The Results Are In: The Best and Worst Courier Services Revealed

delivery driver

In this day and age, we all love the convenience of being able to buy something online and receive it the next day. The likes of Amazon Prime even offer same day delivery and with free returns, it means there is literally no reason to leave the house and enter a shop anymore. But what happens when the delivery system fails? What happens when the next day (or same day) service you have paid for doesn’t show up? Or if your items appear broken when they are opened? The online shopping world is sadly not short of courier delivery horror stories, from broken and lost items to rude, unpleasant and sometimes AWOL drivers. Unfortunately, we don’t usually have any control over what courier service our favourite online shopping sites choose to use, as Money Saving Expert’s Martin Lewis points out, but it seems that we certainly have our favourites, as a recent poll by Money Saving Expert has revealed. The poll was voted in by many online shoppers (over 11,000) who had had experience with several different courier firms. The were a few very familiar faces included in the poll, including DPD, Yodel, Parcelforce, Hermes and Royal Mail Parcels. So what did everyone think? Who came out on top? And who has scarred online shoppers for life?

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Yodel

Delivery firm to a lot of major companies including ASOS and Amazon, Yodel didn’t do so well in the revealing poll, coming out as the worst delivery firm, according to customers. A whopping six in ten people that took part in the survey voted the company’s delivery efforts as ‘poor’. The customers had all had parcels delivered by Yodel within the last year. The poll, dubbed the league of shame’ showed that Yodel had a poor rating of 4, 275 votes which was a huge 57% of voters, a quarter then rated the service as just ‘ok’ and only one in five actually declared it as ‘great’. To make matters worse, the firm was voted the third worst in the UK the previous year which means it has only gone from bad to worse – with customers dreading a delivery from the company with the unmistakable bright green vans. When asked to comment on the results of the poll, Yodel said that they were disappointed by the outcome and hope to improve. Hmmm.

Hermes

Voted in the bottom five, it seems Hermes haven’t had a great year, not only when it comes to customer service, but also for the treatment of their staff. They have also recently been under fire for paying their workers less than the ‘National Living Wage’ and are currently being investigated. Reports have also emerged of their staff ‘throwing’ expensive items over fences and the like. Still, 30% of voters still gave them a ‘great’ rating which puts them in a fairly middle ground.

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Royal Mail Parcels

Receiving a great rating of 49%, Royal Mail have come up trumps as the second best delivery firm of the year. Only 11% of voters recorded having a ‘poor’ experience with them, which means that they must definitely be doing something right. However, the good news comes just as Royal Mail’s sales take a tumble due to post-Brexit uncertainty. For the first nine months of the year, Royal Mail had flat revenue and although in line with expectations, the company has said they are definitely feeling the strain now that Britain has decided to leave the EU – with UK letter volumes being the hardest hit.

Parcelforce

Also scoring fairly highly, Parcelforce received a poor rating of just 13% (793 votes), an ‘ok’ rating of 46% and the remaining 41% were singing their praises. Parcelforce may have proved to be more of a good guy than a cowboy during the last year, but they have also had their fair share of scrutiny, including CCTV footage of a Parcelforce van driver smashing into a parked car and driving off. However, other than that they have proven to be a pretty reliable service all round, with online reviews even saying that they have delivered ahead of schedule. Of course, there are some bad ones out there as well, but we’ll leave the verdict up to you…

DPD

The winner of the Money Saving Expert poll, DPD has been crowned the best delivery service by its customers, showing that once again they have achieved a great level of customer satisfaction. The company have achieved the top spot for the fourth year in a row. A whopping 71% of voters rated the DPD service as ‘great’ meaning that their win was well and truly undisputed. Their success does not stop there either, as in recent years DPD has received a Queens Award for Innovation as well as a ‘Special Award’ from Which? The ultimate consumer voice. Their continuous success could be down to the introduction of their ‘YourDPD’ app which allows flexibility for all customers, allowing them to set their own delivery times, with ‘DPDPrecise’ allowing a time to be set within just one hour. DPD has also recently been taken on by major firms Sainsbury’s and Matalan.

23 British Christmas Foods Ranked From Worst to Best

Christmas-dinner

Christmas is the best time of year. On the day, we eat and we eat until we plonk down in front of the TV, only to continue to eating the leftovers later. Us Brits have plenty of festive foods that we love to gorge on, from the compulsory boxes of chocolates to a fridge full of food that taunts us for the whole of December. Now, we’re about to rank the British Christmas foods from worst to best, but please don’t send us hate mail, because we understand that love is blind, and what we hate here at Complaints Number, you may love. Remember the spirit of the season, and if you want to cover your Christmas dinner in bread sauce, or pile up the parsnips, that’s your choice.

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23. Brussels Sprouts

brussel

A member of the cabbage family, sprouts are undoubtedly the blot on the landscape of a Christmas dinner. We didn’t like them when we were kids, and we still don’t like them now. Send those sprouts away!

22. Parsnips

parsnips

Let’s be honest. We’ve all bit into a parsnip thinking it was a roast potato, only to be terribly disappointed when the truth emerged. It’s a no from me, parsnips.

21. Nut roast

nut-roast

The centrepiece of every vegetarian’s Christmas dinner. We feel sorry for you veggies… in this modern world, surely there must be a better meat alternative than this?!

20. Chestnuts

chestnuts

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire are pretty much the staple of every Christmas market. They only really seem to pop out at Christmas and they even make their way into stuffing sometimes, the conniving little buggers.

19. Port

port

Port. Aka, cold mulled wine. If I’m going to drink a sweet red wine, I want to drink it warm.

18. Chocolate coins

chocolate-coins

Cute when you were younger, but now, all the chocolate coins just seem to taste cheap. Perhaps it’s due to Brexit…

17. Eggnog

eggnog

Milk, cream and whipped eggs. It has one outcome: sickly. We will stick to Baileys, thank you very much.

16. Christmas Pudding

christmas-pudding

You pour brandy over it and you set it on fire. It certainly looks like a showstopper, but the inside is just bitter.

15. Bread sauce

bread-sauce

Bread sauce. Aka the lumpy, white bowl on the edge of the table left to go cold. A poor man’s gravy, if you will.

14. Cranberry sauce

cranberry-sauce

If you listen closely, you can hear every supermarket in the land screaming ‘whaaaaaaaaaaaaat?!’ as I type. But, it’s true. You can put cranberry sauce in as many festive sandwiches and bakes as you like, and I’ll still say it’s not necessary with a Christmas dinner.

13. Christmas Cake

christmas-cake

Christmas Cake looks beautiful, covered in icing and festive decorations, but deep down, it’s just another fruitcake.

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12. Trifle

trifle

If you leave the sherry in the bottle, trifle can be edible. But it’s still not our favourite Christmas dessert.

11. Carrot & swede mash

carrot-and-swede

Add butter and salt & pepper, and you’ve got yourself an ideal vegetable accompaniment to your Christmas dinner. None of those disgusting sprouts or pesky parsnips.

10. Mince Pies

mincepies

A supermarket must-have from October onwards, mince pies are perhaps one of the primary symbols of a British Christmas. Shout out to everyone who thought they actually had meat in them for an embarrassingly long time.

9. Tins of chocolate

celebrations

You know what I mean..the Heroes, Roses and Celebrations. They’re available year-round, but we like to save them for Christmas so we can fall asleep in front of the TV, only to wake up covered in the wrappings.

8. Yule Log

yule-log

Chocolate swiss roll, another year-round item. Only this time, it’s festively decorated. You win the dessert category,

7.  Mulled wine

mulled-wine

Only when you drink it from a souvenir mug at a Christmas market, though. It’s not the same when you make it yourself.

6. Pannetone

pannetone

A little bit of a underrated Christmas food, we feel. It comes from Italy and you can buy it in a cute little tin to give to your nan.

5. Cheese board

cheese-board

One of the best parts of Christmas Day is bringing out the cheese board when you have cleared a little space in your stomach, usually by around 9pm when the festive TV specials are on. Bonus points for the posh crackers to accompany it.

4. Turkey

turkey

We only eat turkey at Christmas, and for good reason, as it lasts for bloody ages doesn’t it? We’ve put turkey at number 4 solely for the leftover turkey and stuffing sandwiches, though.

3. Stuffing

stuffing

Stuffing is an important aspect of any British roast dinner, but it truly comes into its own at Christmas when you can get those fancy mixes from Aldi, and of course when it sits next to the turkey on your leftovers sandwich.

2. Glazed ham

glazed-ham

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Yes, we put a secondary meat ahead of the main type of Christmas meat, but with good reason. Whether you glaze with maple syrup, Coca-Cola, bourbon or honey, it’s just divine.

1. Pigs in Blankets

pigs-in-blankets

Pigs in blankets deserve every single bit of the hype that they get. Let’s be honest, we all become a pig in a blanket over the Christmas period. Not to be confused with the American version of pigs in blankets, which are actually sausage rolls, you hooligans.

Burger King Ditches Festive – They’re All About The Cheddar

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Burger King have just released their Christmas menu, with a range of burgers and sides that delves deep into the Christmas spirit and brings us a selection of… cheeses?

Tha’s right, the Burger King Christmas Menu has been unleashed, and it hasn’t got a single bit of turkey, a stray cranberry or a crumb or stuffing anywhere on it. Instead, it’s all cheese – so much cheese you’ll need to sleep until the new year just to digest it all. The entire festive menu eschews traditional Christmas foods and embraces a massive homage to cheddar – even including a burger with a shocking orange bun and a patty made of four different kinds of cheese!

The Cheddar Collection, pictured above, features three new burgers, all of which are very heavy on the cheese, and a side, which is also, unsurprisingly, made of cheddar cheese.

The new range is, as described by Burger King themselves, “A response to our customers, who have been asking us for years to create a menu with stronger cheese flavours. The Cheddar Whopper, the Cheddar Tendercrisp and the Smokey BBQ Angus are all our ways to answer those customer requests and provide the thing they’ve always asked for – stronger cheese, and more of it.”

The main burger on the Christmas cheeseathon is the Cheddar Whopper – a quarter pounder beef burger based on the Whopper, Burger King’s signature burger and its highest-selling product. The Cheddar Whopper has the same award-winning Whopper burger patty, topped with a four-cheese “patty” of breaded cheeses, and then finished off with more cheese, some lettuce and tomato, a smothering of cheddar sauce, and a stunningly orange cheddar burger bun. It’s a dazzling burger with a suitably bright aesthetic, and for cheese lovers, it might just be the Christmas treat you’re looking for.

Say you want something closer to a traditional Christmas turkey, however. You want a roast turkey dinner, like Mum used to make, and you’ve decided that Burger King is the best place to get it. In that case, you might be disappointed by a lack of festive turkey, but you can go for the nearest edible equivalent and get chicken. The festive Christmas chicken offering at Burger King is the Chicken Tendercrisp, which has a more traditional bun, lettuce, tomatoes and cheddar cheese sauce, on a crispy fried full chicken breast, and – you guessed it – a four-cheese breaded patty, a mighty slab of cheesy goodness that completes the burger and enriches the palate with various cheeses in very large quantities. The bright orange bun might be gone, but make no mistake – this burger is just as cheesy as its beef counterpart, the Cheddar Whopper.

The Smoky BBQ Angus Burger is the only new menu item that doesn’t feature co[pious amounts of cheddar, but make no mistake, it’s still a cheeseburger. Hitting up all the classic barbecue burger flavours of bacon, American cheese, tomato, lettuce, and chargrilled beef burger with barbeque sauce, this burger will provides a break from the heavy cheese flavours for anyone who likes flavours that aren’t cheese.

Lastly, there are the Nacho Cheddar Bites, delicious cheese balls deep fried and served on the side, or on their own merit in a little bag.

However, while cheese lovers across the world have been uniting in their transcendent joy, crying their victory to the heavens, others have not been so happy about this “festive” menu.

Decrying it as “un-festive” and complaining about its lack of Christmas food staples like cranberries, roast potatoes, dried fruit puddings, turkey, brussels sprouts, stockings or pine trees, Christmas people have been decidedly unimpressed by the new cheese menu.

Comparing it unfavourably to Nandos and KFC, the Christmas People also chide the Burger chain for failing to adequately uphold the spirit of Christmas, like those other fast food chains did.  Both of those, claim the apparent elves at Santa’s Workshop, released Christmas burgers topped with a festive sauce, with KFC announcing the innovatively-named Christmas Burger, which features cranberry sauce, apparently the ingredient which determines whether a burger is “Christmassy” or not. The KFC burger goes one step further, however – it even includes a sage-and-onion flavoured mayonnaise, which really makes customers think that this fast food restaurant has given them an actual traditional Christmas dinner in a bun.

The Nandos offering, meanwhile approaches the Christmas food problem from a different angle, doubling down on its berry sauces. It has created the Peri-Berry Burger (a play on its signature peri-peri style of preparing chicken, a Portuguese speciality) and topped the Peri-Berry Burger with a sauce that contained not only cranberries (the gatekeeper of Christmas cuisine) but also raspberries and blueberries! A much more exotic take on a festive classic.

Neither KFC nor Nandos would take the complete plunge into serving turkey, but they are both chicken specialists, so I suppose we can’t accuse them of too much anti-festive Scroogery.

So to bring things back to Burger King, what did Gustavo Reichmann, the general manager of Burger King in the UK, have to say when he was accused of being a Grinch?

“Burger King is completely dedicated to creating, perfecting and providing the best possible food at affordable prices for all of our customers,” he says. “Our customers have asked for a cheese-based limited edition menu for years, and have been patient in what they were asking for, and now, with the Cheddar Collection, we’re finally able to include the cheese combinations that will suit any taste and really excite the fans of our great burgers.”

He finished his response with an important clarification;

“I’m not releasing this menu because I hate Christmas. Turkey is fine, cranberries are also fine. The spirit of Christmas is great. Honestly this Cheddar Menu doesn’t have much to do with Christmas, and I am definitely not a Grinch. I have never tried to steal anyone’s festive cheer, nor would I want to.”

So there you have it! The Cheddar Menu is available at participating Burger King stores until January.

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Hermes Facing Low Pay Allegations

hermes courier

Investigations have revealed that workers for the delivery giant Hermes take home less than the National Living Wage in their pay packet, and the company is now being investigated by the HMRC compliance officers to see if findings are true. The National Living Wage was introduced earlier this year and stands at £7.20 per hour. The law states that any worker aged 25 or over should receive the National Living Wage. Investigations into worker’s pay at Hermes, conducted by The Guardian, revealed that self-employed workers, working for Hermes and delivering to major retailers such as Next and John Lewis were earning less than minimum wage. As part of their contract to work for Hermes, they are registered as self-employed. Many workers have complained to the House of Commons Work and Pensions Select Committee that being registered this way means that they miss out on basic worker’s rights including no paid holiday and no sick pay. If they fell ill, they risked losing a large amount of work, putting them under considerable strain and pressure. There were calls from the workers themselves to be considered as actual employees rather than self-employed due to unfair treatment.

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False Self-Employment

Despite it giving a huge disadvantage, Hermes have defended their actions by saying that HMRC granted them permission back in 2011 to register their workers as self-employed, and even goes as far as to say that they are committed to ensuring that their workers receive a wage that is equivalent to or higher than the National Living Wage. So where have the claims come from? And why has the investigation found otherwise? There seems to be a stigma surrounding the term ‘self-employed’ when it is under a bigger company but HMRC’s executive chairman Edward Troup has categorically said that there now will be no individuals that are opted out of employment rights and protections, simply because they have been branded with the ‘self-employed’ title and they are committed to tackling anyone that has suffered under this title, with Hermes or anywhere. HMRC has branded being treated unfairly under the self-employment label as ‘false self-employment’ and will now take ‘strong action’ against companies that, to save themselves money, have forced their staff to work as self-employed and in turn deny them employment rights and benefits of which they are entitled. There is no longer room for any companies that try and avoid paying minimum wage by labeling their employers.

After being named and shamed, Hermes invited its couriers who believed that they were being underpaid to undergo a review of their parcel rate. Whilst this may have seemed like a positive move in the right direction, there have been reports of couriers that have written to Hermes taking up their offer for a review and hearing nothing back in the six weeks since they have written, meaning they are left to struggle on extremely little pay. Although Hermes continues to claim that there is a system in place for all of those that wish to escalate a complaint further, but it does not seem to work. Alternatively, if a worker wishes to escalate their complaint to the ombudsman, they will always accept the final decision.

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Brighter Future?

The face that HMRC has taken the claims of unfair worker treatment as seriously as it has shows that the future is definitely brighter when it comes to worker’s rights. The bigger picture includes not just Hermes, but a whole host of companies that think its ok to give their workers inadequate payment and HMRC has finally shown that they will no longer tolerate it. The decline in trade union membership has perhaps made it easier for a company to exploit its workers in recent years . Gone are the well-paid union members and instead there is staff that recognise the insecurity of their job, have unstable contracts and are therefore afraid to say anything when treated wrongly for fear that they might end up unemployed altogether. Self-employment has recently become something that it once wasn’t, a last resort after losing a job and having no alternative and therefore open to employers that take advantage. This means that many people these days who are self-employed in the so-called ‘gig’ economy, are just about ‘managing’ as a result of exploitation.

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Further Unrest

This action taken by HMRC against Hermes should serve as a warning to other companies that their actions will now no longer be tolerated, even if they had gotten away with exploitation in the past. Hermes have also been in the news after a delivery driver would tactfully steal parcels allocated to other drivers, and sell them on eBay. Failing to investigate properly, the company wrongfully sacked drivers. As a result of the driver’s actions, Hermes has £18, 000 worth of missing parcel claims. The offender was sentenced to thirty-two months in prison.

 

 

Frightening Fast Food Horror Stories

We’re all guilty of enjoying some fast food from time-to-time. Midnight McDonalds? Hungover KFC? In-a-rush Subway?  No worries, it’s totally fine, right? Well…not for some people. Let’s take a look at some of the most horrifying tales of the fast food world to have ever haunted the web and next time, you may think twice about ordering that Big Mac/Zinger/Whopper/Footlong…

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This McRib measurement could be considered unusual…

When one innocent customer ordered a McRib from the Golden Arches for the first time, he was curious about the size of the meat portion, so decided to ask the employee serving him how big it was. The employee turned around and proceeded to put his penis on the counter, proclaiming the portion was “about this big” before shouting “f**k it, I quit!”. Luckily, this story had a positive ending as the employee was later arrested for indecent exposure and the meal came free of charge.

Dirty Dominos

dominos-pizza

In 2009, a couple of Dominos employees filmed themselves farting on the sandwiches and shoving cheese up their nose. Dominos later insisted that the video was nothing but a silly prank and the food was never sent out to customers…but still.

“I’ll have the glass burger, no gherkins, please…”

big-mac

A hungry officer from the NYPD ordered a Big Mac from McDonalds. However, when he bit into the burger, one awful employee had put shards of glass in it. The officer broke some teeth and cut his mouth. The employee was later charged with assault and McDonalds were sued for over eight million dollars. That’s one expensive glass burger.

First-Aid French Fries

french-fries

Students are often short of money so they might rely on fast food to get them through the bleak financial times. However, one student from the University of Illinois may not do so in future after finding a used plaster inside her box of fries.

Footlong with fingernails

subway

Everyone enjoys a Subway. The sandwiches are highly customisable and delicious. However, one woman didn’t enjoy her sandwich when she bit into something hard, only to discover that it was a fingernail clipping.

Finger lickin’ good??

arbys

At an Arby’s restaurant in the USA, a 14-year-old boy ordered a roast beef sandwich after school. When he bit into it, he tasted something rubbery. It turned out to be the severed finger of an employee- around 3cm to be exact- that the employee had chopped off with a meat slicer. Her co-workers claimed not to know of the incident.

Whopper Shocker

burger-king-whopper

Burger King’s most famous burger is the mighty Whopper. However, in 2007, one customer found themselves chewing on what turned out to be an unwrapped condom in his burger. The customer took Burger King to court to sue for digestive issues as well as distress and nightmares, but Burger King launched a counter-claim to say that the condom was placed in the burger outside of the restaurant. The case was eventually settled outside of court.

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Blazin’ at Burger King

In 2013, one family was shocked when they found a marijuana pipe filled with weed inside a Burger King kid’s meal box. The police swiftly investigated and a 23-year-old member of staff admitted to attempting to hide his weed from his managers by placing the pipe in the box. Burgers before bongs, y’all.

Bile-inducing breakfast

mcdonald-hash-brown

McDonald’s Breakfast: the saviour of early morning road trips all around the world. However, when one Reddit user felt something at the bottom of his hash brown bag, he found a battered and fried cockroach/moth. The seemingly unconcerned store manager offered him money off his next meal. No word on whether he took them up on that kind offer or not.

And because customers can be just as awful…

Perfect pickles and carefully curated coffee

mcdonalds-burger-and-coffee

One McDonald’s employee reported on Reddit that he had a customer throw a burger in his face at 1am because the pickle ‘was not in the centre of the freakin’ bun’. In a similar incident, one customer came into a branch of McDonald’s two to three times a day for an iced coffee- one day, someone got the order wrong and he then proceeded to throw his large coffee at the manager, after requesting to speak to him. People.

The attention seeking mum

mother-and-baby

A woman at a counter in a fast food restaurant is proceeding to tell the employee how “cute” and “dressed up” her baby was. The employee humoured her and she continued for around a minute before the employee is eventually forced to ask if she wanted to order anything. The response? “No, I just wanted to show you my baby”. Wow, that’s what social media is for, no?

Taking a diet too far

mcdonalds-water

So we’ve all heard the unwritten rule that ordering a Diet Coke with your fast food cancels out all the calories, right? (spoiler alert: it doesn’t really) but one customer took it to another level. They ordered a number five meal, a number two meal, two large fries and a diet water. No, you read that correctly…a diet water. Of course, the employee says he was unable to control his laughter

Supersized…alligator?

alligator

A man was arrested in Florida last year after he threw a three and a half foot alligator into the drive-thru window of a Wendy’s. The ‘gator was later released into a canal and the man was accused of assault with a deadly weapon.

The wrong coupon

coupons

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We all love a bargain, so when we get coupons and vouchers, it’s a very happy occasion. However, it wasn’t for one customer who turned in the coupon at the wrong restaurant. The customer didn’t understand why the coupon was ‘no good’ until the employee told him that the coupon probably was ‘good’, just at the correct restaurant…

So, are you put off from eating at fast food restaurants? We’ll certainly exercise caution after writing this article, but nothing will ever stop us from ordering that guilty drunken McDonalds or hungover KFC

You just have to remember, always be kind and courteous to the people who are making your food, or you might get a nasty surprise.

The Funniest TV Complaints Ever Made

Game of Thrones TV scene

It wouldn’t be Britain if we didn’t air a TV show and receive millions of complaints from offended people who seem to forget their ability to change the channel with the simple press of a button on their remote control (technology these days eh). Ofcom can receive up to thousands of complaints at the slightest controversy, with shows such as Xfactor, This Morning, ITV News, Emmerdale and unsurprisingly Big Brother and Celebrity Big Brother being a few of the most complained about. Sometimes (mainly in Big Brother’s case) the complaints are justified as there can be some outrageous and inappropriate things that sneak passed the watershed, but sometimes it becomes clear that these TV watchers need, for want of a better phrase, a life.

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 The Simpsons – 2010

Everybody’s favourite cartoon offended a nation in 2010 when Ofcom received complaints about Lisa kicking Bart in the crotch because it left him lying on the ground in ‘sexual agony.’ Don’t know about you but the term ‘sexual agony’ is not only unnecessary but has turned an innocent Simpson’s joke between everyone’s favourite characters into something weird and awkward. No. Just no. Can we leave our Simpsons innocence right where it is please thanks.

Game of Thrones – Season Three

Yep, THAT red wedding massacre had practically every single Game of Thrones fan significantly reeling from the events that took place, many vowing to never EVER watch the show again, with a lot of hate Tweets aimed directly at author George R. R. Martin himself (something tells us he probably didn’t care that much about the fact he’d apparently ‘ruined’ a lot of people’s lives, as he counted his millions). A few live tweets from the event itself (well, that’s what you’d think) summed up how viewers really felt about the scene where, basically *spoiler alert*, everyone dies:

  • ‘If anyone needs me, I’ll be humming ‘Rains of Castemere’ rocking back and forth in the fetal position for the foreseeable future #gameofthrones’ 
  • ‘There are literally not enough cuss words in the English Language. Jesus Christ, George R R Martin #gameofthrones’
  • ‘NOBODY WATCH GAME OF THRONES IT’S HORRIBLE AND IT WILL MAKE YOUR SOUL CRUSH INTO PIECES AND YOU WILL BE FOREVER CRYING.

You get the picture.

VMA Awards – 2013

The Miley Cyrus-  Robin Thicke performance that had everyone talking was unsurprisingly met with no end of complaints as the singer basically let it all hang out on stage (foam finger and all). Seeming like she was possessed rather than performing, many found that their performance was a step too far considering there was probably a fair amount of young viewers watching the show. Even for a more mature audience, it seemed many disapproved considering Miley left extremely little to the imagination. In a nutshell, it was an absolute world away from Hannah Montana’s ‘Boom Boom Clap’ that’s for sure. One viewer that was unfortunate enough to be watching the performance with his entire family said; ‘had I wanted my family to see a live sex show, I would have taken them to Tijuana’.

Moneysupermarket.com Ltd Advert – 2015

If you’re unaware of what the advert entails, then it’s basically a camp, male man strutting his stuff in short shorts and heels. Of course, he is promoting the wonderful services of Money Supermarket, but somehow we don’t think that is the reason the advert was complained about. Unbelievably, this was one of the most complained about TV adverts of 2015, many finding the man’s dress was overtly sexual and the advert, on the whole, was extremely provocative. I wonder if many people actually knew the whole thing was a joke? Funnily enough, the advert was reviewed by the Standard’s Agency and found to be totally non-offensive.

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Paypal Advert  – 2015

This is the advert that had the potential to ruin the lives of millions of kids by basically telling them that SANTA ISN’T REAL. Que ALL the complaints. If there is a worse crime in the world than this, then we are not aware of it. For smart children watching the advert (if kids even pay this much attention to adverts) they would have noticed the two children in the month of December panicking that their parents had bought them nothing that year for Christmas, only to find that their father had ordered everything online using the extremely efficient payment service, Paypal. Now of course, everyone knows that Santa brings the presents from the North Pole and it’s never until the 25th December, so we’re not really sure what they were getting at with that advert, or why the children were panicking in the first place. Despite this, Paypal did decide to change the scheduling of the advert to a more suitable time (when the kids should be asleep). Too little too late Paypal. Too little. Too late.

man reporting BBC weatherThe Weather

Believe it or not, the BBC once received a complaint about a weather report, not because of the style in which it was reported, but because the report was reporting bad weather. Now, unfortunately, bad weather is the harsh reality for us Brits and if you don’t want to hear about it, then maybe don’t watch it, or in fact just stay indoors, or even better move somewhere warm. But, nope, one viewer continued watching the reports of gale force winds and rain and complained that it was ‘depressing the children.’ You and me both kids.

  Eastenders

This soap has been on TV since the dawn of time and it’s actually quite baffling how some people still watch it. One viewer declared he had absolutely seen enough when he watched a few episodes consecutively and found that all the characters do is sit ‘in the pub or the cafe’ which is not realistic at all because in real life this sort of behaviour would ‘cost too much’. Yep, we agree, the sitting in cafes and drinking in pubs is definitely the totally unrealistic part of Eastenders and they should maybe try and tone this down so that the story lines are a whole lot more believable…

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Vodafone Announced as the UK’s Worst Network Provider

Vodafone phone mast

This summer it emerged that Vodafone is officially the UK’s worst network. That’s right, not worst for customer service, or the worst signal provider, but just the worst network in general. Wow. According to Money Saving Expert there have been systematic failings by at the network giant that are likely to have already affected, or are going to affect some twenty million Vodafone Customers. This comes after literally thousands of complaints have hammered the company and if you are unfortunate enough to be with the network you are being urged to monitor your bills closely. If you are or were thinking of switching to Vodafone, our advice would probably be not to, at least not until they have
got their act together. Big style.

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There are a number of problems that have been complained about by Vodafone network users, and the main ones include; customers overpaying on their bills because they have been put on the wrong tariff which in turn means they are paying more than was originally agreed in their contract, direct debits that have been wrongfully set up by the company and so when a payment is due they are rudely chasing customers for money they thought they had already paid and customers, in general, being almost double or triple charged for data and minutes they haven’t even used. On top of all this, there is the issue of payments being taken even when a customer has ended or cancelled their contract and credit agencies being told by Vodafone that customers have missed payments when they don’t even owe them in the first place. It seems that Vodafone have a great deal of explaining to do, before anyone decides to join (or re-join) their network. There have been reports on discussion threads all over the internet with customers being quite frankly livid with the service they have received and feel, for want of a better phrase, totally and utterly, mugged off. One woman reported how she was overcharged a whopping £100 for the first three months of her contract and has been overcharged £40-£60 ever since.

Billing Issues

According to the people at Ofcom, Vodafone is the most complained about network, with many customers completely exasperated with the problems that they have received since joining, increasing significantly in the last nine months. The majority of the complaints focussed worryingly around billing issues, but there was also some that highlighted the network’s poor customer service skills. According to Vodafone only a ‘small fraction’ of customers were affected but, yeah, that’s what they all say. They do however, admit some of the errors of their ways and have claimed that they are doing all that they can to try and resolve the customer service issue they are currently faced with, and if that means bringing in new and improved resources then, so be it. However, it seems a lot of people will only start really believing this when they see it. Oh, and, they also claim that most of the billing issues stem from their attempt to move over to a state of the art system which as a result of underestimation, details got lost in the process. Hmmmm.

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Fellow Vodafone users across the pond also experienced Vodafone’s extremely poor service when the network went completely down leaving users unable to use their phones altogether. This happened recently, and reports were flooding in of users being unable to connect to the network at all, being left without any signal in several areas. To make matters worse, although Vodafone was aiming to fix the problem as a top priority, they were unable to give an exact time as to when the issue would be fixed, which of course only aggravated the situation. users were unable to phone Vodafone support or log into the app to ask for any help with the situation, leaving them completely in the dark. Vodafone was, however, responsive over Twitter, and normal service did eventually resume. It is reported that customers were left without phone service have received nothing in the way of compensation for the inconvenience from Vodafone, despite suggesting that they at least deserve a free data day for their troubles.

Future Improvements?

If you are a Vodafone user, you may be anxious to hear if Vodafone are currently looking to improve their services, but if you have already been affected you may feel that it is too late, and you want out. If this is the case, it is important to ensure that any cancelled contracts with Vodafone are actually cancelled, so check your bank account on your usual bill date to ensure that no money has been taken out. There have been extensive reports of people paying disconnection fees to Vodafone which should have then led to a cancelled contract, to then discover that over lengthy amounts of time, they have still been paying Vodafone. If you do terminate a contract with Vodafone you will be asked to pay a fee if your contract has not reached its end. When your contract has been cancelled, please keep hold of any documentation for proof, incase you do have to enter into a dispute with Vodafone.

 

The Best Social Media Responses to Complaining Customers

At Complaints Number, we don’t condemn complaints (clue’s in the name), and yes, we believe that if you are unhappy about something, then honesty is the best policy. However, sometimes the nature of some complaints is so ridiculous that we can’t help but laugh at the responses they receive on social media by the companies themselves. These companies usually have quite a large following and the fact they give at good as they get probably gets their name out there even more, with people choosing to give them a quick ‘like’ or a ‘follow’ purely so they can laugh at how they deal with their customers. Hey, who said being a social media manager was a boring job?

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According to research, customer complaints via social media are becoming more and more common as many customers feel  that it is the most effective way of contacting a company and the quickest way to receive a response. not only are they an easy way for companies to respond to you, brands are also extremely aware that whatever you are unhappy with can be seen by millions of other people also using the same social media site, and because of this know their name can be dragged through the mud in seconds. They also want customers to see that they are efficient when it comes to dealing with complaints. Social media is now being seen as a great opportunity for brands to engage with their customers, not only with complaints but also when things like constructive criticism and feedback on products are given. All companies are now being urged to use social media to their advantage.

It is no secret that a company’s success can be built on the quality of its customer service. Responding on social media is not just about getting a quick response in there fast, it is about how helpful their response is, because to trust a company, you need to know that they take their customer complaints seriously. However, it also pays to engage with customers on a personal level, humour and all. Here are some of the best so far…

Argos

A man complaining to Argos about them not having his desired item in stock definitely didn’t get the response he was expecting when a complaints manager decided to give as good as he got…

Argos social media

 

We have no idea who LD actually is but we applaud him. Several times.

Virgin

A customer travelling on board a Virgin train was a little bit, er, lost when he was caught short mid-journey and decided to tweet Virgin to explain the situation…

Virgin trains social media ocmplaint

 

Virgin Trains were applauded by twitter followers all round for rectifying their toilet paper mistake and coming to a man in his true hour of need.

Waterstones

When a customer got a bit more than he bargained for on his shopping trip, a real life lock-in at Waterstones. This might have been exciting but considering he actually couldn’t get out, the shutters were down and all staff had gone home for the night, he didn’t really have much choice but to alert the bookstore on social media to see if there was anyone that could come to his rescue. Thankfully, Waterstones never put down their phone and were able to pick up this customer’s call for help pretty quickly….not before he got millions of likes, retweets, and his very own #freedavidwillis hashtag, though.

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Waterstones locks customer into store

Waterstones tweet complaining customer

Sainsbury’s

Some really fishy complaining occurred when a customer was less than satisfied with the amount of stock in his local Sainsbury’s, it’s safe to say there is not really a clear winner here but the conversation certainly caught the attention of many amused Twitter scrollers…

Customer complains to Sainsbury's on social media

(it goes on for a while).

Arriva

Arriva responds to complaining customer

Arriva twitter

Arriva twitter account

This guy’s desperate pleas to Arriva North West went unnoticed when he was let down by the bus actually showing up on time because he was then forced to go to a uni lecture. Ironically, Arriva is usually inundated with complaints because the bus doesn’t seem to be able to show up on time. We guess they just can’t win, so they compromised by making best of friends with every customer. We like their style.

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Innocent Drinks

Innocent smoothies tweet complaining customer

Everyone was thinking it, he just said it. Why can’t we mix healthy with alcohol and be done with it? It seems Innocent have offered a helpful alternative to getting your five a day as well as your Friday night fun, completely out of choice, of course.

 

The Best On-Hold Music of All Time

angry woman on hold

We’ve all been there, desperately trying to get through to a company to discuss important issues such as missing payments, incorrect deliveries or just generally awful customer service, and you’re put on-hold. Being on-hold is fine, it’s understandable that you would need to be transferred to the correct department, and yes, you do want your complaint dealt with by the right people, but when your riled up and ready to burst, being on -hold for approximately ten years or more, is not what you want. To make matters worse, rather than just allow you to sit there in silence and gather your thoughts for the conversation ahead (you really do have some top class moaning to do) you are subjected to songs you didn’t even know still existed, usually played out in a muffled, tinny sort of way that leaves you with bleeding ears (another complaint to add to the list)…

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Anything Classical

God knows where people even find these clips, but any company that plays classical music to their customers whilst they are on hold have the ability to destroy a once beautiful piece of music with great success. Gone are the soft sounds of a violin, the mesmerising melody of a flute and in its place is just, well, noise. Whether it’s the crackling phone line, the unreliable signal in your kitchen or just the general bad quality recording they’ve dug up from yesteryear, you can be guaranteed a headache.

Christmas Music

‘I wish it could be Christmas everyday’ can only be played into your ear so many times before you never want to see December the 25th again. Companies also have the audacity to play Christmas music FAR too early (October/early November time) or too late when the festivities are over and all you want to do is complain about your phone bill being too high, not be reminded of the disgusting amount of food and drink you consumed, how empty your bank is and how you are yet to step into the gym.

90’s Pop

There are certain songs that you just don’t play to an angry person on hold. Classic or not, ‘Everybody Hurts’ by REM is definitely not one of them. There is absolutely no need to inform us that we have now joined a long queue of sad miserable callers, and you’re laughing at us. And no, there is no such thing as overthinking when you’re on hold. Of course there’s always room for a cheeky bit of Robbie thrown into the mix, in particularly ‘Angels’ that will take you on a brief trip down memory lane, past mistakes, long lost lovers, that kind of thing. So much so that you forget about your complaint and instead poor your heart out to the complaints department of Ryanair. Cue ‘My Heart Will Go On’ – Celine Dion’s Titanic special also seems to be a popular choice of hold music, and, ironically, we all know no-one makes it out of that one alive.

ABBA

Already an extremely marmite music choice, ABBA has some very questionable hold songs. Ok, a bit of ‘Dancing Queen’ might get some people in the party mood, maybe even ‘Mamma Mia’ if you don’t let things like phone queues get you down, but ‘The Winner Takes it All’? that’s really pushing it. Is it a competition now? Does only one lucky winner get through to customer services? Will there be a set of mastermind-like challenges before the complaints department will even acknowledge your call? Nobody knows.

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Club Tunes

Fancy a bit of David Guetta whilst you prepare to completely rip apart Sky for giving the same slow service you have complained about every month for the past year? Or maybe a bit of Alesso whilst you’re patiently waiting with a cup of tea to speak to someone from ASDA because your food delivery contained out of date items? Somehow the two don’t really fit together. Whilst such music tends to generally invoke a good mood in people, there is definitely a time and a place, and the on-hold queue for angry customers is definitely not it. To make matters it loops, over and over again. Anyone would think they don’t actually want to talk to you…

James Blunt

A study conducted a few years back showed that the most soul destroying, on-hold music of all time was James Blunt’s infamous 2005 hit ‘You’re Beautiful’. Whilst many may see this as one of the top tunes of all time, it is notoriously repetitive and whiney and could probably have the ability to turn an innocent caller on-hold into a suicidal mess.  There is no way to avoid it either if you want to eventually get through, although resisting the urge to hang up is strong. Very strong.

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