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    • Hermes lost parcel.. Read more at https://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/topic/422615-hermes-lost-parcel/
      • 49 replies
    • Oven repair. https://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/topic/427690-oven-repair/&do=findComment&comment=5073391
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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.
       
      As a result he stopped paying and they have been unable to do anything, one even admitted it was unenforceable.
       
      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.
       
      The money you are paying them should, as far as you are able, be put to a savings account for yourself and as a means of paying of one of these fleecers should they ever manage to get to to the point of a successful court judgement.  After six years they will not be able to start court action and that money will then become yours.
       
      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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I have been unfortunate enough having to sign on due to lack of work in my industry (niche IT-related).

 

Most work I have been offered recently tends to be ad hoc, short-term temp bookings. I have taken most of these bookings because I'm keen to keep my skills up to date. Also, sometimes short-term bookings may lead to something longer-term, though not quite as often as in the past.

 

Unfortunately, the JobcentrePlus (or the Social as it's still sometimes referred to) seems to be doing everything to discourage this. They now have those Universal Credit posters, saying "making work pay". Certainly the JSA (which I'm on) doesn't.

 

Say, you have a few hours of ad hoc work paying £70. You wouldn't pay any tax or employee's national insurance on that one, so far so good. However, your weekly JSA is £73.10. Now you go to work for a few hours and earn £70. The first five pounds is disregarded so you end up earning just a couple of quid more. Moreover, unless you are working from home you'd have some travel expenses. In a nutshell you are instantly worse off.

 

As I said before, I'd still be happy to take even a couple of hours booking in the hope it could result in more, longer-term booking.

 

Now, the main reason why this is almost impossible to do is how the current system works. If you work less than 16 hours per week you can still keep your claim open. You simply declare your hours and show your payslip and that should be it. The main problem is that the system assumes that you will be earning the same amount from thereon every week, hence your claim will be affected even when you are no longer working because your booking was just for a few hours in the first place.

 

Once you try to deal with this, most Jobcentre staff don't seem to know what to do. You are then asked to provide more payslips. However, most agencies don't issue you with a zero payslip when they don't have any work for you. Ironically, my current one actually does but we'll see if that is going to make a difference.

 

Once you know that your claim has been stuffed up you are likely to call the call centre. You'll be none the wiser in most cases. After more calls and some statements your benefits are finally reinstated.

 

Universal Credit is said to be designed to deal with these issues. But is it? To start with, you can now earn £700 per annum before losing your full benefit. After that they deduct 65p in every pound you earn until your benefit stops altogether.

 

From a financial point of view, this is hardly an improvement. £700 per annum equals to less than £15 per week. Of course, if this is calculated on an annual basis it will certainly make a huge difference to those who are lucky enough to find a job quickly and only do a couple of temp bookings.

 

We'll have to wait and see whether the Universal Credit implementation is going to make a real difference and cut bureaucracy.

 

Idea of Universal Credit is good but I feel that it's not going to make that much difference. If the Government really wants to make work pay, there should not be any deductions until you earn £40-50 a week, and deductions should be gentle to start with. They should also upgrade the system so that the Jobcentre staff, their computers and DWP management understand that people's circumstances may vary from one week to another.

 

At the moment, for the reasons above, work doesn't pay for many claimants. My biggest frustration is the fact that short-term (less than 16 hours) temp bookings just mess up your claim!

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We'll have to wait and see whether the Universal Credit implementation is going to make a real difference and cut bureaucracy.

 

You have to remember that UC is being designed by bureaucrats at the behest of an ideologist with a perverted sense of morals. It will not cut bureaucracy or make life any easier for those it is intended to "help". When (if ?) it finally rolls out across the country and replaces all the different benefits, a lot of people, particularly single parents working part-time, will find themselves on the receiving end of a sanction because they do not actively seek additional work.

 

Look at the small print of U.C. and you will find that low paid & part time workers are expected to find employment that increases their earnings sufficiently so that U.C. is no longer paid.

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I just looked at how they do this in Finland. Like in other Nordic countries, taxes are higher and benefits more generous than here.

 

The Finnish equivalent of JSA is around 705 euros per month. Like here, housing benefit is separate, but not necessarily any more generous. Council tax is collected via PAYE system and not linked to the property you live in, hence irrelevant.

 

In Finland, you are allowed to earn 300 per month (or 279 euros per a four week period) before you lose anything, then you lose 50c per euro.

 

Sounds like the UK benefits aren't that generous after all!

 

I for one would love to get a full time job and not having to claim any benefits.

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There is a saying 'you have to speculate to accumulate' and it's true. Get yourself some business cards printed and even some flyers and then visit all the companies in your area you are able and willing to travel to and make yourself known. This can lead to long term contracts as well as emergency call outs.

Set yourself up with an attractive website and register yourself at companies house.

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I was under the impression that any expenses you had during the week which were directly related to what

you were doing are/were taken into account by the JSA

 

I went self employed this time last year and to be honest it was the best thing that happened to me

in a long time.

 

No more JSA on my back

No more Job Hunts

No more traipsing around worrying about sanctions.

 

My business incurs a lot of business expenses so my profit is virtually zero but this is a good thing,

I am able to claim WRT,

I am able to claim HB and CTC

I also get NHS exemption for prescription/specs, dental etc.

 

I am my own boss and can start at 4 in the morning if I feel like it (and regularly do)

If I want a day off I can and not have to worry about it.

If I push it I can get most my days work done by 12 so it leaves afternoons and evenings free.

 

Like I said best thing I ever did.

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There is a saying 'you have to speculate to accumulate' and it's true. Get yourself some business cards printed and even some flyers and then visit all the companies in your area you are able and willing to travel to and make yourself known. This can lead to long term contracts as well as emergency call outs.

Set yourself up with an attractive website and register yourself at companies house.

As someone who has done a lot of the above, I can say it doesn't really work that well, not when your background is in corporate services. Over the past 10 years I have had leaflets and business cards printed: some done professionally on nice paper stock using spot colours, some from Vista (not sure whether I'm allowed to mention commercial enterprises here, wouldn't want to look like I'm spamming for them), some printed at home on a colour inkjet. They have been for various purposes: photo DVD creation for weddings and other events (8-10 years ago, before social media fever), selling beauty products and handmade jewellery, as well as web and graphic design services. Hardly anything has come out of any of that. I own a limited company, that's just a vehicle and doesn't make any difference for promotional purposes. The company has been used mostly to invoice for services provided full time as you would as an agency 'temp', without using an agency.

 

At some point I even paid for ads on the online yellow pages, etc. I got lots of enquiries after this, sadly most were from people and companies trying to SELL me something rather than for my services. I also got quite a few CVs from job applicants! Any genuine enquiries resulted in a lot of time wasted creating pitches that came to nothing.

 

With regards to emergency call outs, the OP has stated above that working short-term has led to misunderstandings with the DWP who seem to think if you work, say, 10 hours this week, you'll be doing that every week.

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I was under the impression that any expenses you had during the week which were directly related to what

you were doing are/were taken into account by the JSA

 

I went self employed this time last year and to be honest it was the best thing that happened to me

in a long time.

 

No more JSA on my back

No more Job Hunts

No more traipsing around worrying about sanctions.

 

My business incurs a lot of business expenses so my profit is virtually zero but this is a good thing,

I am able to claim WRT,

I am able to claim HB and CTC

I also get NHS exemption for prescription/specs, dental etc.

 

I am my own boss and can start at 4 in the morning if I feel like it (and regularly do)

If I want a day off I can and not have to worry about it.

If I push it I can get most my days work done by 12 so it leaves afternoons and evenings free.

 

Like I said best thing I ever did.

That sounds very good, can I ask what line of work you do?

Edited by Spring blues
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