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lelole last won the day on July 27 2006

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  1. This topic was closed on 11 March 2019. If you have a problem which is similar to the issues raised in this topic, then please start a new thread and you will get help and support there. If you would like to post up some information which is relevant to this particular topic then please flag the issue up to the site team and the thread will be reopened. - Consumer Action Group
  2. This topic was closed on 10 March 2019. If you have a problem which is similar to the issues raised in this topic, then please start a new thread and you will get help and support there. If you would like to post up some information which is relevant to this particular topic then please flag the issue up to the site team and the thread will be reopened. - Consumer Action Group
  3. Hi Bankfodder, Thanks for your reply. Unfortunately that was the avenue I was trying to get them to go down, but they claim there is no way of linking the credit voucher to the receipt. I am really disappointed in them - this is, as far as I can see, a cynical ploy to increase profit, there is no reason why on presentation of the receipt that the credit voucher could not be tracked. A last try via social media and then give up! Leah
  4. Hi, I took back some items after Christmas with gift receipts, and was given a credit voucher in early Jan. I then spent some of the credit voucher that day and received another credit voucher in change. I wasn't feeling well that day, and probably shouldn't have been shopping, but I did, and obviously wasn't thinking straight because, it later transpired that I had the receipts from the two transactions but no credit voucher. I went yesterday in store and fully expected them to be able to track and trace the credit voucher via the receipt and replace it. At the time I was unsure as to whether I had even been given the voucher. Customer services asked the securityto look at the security footage and they have told me that they saw me place the credit voucher into a carrier bag I was carrying, but when I asked them to identify the carrier bag so I can check at home, they were unable to give me any information other than it was a dark carrier bag, possibly a marks and spencer one (when I then asked how they knew it was a credit voucher that went into the bag if they cannot see that level of detail they said "we just know what they look like"). I was told that a replacement is not possible - that in their terms and conditions it states that credit vouchers should be treated as cash, and that they are unable to trace the credit voucher from the transaction. However, in my opinion they are not the same as cash for two major reasons: number one, if they had refunded me cash, and I had lost it, there would be no way to trace it. number 2, if it were cash I had lost, they would not be benefitting from my loss. If this were a small amount of money, I would probably just let it go as lesson learned. However it was £90, and that is a lot of money to me (I know I should have been more careful, I realise that). Obviously my number one concern is getting a replacement voucher, but also I would have thought that they would wish to prevent any person who may have found the credit voucher from using it (if they haven't already) I certainly would like to prevent that. My understanding is that for somebody to use the voucher it would be theft, and so presumably they would wish to find out if/when that transaction occurred? I cannot believe that a huge company such as this, who use a barcoding system to track transactions are completely unable to link the credit voucher to the transactions. I would have thought in terms of an audit trail that would have been a basic requirement just from a HMRC point of view. So I suppose my question is, do I have any avenues here, or do I need to suck it up and not waste my time? Thanks
  5. HI, any advice on this would be great as I am drafting a response and could do with knowing what 's best to do. Also could someone tell me if they have been reasonable about this meeting? I was informed the day before by my manager that she wanted me to attend an informal meeting with herself and a company director to discuss the impact on my health. When I arrived at the hotel coffee area, she then told me briefly that the director wanted to understand my work issues, and then sat back and took notes, not interacting even when I tried to get her involved by asking questions. I was basically grilled about the in's and out's of my undiagnosed condition and asked to speculate on possible treatments and their impact on my health, in this very public place. They then brought out figures which they had pre prepared and I was asked to comment on them with no preparation. It really put me on the back foot even though I had not done anything wrong. I feel they lied about the formal nature of the meeting, in an attempt to intimidate me, but I don't know how the law would see it, and how I should respond? I have drafted a letter back which says that I am unhappy that this supposedly informal meeting was so formalised and intimidating, and that I would like to have the ability to record the conversation should a non independant thrid party be taking notes, also that I should be given time to prepare for a meeting where specific oerformnce issues are being discussed... Am I right?? Thanks
  6. Hi all thank you so much for your help, I did not realise I had more replies so sorry I haven't replied sooner. It is interesting that some of you say that I should take the money and go, because I am wondering the same thing too! There have been a couple of events since I last posted: 1. They recieved the medical report and asked me to change my working hours, they wanted me to work more days with less hours each day. I felt that this would be a problem from two points of view - it would increase the amount of driving in the job proportionally, and it would also take away one of my recuperation days. 2. As a result I was asked to attend a meeting with my boss and one of the directors as they happened to be in the area. I was told it would be an informal chat so the director could hear first hand what my symptoms were etc. but actually I felt like it was formal, especially as my manager was sat back taking notes the entire time. 3. In the meantime I have had a referral to a specialist centre, the specialist now thinks it may be related to a symptom I started experiencing in 2009, and that if it is, I would need to be seen by this specialist centre as that is where they do all the testing. This appointment is likely to be in about a month (due to company private medical insurance so that could be a problem too!) During this meeting, we did not discuss the offer of money, although that had previously been mentioned by my manager during the working hours discussion. I felt like they were probing to see what I thought as they asked a lot about whether I was working because I enjoy my job, or whether it was just to pay the bills, and they also were trying to get me to speculate on the nature of the problem and the treatments. I get the impression that they don't want to bring the offer again, but I am not sure why - have they changed their minds? Or are they worried they will seem like they are putting pressure on me. The first formal meeting I had after being offered the money, I asked them about it - what does it involve, and said that I felt I was being asked to step aside, and that I did not wish to be obstructive, but that it would have to be good offer for me to do so (ie a very clumsy attempt on my part to negotiate). They asked me to go away and consider what I would be happy with instead. I then went away and got a bit panicked and went back and said how could I put a price on my career, what was the likelihood if I did not take the money. They came back with a very defensive email giving a blow by blow account of the meeting where it was discussed and stating very clearly that I brought it up. I replied to this explaining that I was trying to explore my options as I had felt I was being pushed. Looking back I think I made a bit of a mess of this, and that I maybe I should have just negotiated, I would like now to explore with them what the offer is exactly - for instance, if it were 6 months basic pay, and the 6 months including my notice period, then it would be a very different proposition to 6 months pay in addition to my notice period with all benefits included. I wanted to ask yesterday, but felt too intimidated by the fact they were taking notes, and I wasn't sure if I asked and then decided it was not of interest it would have an negative impact (I'm not sure what I am scared of, maybe them just sacking me or something, or manipulating me in some way). If I was able to get a good offer from them, which was able to see me through then I would definitely consider it, but don't know how best to make that happen - I would really appreciate any further help... I should add for extra info that I have had only 5 weeks sick time this year due to these problems and the majority of this was one period at the beginning of the year. Thanks
  7. Thank you, just to add too, that I ahve been with them since 2005, and have had not marks against my record. In addition they have offered me 6 months pay "instead of sick pay to get better" which I have declined. This was offered again at this meeting.
  8. Hi, I have posted under another post previously but decided to start a new post for this specific issue. I have had some problems with my health over this past year, and am still being investigated as to the reasons why. I had a meeting today with my manager specifically to discuss how to proceed following a reply to their request from my consultant about how to accommodate me while I am unwell. I am a sales rep. My job includes travelling to see customers over a territory area, and obviously all of the paperwork etc. which that involves. I have targets and we are given bonuses if we achieve them. The consultant has said I may have trouble with long distances and long days. They already have tried to eliminate this by taking one area of my territory away and asking the nearest rep to cover it for this sales cycle. My boss has suggested to me today that I spread my working time over 4 days instead of 3, to achieve the"22 1/2 hours we are paying you for". I said I could see why they had suggested this, but wanted to look over it in detail and work out how I could fit this in with childcare requirements. I did say that the way she had phrased it suggested that they felt they weren't getting the required hours out of me, which I felt strongly was not the case. We talked about things in more detail and we discussed the fact that one of the ways that I have been adapting to my illness was to sometimes go home and do paperwork which needs to be done (and which I would normally do in my own time in the evening) instead of staying out driving and seeing people. I gave the example of the previous day when, having done a lot of driving, I felt I had done too much physically. I went home and started on my expenses. In reply she said well you should be doing your expenses in your own time, I do mine in my own time. I explained to her that as expenses are a "work task" that are only necessary because of expenses incurred in my job, that I felt that it was something I was entitled to complete in work time. I also said that I felt that I was doing really well this cycle (which she had already commented on) and I felt I am managing things OK at the moment. She told me that she gave that example as she wanted to clarify that she didn't want me to "create tasks" to do, so I could be at home. I told her that usually I would do the majority of my paperwork outside the working day, as I want to be flexible to the company, and that at the moment I was unable to do that for the company as I was unwell. I felt that reigning in my work to within prescribed hours was a reasonable adjustment on my part (or words to that effect!). She told me she felt that we did things such as paperwork in the evening, because we get bonus (??). As far as I know there is no suggestion of that written anywhere - the bonus is always strictly linked to target achievement. I have looked at my contract, and it does sort of back her up (which worries me): "The office will be open between 830am and 1730 each working day. Field based personnel ( me) are expected to work those hours required to achieve their performance objectives (no mention of 22 and a half hours here). As a guide they should be in the vicinity of their first call at no later than 09:00 hrs and to plan a full working day to finish at 1700hrs. Exceptionally any employee may be required to work outside normal hours. This will normally be unpaid with time of in lieu being granted. Payment may be made by prior arrangement with the employee's manager." Compared to other members of staff in the same role, my performance against target is pretty much average at the moment, and not low. She has said that she wants flexibility from me, and has also stated that the normal way of working is a flexible one, which works both ways. Surely if they are asking to fix my hours at 22 and a half, in an unflexible, way then they cannot expect me to flexible by doing paperwork outside of these hours. I would be happier sticking as I am - working as normal over 3 days, but within that time, doing my paperwork and other things which are part of my job description. Can this be seen as unreasonable? I am not trying to difficult, but I don't see a problem if the way I have been working within this flexible pattern has been achieving my targets in an equivalent way to other individuals in the same role. Thanks in advance for any help on this....
  9. Hi Papasmurf Well I tried to get the legal cover today and they said that I could upgrade for £10 but that there is a 90 day qualification period, so if anything happens in the next few months I am not covered. The guy said that even if I got dismissed in the next month or something, but decide to take legal action after the 90 day I am still not covered. I am still not sure I have the fight in me for this, I am not by nature a confrontational person, and so feel worried about asking for the recording. I feel that my employer would agree to it anyway, and that it would then a) make me seem more difficult and b) mean that I would be so worried about what I say - I get so flustered and am not used to this kind of thing, I can imagine me saying things I shouldn't or getting muddled up and causing myself an issue. In the email they stated ' it is important for you to understand that we (the company) can't sustain this indefinitely. This does not mean the company want you to leave, but we will need to consider together what options are available for both you and the company to best manage this situation, once we have the report from the consultant." Should I therefore make reference to this in my email reply, and ask outright how long I have before they feel they would like to get rid of me (phrased differently of course, but too tired to think now!). The report from the consultant should be in in the next couple of weeks as it has apparently already been dictated, I am just waiting for it to be written and emailed to me for checking. I don't want to be greedy about this, as I don't feel it is the company's fault that I am ill, and am having trouble doing my job, but equally I do want to have some kind of cushion if I move aside for them. Thanks again for your help,
  10. HI, We recently got married abroad, and we followed it up with a reception in our town for friends and family which we held this weekend. Some time ago, when planning the reception, we decided to go for a French style croquembouche instead of a traditional wedding cake, so we could also serve it as a dessert - we were on a tight budget and I love profiteroles. In addition we were so excited because it is an unusual choice, and is (normally) a very impressive tall tower of profiteroles held together with spun sugar. The people who do the cakes run a cafe in a nearby town, and I found them by doing a search for Croquembouche. We rang them and they invtied us to the cafe and we got to sit and try the profiteroles which were lovely and decided to go ahead an order one. We left a deposit and then communicated by email for the remaining details of decoration and payment. When I arrived at the reception venue that afternoon my heart sank. We had hoped to have the creation we had asked for to be wheeled in at the end of the speeches but when I saw what they had done, I nearly cried and decided to hide it in the kitchen rather than show it off. I couldn't believe that they were happy with it, and that they hadn't rung me to let me know. They still haven't contacted me. It was a short pile of profiteroles (it should have been tall and elegant), very scruffy and wonky. Each profiterole was covered in a scruffy lump of icing, and the whole stack was wonky, and dumpy like I mentioned. There was no spun sugar, and to be honest I think I could have done better by going to sainsbury's and buying a load of profiterole stacks and piling them on top of each other! We had hoped that the profiteroles would be nice and all would not be lost, but over half of the stack was left over, and the profiteroles were very dry (very little filling and wrong pastry). My question is after this long rant (sorry!) is do we have any recourse? I don't have any written contract which they provided (more fool me!) just the emails talking about payment and the flower types we wanted to decorate with. Thanks in advance for your help!
  11. Hi Papasmurf, and thank you for your continued help! I'm not sure if I would be eligible for the DLA at the moment, according to the link you sent because this is very variable, and although sometimes I have trouble walking 200 yards it is few and far between. Most of the time I get on fine, just with a bit of difficulty, usually I can do most stuff though. I have just re-read the email, and I intend to reply to it on Monday (with my partners help), but I have to say, it does represent to me a slight sea change - the fact it has been written down, and the fact that some of the nice innocent conversation we had (in my mind) being written in a way which I think looks bad on me. For instance we looked at the numbers and types of customers we see, and she showed me that the people with the highest numbers of sales had a certain pattern of customer visits which the rest of us did not necessarily have, and of course as was her intention, that led me to say that yes, she was correct it seemed reasonable to assume that the higher number of visits to a particular customer type seemed to achieve higher sales. This was said in the meeting and we were looking at how to improve for all of us and why the company strategy had changed in this cycle, but was used in a way to suggest I agreed that seeing less people would impact on my results. Also, there is a statement that when we stopped talking about my health and it was time to go back to my appraisal that I said I did not want to continue. Actually in reality I had got upset (in other words burst into tears) about the conversation, and then she asked me really nicely, "so you really want to continue with this", and I said I am not sure if I feel up to it (mainly because I was so upset and felt like I was going to have to make a decision to leave or be pushed). So it does look like exactly what you say - small words here and there things taken out of context and suddenly I don't look so good, and them looking perfectly reasonable! I am going to ask if it was recorded, but want to ask how best to phrase it? Clearly if they admit it was recorded and we reach any sort of tribunal, the recording can be listened to or transcribed, but my concern is that the email is factually (to my memory) incorrect in places. If there is no recording or it is not admitted to, and I ask if it has been recorded, could it be seen as an admission that the email is completely accurate. If you know what I mean? Thanks
  12. Hi, Well as I said I would I spoke to my manager on Weds, and said along the lines of what you suggested papasmurf, and my manager went to great lengths to ensure that I understood that as far as the company is concerned that any talk of a 6 month offer was only a suggestion to "help me" as they felt I had run out of contractual sick pay and also the extra they had given, so they wanted to give me an option of something should I need it to recover - paid. They said that any offer they made was purely for my benefit, not at all obligatory, and the lead is with me. They did however say that these limitations to my work could not go on forever, which I responded to by explaining that my work is sitting about average in terms of Performance vs Target (compared to others in the company doing the same job) at the moment, and so I wanted to continue as I felt I was still doing the job justice despite a difficult situation. In the end I did just decide to sit tight for the time being, as what I am saying is actually true - I am coping OK, and to make any other decision would be rash - I think I was believing we had entered into some kind of pay -off negotiation, and felt as if I had to take something or I would be pushed, and I really don't want any extra stress at the moment! What does concern me is that in response to my concerns over their intentions, my manager said she would send me an email covering the main points of our meeting, based on her notes of the conversation, and the email came today, and to by shock it was a blow by blow account with things as I exactly said them (in quotations marks and all!). I don't remember her taking many notes, so it looks like my boss either has an extremely good memory or has recorded our meeting without my knowledge. The email does reflect the conversation far better than I remembered it, albeit very strongly form the point of view of my manager. Any advice much welcomed... Thanks Leah
  13. Hi papasmurf, Thanks for your reply. Firstly what is DLA and why would I be allowed it? Secondly, I think you have summarised exactly what my concerns are: I don't want a court case, but I equally don't want to end up out on my ear with nothing! Do you think that it would be better to wait for a dismissal then? My instinct is not to do that - I don't think I want to handle the stress, and also if I have to go down the route of a tribunal type thing then the wait for money to live on could be long - and it sounds like it's not necessarily guaranteed. I did/do enjoy my job, but am beginning to consider that this health problem might be longer term, and that I will need to leave at some point anyway. I also do think that the signal from them is that they will start to initiate proceedings if I don't make an agreemewnt with them (though this wasn't said in any stronger terms than "this can't go on much longer, this area needs to be viable"). I know that they have a big project starting in the area in October, and I suspect that they wish to have somebody in place of me (or me fully back) before then. I have said I will speak to my boss tomorrow about it, and had toyed with the idea of saying that I would consider stepping aside for a year's pay (inc a cash equivalent for the car), but that they need to now make a formal offer to me so I can take it and seek legal help. I do see what you are saying about getting them to get somebody independant to negotiate. Who did you have in mind - does this mean the solicitor? When you say I am negotiating from a weak position do you mean because they have not yet done anything illegal, so I am negotiating with them about something they may intend to do? I'm burbling! What I am trying to say as I think that I am going to be leaving no matter what, and if I am able to negotiate a payment which is not too much less than what I would get if I fought tooth and nail later down the line, then I would rather do that, the question is how to do I give myself the best shot of this? edit: I am so sorry I forgot to say that I was sorry to hear you have had to go through this too, I hope all is resolved for you now?? Thanks, Leah
  14. HI, Thanks for your detailed replies, I do appreciate you taking time to help. In terms of my illness there are several things going on: Firstly I was diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis a couple of years ago, but have not had any lengthly time off work because of it. They did however agree to give me an automatic car, and lumbar support in my seat as I drive so much. The more recent (and relevant) problems are with my muscles. It began with a general feeling of being unwell, easy fatigueing, just not being right. However I do now have muscle weakness in my face tongue and swallowing, and also in my limbs. It seems to be quite variable but in general will worsen with repeated activity using that muscle and will worsen throughout the day. It can also affect my vision, but in a minor way. This has been cleared by the Ophthalmologist that I can drive (although the company nearl had a kitten when they realised, because of insurance and liability). It's hard to describe the effect on me as it varies so much, but some days I struggle to walk 200 yards without my legs failing ton work properly and feel on the verge of collapse, other times I am near normal as long as I limit my activity. It is difficult too,because emotional stress usually worsens the symptoms, either straight away or afterwards, and so presenting to groups pf people or meeting new customers can rapidly decline my day. I have been seeing a neurologist and they thought I had the beginnings of a condition called myasthenia gravis, but the tests have come back negative. The treatment has been helpful, so that is still under question. However the last time I saw the neurologist, he wondered if it may have a mental cause - something called conversion disorder, where your body creates symptoms from stress (unbeknownst to you). My GP tells me that it is quite normal for neurological problems to take a while to be diagnosed, and that the consideration of a mental cause is a usual one. As an additional problem., the medicine I have been taking to prevent progression of the arthritis had to be stopped as they thought initially it was causing the weakness, and so the arthritis is *just* starting to rear it's head again, still minor but I have been here before and think it may begin to progress again. My Gp has written a report for my employer saying that I am experiencing these symptoms, and that of the arthritis, and that I can still work, but that they need to take their lead from me as to what adjustments I need. They are still awaiting the report from the neurologist. I currently work 3 days per week, and my annual salary is about £20,000. I also have a company car, but pay my private fuel, and I have use of laptoo and private medical cover. The medical cover does not include any form of pension cover or anything. I am able to work, and although I haven't hit all of my targets, neither have others in the company doing the same job, and actually I got very close to hitting a target which I have never hit before, so I am still of some use!!! I have nearly run out of sick pay (we only get 4 weeks which I have taken, they have given me 2 weeks extra and I have 1 week left of that, so not long), and so I am carrying on regardless, but I am finding it more difficult. I am frightened that if my vision does deteriorate I may no longer be able to drive and then I could be got rid of, as it is such an integral part of my job, so wonder if I should take the offer and go while they still feel like they have to offer me some money, as I am tried of pushing myself through the bad days, and my whole life is suffering as a result. Alsop I do actually care about the company, they aren't a bad lot, and I would love for them to be able to have a full time person (which they do need I think) giving it their all, and really getting the sales going as I have a lack of continuity at the moment. I do need to protect myself as much as I can financially. I have been looking into things and have seen a course I could do in hypnotherapy which interests me, so the time at home could be spent wisely, but of course i have no idea how that would pan out,and being self employed would be scary with my health problems. I hope that is a good overview of the details,if I have missed anything let me know . i have checked my contents insurance and legal cover is not included, so I assume that even if I upgrade now that it won't cover this issue as it is pre existing?? Thanks for any help! I plan to call my boss tomorrow, so hope to have a good idea of what to say by then!!! Thanks
  15. Hi, I have been having health problems for the last 9 months, which has meant that since December I have had a long period of sickness, and then on my return my GP has been issuing "fit notes" which ask them to restrict my duties. I have been unable to get a diagnosis yet. A couple of months ago, my employer offered me 6 months salary to go, but I refused saying it was premature as it seemed to me I might have a diagnosis soon. This looks unlikely at the moment, as I am still wiating to see the consultant again. I met for my appraisal today, and my manager broached the subject again, very nicely, but basically said that this can't be sustained much longer and we re- discussed this issue. I replied that I understand the point of view of the company, and that I hate to think I have been a burden, but that I wish to continue my employment. I said I would consider coming to some agreement, but felt that it shouldn't be of detriment to me. She then asked me to go home and discuss with my husband what we would need and come back to them. What would be a reasonable amount to return with - I don't want to go too high an look greedy, but also want to go too low and miss out on valuable money as I don't know when I will be well enough to get a job again, and we may need every penny in the current climate. Currently my job includes basic pay, company car, private medical insurance, bonus payments every 4 months (if meet targets but usually get something every time), and also laptop and mobile phone. I have been with them for 6 years and have never had any disciplinary issues, in fact my boss said she felt I was extremely good at my job, and she would hate to lose me but felt the business needed to be protected (I am in a sales role, and I am limited in how much I can bring in at the moment) Could anyone advise me at all? My understanding is that it is usual to go to the solicitor once they have made a formal offer, so not sure if I can seek legal advice yet? Thanks
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