How to Complain About the CSA

How to Complain About CSA

CMS (Child Maintenance Services) replaced the CSA (Child Support Agency) in 2012. Both of these are essentially the same service. Child maintenance is the financial support that the other parent must provide after the child’s parents split up and one of them has custody of the child. The parent who doesn’t raise them most of the time or full-time must contribute to the child’s everyday costs of living. Some ex-partners make a ‘family-based arrangement’ privately without involving CMS. If the parents can’t agree, CMS will create an arrangement.

Contact the CSA to Make a Complaint

In the first instance of a complaint, contact your caseworker. This is the person assigned to you at the centre which deals with your case. You should have their contact number, or you can contact the centre to reach them. They will look into any problems first and attempt to resolve them. If they can’t and it is up to the CSA to resolve it, or you need to dispute their decision, contact them by calling 0843 178 4621. Here are some of the reasons to complain:

  • unreasonable delays in issuing the relevant forms to both parents
  • inappropriately issuing forms to the wrong person (not the non-resident parent)
  • excessive delays in the assessment of child support maintenance
  • errors or delays in enforcement action
  • delays in liability reviews resulting in overpayments from the non-resident parent or the loss of child support maintenance

How to Complain to the CSA

Ask the office dealing with your case to contact the CSA Complaints Resolution Team or call them yourself and explain the cause of your complaint. The CSA could take up to 15 days to investigate the complaint and inform you of the outcome. If the issue is more complex, they will agree on a timetable for resolving it with you. Chase the complaint if they don’t stick to the schedule and there are further unreasonable delays. The CSA should apologize, find the reason for the issue, and put things right by making necessary changes as soon as possible.

You can escalate to the Complaints Review Team for further consideration if you’re still not happy with the complaints handling process. They will also take 15 days to review the issue. After that, you can contact the Independent Case Examiner, then write to your local MP and ask them to refer your case to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman for you. These are all the stages you must go through if you do not receive a satisfactory resolution.

Can Parents Get Compensation from the CSA?

The CSA or CMS will usually negotiate a repayment schedule if they agree that maintenance is owed. You should complain about the harmful effects on your welfare and the child’s if the payments are far too low. They or the parent who owes maintenance might propose a part-payment of areas with a final settlement. Once you agree to this, you cannot change your mind later. In some cases, the CSA might write off arrears or offset payments instead.

Beyond this, you may want to emphasize the inconvenience or distress caused by the CSA’s actions or lack thereof when you make the complaint. You don’t automatically have a legal right to compensation, but the CSA will consider offering it on a case-by-case basis. This will normally be when maladministration occurs, such as serious mistakes, processing delays, and incorrect information. This negligence can cause parents to lose money and negatively affect them and the child. You should provide some evidence of the impact on your health or examples of repeated inconvenience or embarrassment if you’re expecting a consolatory payment as well. These are two different payments considered separately, but sometimes the CSA might pay both. In some cases, they may not grant either, but you can keep asking.

How to Complain About HMRC

How to Complain About HMRC

HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs) is the department of the UK government which handles tax collection and the payment of some state benefits. Most UK citizens will need to pay some form of tax and/or will receive state benefits at some point in their lives. These are the primary taxes which HMRC collects payments from individuals and businesses for:

  • Alcohol Duties
  • Capital Gains Tax
  • Child Benefit
  • Construction Industry Scheme
  • Corporation Tax
  • Fuel Duty
  • Income Tax & National Insurance
  • Inheritance Tax
  • Insurance Premium Tax
  • PAYE Scheme
  • Pension Schemes
  • Property Taxes (Stamp Duty Land Tax)
  • Self Assessment Tax
  • Soft Drinks Industry Levy
  • Tax Credits
  • Transport & Environmental Duties
  • VAT (Value Added Tax)

Contact HMRC to Make a Complaint

If you deal with HMRC regarding any of the above, you might need to complain about them. You might be very unhappy with the way they are handling your tax or benefits, especially if HMRC owes you money. If you think you are entitled to a higher amount of child benefit or tax credits, you might have to appeal against their decision. This is different from making a complaint. Otherwise, here are some valid reasons for anyone to complain about HMRC:

  • mistreatment by HMRC staff (rudeness or unfairness)
  • illegal discrimination by HMRC staff (exclusion because of age, disability, native language, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation etc)
  • misleading information from HMRC (being given incorrect advice)
  • HMRC’s failure to act on information (for example, if you report a change in circumstances or make a new claim which HMRC fails to process)
  • administrative errors by HMRC (resulting in paying/receiving too much/too little)
  • HMRC taking far longer than reasonable/beyond their guideline timeframes to process forms or to action payments and repayments
  • HMRC online services are not working or you are unable to access or navigate them

How to Complain to HMRC

To complain about any of the taxes or benefits above, contact HMRC by calling 0844 248 1688. Before you call, make sure that you have all of the details ready that you will need to provide. The most important information is the relevant reference number. This will either be your National Insurance Number, Unique Taxpayer Reference, VAT number, or employer reference number. You will also need to give your full name, address, and phone number to match HMRC’s records. They will need this to confirm your identity and locate your files.

Once you are through to the right department and past the security stages, you can raise your complaint. You will need to explain what happened and when. If possible, provide the name of the person who dealt with your case or who you spoke to about it. Let them know what effects these actions from HRMC had on you. Definitely tell them if you experience emotional distress, physical illness, or financial hardship as a result of the issue you are complaining about. Outline what you expect HMRC to do to resolve this matter for you.

How Do HMRC Handle Complaints?

When you make a complaint to HMRC, they should handle the complaint fairly and keep it confidential. They will investigate thoroughly and provide contact details for the complaint handler so you can keep in touch and check their progress. You should allow 4 – 8 weeks for them to investigate and provide a suitable resolution for your complaint. However, they should be notifying you of updates along the way. Call to chase them if you don’t hear back from HMRC. You should make payments due in the meantime as normal to avoid interest.

After investigating, HMRC should come back to you with an apology and an explanation. They will explain what went wrong and why, and what they are now going to do to put things right and make sure that it doesn’t happen again. If they owe you money, they should pay this back promptly and in full. In some cases, they might also consider extra payments to cover your expenses. This is why you should request reimbursement of reasonable costs concerning your complaint, or a consolation payment due to distress.

Can You Get Compensation From HMRC?

Ask HMRC to repay you for any costs incurred in the process of making your complaint. For example, postage, phone call bills, or professional service fees. You can also ask HMRC for financial compensation if dealing with them about this put undue stress on you and your family. This could be the case if it caused financial strain which then had a negative impact on your physical or mental health. It especially applies if there were long delays in getting a resolution. You might have to provide receipts to support your requests for compensation.

If HMRC does award a compensatory payment, this will be tax-free and should not affect any government benefits you might be receiving. Such payments are made in apology and in recognition of your circumstances and poor treatment. The amount is not assigning a value to your level of distress, but you can push for more if your suffering due to HMRC’s actions was severe. HMRC will only compensate you for time spent pursuing the complaint if you can prove that you lost earnings from it. You may be able to reclaim tax adviser costs.

DWP Complaints Procedure

0843 178 4215

If you would like to complain about the DWP and their services you can find out on this page about complaining to the DWP and their policies and procedures regarding complaints. The DWP is the Department for Work & Pensions.

dwp complaints procedure

Reasons to Complain About the DWP

You can complain about the DWP for a number of reasons such as if they have made mistakes regarding your case or your benefits and it has impacted your everyday life, you have experienced unreasonable delays with your case or for decisions to be made, you feel you have been treated unfairly or discriminated against, you have not been kept informed about the progress of your case or decisions that have been made or for any other reasons you feel you need to file a complaint about.

How to File a Complaint to the DWP

To file a complaint with the DWP you can call their complaints department on 0843 178 4215. Once you are on the phone to the DWP you will need to provide your National insurance number, full name, contact numbers, address, what benefit you’re complaining about, what has happened, how it has affected you, when it happened and explain how you would like things to be put right. The team member will inform you of the steps that will be taken.

What Will Happen After Your Complaint

If the DWP did make a mistake they will immediately fix it and apologise for the impact the mistake has had on you. If you have suffered financially or you have received unfair treatment they may give you some financial compensation. If you are not satisfied with the response you have received and you would like the DWP to investigate the issue further you can take your complaint to the Complaint resolution manager by calling the number again and request a call back from them. They will then contact you to discuss your complaint and agree on a plan to investigate the issue, they will then contact you again within 15 working days to discuss the outcome or inform you of when you can expect a response if it is taking longer to investigate.

Fast Food Options for Vegetarians

Fast Food Options for Vegetarians

It’s a common misconception that all you can eat on a vegetarian diet is vegetables. Unlike veganism, being a vegetarian allows you to still eat bread, dairy, and other products. While it is easier to eat more healthily when you cut meat out of your diet, everyone craves some junk food now and then. However, it’s not so easy to find something vegetarian-friendly on the menu. Going out for a quick bite to eat with friends can be difficult. Even dining at fast-casual restaurants and pubs can become a frustrating ordeal. Most vegetarians will be no stranger to trying to assemble a meal from side dishes. But it’s 2018 now, and retailers are finally paying attention to demand. Plenty of places are expanding their vegetarian offering.

Fast Food Favourites

Whether it’s the Drive-Thru or a late-night residency at an indoor table, McDonald’s is an international junk food staple. Over in America, they use beef flavourings when cooking fries. Luckily for us in the UK, they use a separate fryer for fries and veggie products. This means you can tuck into a large fries anytime. If you order a veggie burger with no mayo, it’s also suitable for vegans. Unfortunately, McDonald’s removed the cheap egg & cheese wrap from its breakfast menu and increased the price of an egg & cheese McMuffin. You could still get porridge, a toasted bagel, or a hash brown. Or treat yourself to a McFlurry.

The fries at Burger King are also suitable for vegetarians and vegans. You might think that a chain whose branding features a giant meat burger wouldn’t be the best place to go. But if your friends drag you to Burger King, you can get a Veggie Bean Burger. Sadly, their veggie patties are not vegan as well. Depending on your tolerance for chicken, you could even go to KFC with friends. Some restaurants offer a plain salad pot with no meat. Some also offer a Veggie Ricebox. This may be too healthy to satisfy your junk food cravings, though. Their fries are sometimes cooked in the same oil as the chicken, so taking that risk is up to you.

Fast Food Options for Vegetarians

Fast-Casual Choices

Some restaurant chains offer higher-quality fast food at a slightly slower pace and higher price. These chains are also catching on to catering to a growing demographic. Around 3% of British adults are completely vegetarian, which is almost 2 million people. The veganism trend has seen the British vegan population grow from 1% in 2016 to almost 7% this year. It’s about time these groups had more menu options. It may be a chicken restaurant, but vegetarians can still go for a cheeky Nando’s. There are burgers, pittas, or wraps available with fillings such as sweet potato and butternut or mushroom and halloumi, as well as the “supergreen” or “beanie” options. There are also vegetarian sides, like sweet potato mash.

Pizza Hut is an excellent choice if you crave something savoury and high in calories. There are vegetable pizza options, but you can’t go wrong with a classic Margherita anyway. Even vegans can enjoy a pizza with Violife dairy-free cheese. Vegetarians can go all in on mac and cheese or garlic bread. The desserts are all vegetarian-friendly, too. For more pub-like fare, you can visit a Harvester or Brewers Fayre safe in the knowledge that they have vegetarian and vegan menus. These are the best places to go out to eat with friends because there is something for everyone. From veggie burgers to halloumi and chips instead of fish, there are also a variety of meals such as noodles, lasagne, quiche, roulade, tagine, and jambalaya.

Fast Food Options for Vegetarians

Quick Cooking

Sometimes even if you aren’t going out to eat you just want something quick and filling. For people with no dietary restrictions, they have free reign of the ready meal aisle. The choices for anyone else have long been limited. Fad diets may be annoying, but the benefit of their popularity is that supermarkets follow the money. Demand for vegetarian, vegan, and even gluten-free products has led to retailers selling wider ranges. Ben & Jerry’s vegan ice cream recently came to the UK. Big brands supporting dietary needs like this keep paving the way for future developments. At the moment, you can still do a shop at a local supermarket and satisfy your ready meal needs. Just remember that “free from” does not mean meat-free!

A great place to buy vegetarian ready meals is Morrisons. Whether fresh or frozen, you can pick up a variety of pasta and potato dishes. A quick turn in the microwave or oven and you can indulge in layers of cheese and pasta with a vegetable lasagne. Quite a few of the year-round party food options at Tesco are vegetarian. They also have an own-brand meat-free section, though they keep discontinuing items (hashtag bring back spinach and courgette frittatas). Asda has more options for pasta and vegetable ready meals than the others do. It’s worth alternating between shops to choose between their individual own-brand ranges.

The downside of shopping as a vegetarian is that the alternatives can be expensive, though they are not as costly as vegan ones. In general, though, the own-brand meat-free ranges are fairly priced. There will usually be some kind of deal, such as 2 items for £2.50. A quick tip: there is always at least one Quorn product for £1. They tend to change every week, so you might have to wait a while for your favourite to be on sale again. Even the pricey Linda McCartney range has items on sale every few weeks. Frozen food can take longer to cook, but you can make a meat-free fry-up whenever you have the craving for something greasy.

How to protect your phones and devices from the cold weather

How to protect your devices from the cold weather

The Beast from the East has arrived and with it is freezing temperatures that we’re struggling to carry out day-to-day activities, and our phones and devices are struggling too.

When temperatures plummet to below 0 your Apple devices can begin to malfunction, ranging from annoying problems to the serious ones that cause it to just stop working.

When your phone gets too cold it might struggle to detect your fingerprint on the home screen, which can be very irritating, your battery can deplete a lot more quickly, and if the temperature gets really cold it can just stop working.

The reason your devices don’t fare well in the cold is all down to the battery, the products are running on a Lithium-Ion battery, which does have some advantages, but they don’t work particularly well in the cold.

Apple says that their devices work best and most efficiently when the temperature is between 0 ºC and 35 ºC. And the iPhone will shut down in certain conditions, such as really cold temperatures.

Let’s hope we don’t actually get that cold this week.

What can we do to stop our devices from stopping working?

The cold can be a real problem for our phones and devices, but thankfully there are a number of things that we can do to help stop it from malfunctioning and cease to work.

Keep them sheltered

Quite simply keep it in your bag or pocket when you’re outside. This will not only benefit the phone and device, but also your hands. Obviously there might be necessary times when you need your phone, but other than those moments, keep your phone protected and keep it warm and tucked away. Your Instagram scrolling will have to wait till another time.

Get a case

Just like you wouldn’t imagine going out without a coat in this weather, keep your phone protected with a case. This will help to protect it from some of the elements.

Richard Mavers who works at Envirofone says that now we know that the iPhone’s battery is affected by the cold, it’s important that we don’t subject them to extremely cold conditions. It’s important that we keep them protected and warm where possible.

What to Do When Yodel Fails to Deliver

Yodel Delivery Complaints

With Christmas creeping up, delivery companies will be feeling the strain this time of year. More and more people are buying their gifts online, relying on the courier chosen by the retailer to deliver their orders in time. Whether ordering presents to their own addresses or sending them to the recipient, customers will expect delivery conditions as promised. However, some couriers frequently let retailers and their customers down. Due to the increase in demand, it’s likely to only get worse at this time of year.

The Problem With Yodel

Despite consistently negative feedback over the last several years, many retailers still use Yodel to deliver their goods. Yodel won the not-so-coveted title of Worst Parcel Delivery Firm in a poll of 11,000 consumers on following the Christmas 2016 period. There’s been no end of news coverage for ridiculous scenarios involving incompetent Yodel workers. Sometimes there can be some humour in the situation, like leaving a parcel “under the doormat” as a safe place. Most of the time, customers are left dismayed by the shoddy service, and empty-handed as parcels often go missing.

The poor service even led to the creation of a website named “Yodel Hell” which documents the company’s worst offences. Recently, Yodel made the news yet again for more delivery driver shenanigans. These included dumping a parcel over a fence and shattering the contents, as well as carelessly trying to throw a parcel onto a balcony. It seems like Yodel drivers didn’t learn after one threw a parcel onto a roof two years ago. Last Christmas, a Yodel driver even stole other parcels when delivering to a customer’s address.

If the problem is the behaviour of the drivers, then should the company itself be getting all this bad press? Well, yes, because no matter how many customers complain, Yodel does not seem to care. The company doesn’t appear to have made any effort to improve either their delivery services or their hiring and training process. Many people who complain using the customer service helpline feel the response was inadequate. An apology or a bouquet of flowers doesn’t fix a broken or missing item.

Know Your Consumer Rights

So, when Yodel’s delivery service inevitably fails to impress, what do you do? A lot of the time, Yodel refuses to claim responsibility in the case of a missing parcel. If they refuse to help, what you need to remember is that your contract as a customer is actually with the retailer. When the delivery service damages the goods or fails to provide them, the retailer will be liable to refund you or provide a replacement.

The founder of, Martin Lewis, says customers need to “complain to the retailer and make them justify why they use firms with dire reputations. If they won’t, we must stop buying online from firms using crap services.” However, this isn’t always an option. The specific item you want to buy may only be available from a retailer who uses Yodel. Retailers usually choose Yodel to keep their costs down. Yet in the long run, the amount these companies pay out in refunds and replacements surely must create a loss. Not to mention the poor service putting customers off ordering from them ever again.

Remember that you also have the right to return goods for a refund within the seller’s returns policy. Whether you ordered from Amazon, Argos, Boots, or any other retailer using Yodel, always contact the retailer directly to inform them of your situation. Even if the goods aren’t damaged, but the packaging was, you should still be entitled to some kind of compensation. Sometimes, unfortunately, retailers won’t accept your word that you never received your parcel. If Yodel marked it as delivered, even though there’s no sign of it, you may end up out of pocket.

In the case of a missing parcel and no support from the retailer, you’ll have to escalate your complaints. The website Resolver will give you information on your rights and how to complain to Yodel. If you’re not having much luck, follow MoneySavingExpert’s useful guide for complaints escalation. Even if you end up taking them to small claims court, you deserve compensation. Don’t let careless companies ruin your Christmas! If you need to make a complaint to a delivery service besides Yodel, you can find out how here.

What to do if you parcel doesn’t arrive in time for Christmas

Like most people, you are probably ordering many if not most of your Christmas gifts online this year and it’s almost inevitable that at least one of your Christmas gifts won’t arrive when they are due to leave you very stressed and worried. Below is a list of how to complain and inquire about missing packages with different courier companies.

man wearing a Christmas hat with parcel and alarm clock

Royal Mail

If your parcel is due to be delivered by Royal Mail and it has not arrived yet you can track your delivery on the Royal Mail website here. If there is no information available when you enter your tracking number or if you didn’t receive a tracking number you should contact Royal mail by phone call on 0844 826 8010 or by filling out the claims form here.


You can also track your parcel if it is being delivered by Hermes as they should also send you a delivery tracking number which you can enter onto the site here. If your parcel hasn’t arrived or it arrived late you can contact Hermes by the online chat option here or by calling 0843 208 2273 to speak to someone from customer services about finding your parcel in time for Christmas.


For parcel that was meant to be delivered with Parcelforce, you can track your parcel here. If you have no luck tracking your parcel it is best you call Parcelforce on 0843 557 4879 to speak to a member of the customer service team about finding your parcel or to ask about receiving compensation for a late or lost parcel. If you would prefer to not talk on the phone to customer services you can contact the customer service team on the help form available here.


As DPD is one of the main courier services, you will most likely end up using it for one of your deliveries this Christmas – if your delivery has not arrived on time or it has not arrived at all you can contact DPD by calling the customer service team on 0843 557 3392 to find out where your parcel may be. If you haven’t already you can try and track your parcel here.


If your parcel has not arrived and it was due to be delivered by UPS you can try to track your parcels whereabouts here or you can directly contact UPS regarding you late or missing parcel by calling 0843 557 3634 to speak to a member of the customer service team about your package. You can also contact them by using the online chat feature here.


If you need to track down your yodel parcel you can do so by entering your tracking code here on the website. Alternatively, if you believe you need to speak to a member of the customer services team regarding your package you can call 0844 556 4733 or use the chat feature on the website here.

Give the Unique Gift of an Unforgettable Experience

It’s that time of year again already. Coloured lights and tinsel are springing up everywhere you look, before the pumpkins and fake cobwebs adorning the shops throughout October have even been taken down.

Give the Unique Gift of an Unforgettable Experience

Yes, the season of good cheer is upon us… which means that if you haven’t already, then it’s time to start the often stressful process of shopping for Christmas presents.

One way to eliminate some of the hassles of Christmas shopping is to avoid buying a lot of material items. If you want to try something a little different this year, a unique gift idea for your loved ones is to give them tickets to an exciting event. Forget the endless advertisements online and on TV, the catalogues, and the endless browsing of every crowded shop on the high street. Say goodbye to choosing between bath sets, boxes of chocolates and stocking fillers. Instead, you can offer your friends and family members not just the tickets but what they represent: entry to a limited event, with the promise of thrilling entertainment, and the incredible memories that will last long beyond the day itself. Keep reading to find out how all of this is available to you with Ticketmaster!


For Family

Give the Unique Gift of an Unforgettable ExperienceWhether it’s a present for a parent or a sibling, there are plenty of events on offer. Surprise your sister with sought-after tickets to her favourite pop singer’s show! Gift your car-crazy dad with an evening of motorsports! Buy tickets for both of you to attend, or buy tickets for them and a friend (if your mother’s favourite nineties artist on a tenth album tour maybe isn’t your thing).

If you’re a parent yourself or have younger relatives you need to buy presents for, Disney On Ice and various family-friendly pantomimes are always a hit for little ones. Or choose something all-ages and even a bit educational, like Walking With Dinosaurs, and make it a memorable adventure for the whole family.


Give the Unique Gift of an Unforgettable ExperienceFor Friends

Treat your friends to a night out with a band you all love at a local venue! If you’re a frequent gig-goer, it can also become a good habit for everyone in your friend group to pay it forward and take it in turns to buy the tickets to the next concert you all want to go to as a gift.

Why not have a laugh with your best friend at a stand-up comedy show with one of your favourite comedians? Experience it as part of the crowd instead of just watching it on TV later. There are endless opportunities for memories to be made, no matter your age.


For People Who Prefer Open Options

Maybe you don’t want to risk the dreaded return of a misjudged present, or there might be a future event you know they’ll want to go to that isn’t available yet. You don’t need to worry though – with a gift card you can still give them the promise of a fantastic live experience, but leave it up to them to choose which one they want to attend.
Give the Unique Gift of an Unforgettable Experience
You can purchase a Ticketmaster gift card with a value of up to £250 as either an e-gift card or a physical gift card. Give it a personal touch by deciding on a design and adding a message and it makes a brilliant present.

You can find these gift cards stocked by major retailers like Asda as well as online!


There’s Something For Everyone

Browse the listings and you’ll find the perfect unique gift experience to match any recipient’s interests. From space and time to classic horror cinema to world-famous theatre, there truly is something for everyone. Even for a picky person who might not like surprises, you can’t go wrong with a gift card.

Give the Unique Gift of an Unforgettable ExperienceKeep up to date on the events calendar and you can give tickets to any of the events not just at Christmas, but all year round for any gifting occasion.

Go ahead and try a new experience for birthdays and anniversaries too!

The best shows hitting our screens this August

The best shows hitting our screens this August

Strike – BBC – August 27th

On catch-up now is the amazing Strike. Originally a novel written by JK Rowling, the BBC miniseries follows Cormoran Strike, a detective based in Soho, London. Strike is a war veteran who uses his individual outlook to take on special investigations. Each investigation takes up a whole episode, much like BBC’s Sherlock (in the early years). Fans are already calling out for a second season, could this be the BBC’s answer to a replacement Sherlock?

Image Credit: BBC
Image Credit: BBC

Victoria – BBC -August 27th

Returning to our screens for its second installment, Victoria continues the storyline of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s romance. Joining the cast this year is Martin Compson. The former Line of Duty star will be playing Robert Traill, a social reformer set on turning the Queen’s focus. You can catch up on the first few episodes of Victoria on BBC.

Doctor Foster – BBC – September 5th

Returning for its second season, Doctor Foster picks up from the finale of its last season. Gemma Foster, having left her cheating husband and home finds new romance in a new town. But will her past catch up with her… Catch up on the first two episodes of Dr. Foster on BBC iPlayer.

Back – Channel 4 – September 6th

David Mitchell and Robert Webb are at it again. Along with Peep Show writer Simon Blackwell, the duo is set to embark on a new sitcom. Mitchell is set to play the son of the pub landlord who is due to inherit the family business. Enter his estranged brother, Webb, who mysteriously arrives one day. Could he have his eyes on the old pub? Watch Back from September 6th on Channel 4…

Tin Star – Sky Atlantic – September 7th

Already a fan favourite, Tin Star is Fargo-esque in this Sky Atlantic drama. Tim Roth plays the titular character in Tin Star. As Roth moves to a small town located in the Rockies, his character finds a life of betrayal, revenge, and murder. Paired with the amazing Canadian scenery, we can see this show going far. Catch Tin Star on Sky Atlantic on September 7th.

Strictly Come Dancing – BBC – Autumn

Strictly is finally back on our screens this autumn. With the departure of Bruce Forsythe, the shows opening episode saw a beautiful tribute to the comedian. Without a dry eye in the house. The show also gave us a new all-star cast, with the likes of Susan Calman, Richard Coles, and Debbie McGee. Alongside the stars also comes the new head judge, Shirley Ballas.

Star Trek Discovery – Netflix – September 25th

The long-awaited Star Trek Prequel is due to hit our screens this year in the form of Netlfix’s Star Trek Discovery. Set 10 years before the original series, Star Trek Discovery sees Sonequa Martin-Green as the First Officer of the Discovery. Vulcan raised, her character stars alongside Jason Isaacs of Harry Potter fame. Join the crew as the show hits Netflix on September 25th.

Stranger Things 2- Netflix – October 27th

Will Eleven return? Will Barb finally receive the justice she deserves? I guess we’ll find out on October 27th. With the trailer already released, hype surrounding Stranger Things Season 2 is getting heated pretty fast. So far, we know that the original cast will return. But that’s pretty much it, will the upside down make a return? We can’t wait to find out. Catch Stranger Things 2 on Netflix this October.

Liar – ITV – TBA

Who will you believe? Liar follows two sides of the story of a rape case. Set in central London, Liar comes from the same writers as The Missing and stars Joanne Froggatt alongside Ioan Gruffudd in this amazing breakthrough show about romance, lies, and secrets.

The Child in Time – BBC – TBA

Benedict Cumberbatch returns to the BBC is this adaptation of an Ian McEwan’s novel of the same name. Struggling to come to terms with the loss of their young daughter, Cumberbatch’s character and his on-screen wife, Kelly Macdonald, set the stage in a tale of loss and despair for a missing child.

kitGunpowder – BBC – TBA

Pining for your fix of Kit Harrington? With Game of Thrones having left our screens last month, Kit is set to return in BBC glory in a three-part drama. Revolving around the gunpowder plot of 1605, Kit stars as the mastermind behind the whole thing. Other stars in Gunpowder include Liv Tyler, Mark Gatiss, and Tom Cullen as Guy Fawkes. No announcement has been made regarding the date of this show, however, we have a feeling about November 5th…

American Horror Story: Cult – Fox – September 5th

With a full cast returning to the American Horror Story catalog, we’re excited to see just where Ryan Murphy will take this latest season. Cult takes part around the election of Donald Trump, and, with new castings including Lena Dunham, we’re excited to see just where Murphy goes with the plot.

What you can get on the Starbucks Secret Menu

Starbucks Frappucino

If you’re a regular customer at Starbucks or enjoy a Caramel Frap from time to time (let’s face it, who doesn’t) then the chances are you order the same thing when you visit because you’ve tried the menu a million times over and you have found your favourite choice. But what if I was to tell you, there’s a whole world of new and exciting drinks available on the Starbucks ‘secret’ menu that you’ve been missing out on all this time?! Apart from becoming extremely overwhelmed that there is more choice than the already coconut/soya/almond/skinny, decaf/matcha/extra shot options available, you’re probably excited about the concept of new flavours and drink options. I’m sure you have all heard vicious rumours about the secret menu in the past, but you have probably shrugged them off as just that, a rumour. However, the hidden menu is definitely bigger than you could ever imagine, with some of the greatest creations on earth, available just around the corner. So ditch the Americano and even the white chocolate mocha (as good as they are) and ask for something different instead. Tip: try whispering when you order, it is a secret after all…

More Sizes

There are actually two more sizes on the Starbucks menu  – a ‘Trenta’ which is basically a large (grande)…and then some and a ‘short’ – a very small coffee for those that prefer it strong and authentic. The short coffee is only 80z in size, but is bound to pack a punch.

Extra Strength

If a double shot just doesn’t do it for you, and you need that little extra kick in the morning, head to your local Starbucks and order a ‘red eye’ – a regular coffee with an extra shot added – a ‘black eye’ will then add an extra two espressos and if you have had a particularly heavy night a ‘green eye’ will add three and guarantee to have you totally and utterly wired. The next step (and only for the brave) is the ‘liquid cocaine’ option which is pretty much as dubious as it sounds. Four espresso shots with four pumps of white chocolate syrup poured over ice. Pure caffeine and sugar – for emergencies only.

The Nutella Latte

Yes. You read that right. If a regular Mocha isn’t good enough for you (i mean, why have anything else when you can have Nutella) then you can ask your server to make you a Nutella Latte by simply adding a pump of chocolate syrup and a pump of hazelnut and then drizzle it with caramel. This concoction can be added either to a regular latte or to an iced coffee or frap. If you want to jazz up your caramel frap and make the ultimate Twix Frappucino, you can add hazelnut syrup and java chips and Mocha drizzle. Genius.

The Coldbuster

Forget Lemsip or Strepsils, Starbucks may have the ultimate remedy for those annoying sniffles. Also known as the medicine ball, the cold buster is various remedies known for treating colds, all put together in a steaming hot mug of tea. To make the medicine ball, you put a Jade Citrus Mint tea bag and a Preach Tranquility tea bag in half a cup of boiling water and fill the rest of the mug with fresh, steamed lemonade, add honey and a tiny pump of peppermint syrup and your shivers will be gone in no time at all.

All the Frappucino’s

Apart from the regular coffees that have popularity wherever you go, the Starbucks Frappucino’s are probably their ultimate seller, everyone knows what they are and everyone has had one at least once – if you haven’t then, without being too dramatic, you haven’t really lived. Starbucks do have firm favourites that remain on the menu all year, such as the chocolate, the vanilla, the strawberry, the caramel and the coffee and they do bring out exciting seasonal flavours, especially in the summer – popular past flavours being the white chocolate creme and the mango passionfruit. However, the Starbucks secret menu has some mouthwatering, inventive flavours that before now, only existed in your dreams. Warning: not suitable clean eaters, vegans or anyone on a diet.

Candy Floss Frappucino

Simply order the classic Vanilla Bean Frappucino and add a couple pumps of delicious raspberry syrup. Top with whipped cream for a truly indulgent treat.

Banana Cream Pie Frappucino

This is exactly how it sounds – a drinkable dessert made in heaven. Ask for extra added vanilla flavouring to your vanilla frappuccino, with a pump of hazelnut and a sliced banana (this can be blended with the flavouring and the ice). Again, no Frappucino is complete without lashings of whipped cream, so make sure you request some!

Cake Batter Frappucino

Everyone loves to eat the cake mix before it’s cooked – and here you can drink it! (without the risk of salmonella). By adding extra almond syrup to your Vanilla Frapp you can recreate the flavour of uncooked cakes. Want your dessert drinks hot? Order a latte/steamed milk as your base instead!