Headless Chickens and Pointless Hate

So, its been over 12 months since the Referendum on leaving the European Union. Its been a momentous time. In the time since then we have had the prime minister ( Cameron) resign and a new prime minister in May installed. A Labour party that seemed in meltdown after the local elections. A Snap general election a few weeks later that saw Labour run the Tories a close second leaving the loser Corbyn feeling powerful and the winner May trying to survive like a boxer on the ropes.

However, put that to one side and lets look at what the vote to leave the EU has meant to each of us in practice. During the referendum campaign we were told that a vote to leave would be disastrous and we would need an emergency budget, businesses would leave Britain immediately and basically the world as we Bits know it would end.

So, what has happened? Well the FTSE has risen, showing there is confidence in  British businesses still.

What businesses have fled Britain as a result of the Brexit vote? To date, none have .  It is true that we have not left yet, but no business has said it is leaving the UK. There is a lot of sabre rattling, but so far no action.

What  about the exchange rate? It is correct that it has fallen against the dollar and the Euro. Is this a problem? It means it is cheaper for our businesses to export goods, so should mean our businesses are able to sell more abroad. It also means that imported goods will be more expensive, thus encouraging British consumers to buy British, Another win for the UK economy. Obviously, it means your holiday money doesn’t go as far, so holidays abroad are dearer. Again, there may be a positive in this in that it may encourage more spending in the UK as people have staycations either by choice or forced by financial issues.

So, despite the headless chickens and the scare stories, it seems that in practice little has changed so far. We still travel to and from Europe and despite what some people have you think, we still will after Brexit is complete. We travelled to and  from Europe before the EU was formed. The only practical difference is that we may walk through a different channel at passport control.

So despite all the rhetoric and hate speech by people on both sides, no one has taken anyone’s future away and in practice little has happened. The whole EU issue is the biggest red herring out there. It is sad to read peoples hate filled posts on social media, in the papers and listen to hate filled rants on the radio about this topic.

So, let me now turn to the “negotiations” to leave the EU. There seems to be a lot of media posturing on both sides. Both sides seem to be trying to debate in the media rather than with each other face to face.

Whether you are a Remainer or a Brexiteer, it is in the interests  of Great Britain to support the negotiators on behalf of the UK. Why I hear the Remainers ask? You want Britain to be part of the EU ( I am not going to re hash those arguments). 

Let us assume for a minute that at some time in the future Britain decides it wants to change its view and remain/ re-join the EU. If Britain does not leave the EU now, then our negotiating position with EU in any future matters becomes very weak. The strength of our hand ( and that of every other country) in any negotiations is they will leave the EU. If we now do not leave the EU, then the rest of the EU will know our threats are idle ones as we had the chance to leave and bottled it. We become a neutered party at any EU negotiations.

If we do leave the EU and then choose at a later time to re-join, there will be negotiations to re-join. If we negotiate a weak position  on Brexit, then we have no hand with which to negotiate in future and as such we will end up with a poor deal.

If however we negotiate a strong deal on Brexit, then when negotiating to re-join we will be in a strong position and have a good hand to renegotiate the terms of our re-entry.

It therefore seems to me that the best interests of Brexiteers and Remainers are served at this stage by a strong negotiation on Brexit and getting the best possible deal.

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You Couldn’t Make it Up!

For the last approximately 5 years I have had problems with my Gas and Electricity supplier. I won’t embarrass them by naming them. Let’s call them for simplicity by the pseudonym “NoPower”

I was initially paying them monthly in advance for my gas and electricity. However, at the end of the first 15 months (including 2 winter quarters when usage was the highest!) I was massively in credit with NoPower. Payments monthly in advance are intended to be cost neutral i.e. you should over a 12 month period only be paying the cost of the power you use. There is government guidance to this effect.

In the circumstances, I wrote to NoPower and asked them to refund me the credit balance. They did so with no real issues at all. I received a cheque from them in the post. Almost the next day, I received a letter from NoPower saying they were quadrupling my direct debit payments as I was not paying enough to cover the power I used!!

I wrote back to NoPower querying this and pointing out they had just had to repay me a significant sum as a result of my overpayments. They simply said they were quadrupling the amount they were going to take under the direct debit. This would mean I was paying approximately 6 times the amount of power I used.

I produced a calculated spreadsheet showing exactly what the power usage was over a year for gas and electricity, added in the standing charges and a 10% allowance for inflation and sent this to NoPower saying that in accordance with government regulations was the maximum they should be taking. They replied stating they were going to quadruple the payments and did not attempt at all to deal with the calculations provided. As a result, I was left in 2012 with no option but to cancel my direct debits to NoPower. I was not prepared to pay 6 times the power I use.

NoPower said nothing about this and I paid the next couple of bills quarterly upon receipt of the bills.

Then in December 2014 NoPower advised me that they wanted to come and inspect my meter. Apparently, there is a legal requirement to carry out safety checks on gas meters at least every 2 years. How did NoPower confirm the date / time they were intending to visit my address? No, not by letter or by phone call, but instead it was by a message on my online account. It was lucky that late on a Saturday night I logged online to provide meter readings. The message on my online account said that Npower were coming the next day ( a Sunday) between 0800 and 1700. I rapidly cancelled arrangements I had to be out for a full day cycle ride and stayed in all day.

Guess what, NoPower failed to turn up. No notification that they weren’t coming and indeed no communication from them at all until I wrote to them asking why they had not turned up.

Initially they denied they had made any appointment and indeed had removed that message from my online account ( Shame I had taken a screen print of it!). YOU MAY THINK THIS IS A LIE BY NO POWER. When confronted by the screen print they simply said they do not attend to do meter checks on a Sunday. They did not answer the question as to why they had made the appointment if they did not do checks on a Sunday.

When I pressed them further, I got no response?  I also demanded compensation for the wasting of my Sunday. NoPower initially denied any responsibility for this, despite the fact I had to stay in to await their visit.

After several months of fruitless correspondence, a lot of which was simply ignored or not replied to, I advised NoPower that I would charge them for my time in dealing with them over this.

NoPower then offered me £25 compensation for the whole of a Sunday spent in. If you take it as 9 hours spent in, it works out at less than £3 per hour. Not even 50% of the minimum wage. In the meantime, NoPower proceeded to charge me £25 for sending a computer-generated letter saying I had not paid their last bill. Yep, a day of my time is apparently valued at the same as a standard computer-generated letter! Indeed I had already told them I was not paying the bill until the issue of compensation had been resolved.

Thus, the dispute continued on. I at one time got a letter from NoPower confirmed that following a phone call on a specified date between myself and them, that the matter had been resolved. When challenged on this they confirmed no such phone call had taken place (ANOTHER LIE FROM NO POWER?).

NoPower then threatened to issue court proceedings in the magistrates court  for a warrant of entry to disconnect my power supplies.  They even went as far as issuing the summons, but then cancelled the application after I pointed out to them that where there is a dispute about the bill the appropriate procedure is to issue a summons in the county court to prove the debt before they try to enforce it. I also pointed out their duty to disclosure all facts to the court ie those that support their application and those that oppose it.

There then followed more correspondence from me, inviting NoPower to issue proceedings in the county court. They did not respond, but send numerous different letters from various debt collection companies making inaccurate and sometimes misleading claims.

NoPower then issued another application for a warrant in the magistrate’s court, despite nothing having changed from their last application. This time I instructed a solicitor’s firm to represent me and a barrister to cover the hearing. The first hearing was adjourned to allow time for a contested hearing.

In the meantime:

  1. NoPower wrote a letter saying there was a mistake in their records and they had allegedly undercharged me
  2. They sent letters from various debt collection agencies to which I responded, then sent letters alleging I had not responded to previous letters and charging me additional sums for not responding!

The hearing of the warrant application was today before the court. The District Judge dismissed the application because…….NoPower failed to turn up at court!

Ironic really given this whole dispute arose because NoPower did not turn up originally. As I say, you couldn’t make it up.

Wait until No Power get the bill for my time and that of my legal team for this wasted hearing. It dwarfs the amount they allege I owe them, never mind the earlier bills they owe me!

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NHA: A National Health Service exclusively for those who do not work

The National Health Service was set up to provide medical treatment for everyone free at the point of delivery. In other words, the NHS was supposed to provide treatment for everyone irrespective of their means and there was to be no charge at the point of delivery. We know the latter no longer applies in that we have to pay for medical treatment and for prescriptions. Most people reluctantly accept this.

However, the way many GP surgeries operate means that those who are in employment are effectively excluded from NHS services. Apart from Accident and Emergency services (and dental treatment), most other medical services are only accessible via your GP. To access these services, you need to make an appointment to see your GP. This is easier said than done.

There are regular articles in the press where those in medical profession bemoan the fact that people use A&E for things other than accidents or emergencies. There are also frequent articles stating that males do not visit their GPs for preventative medical care.

This is not unconnected. My recent experiences of trying to access GP services has led me to the conclusion that working people are effectively prevented from accessing GP services. These services appear only to be available for the Unemployed, or those who work at home.

Strong words you say, but let me try to explain.

I work some 13 or so miles away from where I live. It takes me over an hour to commute to work by public transport or by cycle. I am not alone in this. Many people live in a different area to where they work.

To get an appointment to see a Doctor, I am told I have to ring the Doctor’s surgery at 0830 for an appointment that morning or at 1330 for an appointment that afternoon!

In practice what happens is that you cannot get through on the telephone for at least 30 minutes after the stated times, and when you do get through, you are told all the “urgent” appointments for that day are gone!  So, what happens in practice is that people are queuing up outside the doctor’s surgery from sometime after 0700 waiting to try to get an appointment in person. Not sure this is the best thing for an ill person to be doing, queueing, in the cold and wet trying to get an appointment. It sounds very third world doesn’t it?

Now, at 0830 I am usually at my work, so even if I were able to get through on the telephone, I could not get back to get to the surgery in time for an appointment if one were available. If I waited at home until after getting through to the surgery, it would be well after 0900 before I could set off for work, meaning I would miss 2-3 hours work. I would then have to do the same the next day and so on until I get an appointment. I am not sure many people’s work would appreciate them turning up 3 hours late each day.

Ok, I hear you say, if its urgent, you would not be going to work. That may be true, but what about when you need to see Doctor for a routine matter or a non urgent illness. For example the NHS run an advert saying if you have had a persistent cough for more than 3 weeks you should see your GP. Earlier this year, I had a persistent cough for around 6 weeks and decided to follow the NHS advice. I rang my GP to be told I would have to ring at 0830 or 1330 each day for an urgent appointment. When I asked about a routine appointment I was told there were none available – at all at any time. When I asked what I should do regarding my persistent cough, I was told to go to A&E. Yes my GP is telling me to go to A&E for non urgent matters!

More recently, I was seen by my GP (in September) after I had attended A&E after a cycling accident. The GP sent me for blood tests. I was told to ring a week later for the results. The surgery told me there was an issue with the blood test results and the GP needed to see me. The first available appointment was 2 months in advance!

Lets turn to a different matter. The September appointment also resulted in my GP arranging for me to be sent for blood pressure monitoring. Arrangements were made for me to attend a different Doctor’s surgery approximately 5 miles away and not on any direct transport route to have a monitoring device fitted. Although it is said to be a 24 hour monitoring, it was only going to be for 21 hours as they needed the device to reuse it. Yes, NHS cut backs mean a 24 hour monitoring period was only going to be 21 hours.

My appointment was for 10:15 today, so I arranged to be away from work today. I was told I had to return the device at 0900 tomorrow morning. Now given I start work at 0800 and it would take approximately 2 hours to get from the Doctor’s surgery to work, I would be missing another 3 hours off work as well as today. I offered to return the device on my way to work. I was told that was not possible as the surgery was closed and the little box (approximately 3″ x 2″ x 1″ ) could not be put through the letterbox as it was “too valuable”. I was also told it was not possible to return it on my way home from work that afternoon as it would be needed in the morning to be reused that day. Thus it appears I need to take 2 days off work to be able to have my blood pressure monitored. The idea of the monitoring is to see what my blood pressure is like during a normal day. If I take 2 days off work it is going to monitor me having a sedentary 24 hours. Not a lot of point to it as its not going to give a representative reading.

This situation comes about because the private company who have the contract for supplying and monitoring the blood pressure units are maximising their profits by cutting back to the minimum the number of units they buy. They fit at that surgery 25 units each day, and they have 25 units available. Thus they need the units back to use the next day. Any sensible business, especially one that considers its customers would ensure they had sufficient machines to allow for contingencies and to fit in with the lifestyles of their customers. If the company were not cost cutting so much, they would have enough units so that they could allow customers to return the device without requiring customers to  take more time off work.

It is not unusual in many areas for people to live and work some distance from where they live. It is not practical for someone to take successive days off work for something that does not really need time to be taken off work.

So I left the appointment today without having the monitor fitted. I tried to contact my GP surgery to be told that they could not offer any non urgent appointments at all. Not now or at any time in the future! I was told to ring at 0830 or 12330 each day to see about getting an urgent appointment for that day. Now I have already said about the problems this causes for someone who works in a different area to where they live. Incidentally this phone cvall took 15 minutes of the day. Again, this is something that would cause problems if I had been in the office today.

The approach of the GP surgery is putting even more pressure on the “urgent” appointments with people taking them for routine matters as they cannot get routine appointments at all!

For me, I am trying to use the GP services as advised, and am trying to look after my health, but I am being prevented from seeing  a GP or accessing services. I cannot access treatment.

The NHS  in the way it currently operates is such that it is not providing a service to those who work, and is only really accessible for those who are not working, whether unemployed, caring for children or retired. Ironically, it is those in work who are paying the taxes that fund the NHS. Yes those who cannot access the NHS services!

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Why Are The Toys Thrown Out of the Pram?

 

So, we have had a referendum and the population have decided they want to leave the EU. A straight forward question was asked, do you want to remain in the EU or to Leave the EU. The options on the ballot paper were remain or leave. There was no other options and like all elections in this country, the voter does not have to give a reason.

In this country we generally run our elections (and referendums) on a first past the post system. We did have a referendum about changing the voting system a few years ago and the current system was the the preferred choice.

In an election with only 2 choices, there is no question of other voting systems, one option will get more votes than the other. So, you would have thought that it was simple in a democracy that one outcome is chosen by a majority of the voters. Sadly the reaction of some of the remain voters (and I make it clear, it is only some of them) is so anti democratic it is incredible.

Reading on social media, it is mainly younger people who have reacted in this way, perhaps goaded on by some senior politicians and commentators.

Those who voted leave have been called many abusive terms, including:

Racist

Bigoted

Low Life

Scum

Ill Informed

Thick

Disgusting

Anti Democratic

Neanderthal

It has been said that the older generation:

Have Destroyed the Country

Have Destroyed the future for young people

Have Destroyed Europe

Have Acted selfishly

Know nothing about Europe or the EU

Are Stupid

Are out of touch

What those making such allegations and throwing such abuse have failed to grasp is that the majority of those who voted did so to leave the EU.

Now democracy means that you accept the majority decision whether that is for you or against you. You do not have to like the decision of the majority, but it is the decision of the majority.

As well as the abuse and insults we also have a petition calling for the government to hold another referendum, and then presumably another one ad nauseum until the majority vote to remain. Now, ignoring the decision of the majority in a 2 option election is not democracy, but this seems to have passed by those remain supporters. Many of them talk about the EU having protected democracy and our rights, but then they ignore democracy and the rights of the majority!

Another thing that intrigues me about this is the fact that it is predominantly younger people acting in this way. I have many friends young and old who voted remain and who accepted the decision reluctantly.

I think it is significant and a reflection on older generations that the younger element of voters have behaved in a way that can only be described as throwing their toys out of the pram. Why ?

Well for many years now, probably the last 30 years, it has been frowned on to discipline children ( no I do not mean corporal punishment). We have moved increasingly to a world where children are treated as little princes and princesses who can do no wrong. Children are not disciplined for doing wrong, or even for disobeying openly their parents. This results in children and young people growing up being used to getting their own way at every turn.

For many of the younger voters, it has come as a shock to realise they can’t get their own way this time. Hence the tantrums and the throwing of the toys out of the pram. The older generations have to take a lot of the blame for having raised a generation who think the world revolves around them and their desires.

As the dust settles on the referendum results, the more sensible people will realise the sun still rose and set on the United Kingdom on both Friday and on Saturday and that in reality very little has changed. In fact absolutely nothing has changed as Britian has not given the relevant Article 50 Notification to the EU and even after it does there will be a period of at least 2 years  ( extendable by agreement) before things change in reality, if at all.

Britain will still be trading with the EU and vice versa. Britains will still travel to the EU and vice versa. In reality the only difference will be you go through the opposite channel at passport control. This used to happen, and will still happen. There are no border controls within the EU, so once you have entered the EU you will not notice any difference. Indeed now when you enter the EU you have to show your passport , as you will after the UK leave the EU. We never needed visas to travel to EU countries before the open border policy was introduced and there is no reason to think we will afterwards.

There were so many scare stories (and lies / false information) spread during the referendum campaign that it was hard to find what was true. Some of those supporting Brexit for example suggested that leaving the EU would mean we were no longer bound by the European Convention on Human Rights and would no longer be subject to adverse rulings by the European Court of Human Rights. Both are nonsense as the Convention and the Court are nothing to do with the EU. Indeed the Convention was formed in the aftermath of the Second World War and Britain was a driving force behind this. The Convention came into effect before even the European Coal and Steel Community, which was the forerunner to the EU. So its nonsense to suggest Brexit would stop Britain being subject to the Convention or the Court. We would have to withdraw our signature to the Convention for that to happen, and it will not happen.

I know I have criticised young people in this thread, as well as the older generation. Well, one member of the younger generation posted this on Facebook today. A gesture of

Pooh

reconciliation towards those who voted on different sides. Only to be told by a member of the older generation and a practicing Christian that it was too early! This was posted on the younger person’s wall and not in anyway directed at any one person. The said member of the older generation took it on himself to post the response prolonging divide and hatred. Someone who has clearly forgotten the teachings of his religion about loving thy neighbour and about turning the other cheek. Another example of the older generation making the situation we find ourselves in worse.

Whilst I am on my soapbox ( again), let me mention the opinion polls. In both the last General Election and this referendum, the opinion polls generally called the result the opposite way to the outcome. You may wonder why that is. Is it because the polls are  conducted in a defective way? It may be, but I think there is another reason for it. The way the election and referendum campaigns were conducted by many on the left of the political spectrum has been to harass and bully and shout down those who hold views they disagree with.

For many years for example, many people have been concerned about the rising tide of immigration. However the reaction of many on the left ( not all I hasten to add) has been to  shout down those concerns as being those of “racists” or “little Englanders”. Very often those concerns have not been racist at all, but borne out of a concern for the effect it is having on the country and the lives of the individuals. Sometimes the views were borne out of racism, but sometimes they weren’t. Instead of their being a sensible debate about the issues, people were silenced by bullying, name calling and insults.

This silences any form of sensible debate about people’s concerns. Whether right or wrong, people are concerned about issues. To bully people into silence does not solve the problem, it just stifles debate. The writing has been on the wall for many years as the rise of UKIP has shown. The more those on the left tried to stifle debate, the stronger and more popular parties like UKIP became. Nigel Farage for all his faults (and there are many) at least gave a voice to the immigration issue and to the EU questions. Foolishly those on the left and indeed many in the Conservative Party as well failed to heed this warning and continued to shout down anyone who raised concerns re EU or immigration.

It was the same with anyone who professed support for the Conservative Party as opposed to the Labour Party. They were shouted down. Rather than deal with the issues people raised about why for example they did not support the Labour Party, the left preferred to bully and insult those who did not agree with them.

No where was this more evident than in the run up to the last election when opinion poll after opinion poll suggested a Labour majority, but on election day the Conservatives won with a majority of seats. Why? I would venture to suggest those who were voting Conservative simply kept quiet and voted Conservative for fear of being heckled and shouted down by the bullying behaviour of many on the left. People would not say they were going to vote Conservative for fear of the abuse they would get. Debate is one thing, but the abuse is something different. The accusations of the Conservative party as being bullying, the party of hate, the nasty party etc simply silences their supporters in the debate, but the election is a secret ballot and those conservative supporters ensured their voices were heard.

Exactly the same thing happened in the referendum campaign. The majority were heckled and abused for their views, so kept their heads down and did their business where it matters, at the polling station.

Unless and until there is a realisation that the tactics of the Unions in the early 1970s at mass meetings where votes were by a show of hands will not work when there is a secret ballot then there is I would suggest going to be an increasing swing away from the left which is a shame. In particular, the lack of public debate allows the growth of extreme ideology because it is not challenged by debate. Bullying people to keep out of a debate only pushes those views underground. If your opponent is wrong, then this should be exposed by debate and argument, not by bullying and intimidation in public.

So, it may be that some of the younger generation have thrown their toys out of the pram and behaved in a very undemocratic way, but a large part of the blame for this situation must come from the generations that brought them up and treated them like spoiled individuals who expect always to get their own way.

 

Final thought, one of the things we have heard since the result is announced is some people claiming to regret voting Leave, one person for example said they voted leave but never thought it would happen so they voted leave when actually they wanted to remain in the EU. Whether this is genuine or not I do not know, but if it is it beggars belief at the intelligence of some people. What do they think a vote is for?

Posted in Politics/ Current Affairs/ Law | 1 Comment

Autoglass : An Apology For The Title of My Previous Post

Stop the Cowboy

You may recall that I made another post about the continuing saga of the cowboys at Autoglass and their totally inept and incompetent staff. Their inability to replace a window in a mainstream car because they are incapable of ordering the right parts and are unable to send technicians who are competent to do the job.

Last night I made a post entitled Autoglass – The No Service Cowboys . Following events today and communication from Autoglass I realise the post I made was totally wrong and unfair on Autoglass. I should have entitled my post last night

Autoglass – The Lying No Service Cowboys

After posting my blog last night, I posted a link to it on twitter and also made a post on the Autoglass Facebook page linking to the blog post.

This morning I received a Facebook message purportedly from a CHLOE at Autoglass, apologising for the situation and promising to look into it and get back to me today.

Guess what then happened? Yes….. absolutely nothing at all. No contact whatsoever from Chloe or anyone else at Autoglass. They have my 2 twitter account details, they have my Facebook details and they have my personal email address. They therefore have numerous different ways of making contact.

Sadly Autoglass tell lies – repeatedly. Given the history of their being strangers to the truth, their staff signing documents as the customer despite the customer being present and available to sign the documents, their false promises etc.…I have to say I was not surprised that Autoglass promise something and then do not deliver it. They have an excellent track record in this.

What puzzles me is why the lying cowboys at Autoglass bothered to contact me to make promises they do not intend to honour.

If you read the previous blog posts about Autoglass I have made,

Autoglass Better at Forgery Than Car Window Repairs

Autoglass: An Apology (They are an apology for a reputable company)

Autoglass the no service cowboys

You will recall that I received communications via their twitter account @autoglass that contradicted the advice I was given by Legal Counsel  from Autoglass and which was repeated despite my pointing out that Legal Counsel had given contradictory advice. The advice from Legal Counsel was correct and that from the social media operative was completely wrong in every respect. The person operating the twitter account claimed to be called…CHLOE.

Yes, that is right , the same name that the person sending the Facebook message used.  I wonder if there is such a person as can anyone be so incompetent and dishonest and remain in a job…..unless of course their being dishonest and telling lies is the purpose of their employment at Autoglass.

It seems to me that perhaps the name CHLOE is a generic name for their customer responses and it is an acronym standing for

Communicating

Huge

Lies

Only

Everytime

So Autoglass, why did you go out of your way to contact me this morning promising to give me a response today and then not deliver on your promise?

You have lied yet again

I also note that Autoglass have deleted my post off their Facebook page. Seems like they want to hide the truth. A bit like previously when they tried to communicate via twitter direct message because they have something to hid from public scrutiny perhaps?

I have no doubt that some of you may think I am being unfair on Autoglass. When I spoke recently with my insurers about the saga with Autoglass, they told me that they have a dedicated team dealing with the problems arising from Autoglass!

The respected BBC Watchdog programme have even produced an episode dealing with the lying cowboys at Autoglass. You can watch the programme online here It is a most illuminating programme and one that shows I am not the only one that thinks that Autoglass are lying cowboys.

That episode of Watchdog was broadcast on 25 June 2015, some 11 months ago. In response to the programme, the lying cowboys at Autoglass issued a statement that said

“…we take any customer complaint extremely seriously and always try to learn from any mistakes we make. We have made contact with the customers you have brought to our attention to apologise to them personally and to resolve any outstanding issues…”

It seems that Autoglass do not learn from any mistakes they make. They continue to lie and to deceive their customers and say they will do things then fail to do what they say.

I wonder what the excuse Autoglass will come out with for todays broken promise?

Given they still have not responded to any of the previous complaints, I am guessing they wont provide any explanation. Still, I am sure the Financial Ombudsman Service will be interested in the fact that not only do Autoglass not respond to complaints at all, but they do not follow their own complaints procedure and they tell lies to complainants in response to complaints posted online.

Perhaps I should run a sweepstake as to what the next lie the cowboys at Autoglass will tell?

A quick google search reveals the following reviews for Autoglass

Wrong glass twice and 5 weeks wait.

I went to autoglass as my insurance company referred me to them. I described to the technician which glass was broken and heard nothing for 5 days. I rang again the week after no reply to my query. The third week they attended, wrong glass they took a photo of the shattered glass. OK these things happen 2 weeks later they ring me to arrange appointment. I discussed with them the glass which is broken and guess what!!! Wrong glass again.
I am now in week 5 and ask the technician to get a manager to phone me, he said they would but they did not. I rang Kia directly in the afternoon and picked up the glass the next day, got independent glass fitter to install. So within 2 days I got the glass and had it installed independently. Autoglass need to get some customer liaison

 

Sounds familiar?

Ignored

After querying why the operative apparently deliberately cracked my windscreen my email was ignored. I have had no further contact despite sending another email.
The chat line operator also offered no help.

There are so many to choose from

Ignored

After querying why the operative apparently deliberately cracked my windscreen my email was ignored. I have had no further contact despite sending another email.
The chat line operator also offered no help.

More?

Poor Communication, Service and Customer Care

My Passenger Window was Smashed and I was placed in contact with Autoglass through my Insurance. The First available appointment was in Nine days time. This was an Unacceptable time to wait as the use of the Car was critical.
A complaint was placed and I was informed I was a Priority and that the waiting time would be reduced to Six days. I was also offered a Temporary fit of a Plastic Glass which would allow the Car to be used.I was informed that I would be contacted asap with an appointment time. There was no further contact from Autoglass at this point.
I contacted my Insurance Company to complain and they offered to contact Autoglass on my behalf to investigate.
Soon after this call Autoglass confirmed to my Insurance Company that a Fitter would be around to fit the Temporary glass prior to correct glass being fitted on the original appointment date, being Nine days from the first contact from Autoglass.A day and time was verbally corresponded to me via my Insurance Company however no email confirmation was sent by Autoglass. Due to the appointment conflicting with my Business opening hours I was forced to close my premises in order to ensure that I was available for the Temporary fit appointment.
On the day prior to the Temporary fit appointment I contacted Autoglass as I was concerned that I had not received any official confirmation of the appointment for the following day.
Autoglass responded that there was no appointment scheduled other that the original appointment and that they could not explain for the lack of notes attached to my complaint put forward by my Insurance Company.
I again complained to Autoglass directly and it was at this point the Excess Fee charge was removed to acknowledge the Nine day delay.
Finally the day came for the fitting and the Autoglass fitter was prompt and fitted the glass quickly.
The Glass fitted was not like for like as my care has privacy glass. This had been something I had asked about prior to the appointment as I wanted confirmation that it would be the same a before the incident. The Autoglass Operator I discussed this with assured they had placed my requirement on my appointment notes. It was explained by the fitter that this was ‘an after sales product’ and was not part of the arrangement the service Autoglass offered.
I made my Insurance company aware and they immediately looked to rectify this with an alternative supplier.
I am still awaiting contact from Autoglass with a compensation offer for all the failings that have been acknowledged by Autoglass on my final contact with them. Guess what…. this was over a week from writing this Review.
Autoglass fail with the Co-ordinating of their Service process along with their Customer Care so Badly that I would be Embarrassed to be associated with them

Still more?

Terrible

Cancelled appointments, lack of communication, problems with billing…just a nightmare from start to finish. Trying to communicate via email seems impossible as they don’t respond.
This should of been quick, simple and pain free. Far from it.

The list is seemingly endless

Bad service

Two home visits broken tags on windscreen.Two visits to Croydon depot. Still had problems. Head office never reply to my complaint .Had to do it twice. 16 April till 5 May

 

Those are just a sample selection of reviews posted in the last 8 days. There seems to be a pattern here. It also seems to confirm what my Insurance company told me about the problems there were having with the cowboys at Autoglass.

One really can only come to the conclusion that Autoglass really do not care at all about their customers and that the customer complaints procedure they post on their website saying the following is merely window dressing and meant to tick boxes rather than being something Autoglass subscribe to

Make a complaint

Did we get it wrong?

You should receive excellent service from Autoglass® as we always aim
to do our best; however there are times when things go wrong.

If you have a complaint, we will take it seriously, work hard to resolve the
problem and do everything possible to make any necessary improvements
to our policies, processes and procedures.

Please make us aware of your complaint using one of the ways listed below and an experienced Customer Service Specialist will be happy to help you.

Here’s how to get in touch:

By phone

Call us on 0800 011 3896. (We’re open Monday to Friday, 8:30am-5pm, and on Saturday 8:30am-12pm)

Email

Our email address is customer.services@autoglass.co.uk

Letter

Send your letter to our Customer Service Management team at:
Autoglass®
1 Priory Business Park
Cardington
Bedford
MK44 3US

Fax

Send your fax to the Customer Service Management team on 01234 279494

What will happen with your complaint?

Autoglass® operates a single step complaint process. This means that once we’ve provided a decision to you, if you are unhappy with our decision you can choose to refer your complaint directly to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).

As part of our complaints promise we will:

  • Treat you fairly.
  • Have a dedicated expert to take responsibility and deal with your complaint.
  • Use your experience and feedback to make our service and products better.

If you’re unhappy with the outcome or we’ve been unable to resolve your complaint within 8 weeks you may ask the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) to carry out an independent review.

You can contact the FOS in these ways:
Financial Ombudsman Service
South Quay Plaza
183 March Wall
London
E14 9SR

0300 123 9123 (free from most mobiles)
0800 023 4567 (free from landlines)

You can send an email to:
complaint.info@financial-ombudsman.org.uk

Or you can log on to their website:
www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk

 

I think this complaints process was written by Hans Christian Andersen with fairy tales like

You should receive excellent service from Autoglass® as we always aim
to do our best

Clearly Autoglass’ s best is not good enough. It is a million miles away from being even an acceptable service.

an experienced Customer Service Specialist will be happy to help you.

That will be the Customer Service Specialists that do not contact you I presume.

As part of our complaints promise we will:

  • Treat you fairly.
  • Have a dedicated expert to take responsibility and deal with your complaint.
  • Use your experience and feedback to make our service and products better.

Words fail me. Even a politician seeking election would be ashamed to tell lies like this.

Elsewhere on their website they state:

Our complaints promise

At Autoglass® we strive to deliver an outstanding service to all our customers. We always aim to do our best; however there are times when things go wrong.

If you have a complaint, we will take it seriously, work hard to resolve the problem and do our very best to make any necessary improvements to our policies, processes and procedures.

Please make us aware of your complaint using one of the ways listed below and an experienced customer service specialist will be happy to help you.

I presume this is a comedy website, as this is a complete joke of a statement and couldn’t be further from my experience of these cowboys

So Autoglass, what are you going to do next? The ball is in your court.

Posted in My Life, Politics/ Current Affairs/ Law | Leave a comment

Autoglass–The No Service Cowboys

Stop the Cowboy

You will recall my earlier 2 blog posts regarding the bunch of cowboys that go by the name of Autoglass.

Cowboys

A PICTURE SHOWING AUTOGLASS AT WORK?

As long ago as 18 April I put the first of 4 separate complaints in writing to them. I am still waiting for any formal response to those complaints. That is right, not a single complaint has even been acknowledged.

The Cowboys at Autoglass not only can’t order the correct glass for your car and need in excess of 5 visits to do the work. They also can’t follow their own complaints procedure. They post on their website as follows:

Our complaints promise

At Autoglass® we strive to deliver an outstanding service to all our customers. We always aim to do our best; however there are times when things go wrong.

If you have a complaint, we will take it seriously, work hard to resolve the problem and do our very best to make any necessary improvements to our policies, processes and procedures.

Please make us aware of your complaint using one of the ways listed below and an experienced customer service specialist will be happy to help you.

Telephone

Call us on 0800 011 3896
Office hours are Monday to Friday 8.30am – 5pm, Saturday 8.30 – 12 noon

Email

Send an email to Autoglass® Customer Service

Write

Send your letter to our Customer Service Management Team at this address:

Autoglass®
1 Priory Business Park
Cardington
Bedford

So they take complaints seriously? Well if a month after making the first complaint and having to have made so far 4 complaints, I am still waiting for a response from their so called customer service team. I specifically put in my complaints that I wanted to be contacted only in writing. This was for 2 reasons:

1. They have wasted so much of my time at work that I can’t repeatedly keep leaving my desk to take yet more calls from the cowboys

2. When I have spoken on the phone the cowboys have made false records including alleging I had threatened to report the cowboys at Autoglass to the police for Criminal Damage. The simplest and easiest way to avoid these problems is to communicate in writing. They have my email address and indeed their Legal Counsel was not slow to try to bully me to remove my first blog post about the cowboys at Autoglass. Strangely the customer service team appear unable to read or to follow my requests.

So far, I have received 2 telephone calls from them leaving a message asking me to call. The caller claimed to leave her direct dial phone number and told me to call her. Much against my better judgement I did call the number, only to find it was not a direct dial number and I had to go through the usual interminable recorded messages before final speaking to someone. When I asked to speak to Ms X I was told she was not available. I was then told the person answering Mr Y would help and after spending ages taking me through all my personal details etc etc he asked me to wait whilst he read the notes on my file. Then after being on the phone for in excess of 5 minutes he told me he could not help and I would have to deal with Ms X. Given I told him that initially, what was the point in wasting my time and keeping me from my work to tell me what I had already told him.

Well it is not a full month since the first complaint and I still am waiting to hear from Autoglass Customer Service Department. Their legal counsel did tell me in an email on 6th May that the Customer Service Team were to contact me

“…to discuss a financial resolution for you due to the inconvenience caused as a result of the service Autoglass® provided to you.”

Well I am still waiting for any contact from them. There are it seems to me only 2 possible conclusions to this non contact:

1. Autoglass couldn’t give a damn about customer service. They get paid by the insurance company and are not interested in customer service

2. Autoglass get so many complaints that they can’t possibly contact or even acknowledge complaints in a period of a month as they have so many complaints to deal with.

 

Well cowboys at Autoglass, which is it, do you not give a damn about customer service or do you get so many complaints you cant respond to them, despite what your own legal counsel promises.

Oh and whilst we are at it, on the 18 April you advised me on the telephone you would be refunding me the excess I had to pay on my insurance policy. That £75 has not been refunded yet.

However, I am not surprised at this as nothing Autoglass have said in my case has been truthful or carried out properly.

Lets see whether I get a response before 8 weeks are up from the first complaint, because on that date I will be able to make a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service. I wonder what they will make of a company who refuses to acknowledge complaints. A company who ignore specific instructions and contact clients at work via telephone despite being told not to. A Company who fail to do that which their legal counsel says will happen. A company that promises to refund money but then fails to do so.

The company are in my opinion not trustworthy and are in my opinion to be avoided at all costs.

Stop the Cowboy

Posted in My Life | 1 Comment

Autoglass : An Apology (they are an apology for a reputable company)

You may recall my last blog post which was entitled “Autoglass –Better at Forgery than Car Repairs” and published on Wednesday 27 April. at 06:00.

Now you will recall that by then I had been waiting 14 days to have my car repaired and had Autoglass out 5 times to do the work. They also produced a document  described as an invoice which purports to have been signed by the customer (me) in 2 places and also claims to have carried out checks that were not carried out.

The odd thing was I was present the whole time the Autoglass technician di  the work and I was never asked to sign the document. Indeed after the Technician had finished, I sat in my front room doing some paperwork and he sat in his van for 10 minutes or so apparently doing paperwork. However, the form claims I was not present, but has a signature in the section for customer signature.

You will recall I reported this to Autoglass in a letter of Complaint on 18 April 2016 and repeated in further letters of complaint on 18 April, 19 April and 26 April. All these four letters of complaint were emailed to Autoglass.

I still even today have not received a formal written response to those complaints. In fact I have not even received a formal acknowledgement of those complaints. Some 14 days on from the first one being sent to Autoglass. Now, you can draw your own conclusions about that.

Lets  however return to 27 April and the fact it was now 2 weeks since Autoglass had been instructed. The fact that on 26 April they left job undone, telling my neighbour they were going to contact me but had not bothered to do so. So on morning of 27 April, I ended up having to make numerous calls to both Autoglass and my car insurers trying to find out what is going on.

I eventually received a telephone call from JR who described herself as Autoglass Legal Counsel. We spoke for nearly 40 minutes and in that call she:

1. Apologised for not contacting me earlier

2. Accepted she had not handled the matter in the best way

3. Provided a verbal explanation of her interpretation of the signature on the form that purports to be for the customer signature.

4. Advised me that the work would be completed on Friday 29 April and it could be done without my being present.

We seem to have made some progress and I ended the call rather more confident this matter was getting resolved. That was to last only till I looked at my phone to see an email and a phone call from Autoglass whilst I had been on the phone to their Legal Counsel.

1. The email confirmed Autoglass were going to attend at my home between 1700 and 2300 that day 27 April 2016.  The only problem with this is I would not be home as I was due to be out that night

2. The voicemail message left at about the same time as the email was sent, advised that  Autoglass were ordering the relevant parts and would contact  me to arrange an appointment to fit said parts AFTER they had received them.

So I now had:

a) an appointment for Wednesday 27 April between 1700 and 2300 when I apparently needed to be present; OR

b) an Appointment for Friday 29 April when I need not be present; OR

c) No appointment as parts were awaited and an appointment would be arranged later.

Confused? I know I was. Obviously now Autoglass were on the case they would be contacting me to resolve this matter wouldn’t they? Of course they didn’t. I think the cowboys were too busy tending their horses to resolve this matter.

At around 15:30 that day, I contacted Autoglass to find out what was going on. I was told they had no intention of attending that evening, despite the emailed confirmation of an appointment.

Great customer service, not only fail to do the job but instead send your customer appointments you have no intention of keeping.

I raised this with both Autoglass Legal Counsel and via their twitter account @autoglass. At the same time as Legal Counsel were confirming that the appointment was on Friday 29 April and I did not need to be present at the appointment, the person operating the twitter account was advising

a) there was no appointment yet arranged; AND

b) an appointment would not be arranged until Autoglass had the necessary parts; AND

c) I would have to be present at the job

Even when I pointed out to the person operating the twitter account that she was directly contradicting Autoglass Legal Counsel she (“Chloe”) Continued to confirm  that there was no appointment arranged and that I would have to be present at any appointment.

Now, you would have thought that a reputable company would try to resolve the contradictory advice different people in their company were giving at the same time. Not Autoglass.

On Thursday 28 April, some 10 days after my first letter of complaint that they had still not acknowledged or responded to and some 2 weeks after they were initially instructed, they changed their approach and decided that instead of being a reputable company and dealing with the complaints, they would try to get me to remove my previous blog post.

I received the following by email from their legal counsel

Dear Mr BXXXXXX

I have been made aware that you have published an article/blog entitled ‘Autoglass® – better at Forgery than Car Window Repairs’.

Whilst we have accepted that there have been issues with the standard of service you have received, which we are now putting right, the claims that you make in your blog are not true.

No one has purported to be you and signed pretending to be you. There are some issues regarding the vehicle inspection checklist but I am making enquiries regarding this – however I am confident that once again any claim, of forgery or wrongdoing will not be able to be established. Finally I can confirm that Autoglass® certainly does not teach technicians to: 1. Forger signatures, 2. Falsify documents, 3. Lie to customers/key holders. I therefore respectfully ask you to either take down your blog or amend it to reflect the true position. I understand that you have put this on Twitter and other social media channels.

Please can you confirm that you have taken the blog down – certainly until your ‘case’ is closed/resolved and any investigations concluded. I feel that I have worked hard to personally ensure that the issues that you have experienced are resolved, however I do think that this article is not a fair reflection of Autoglass®.

Thank you.

Kind regards

J

JXXX RXXXXXX

Legal Counsel

 

Now, its amazing that it was 10 days and 4 complaint letters that had not been acknowledged or responded to , but in 24 hours Autoglass can get their finger out to tell me to remove my previous blog post.

I am sorry Autoglass, but:

if you are incompetent,

fail to deal with complaints,

give contradictory advice about what is happening with the job,

make appointments that you do not intend to keep and

produce documents with signatures in the section marked for the customer to sign and claiming to have done work that has not been done

Then you run the risk of having your (you or your technician’s) deceit, incompetence and general crap behaviour exposed.

I think most people would think better of Autoglass if you responded to the 4 letters of complaint as fast as you issue demands to remove a blog post that is accurate and truthful. I am not going to be bullied by your company.

I have to say, I think you have put the cart before the horse. Rather than demanding I take down the blog post until you have completed your investigation, you should be dealing with the investigation.

As I said in my previous blog post, sue me if I have said anything defamatory. You know my address and I await your writ.

On a positive note, the work appears to have been completed on 29 April. Its only over 2 weeks since they were instructed to repair a broken windscreen. I say appears, only because I have not had the chance to inspect the work owing to other commitments. It does appear from a quick glance to have been done satisfactorily.

This experience of Autoglass makes me think that they probably model their business on John Wayne, the biggest cowboy out there.

Oh and I still have not had any written acknowledgement of any of my FOUR separate letters of complaint. Not very impressive is it that a so called reputable company in 2 weeks has been unable to acknowledge  any of my four complaints. Well, Autoglass, I will be taking this matter up with the Financial Ombudsman Service who are the regulator for you unless you do respond to each of those FOUR complaints. I wonder what the Ombudsman would have to say about this matter, especially when they see the documentation that supports my complaints.

 

Whilst researching this blog post, I discovered that I am not alone in having problems with Autoglass. It seems that they have come to the Attention of the BBC TV  Watchdog programme

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02vnklc/player

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/3KVz1kLkvqH5prt0MkBgzNJ/autoglass

After the BBC TV Watchdog programme was broadcast in June 2015, Autoglass made a statement to the BBC that says

“….To better meet these needs we have changed our way of working and in doing so met challenges that for some people impacted our usually high service levels. We have worked hard to implement our changes and resolve individual customer issues on a case by case basis. To help ensure we deliver the service our customers expect, we have hired new customer service staff and more technicians and we are confident these and other measures we have taken will address the issues we have encountered…”

Sadly it seems some 10 months on from that programme, it is hollow words and their confidence is misplaced.

Posted in My Life | 1 Comment