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About Vassi

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  1. I don't see how you can view this as two business models and why for signing up to a commitment and being open to fees, you can have 5x as much data. It is unethical and I feel disappointed in the responses here, both misunderstanding the issue and in accepting it. My problem has continued and I really hoped he CAG would take this matter up. It is one of the many matters we need to stop accepting and justifying and start speaking out against.
  2. I would like to share this to help you campaign, it is something I am experiencing at present but I would like to call for solidarity rather than advice for now. Energy debts are a big problem, often a knock on from gov cuts. But energy resources occur freely in nature, and yet they are being sold back to us, and then we are bullied if we can't pay ever rising prices. The 'green' companies never deal with the first issue! Even and especially ethical companies such as Co-op and Ecotricity are harsh with debts. I've had threats to have 'debts' sold - what does that say about their ethics? They are happy if you autopay without query, but if you want your usage checked and you think you're paying too much, the service is very different. And if you need help to spread your costs, that's different again. We can't get utility benefits, and yet it's not something we can get out of paying - unless we do harness the growing free utilities movement. Government discount schemes miss many vulnerable people - eg only those on certain benefits, not those who've lost them. I know an example personally of someone who a non big 6 company failed to put on a discount scheme they applied to several times; the bills accrued whilst a complaint was processed, exacerbated by the ombudsman who tried to do an unofficial deal with the customer that cut corners for them and benefitted the energy co (an enforced payment plan when they had no money) whilst sounding as if they'd given a little compensation to the customer - a paltry ammount compred to the bills that continued to rise. I've noticed generally that ombudsmen throw out more cases, award less (often nothing) to customers even in serious cases of poverty caused by the company, and elongate things for up to three years - meanwhile, demanding 5 day turnarounds from the customer who complained. Ombudsmen need to be fair, accountable (ie have their own assessor to look at their behaviour) and to have the right to appeal against their decisions. Debt companies confessed to me that their letters etc go out automatically - even emails to call them within 4 hours! They do not check the story of the account, the wording is generic (so it says 'despite our many letters' when there's been no communication). Collections depts and companies are interested in clearing a "debt" and gaining from it, not in asking what the outstanding amount is and why or even if it's really there. They encourage contact by phone calls - where the customer does not retain proof of what's said. I always insist on writing. We use 'debt' emotively, even on here - but it's a term that needs unpicking, for supposedly owing is not the same as actually being obliged to pay something, fairly and morally. We have a system based on owing and fear, and the legitmacy of pursuing "debts" in a manner befitting crime; of our status being dependant on whether we're a debtor or creditor. Whether it's over your water bill or other matters, this system needs to stop and we need to reframe our thinking and practices on this matter.
  3. I've had ongoing issues with PAYG (pay as you go) dongles. I have discovered how much more PAYG customers pay - eg a contract customer I know with the same company pays the same monthly amount and gets 5x more data! But then is charged £25 for exceeding it, without warning. I passionately believe that the prices should be the same - why are those who can't or won't go onto intrusive contracts less valuable? What kind of a value system is this?! It means that those who can't afford contracts are, like prepay electric meters, paying the most, and often not getting a very good signal or speed. PAYG dongles - typically only 2-3G per month - are not viable for keeping safe online. it's the security updates that are mostly responsible for sucking our allowance. We also can't control the traffic online whose heaviness effects our download/browsing allowance. Most contracts will be 15-20G a month. There are big issues re auto charging, holding people into durational contracts, valuing those who spend the most - all of which are general consumer and outlook issues. I've found Three, who were sometimes better than other phone companies, to have lately been awful with customer service. Their Executive office who deals with complaints to have no idea how to speak to a customer or have any comprehension of my real issues, and try to evade the long term problems and discourage ombudsmen, perhaps even not telling you they exist. Ombudsmen are a whole other post but I increasingly believe they are not independent, fair, and staff are encouraged to throw out cases or rule unfavourably to customers (sometimes whilst sounding as if they've been reasonable) and are frankly obtuse. I'd like to make the community aware and hear other people's stories as a campaign really needs launching about these fundamental imbalances between the public, companies and government related departments.
  4. I think several replies to this (and other posts) have been somewhat irresponsible - I refer particularly to rainbow and assisted blonde's 'contributions'. It takes courage to post on here, already in distress, and to have strangers who do not have particular knowledge make comments and inferred judgments about your life and likelihood (or even deserving) of success is dreadful. Businesses do take time to set up and make money (often a couple of years; some sorts of work do not garner income for some time, there's a gap between creation and selling; and setting up and running a business is a full time activity. That WTC is not supporting the poor or those who fit their tight mould is a big justice issue. Self employment should also be encouraged, rather than effectively discouraged, and this kind of cut and bullying for alleged overpayment pay is utterly unacceptable, and sadly too common. I have had a similar experience which I have not yet come thorough, though I will battle until I do. My first paragraph is the reason I've never put a situation up here. Alastrum, I'm glad you got justice in the end and thanks for sharing the encouraging end to your tale. We should be offering solidarity and advice based on sound knowledge; or else this is a kind of Yahoo answers level advice forum, which can do as much harm as good. I counsel members to think before responding in an unhelpful and ignorant way.
  5. CCWater say that it's an industry standard to not pay any compensation for water replairs that casue stoppags of less than 12 hours. This is way too long. Whereas it may take time to repair a pipe, it is not acceptable on hygiene, hydratiin or customer service grounds. They claim no-one much has complained about this - so tell them your thoughts! And why should we accept that this commodity (which flows freely and falls from the sky) is privatised? Anyone else not impressed by ombudsman and independent customer companies?
  6. I turned to which to tell them about the appalling bank chargessituation I’m in to hope they would pick it up as one of their stories, and tomake them aware of it. They claim they are against charges and working tocombat them and get them returned. But I was just told to phone, register foradvice – which I wasn’t happy with – and then I realised I was meant to pay! Iwrote back and was quickly curtailed by someone who would not pass on my commentsto his manager or my plight to the research team. How can someone already with money issues be expected to payout for advice which might not be helpful even? The same is true of law – you have to get further into debtto get out of it and get justice. I’ve found forums and consumer champions are often fob offs,promising more than they deliver – which is often a standard no reply emaildirecting you to FAQs. When you’ve got an issueand you’ve suffered a few of these, there’s nothing you want less. Consumer champions should be accountaable too, Which included
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