Result!

These cases can go either way.  After eight months, we have a result to our complaint  to The Office Of The Financial Ombudsman about our insurance company’s refusal to agree to a storm damage claim.  The bricks and mortar of our house was comprehensively insured with belt and braces cover, or so we thought.   Some of the communication with the insurance company, when we got it, was minimalist.  In general, communication was one-sided and time pressured to suit the insurance company’s agendas.  We began to wonder what we  bought insurance for……

As you would expect, the Insurance company challenged our claim at every stage.  Luckily, we had one useful photo of our house showing how it was before the storm damage occurred and we were asked for a copy of it.  I’m taking  photos of our house regularly from now on!

We were told by The Ombudsman’s Office whatever the outcome of our complaint, repairs could be done.  In Spring, during a useful weather window, the repair work was  completed. We were, however, still in limbo with the insurance claim.

Last week we got the Ombudsman’s final decision…..in our favour; the insurance company have got to accept our repair costs and  pay our claim.  Yay!!!

…..Naturally, we’ve signed up to the decision.

R E S U L T!

 

 

 

 

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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.

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.

THOUGHTS ON THE BRITISH RESPONSE TO THE REFUGEE CRISIS.

Apart from a rumble of disgust at the British Government’s response to the refugee crisis, I have not heard much discussion about the U.K’s sorting criteria for ‘acceptable’ refugees.  Britain is not open to refugees on the move, irrespective of the reasons why.  What we hear, is that any refugees that Britain accepts will have to be in the official camps  They will include the most vulnerable, (whatever that means) and likely, orphan children.  Alarmist voices quickly channeled all the resources arguments against giving refuge to unaccompanied children. The same arguments have been raised in respect of the trickle of ‘acceptable’ refugees over five years that Britain may give refuge too, 4000 per year.  In this instance the Westminster Government response was to offer time-limited assistance in areas where any refugees may be settled.

Funding the needs of extra people is a consideration, it has to be.  While that discussion is being resolved both domestically and internationally, it is worth remembering history shows that  previous waves of refugees who arrived in Britain have and still do substantially contribute to the wealth of this country.

Britain has not been mean with aid on the ground, far from it.  A major slice of basic aid in forming the camps, in particular, in Lebanon, has been given through the generosity of the British people.   But, not all refugees are in camps, there are a large number eking out an existence in  sub-standard conditions in countries like Jordan.  That said, their need to  be fed is no different from the refugees in the other camps.   Like many  in camps, (including camps in Turkey) they are now being forced to move on because the United Nations (U.N) which has been supporting these camps with food aid, has run out of money for food aid for  the refugees. The U.N has been reliant on international financial donations to support vast numbers of people with food.  Starkly put, the refugees, whether in camps or shacks, can no longer be fed.  Their choices for survival – the basic human instinct – are limited to moving on, to attempt to survive.  Life becomes a lottery. In trying to survive many die.

Communities around the U.K have spontaneously been taking practical steps; there have been collections of warm clothing for people stuck at Calais and other ports, who have arrived  at these places wearing their sandals and lightweight clothing, none of which is suitable for surviving Northern European Winters. In Vienna,  clothing donated from many sources  is given to the refugees as they arrive in the city. I expect the same scenario will have been enacted throughout other refugee arrival points, where refugees are being treated  with dignity.  Sad to say, treating the refugees with dignity  is not universal.

I was appalled to hear the rhetoric of Fascism by the Hungarian Government and from other Eastern European States. The Balkan Wars and the Hungarian uprising against Russian suppression  are all still within living memory.  They created refugees who were desperate for help.  Some of my faith in humanity was restored when I saw and heard the reports of the Hungarian people individually helping refugees, irrespective of their Government’s distasteful stance.

The UK has no need to swell its population with young and intelligent people from elsewhere to support an ageing population as much as some of our neighbour countries do, (like France and Germany, for example).   So, to minimise our responsibility to what the world has now accepted is a true refugee crisis, (as opposed to economic migrants) from Africa and the Middle East,  this is what the British Government says it is going to do over five years.  Britain will consider taking  a total of 20,000 ‘acceptable’ Refugees, (4000 per year) who are in official refugee camps.  Perhaps, from those selected  there will be orphan children.  You are definitely not going to be offered refuge in the U.K if you are a refugee with the many thousands on the move,  who are  risking life and limb to survive.

 

 

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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