Archive for the 'Name and Shame' Category


Posted by on January 29th 2013 in A bit of a rant, Name and Shame

Chapter II

You'll recall the hassle I've had with the folks at Reader's Digest. Well, there's more...

Contrary to Brian's optimistic claim that I'd receive the item within a few days, it didn't arrive. What did arrive on 7th January was a letter, dated 4th January 2013, stating "We have despatched this item recently and it is possible that it has simply been delayed on its way to you. I would expect the goods to arrive within two weeks of you receiving this letter..."

Well, I gave them the two weeks, and then another week because of the bad weather, and then another day because I wasn't in the mood for listening to any bullshit excuses. Suffice to say that item still hadn't arrived by this morning so I called them yet again and ended up speaking to Fiona.

Fiona was very helpful. She said that they'd stopped selling books on or just after 4th January and that I wouldn't be getting my item. She avoided accounting for the fact that this meant that the statement in the letter was a bare-faced lie. I asked why they'd not contacted me after their sales-policy change to tell me of the online shop closure issue and to amend the status of my order, she didn't or wouldn't say why I'd heard nothing. She said that I'll get a refund through the post within seven days. Then she said that I could enter a prize-draw for a holiday. Choking back my incredulity I declined, telling her that if they couldn't correctly deliver something as simple as a book, I would hardly trust them to come good with a holiday if I was to win one.



Having put up with incompetence, delaying-tactics, utter rudeness and bare-faced lying from some of the other Customer Service personnel there, I'm hopeful that Fiona will be true to her words. I'm not holding my breath, though. They've got seven days, if I've not got the refund by then I'll get the Visa folk involved.

Meanwhile, one of my relatives is still waiting for a Christmas present.

The Spirit of Christmas… Jaded and Black

Posted by on December 29th 2012 in A bit of a rant, Name and Shame

When I was in industry the adage was "When times are hard, the first thing to suffer is Quality".

It's fairly obvious that in retailing the first thing to suffer is Customer Service...


Retailer 1: Reader's Digest.

  • 16/12/2012 - order for Christmas presents - items shown as in-stock on website - order raised online.
  • 16/12/2012 - email from R.D. - order confirmed.
  • 19/12/2012 - package arrived from R.D. - the paperwork was correct but the wrong item was in the package.
  • 19/12/2012 - I called R.D.'s customer services department and spoke with Mel, a very pleasant and professional woman who checked the order and the stock, apologised, confirmed that the correct item was still in stock and said that she would arrange an exchange via courier.
  • 20/12/2012 - no courier.
  • 21/12/2012 - no courier. I called R.D.'s customer services department again and spoke with a different woman. She was rude and uncooperative, she told me that she didn't know which courier service was being used but a few minutes later told me the name of the courier service, she couldn't be bothered to trace my consignment (she told me that the computer system couldn't trace items, which was a bare-faced lie and I told her so... the paperwork accompanying the first package was generated by R.D. and clearly states "C-round 4049, Drop 49, Van 16"), and she refused point-blank to let me speak to her supervisor or to anyone else there. After I'd ensured that she was recording the conversation I allowed myself to use, rather than lose, my temper. Despite me having to prove my identity by providing my full name, my address and my postcode, she refused to give me her full name. She did tell me that her first name is Jade. Fed up of being stone-walled by this awful woman, I had to hang up the phone before I really lost my rag and said something that I would have regretted later. This was, by far, the rudest customer service experience I've ever had to endure, and that's saying a lot - some readers may recollect my run-ins with F***d & T**k and with G**r Z**e... well, those experiences pale into insignificance compared to having to deal with the bile and bullshit spouted by the less-than-wonderful Jade.
  • 21/12/2012 - phoned my bank to cancel the payment, was told that it was pending and would have to complete before any action could be taken by the bank or by Visa.
  • 24/12/2012 - payment now showing on my bank statement, payment date 21/12/2012
  • 24/12/2012 - the courier arrived to collect the item that had been sent in error, R.D. hadn't given her anything to give me in exchange.
  • 29/12/2012 - still no reply from R.D. No replacement item, no apology, no refund. I phoned R.D.'s customer services again a few minutes ago and spoke with Brian who was very polite, professional and apologetic. He reviewed the situation and told me to expect the item within the next few days. Time will tell. Either way, one of my relatives is still waiting for a Christmas present.


Retailer 2: Blacks.

  • 16/12/2012 - order for Christmas presents - items shown as in-stock on website - order raised online.
  • 16/12/2012 - email from Blacks - order confirmed.
  • 17/12/2012 - payment taken, in contradiction of this statement in their FAQ: "Q: Am I charged for the items as soon as I order them? A: No - we will only charge you once your order is despatched."
  • 19/12/2012 - order inexplicably cancelled by Blacks. No explanation, no apology, no mention of a refund.
  • 19/12/2012 - items no longer showing on website.
  • 19/12/2012 - email from me to Blacks asking for an explanation.
  • 19/12/2012 - automated email reply from Blacks, "Thank you for contacting us. Our Customer Care team has received your email safely. Your personal customer reference number is listed in the email header. We aim to respond to all emails within 48 hours although some emails may take a little longer."
  • 29/12/2012 - ten days later and still no refund or response from Blacks.
  • 29/12/2012 - another email from me to Blacks, asking for an explanation, an apology and a refund.
  • 29/12/2012 - automated email reply from Blacks... yes, you guessed it... "Thank you for contacting us. Our Customer Care team has received your email safely. Your personal customer reference number is listed in the email header. We aim to respond to all emails within 48 hours although some emails may take a little longer."
  • I'll give them those 48 hours, if they still can't resolve the problem during that time I'll have to get the Visa folk to sort it out. Meanwhile, two more relatives are short of their Christmas presents.


The good news is that all items ordered from Amazon, Play and eBay etc. arrived in good order and in good time.

Happy New Year!

Gagging order

Posted by on June 15th 2012 in Blog on Blog, In the News, Name and Shame

What a shame that Argyll and Bute Council have effectively killed a fine, informative and charitable blog:




I love the meal-rating criteria...

Health Rating:
Pieces of hair:


Makes you wonder what the Council feel they have to hide...


Or perhaps it's this appalling meal!

Anyways, there's a petition to get this stupid ban lifted. I'd urge you to sign it and to spread the word. **UPDATE** - see Alan's comment.

Want a link to the Daily Record article that caused the Council to kick off? See here.


Here's something from Wikipedia:


Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted in 1948, states that:

"Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers."

Today freedom of speech, or the freedom of expression, is recognized in international and regional human rights law. The right is enshrined in Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, Article 13 of the American Convention on Human Rights and Article 9 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights. Based on John Milton's arguments, freedom of speech is understood as a multi-faceted right that includes not only the right to express, or disseminate, information and ideas, but three further distinct aspects:

  • the right to seek information and ideas;
  • the right to receive information and ideas;
  • the right to impart information and ideas.

International, regional and national standards also recognize that freedom of speech, as the freedom of expression, includes any medium, be it orally, in written, in print, through the Internet or through art forms. This means that the protection of freedom of speech as a right includes not only the content, but also the means of expression.

Domain Name Renewal scam (?)

Posted by on May 8th 2012 in In the post, Name and Shame

It all looks genuine and official, very slick.

I wonder how many folk fall for it.


Pregn’nt & illitret?

Posted by on February 22nd 2012 in LMAO!, Name and Shame

"Your" in luck - New Look have the perfect garb for you:




I had to go clothes-shopping with the girls yesterday - can you tell that I was bored of waiting outside the changing-rooms?

Next time I'll take a thick black permanent marker so that I can go around making appropriate corrections.

Legal Theft

Posted by on August 3rd 2011 in A bit of a rant, Name and Shame

Chris has been banking with Lloyds TSB for about 40 years and in that time she's had acceptable service. Of late, however, things have been going a bit wrong...

A month or so ago she noticed an odd and unauthorised transaction on her bank statement. It was a debit against a Visa Debit card. The statement entry was "NFI*WWW.NETFLIX.CO US 07.99". There was also a fee for the Sterling > Dollar currency-conversion.

She called the bank and complained, the bank investigated and told Chris that "the transaction was for a subscription to a service that streams video to Playstations and X-Boxes". Chris explained that she has never set up such a subscription and that we've never owned either a Playstation or an X-Box. Eventually the bank gave her a refund and supposedly put in place measures to prevent it happening again. As part of those measures, Chris had to destroy her then-active debit card and wait for a new one. Lloyds TSB would further investigate the transaction and would send Chris the details thereof.

Happiness was restored... until last night...

Chris was checking her statement again and found that a further unauthorised transaction for the same bogus subscription, and against the same card, had been allowed after her first complaint. She was furious. She looked again at her statements and realised that both unauthorised transactions were against one of her Visa Debit cards that had expired way back in 2007! We were bemused as to how it would be possible to set up a new bogus subscription using details from a card that had expired four years ago.

When she phoned the bank this morning I had to leave the room and take cover. The bank got both barrels for many reasons - not only for their failure to prevent recurrence, but also for the fact that they'd not sent her those promised details of the first transaction AND for the revelation that they now expected Chris to cancel the bogus subscription herself, despite her having no details of the service or the perpetrator. They gave her a website address and effectively told her to get on with it. Unbelievable!

We checked the website and, after being redirected to here, we found that it proudly states "Sorry, Netflix is not available in your country... yet". So why would Chris ever want such a subscription?



We've done a bit of digging here and we reckon that it's possible (but not certain) that Chris's expired card details were nabbed from Amazon (UK), as it's the only place where we could find said details stored for an online service that Chris has used. Amazon did show the card as "expired". Chris has now deleted all of her card details that were filed with Amazon (UK).

This morning we contacted the Financial Ombudsman Service. It was explained to Chris that the practice of allowing transactions against expired debit cards is uncommon but not illegal - in some circumstances, it is allowed. It's difficult to see, however, how those circumstances apply in this case. Nevertheless, the F.O.S. will send a formal letter of complaint to Lloyds TSB regarding their failure to prevent further unauthorised transactions for the bogus subscription as per Chris's request.

Hopefully Lloyds TSB will address this matter before they lose yet another customer.

FWIW, Chris works for one of the Big Three worldwide express delivery companies, maintaining and developing their Global Accounts Receivable system. What she doesn't know about the legalities, complexities and ethics of international monetary transactions isn't worth squat. Lloyds TSB really shouldn't mess with her, maybe they should employ her instead!

So, dear reader, please be aware that the details of all your expired, cut-up-and-binned/burned Visa Debit cards aren't necessarily dead. They could come back to screw up your finances at any time.

Ho hum… bored yet?

Posted by on September 9th 2007 in Name and Shame, Rambling on...

Yet another thread about Gear Zone.


Down the pan?

Posted by on August 31st 2007 in Name and Shame, Rambling on...

Here's another thread about Gear Zone.


The new tent’s here!

Posted by on July 17th 2007 in A bit of a rant, Name and Shame, Shiny new kit

Yup, that's right. It's here.

But it didn't come from Gear-Zone, as they eventually condescended to respond to my emails, telling me that their supplier was still out of stock, that I would be waiting for weeks rather than days, and would I like a refund? Yes, I replied. It'll take up to 14 days working days, said the response. Suffice to say that copies of all of our email correspondence have been sent to the Visa Debit Card Services dept. of my bank, as per their request. I'm still waiting for that refund, though.

Oh, did I say that I had been in touch with their supplier, and that there isn't a stock problem there?

Anyway, I bought this tent (same maker, same model as the one that Gear-Zone can't supply) from Gaynor Sports, Ambleside. Ordered Saturday, arrived this morning. Top service, a good price and with free delivery. They'll go into the "Preferred Retailers" list on here as soon as I can sort it out. Tomorrow I'll be performing the standard "pitch it on the back lawn and try to stop the cat p155ing on it" test, maybe I'll take a few pics too.

Methinks that I'll be starting a new black-list on this blogsite. All I need is a catchy title. Contenders so far are: "Sh1te Retailers", "Thieving Robdogs", and ""These shops don't stock what they advertise (but tell you that they do) but still take your money when you order, then they sit on your cash, make interest and excuses, then claim that the problem is caused by their supplier". If you have any other suggestions, just let me know and I'll give them due consideration.

Name and Shame

Posted by on July 6th 2007 in A bit of a rant, Name and Shame, Shiny new kit

Remember my blog entry last week about my new tent purchase?

Well, things aren't much better. They've still got my money, and I still don't have the tent. I've sent many more emails to the retailer, and had no replies to any of them. I've been phoning daily but nobody picks up. I had to Google for contact details for them, as there's no address or phone number on their website. Googling brought up an interesting thread on UKC, it's worth a read. Mind you, Google brings up a lot of similar complaints about this company, it seems that I'm experiencing what is common practise for this retailer.

Well, tonight I decided that I'd had enough, so I've referred the matter to my bank and to my debit card company, they'll get the matter sorted in due course. I've been told that I can expect either the goods or a full refund, it'll take a few weeks but it will happen. At this time, they can't say which I'll get, so I'm banjaxxed for a while... do I buy a new tent elsewhere and risk eventually getting the original tent from this retailer, or do I go without a summer tent for another month and go stir-crazy? I've already had to miss three camping weekends because of this delay, it's seriously pissing me off.

Anyway, if anybody else out there is having difficulty finding contact details for this retailer, this is what I've managed to find out so far, I hope that this information is of use to somebody

Gear-Zone Ltd.

17 Westlegate, Norwich. NR1 3LT. Tel: 01603 630 298, Fax: 01603 615051
8 Burnet Rd, Sweet Briar Road Industrial Est, Norwich. NR32BS. Tel: 01603 410108

Web:, emails:

Registered at Companies House, Registration Number 04305618


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