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Found 52 results

  1. British Gas owner Centrica says it will shed 4,000 jobs by 2020 as it announces a big fall in operating profit. The group said that it was chasing savings of £1.25bn per year by 2020 and that this would likely see a "reduction in like-for-like headcount of around 4,000" by the same year. Some 65% of of the savings will be in operating costs and around £350m will be in the consumer division, which will see "further digitisation". There will be a further 1,000 roles created by 2020 across three departments, however. The announcement came as the firm reported its full-year results to 31 December, which revealed a 17% fall in group adjusted operating profits to £1.25bn. Centrica's group chief executive Iain Conn described the firm's financial results in the second half of last year as "weak", and said that political intervention in the UK energy market was a major factor. https://uk.news.yahoo.com/british-gas-owner-centrica-significantly-reduced-profit-uk-075600459.html
  2. Hello all, Thank you for taking the time to read my post and any advice appreciated. My parents own a Chinese takeaway and live in the adjoining house next door. They moved in 17 years ago after the initial contact with British gas to inform them they have moved in (which I think I did for them as a teenager) they have not had much contact since and just paid bills as and when they arrived. Always assumed one meter for the takeaway and the residential house as they both share the same door number. In all truthfulness I think they probably knew that something wasn't quite right but with limited English without relying on others they never tried in earnest to peruse the reasons why their gas bill felt cheap. a man came to the door a couple of weeks ago and asked to see the gas meter. My father showed him to the box which is attached to the outside of the house as that's the one that's always been read by British gas. He asked for access to the box that they usually show the npower for electric but they couldn't find the key at the time and takeaway was open. The man said he would be back but wouldn't give my father a business card. All he got was a bit of paper with a mobile number and first name. I come back from holiday abroad and my father tells me about this man. I wasn't keen to ring a random mobile number on a piece of paper and my father couldn't even tell me what company he was from (I accept he may have tried to explain himself to my father but surely he should've recognised that there was a language barrier and his point may not have been communicated) I did my own investigations and we realised there was an additional meter. I rang citizens advice and M meter number helpline and concluded that the meter is not registered and must be for the takeaway only. The meter which has been registered with British gas is actually for the residential part of the property. I then called uswitch to seek some advice on getting the meter registered (as citizens advice suggested picking a supplier). They did a bit of digging for me and I've been talking to Eon about registering a shipperless supply. In the meantime my father was waiting for the gentleman to return armed with instructions to find out where he was from. He did return tonight, with a warrant. This time he had the police and all of his ID and helpfully gave my father a letter as he cut off the supply to his livelihood and took the meter away with a number to ring on Monday. I briefly got to talk to the gentleman on the phone as my parents rang me in distress. It sounded like this gentleman feels like he has made all the communication he needed to before taking the meter away. However, I've not seen any letters or correspondence from British gas. He claims to have been to the premises on numerous occasions and couldn't get access but the takeaway is not open before 5pm so if he came during regular working hours that would indeed be the case. He told me that the options were to "pay the bill tonight" or "be cut off" but we've had no additional bills and when I queried said bill on the phone to prevent being cut off he said he "hadn't worked it out yet". Having now read the only piece of written correspondence that has been left, it seems that my parents have been accused of tampering with their meter and they need to ring a phone number on Monday to settle an amount that is before reconnecting. I'm not disputing that there is a problem that needs to be rectified. However, I feel that to come and cut the supply off at 5pm on Friday night, knowing that their business can't run over the weekend and no one is around for them to seek help is quite out of order. Perhaps I should've called the mobile number first rather than seek third party advice but I honestly questioned the identity of the man who came round and wouldn't leave a business card or official letter. If the meter wasn't registered to British Gas was he allowed to take the meter? As I said I was in the process of talking to Eon to sort out the supply. I think the issue is murkied by the fact that the residential property and takeaway both share the same door number and apparently it is British Gas business which supplies the address. Thank you for taking the time to read. Haven't been able to sleep because of it. Any advice greatly appreciated.
  3. Hi All I am enquiring on behalf of a friend, he took out a sky q subscription around 2 months ago and now needs to cancel all of his sky TV due to a cut in his benifits. is there any advice anyone can help ...he is worries that he will have to pay a huge bill to cancel something he can no longer afford thank you all cheers lets
  4. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-39311336 http://www.reuters.com/article/us-brazil-corruption-food-idUSKBN16R1MH Brazil meat-packing giants 'exported rotten beef' "They accuse more than 30 companies of a number of unhygienic practices. Among them are JBS, the world's largest beef exporter, and BRF, the world's top poultry producer." "They used acid and other chemicals to mask the aspect of the product. In some cases, the products used were carcinogenic," the police said. In other cases, potato, water and even cardboard paper was mixed with chicken meat to increase profits." after 2 year investigation ..
  5. Disabled man had a severe relapse last year after making a claim for ESA. The claim form was registered and begun in September and received when he was capable of finishing it and posting it in January. They have paid some of it. They are now stating that there is a 3 month cut off point that they will not back date. Because the delay was due to his disability, and the claim was started in September, is this correct? He is not trying to back-date it prior to September even though he was severely disabled then too...
  6. Hi, I was hoping to possibly get some advice. My kids where at a private school (fees paid till the end of the school year). Then this happens.. . http://www.shernoldschool.co.uk/118972__1.pdf and http://www.kentonline.co.uk/maidstone/news/shernold-school-inadequate-staff-checks-97172/ at which point we withdrew the kids from the school and moved them elsewhere. We have told the school that we where not happy (so have others) and we would not be paying the notice period (although the bill they have sent us appears to only be for half of the term Fast forward a few months of email exchanges to yesterday, we receive a letter from Redwood Collections looking to collect the outstanding amount. Its there typical "We are instructed to take all necessary steps to recover the sum shown, including legal action if required". Some (hopefully) useful points: 1. The school fees where paid in full till the end of the school year 2. My eldest son has moderate aspergers syndrome and ADHD (we have letters proving it and the school where aware of this) he also had major heart surgery in March of this year 3. My sons care team had tried to work with the school with regards to what is the best outcome for my eldest sons education. They weren't interested (can prove this as well). 4. All things said done we where going to move them regardless due to having (documented) concerns for a while. Whats the best way forward with this? Thanks in advance! P.S. Sorry to work around the "To be able to post links or images your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts." message, but I think the links are important to what is going on here.
  7. Hi, I am reaching out to you as I'm absolutely exhausted with the WCA saga and I would be grateful for any help, advice, guidance, support. I'll try and keep this short... Main medical conditions: - Postural Tachycardia Syndrome - its a rare conditions, but an accurate description of symptoms is listed here: potsuk dot org/symptoms (please note: to diagnose POTS the heart rate has to increase by 30bpm after 10 minutes of standing, upon test mine increased from 65 to 140, so its obviously a more aggressive form of POTS). - Ehlers-Danlos syndrome & Hypermobility (symptoms: ehlers-danlos dot com/what-is-eds/) - Previously had spinal fusion for scoliosis, in recent years the titanium rods in my spine broke; had a two-stage anterior and posterior corrective spinal fusion operation to take out the broken metals and extend the fusion, - Major abdominal complications post spinal fusion op (just uploaded video here: youtube dot com/watch?v=P4GraSbCCy4 - eating food is not fun for me) - Divarication of recti of at least 8cm. - Depression - Other less significant conditions The WCA saga (main points only): I had returned the ESA questionnaire and a bundle of medical records in total weighing quarter of a kilo by recorded and signed for delivery. The Health Assessment Advisory Service and DWP claimed they didn't receive the bundle in time, even though they signed for it, and my benefits were stopped (including housing). I tried to dispute this, 3 separate advisers at HAAS and DWP intimidated me accusing me for not accounting for their internal delays despite having submitted my form in line for the deadline - it was as though they've been taught intimidation techniques from the same script. Anyways, after a battle that got restored. I feel sorry for those who did not send their forms recorded and signed for... Due to various issues I registered formal complaints. In a complaint response HAAS wrote that medical records prior the year 2015 might not be considered, claiming its a DWP requirement for the documents to be 'recent'. This meant my medical records might not be accepted due to a 'bad' date and I did not have enough time to get my conditions to be re-diagnosed. (Note: this is contrary to their own WCA handbook gov dot uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/535065/wca-handbook-july-2016.pdf providing that medical history should be considered). Anyway, the WCA went ahead. As expected by this point, the outcome was work activity group with compulsory JobCentre appointments under the threat of benefit sanctions etc. My GP wrote a sicknote, only to find out that DWP does not accept sick notes from sick people and their is no way to formally register sickness, so you have to go to Jobcentre or loose benefits. I attempted to go to the JobCentre, my heart rate became unbearable and I ended up in the A&E on the drip. This happened twice. DWP told me I could submit for mandatory reconsideration, but would not grant me an extension for the deadline, nor would they allow me to access my medical report before the deadline to submit for the reconsideration. Effectively I was forced to submit a blind and a very week mandatory reconsideration request simply because I had no idea what I am disputing or asking them to reconsider. Naturally, I don't expect a positive outcome from that. After eventually receiving and reading my medical report it became clear to me that the WCA was purposely conducted in a manner that would lead to a certain (unfavourable) outcome; I conclude so due to the excessively biased nature of the medical report. I find the assessor covered up my physical medical conditions and struggles, with some very significant medical history either left out or very subtly hidden at the back in the notes. The assessor went as far as to deny the symptoms of my conditions, making serious allegations and negligent recommendations. The effects/symptoms of my condition are not being recognised by the assessor (who apparently is a doctor). The assessor effectively denies all the symptoms and even alleges that I don't have any such symptoms (in relation to POTS) and that I only have an increased heart rate. It is even recommended in the assessor's report that I can "remain at a workstation standing unassisted by another person...for more than an hour before needing to move away in order to avoid significant discomfort or exhaustion", which to me as a POTS sufferer (I faint from such activities) is just unthinkable. The assessor forgets to mention the broken metals in my spine altogether. Frankly I think the report is an outrage. I believe aggressive practices are in place to disallow positive WCA outcomes. I also feel discriminated. After getting my share of bullying from the DWP and their party of association I am starting to think it's not possible to get ESA anymore, unless you have a solicitor or the law behind you. I'm just really tired now... Any help is much appreciated.
  8. I have got a Mortgage with Natwest on a tracker rate, which tracks + 1.45 above Bank of England Rate. The Bank of England as we know has cut rates on the 4th of August but Nat West keep on charging the same amount, my payments haven't come down. Funnily enough I already had letters from a number of banks (inlcuding Nat West) telling me the interest rate on my savings accounts have been slashed. I called Nat West but was fobbed off with I would get a letter through the post, which I so far haven't had. But they still take the same amount of money for the mortgage of me. The latest payment has just come out of my account. Does anybody know how a tracker mortgage works ? I thought when the BoE rate comes down, the tracker follows suit. It obviously doesn't, so I am a bit confused that I was sold something unsuitable ?
  9. The UK economy might be doing better than some, but given the state of Banks, i think we should be a little concerned. There have been reports that there has been an increase in people keeping large sums of money at home. The BoE has cut the base rate to an historic low today and is once again printing money to invest in various. When the central Bank has to print tens of billions, you know the economy is in trouble. http://news.sky.com/story/bank-of-englands-package-is-radical-stuff-10522411
  10. http://www.mirror.co.uk/money/denied-rightful-compensation--new-8544735
  11. Mobile phone users are increasingly being targeted by nuisance callers, new research from Which? can reveal. Seven in ten mobile phone users said they had received at least one unwanted call to their mobile in the past month. Despite the rise in such calls, many mobile phone users don't realise that they can register with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS). Only 3% of mobile phone users are registered with the TPS Which? has worked with the TPS to launch a brand new free text service which allows people to register their mobile phone numbers. You can register your mobile phone with the TPS for free by sending a text stating OPTOUT to 80057 and Which? will send you a link to some simple steps to help stop nuisance calls. http://www.which.co.uk/news/2015/10/mobile-phone-users-targeted-by-nuisance-callers--420112/
  12. Directors of the City regulator will hold crunch talks later about the imposition of a deadline which would draw a line under the £25bn payment protection insurance mis-selling scandal. Sky News has learnt that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) will discuss the merits of a so-called time-bar exercise as part of a scheduled board meeting. The board meeting will come ‎four months after the watchdog raised the spectre of a fresh deluge of compensation claims as a consequence of a landmark legal ruling at the Supreme Court last year. Bank executives have warned that the implications of a case brought by Susan Plevin - which centred on a company's failure to disclose to her a large commission payment on her PPI policy - could be catastrophic for the industry. https://uk.news.yahoo.com/watchdog-crunch-talks-25bn-ppi-cut-off-213150769--finance.html#6cfwso4
  13. today I arrived home to find a notice for my attention in the main foyer of my block of flats from the company who do my annual gas check service. They have turned off my gas supply at the meter because it is at risk as my appliances have been unserviced. My gas appliances were last checked in September last year (so ten months) and all was OK. I was told to expect to hear from them in August this year. They normally send out a letter a couple of weeks beforehand saying when they will be coming out. I have not had anything through the post. They usually stick a card in the main foyer if they have been out and were unable to gain access with details of how to get in touch. I have not seen a card saying they have been prior to today (not that I have been expecting one but I normally check the foyer most days just in case). As far as I am aware this was their first attempt. I have checked my meter and they have stuck a "do not use" sticker on it. A quick check suggests that I do indeed have no gas and no hot water (as that runs off the boiler). So my question is can they do this and where to go from here? I can't do anything tonight as they only work office hours but I am really annoyed. For all they know, I could be vulnerable or have small children. Any help would be much appreciated.
  14. The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) was raised to £85,000 per account in 2010 following the financial crisis and specifically the collapse of Northern Rock. However, EU regulations mean that this amount is going to change, and it’s going to go down by £10,000. The Bank of England has announced that the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) is making changes to the protection under FSCS. For most savers currently covered by the FSCS, the existing level of deposit protection (£85,000) will be maintained for six months before changing to £75,000 from Jan 1 2016 http://www.bitterwallet.com/fscs-protection-to-be-cut-by-european-directive/86392
  15. Last week yet another debtor appeared in court for cutting off a wheel clamp. In this case, a bailiff from JBW Group applied a wheel clamp to the debtors car in relation to a debt for council tax. The debtor 'claimed' that he thought that the clamp had been left on his car by a friend as a joke and accordingly, he used an angle grinder to remove the clamp. Clearly the court did not believe his story and after admitting causing criminal damage the court ordered him to pay £435 which was made up of a fine of £250, costs of £85, compensation of £75 and victims surcharge of £25. http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/Man-used-angle-grinder-cut-wheel-clamp-car/story-26547903-detail/story.html
  16. Just when you thought things couldn't get any worse.... An investigation by BBC News has uncovered several of the benefits under consideration for change: Industrial Injuries Compensation Scheme - could be replaced by companies providing industrial injury insurance policy for employees. Any that did not would become members of a default national industrial injuries scheme, similar to the programme for asbestos sufferers. DWP predicted saving - £1bn Carer's Allowance - this could be restricted to those eligible for Universal Credit. Leaked documents suggest about 40% of claimants would lose out.DWP predicted saving - £1bn The contributory element of Employment and Support Allowance and Job Seekers Allowance - currently claimants who have paid enough National Insurance contributions can get the benefits with little means testing; DWP analysis suggests 30% of claimants, over 300,000 families, would lose about £80 per week. DWP predicted saving - £1.3bn in 2018/19 Disability benefits - Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payments and Attendance Allowance (for over 65s who have personal care needs) would no longer be paid tax free. Possible saving - £1.5bn per annum(based on IFS Green Budget calculation ) Council Tax Support - to be incorporated into Universal Credit. Possible saving - not known Child Benefit - Limiting the benefit to the first two children. Possible saving IFS estimates £1bn saving per annum in the long run but little initially Regional Benefit Caps - The £23,000 limit would vary in different parts of the country, with for instance Londoners receiving the top amount due to the higher cost of living. Possible saving - not known and dependent on where levels were set http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-32084722?ocid=socialflow_twitter
  17. Payday lender Wonga says it will cut 325 jobs - over a third of its staff. Wonga says 325 posts are set to go in teams that support the UK business, affecting offices in London, Dublin, Cape Town and Tel Aviv that currently employ a total of 950 people. The Dublin and Tel Aviv offices will close. Wonga's chairman, Andy Haste, said the business could no longer sustain its high cost base. Payday lenders have faced a slew of new regulation since last year. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-31603152 Well, that's a start, just leaves the other two-thirds to get rid of
  18. Most of the major energy companies in the UK have reduced the time it takes customers to switch suppliers to 17 days. That’s down from five weeks last year but still short of the Government’s target of 24 hours. This means that the switch will take just three days, followed by the statutory 14-day cooling off period in which customers would be able to cancel the move. So far, The following suppliers are offering switching in 17 days: British Gas Ecotricity EDF E.on First Utility Good Energy Npower Spark Utility Warehouse GnERGY http://www.energylivenews.com/2015/01/14/energy-suppliers-cut-switching-times/
  19. Is that exciting news! Is it hell as like seeing as Gas and Oil have dropped over 50%. Utilities companies are second only to banks in ripping people off. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-30792208 Notice he hasn't said Labour 'will' give them the power if voted in. More political bull. So we can look forward to big reductions later in the year or next year. Lets remember what they have said above and ensure they comply.
  20. Our employer has cut our hours from 5 days a week to 2.5 days a week. This has been in place now since 1st August this year. The cut was due to a downturn in work and as things show no sign of improving i am wondering how long this can go on for and how long he can enforce this. I/we have accepted the situation as a temporary measure, but we have had no contact from our MD as to what his intentions are. I have been with the company for 10 years and presumably would be entitled to a redundancy payment but dont know how this works.
  21. Was on the radio today that the government are now going to severely cut ESA. Has anyone heard about this?
  22. Smart meters widely used in Spain can be hacked to under-report energy use, security researchers have found. Poorly protected credentials inside the devices could let attackers take control over the gadgets, warn the researchers. The utility that deployed the meters is now improving the devices' security to help protect its network. The discovery comes as one security expert warns some terror groups may attack critical infrastructure systems. Many utility companies are installing smart meters to help customers monitor and manage their power use and help them be more energy efficient. "We took them apart to see how they work," said independent researcher Javier Vidal who, with Alberto Illera, found the flaws in the smart meters. "We suspected there could be some issues with them and we wanted to check. "We feared the security would be easy to break and we confirmed that," he told the BBC. Network nodes BBC
  23. http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/heavy-drinkers-to-be-offered-lifesaving-pill-that-helps-reduce-alcohol-consumption-9771600.html
  24. Hi i work as a contractor for a top TV/Broadband company , as part of my job i install tv telephone and broadband . For about 3 years my employers have paid me an extra £7 a job to help the customer set up an email address which then open the broadband to the web. I then check the speed is ok and all wireless devices work . Today i received a letter saying as from 1/08/2014 (tommorrow) they no longer require a speed test so will no longer be paying the £7 but i still need to do the rest as part of my job. In short i had a 20 percent paycut by post with under 24 hours notice i feel this cant be legal MRRJ
  25. Asking a couple of questions on behalf of a friend. She is disabled and rents a privately owned studio flat in a block owned by a private landlord. She has been on the waiting list with maximum points due to her disability for social housing for years but nothing suitable for her disabilities has come up and there are no other private rental properties suitable under the LHA where she lives. Currently she has two main problems. One is a current tenant in the block leaves her pushchair up in the downstairs hallway and refuses to fold it down. My friend is unable to get by it due to her disabilities and is unable to move it, this means she is trapped in her flat and can't get to the main door to the building to let people in when they call for her (her carer or friend for example) When asked to fold up the buggy the owner just says that having a child is a disability and refuses to do so. The property owner has written several letters to the buggy owner asking her to fold it up to no avail and the property owner says that is all he can do. On occasion this has left my friend unable to get out to collect medication and buy food. Secondly, when unwell or blocked in by pushchair she cannot get out of her flat to the main door of the building to let people in who are coming to help her. This is because the type of key to the main entrance is one that a key cutter is not allowed to copy without the owners permission. The owner says that his phone number is on the outside of the property and any carer can phone him and he would come over and let people in so has refused to give this permission for the key cutting but my friend needs regular support at all hours and it would be so much easier for there to be a second key to the main door so help could be available at all times. Does she have a right under the Equality Act to gain permission for a second key to be cut due to her disability, or does the property owner have a right to decline her request? This is the main question she has at the moment because if trapped in by the buggy, someone could pop round and move it for her so she could leave the building. Thank you for your advice in advance.
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