PILLAGE!

It defied any logic I could think of.  An email informed me that my monthly fuel bill was increasing by nearly 101%  in a few days’ time.  Ouch! The day before I had an email apologizing for not advising me in advance that an increased debit had been taken from my bank account to pay for it.   I phoned the company. What superhuman patience and effort was required to wait to speak to someone, someone, who was not very helpful.  She was probably fed-up taking the flak from an army of very irate customers  who, likely, had the same experience.

The huge deduction was being taken ….wait for it………………..in preparation for when my current billing arrangements expired in three months’ time and I would automatically be transferred to a [bog] standard higher variable tariff.  Wha-a-a-t!!

In business, not good business practice, I have heard of “Do it then apologize after”.  This was a blatant example of it, an absolute abuse of trust.

Whatever happened to the regulation that requires advance notice, (about fifteen days I believe) of end of contract and best renewal offers.

Today’s letter, the one I should have got sometime before my account was pillaged,  described in general outline how the increased deductions had been calculated for everyone.  So, back on the phone today trying every trick in the book to get an answer to one of my calls.  It was too late to stop my bank account losing an extra large debit, but I have stopped the following two from happening. In the interim, I will formally request a refund of the engorged credit I have on my fuel account.

I have emailed my concerns and made a formal complaint about these spurious and dubious management business practices.

BETTING ON BARGAIN SHOPPING.

Black Friday has at least taken the media focus off some of the dafter stuff going on in our little island. Apparently, zillions of us will have ‘bet’ on buying online bargains within a twenty-four hours period. The knock-on short -term employment generated by this activity must have its good and down side. The existing delivery services cannot cope with the demand, so are increased and complemented by all sorts of distribution methods. The zero hours contractors,  come to mind as do  as do self-employed drivers  many of whom, work to tight margins.

2Many retailers in the U.K, both online and in the high streets, like Black Friday, (an American Import) as it generates the consumer to shop. It is said that the U.K is big with online shopping, more so that many other countries worldwide. Logistically, retailers large and small have to be creative.  One way to be creative has been to extend bargain hunting with special offers for a about a week before Black Friday and a week after.

 

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Yours truly has ordered a book, not especially because of Black Friday, but, it’s just that I remembered about it; so while the grey cells were working, I decided to go for it. The book will be delivered by Royal Mail, (what’s left of it).  I think I do quite well, as a rule, shopping in sales at other times.  Most of the inspiration for gifts I buy is found that way.  This year though, inspiration has been in short supply, a bell-weather, I think, of a tougher  retailing  market.

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The mass purchasing activity of online shoppers in a small window of time will give an equally huge short-term boost to turnover and sales.  However, when this feverish activity is over and the  annual accounts are calculated as a whole, economists say,  it does not necessarily enhance the balance sheet; the annual accounts, they advise, will even out.  On the other hand, if that is the case, without any shopping boost, the annual business balance sheets may look a lot less viable.

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A FLYING SQUAD OF TRAFFIC WARDENS

The Scottish police authority dropped the role of the traffic warden from their services in 2014. People became aware  of the missing enforcers when some of the roads, the pavements and any road-like nook or cranny started to resemble a motorists’ wild west. There was double parking, some drivers were even triple parking.  I saw cars at rest close to traffic lights, there was plenty of parking on and close to junctions.  It was perilous to ease out of the shadows of the vehicles into the main road. Now, in some countries this kind of parking is an okay every day occurrence, but it definitely is not allowed here in the UK.

Tearaway Biker

Earlier this year, parking habits got so bad, the local police chief was prompted to issue a very polite request in the county newspaper asking motorists to be more considerate and be mindful of parking restrictions and traffic laws. There was a suggestion that if there was not a meaningful response to this polite request, some people in police uniform would issue forth from the police station and take action. Inevitably, many commercial vehicle companies were unlikely to have seen the newspaper article and the drivers  of those vehicles, (some vehicles are really huge)  while needing to complete their work, were amongst the worst offenders.

Van

Last month the Regional Council decided there was a money-making opportunity they were missing.  A squad of yellow line painters were despatched around the region to renew faded and broken traffic restriction road markings and, in our area, re-site a few. We are being exhorted to take note of the yellow lines on the road and read the parking restrictions signs.

ryr

About now, a flying squad of ‘traffic wardens’ will be starting their initial peregrination to all the far flung towns and villages; we’re expecting a diplomatic offensive on the 19th October, if they can find their way. Unless there’s any glaring violations, the idea is,  on this first visit, the flying squad of traffic wardens will only issue advisory warning notes. Hereon in, subsequent unannounced visitations, are to be for serious cash generating business, which will no doubt, pay for the traffic warden’s wages and  expenses and add a much needed fillip to the cash-strapped council coffers.

Peter Cook and Dudley Moore

Getty Images:  Peter Cook and Dudley Moore -clever comedians, now sadly. departed from this world- lampooning traffic wardens.

SUNDAY – STROLLING WITH A TROLLEY CART

Wow!  As I walked  through the check-out this afternoon, I received a fabulous bouquet from a manager with personal and grateful thanks on behalf of the store staff for ………………… giving a critical analysis –complaining– of my shopping experience today and on other recent shopping visits.

Just For Me

Just For Me

The area manager, (A.M) was on holiday (!) and as he was passing through the area, he thought he would just look in on his remote store and its flock, unannounced, to see how it was getting on.  A.M who was in smart casual clothes  was talking to an equally smart corporately suited lady, a store manager, when I strolled up with my almost empty trolley cart and asked why the store seemed to have lost its way in some departments, etc, etc.

Please, come and speak to this man, he’s the area manager ….we were just talking about this…..really we were. You couldn’t have come at a better time…..no really, were discussing it……it is better talking about it from the customer’s view………..

And so it was, I was taken completely by surprise, not just to depart with my purchases, but the effusive thanks of senior store staff, (who have felt they were  banging their heads against a brick wall,  unsupported, while trying to sort out the local issues) and I was given the glorious surprise gift of a beautiful bouquet.

GREAT EXPECTATIONS…MAYBE

Oh great….there’s a reply to the email.  I click on the link and open it up.

You daft thing! It’s the one you’ve already read…..and it’s not the one.

I guess we all do it.

Just in case you’re wondering; no, it’s not a billet doux, or a Valentine’s message.  I am waiting for a quotation.

🙂

 

 

 

 

FUN DAY

Fun day is when the festive lights are switched on. It is the day that most of the local shops put out treats for both little and big kids.  A number of shops will give shopping discounts. A raffle ticket may be on offer for something connected with the business, for no more than stepping over the threshold of the shop. I was offered a cup of coffee  and a sweet in an outdoor sports shop.

Reindeers were in a  pen with lots of straw at one end of the precinct. Children could have pictures taken with them. Encircling the pen were  very happy families in an orderly queue.

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Many of the shop staff dress up to a theme. I didn’t guess the Strictly Come (acrobatic ballroom) Dancing  ‘competitors’ in the hardware store, even though one lady looked drop dead gorgeous in a sleek evening dress.

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Cinderella, The Ugly Sisters, Prince Charming and The Fairy Godmother, appeared behind the baker shop counter.

“What can I get you?” asked the fairy godmother.

Me -“A glass slipper please“.

FG -looking  quite perplexed…….”What?”

Me- “A glass slipper please“.

FG -“You’ll have to get Cinderella over  for that…anything else?”

I pointed to a round wholemeal loaf, which FG wrapped in a small paper bag- I love bread wrapped in the good old fashioned paper bag -paid my dues and was offered a free raffle ticket for their draw.

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INSTITUTIONAL I.D…LATEST

Updating my recent post on institutional identification

A letter arrived yesterday, not exactly an apology, or anything like one.  It did state that we should both be assured of  security when my new replacement card arrives in the form and style I expected.

A letter arrived today with the second  new card—-when I saw what was imprinted on it I hissed louder than a boiling kettle.  In grim mood, I made a call.  It was a pity that a different operative had to take the flak.

Forty minutes later, after the admin office had done a bit of checking into my association with them, I was offered compensation for the inconvenience and the problems caused. A third new card is on its way.

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