights* – to explain your rights when it comes to problems with […]
  • February 22nd : How to challenge and appeal a private PCN
    How to fight Parking Charge Notices Parking tickets are the bane of every driver’s life. Many of us who drive have fallen victim to them at some time or other. And most of the time they are fair. But at times they are downright wrong. What is a private parking ticket? Private parking tickets – […]
  • February 21st : 3 things you need to look for when signing a tenancy
    On my blog I cover most areas of consumer rights. However there are some topics where I ask a specialist to give expert advice. I have asked Christian Weaver, barrister and author of The Law in 60 Seconds: A Pocket Guide to Your Rights – to explain your rights when it comes to problems with […]
  • February 16th : Ofgem tweaks energy rules – but will change bring down prices?
    Ofgem is introducing new measures which may help to reduce bills for some energy consumers. Ofgem makes changes to price tariffs options Ofgem will introduce temporary measures from April 2022 which make all energy company price tariffs available to all customers. The result will be that existing customers and new customers will be able to […]
  • February 15th : 13 top tips for saving on your landline, mobile & broadband
    Millions missing out on broadband savings Today 15/02/22 Ofcom announced that “Millions of families under pressure from the rising cost of living could each save £144 on their annual broadband bills.” Ofcom’s latest report on the affordability of communications services found that only 55,000 homes have taken advantage of discounted  broadband packages available although  an […]
  • February 15th : Asda listens and takes action
    Supermarket giant responds to consumer activist Jack Monroe’s campaign In a spectacular move, the activist and campaigner Jack Monroe got Asda listening and taking action. Less than a month after tweeting that supermarkets needed to make their cheaper products more available, the supermarket giant has responded positively. On Twitter on 12 February 2022, she announced […]
  • February 2nd : Call an end to high telecoms prices
    I was on BBC Radio 4 You and Yours today (2 February 2022) talking about telecoms price rises. Most of the telecom providers are putting up their prices in March 2022, regardless of whether you are in a contract, or not. Isn’t the cost of living rising enough, without having to deal with this?! Telecom […]
  • January 31st : Passenger treatment to be fairer under Government proposals
    Will changes bring fairer system for airline passengers? The Government is proposing changes to the current EU Denied Boarding Regulations (EC261). Aviation Consumer Policy Reform consultation.  These regulations, in place since February 2005, entitle passengers to significant rights if their flight is delayed, cancelled or they are denied boarding. Travellers are entitled to fixed amounts, […]
  • January 26th : Should awards companies get awards for misleading claims?
    During 2021 I undertook an investigation into corporate awards. Are all awards equal? Some are clearly only paid-for marketing tools. And there are awards across all sectors too. As part of this investigation I came across the “Product of the Year Award”. I discovered that Product of the Year charges £18,000 to enter its award! […]
  • January 25th : Complaints increasing & customers want better service!
    The Institute of Customer Service has released its annual UK Customer Satisfaction Index today, 25 January 2022 and reveals that complaints are up! The report comes out twice a year, this was my analysis of the figures in July last year. Improvements in complaint handling The report this year reveals that consumers have experienced some […]
  • January 20th : What you need to know regarding holidaying during COVID
    This is a version of the article How to book a holiday during the Covid pandemic that first appeared on The Guardian website 17 January  2022. How to holiday in the time of COVID Travelling during a pandemic can be stressful and full of pitfalls, but this guide should ensure that you are well prepared […]
  • January 18th : How Big Energy Saving Week can help you with energy bills
    With energy bills soaring what help is out there to reduce bills? This week is Big Energy Saving Week, run by Citizens Advice and the Energy Saving Trust. We all know that this coming year is going to be incredibly tough for us all with energy bills. But there is some help out there…   […]
  • January 6th : BNPL – Better Not Pay Later?
    Is BNPL good for your finances? OR Should you ever “pay later”? Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) is a type of credit which has become increasingly popular over the last few years.  Brands include, for example, Klarna, Clearpay, Laybuy and Openpay. These companies make their money by contracting with retailers, who pay them a percentage […]
2021
  • December 29th : How to take a complaint further
    This is a version of the article How to escalate a complaint when customer services fails that first appeared on The Metro website 28 December 2021. How to escalate a complaint when customer services fails Complaining can often be infuriating. You can be sent from pillar to post, fobbed off, ignored, or they may keep […]
  • December 26th : What to do with unwanted gifts
    This is a version of the article What to do with an unwanted Christmas gift that originally appeared on The Metro website on 26/12/21 The Unwanted Gifts that Keep on Giving Hopefully this Christmas Santa brought you everything you wanted. However, all of us at some point have received a gift that didn’t meet our […]
  • December 13th : Returns and rotas : are you ready?
    As we approach Christmas, the signs are that the High Streets are beginning to turn back to pre-COVID levels. As people try and get back to normal there is an increase in footfall and possibly even purchases to try and treat themselves after such a horrid time. I wonder how many retailers are ready and […]
  • December 8th : How to keep your home safe from burglars this Christmas
    This is a version of the article ‘How to keep your home safe from burglars at Christmas‘ that originally appeared on the Guardian website on 6 December 2021. How to protect your home from burglars this Christmas Burglars love Christmas. It’s a time of plenty. Plenty of goods to get their hands on and plenty […]
  • December 2nd : How to get what you want from booking.com
    You may have seen the ITV Tonight programme on 2 December 2021 about complaining. Part of the programme was a story about how I helped Olivia and Bella get their money back from Booking.com. Given the time allowed for the segment, we could not cover the whole saga! Here, in all its glory, is what […]
  • November 29th : Energy prices are up – 10 ways to keep bills down
    We all know that energy prices are rising significantly due to a variety of reasons. So, how can we reduce our energy costs? There are a number of things we can do, ranging from smaller changes that add up to a bigger saving, to more substantial savings. Energy crisis – what you need to know […]
  • November 21st : To move or not to move? That was the question
    Moving home can be a very stressful time. However, imagine finding out on your moving date that you can’t move because of a website outage. That’s exactly what happened this week to a number of people who should have been on the move. On the 8 November 2011 MyHomeMove Conveyancing announced on Twitter: Purplebricks is […]
  • November 8th : Watchdog – The Consumer Survival Guide review
    Matt Allwright wrote a review of my second book 101 Habits of an Effective Complainer. You’d think I would have got round to writing a review of his book Watchdog – the Consumer Survival Guide by now! But better late than never… Watchdog The Consumer Survival Guide* The book is of course, a good one. […]
  • November 2nd : How can individuals & small companies compete in the fashion sustainability marketplace?
    Sustainable Solopreneurs: Why Our Voice Matters in the Fight for Industry Equality Glasgow is hosting the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) during 31 October – 12 November 2021. Something yet to be covered at the conference is sustainable fashion. When asked, people usually will say that they would rather buy sustainable fashion […]
  • October 29th : Corporate awards:  Buyer beware!
    What’s in an award?   People are impressed by awards. At the very least they think someone must be good at something if they have won an award! However, many of the awards in the consumer and business worlds are not as they may first appear. And awards seem to be popping up all over the […]
  • October 25th : Tesco website crash – every little helps?
    Major supermarket online shopping hit by mystery attack? Tesco’s website was been “down” between Saturday 23 October 2021 and today (Monday 25 October 2021). The website and app crashed after what Tesco said were attempts “to interfere with our systems”. In other words, hacking… This has obviously been annoying for anyone trying to book a […]
  • October 20th : ASA investigation forces change of wording on awards claim
    Awards abound for all sorts of things. You name it, there’s probably an award for it! Frequently these awards are paid for. Many consumers don’t realise that often when they see “Award winning” on a product or a website that businesses have paid to enter and compete. Sometimes businesses even just get an award that […]
  • October 18th : CMA takes court action against rogue holiday traders
    Today (18 October 2021) the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has filed proceedings against Truly Holdings (TH). It is “… requesting a court order that outstanding refunds be immediately repaid and that, going forward, customers who are entitled to a refund are repaid within 14 days.” TH operates Teletext Holidays and sister company Alpharooms.com. TH […]
  • October 14th : Contactless – what you need to know about fraud and more
    New £100 contactless limit – is it safe? On 15 October 2021 the contactless payment card spend limit increases from £45 to £100. According to a survey of over 1,000 people I undertook, 51% of people didn’t think it should be raised, whilst 47% thought it should and 2% were undecided. The main concerns around […]
  • October 14th : ADR – all about it for World Ombudsman Day
    Today (14 October 2021) is World Ombudsman Day. This year’s theme is “Exploring Options to Resolve Conflict Together” There are many myths around an Ombudsman and other Alternative Dispute Resolution schemes. And it is not just consumers who get confused. This is partly due to the current system of oversight and monitoring. For the last […]
  • October 11th : What to do when deliveries don’t reach you
    10 ways to help your deliveries arrive safely Most of the time you can order an item and it gets delivered just fine. However, sometimes you don’t even get as far as receiving the post/parcel! So, what can you do if this happens? Here are some common reasons for not getting your deliveries and what […]
  • October 7th : Calls for test case to be taken against airlines to set precedent
    CMA indecision shows need for legal precedent on flight refunds Today (7 October 2021) the Competitions and Market Authority (CMA) announced that it was dropping its investigation into the refund policies of British Airways and Ryanair. The CMA cited lack of clarity in law, stating that it could not be “sufficiently certain that it would […]
  • September 30th : The Complaining Cow’s round up
    Government Consultation on Competition and Consumer Policy On 20 June 2021 the Government finally published its consumer paper for consultation. It is titled Reforming Competition and Consumer Policy. The closing date for responses is 11.45am on 1 October 2021. I have summarised some of the sections most affecting consumers and sent my consultation responses for […]
  • September 30th : Reviews: A Government Consultation
    On 20 June 2021 the Government finally published its consumer paper for consultation. It is titled Reforming Competition and Consumer Policy. The closing date for responses is 11.45am on 1 October 2021. The document is 147 pages long! So I am doing a summary/opinion pieces on areas of the consultation. See ADR: A Government consultation […]
  • September 30th : Subscriptions: A Government Consultation
    On 20 June 2021 the Government finally published its consumer paper for consultation. It is titled Reforming Competition and Consumer Policy. The closing date for responses is 11.45am on 1 October 2021. The document is 147 pages long! So I am producing a summary/opinion piece on areas of the consultation.   See ADR: A Government […]
  • September 30th : ADR: A Government consultation
    On 20 June 2021 the Government finally published its consumer paper for consultation titled Reforming Competition and Consumer Policy. The closing date is for responses to the consultation is 11.45am on 1 October 2021. The document is 147 pages long! So, I am going to do a summary/opinion piece on areas of the consultation. I […]
  • September 27th : Brainless Boris Bungles on…
    The new Winter of Discontent continues. Fuel prices are up because the Government didn’t listen to the warnings 18 months ago.  Government was warned that energy companies could collapse 18 months ago, Ofgem reveals. Fuel shortages have forced the Government to relax visa restrictions in order for up to 5,000 lorry drivers from the EU […]
  • September 22nd : Energy crisis – what you need to know
    The full guide regarding the energy crisis Gas prices have gone up 250% since January and 70% in the last month. At the point of publishing, the companies Utility Point, People’s Energy,  Money Plus Energy, PFP Energy and Hub Group have ceased trading and Ofgem is arranging new suppliers for the customers of those companies. […]
  • September 20th : High standards or just acceptable customer service?
    It is important to have high standards for customer service wherever you shop and whatever you are buying. In this article we’ll discuss briefly high standards, exceeding your expectations and your basic legal entitlements. Good customer service is what you should be paying for. Anything below this is not acceptable. This is also the case […]
  • September 16th : Social Media – not the best way to complain
    I keep saying that social media isn’t always the best way to complain! This has been borne out in recent a survey of more than 5,000 people undertaken by the consumer organisation Which? Consumers who had complained about an online order from major technology, fashion, DIY and homewares retailers during the pandemic were surveyed to […]
  • September 3rd : Small businesses and using a broker for insurance
    All businesses need insurance whatever the size. But it’s boring right?! It’s great to be looking for sales and playing on social media etc. but one of the many lessons of the last year has been that anything can happen and you need to make sure you are protected against any eventuality. Insurance broker guest […]
  • August 19th : How to prevent & complain about property related issues
    Buying a home? You’ll probably need estate agents, surveyors and removal companies. Or if you’re improving your home you might be engaging the services of builders, painter and decorators and more. So how best to reduce the stress and likelihood of problems? And what to do if things do go wrong? Below are various posts […]
  • August 16th : How to revitalise towns
    There is always lots of talk about how to revitalise our High Streets and towns, but who actually asks consumers what they want? I do. As a consumer champion I hear exactly what consumers want. When I ask consumers what they would like to see in the High Street, there are two issues that come […]
  • August 2nd : The complaining habits of public figures – Matt Allwright
    A series of interviews by The Complaining Cow In my series of interviews with people in the consumer world, today is the turn of Matt Allwright. 1) Generally, do you complain to a company regarding a faulty item? Yes, but always from the point of view that we both have something to gain. I just […]
  • July 30th : 10 parcels go missing every minute – what are your rights?
    10 parcels a minute go missing Research published today shows that parcels in the UK are going missing at the shocking rate of 10 every minute, due to loss and theft The research, undertaken by Citizen’s Advice, found that 38% of all UK adults have received a ‘Sorry you were out’ card when they were […]
  • July 20th : Leon Livermore former CTSI CEO talks to The Complaining Cow
    I talk with former CEO of Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI), Leon Livermore, in a series of exclusive interviews. In the first one we discussed his achievements and challenges at CTSI. In the second we spoke about Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and the criticisms of CTSI regarding monitoring and approval of providers. Today we discuss […]
  • July 7th : Are you satisfied?  Yes, no or maybe?
    How satisfied with customer service are you? The Institute of Customer Service (ICS) published its bi-annual UK Customer Satisfaction Index (UKCSI) report today, 7 July 2021. It showed that the number of complaints  about poor service in the last six months was at its highest level since 2009! The Institute surveyed 10,000 people. The report […]
  • July 2nd : Fix it, don’t chuck it!
    Manufacturers must sell spare parts – it’s the law From today, 1 July 2021, manufacturers of electrical goods are legally obliged for the first time to make spare parts for products available directly to consumers. This is being widely reported as a new legal right. The Government says: “manufacturers required to make spare parts for […]
  • June 30th : Can you credit it? Barclaycard offers?
    Strange offers from a leading credit card provider – but why? This week I got wind of some promotions by Barclaycard which don’t feel right… Barclaycard appears to be promoting a couple of businesses that raise questions about the integrity of the Barclaycard business model. Firstly, Nutri-Genetix: I wonder what kind of deal Barclaycard got […]
  • June 18th : Leon Livermore former CTSI CEO talks to Helen Dewdney Part 2
    I talk with former CEO of Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI), Leon Livermore, in a series of exclusive interviews. In the first one we discussed his achievements and challenges at CTSI. Today we talk about his opinions on CTSI’s monitoring and approval of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). We explore the difficulties with implementing what he […]
  • May 28th : FCA stops insurance companies’ loyalty penalty
    Today, (28/05/21) the FCA  implements a package of remedies to improve competition and protect home and motor insurance customers from loyalty penalties.  This follows the announcement on  22 September 2020 when the FCA said that it would reform home and motor insurance. It is focussing particularly on the current “loyalty penalty” that punishes existing loyal […]
  • May 26th : Dear customer “Would you like some alphabet soup?”
    The trouble with jargon when writing to customers Jargon. Most of us hate it and yet we see it everywhere. Whilst it can help when talking to colleagues to expedite conversations, it is not a great idea when talking to customers! Whilst there be some things that have to be used in correspondence with customers […]
  • May 17th : Complaining habits of public figures – Rob Rinder
    Helen Dewdney interviews Rob Rinder about complaining In my series of interviews with people in the consumer world regarding their complaining habits, today it is the turn of Rob Rinder. In this series I ask the same 11 questions of everyone. It might sound a bit daft for me to do this for Rob Rinder […]
  • May 12th : What’s wrong with Amazon?
    This week I was on LBC talking about “Amazon remorse”, the feeling of buying on Amazon and then regretting it. In their hearts people want to support independent retailers. However, that isn’t the reality. Because although a certain percentage do feel remorse, they still buy from Amazon. During the Covid pandemic we have obviously seen […]
  • May 7th : Are we nearly there yet? Saving money holidaying in the UK
    Going anywhere nice this year? The UK is bracing itself for news of the lifting of national and international COVID-19 travel restrictions as early as 7 May 2021. Whilst we are becoming more confident that we may be able to travel and go on holiday after a turbulent year, many of us may still be […]
  • May 4th : Importing goods into the UK – all you need to know
    Logistics unlocked Recently I wrote a post  Buying from Europe? Import changes made it a whole lot more complicated and costlier! I found that complicated to get my head round and that was just for consumers! When it came to importing for businesses it was even more complicated! So I asked Lisa Grove to write […]
  • April 19th : Helen Dewdney – exclusive interview with Rob Rinder No. 2
    Rob Rinder in the media: past, present and future In December 2019 Rob Rinder kindly give me a review for my book 101 Habits of an Effective Complainer. Having kept in touch since then, I recently undertook a series of exclusive interviews with him. Last week I published the first interview where he spoke about […]
  • April 12th : Helen Dewdney & Rob Rinder – exclusive interview Part 1
    Helen Dewdney, The Complaining Cow talks to Rob Rinder I had the great pleasure of chatting with Rob Rinder in a series of exclusive interviews. He is extremely knowledgeable, very warm and open. And he can talk big time! Rob spoke about life as a barrister, in the media and his own personal complaining habits. […]
  • April 6th : Talking Trading Standards – with Leon Livermore, former head of CTSI
    I talk with former CEO of the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI). Leon Livermore, in a series of  interviews. In the first one we discuss his work at CTSI. What is the CTSI? Leon Livermore was the CEO of the CTSI, for almost 8 years until March 2021. The CTSI works with the Government, UK […]
  • March 18th : Civil Aviation Authority consults on dispute resolution
    Consultation means listening and reacting – but have they done that? When consumers have a problem getting a refund from an airline they can go to an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) provider, who will decide whether the consumer or the airline is right in a dispute. The decision is binding on the airline. The current […]
  • March 10th : Complaining customers warm to responsive companies
    Every year Ombudsman Services produces its Consumer Action Monitor. It undertakes research with consumers regarding complaints. This year it looked at the impact of Covid 19 on consumer complaining habits during March and September in 2020. Figures released today (9 March 2021) by Ombudsman Services in its Consumer Action Report 2020 reveal that 83% of […]
  • March 4th : Think before pressing “send” in reply to customer complaints
    Vulnerable people are frequently left without a resolution to a complaint. They can find it difficult to know how to complain, what route to take, what language to use, and if they don’t get a satisfactory response they will give up more quickly. This can be a huge problem for companies, whether they realise it […]
  • January 29th : Buying from Europe? Import changes made it a whole lot more complicated and costlier!
    All you need to know about how much goods from abroad will cost you Buying goods and services from outside the UK has become more complicated after Brexit. Although the “free trade” deal was agreed (which means there are no quotas or tariffs on goods traded between the EU and UK) there are now extra […]
  • January 12th : Williamson gets an F for trying to incite complaints against schools
    Education Minister asks for complaints – Praise for teachers is the response! Within 48 hours of Gavin Williamson (who has no experience in education) encouraging parents to complain to OFSTED if they were not happy with schools, over 5,000 emails were received praising schools.   I added to the growing number of compliments with the […]
2020
  • December 30th : 10 top tips and consumer advice regarding Xmas returns during the pandemic
    Give the unwanted present a better future Another Christmas has been and gone. Strange as it may have been for many of us, one thing is for sure: some of us received presents we didn’t really want! So, what are your rights when it comes to returning unwanted Christmas presents? It has become a little […]
  • December 16th : CMA steps in where the CAA fears to tread
    CMA investigates and takes enforcement action The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) should be the regulator for air transport in the UK. However, it is increasingly clear that the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is doing the CAA’s job for them. During the course of this year the CMA has taken action against a number of […]
  • December 14th : Boxing Day – Holiday or shopping day?
    That tricky annual festive question is looming over us once more: should Boxing Day should be a national holiday for everyone or is it right that people working in retail should have to work? This Boxing Day Asda, Marks & Spencer, Pets at Home, Poundland, Wickes and toy store The Entertainer will be closed. Tesco, […]
  • December 1st : Debenhams – elevator going down – what are your consumer rights
          Debenhams – the department store retailer – faces going into administration for the third time as talks with JD Sports failed yesterday (30 November 2020). After nearly 250 years in business, its doors are set to close for the last time, although it continues to trade while administrators seek to clear stock. […]
  • November 24th : How to shop ethically especially this Christmas
    Can we shop ethically this Christmas? With signs that retail may be picking up and online shopping at an all time high what can we do to shop ethically and support the independents after such horrid times? Thank you to Emma Oddie from Ethical Consumer magazine who explains how we can put our money where […]
  • November 17th : How to build confidence in your home improvement project
    Press release Home improvement – DIY or get some help? Home improvement has seen a huge rise throughout the pandemic. The increased amount of time people are spending at home, improving mental health and wanting their home to look nice for Christmas are all contributing factors to the 12.8 million people planning to do improvement […]
  • November 16th : Are online shops delivering the goods?
    We may be in lockdown but as a nation we’re still doing a lot of shopping. Online, of course! Most of the time that goes smoothly and we get what we ordered on the day we expect it, but sometimes things go wrong. Figures released today from research undertaken by the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) […]
  • November 13th : Tesco fails to deliver – on delivery slots!
    Tesco fails to plan for Christmas For many years now Tesco like other supermarkets has offered home delivery of your shopping. You can book hourly slots or flexible slots from 6.00am to 11.00pm every day. Tesco also offers a Delivery Saver options where customers can pay for a subscription-based delivery service to save money on […]
  • November 12th : 10 Top tips for avoiding complaints and managing them
    The Complaining Cow’s Ten Top Tips for the Complained Against! Search well and you can find lots of help in improving your customer service, complaint handling and customer experience, sales etc. But perhaps it’s time you looked at what a seasoned complainer gets most annoyed about, the annoyances you don’t know about and the people […]
  • November 6th : Vote with your feet does boycotting work?
    This article first appeared in Moneywise November 2018. Moneywise was wound up so I have reproduced my article here. To boycott or not to boycott? That is the question What do you do if you still receive bad service, even after you have complained? As a consumer journalist I keep going until my Consumer Rights […]
  • October 22nd : Ryanair tops the CAA refund complaints figures
    Press release Low-cost airline is highest in regulator’s complaints figures Ryanair is the most complained about airline by far, according to figures recently released by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). A Freedom of Information Request reveals that more than half of all the 1280 complaints received by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) regarding refunds due […]
  • October 21st : The Art of reviving the great British High Street
    The great British High Street is in trouble and needs help! Of course, shopping centres and High Streets have been in trouble for years and nothing has been done about it. Shops have survived in towns and cities where there was glimmer of innovation. Many chains were already in difficulty before the pandemic and again, […]
  • October 9th : Build your brand with Trust, Ethics & Sustainability
    The 09 October 2020 saw the last day of Customer Service Week which is run by the Institute of Customer Service. That day’s theme was Trust, Ethics & Sustainability: Building brand reputation through your actions. And I wrote this article. This year has seen a growth in the understanding and importance of these areas for […]
  • October 8th : Bringing customer service to the Boardroom
    It was the fourth day of Customer Service Week (08 October 2020). That day the theme was Leadership: Championing customer service in the boardroom. Customer service at Board level How often is customer service discussed at Board level in your company from the point of view of the customer? Do you talk more in terms […]
  • October 7th : CAA launches consultation and tells no-one…
    Press release Airline regulator goes hush-hush – Does it want opinions or not? The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), the UK’s airline regulator, recently launched a consultation. But decided not to tell anyone about it… On 17 July 2020 The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) launched a consultation on Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) which closed on 25 […]
  • October 7th : International Ombuds Day – what does the Ombudsman do?
    Get to know the arbitrators! The 8 October 2020 is International Ombuds Day. The second Thursday of every October its aim is to raise awareness of what an Ombudsman does. What is an ombudsman? An Ombudsman is an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) provider. You may use an Ombudsman to arbitrate in cases where a business […]
  • October 7th : How to celebrate and recognise your customer service heroes
    It was the third day of Customer Service Week on 07 October 2020. The theme was Recognition: Celebrate your customer service heroes. I wrote this article. Why celebrate staff in customer service? How do you celebrate who is doing what that is working well? It’s important for feeling recognised so that staff feel loyal to […]
  • October 6th : How do you improve customer service skills?
    What do you do to nurture customer service talent? This week is Customer Service Week run by the Institute of Customer Service. Today is the second day and the theme is Capability & Skills: Identifying and nurturing customer service skills in your organisation. Ask your employees how to improve customer service Have you ever asked employees […]
  • October 5th : Know your customer and increase your sales
    It was the fifth day of Customer Service Week (09/10/20) run by the Institute of Customer Service. That day’s theme was Insight: Knowing your customer and how to deliver to them. Know your customers and sell them more Like any relationship, people buy from people. Get to know, like and trust your customers, as people. […]
  • September 24th : ICO fines fail to stop SMS spammers
    Today, 24 September 2020 the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) announced that it had fined Digital Growth Experts Limited (DGEL) £60,000 for sending thousands of nuisance marketing SMS text messages  at the height of the pandemic. The SMS spammer sent 16,190 texts to people who did not consent to receiving them. They were sent by DGEL […]
  • September 22nd : Regulator slowly, finally makes moves to resolve major insurance market issues
    FCA tackles the insurance penalty – at last! The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has announced today that it will reform home and motor insurance, focussing particularly on the current “loyalty penalty” that punishes existing loyal clients’ premiums and favours new clients. The FCA found in 2018 that some 6 million policyholders were paying high or […]
  • September 7th : Bye bye Dave Lewis – every little helped!
    Dave Lewis quits as Tesco Group CEO 30 September It’s the end of an era. Dave Lewis is leaving Tesco after six years as CEO. No cloud, no bad trading figures and no flash new job to go to. Pretty unusual! But then Dave was always quite unusual. And not in a weird way! Six […]
  • September 4th : How to save money on insurance and beat the tactics used to make you renew
    Loyalty deserves a reward from insurance companies I recently received the renewal for my house insurance. I was a new customer last year but this year the renewal arrived with the new customer discount removed. The insurance company took away a benefit and gave me nothing for my loyalty to them. I could get the […]
  • August 31st : Did Eat Out to Help Out really help out?
    The Eat Out to Help Out scheme data Over 64 million meals were claimed in the first three weeks of the scheme. 87,000 claims were made in that time by restaurants. The Government outlined research data from OpenTable showing that “… during Eat Out to Help Out’s third week the number of customers at UK restaurants […]
  • August 27th : John Lewis, never knowingly underpaid? (except staff)
    “Never knowingly undersold” Really? John Lewis was once famous for the quality of its products, its impeccable customer service and its low prices, underwritten by the store’s promise to be “Never knowingly undersold”. This week the BBC reported “John Lewis to pull ‘Never knowingly undersold’ pledge” It’s about time, given that the promise doesn’t cover […]
  • August 22nd : Clean up your act or get wiped out
    The company kept the place clean but played dirty on the business side My mum had a cleaner. A very good one, called Norman. Unfortunately at the beginning of lockdown he decided to stop. He has since taken the decision to cease all his cleaning work, which was frustrating and sad but it was his […]
  • August 17th : How to ensure a stress-free building project
    First published in Moneywise Undertaking large works in your house – a warning Buying a kitchen can be one of the largest expenditures of your life! With such a commitment it’s important to get it right. If your chosen builder turns out to be a cowboy, it can cost you more than you allocated for […]
  • August 7th : How has COVID-19 impacted consumer complaints?
    What is the effect of COVID-19 on consumer complaints? Every year Ombudsman Services conducts a survey on how consumers are complaining for its Consumer Action Monitor report. Having surveyed more than 6,000 people this year it found that the average number of complaints per person fell sharply from 3.7 in the period pre lockdown to […]
  • August 3rd : Fast and Cheap Fashion – Who pays the Price?
    Is Fast Fashion worth the Risk? Fast fashion has been at the heart of a number of controversies over the past couple of years, but a new report claims that those at the forefront of unsustainable fashion have broken lockdown rules and put lives at risk. Simon Birch from Ethical Consumer explains more in this […]
  • July 31st : Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) gets new Chairman
    But will the UK’s airline regulator now regulate the sector properly? The new Chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), Sir Stephen Hillier, starts his role tomorrow, 1 August 2020. He begins his new job amid a crisis in the aviation sector and at a time when the regulator is failing to regulate airlines that […]
  • July 21st : 3 More habits of an effective complainer
    Techniques to improve your complaining skills! If you are not used to complaining, don’t like complaining, get fobbed off easily, but don’t like being out of pocket there are things you can do to help you improve your technique.   See  101 Habits of an Effective Complainer and for detailed help of laws, template letters […]
  • July 6th : First Direct CEO quits in surprise move
    Boss hops to competitor bank during lockdown The Chief Executive of First Direct, Joe Gordon, has left the company in what appears to be a surprise departure. First Direct, which is part of HSBC, lost its star CEO in May 2020 during the coronavirus lockdown period. Gordon, who became head of First Direct aged 33, […]
  • July 3rd : Don’t get stung by your kids’ in-app spending
    Don’t get gamed by in-app purchases Children and young people are on their phones, tablets and PCs more than ever before. And as much as we would like them to be working, they are also playing more games. and some are making in app purchases. These allow the player or app user to get further […]
  • July 2nd : Can’t find a company email address? Here’s how to get it!
    Customer service: Email still beats webchat and phone calls Many companies make it difficult for customers to complain. I have always advocated writing to companies when complaining, for several reasons. 1) So that you have the evidence trail should you need to take the matter further 2) You can ensure that you have covered everything […]
  • June 26th : “Ben and the Bug” takes to the small screen
    Natalie Reeves-Billing, children’s author, and I have teamed up to create a new video to help children understand the current Coronavirus situation. The video, based on Natalie’s book Ben and the Bug*, helps to explain and stimulate discussion with young children through a beautifully written and illustrated narrative. In the tale, Ben visits the local […]
  • June 23rd : From lockdown lows to High Street highs – a return to shopping at last?
    Coronavirus/COVID19 has hit nearly every sector. And hit it hard. An already struggling High Street has been taking a battering and the move to returning to shopping will be a slow and painful one. I asked my Facebook fans whether they would be returning to the shops anytime soon and this was their response: Generally, […]
  • June 4th : 3 Complaint handling frustrations & 3 ways to resolve them
    How to resolve 3 complaint handling annoyances I’ve been a consumer champion for a number of years, with thousands of social media and blog followers who regularly tell me what they dislike about customer service and complaint handling! But some of these issues are easily resolved. Not listening to what the issue is This is […]
  • May 26th : COVID-19 scams – How to stay safe
    This is a guest post by Paul Newton. Hello there!   My name is Paul Newton and I own a company called MentalTheft. We’re currently helping a lot of people who are worried about COVID-19 scams. We’re working to keep ahead of these scammers and warn people before they fall foul and lose their money.     […]
  • May 20th : Coronavirus related cancellation claims and shopping
    Refunds during the pandemic During the current crisis, most businesses are doing the right thing when it comes to refunding consumers affected by cancellations. For example, I had tickets booked for a charity comedy night full of A-list comedians and waited for news about the event. I was interested to see if they could reschedule […]
  • May 19th : Online shopping – know your rights during the pandemic
    With the current pandemic and a nation in lockdown, many of us are turning to online ordering more than ever before. Even as the country tries to start returning to something nearing normal people are hesitant to return to shops. However, there are still some online businesses not providing people with their legal rights and […]
  • April 26th : Don’t get tied in knots over wedding cancellation
    At a time when a health and economic crisis has hit the world, we are hearing of some companies that are taking advantage and not adhering to their legal obligations. Whilst the majority of businesses are doing the right thing by their customers, many are not. They are hoping that consumers do not know their […]
  • April 17th : Coronavirus and travel – who’s taking advantage?
    Covid – who is doing what and what are your rights? It would be hard to find anyone not negatively affected in some way by the Coronavirus. Many people have seen their long saved for holiday plans disappear overnight. And many of these people are voicing their dissatisfaction with the poor response from their airlines. […]
  • April 13th : Travel in the time of Covid Your rights explained
    Refused a refund on your holiday? Refused a refund on your flight? Do you book a holiday? Coronavirus has brought chaos to the world. In its path consumer travel plans have been disrupted indefinitely, so what are your rights and what can you do when companies won’t play ball? My flight was cancelled and the […]
  • April 11th : Covid related cancellations & postponed events, your rights
    If an event is cancelled in this country then you should receive a full refund, whether you paid to participate or to watch. If events are cancelled your contract is with the company to which you paid the money. The organiser should issue you with a full refund. This should really be automatic but do […]
  • April 6th : Stay home and save lives
    What is so difficult to understand about the message stay home and save lives? It seems that some people are still having problems understanding the simple truth about staying home. For example, over the past weekend Essex Police had to close Epping Forest to cars. https://twitter.com/EFDTCT/status/1246746090541649921   Just what is it that people don’t understand […]
  • March 25th : Social distancing: The credibility and equality gaps
    The gap between theory and reality on social distancing Whilst the nation is in lockdown and struggles with social distancing, our politicians continue to provide mixed messages and argue amongst themselves. They are hardly doing the best for the country. Coronavirus is killing people. However, it would appear that some people don’t seem to understand […]
  • March 16th : Coronavirus COVID-19 rights, refunds, reschedules
    Links to everything you need to gain refunds and redress Getting help for Coronavirus cancellation claims and shopping How will Coronavirus affect my travel plans? gives you your rights for cancelled flights, holidays and events and if you don’t want to go. Having problems with refunds for flights? See What to do when your flight […]
  • March 6th : How will Coronavirus affect my travel plans?
    Coronavirus and your rights There appears to be no end in sight about the ongoing Coronavirus situation. In the meantime, many people are worried about holidays which they have booked or will book and where they may stand. The coronavirus outbreak originated in China, but the World Health Organisation (WHO) says most new cases are […]
  • March 5th : Flybe grounded:  What are your rights now?
    On 5 March 2020 it was announced that the airline Flybe has gone into administration, with the loss of thousands of jobs and putting in doubt the future of several regional UK airports. Flybe was owned by Connect Airways – a consortium of Virgin Atlantic, Stobart Air and the hedge fund Cyrus Capital but they […]
  • February 28th : Royal Mail fails to deliver on service as stamp prices rise
    On the 23 March 2020 the cost of postage stamps goes up yet again. And it will be by a staggering amount too. A first-class stamp for a standard letter will rise by 6p from 70p to 76p. A second-class stamp for a standard letter will rise by 4p from 61p to 65p. A first-class stamp for […]
  • February 24th : All you need to know when you have been refused credit
    Credit refusal: know the score and take control Guest post  by James Jones Experian’s Head of Consumer Affairs See All you need to know about credit score rating for James’ previous post regarding , myths and how to up your credit score Credit application refusal Credit is an important source of additional funding which many of […]
  • February 14th : How to avoid telecoms’ loyalty penalty
    The telecoms loyalty penalty You might hope that being a loyal customer to a company would result in that company being loyal to you and treating you well. However, unfortunately, loyalty is penalised in many consumer sectors, including insurance, energy and telecoms. In so many cases, a new subscriber will get a better deal than […]
  • February 12th : 3 more habits to become an effective complainer
    Techniques to improve your complaining skills! If you are not used to complaining, don’t like complaining, get fobbed off easily, but don’t like being out of pocket there are things you can do to help you improve your technique. Look out for the new book soon! But in the meantime here are another three tips […]
  • February 5th : Family Court: How to be a victor not a victim
    Do not choose to be a victim in a Family Court case for your children or finances  Being involved in a case to Family Court may not be a pleasant experience. But by following these simple guidelines you can make it easier for yourself and your family. Choosing to go to the Family Court You […]
  • January 29th : How will the Coronavirus affect my travel to and from China?
    Coronavirus and gaining refunds An outbreak of a new coronavirus is affecting travel to and from China. Here is some advice on how this may impact on your trip and on your travel insurance. The coronavirus The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has advised against all travel to Hubei Province and against all but essential […]
  • January 17th : Habits of an effective complainer – a few suggestions!
    Habits of an effective complainer Techniques to improve your complaining skills! If you are not used to complaining, don’t like complaining, get fobbed off easily, but don’t like being out of pocket there are things you can do to help you improve your technique. Lots more in the book   101 Habits of an Effective […]
  • January 10th : High-stakes ransom game as Travelex remains down for more than a week
    Travelex business – and customers – held to ransom  Travelex, the currency exchange company, has been hit by criminals in a ransomware cyber-attack that took place on New Year’s Eve. As a consequence, the company has taken down its websites across 30 countries in order to contain “the virus and protect data”. A side-effect of […]
  • January 9th : Whirlpool plays dirty on washing machine refund saga
    Appliances giant faces criticism for washing machine recall delays Whirlpool, the white goods giant whose brands include Hotpoint and Indesit, has at last announced its plans for a partial recall of its faulty washing machines. On 17 December 2019 it announced a recall of certain models of washing machines manufactured between 2014 and 2018. Advice […]
  • January 8th : 3 out of 5 stars for CMA’s action so far on fake reviews?
    Finally, some action from CMA on fake reviews – but is it enough? The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has announced today (8 January 2020) that Facebook and eBay have “signed up to agreements to better identify, investigate and respond to fake and misleading reviews”, after being told by the CMA to address this issue. […]
2019
  • December 18th : The Whirlpool Washing Machine whitewash
    White goods giant fails its customers – again! Washing machine recall The white goods company Whirlpool, which produces the Hotpoint and Indesit brands, is yet again putting profits before the safety of its customers. On 17 December 2019 it announced a recall of certain models of washing machines manufactured between 2014 and 2018. However, this […]
  • December 17th : 101 Habits of an Effective Complainer. New consumer guide
    “If complaining is an art form, Helen Dewdney is Rembrandt” – Robert Rinder TV Judge, Barrister TV Presenter New consumer guide from best-selling author, The Complaining Cow – released 18 December The British find it hard to complain and assert their legal rights and it’s even harder when they get fobbed off by companies. Consumers […]
  • December 11th : Habits of an effective complainer – Tips 7, 8 and 9
    Techniques to improve your complaining skills! If you are not used to complaining, don’t like complaining, get fobbed off easily, but don’t like being out of pocket there are things you can do to help you improve your technique. See the new book 101 Habits of an Effective Complainer Here are a few taster ideas […]
  • November 19th : How to save money when shopping for Christmas and in the sales
    Saving money at Christmas time Below are a number of posts that may help you through the most expensive period of the year. Shopping in the run up to Black Friday 10 Top Tips for getting the best from Black Friday tips for making sure you save and don’t overspend Make Light Work of Black Friday comprehensive […]
  • November 13th : Habits of an effective complainer – Tips 4, 5 & 6
    Techniques to improve your complaining skills! If you are not used to complaining, don’t like complaining, get fobbed off easily, but don’t like being out of pocket there are things you can do to help you improve your technique. New book out in December!   Get 101 Habits of an Effective Complainer released 18 December […]
  • October 17th : From Three to Zero – the network that’s a notwork
    One, Two, Three, Down Three mobile provider the situation The mobile network Three has gone down today (17/10/19). At the point of writing the company doesn’t seem to know what the problem is or when it will be fixed. It seems to have been slow to inform people too, perhaps taking advantage of there being […]
  • October 16th : Manners? Do they matter in business?
    Do you use manners? Basic “Ps & Qs” When I go into a shop and ask anyone anything, I say “Please” somewhere in that sentence. When paying and taking my goods I say “Thank you” when given change or my card back. I can’t not do it. It’s just automatic. And as for my lovely […]
  • October 7th : Three consumer pet hates and how to resolve them proactively
    Customer service and complaint handling pet hates Having been a consumer champion for a number of years, I have the ear of thousands of people who delight in telling me their pet hates with customer service and complaint handling. Today I’m going to start a series of posts about these frustrations and how they should […]
  • September 30th : Habits of an effective complainer – Tips 1, 2 and 3
    Techniques to improve your complaining skills! If you are not used to complaining, don’t like complaining, get fobbed off easily, but don’t like being out of pocket there are things you can do to help you improve your technique.   Get 101 Habits of an Effective Complainer         But in the meantime […]
  • September 23rd : Thomas Cook collapse – your rights on your holiday booking
    Thomas Cook goes into administration It was announced this morning (23 September 2019) that Thomas Cook has gone into administration, leaving tens of thousands of holidaymakers stranded abroad and around one million facing cancelled holidays. Current situation All Thomas Cook flights have been cancelled. Approximately 600,000 Thomas Cook holiday makers are abroad and over 150,000 […]
  • September 20th : Thomas Cook on the cliff edge
    It was announced today 23 September that Thomas Cook has gone into administration. Please see Thomas Cook collapse – your rights on your holiday booking Operation Matterhorn gears up to rescue stranded passengers The travel company Thomas Cook is in serious financial trouble. Unless it can find £200 million in extra funds to secure its […]
  • September 16th : The complaining habits of public figures – Brad Burton
    A series of interviews by The Complaining Cow In my series of interviews with people in the consumer world regarding their complaining habits, today is the turn of 4 Networking CEO and Business Motivational speaker Brad Burton. So how does the big guy complain? Brad Burton’s complaining habits 1)  Generally, do you complain to a […]
  • September 13th : Whirlpool gets proactive about recalls – At last!
    Update 01/11/19  Whirlpool ‘silenced customers’ amid tumble dryer fire scare “Whirlpool used “chilling” non-disclosure agreements “to silence customers” while fire-prone tumble dryers remained in UK homes, MPs say.” Update 18/12/19  The Whirlpool Washing Machine whitewash announcement of recall of certain models of washing machines manufactured between 2014 and 2018 leaving customers with no washing machine […]
  • September 11th : Which? survey reveals the highs and lows of airport performance
    Worst UK airport named and shamedAirport lows Which? has revealed the best and worst rated airports in the UK for 2019. The annual survey of more than 6,000 passenger experiences details this year’s top and bottom ranking airports countrywide. Long queues, crowded terminals and pricey parking charges contributed to Belfast International Airport taking the bottom […]
  • September 3rd : How to exceed customer expectations and why you should do it
    Exceeding customer expectations Going that bit further when things go wrong Not so long ago, I had a problem with my Tesco grocery collection which created a lot of inconvenience and caused me to complain to the local store. Being a best-selling author and consumer journalist I know how to complain and do so for […]
  • August 23rd : Ryanair descends to new lows in customer service ratings
    Which? survey reveals league table for customer service The consumer organisation Which? has today released the results of its latest survey of customer service performance. It asked nearly 4,000 members of the public to rate how the companies make them feel, how helpful and knowledgeable their staff were, and how well they handled complaints. Ryanair […]
  • August 12th : The complaining habits of those in the consumer world – James Dodkins
    A series of interviews by The Complaining Cow In my series of interviews with people in the consumer world and public eye regarding their complaining habits, today sees the turn of James Dodkins James Dodkins’ complaining habits  1) Generally, do you complain to a company regarding a faulty item? I generally don’t complain to companies […]
  • August 9th : How CEOs can learn more about their business
    What happens when CEOs read emails from your customers and learn about your business You may well be an overworked CEO but when CEOs make corresponding with customers part of their work routine it can be extremely beneficial to business. Tesco CEO used reading customer emails to help turn stores around When I met Dave […]
  • August 5th : How to complain about financial institutions
    How to complain about financial products and services So much can and does go wrong when you’re dealing with a financial institution! This post will signpost you to various posts on The Complaining Cow blog which will help with most bank/credit card and insurance problems. The Financial Services Regulations 2004 Financial products are covered by […]
  • August 2nd : The journey ends – Malvern Group travel company goes under
    What you need to know when a holiday company goes bust It was announced today (2 August 2019) that the Malvern Group have ceased trading. The failed company encompasses a number of holiday brands, including Late Rooms, based in Manchester and Mini Holidays, also known as Super Break, based in York. Although relatively small compared […]
  • July 29th : The complaining habits of public figures – Octopus CEO Greg Jackson
    A series of interviews by The Complaining Cow In my series of interviews with people in the consumer world regarding their complaining habits, today is the turn of Octopus Energy CEO Greg Jackson. 1) Generally, do you complain to a company regarding a faulty item? Only where I think they’ll be relatively straightforward in dealing […]
  • July 23rd : Complaints: An irritation or an inspiration?
    Questioning complaints How do you approach complaints? Are they an irritation? Do they detract you from what you want to be doing? or Do you welcome them to learn about your business? Do you monitor and evaluate what comes in and out effectively? Do you know how satisfied your customers are with their complaint handling? […]
  • July 17th : All you need to know about unsolicited goods
    Have you received unsolicited goods? Can you keep the goods you believe are unsolicited? One of the most frequent things I get asked about is unsolicited goods. Many people believe that if they receive something sent by mistake they can keep it. Here are some situations in which people commonly think they can keep the […]
  • July 12th : Thomas Cook rescued from debt doom
    Holiday giant out of danger zone What’s happened to Thomas Cook? News broke today of Thomas Cook and their financial troubles. It is a massive group with £9bn in annual sales, 19 million customers a year and 22,000 staff operating in 16 countries. However, today the BBC reported Thomas Cook in £750m rescue deal talks. […]
  • July 12th : Two sides of the same coin?
    Helen Dewdney, The Complaining Cow described I asked people in my Facebook group how they would describe me. Bit dangerous. How would two different people see the same trait? Armed with this information and knowing how I have been described over the years I thought I’d have a look at myself…. Some say I’m tactless… […]
  • July 10th : Whirlpool FINALLY undertakes full recall of tumble dryers
    Whirlpool, the giant manufacturer of home appliances, has finally seen the light on the issue of dangerous tumble dryers. It has announced today (10 July 2019) that it will issue a product recall of all tumble dryers at risk of fire that have still not been modified. On 12 June 2019 I wrote a blog […]
  • July 10th : Customer service goes down, complaints are going up
    Customer service is getting worse, according to the latest figures provided by The Institute of Customer Service (ICS). In figures released today, the ICS Customer Satisfaction Index (UKCSI) has shown an decline for the fourth consecutive year. And by a significant amount too. 14.3% of consumers said that they experienced a problem with customer service. […]
  • July 1st : How to complain about furniture and gain redress
    The Complaining Cow doesn’t sit around when solving a recliner sofa problem Lorraine’s complaint against DFS In November last year Lorraine bought two recliner sofas from DFS. When they arrived she discovered that one of the recliners didn’t work, the sofas moved and separated and didn’t match. One recliner tipped right over while people were […]
  • June 24th : Complaining habits of public figures and people in the consumer world – Georgie Frost
    A series of interviews by The Complaining Cow   In my series of interviews with people in the consumer world regarding their complaining habits, today is the turn of Georgie Frost. Georgie Frost’s complaining habits 1)    Generally, do you complain to a company regarding a faulty item? Absolutely. 2)   How much does the likely redress […]
  • June 17th : What will happen to consumer rights after Brexit?
    Brexit and EU consumer law As of today Brexit is still a mess! No final decisions have been made about anything. The future of EU consumer law in the UK EU law continues to apply until the UK leaves the EU. When the UK does leave, the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 comes into force […]
  • June 15th : Caroline Wayman ex FOS CEO complaining habits
    A series of interviews by The Complaining Cow Caroline Wayman undertook this interview when she was the Chief Ombudsman for the Financial Ombudsman. She left the role 16 April 2021, after 22 years in the service and nearly 7 years as chief executive. In my series of interviews with people in the consumer world regarding […]
  • June 13th : Laws & regulations to make a complaint about almost anything
    Complain easily using consumer laws! There are various laws which protect you against shoddy goods and services. All sorts! Here are the main ones. Goods and Services Consumer Rights Act 2015 – the most comprehensive useful law to cover you for most issues with products and services Consumer Rights Act 2015 digital content the extra cover […]
  • June 12th : The Government orders full Whirlpool tumble dryer recall – at last!
    The end of the spin cycle? Today (12 June 2019) The Consumer Minister, Kelly Tolhurst, announced that the Government intends to serve Whirlpool with a full recall notice for all tumble dryers that are at risk of fire. She told the House of Commons that “consumer safety is a priority for the Government”. History would […]
  • June 6th : What is a warranty, a guarantee and my consumer rights?
    The differences with warranties, guarantees and consumer rights People get muddled between these three things. Rarely do you need a warranty, however, there are situations where you may choose to buy a warranty. Consumer rights The Consumer Rights Act 2015 states that items must be of satisfactory quality, as described, fit for purpose and last […]
  • May 13th : All you need to know about your travel consumer rights
    How to complain about your train, airline, bus, tube, ferry or cruise How to complain about buses How to complain about buses all the info you need How to complain about trains Transport for London unmoved on issue of equality  Story about equality and Transport for London. Failures in service, policies, and redress Taken for a ride. […]
  • May 7th : The complaining habits of consumer people – Andy Webb
    A series of interviews by The Complaining Cow In my series of interviews with people in the consumer world regarding their complaining habits, today is the turn of Andy Webb Be Clever With Your Cash and presenter. Andy Webb’s complaining habits 1) Generally, do you complain to a company regarding a faulty item? Yes absolutely. If […]
  • May 3rd : Could better customer service have prevented Debenhams decline?
    Could better customer service have prevented Debenhams decline? One upon a time at Christmas It’s time for another good customer service story and this time it again involves my mum. She was going to a Christmas party at an organisation where she does voluntary work and needed a Christmas jumper. She looked online and found […]
  • April 30th : Ofcom says firms need to “up their games” in complaints handling
    Communications regulator reveals latest figures on customer satisfaction Ofcom has just released its latest figures on broadband customer satisfaction in the UK. Level of satisfaction with broadband services The survey found that: “Overall, 83% of broadband customers are satisfied with their service (similar to last year: 80%), while 13% had reason to complain in 2018 […]
  • April 29th : Why CEOs should have a presence on social media
    What company CEOs are on social media?   Most CEOs aren’t on social media. Or if they are, not under their real name! But at a time when social media plays such a huge part in many people’s lives this can be very short sighted. Greg Jackson CEO of Octopus Energy is on Twitter Greg […]
  • April 23rd : The complaining habits of public figures – Shep Hyken
    A series of interviews by The Complaining Cow In my series of interviews with people in the consumer world regarding their complaining habits, today is the turn of Shep Hyken an American customer services specialist. So does he differ in his  complaining habits from one in the UK? Shep Hyken’s complaining habits 1) Generally, do […]
  • April 11th : The complaining habits of public figures – Tim Johns
    A series of interviews by The Complaining Cow In my series of interviews with people in the public eye regarding their complaining habits, today is the turn of Tim Johns producer/reporter on the Jeremy Vine show. Tim John’s complaining habits 1) Generally, do you complain to a company regarding a faulty item? Unless the fault […]
  • April 6th : ‘Serial returners’ hit by new ASOS policy
    Online retailer tackles perceived abuse by online customers ASOS changes in terms and conditions ASOS has changed its returns policy. In a move that some might consider to be customer unfriendly, it has made significant changes to its returns policy. It hits out at serial returners and customers who wear something once and then return […]
  • April 4th : The complaining habits of public figures – Adam French Consumer Rights Editor Which?
    A series of interviews by The Complaining Cow In my series of interviews with people in the consumer world regarding their complaining habits, today is the turn of Adam French, Consumer Initiatives Manager at Which?  Adam French’s complaining habits 1) Generally, do you complain to a company regarding a faulty item? It depends on my […]
  • April 1st : How to complain about a second hand car
    What to do when your secondhand car purchase goes wrong When things go wrong after a test drive – you can complain Elaine lives in Formby, Merseyside and bought a car from a local dealer. The vehicle was a Vauxhall Meriva 2011 model. The test drive was good but she agreed with the dealer that […]
  • March 28th : The complaining habits of public figures – James Daley MD Fairer Finance
    A series of interviews by The Complaining Cow In my series of interviews with people in the public eye regarding their complaining habits, today is the turn of Managing Director of Fairer Finance James Daley. James Daley’s complaining habits 1) Generally, do you complain to a company regarding a faulty item? Yes. I’d always ask […]
  • March 25th : All you need to know – car purchasing, financing & garages
    How to buy and/or complain about a new or secondhand car and/or a garage Purchasing a car, second to your own home is probably the biggest purchase many of us will ever make. Most purchases go smoothly although it may not seem like it! Regardless of whether you buy a new or second hand car, […]
  • March 21st : Avoiding a right Royal Fail at the Royal Mail
    Stamp prices going up and service going down Stamps rise in cost 2019 First class stamps will increase in price by 3p to 70p on Monday 25th March 2019. And second class goes up from 58p to 61p! However, Royal Mail has also made a “mistake” in doing this! Ofcom capped any rise above 60p […]
  • March 21st : Why and how your company should have a presence on Twitter
    Companies on Twitter Companies and Twitter interactions Many companies have a presence on social media and some are much better than others at interacting with their customers on these platforms. When companies engage with customers, whether for compliments or complaints, it is helping the company’s image and reputation far more than those who don’t have […]
  • March 18th : The complaining habits of public figures – Paul Lewis
    A series of interviews by The Complaining Cow In my series of interviews with people in the consumer world regarding their complaining habits, today is the turn of finance journalist Paul Lewis. Are your habits similar? Paul Lewis’ complaining habits 1)  Generally, do you complain to a company regarding a faulty item? Yes if I […]
  • March 13th : Carphone Warehouse mis-selling results in FCA fine for over 29m
    Whistle blowers to be thanked for FCA investigation The mis-selling of insurance Following a whistle blowing report and investigation, The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has fined Carphone Warehouse for mis-selling insurance. It found that the company had sold mobile phone insurance and technical support (called Geek Squad) to people who didn’t need it. Carphone Warehouse FCA […]
  • February 27th : ASA bans BT advert as misleading (not for the first time)
    The ASA complaint against BT Today (27/02/19) the  Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) announced that it has upheld a complaint against BT. The complaint was received from Virgin Media (the irony) regarding a national press advert and claims on the BT website seen 19 May 2018. The ASA listed the below on its website regarding the […]
  • February 25th : How to complain about food in restaurants, deliveries, take aways, hotels & stores!
    How to complain about food anywhere! When you eat out, it can be really difficult to complain. But if the food or service isn’t up to scratch you can and really should. The following posts will help you with asserting your legal rights. How to complain about fast food Tasty solutions for food delivery troubles all […]
  • February 19th : Is a penny on a garment enough to tackle environmental issues?
    Adding a penny to clothes to fund recycling scheme Today MPs called for there to be a penny added to every item of clothing to fund a £35m annual recycling scheme. Fast fashion and landfill “Fast fashion” is the term that has been given to the clothing industry where clothes are being worn very few times […]
  • February 5th : Cuts in Tesco staff will mean worse customer service
    Tesco was in the news again last week and so of course, given my history with Tesco, I couldn’t let it go without comment! Tesco announces cuts to its business what effects will it have on service? Tesco announced last week that it was going to cut about 9,000 jobs. Well, the BBC announced it […]
  • January 30th : Ombudsman systems needs urgent shake-up says APPG
    Press release 30/01/19 Consumer campaigners call for immediate changes The consumer ombudsman system urgently needs changing. That’s the conclusion of a new report launched today by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Consumer Protection. MoneySavingExpert.com (MSE) funded an APPG Inquiry and the report which builds on much research into the Alternative Dispute Resolution sector. It makes […]
  • January 28th : What you need to know when using an estate agent
    Your rights when selling a your property through an estate agent Regulations covering Estate Agents The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (amended 2014) (CPRs) regulate estate agents and other businesses involved in property sales and lettings. The CPRs prohibit all traders from using unfair commercial practices in their dealings with individual consumers. Estate […]
  • January 21st : How to complain about train journeys (or the lack of them!)
    All you need to know to complain about trains How to complain when your train is cancelled If your train is cancelled you are due a full refund of the ticket price paid. If you still wish to travel you should be able to get on the next train then claim as for a delayed […]
  • January 8th : Guide to saving money when getting to the airport
    How to save money getting to the airport You need to factor in the cost of airport parking versus any form of getting to the airport when booking a holiday. Last year when booking a holiday I looked at the same holiday departing from two different airports. It was actually cheaper from Southend airport than […]
2018
  • December 17th : Spa customer service treatment with a smile – even when things go wrong…
    How a company can provide good service Companies always make mistakes. After all, they’re made up of humans and to err is human. What is important to me, as a consumer champion, is how companies deal with the mistakes and get them resolved. A couple of years ago I took out a course of pro-active […]
  • December 6th : Affected by O2 network downtime issues – your rights to redress
    O2 coverage and network problems what you can do On 6 December 2018 O2 had a problem with data services on its network. At the time of publishing this blog post it still has a problem. O2 says the coverage and network issues are due to a third party software failure and that mobile operators around […]
  • November 25th : 5 Ombudsman myths busted
    Ombudsman separating the truth from the misconceptions Background to ADR and Ombudsmen Alternative Dispute Resolution providers which include ombudsmen, provide services for business and consumers. When you can’t get your complaint resolved and the trader is a member of a scheme you can take your complaint to an ADR provider. Alternative Dispute Resolution: What it […]
  • November 22nd : Christmas is coming… are online retailers getting fat?
    Online shopping and National Consumer Week Christmas is coming and many of us will be shopping online. But it’s not just the internet giants who will reap the rewards of the Festive Season. Many smaller retailers and individuals are benefiting by using the big-name platforms, such as Amazon and Ebay, to sell their goods. In […]
  • October 29th : Complaining about goods and services – all you need to know
    Consumer rights and how to use them when complaining about goods and services There are loads of posts on complaining about goods and services on the blog. Here for ease are links for you to find the information most relevant to your issue. Using consumer law to complain about goods A Guide to the Consumer […]
  • October 17th : Not such an Easylife customer service
    How to complain on principle about customer service I often get asked about the last complaint I made and I always say  it is about the principle of complaining however much the amount.  I complained about less than a fiver on behalf of my mother. Here’s the story! The Easylife order On the 12th January […]
  • October 8th : Flying in the face of poor customer service
    How to complain about a flight when part of a package As we enter the holiday season we know there will be the inevitable flight delays and fobbing off by airlines and tour operators. Remember the BA and Ryanair debacles last year and in the case of Ryanair quite a lot this year too!? Those […]
  • September 28th : CAB launches super-complaint into penalising loyal customers
    Citizen’s Advice Bureau calls for penalising loyal consumers to stop CAB press release Citizen’s Advice Bureau has today launched a super-complaint with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). It is calling for the regulator to look into how consumers are being penalised for loyalty in 5 key sectors. It requests an outline from the CMA […]
  • September 27th : All you need to know about the Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements 2018
    Changes to your package holidays rights The new Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements 2018 have replaced and considerably modified the former 1992 Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tour Regulations 1992. The new regulations came into force on 01 July 2018. Holidays taken prior to this will be covered by the previous regulations. What is […]
  • September 17th : Ryanair in fresh misleading information claims
    Ryanair is continuing to misinform its passengers about their legal rights. In continued problems for Ryanair, the airline announced that 150 out of the 400 flights scheduled to fly to and from Germany would be cancelled on 12 September 2018, due to a 24-hour strike by pilots and cabin crew. Ryanair appears to be sticking […]
  • September 4th : Case study: Tesco and a consumer champion
    From court to exclusive interview and more Every little complaint helps!           It all started with a little blog post… On 12 July 2012, Helen Dewdney, The Complaining Cow, wrote only her second blog post. The post was the first of many about Tesco. It was a post about poor customer […]
  • August 28th : Motor legal protection is a rip off and the free alternative
    Motor legal protection why you don’t need it as part of your insurance policy I have asked Lee Jones from Free Motor Legal Ltd to explain Motor Legal Protection, how it works (a sham) and some more about his site. Read on and save yourself £30 a year. What is motor legal protection? Motor legal protection (MLP) […]
  • August 23rd : Landing in court with Ryanair (what you need to know!)
    The problems with Ryanair and compensation and ADR Update 05 December 2018 The BBC reports Ryanair compensation claims to go to court “The Civil Aviation Authority has said it is taking legal action against Ryanair over its refusal to compensate thousands of UK-based customers. Their flights were cancelled or delayed over the summer because of strikes […]
  • August 14th : Homebase customers – what you need to know
    Homebase closing stores your rights Homebase announced on 14 August 2018 that it will close 42 stores across the UK. They will be shut over the next 16 months in addition to the 17 which already closed their doors earlier in the year. As well as the job losses at stores, around 300 people have […]
  • July 21st : Virgin on the ridiculous – UKTV dropped. Your RIGHTS!
    Virgin Media packages your rights 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 with Virgin Media packages? On Thursday 19 July 2018 Virgin quietly released a statement on its website. It announced that it would be removing […]
  • July 19th : Passengers doubly likely to be delayed on flights will need double the help!
    More flight delays likely School holiday time is upon us again. For many people this will mean taking a flight abroad to a favourite destination. But it is now more likely than ever that you will encounter problems with your flight. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has recently revealed that delays so far this […]
  • July 16th : Tesco Christmas in July
    Tesco Christmas promotion in July What is Christmas in July? What? Well! Supermarkets, department stores, superstores and the like all have a Christmas in July.  What is it? Well, it’s quite ridiculous but magazines like Good Housekeeping etc. are writing their Christmas articles now so need to know what’s the best of stuff out there. […]
  • June 26th : How to give your family and your wallet a holiday
    How to save money when booking a holiday in the UK Whether it’s the weather at the time of reading this or you just want to get away, everyone loves saving money! Some money bloggers reveal the best ways to save money for essentials or the treats! Use the Tourist Information UK website for ideas of […]
  • June 25th : Should Lush stick to selling soap?
    Lush #spycops campaign the rights and wrongs What do we think of the Lush campaign? Does it help to highlight an important issue? Is it putting staff in danger? Does it undermine the police? Is it ill thought out? Does it make for good PR for Lush? Perhaps it’s all of these things? The Lush […]
  • June 19th : Don’t let shopping online become a “rip off”
    Advice about shopping online 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. Online shopping rights […]
  • June 7th : VISA outage – what you need to know
    Visa outage – what happened? 01 June 2018 – the country came to a standstill. Well almost. It did at shops, garages, restaurants, tolls…. Over 95% of debit cards are  run on the Visa network. And on a Friday, roughly between 2.30pm and 10.30pm, whilst people were trying to get home, treat themselves to a […]
  • May 26th : 9 supermarkets scrutinised – costs of packaged v loose items
    Supermarkets use of plastic charging more for items not covered in plastic More and more consumers are getting concerned about the use of plastics. Whether it is cups in take away coffee shops, plastic straws or vegetable packaging, the concern and scrutiny over the apparent needless use of plastic is growing. With this in mind, […]
  • May 25th : Privacy watchdog fails on fines for data protection breaches
    More than 2.8 million pounds uncollected in annual fines by ICO ICO and fines Britain’s personal data watchdog has failed to collect millions in fines for breaches of the Data Protection Act (DPA). The Information Commissioners Officer (ICO) is responsible for enforcing the DPA and new GDPR regulations, which come into force today (25 May […]
  • May 22nd : Transport for London unmoved on issue of equality
    Transport for London failing in providing services with equality 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 […]
  • May 9th : Foreign Office in epic fail on passport validity information
    My long journey of confusion – Foreign Office provides conflicting information Check your passport! Here’s a story about why it’s important to check passport expiry dates before you book travel. And why you can’t always trust the Foreign Office advice because it’s a mess! Not enough time left on passport to travel A traveller wanted […]
  • May 2nd : How to make sure your wedding goes royally well…
    How to have the wedding of your dreams on a budget The cost of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Royal wedding The Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle takes place on Saturday 19th May 2018 We can be sure that there will be no shortage of people involved in the planning and that there […]
  • April 26th : Whirlpool – The tumble dryer story without the spin
    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 […]
  • April 24th : Ten ways GDPR will help consumers
    This is a guest post by Sara Williams, an adviser at Citizens Advice who has her own website Debt Camel where she blogs about everything to do with debt and credit ratings. She also guest posted Everything you need to know about Payday loans and Bright ideas for complaining about Brighthouse (& avoiding them in the first place!) All you […]
  • April 20th : How to prevent and deal with problems with holiday lets
    How to protect yourself when booking a holiday let I was on ITV Anglia on the 20th April talking about a bad experience someone had with using an online holiday letting website and how you can protect yourself. So thought a post providing more information would be useful. Lettings websites With the increase in sites […]
  • April 5th : How to complain about a cancelled event
    How to complain when an event has been cancelled Events cancelled for various reasons – your rights Events can be cancelled for a variety of reasons. Due to bad weather, poor planning or something else, thousands of people were left disappointed and many of them out of pocket. So what do you do if the […]
  • March 26th : 7 consumer rights misconceptions (and what they are really)
    What are your consumer rights? One hears it often “I know my rights” But do you? Here are the most common misconceptions. Do you really know your consumer rights? 1) I received the wrong item, unsolicited goods I can keep them! No, you can’t.  See  All you need to know about unsolicited goods. I actually stopped […]
  • March 6th : Your rights if your water supply has been interrupted
    Water supply and your consumer rights How to complain about your water Water companies are regulated by Ofwat. Every company must follow the Guaranteed Standards Scheme which relates to compensation in the event of service failure for England and Wales. However, the standards do not apply in certain situations, including extreme weather. But all is […]
  • March 5th : Left out in the cold by a rail company? Your rights
    Rail delays 2017/2018 and your rights when delayed due to weather How to complain about weather related delays to trains Well the Winter of 2018 huh? Pretty cold and pretty snowy! Lots of trains delayed and some stuck in the snow for hours. In some cases it probably couldn’t be helped but even in these […]
  • March 3rd : Freezing energy problems? Your rights all you need to know
    Energy problems related to bad weather and your rights     Left out in the cold by your energy company? All you need to know about your rights Well this is a Winter and a half isn’t it? Quite incredible. It is inevitable that many people will have had problems with their gas or electricity […]
  • February 28th : Government & regulators continue to fail consumers
    The bodies responsible for approving and monitoring ADR organisations are failing Regular updates relating to ADR ADR – all about it for World Ombudsman Day all the articles and research, consultations etc. Ongoing ADR failures The Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) system for resolving consumer complaints is broken and in danger of collapse. This is one […]
  • February 21st : 5 ways how not to use Twitter to complain (and 5 ways how you should)
    How to complain effectively on Twitter I hear all the time from people that they have successfully complained because they have used social media. Occasionally if used in the right way, your complaint is simple, the trader has a good social media team and the wind is in the right direction this may be the […]
  • February 1st : Taken for a ride. Passenger complaints are up (& how you can get redress)
    Transport Focus survey on satisfaction with train travel Transport Focus announced today that their latest National Rail Passenger Survey showed that only a third were happy with their last journey. Anthony Smith, chief executive of Transport Focus, said: “For passengers, it’s all about performance – these value for money scores reflect patchy reliability. In London […]
  • January 29th : Tasty solutions for food delivery troubles
    How to complain about take-aways and deliveries Have you ever ordered a takeaway that has taken significantly longer than advertised to deliver? Your consumer rights when your food delivery goes wrong You are totally within your rights to reject the order when it arrives if it is not as you ordered. You have a right […]
  • January 22nd : Energy ombudsman shows how to keep heat on your supplier
    Chief Ombudsman helps you get best result from the process How to get the best result from an ombudsman I often hear from people how they think an ombudsman hasn’t been fair or impartial in their case. Most frequently I hear the criticism that the ombudsman always sees in favour of the trader because the […]
  • January 12th : Don’t get blue this Monday, get away from it all…
    How to save money with every part of your holiday planning and taking Holiday companies use Blue Monday for marketing – here’s how to turn the tables and make it sunny for you and for your wallet! Blue Monday is the third Monday in the first month of the year, falling this year on 15 […]
  • January 9th : Credit card fee changes: The hidden impact on small businesses & consumers
    Press release Companies will no longer be able to charge fees for using credit cards, following the implementation of a new EU directive. Since April 2013 traders have not been able to charge consumers fees that exceed the cost for using a particular method of payment. However, from 13 January 2018 companies will no longer be […]
  • January 8th : Bite back at Apple and their service
    iPhone maker caught slowing older devices – how to get redress Apple has been caught slowing down older iPhones. Whilst customers might suspect that this was done to encourage them to upgrade their devices, the company said in a statement, quoted on the BBC website, that it “wanted to prolong the life” of those devices. […]
2017
  • December 27th : Don’t gobble rancid Tesco turkey. Know your rights
    Your consumer rights when you buy food not for for human consumption So, to another Tesco story. Tesco History with The Complaining Cow. But this time it isn’t involving me! This Christmas people appear to have bought gone off and rancid turkeys. Costing up to £59, the Tesco finest range is coming under fire. The […]
  • December 27th : What to do with the ghost of Christmas Present?
    Things you can do with unwanted Christmas presents What are your rights when returning items at Christmas?Watch this video on YouTube Returns – your rights See Christmas presents, returns – your rights.  If you can’t ask the present giver for the receipt, or you don’t know where the item was bought and there is no […]
  • December 21st : How to look a gift horse in the mouth…
    Know your rights on unwanted Christmas gifts Over the Christmas period many of us will be given presents that sadly we don’t want. I’ve been answering questions from consumers about what their rights are. 1) Will stores take back any item? There is no legal obligation for any trader to give a refund or exchange […]
  • December 15th : Harrods customers try to bag a bargain – but can they keep it?
    Website glitch shows ridiculously low prices for handbags Ha! Harrods glitch! The Evening Standard reported that Harrods Aspinal handbags, normally retailing at £950, were on sale on their website for £8. They sold out (pretty quickly!) The Standard also reported that fine Italian leather handbags, which would have usually cost several hundred pounds, were listed […]
  • December 14th : Are you on the right track with your Christmas train travel plans?
    Problems on the trains this Christmas and your rights Is your train running this Christmas or have you been duped? It looks like thousands of Christmas holiday train travellers have been misled into buying more expensive tickets than they would have done normally. Transport Focus discovered around 15,000 errors in the Rail Delivery Group timetable database. […]
  • December 13th : Peter Kay cancelled shows – your rights
    Refunds for cancelled events Earlier today Peter Kay announced on Twitter that he was cancelling his 18 month tour due to unforeseen family circumstances. Statement from Peter Kay: pic.twitter.com/gYhZkq12Q1 — Peter Kay (@peterkay_co_uk) December 13, 2017 Your rights if you bought tickets for this cancelled event Refunds for tickets bought from Ticketmaster Ticketmaster was the official […]
  • December 11th : Bright ideas for complaining about Brighthouse (& avoiding them in the first place!)
    How to complain about “pay weekly” chains BrightHouse is a “pay weekly” chain of shops which is loathed by almost all debt advisers. This is a guest post by Sara Williams, an adviser at Citizens Advice Why do debt advisors hate BrightHouse? Their interest rates are high, but that isn’t the only reason. BrightHouse goods […]
  • December 6th : Keeping the festive cheer in Christmas shopping
    Can you save money when shopping this Christmas? Black Friday (week) and Cyber Monday are now over. How do we get the best prices for our Christmas gifts this year? It is still possible to find the bargains and save money! Here are my top ten tips to help you save money and make sure […]
  • December 4th : Whirlpool/Hotpoint/Indesit shows contempt for tumble dryer customers
    Press release Dryer replacement scheme ends for Whirlpool/Hotpoint/Indesit users – Company updates list of affected machines without telling customers Whirlpool has announced that it is ending its replacement scheme for dangerous tumble dryers that have caused fires. With growing waiting lists for repairs, Whirlpool had previously offered customers the option of purchasing a new dryer […]
  • November 30th : Tesco doing more than their “Fare Share”?
    Well far be it for me to praise Tesco! The Complaining Cow’s history with Tesco. But give them their due here and it’s about time other supermarkets followed suit, Tesco has been doing this for years but this year I think it is back bigger and better than before. From today (30th November) until the […]
  • November 28th : Think before you sign – top 10 tips to save on subscriptions
    How to save money  on subscriptions Don’t fritter away your hard-earned money on unwanted subscriptions In November 2017, Citizens Advice research revealed that in just three months consumers spent an average of £160 on unwanted subscriptions, including gym memberships, television and online streaming services. The consumer organisation also found that between June and August 2017, […]
  • November 15th : The Advent of Folly
    Advent calendars are they worth the money?           The Zoella Advent calendar The Zoella Advent Calendar has gone on sale, priced at £50. £50 for crying out loud… Now, to be honest, when I heard about this I had to look her up on Google. She’s a beauty vlogger for teens. […]
  • November 10th : Make Light Work of Black Friday – how to get real bargains
    Saving money this Black Friday Black Friday is coming around again, that day in the calendar which marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. Black Friday is the 26th November this year, (2021) but are there really bargains to be had? In  2019. Which? found that 95% of products in Black Friday ‘deals’ are […]
  • November 9th : How to challenge terms & conditions (even those agreed)
    How to complain about Terms and Conditions The One Show today covers Terms and Conditions. Who reads them? Would you follow them if told? There are pages and pages of small print. How many of us tick the box that says “Agree to terms and conditions”, only to fall foul later when we need to […]
  • November 1st : Rail Ombudsman is finally coming down the tracks – consultation closing soon
    Press release on Rail Ombudsman Background to the Railway Ombudsman Rail passengers will soon get their long-awaited Rail Ombudsman, an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) scheme for disgruntled railway users across the country. An Ombudsman provides an independent escalation process, beyond the railway company, to make decisions on passenger complaints. Consultation closing soon The Office of […]
  • October 30th : Your rights when your hotel overbooks
    How to complain when your hotel is overbooked   So you have booked your hotel and you’re looking forward to your stay and then disaster. The hotel contacts you and says it has overbooked or even worse you get to the hotel to find that it has overbooked. What are your rights and what should […]
  • October 20th : Mobile phone companies called out for overcharging loyal customers
    Press release Mobile phone companies called out for overcharging loyal customers: The Complaining Cow shows how to take on your mobile phone provider Mobile phone companies have been found to be overcharging customers whose fixed deal has ended. CAB and The Complaining Cow are campaigning for mobile companies to end this behaviour. A mystery shopping exercise […]
  • October 17th : Reverse advent calendar campaign
    How you can join in the FoodbankAdvent campaign 2021 I admit I forgot! So will be making a donation! 2020 As below. 2019 I intend to participate for 2019 This post was updated for 2018   FoodbankAdvent background Many of us love the Xmas advent calendar, especially those with children who get a chocolate each […]
  • October 11th : How to save money on your car insurance
    Hacks for saving money on your car insurance Rules making insurance prices clearer for consumers In April 2018 new rules came into force for insurers. These rules mean that insurers must provide the cost of the previous year as well as the renewal. This way it is clearer for consumers to see just how big […]
  • October 6th : Ofcom call for better broadband speed honesty
      Most of us are broadband users and most of us have complained about broadband speed  have we not? Today (6th October 2017) Ofcom proposed to strengthen the current codes to improve speed estimates provided at the point of sale, after sale and in customer contracts and to enhance customers’ right to exit.       […]
  • October 4th : Argos caught out again – this time for race discrimination in toy pricing…
    Press release Argos is in the spotlight again, this time for apparent race discrimination in the toy department… After recently finding itself embroiled in the furore of eagle-eyed shoppers noticing that its “3 for 2” offers were not as they seemed [1] the Argos pricing debacle continues. The latest error shows the company discriminating between […]
  • October 2nd : Monarch – all you need to know (situation, rights and refunds)
                  What has happened? On the 2nd October 2017 Monarch Airlines and Monarch Holidays went into administration including those companies trading as: Monarch Airlines Ltd Monarch Holidays Ltd (ATOL Number 2275) First Aviation Ltd (ATOL Number 4888) previously trading as Monarch Airlines Avro Ltd (ATOL Number 1939) Somewhere2stay Ltd […]
  • September 28th : Argos caught playing around with toy prices
    Press release Argos have been caught out playing with prices, according to consumer expert, The Complaining Cow, aka Helen Dewdney. She has this week spotted customers complaining about their ‘special offers’ on Facebook, as you can see here… When is a 3 for 2 bargain not a bargain? When it costs more than buying 3 […]
  • September 18th : Ryanair flies into oblivion
    Ryanair strikes 2107 and what you need to know In the latest apparent “Let’s treat customers as badly as possible” Ryanair business plan, it has decided to cancel 40-50 flights a day from its schedule of over 2,500 flights for  six weeks to the end of October. This is caused by incredibly bad management of staff […]
  • September 11th : Where there’s blame there’s a claim (even when there isn’t?) Food poisoning complaints
    How to complain about food poisoning on holiday       You’ve had a great holiday, weather was good, accommodation clean and spacious and the food was amazing. Although was the food perfect? Fake food poisoning reports There have always been reports of people with dodgy tummies after holidays but is it on the increase. […]
  • September 7th : All you need to know about tax free childcare/30 hours funding
    This guest post has been written by Emma who is a Finance Manager for a regional chain of nurseries. She also blogs on personal finance at The Money Whisperer. As a Chartered Accountant,she found that a lot of her mummy friends came to her with financial questions. She undertakes lots of financial research to invest and […]
  • August 30th : Back to school cheaper than ever (& how to make the most of it)
    How to save money buying school uniform Are school uniforms value for money? As if children aren’t expensive enough we have to buy school uniforms and all that other stuff! However, I am a fan of school uniforms for a variety of reasons, but it wasn’t too many years ago that it would nearly break […]
  • August 29th : Quick guide for all you need to know about PPI claims
    Deadline for claiming for mis-selling of PPI Today, 29/08/17 despite pressure from consumer groups, the Financial Conduct Authority confirmed that it will introduce a deadline for making new payment protection insurance (PPI) complaints. It is quite ridiculous that this deadline should be introduced, the only benefit is for the financial institutions! Although the FCA has told them […]
  • August 26th : Plane greedy – Are airlines holding families to ransom?
    The differences in costs for seating on flights Update 03 February 2018. The CAA is to investigate airlines and seating allocations. Interestingly you will see below that in August 2017 it told me that this wasn’t a problem. It seems to have changed its mind! Finally, after complaints from consumer groups and others it is to […]
  • August 14th : Taking Control: understanding bailiff rights
    Bailiffs and your rights, everything you need to know I sometimes get asked about your rights where bailiffs are concerned. This is quite a specialist area and so I asked Alison Blackwood of StepChange to provide some guidance. Stepchange and Bailiffs Here at StepChange Debt Charity we are still hearing from our clients about problems […]
  • August 7th : Ambulance chasers hit a brick wall
    Number of Claims Management companies now at an all-time low Figures released last week by the Claims Management Regulator (CMR) show that the number of companies providing Claims Management is now at an all-time low. The annual report, covering the period 2016 to 2017, indicates that there are now only 1388 regulated companies providing Claims […]
  • August 3rd : Information Commissioner encourages disclosure of fire safety information in light of the Grenfell Tower tragedy
    Re-blogged from ICO The ICO has published this blog by Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham: https://iconewsblog.org.uk/2017/08/02/information-commissioner-encourages-disclosure-of-fire-safety-information-in-light-of-the-grenfell-tower-tragedy/ Full text below: Information Commissioner encourages disclosure of fire safety information in light of the Grenfell Tower tragedy By Elizabeth Denham, Information Commissioner In the wake of tragedies like the Grenfell Tower fire, public bodies are forced to look at […]
  • July 26th : 24 top finance blogs (saving, making, invest & more)
    Although this blog is about consumer rights and how not to get fobbed off, I thought it might be useful to share some good money blogs with you. If you are interested in knowing your rights you may also be interested in finding out about ways to save and make money on a variety of […]
  • July 17th : Your rights and how to complain about ferries and cruises
    All you need to know to complain about ferries and cruises The law that applies to complaints about ferries and cruises The Consumer Rights Act 2015 was applied to ferries from 1st October 2016. You are now entitled to services carried out with reasonable skill and care. If they are not then you should be […]
  • July 6th : The Retail Ombudsman is no more as title is lost
    Former “Ombudsman” loses the right to use respected title Reblogged from http://ceoemail.blogspot.com The Retail Ombudsman loses title The Retail Ombudsman (TRO) is no more. The private company, set up in 2015 by Dean Dunham to provide dispute resolution for consumers, has lost the right to use the respected title of “Ombudsman”. The Retail Ombudsman resigns […]
  • July 3rd : Tesco insect in raspberries!
    How to complain about things in your food Insect in Tesco raspberries Time for a Tesco complaint story. Well would be a shame not to wouldn’t it? For those new here see History with Tesco! So, there I was down at my Mum’s and she bought some raspberries and cream. She did this little shriek […]
  • June 19th : All you need to know about credit score rating
    Guest post  by James Jones Experian’s Head of Consumer Affairs     When did you last check your credit score? Despite now being free, less than half (45%) of British adults have ever taken the time to find out their credit score. So I guess there’s a pretty good chance you answered ‘never’ to the title […]
  • June 13th : Mobile operator Giff Gaff makes big gaffe by hiking roaming charges
    Press release     Giff Gaffe and roaming charges Roaming charges are put in place when the mobile phone network detects that you are abroad and adds extra costs on top of what you normally pay on your national network. Charges are incurred for making calls, receiving a voicemail, picking it up, sending and receiving […]
  • June 12th : Airline compensation rates and claim letter templates
    How to get compensation when you are delayed or bumped from a flight Make sure you get the compensation you are due from airlines It would appear that many airlines like to make it difficult for passengers to claim for compensation and redress for delayed or cancelled flights. Then there are the companies which say […]
  • May 28th : BA powercut debacle: Airline keeps passengers in the dark about their rights
    Press release updated 30/05/17 Situation with BA and the powercut The British Airways IT debacle, has caused more than a third of British Airways flights from Heathrow to be cancelled due to the airline being hit by a computer system power failure on Saturday. Many people took to Twitter to share their feelings, particularly towards […]
  • May 22nd : The customer is still the boss. Interview with the new Tesco Chief Customer Officer
    Interview with Alessandra Bellini, the new CCO Regular followers of this blog know that I have quite a history with Tesco. From predicting Philp Clarke’s demise, taking the company to court (and winning), meeting Dave Lewis the group CEO and his executive team, continuing to criticise various initiatives such as fake farms and interviewing Dave […]
  • May 11th : Preventing and complaining about nuisance calls and Ofcom’s record fine
    Ofcom fines companies Record fine for firm behind nearly 100 million nuisance calls A company behind 99.5million nuisance calls has been fined a record £400,000 by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). Keurboom Communications Ltd, a company behind 99.5 million nuisance calls has been issued the ICO’s highest ever nuisance calls fine after more than 1,000 […]
  • May 10th : What to do when ripped off by a hotel
    How to complain to a hotel When something goes wrong with your stay at a hotel you are within your rights to complain. Here is how best to complain. Complain at the time of your hotel stay This is important because there is an onus on the consumer to be reasonable as well as the […]
  • May 2nd : 13 false economies exposed & 13 ways to not fall foul!
    Is it a bargain or not? Many if not all of us love a bargain and frequently purchase something that we think is saving us money. Now that Christmas is well and truly over and new year’s resolutions well and truly broken let’s look back at some of our false economies and how we think we […]
  • April 18th : Everything a student needs to know about complaints to colleges and universities
    A guest post by Ian Valentine Currently, there are 115 ‘alternative education provider’ institutions for Higher Education in England and Wales, in addition to publicly funded colleges and universities. Unlike traditional universities, these institutions are not publicly funded., and between them they educate 52,000 students. Over the last 10 years, the majority of these institutions […]
  • March 27th : When the social media team turns anti-social…
    What is social media about? Social media? What’s it about? It’s all about people. It’s about people connecting with other people in their personal lives and about people connecting with people in their work lives, at companies and other organisations. Customers expectations of companies on social media What can customers expect from social media exchanges […]
  • March 24th : It’s payback time for broken broadband
    As followers of this blog and my social media know, I always bang on about telecoms being the sector for the worst customer service. One has to really know their rights and know how to complain effectively to get companies to pay out when they should. Today however, Ofcom announced plans that may make it […]
  • March 22nd : Plusnet gets a “minus” – and a big fine – for incorrect billing
    Plusnet has become the latest telecom provider to be fined by the regulator Ofcom. The broadband and phone provider, owned by BT, has been fined £880,000 for billing former customers. It is the third provider in less than 6 months to be fined by Ofcom. In October 2016 Vodafone was fined £4.6m for breaches of […]
  • March 15th : Celebrate World Consumer Rights Day by shopping smarter online
    Press release from The Complaining Cow The 15th March 2017 is World Consumer Rights Day[1], organised and promoted by Consumers International[2]. This year’s theme is ‘Building a Digital World Consumers can Trust.” In a world where consumers are purchasing more and more online it becomes more important for people to know their rights and how […]
  • March 13th : Casual sexism is alive and kicking in UK boardrooms
    Only a day after International Women’s Day, at a Retail Week seminar entitled “How to become a non-exec director”, one was left wondering what role women had as non-executive directors. The session was provided by three male chairmen of boards, one male commercial director and one male chair of panel. Perhaps someone should have a […]
  • February 13th : Everything you need to know about complaining about car hire
    What you need to do 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 […]
  • January 29th : Everything you need to know about financing your car purchase
    Different ways of financing your car purchase and complaining about it! Rob Sams is a contributor to Legal Beagles, a forum for people who require assistance or an understanding of their legal rights. He particularly answers questions on the Consumer Rights Act as well as queries on voluntary termination rights under car finance agreements. He […]
  • January 27th : Rail delay compensation – Light at the end of the tunnel?
    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 […]
  • January 21st : Customer Satisfaction is up – but so is the time customers take to get issues resolved…
    The Institute of Customer Service show issues with resolving complaints The ICS provides results of customer service survey 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 […]
  • January 19th : EEnormous bills, Ofcom fine and how to complain about incorrect bills
    Today, Ofcom, the telecommunications regulator, fined EE around £2,700,000 for overcharging its customers The Ofcom investigation concluded that EE made fundamental billing mistakes. It cannot investigate individual complaints. However, you can inform them of problems and if a significant number of people do this regarding the issue then it can investigate and take action. So […]
  • January 10th : Will your Gift Cards keep on giving?
    Or will they expire before you can use them?! The press release with more background information on the story from 2016  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! Tesco sells the Pizza Express card […]
  • January 4th : Christmas presents, returns – your rights
    So, the jumper doesn’t fit, you don’t like the hideous ornament that your aunt bought. What can you do? If the item is not faulty the store is under no legal obligation to refund or exchange with or without proof of postage, but many of the big stores will If you are the giver and […]
2016
  • December 22nd : Looking a Gift Card in the mouth?
    How big is the gift card business? Many of us will be buying and receiving gift cards this Christmas 2016. They have become big business since the first book token was issued in 1932. Whether you think it shows lack of thought (why not give cash instead of restricting the recipient?) or shows more thought […]
  • December 20th : Tesco on track to increase fake farms
    Time for a bit of Tesco bashing, well it’s been a couple of months. (For those new to the blog see History with Tesco). I’ve seen the slides from a “Tesco Investor and Analyst Seminar”. The presentation doesn’t have a title which is pretty poor in the first place but moving on. All quite dull […]
  • December 9th : Supermarkets: The good, the bad and the ugly
    Supermarkets, love them or hate them, most of us use them. Most of us have opinions about them all too. I surveyed the public and found these top five hates of supermarkets: Queueing Rude staff particularly those talking to colleagues when they should be paying attention to the customer Companies not accepting responsibility – ‘we […]
  • November 30th : Don’t let faulty electrical products give you a customer service shock
    Don’t let faulty electrical products give you a customer service shock After Black Friday (week?!) and Cyber Monday and with many electrical bargains snapped up what do you do when an item is faulty? Do you take it back? Do you get fobbed off? Do you still use it? It is National Consumer Week and […]
  • November 28th : How to spot and avoid a fake electrical purchase
    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 […]
  • November 20th : 10 Top Tips for getting the best from Black Friday
    A recent Which? investigation into Black Friday revealed that 49% of products on offer were actually cheaper in the months before or after Black Friday. Here are ten top tips for making the most of Black Friday this year. 1) Do you really need it? Last year there were numerous examples of people arguing/fighting over […]
  • November 14th : How to keep the “Happy” in Christmas shopping
    How to keep the “Happy” in Christmas shopping As the bargains start earlier and earlier so does the Christmas shopping! But what happens if you or the recipient change your mind, something is faulty or either of these things happen after the big day? Helen Dewdney, The Complaining Cow consumer blogger and author of How […]
  • November 8th : Exploding Samsung Galaxy Note 7 – What are your rights in the UK?
    On the 2nd September Samsung recalled all of its Galaxy Note 7s after an internal investigation uncovered a serious battery flaw that was causing some users’ handsets to spontaneously catch fire. However, it soon became apparent that the issue was not fixed and on the 10th October it recalled them all. It has now ceased […]
  • November 7th : UK’s first class action on behalf of mobility scooter users
    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 […]
  • November 2nd : Ongoing Ombudsman Omnishambles – failures in ADR
    A new system for handling complaints is failing consumers, say campaigners  Reports by Helen Dewdney and Marcus Williamson. Helen is a consumer champion. The Complaining Cow blogger and author of consumer interest publications. Marcus Williamson is a consumer champion and editor of ceoemail.com The idea of going to an Ombudsman has been part of the British […]
  • October 26th : Vodafone fined £4.6m for breaches of consumer protection laws
    The most complained about telecoms provider Vodafone has been fined £4.6m by Ofcom for “serious and sustained breaches of consumer protection rules”. Ofcom undertook two investigations lasting 18 months. The first was started on June 15th 2015. Following its investigation, Ofcom decided to issue Vodafone with a notification under s96A of the Communications Act 2003 […]
  • October 20th : Ombudsman chaos continues – Even on Conflict Resolution Day
    Today (20th October)  is Conflict Resolution Day. Created in 2005 by the Association for Conflict Resolution1 it is now an annual celebration. It is aimed at increasing awareness of the various peaceful, non-violent methods of dispute resolution (ADR) available to traders and consumers. Consumer understanding of ADR Helen Dewdney, The Complaining Cow blogger and author […]
  • October 17th : How not to get fobbed off by a garage (and what to do if you have been!)
    Protecting yourself when using a garage How not to get fobbed off by a garage 1) Agree a price for the work with the garage ideally in writing so it can be used later if there is a problem. This should be a quote not an estimate 2) Ask exactly what work will be covered […]
  • October 5th : BA flies in the face of consumer law and decency
    Customers who bought tickets for the economy cabin on short-haul and domestic flights from Heathrow and Gatwick flying from January 11, 2017, and from London City and London Stansted by summer 2017 are being stung and will find that food and drinks are no longer free! Has it become a no frills airline? On the […]
  • October 1st : Full steam ahead to a better consumer deal for Rail passengers
    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 1st October last year, Sea, Rail and Air were made exempt from its conditions. In April last […]
  • September 30th : International Day of Older Persons: Treat older customers properly & fairly
    The 1st October 2019 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. But frequently older persons are more vulnerable to being fobbed […]
  • September 26th : Everything you need to know about Payday loans
    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. The Financial Ombudsman has said this is because borrowers have become more aware of their rights.   I don’t think many people understand their rights in this area, so […]
  • September 15th : The Complaining Cow interviews Tesco bosses Dave Lewis & Matt Davies
    Exclusive interview, the first and only one with UK and Group CEOs of Tesco The Complaining Cow and Tesco history Frequent readers of this blog and followers on social media will know that I have quite a history with Tesco, in complaining, taking them to court, meeting Dave Lewis etc etc! Anyway when I met him in September 2014 he bought 100 […]
  • September 6th : How not to pay a charge made after transaction (and why!)
    Outside of UK but inside EU When I was on Rip Off Britain Live last year I took on a few cases. One of them was for someone whose mother had been charged a £30 booking fee after the booking process on a website that searches for flights then charges that admin fee on top […]
  • September 2nd : Fake Farms – A bad country smell that won’t go away…
    You might remember a story about Tesco “fake farms” from March? Tesco launched a series of new “farm” ranges. It was widely reported that people felt duped into thinking that a) they were real farms where the products were coming from and b) that they were buying British. I went about doing some more research and […]
  • August 22nd : How to save money on and complain about, energy
    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. Energy bill issues All you need to know when your phone/energy bill is wrong how to complain about […]
  • August 17th : Holding the DWP to account and how to complain when your benefits go wrong
    Nick  Dilworth writes a guest post on the state of the benefits system and what to do if you have problems with benefits.   Holding the state to account Having helped many hundreds of people battle with the Secretary of State over benefit decisions which are often full of flaws, badly reasoned and which are […]
  • August 1st : Quick guide to lost, delayed and damaged luggage – your rights
    How to claim for lost, damaged or delayed luggage Luggage is considered lost after 21 days. You must report the fact that your luggage has been lost, delayed or damaged at the airport and keep a copy of the Property Irregularity Report (PIR) which staff of the airline will complete. It is not a legal […]
  • July 11th : How to complain about a non/late delivery
    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. […]
  • July 4th : How to save money on and complain about, telecom providers
    How to complain about your telecom provider Telecoms and Energy – the worst sectors. Dreadful. I get asked a lot about how best to complain in these sectors. I have therefore provided the links you might need below. Broadband, Mobiles, line rental, packages If you have taken out a line rental, broadband or mobile contract […]
  • June 22nd : Ombudsman Omnishambles: New report exposes serious failings in ombudsman approval and oversight
    A new report, released today by consumer campaigners Marcus Williamson and Helen Dewdney, exposes serious failings in the processes by which new ombudsmen are approved and overseen. Since 1 October 2015 a new privatised system of ombudsmen is available for consumer complaints in areas such as retail and aviation. Consumers expect an ombudsman to be […]
  • June 21st : What did the EU do for consumer law?
    The EU and consumer law I have been asked a lot what EU law affects consumer law and what would happen to consumer law should we leave the EU on Thursday. Well, in answer to the second question no-one really knows, just like no-one really knows what will happen to anything.  For the former, “Experts” […]
  • June 17th : All you need to know when your phone/energy bill is wrong
    Phone and energy billing mistakes It has been in the news a lot recently about Vodafone and their billing mistakes. 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 […]
  • June 6th : Retailer in administration – your rights
    With the news last week of BHS going into administration following close behind Austin Reed, I thought it would be useful to provide details on your rights. Post updated 14 September 2018 to cover House of Fraser. Gift vouchers If the voucher is for any amount over £100 and was paid for by credit card then […]
  • May 22nd : All you need to know about roaming charges abroad
    What are roaming charges? Roaming charges are put in place when the network detects that you are abroad and extra rates on top of what you normally pay. Charges for making calls, receiving a voicemail, picking it up, sending and receiving texts and pictures and of course using the Internet and downloading or streaming. What are […]
  • May 6th : Stronger consumer rights against rail companies delayed again
    Alex Neill, Director of Campaigns and Communications at Which? writes a guest post on train delays.     At a time when people up and down the country are up in arms about poor rail services and sub-standard compensation arrangements for delays and cancellations, the Government is seeking a delay to the implementation to the […]
  • May 4th : Sainsbury’s profits wounded in supermarket price war
    Customer service takes a backseat as retailers focus on price-cutting Sainsbury’s Preliminary Results for the 52 weeks to 12 March 2016 show underlying profit and earnings per share are down this year versus last year. Underlying Group sales were down on the previous year down from £26,122m to £25,829m. The next quarter, in particular, may […]
  • May 2nd : How best to book and complain about holidays/flights/travel
    Saving money, travel consumer rights and advice on complaining effectively with holidays and flights I write the most established and comprehensive consumer rights and customer service blog by a single person in the UK, going for over 10 years. As the go to person for the media to talk all things consumer, including travel I […]
  • April 26th : Tesco reduce Clubcard loyalty offer?
    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? The site says: “In the […]
  • April 25th : 9 ways that the high street and small biz are being killed
    This is an old post from 2016 so pre pandemic but it’s interesting to see that some of the issues still remain. 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 […]
  • April 18th : When SE leaves your elderly aunt without adequate heating for 11 days…
    Southern Electric leaving the elderly without heating In the Winter of 2014 my elderly aunt’s heating went off. Southern Electric responsible for her boiler cover left her without heating for 9 days. NINE! And inadequate for 11! When I got to hear of this I decided to do something about it! Obviously. I won’t bore you […]
  • April 13th : Tesco results show “every little helps” but “it could do so much more” says consumer champion
    Tesco results show “every little helps” but “it could do so much more” says consumer champion Tesco PLC’s Preliminary Results 2015/16 were announced today and show that Tesco is back in the black. They showed that there was a Group like-for-like sales growth of 1.6% in 4Q, £6.2bn reduction in total indebtedness, including contribution from sale […]
  • April 11th : A slight change of MOOd for the Complaining Cow
    Today I did a guest blog post for Tesco about supermarket pricing. Are supermarkets giving us value for our money yet? Even more odd, it was, in the main, positive. Followers of me on this blog and social media know that this is strange but apparently true. Do not worry, normal service will be resumed shortly. I am […]
  • April 4th : Ask the Chief Ombudsman: Furniture & Home Improvement
    Kevin Grix writes a guest blog post Shopping It seems that we are a nation built upon a love for retail therapy. Shopping on the high street is an ever popular leisure activity and even when we are relaxing at home it’s possible to purchase via our laptops, tablets and smart phones with delivery direct […]
  • March 18th : All you need to know about product recalls
    Tumble dryer situation If you are looking for help with the tumble dryer situation please see Dodgy tumble dryers – your legal rights & what to do which will give you all the advice and laws you need to speed up engineers appointments and other redress. When should a product be recalled? Any product that could cause […]
  • March 13th : Support the NHS challenge Hunt in judicial review
    Hurrah. A 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 […]
  • March 3rd : Who’s bothered about Ts and Cs ?
    Terms and conditions, who reads them? They are pages and pages of small print. How many of us tick the box that says “Agree to terms and conditions”, only to fall foul later when we need to complain? This may be set to change following a call for evidence from the Department for Business, Innovation […]
  • February 29th : Is that gift voucher useless? 7 things you need to know
    I was on Radio Gloucestershire the other week regarding a local restaurant suddenly closing and your rights if you have vouchers. I often get asked this so thought a post would be useful.     Your rights regarding gift vouchers If the voucher is for any amount over £100 and was paid for by credit card […]
  • February 22nd : Dodgy tumble dryers – your legal rights & what to do
    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. Please read this post before asking what you should do, the answers are here!   In April 2018 I published a report. This […]
  • February 19th : Latest Asda figures show weaknesses in sales and customer services
    Poor results demonstrate yet again that supermarkets must provide better service or risk losing more business  Asda’s latest quarterly figures are out, showing a 5.8% fall in sales at established stores in the 13 weeks to the 1st January. Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Tesco supermarkets, by comparison, all showed better than expected financial figures for Christmas […]
  • February 17th : Britain – a nation of complainers
    Britain – a nation of complainers But are they effective in their complaints? This week’s figures, compiled by Ombudsman Services [1], show that Britons made 66 million complaints last year, which works out at more than one grumble for every adult in the UK. This figure has risen from the previous year. [2] Helen Dewdney, […]
  • February 15th : Truth & lies behind #juniordoctorsstrike (& what you can do)
    Looks like the majority of the public are against Jeremy Hunt, his bullying tactics and refusal to listen to people who know what they are talking about. From just a glance at social media he is completely outnumbered. His arrogance is stunning (yes in my humble opinion but I know I am far from alone!) up there […]
  • February 8th : The Small Claims Court process made simple
    What you need to know about using the Small Claims Court   What you can try before using the Small Claims Court Have you considered using: an alternative dispute resolution service before taking someone to the Small Claims Court? These ways may be quicker cheaper and more simple. Have you done the following? Read and […]
  • February 1st : The 15 top things other public transport users do that annoy us revealed
    What annoys you about public transport? Time for a rant. Not had one for ages. The other day I had the misfortune of travelling on the tube. Used to do it for work several years ago and was very glad when I changed jobs and was able to use the car! Nobody likes the tube […]
  • January 25th : Why you should write not ‘phone to complain effectively
    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. You have: evidence that you contacted the company, you can take your time to think about what you want to say, you can bullet […]
  • January 22nd : Ensuring holidays in the sun don’t burn holes in your pocket
    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. Make sure your holiday in the sun doesn’t burn a hole in your […]
  • January 18th : Does Sports Direct treat customers as badly as staff?
    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 […]
  • January 10th : How to provide great customer service (when things go wrong)
    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 […]
  • January 4th : 6 Top Tips for problems with builders/ painters & decorators
    Problem with a builder or painter decorator? Need to know what to do to resolve things? Follow these specific tips first when employing a builder or painter and decorators. But if it’s too late here’s what you can do: 1) Try to resolve the matter in person or over the ‘phone before formally writing if you […]
2015
  • December 25th : 12 Top Tips for shopping in the Christmas Sales!
    12 Top Tips for shopping in the Christmas sales! Out to the sales? Are you really buying a bargain? What can you do if you change your mind? What if the item is faulty? With reports of profits down for retailers both on the High Street and online there will be some bargains to be […]
  • December 20th : How to get back bank charges
    What can you do when banks and building societies Banks & building societies and charges Banks can charge you, should you go into the red. However it is worth complaining if you feel that it is unfair, for example if it was only for a couple of days and you transferred money as soon as […]
  • December 11th : Christmas shopping all wrapped up with Ten Top Tips
    Christmas shopping rights you need to know Christmas shopping can be a stressful time – who to buy for and what to  buy them? Where are the bargains? What to do if the recipient doesn’t like what you have bought? What happens if you change your mind? What can you do if there’s a delay […]
  • December 7th : Ofgem Standards of Conduct and Quality Standards
    Ofgem Standards of Conduct In August 2013 Ofgem put new Standards of Conduct into place. They require suppliers and any organisations that represent them, such as brokers or third party intermediaries, to ensure that each domestic customer is treated fairly. They cover three broad areas: Behaviour: suppliers must behave and carry out any actions in […]
  • December 2nd : Tesco takes flak in the battle of the Christmas adverts
    Christmas adverts I loathed the John Lewis one, it was truly awful. Stuart Heritage wrote a piece in the Guardian that summed it up quite well. Have to say I do like the Aldi Mickey take though! And as you will see from the link, I’m not alone, oh how the mighty have fallen JL! It’s almost […]
  • November 24th : Press Release: Consumer Champion brings light to Black Friday
    Black Friday started in America in the early 2000s, found its way over here through Amazon and is now everywhere. However, last year saw near riots in some British supermarkets as people fought over items that they often felt later they didn’t even want or need! So how can you ensure that you don’t get […]
  • November 20th : Found me from Jeremy Vine show?
    Hi! If you have found me from my appearance on the Jeremy Vine I’ll list some links that you may find helpful. More details on me and see why I think it so important to complain here Top 20 Tips on complaining Tips on complaining in restaurants here That address for finding CEOS contact details? Here […]
  • November 16th : How to choose and complain about a garage
    Choosing a garage to undertake repairs on your vehicle When you choose a garage you should look to see if it is a member of a trade association. If in any doubt about the authenticity of the sign you can contact the trade association to check. You can also look online to find garages which […]
  • November 11th : Putting an End to Misleading Prices Guest Post by Which?
    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 […]
  • November 9th : A guide to credit and debit cards and the Consumer Credit Act 1974
    How to complain when a credit card has been used to purchase an item Section 75A Consumer Credit Act 1974 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 […]
  • November 2nd : National Consumer Week 2nd November 2015
    Week beginning 2nd November is National Consumer Week. Citizens Advice, Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills today launch National Consumer Week and are urging people to get to know their new consumer rights as Christmas shopping gets underway. Faulty goods, misleading claims and substandard services mean Christmas presents […]
  • October 26th : 6 facts you should know about direct debits
    You have rights with your Direct Debit. Monitoring and security of your direct debit Your bank or building society monitors and protects the efficiency and security of your direct debit. Those using the system go through a careful vetting process before they’re authorised, and are closely monitored by the banking industry. The efficiency and security […]
  • October 23rd : Consumer champion says “Know your EU rights”
    Consumer champion says “Know your EU rights” As a nation the British aren’t very good at complaining. Fewer than 45% of us know and use our legal rights.[1] Although there is an increase in using social media to complain and whilst this may be considered complaining, it often doesn’t gain the legal redress that letters […]
  • October 22nd : Rip Off Britain appearance and information
    Hi! If you have found me from my appearance on Rip Off Britain and/or their website. I’ll list some links that you may find helpful. More details on me and see why I think it so important to complain here Top 20 Tips on complaining The bestselling book here. Your rights when it comes to […]
  • October 19th : How to complain when booking a service based in the EU
    A friend booked a hotel through Booking.com but hit a problem when the site didn’t accept the credit card. Told to go direct to the hotel (based in Germany) to pay he was horrified to find that he had been charged a 7% credit card fee! In steps The Complaining Cow. What do you do when […]
  • October 12th : Your energy and your rights – what you should know
    When you need to complain about your energy supply There have been many reports over the last few years regarding poor practice in the energy market, such as mis-sellling, putting people on the wrong tariffs and over charging.     Energy companies and Mis-selling Companies are bound by the same laws as suppliers of other […]
  • October 4th : How to take charge of your home removal
    Moving house is considered to be a very stressful experience. Following on from the story of the last week of the couple who hired a man with a van and lost all their possessions here’s how you can prevent that happening to you. Once you have got past the stresses of dealing with estate agents, solicitors […]
  • September 25th : The Consumer Rights Act 2015 digital content
    The Consumer Rights Act 2015 and digital goods The Consumer Rights Act 2015 comes into force on the 1st October 2015. (See the link for your rights) Part of the reasoning behind this Act was to consolidate Acts and cover digital content which is not covered by other laws written before their introduction! However, it […]
  • September 19th : Supermarkets’ ‘Most Annoying’ Habits Revealed
    In the press today was an article to which I contributed about consumers pet hate regarding supermarkets. (Regular followers of this blog will know my history with Tesco!) It was actually about the tactics that supermarkets use to make us spend more so I have added a few more gripes too! 1) Moving products around so you spend […]
  • September 17th : ECJ ruling on flight delays: Consumer champion warns against third-party claim firms
    European Court of Justice rules on airline delay compensation For details on how to claim What to do when your flight is delayed Decision in favour of passengers follows last year’s similar ruling by the Supreme Court The European Court of Justice (ECJ) this morning ruled that airline passengers can claim compensation for delays caused by […]
  • September 14th : How to complain about your noisy neighbours!
    If you are having problems with your neighbours you should try your best to sort it out amicably and in person. Once you start a more formal route things can get messy and what could have been sorted with a chat over a coffee or glass of wine gets expensive and/or the problem gets worse. […]
  • September 7th : How to appeal a council parking ticket
    How to appeal a council parking ticket One of the most annoying things known to drivers everywhere. You approach your car or motorbike and you see that parking ticket. If you are human your heart sinks and you probably swear, at least under your breath. A parking fine! Then, it is quite possible that you […]
  • September 3rd : The Complaining Cow releases new edition of bestselling consumer rights guide
    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 […]
  • September 1st : A Guide to your rights under the Consumer Rights Act 2015
          The Consumer Rights Act 2015 This Act came into force from 1st October 2015, when the following Acts were  repealed/amended: Supply of Goods (Implied Terms) Act 1973 covers business to business contracts and consumer to consumer contracts only. Sale of Goods Act 1979/ Sale and Supply of Goods Act 1994 applies to […]
  • August 24th : Do Morethan just comparison websites for insurance quotes!
    How do you take out your contents and building insurance? I 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. I also check the site that comes out the cheapest. Comparison v direct Last year MoreThan came out […]
  • August 17th : Alternative Dispute Resolution: What it all means
    Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) From the 9th July 2015 The EU ADR Directive was supposed to come into force. It was delayed until the 1st October. This compels the government to ensure that Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) schemes are in place. ADR is a process that enables disputes between a consumer and a business to […]
  • August 10th : 5 Top Tips to prevent builders/painters/decorators problems
    Try to prevent many of the problems which arise with builders before using one. Quotes 1) Get 3 quotes and describe the job you need in detail. Discuss the work with your tradespeople 2) Discuss the length of time the job will take. A rough price is an estimate and a fixed price a quote. […]
  • July 31st : What to do when your flight is delayed – the full guide
    How to complain about your delayed or cancelled flight. Denied Boarding Regulations criteria You have rights when your flight is cancelled or delayed. 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 […]
  • July 24th : Why use the Financial Ombudsman?
    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. People often ask, what does the ombudsman service stand for? There’s a potentially […]
  • July 20th : Car buyers alert: how not to get fobbed off
    Protect yourself when buying a car A sector which often appears a law unto itself and from which can be very difficult to gain redress. How to choose where to buy your car Garages often try to fob you off with “contact the manufacturer”. Don’t be fobbed off. Many garages are members of Trade Associations […]
  • July 13th : Complaining effectively is child’s play (usually)
    Well! Here’s a complaint story that’s a little different. Those of you who have bought the book know that it is dedicated in part to my son, “The Complaining Calf who appears to be a chip off the old block!” Here’s the proof! First – My complaint In April I took out a year’s subscription to […]
  • July 9th : The ADR Directive and Ombudsman Omnishambles
    Update to this story Ombudsman Omnishambles: New report exposes serious failings in ombudsman approval and oversight Further update Landing in court with Ryanair provides links to more reports, articles in the FT  and Which? regarding the mess. New privatised system of Alternative Dispute Resolution threatens consumer complaints chaos – but even its own implementation has […]
  • July 6th : How to protect yourself when using an estate agent
    All you need to know when using an estate agent Buying a property when using an estate agent False or misleading descriptions about properties are an offence under the Property Misdescriptions Act 1991. The PMA and the Order make it an offence to make false or misleading statements about ‘specified’ aspects of land (including buildings) […]
  • June 29th : The loves and hates of the self service checkout
    Back in April, Morrisons announced that it was to reintroduce 1,000 staffed Express Checkouts for quick personal service. So what does the anti social cow think of the self service tills and the move to offer more staffed tills? Is it the right move by Morrisons, not so long ago the big push was for more […]
  • June 26th : Tesco figures show that listening to customers pays off
    Tesco figures show that listening to customers pays off  Tesco has some good news at last to share at its AGM today. The first quarter trading statement shows an improvement in UK like for like sales of 1.3% and an increase of shoppers by 180,000. Consumer rights blogger, Helen Dewdney aka The Complaining Cow and […]
  • June 22nd : 15 Great words to use in complaints
    How to express yourself well when writing a complaint email/letter What is the best way to complain? You should always write wherever possible when you need to complain. This is for a number of reasons. See Why you should write not ‘phone to complain effectively It is easy to be tempted into being aggressive or […]
  • June 8th : How to get answers from Government & other public bodies
    What is the Freedom of Information Act? Freedom of Information Requests can be made of any public body: government departments, and other public bodies and committees local councils schools, colleges and universities health trusts, hospitals and doctors’ surgeries publicly owned companies publicly funded museums the police You can ask any information of these public bodies. […]
  • June 1st : Mis-sold a contract? How to get out of it
    I think that the Communications sector is the worst for communication and is thoroughly appalling when it comes to customer service. I’ve taken Virgin to CISAS, the communications ombudsman twice (won both times) for starters. I also wonder if the fact that this is the only sector that has two Ombudsman services (CISAS and Ombudsman […]
  • May 18th : All you need to know about comparison websites
    What is a comparison website 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. […]
  • May 11th : How to complain about broadband speeds/service interruptions
    I do believe that there are more people that have complaints about their broadband services than don’t! Broadband Speed issues This can be quite a problem of which people are not really aware. Check your broadband speed by using site that will do this such as Broadbandchecker (it’s free). Look at the speed that you […]
  • May 7th : Audi reneges on free dinner offer
    Siobhan Yap was offered a free meal by an Audi garage which damaged her car ran up a £700 bill at a Michelin-starred London restaurant. She bought a £20,000 car from Audi in Watford and the car was damaged before she took possession. She says she asked for a refund and they wouldn’t give it […]
  • May 4th : Are you supermarket loyal?
    This post is from 2015! Supermarkets falling profits There has been much discussion by retail analysts as to the reasons for profits of the supermarkets falling. Is it because the supermarkets have diversified too much and have forgotten what made them successful? Which companies have the best sited stores? It is probably a combination of […]
  • April 27th : How to complain about your neighbour’s trees and hedges!
    Well, this can be thorny subject in more ways than one! Before things get out of hand here’s a bit of advice.   Overhanging branches from your neighbours what to do You are legally entitled to cut off any branches overhanging your property at the point where they cross the boundary. Technically they belong to […]
  • April 3rd : 6 ways the CEO screws up!
    When the CEO receives a complaint (and it is so easy to find a CEO’s email address now see ceoemail.com) it is often the CEO’s fault. Here’s why… Call centres 1)  Complaints about call centres  there are so many complaints about waiting times, being passed over etc. Many issues and reasons for the complaints are […]
  • April 3rd : Sainsbury’s nectar turns sour
    Supermarket’s forthcoming trading figures may reflect disillusioned customers From 11th April Sainsbury’s reduce their loyalty points on their Nectar card. This move from Sainsburys may save them money in the short term but in the long term it could hurt the supermarket hugely. When Sainsburys announced this change last year it said that it would […]
  • March 30th : Warning about insurance procedures
    Don’t be afraid to challenge insurance company procedures! If you feel someone has made a mistake they probably have. Xmas 2013 we sort of forgot a candle was burning! Luckily before it burnt the house down it only burnt through the table burning a couple of holes and scorching it in other places. I telephoned the Liverpool  and […]
  • March 22nd : Government hushes up critical consumer & trading standards reports
    The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has recently released two reports: “Consumer Empowerment Survey Report” and “The Impact of Local Authority Trading Standards in Challenging Times“. Neither report was given any press announcement or further comment from BIS ministers or other staff. Consumer Empowerment Survey Report This 95 page research study, carried out by […]
  • March 14th : World Consumer Rights Day 15th March 2015
    Did you know? No, nor did I ’til recently and if it was news to me then hey there aren’t going to be many more people that know. How much press coverage is it getting? Not much? So far that I’ve seen not any, unless anyone would like to tell me differently? Update – Which? […]
  • March 9th : Court fees rise up to 600%
    Rises of up to 600% on court fees for claims over £10,000 to 5% of the value of the claim, capped at £10,000 for claims of £200,000 and over come into force today. Yesterday taking someone to court for £200,000 would have cost you £1,315. From today it will cost you £10,000. A value of […]
  • March 2nd : How to end 3 problems with your mobile ‘phone (& get your money back)
    I get so many requests for advice about mobile ‘phone contracts and communication companies generally. I do seriously believe that the communication companies are the worst for communication. So because of this, I thought it would be helpful to write a post about your rights when it comes to mobile ‘phones. You’re welcome. Problem number 1 […]
  • February 17th : How to complain about buses
    Complaining effectively about buses   The Consumer Rights Act 2015 was applied to all travel from 1st October 2016. You are now entitled to services carried out with reasonable skill and care. If they are not then you should be able to gain redress.   When you complain, ensure you give as much detail as […]
  • February 9th : Everything you need to know about call centres
    Common complaints about call centres A few months ago I asked on my Facebook page what people hated about call centres and without doubt the top hates were: speaking to people in different countries where communication was difficult call centre staff go from a script call centre staff hanging up on calls music playing refusal to give […]
  • February 2nd : A Guide to The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008
    The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (updated Consumer Rights Directive) implemented the European Union-wide Directive 2005/29/EC concerning unfair commercial practices in the internal market. The Regulations replace much consumer protection legislation, including Part III of the Consumer Protection Act 1987 (which dealt with misleading prices), the majority of the Trade Descriptions Act 1968 […]
  • January 25th : How, why and when to email the CEO!
    I DO NOT SUPPLY EMAIL ADDRESSES FOR CEO’S. PLEASE READ THE POST FOR DETAILS ON WHERE TO FIND THEM! A guest post from Marcus Williamson, Editor of ceoemail.com Want to contact a CEO? This site is not affiliated with ceoemail.com in anyway. Requests for CEO contact details will not be provided on this The Complaining Cow website. Go […]
  • January 14th : Being a Tesco Taster
    Regular readers of this blog will know of my history complaining about Tesco, taking the giant to court and meeting the new CEO etc. See here for The Complaining Cow’s history with Tesco. When I met some of the team in late November 2014 I met Helen Wilson who was the Head of Quality Evaluation […]
  • January 14th : The Complaining Cow’s history with Tesco
    The Complaining Cow and Tesco, how it started… and grew Regular readers of my blog know of my history with Tesco. However, I am becoming increasingly aware that when people are looking for how to complain about Tesco they are finding my blog! Interestingly it is the post that started this blog back in the […]
  • January 5th : Medical cover needed when you book a holiday!
    EHIC In the EU you should have an EHIC (replaced the old E11). You’ll either pay nothing for medical assistance, or at least reduce the level of upfront costs that you have to claim back later. Or you if you don’t have one get the new GHIC. Showing the card can reduce red tape and […]
2014
  • December 22nd : The top 10 tips for winning in the sales
    Boxing Day sales seem to start earlier and earlier every year! Making sure you know how to get the best deals, using your time wisely  and knowing what to do when things go wrong will help you grab the best bargains. 1) Plan what you want Make a list of things you would like to […]
  • December 11th : Complaining effectively is good for your health!
    Is complaining negative? Complaining is frequently thought of as negative. But followers of this blog will know that I don’t see it like that all and when I posed the question on LinkedIn I think I made it quite clear how complaining can be positive if done in the right way.  But not only can […]
  • December 2nd : The Complaining Cow v Tesco CEO & Executive Team
    Oh hello, here for another Tesco story? Well, as followers of this blog know well, Tesco and me? Well we have history shall we say. 🙂 🙂 🙂  The very first blog post was complaining about Tesco. Then there was taking them to court, insects in rice, milk bottles versus cola bottles and then my opinion […]
  • November 17th : How to complain about an item over a year old
    Note – This is an old post. For purchases made before October 1st 2015 please see Consumer Rights Act 2015. The below will only apply for purchases made before this date. The Sale of Goods Act 1979/Sale and Supply of Goods Act 1994 Generally speaking if the item is less than 6 months old and […]
  • November 5th : GHOTW CEO insinuates all reviewers and complainers are freeloaders oh and it’s okay to overcharge too!
    Those of you who have been following this blog for some time will know that complaining is not all about getting freebies. For me, it is always the principle of the thing; I complain about the smallest of things, principle of the thing, I complain in person to politicians, principle of the thing, I take Tesco […]
  • November 3rd : How to complain about a dry cleaners
    Dry cleaning and the law The Consumer Rights Act 2015 covers again. If services are not undertaken with reasonable skill and care and your items get damaged or lost then you have the right to claim compensation. This can be the cost of replacing the damaged or lost item although there may be a reduction for wear […]
  • October 20th : The Complaining Cow Meets New Tesco CEO Dave Lewis
    The background Those who have been with me for a while will know that I think this is funny. Really funny. I started this blog with a complaint about Tesco back in July 2012 and how Clarke was pig ignorant compared to his predecessor and competition counterpart at Sainsburys. Then I ended up taking Tesco to court and then […]
  • September 23rd : The Complaining Cow and Rip Off Britain
    The thing about being filmed recorded is that it doesn’t matter if you make a mistake! But you don’t get the hair and make up lady working miracles like she did when I was on BBC Breakfast! 🙁 Welcome to my blog full of (occasional rants), redress, refunds and results. I’ll say now of course that […]
  • September 15th : Everything you need to know about your water supply
    Ofwat Water companies are regulated by Ofwat. Each water company must follow the guaranteed standards scheme which is a statutory scheme that provides compensation in the event of service failure and have a complaint procedure in place.  In addition each company must have various codes of practice including its customer code of practice and other […]
  • September 8th : How to deal with JD Sports poor customer service
     Buying  a product Andrea bought a Penguin Pocket Red T shirt from Scotts, part of the JD Sports chain paying £29.00. The shirt had been worn once and washed once and she returned it to the store two weeks later with a fault in it. She was told that the t shirt would need to […]
  • September 1st : Unsolicited goods your rights
    Have you received unsolicited goods? Unsolicited goods are very uncommon Please see All you need to know about unsolicited goods which is an updated post that clearly answers the questions raised here. Second to posts about my History with Tesco this is the most read post. So we glean from that, that many people receive items […]
  • August 26th : 10 Types of complainer which one are you?
    Complainer types – some are better than others! I believe that there are many types of complainers. Whatever type you are, this book will help you become more effective in your complaining. The Professional Complainer This title annoys me. A lot. I often get asked if I am a professional complainer. It is an utterly […]
  • August 17th : Your rights, mail order, online and deliveries
    Who is responsible for what when ordering off premises? Mail order and online purchases Your rights when purchasing items through an advert or catalogue are exactly the same as buying from any other retailer, so your correspondence about faulty items would be covered under the Consumer Rights Act 2015. In addition, under the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and […]
  • August 12th : The ultimate guide to complaining when eating out
    We all love eating out, but sometimes it doesn’t always go as expected. What to do when that happens: Booking meals A booking for a meal should be honoured. If it is not speak to the manager and try to come to some agreement perhaps a free drink while you wait for the table. If […]
  • August 6th : 7 Common fob offs that companies use to not give refunds!
    Many companies and individuals will try and fob you off in order not to give you a refund or redress. Below are some common ones of which you should be aware and know how to deal with. “We do not give refunds” Signs like this are illegal and you can report them to Trading Standards. […]
  • July 28th : How to use the Misrepresentation Act 1967
    This is a much underused Law. (It doesn’t cover Scotland but Scottish Law is broadly similar). But as well as reading this post you should also see the more updated law Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (updated 2014). It protects the consumer from being mis-led or mis-sold goods or services. If you enter into […]
  • July 21st : The Real Reason Tesco Clarke Was Pushed!
    Because he never listened to anyone, least of all the customers. Just like a child he thought he knew best, but unlike the child who learns to listen… Who’s Philip Clark? Philip Clarke was the CEO of Tesco from 2011 to 2014. During that period he frittered away 1 billion pounds of Tesco’s money on […]
  • July 21st : The minimalist guide to complaining about your holiday
    Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tour Regulations 1992 (For holidays booked prior to 01 July 2018) If you booked after this date please see The new Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements 2018 below. A package holiday is defined by law as having at least two of these three components, all as part of a […]
  • July 13th : How to complain about letters and parcels
    Time for a story. Who shall we pick on this time? Let’s have a go at the Post Office and Royal Mail two different businesses in fact. The Post Office offers the Royal Mail services. Royal Mail lost the parcel Some time ago I helped someone with their Royal Mail problem. She had bought a bottle of […]
  • July 7th : Why you suck at gaining redress (and what to do about it)
    So, you got poor service at the restaurant and didn’t complain or if you did complain you didn’t gain redress. You bought an item that’s faulty but didn’t get a refund. Why? What’s going on? How can you get that to which you are entitled?! 1) Your expectations are too low You think that the […]
  • June 30th : Supermarkets discontinue products. WHY?
    If you’ve come here for the answer, sorry don’t have it. Other than I assume they stop products in favour of ones that will make them more money?! So, got to start with Tesco haven’t I? It’s like a given. Nah, this time I will start with Sainsbury’s because it has really really annoyed me. […]
  • June 23rd : 11 Rants to Improve Bras! (Or 11 Effective Ways Bra Manufacturers Could Make More Money!)
    Last week I started a rant about bras on Facebook. Well, given the post was basically for women it was one of my most popular posts! The start of the ranting I asked a simple question, why pad with gel and stuff to make a DD look even bigger? Well, one of my post popular posts […]
  • June 16th : How, When and Why do you Complain or don’t you?
    First grab a cuppa and a biscuit. This should be an interesting survey! Let’s see how many people really complain, what you complain about what you complain for and why you complain and do you do it effectively? Should take less than two minutes to complete. AND you will be taking part in a national […]
  • June 10th : The Complainers Giving Complainers a Bad Name?
    My experience with The Complainers Well  The Complainers filmed me. Lovely Tom and Jon came to film me and said they would be back to film updates to the stories and film me with the blog and stuff! I’m probably old enough to be Tom’s mother but should you ever be filmed by Dragonfly (they made […]
  • June 9th : The Consumer Rights Directive 2013 Improve Customer Rights
    What’s all this mean then? Something that consumers can approve of that the EU has achieved? These new regulations come into force on the 13th June 2014 and replace the distance selling regulations 2000 and ‘doorstep’ selling regulations 2008. The aim was to ensure that consumers would be confident in buying anywhere in Europe. Consumer Rights […]
  • June 2nd : Not got the holiday you booked? What to do
    When the holiday doesn’t deliver what you requested and paid for Meet Adam and Melanie.  Nice couple, they were getting married and booked their honeymoon on Sunmaster. Heard of Sunmaster? I’d never heard of Sunmaster. I won’t be using them now I have heard of them now either! Booking a holiday This is a very good […]
  • May 20th : Is social media an effective method for complaining?
    I often get asked if social media has changed things in the way we complain. Not as much as people think I would say.     See also 5 ways how not to use Twitter to complain (and 5 ways how you should) Twitter – Has it changed the way we complain? Last year the […]
  • May 12th : What happens when a business doesn’t prepare for a promotion
    So bargains. We all love ’em unless of course you are too rich or idiotic to care! In which case you wouldn’t be reading my blog on either count. So last Christmas I thought I’d buy some Body Shop stuff as presents. Get this! 16% off through Topcashback* (that is one of the cashback sites […]
  • May 6th : Consumer reviews pros, cons and who uses them?
    Recently I was asked if I used review sites. Yup. Of course I do. I was also asked if I thought people did generally and if so which ones. Interesting question I thought, so I did some extensive scientific research over a couple of days and asked a few friends, family, and those who follow […]
  • April 28th : Insect Found in Tesco Rice Named Philip After CEO
    So, time for another Tesco complaint as I asserted my consumer rights again! I know how popular Tesco posts are so here we go. Last year, there I was opening my bag of Tesco risotto rice and found an insect. Eugh. Unfortunately my natural instinct was to kill it, before thinking it would have been […]
  • April 22nd : Small Claims Court Fees Rise
    I love going to court. Odd as it may sound. If it has got to that stage because the other party has annoyed me that much it is a pleasure to carry out that threat “If I am not fully satisfied with your response I will seek redress in the Small Claims Court.” Companies think […]
  • April 9th : The Complaining Cow Meets The CEO With Common Sense at AO
    A little while ago someone tweeted me to say that ao.com’s customer service was really good. Me being me tweeted something like “I bet I could find fault!!!!” Next thing I knew I was being invited up to Bolton from London to see round the place for myself.  All my train tickets and accommodation were […]
  • April 7th : How to beat Uncle Tom Cobley’s customer service
    You know what annoys me? Ah hmm fair enough, the Internet isn’t big enough for the list. Ok, one of the things that really annoys me in customer service is downright incompetence. Last year, we bought two new ovens. One of the oven’s instructions (on the oven) was in German. Under the Sale of Goods Act I […]
  • March 28th : How to take charge of your energy bills
    I just want to show you the importance for, and ease with which, you can and should look at switching your supplier on a regular basis. The consumer has to take some responsibility. I don’t mean for the hikes and the apparent huge profits that the big 6 make. I mean to be proactive and […]
  • March 18th : How to use Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974
    So few people use the Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974. However, what if the company goes bust that you bought the item from? No money in the company to pay you back. That’s where the Section 75 rather usefully comes into play. Buy something for over £100 and under £30,000 and you are […]
  • March 11th : How to write a letter of complaint
    Many people say to me they don’t know how to put a letter or email of complaint together. I have provided lots of Tips and regularly give advice on Twitter and Facebook but here’s an example of an email I wrote for  Elaine who writes a testimonial here.   You can also purchase downloadable templates for a […]
  • March 5th : 3 Simple Steps to Gain Compensation for Train Delays
    Last week, it was in the media that people don’t complain about train delays and don’t get the compensation to which they are due. Is that you? You WALLY! I always get money back for journeys which are delayed and frankly don’t write up the stories on here ‘cos it’s so simple and boring! All you […]
  • February 14th : Beware of Warning Labels!
    Remember Millie? She had a problem with Kelloggs.  Well a little time before that her mother had a problem with Lakeland Plastics. Laura purchased their “Blitz that Mould” mould and algae stain killer to tackle the mouldy patches around her house. Upon reading the label on the front & back she duly made sure the rooms were well ventilated […]
  • February 10th : How to Get an Extra 3 Hours on Your Holiday!
    Last October teachers went on strike. For the Complaining Cow’s Calf school this meant he had a day off. The following day his school had an INSET day. Result! For the family it meant getting away for a long week end much much cheaper. Third to half the price! It was right at the end of the season so […]
  • February 3rd : This Isn’t Just Praise, This is The Complaining Cow’s Praise
    Remember Calmer Cat? She bought The Complaining Calf a birthday present. A walking roaring dinosaur. Except it didn’t roar. One very disappointed 6 year old. This dinosaur wasn’t just any old dinosaur this was a Marks and Spencer’s dinosaur. I looked on line to see if I could get another one, nope. None in Bluewater […]
  • January 27th : Kelloggs Strawberry Scam?
    So. Kelloggs. My friend’s daughter was not impressed with her Special K and wrote to customer services. Now, as you will know by now if you are not new to this blog, I tend not to use humour when complaining, taking the other route of just asserting the Law and myself. That’s not to say humour doesn’t […]
  • January 21st : The Complaining Cow Meets Iain Duncan Smith #IDSfail
    IDS Constituent Lucky old me to have Iain Duncan Smith as my MP! As a constituent of his I thought I’d go and have a chat. Well, poor old IDS he does get a bad press! It’s known that I like to support the underdog so thought I’d give him a chance to put across […]
  • January 13th : Warning: How not complaining drives up fat cat profits!
    Well, what happened in 2013? Just how much did I complain? Well, not a huge amount I would say. This doesn’t include public body complaints of course to which I do ask lots of Freedom of Information Act questions and complain! I complained about all sorts of things from 40p from Tesco and the £40 […]
2013
  • December 17th : Once upon a parking ticket…
    Once upon a time, a Christmas time in fact, I got a parking ticket. I don’t like getting them. I caught the parking warden writing the ticket. I told him that I had had to queue for a ticket and look it was in my hand (along with rather a large bag of shopping it […]
  • November 25th : How To Be Beaten By Power Rangers
    Blimey. I was on the telly! I got a ‘phone call on the morning of the 16th November. By that evening I was in a Holiday Inn in MediaCity Salford. BBC Breakfast television contacted me. I’m on the BBC database from appearing on radio 5. Hope it wasn’t the BBC Crimewatch database! Maybe they saw this […]
  • November 4th : 7 Questions you should ask yourself if you don’t complain!
    It’s National Consumer week. A good time to ask “Why Complain?” Because it’s fun! Well it can be. Nothing the British like more than a good complain. Or is it a moan? Well there’s the difference I feel. Complaining effectively gets results and it is about consumer rights. Your rights as a consumer. I don’t […]
  • October 2nd : How your customer service CAN win over The Complaining Cow (Yes, it CAN be done!)
    How to provide good customer service when you receive a complaint Customer service at a spa day Last month I went to Clarice House for a spa day with my mate The Calmer Cat. We love going there, always a good day not least because we get their excellent half price offers! Double booking a […]
  • September 18th : How to get the cream (without being a clot!)
    Complaining about a cream tea and poor management No cream tea at lunchtime! A few months ago my mother and I were in Dunelm and ordered and paid for 2 cream teas. It was a little after 1.30pm. Our money was taken and the assistant made the tea and then told us that there were […]
  • August 21st : Victory in latest Complaining Cow V Tesco Battle
    At the risk of this blog becoming wholly “Have a go at Tesco” I can’t not tell you the result about the latest battle regarding the cola bottles and milk bottles. I won! They were very gracious though! I received a nicely handwritten letter saying: “Hi Helen  Congratulations on your recent victory, as promised we’ve […]
  • August 4th : The Complaining Cow Battles With Tesco Again
    Ok, not so big this time. But they started it. I asked them what was more annoying. Badly behaved screaming kids or me?!! They said everyone was welcome and they liked to help everyone. We know that is not true as we know from my having to take them to court! So asked about the […]
  • July 23rd : The #Tescofail Saga Ends. (Until the next one)
    The Complaining Cow and Tesco legal action I took Tesco to court. I won. Well, the cheque didn’t arrive, even after 14 days from receiving the letter. (If you are new to this blog and my court case against Tesco where have you been? See here and the follow up!) Oh was it tempting to send in […]
  • July 9th : The Complaining Cow V Tesco Update #Tescofail (again)
    Tesco doesn’t pay out when it lost in court Social media sharing the Tesco court case So I went to court. I won. Jolly good. While I waited for Tesco to pay up I thought I’d have a bit more fun at Tesco’s expense. Well why not? Firstly I drummed up some interest on Twitter […]
  • June 10th : The Complaining Cow v Tesco in court
    Helen Dewdney V Tesco the result Oi! Don’t just jump to the bottom to see if I won! There will be a test later you know to see if you read it all! Let’s start the post with a great big sigh. *Sighs. Most people who ever shopped at Tesco will share my frustration. Actually […]
  • May 16th : How to ensure banks don’t break the Misrepresentation Act 1967
    When I went on holiday to The Philippines I used the Martin Lewis  (Moneysaving Expert) website to compare rates for money. The best deal was Nat West. So I bought the Pesos. When I went to take the money we hadn’t spent to be changed, the assistant told me that they couldn’t exchange without charging […]
  • March 18th : How to increase a bank’s offer of redress
    Change of name with the bank Halifax Halifax Halifax. I have a choice of 3 complaints to do here. Actually 4 if you count the one I did for a friend and got her £500. Now which one today? Toss of a coin (yes 3 times don’t try and get clever with me you know […]
  • March 4th : 1 little Known Fact You Need to Know When Your Gas is Cut Off!
    Cold innit? Even colder when you are without heating. Gas people ever cut you off without notice? Back in 2011…… Gas works caused us to be without gas there had been some gas works undertaken in our road for some weeks. Starting on the 14th December we were without gas for 3 days. It was […]
  • February 1st : The Great Insurance Hoax
    I am pleased to include this Guest Blog Post by Chris Hargreaves who can be found on Twitter @scotprovsaysno. It is a long post but it’s all relevant and there is some really important advice here. If you take out any insurance you should read! Please also share with friends and colleagues we need to […]
  • January 3rd : How to Win When EasyJet’s Customer Service Fails
    If you are looking for how to complain about delays, cancellations and your rights see All you need to know about booking/complaining about holidays/flights The Complaining Cow jumped half heartedly over the moon eventually… So airlines difficult to get money back from? Yes, on the whole, mainly I think because it’s the same old complaints […]
2012
  • November 12th : BHS customer care mistakes which made it look like it didn’t care!
    Faulty Product Faulty Customer Care at BHS! Retailer in administration – your rights covered when BHS went into administration I purchased an ice hockey game for a Christmas present last year for brothers who were obviously disappointed when they found that everything other than the table was missing! Seriously! I took the item back (oh so you […]
  • November 5th : Can We Really Trust the BBC to Bring us Real Experts?
    The BBC recently used male “experts” to discuss breast cancer and teenage pregnancy. Just read this article courtesy of the Guardian.  So, they asked women who had breast cancer, survivors, people who had been through treatment, women who had advised on treatment? Sort of, for anecdotal evidence. The report on breast cancer being discussed was on […]
  • October 30th : Scare the Trick or Treaters The Complaining Cow way!
    Hallowe’en trick or treating Back in 2012 I put in “Ideas for really frightening children at Halloween” into Google images. Up came a picture of Amy Childs and one of Boris Johnson. So look out for them trick or treating and make sure you scare them away so they don’t come back! Trick or treating […]
  • October 7th : When flowers aren’t delivered: What to do
    Asserting your consumer rights A few months ago I ordered a bouquet of flowers for my husband’s sister. Now I have to say I’ve used Flowers Direct a lot over the years and never had a problem until now…! Luckily my husband asked his sister if she liked the flowers and she said she hadn’t […]
  • August 30th : Sainsbury’s Justin King shows how to care for customers
    This is a post from 2012 Last Christmas I arranged a Sainsbury’s delivery. Free delivery for over a £100 for the Thursday. Family, visitors and all that stuff ensured it was a large order. Over a week or so I added to it. Now, you have to ensure that if you change your order at […]
  • July 30th : Smart Car not smart enough for this Cow! Gaining redress for faulty new car)
    Faulty Smart car Last year this mob annoyed me. Why? Because they annoyed my mother. You know how it is, it’s bad enough when someone annoys you but when they start on your family, well that’s it isn’t it really? So, after listening to my mother moan about it for ten minutes (so therefore two […]
  • July 12th : Tesco – Phillip Clarke is no Sir Terry Leahy
    And a few years on we have Dave Lewis as the new group CEO and Matt Davies as the UK CEO being interviewed by me! (Although Tesco had full editorial control): Tesco | Complaining Cow meets Dave Lewis and Matt DaviesWatch this video on YouTube For links to lots more recent stories about Tesco and […]
  • July 3rd : To complain or not complain
    Do you complain or not complain? Which complaining herd are you in? Complaining effectively and not just for complaining’s sake all started here for me. Then some months ago, whilst successfully task avoiding and hunting through threads on LinkedIn, I came across Steve Clarke’s thread.  He challenged people not to complain for 7 days. You can see […]