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Everything posted by Jim0203

  1. My new VAIO laptop malfunctioned after less than a week. I've sent it back to Sony to be repaired under warranty by a company called Teleplan. After three weeks neither Sony nor Teleplan can even tell me when to expect the laptop back, despite initially telling me it should be back in five days. I've had the case escalated by the Sony customer service team a number of times and nothing's happened, so I've emailed the Managing Directors of Sony UK and Teleplan. Here's the email I sent - I'll report back when I get a response. Dear Mr Dowdle and Mr Twallfhoven, I am a Sony customer. My Vaio laptop is currently being repaired, under warranty, by Teleplan in Colchester, England. I am writing to you because I have been unable to achieve any satisfaction from the customer service departments of either Sony or Teleplan. This is an open letter that I have published to several popular web forums, the details for which can be found at the end of this email. I will be keeping the forums up-to-date with any response I receive from you. I have also sent copies of this email to various directors, managers and staff members of Sony UK and Teleplan. I purchased my Vaio laptop over the internet and received it on August 9th. On the evening of the following Tuesday, August 14th, the screen malfunctioned. I contacted Sony the next day and the arranged to collect the laptop on Thursday, August 16th. The laptop was collected and I received a text message on Monday, August 20th telling me that the laptop had been received by Teleplan in Colchester. I called Sony on August 20th and was told that someone had looked at my laptop, but since they could not diagnose the fault the laptop would be looked at by someone else the next day. I called again on the evening of that day but there was not further news. Since then, I have called Sony at least once, and sometimes twice, every day, to try and get some more information on when I can expect to get my laptop back. I have also called Teleplan direct once, yesterday. My case has been escalated by Sony's staff, and has been discussed (I am told) by Sony management with Teleplan management. But I have still not received any information about when I can expect to get my laptop back. I have lost hope that this situation will be resolved in the near future without some form of intervention. I would greatly appreciate it if you could do whatever you can to make sure the situation is resolved as soon as possible. I rely on my laptop for my work. I run a charity in Edinburgh which teaches people with disabilities how to use computers. There are now two of us sharing one laptop, which is far from ideal and is greatly hindering our work. I appreciate that sometimes repairs can take a little longer than initially expected (I was originally told my laptop would be repaired and returned within five working days), but I find it unnaceptable that noone can tell me when to expect my laptop to be returned. I look forward to hearing from you soon. If I have not received a response by the end of next week I intend to stand outside my local Sony Centre and inform any customers entering the store of the poor level of service they can expect if their Sony laptop malfunctions. I hope, however, that I don't have to do this, and that this situation can be resolved as soon as possible. Yours sincerely, James Benstead Copies to: [email protected] Mark Banner, Teleplan Colchester Paul Hide, General Manager, Sony UK Carl Rose, Marketing Director, Sony UK Sony Centre, Stockbridge, Edinburgh
  2. That is a good point, especially with all the propaganda being put out by the printer manufacturers at the moment which suggests that third-party made consumables are greatly inferior to those made by Epson, HP, etc. However, the point I forgot to make in my post was that I cannot use a cartridge in my printer that will actually allow me to use all the toner available: the cartridge MUST have the facility which makes it stop after 2000 pages for the printer to recognise it. This is what ****es me off; and if it ain't illegal, it damn well should be.
  3. I use a Brother DCP-7010 laser printer/scanner, and I am really pleased with it. However, the toner cartridge is rigged so that after it has printed a certain number of pages, it refuses to print any more. I have worked out that this is caused by a little plastic flag and, when I force the flag away from the "empty" position, the toner cartridge will continue to work for anything between 1 and 40 pages before the printer again claims that the cartridge is empty. I then reset the flag and start the whole process again. I have got around 200 pages out of a supposedly empty cartridge, which is still printing as I write. But, obviously, this situation is not ideal. Does anyone have any ideas on what we can do to stop this practice by the printer manufacturers (I know that certain inkjet printers have the same feature). The cost to the end consumer is one thing, but what really annoys me is the wastage of both the toner ink (which may even be toxic when disposed of; I'm not sure), and of the time it takes to put these cartridges together, which could be used for making the world a better place (apologies, I'm a Marxist Idealist at heart ).
  4. I used to work in a pub where the tills were down (i.e., didn't have as much money in them as the computer thought they should) and the staff were told they had to pay the money back amongst themselves. If any company asks you to do this, and it is not laid down in your contract, then do not do it. I spoke to the head office of the pub I was working for (A John Barras pub, part of the Spirit Group who I recommend you never give your patronage to, if you have a choice) who told me that it was not "standard practice". I got suspicious when my manager told me to pay the money back in cash and when I asked her to take it out of my wages (so I didn't end up being taxed twice on the money) she told me she couldn't do it! If anyone who is given more power by the system than you does anything that seems a bit illegal, it probably is - challenge them!
  5. If you're a full time university student you may be able to get a student account with a free overdraft. Also - and I am only speculating about this - your credit rating may not need to be that good to get a student account. I have a student account with RBS, £2000 free overdraft. I also have one with co-op, £800 free overdraft. But technically you are only allowed to have one student account Actually, now I've written that down I am slightly suspicious as to the legality of the banks only offering a student account to those people who don't already have one. Anyone know anything about this? I realise that banks can probably refuse anyone an account for any reason, but they often ask for details relating to whether you have a student account or not. Do they have any way of knowing?
  6. There is an interesting point that has come up in this thread, so I thought I might return to it to see if anyone can offer any insights. If I have no money in my account and try and take money out of an ATM or from a branch, I am not allowed to. Ditto with using a card to pay at point of sale. The only loophole in this that I can think of is when I use a credit card at weekends and not all transactions have hit the account; in these circumstances I could feasibly be using money I don't have access to since the computer didn't know I didn't have the money. Now, this question has an obvious answer, but: why do the banks simply not pay Direct Debits and standing orders for which I do not have funds available? I have then broken a contract with whoever the money was meant to go to, and they can take it up with me. Of course, the banks do this so they can make money, but has anyone ever heard a bank giving an answer? I'm sure they wouldn't say "well, we just do it to add to our multi-billion pound profits, because we don't make enough money out of third-world debt, funding dictatorships and investing in arms trade and socially-crippling currency speculation".
  7. Apologies if this information is incorrect; I receieved it second hand from my Dad. I am not in the habit of listening to Radio 5 at 6.30 on a Sunday Morning! According to my Dad, a guy from Which? was on Radio 5 this morning talking about Bank Charges and how they are illegal. I have tried to listen to the show again but it is not yet available on the net; I guess it will be 24 hours after broadcast. The link for the show is http://www.bbc.co.uk/fivelive/programmes/breakfast.shtml And there is a link on that page, towards the top, to "Listen Again". Also, the guy from Which? mentioned the Which? website to do with bank charges. I would be surprised if this hadn't already been posted to the forums, but just in case: http://www.which.net/campaigns/personalfinance/bankingcharges/index.html EDIT: My Dad has just phoned me up again (it's like having my own researcher!) to point me at an article in today's Sunday Telegraph: "Money and Jobs" Section, page 3, "Fight Back Against The Banks": full page article about all of this. It also mentions the guy at Which? who is chasing all of this up; his name is Doug Taylor. Please let me know if you want the full Telegraph article posted - or any other articles from any newspaper back issues: I get access to an online catalogue of newspapers through my university.
  8. I was wondering if their were any other members in Edinburgh North & Leith constituency (UK parliament) who would like to approach their MP about this? I reckon if a bunch of us got together we would have more of a chance of being listened to. Check out http://www.locata.co.uk/commons/ To see if you are in the constituency...
  9. I can work out how much £56 is in terms of the interest of £1 taken out over the three seconds, if that's what you're asking: Around 1867% per second. There are 60*60*24*365=31536000 seconds in a year, which amounts to around 58.867 billion % per annum. This is, of course, not done in terms of compound interest which would be a more realistic figure; however, since I don't have access to any NASA supercomputers at the moment I don't have the technology to calculate it...
  10. I have receieved £94 as a "good will gesture" from Natwest, along with a letter including although the usual gumph along the lines of "we're justing doing this because we are nice, this isn't a refund and we don't agree that our charges are illegal". Another part of the letter actually said: Which, as far as I can tell, is bullshit. Anyway, I just checked my online banking and the payment was been entered as a "refund", which suggests that it must be linked, directly, with an initial payment on my part. That is, the money they have transfered into my account is explicitly a refund of the charges they levied. This seems to me to be quite a concession by Natwest. I'm not sure if this helps from a legal perspective, but I thought it was worth a shout. Any admins want any further info, get in touch.
  11. I've looked for an answer to the following question in the FAQ but can't find one: it might be worth an admin's time to post any answer to the FAQs. I'm currently in the process of claiming fees fro Natwest and am well aware that they are able to call in my £1000 overdraft in retaliation. My question is, how do they go about this? Do they demand the amount in full, or do they demand, say, £100 a month? Do I negotiate a repayment schedule with them, or do they just force one on to me? I realise that there may not be a cut-and-dry answer to this, so any individual experiences people are happy to recount would be greatly appreciated.
  12. I received a full refund of my £94 charges the other day, but with exactly the same rider you mention: My own intuition is that, whether they say this or not, their charges are still illegal and therefore whatever they say regarding not disclosing payments to a third party, or whatever, it doesn't matter. My intention is to write back to Natwest, saying that I am happy to accept their goodwill gesture, but not under the terms they have suggested. I intend to play them at their own game and say something along the lines of "if I had not had a response within 28 days I will assume that you are happy for the goodwill gesture to remain in place without the conditions". What do other people think? I'm not so massively bothered about getting the money back as I am about getting one over the banks legally. However, I realise that I almost certainly will not get an admission of guilt from them, so I'm happy to accept their payment as long as the terms they have imposed are rescinded. I'm pretty sure the conditions Natwest have imposed are not binding, but are they also illegal? The bit about not disclosing the payment to any third party sounds like it would be unconstitutional in US law. What about English law?
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