Sky finally admits its mistake

Sky finally admits its mistake

This is the culmination of The Sunday Telegraph’s campaign against Sky TV, primarily to do with how hard it is to cancel your contract.

I played my own tiny part in this, and my pic is even shown (again). Fame at last. The previous post can be found here.

It turns out they were misleading their customers as to the cancellation process and everyone was getting very cross (myself included).

Having admitted their mistake, I then sent them a bill for the cost of my phone calls to their cancellation line. As it was an 0844 number, they owed me over £17 quid!

They paid. How’s THAT for a success story?


Carry the one…

Carry the one…

Today’s Queen’s speech.

Right at the bottom of the list are the things being carried forward from last year’s list of promised legislation that we never quite got round to. Oops.

Top of that pile? Consumer rights legislation.  

There was supposed to be a bill in the 2013-14 parliament about new laws to cover digital purchases, such as downloads, and new powers for Trading Standards officers.

Nowt so far… And so we wait. Some more. 

Well, it’s the thought that counts. 

BBC News – Universities not providing value for money

BBC News – Universities not providing value for money

As was widely predicted when tuition fees were introduced, and particularly when they were raised to £9,000 a year, students are now questioning the value for money they are receiving from their providers.  When I was lucky enough to go to university, I was the last year of grants, so they had reduced the amount to just cover rent, and we were therefore the first to need loans to pay for food.  Leaving my ten-year adventure with the Student Loans Company to one side for now, my tuition was free.  Well, I assume someone paid for it, probably my Council paid the University direct, but I never saw it happen.  So I was one of the last who was able to go to university purely for the joy of it. I didn’t worry about finding a job, after all this was the 90s, there were lots of jobs out there.  Therefore, I wasn’t too concerned with my final grade. I wasn’t doing a vocational course, such as law or medicine, where the mark really mattered all that much, so I was able to just enjoy learning and studying, ‘finding myself’ and meeting new people, many of whose paths I would never otherwise have crossed.  It was an enriching experience, without being an impoverishing one at the same time.  

Now, it seems that, with jobs in short supply, grades matter much more. Students are going to university expecting to work, not just sit in the pub.  They need good qualifications and high marks in order to survive in the world afterwards.  So the fact that, in return for £9,000 a year – or £40,000 for a four year course – you get, it appears, a mere 10 minutes more with your lecturers than before, seems grossly disproportionate and unfair.  Now that your student is your consumer, they can expect value for money, and if they’re not getting it, we need to investigate why.  This is a very important survey and I will be watching to see how the Government and HE providers react to its results.

Inspiration in the form of consumer fighters

Inspiration in the form of consumer fighters

This link is to a BBC News article about people who have fought the large corporations and won… eventually.  Inspired by Richard Durkin, who spent 16 years fighting HFC Bank for blacklisting him for refusing to pay for a computer that was returned to the store as faulty less than 24 hours after purchase – his story is here:  So it can be done, people! There is no need to just put up with it. Fight back!

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