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    • The Chinese-owned app is tying up with Shopify to create video ads and hiring thousands of engineers. View the full article
    • Hi Everyone, hope you are all keeping well in this strange new era.   On the 17th Sept, my friend booked a delivery to send a parcel to the USA, a vintage sewing machine. The collection and delivery was booked through MyParcelDeliver.Com, and UPS was the chosen courier. They collected it about four days later.   He paid for additional insurance along with the transportation of the item, to the tune of £128.75.   He packaged the parcel very well, packed with bubble wrap and paper and also styrofoam so that the sewing machine was safe in the box. He placed some plastic wrap over this, and he then sealed the box with tape. He videoed this for the buyer, so she could see how well he had packed the item because they were both concerned about the package being well protected.   The item arrived in the USA a few days later. The buyer instantly notified my friend that the parcel packaging was damaged, showing stress from water and general mishandling, and the item was also damaged in various parts, mainly the casing and the base.   He complained to MyParcelDelivery.Com on the1st October, they responded with 'You need to contact UPS...', which he did and also the buyer contacted them and got a response on the 2nd October.   UPS informed the buyer they would like to come and take a look at the packaging and the item, and this is the last she heard from them, she has called them several times, and always they say someone will call tomorrow and no one calls. She called my friend to ask if he could call them too and chase them up, he is Italian, and though he speaks English generally well, he asked me to talk with them on his behalf because he felt they were not listening to him or that he was missing something.   I spoke with them on the 26th October, they said they had sent my friend an email about this, we checked all of his emails, junk/spam too. There is nothing in there, I asked them to resend it, but nothing has appeared despite them saying they have sent it, we know they have the correct email address because they sent a message on the 2nd confirming they are looking into the claim of a damaged package, they also said they were planning on calling the seller 'again' on the 27th, which of course never happened, which she confirmed with me on the evening of the 27th.   Now it would seem to me that MyParcelDelivery is trying to say it has nothing to do with them, despite the booking being made through them, UPS US are pretending they are doing something but have so far done nothing, and we have heard Zilch from UPS UK.   I would like, if possible, some guidance on how to go about getting this resolved because this is just not right, the agent/courier have had their money, but the seller and buyer have been the victims of poor service and damaged goods.   If anyone could point us in the right direction on how to tackle this and get some redress for this, then I would be most grateful.   Thanks and kind regards   Mr B                 pox.pdf
    • From December, NS&I is phasing out posting warrants - a type of cheque - to winners. It instead wants bondholders to provide bank details so it can pay the money into their account. View the full article
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    • I came across this discussion recently and just wanted to give my experience of A Shade Greener that may help others regarding their boiler finance agreement.
      We had a 10yr  finance contract for a boiler fitted July 2015.
      After a summer of discontent with ASG I discovered that if you have paid HALF the agreement or more you can legally return the boiler to them at no cost to yourself. I've just returned mine the feeling is liberating.
      It all started mid summer during lockdown when they refused to service our boiler because we didn't have a loft ladder or flooring installed despite the fact AS installed the boiler. and had previosuly serviced it without issue for 4yrs. After consulting with an independent installer I was informed that if this was the case then ASG had breached building regulations,  this was duly reported to Gas Safe to investigate and even then ASG refused to accept blame and repeatedly said it was my problem. Anyway Gas Safe found them in breach of building regs and a compromise was reached.
      A month later and ASG attended to service our boiler but in the process left the boiler unusuable as it kept losing pressure not to mention they had damaged the filling loop in the process which they said was my responsibilty not theres and would charge me to repair, so generous of them! Soon after reporting the fault I got a letter stating it was time we arranged a powerflush on our heating system which they make you do after 5 years even though there's nothing in the contract that states this. Coincidence?
      After a few heated exchanges with ASG (pardon the pun) I decided to pull the plug and cancel our agreement.
      The boiler was removed and replaced by a reputable installer,  and the old boiler was returned to ASG thus ending our contract with them. What's mad is I saved in excess of £1000 in the long run and got a new boiler with a brand new 12yr warranty. 
      You only have to look at TrustPilot to get an idea of what this company is like.
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    • Dazza a few months ago I discovered a good friend of mine who had ten debts with cards and catalogues which he was slavishly paying off at detriment to his own family quality of life, and I mean hardship, not just absence of second holidays or flat screen TV's.
      I wrote to all his creditors asking for supporting documents and not one could provide any material that would allow them to enforce the debt.
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      If circumstances have got to the point where you are finding it unmanageable you must ask yourself why you feel the need to pay.  I guarantee you that these companies have built bad debt into their business model and no one over there is losing any sleep over your debt to them!  They will see you as a victim and cash cow and they will be reluctant to discuss final offers, only ways to keep you paying with threats of court action or seizing your assets if you have any.
      They are not your friends and you owe them no loyalty or moral duty, that must remain only for yourself and your family.
      If it was me I would send them all a CCA request.   I would bet that not one will provide the correct response and you can quite legally stop paying them until such time as they do provide a response.   Even when they do you should check back here as they mostly send dodgy photo copies or generic rubbish that has no connection with your supposed debt.
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      They will of course pursue you for the funds and pass your file around various departments of their business and out to third parties.
      Your response is that you should treat it as a hobby.  I have numerous files of correspondence each faithfully organised showing the various letters from different DCA;s , solicitors etc with a mix of threats, inducements and offers.   It is like my stamp collection and I show it to anyone who is interested!
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Suspend appeal decision due to without prejudice discussions

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I was dismissed due to poor attendance and have been going through a lengthy appeal process. As the appeal process neared it's decision date I submitted an ET1 because I was running out of time. I am claiming unfair dismissal and disability discrimination due to failure to make reasonable adjustments.


I was invited to without prejudice discussions a few days before the decision was due and around about the same time my claim was accepted by the ET.


During these discussions, we explored options and it seems the most practical one is a CA (re-engagement was my #1 option but they seem reluctant to consider that). We agreed to meet again in a few days (now tomorrow) having both taken advice with regards to figures. In addition, I was asked to agree to suspend the appeal process (decision would have been due today) whilst without prejudice discussions continue.


I agreed and we pushed back the decision date 3 days which allows us to meet again. So to the meat of my question.


Should I have been asked to suspend the appeal process? Should I have agreed?


It seems to me that if they make their decision on the appeal they are somewhat committing either way and both options (upheld or otherwise) have ramifications. I can see why it's in their interest to postpone it. I was given the impress that if I refused to suspend the process then I'd also be bringing an end to the without prejudice discussions and the chance of a CA. This wasn't plainly stated but I think I was deliberately given this impression because they fear to make their decision.


Bear in mind that the 'without prejudice' discussion invitation came both just before the decision due date AND just as the ET3 was probably received. So either could be the trigger but I expect it's the ET3.


If the discussion draws out further and they ask for another extension, should I refuse? If I refuse, is it likely it will terminate WP/CA discussions or is that just a smokescreen?


I get the feeling if I force their hand on an appeal decision, they will just uphold, because that seems to carry the least ramifications. Yes, it would add the element of improper process to any claim but surely overturning the dismissal would admit liability.


Am I reading too much into something that is merely pragmatism? Would like some objective viewpoints.


Many thanks.


Bonus question:


What is the general advice around re-engagement? It's the box I ticked on my ET1 under 'what I want'. I know it's very rare for an ET to force a company to take an employee back. The organisation is huge and I am fairly capable so they can hardly claim there is no potential of posts IMO. Re-engagement is also intrinsic to my particular case, as I'd been asking for different duties for some time and highlight re-deployment as one of the #1 reasonable adjustments that should have been considered. Does that make any difference? Does their obvious reluctance to consider re-deployment (I am fairly confident they will say they considered it but it wasn't possible) weaken their position? Would a flat out refusal of re-engagement weaken it more?


Bonus bonus question:


Sorry :) My search terms have hit these forums a lot in the last few months and it seems like a knowledgeable and helpful community so I wanted to solicit some advice directly. Stream of consciousness here, forgive me.


Vento bands. I'm having trouble placing my case. They seem.... crude.


The final three months of my employment I was set attendance targets that were objectively unreasonable. This actually made me more ill. Failure to consider adjustments throughout the management of my illness prolonged difficulties. The last three months of this appeal has caused my considerable stress, my disorder is anxiety and depression based. Finally, when I was first diagnosed (several years back) my employer ignored the problem (they knew it was disability and it was causing my to have sickness) for a year or so until I had a total breakdown and was off work for 6 months.


So I don't know what band that will qualify for. It's hard to get perspective when you're so close to all this.


Sorry for the essay. I am grateful for any opinions or advice at all.

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Vento bands are really aimed at non-employment discrimination where it is not possible to quantify an actual loss but the person has suffered humiliation. Basically getting paid for the severity of the insult or disservice. What has been intimated regarding the level of payout for a CA? How long have you worked for your employer? Did you send your employer a statutory questionnaire regarding your disability and their policies for the like? If you win at a tribunal the average payout is about £11k for this kind of case. Settling for 3 months pay plus notice pay and any residual holiday pay is normal. It does seem like your employer is dragging its heels because it is taking advice piecemeal and doesnt have a strategy for dealing with this. Dont accept any further delay as it wont make any difference to the position of either party but does give them time to continue to receive advice which may harden their position to your detriment with regard the CA.

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