Monthly Archives:April 2017

May’s plan to cap energy bills ‘could break EU law’

30 Apr 17
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  • Conservative manifesto may include energy bill cap 
  • Five of the big six suppliers have sharply increased prices in recent months

Theresa May’s plans to introduce a price cap on energy bills could fall foul of European Union law, the Government was warned last night.

The Conservatives have indicated they are preparing to introduce curbs on energy charges with the proposals likely to be outlined in the party’s forthcoming manifesto.

It is thought the Government may decide to either order bills to be cut by £100 or introduce a relative price cap to reduce the gap between standard tariffs and the cheapest deals offered.

The Conservatives have indicated they are preparing to introduce curbs on energy charges

The Conservatives have indicated they are preparing to introduce curbs on energy charges

The major energy firms fear a price cap could be aimed solely at them since they dominate the market to a large degree and insiders have warned that any such move could result in the companies appealing to Brussels.

One senior energy executive said: ‘We are still in the European Union and EU law says you cannot be discriminatory in such matters by targeting particular companies rather than an entire sector.’

The energy market is dominated by the Big Six energy firms – British Gas, SSE, EDF, Npower, Eon and ScottishPower – which account for about 85 per cent of the market.

More than 40 smaller suppliers share the remaining 15 per cent of the market.

Five of the six major companies – with the exception being British Gas – have sharply increased prices in recent months and the average dual bill is now £1,200.

The firms blame the rises on an increase in wholesale energy prices coupled with the higher cost of ‘green taxes’, which subsidise renewable energy such as wind farms.

Courtesy: Daily Mail Online

Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil declines writ for May 30 election

30 Apr 17
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Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil has termed a provincial selection for May 30, seeking an additional successive requirement from voters.

McNeil slipped the writ this day after ending up in Lt.-Gov. J.J. Offer at Government Property in Halifax.

“I promote all Nova Scotians to exercise their democratic directly to election,” he explained in a record given from the government before he went to your celebration move in a Lebanese national heart.

At dissolution the Liberals used 34 chairs inside the 51-fit legislature, the Modern Conservatives had 10 as well as the NDP 5.

There is one Separate and something couch was bare.

The selection employs almost 8 weeks of selection type spending ads from the Liberals plus a budget tabled Friday supplying a extensive, although small taxcut to about 500,000 minimal and middle-income Nova Scotians.

On Friday McNeil stated that his three-and-a-half yearold government, that has been selected in April, 2013, could run using its complete document and not merely about what was tabled within the budget.

“I’m pleased with the task we’ve accomplished, we’ve needed to produce some hard choices. I do believe Nova Scotians have revered that.”

McNeil managed accurate documentation that observed his government exercise stringent income constraint for public-sector unions, including nurses and instructors, whilst it produced some pieces to plans influencing locations including seniors’ longterm treatment and attempts run by public-service companies.

It triggered straight balanced costs for your Liberals before two years, while McNeil said Friday any proven fact that the federal government hadn’t been paying over its requirement “simply wasn’t accurate.”

“We haven’t been expressing zero for your previous three years,” he explained. “We dedicated to homecare, we dedicated to schooling and we proceed commit being a government.”

McNeil did agree nevertheless, that there is nevertheless more function to-do to handle physician shortages, after offering a household physician for every single Nova Scotian over the past plan.

It’s an unfulfilled promise the Modern Conservatives as well as the New Democrats are truly anticipated to claw hard-on because the plan unfolds.

Tory Boss Jamie Baillie continues to be looking comfortable that his occasion, which last placed strength following selection of 2006, is positioned for an electoral development.

That’s crucial for Baillie, who’s leading the occasion to get a second-time via an election and might not get yourself a next possibility if targets aren’t understood.

“We feel we’ve a perspective for where you should consider this state plus a course of action to produce lives better for folks,” said Baillie.

He explained his celebration additionally designed to show the selection in to a referendum on McNeil’s authority. Baillie mentioned the Friday premier’s effectiveness when controling public sector unions hadn’t gone unseen from the community.

“When they discover their provincial head press people around, inform them they’re selfish, address Nova Scotians that are functioning if they come in medical care or inside our universities, that leaves marks. We truly need a mode of authority that delivers folks together and that’s what I’m using for the people.”

H Burrill is going on his first election plan as NDP leader. He’ll be seeking a couch inside the Halifax Chebucto riding, while restoring the accomplishments of the celebration that had a spectacular slide from sophistication in 2013, when it had been grabbed from government from the Liberals.

“We’re all set to go,” Burrill said Friday. “The responsibilities we’ve been discussing for weeks, in regards to the need-to proceed towards expenditure rather than an insurance plan of retrenchment and of zeros, we’re all set to go using a program of this.”

The selection phone employs spring polling that mentioned the Liberals had decreased in reputation, while these were still in bulk area at the time of March, in accordance with Cape Breton College lecturer David Johnson.

Resolved voter service for your Generous party slipped from 56 per cent to 44 per cent, in accordance with a questionnaire of just one,210 people executed by Halifax-centered Corporate Research Associates Inc. The Modern Conservatives stood at 28 per cent, up nine items, as well as the New Democrats were at 23 per cent, up from 19 per cent, while five per cent reinforced the Green Party.

“They are just about back again to wherever these were in 2013,” Jackson mentioned in a appointment last month.

“Forty-four % can gain them a solid, healthful majority government if that amount hold-up through the selection campaign.”

Jackson explained the main element will be keeping ridings in metro Halifax.

“The Liberals rule metro (presently) and whoever characterizes neighborhood, that’s the walkway in to a majority government,” he explained.

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Insurance premiums for next top dog set to rise by a third

29 Apr 17
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Pet lovers planning to buy Britain’s most fashionable dogs will have to deal with steep insurance premiums if they want to avoid expensive trips to vets in the future.

French bulldogs, which are set to become Britain’s most popular breed, now cost an average of £495 a year to insure.

Premiums for the breed, poised to overtake the labrador as Britain’s favourite according to The Kennel Club, have risen 32 per cent in a year compared with just a 3 per cent rise across all breeds.

Top breed: Premiums for French bulldog cost £495 a year

Top breed: Premiums for French bulldog cost £495 a year

The average annual insurance premium for a dog is now £279, with Jack Russells costing £197 to insure and cockapoos – a mixed breed between a cocker spaniel and a poodle – £172.

Rose Howarth, insurance expert at financial comparison website MoneySuperMarket, says: ‘French bulldogs are adorable little dogs, but prone to a lot of health issues, so it requires a hefty premium to insure them.

‘Some breeds attract low premiums and these are the ones that tend to have fewer health issues when older. It is a factor you should consider when buying a dog for your family.’

The cost of insuring pets is rising as new technology, combined with a fondness for pedigree breeds, has made treatments more expensive.

How the policies work 


These plans are the most comprehensive available and are supposed to cover a pet for any condition.

But there are different versions. ‘Annual lifetime’ cover policies set a maximum overall limit on claims, which is reset each year.

‘Per condition’ yearly cover puts a cap on the amount that can be claimed for a specific problem, with limits reset annually.


Policies for non-lifetime cover have a limit on how much they will pay out per condition, after which the condition is permanently excluded from future cover.

Other varieties of insurance include multi-pet policies covering more than one animal in a household.

Accident-only cover, the cheapest form of lifetime cover, will not cover your pet for sickness.

‘Other types of insurance, such as car cover, go up and down in price but pet insurance just seems to go up and up,’ says Howarth.

Some insurers, such as Axa, have pulled out of the market, making it difficult for existing customers whose pets have an ongoing health issue to find alternative cover.

New research from Marks & Spencer indicates that many owners do not insure their pet, leaving them exposed to vets’ bills.

Half of owners do not have insurance despite 40 per cent saying they would not be able to pay the average vet’s bill of around £700.

The most common reason for not having a policy is that insurance is not seen as providing value for money. The survey shows that 39 per cent of dog owners and 62 per cent of cat owners do not have any insurance.

Paul Stokes, head of products at M&S Bank, says: ‘We are a pet- loving nation, so it is perhaps surprising that less than half of pet owners have insurance.’

Some pet insurance is a source of dissatisfaction. The latest data from the Financial Ombudsman Service indicates a 38 per cent increase in complaints about pet policies in the past year.

Over a quarter of these were upheld, with the Ombudsman saying most centred on insurers refusing to pay out over pre-existing conditions.

Howarth says pet owners need to be careful to buy the right cover. They have a wide choice with lifetime cover being the most comprehensive. This insures a pet for its entire life for any condition.

The average annual insurance premium for a  Jack Russells is £197

The average annual insurance premium for a Jack Russells is £197

Cheaper policies cap the amount that is paid out annually for any one condition or may exclude a condition permanently once a financial limit has been reached.

The cheapest policies cover accidents only, not sickness.

Howarth warns that it can be difficult to get insurance for pets that have a pre-existing condition. Pet owners who have already claimed may have no option but to stick with their current insurer, even if premiums are rising.

If switching insurer or covering a pet for the first time, she recommends disclosing every past medical issue.

She adds: ‘Some insurers are quite specific, others less so. For example, if a dog has had a hip problem, some insurers will exclude the other hip from cover while rivals will not.’

Premiums for cockapoos – a mixed breed between a cocker spaniel and a poodle – are £172

Premiums for cockapoos – a mixed breed between a cocker spaniel and a poodle – are £172

Some insurers are trialling new schemes to keep costs down. RSA, which owns the More Than brand of insurance, demands that customers use its own network of preferred vets. By doing this, the group can reduce bills for treatment, resulting in lower premiums.

RSA recently invested in PitPat, a Fitbit-style tracker for dogs. These could be used in future to bring down insurance premiums for dogs with healthy lifestyles, in the same way as telematics-based policies keep down costs for car drivers.

I have claimed £7,000 on my M&S pet cover 

Caring: Gaynor Williams has had three pets insured including dog Dash

Caring: Gaynor Williams has had three pets insured including dog Dash

Gaynor Williams has made more than £7,000 of claims on her multi-pet insurance policy from Marks & Spencer.

Gaynor, 60, a retired teacher from Flintshire, originally had three pets insured. But sphinx cat Prima died following treatment for feline leukaemia, auto-immune anaemia and cardiomyopathy.

She has also made claims for her cat, Rosie, who has suffered with a heart murmur, and dog Dash, who has had several cases of poisoning.

Gaynor, who pays a premium of £30 a month, says: ‘I have always wanted to do the best for my pets, so insurance was a sensible option. I found it easy to claim and I have also used M&S’s advice helpline when my pets have been ill and I have been in a quandary.’


Courtesy: Daily Mail Online

Ottawa works $11.5-million shortfall over first 11 weeks of 2016-’17 financial year

28 Apr 17
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The government went a shortage of $11.5 million on the first 11 weeks of its 2016-17 financial year, getting it properly before its spring budget estimate with one-month to move.

The effect weighed against a excess of $7.5 million through the May-to-January time per year earlier.

Not checking a $3-thousand contingency pillow, Ottawa’s spring budget expected a shortage of $23 million for 2016-17.

Nonetheless John Kavcic, senior economist in the Lender of Montreal, informed the government typically works a big shortage in March as Canadians record their taxation statements and get their concessions.

“It will probably consider us deeper as well as the rest might be a thing that we’ve been observing previously for a time because plenty of the government spending is having a small bit longer to have out the entranceway than possibly formerly considered,” he explained.

Ottawa went a shortage of $9.4 million in March 2016, $3 million in March 2015 and $6.7 million in March 2014.

The regular monetary check record mentioned government income for your first 11 weeks of its 2016-17 financial year fell $400-million to $265.1 million as private tax income dropped, but corporate tax income increased.

System spending increased $20 billion to $254.6 million.

Public debt fees dropped $1.5-billion to $22 thousand due in huge portion to lessen normal effective interest levels.

In a different record Friday, the Parliamentary Budget Office estimate Ottawa can work a shortage of $20.7 million for your 2016-17 financial year.

The PBO observed the forecast was $1.6 million lower-than it expected in April, as a result of larger calculated tax income, particularly from businesses.

Nonetheless, the PBO stated that weighed against its April estimate that failures over 2017-18 to 2021-22 wouldbe typically $2.2 million larger as a result of enhanced software spending.

“More than half the expected spending increase demonstrates new coverage conclusions, including the indexation of children’s rewards along with larger transactions to subnational authorities for structure and medical care,” the PBO document stated.

“In addition, greater interest levels donate to improved public debt interest charges on the moderate term.”

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Rona Ambrose, Mary Mulcair bust national budget (The Canadian Click)

Vodafone confirms price rise of up to £42 a year for some

27 Apr 17
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  • Some pay monthly customers will see their bills rise by up to £3.50 per month
  • This is the second price rise from Vodafone this year, after it hiked bills in March
  • Customers will be able to switch away from the provider without penalty 

Vodafone has confirmed it is increasing prices for some customers by between 50p and £3.50 per month.

The rise will come into effect in 11 June and applies to customers who are no longer in the minimum term of their contract.

Customers are being contacted by the provider informing them of the price rise.  

Mobile woe: Vodafone is increasing prices for some customers from June by up to £42 a year

Mobile woe: Vodafone is increasing prices for some customers from June by up to £42 a year

This is the second price rise from Vodafone this year. In March it increased its prices by 2.3 per cent.

Vodafone has said the hike will affect some pay monthly customers who are out of their contracts and the exact increase will depend on their current contract. 

If this applies to you and you don’t want to pay the higher price you can switch to another provider without penalty. 

The announcement comes just weeks after the telecoms giant announced it was ditching roaming charges for its customers in 40 countries from 15 June.

But this change, the Roam Free deal, will only be available to new customers or those upgrading an existing pay monthly contract. 

A Vodafone spokesperson said: ‘We can confirm that some pay monthly customers, who are out of contract, will see an increase of between 50p and £3.50 per month depending on their price plan. 

‘They can move at any time to one of our new plans which give them unlimited texts, more or unlimited calls, far more data as well as our new roaming offers. All they need to do is call us on 191 or visit our website.’ 

Some Vodafone customers will see their bills rise by between 50p and £3.50 a month

Some Vodafone customers will see their bills rise by between 50p and £3.50 a month

Hannah Maundrell, editor in chief of said: ‘This double whammy price hike isn’t going to win Vodafone any favours. The only slight relief is this second hit only looks like it’s going to impact out-of-contract customers who can switch without penalty.

‘If you’re a Vodafone customer that isn’t in contract then it’s definitely worth checking the deals you could get with other networks. If you’re still keen to stay with Vodafone, use these as a basis for negotiating your contract price down.

‘There’s no art to haggling; Vodafone need to keep customers loyal so threatening to leave can be a way to make your phone contract more affordable. You just need to be polite, be firm and be willing to switch if you could pay substantially less with another network.’? 

Last year millions of customers were let down by shoddy customer service at Vodafone and in October it was fined £4.6 million by the regulator Ofcom over a string of failings, including mis-selling, inaccurate bills and poor complaints handling.

Earlier in the week, we spoke exclusively to its chief executive about what went wrong. 


Courtesy: Daily Mail Online

Feds to discard $140-trillion in arranged savings while they make an effort to resolve pay issues

27 Apr 17
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National civil servants is going to be returned for selecting tax accountants to form through their pay dilemmas and sections will soon be permitted to re-hire laidoff payroll personnel, the government claimed Thursday since it attempted to bailout its wreckage Phoenix pay process.

A top-driven cabinet board can be being intended to resolve the pay method, while a record from your Perfect Minister’s Workplace didn’t supply a contract for obtaining that aim.

In launching the actions, the federal government identified it’ll must discard $$140-trillion it anticipated to conserve on the next couple of years from employing the newest electric payroll method – which it may consider that extended to eventually solve every one of the pay concerns.

A case performing party, directed by Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, will continue to work to create Phoenix to your so called “steady condition,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau mentioned in a record.

The party involves Financing Minister Invoice Morneau, Treasury Board President Scott Brison, Ottawa-location MP and Setting Minister Catherine McKenna and Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr, who’s also the working minister of Public Companies and Purchase.

“This working class can reinforce what we’ve previously consumed and make certain that we complete our motivation for the public-service to correct the difficulties which have afflicted personnel,” Trudeau mentioned in his assertion.

As countless amounts of badly settled civil servants confront a tax-filing deadline this weekend, they’re being guaranteed that any charges they bear because of this of pay concerns is going to be included.

“Employees who experienced Phoenix pay dilemmas might find up-to $200 in payment for duty advisory companies in terms of their 2016 or 2017 taxes,” the Treasury Board Secretariat explained.

That sum can increase if government personnel provides statements for duty solutions over $200, a government source said.

The federal government started giving incometax falls to its more than 290,000 personnel across 98 national companies within the last month.

But up to 50,000 of the duty falls must be reissued for 2016 as a result of Phoenix-related issues.

The pay difficulties started right after the newest method premiered almost 15 months before, originally influencing 82,000 civil servants have been sometimes underpaid, overpaid or not settled whatsoever – sometimes for weeks.

But at the time of April 5, the office managing the pay method mentioned pay purchases however the need to be prepared stagnated at 284,000 from your past month, without result in picture for the difficulties.

Trudeau has identified the trouble encountered by several civil servants, but, till lately, has arrested the last Conservative government of establishing the pay modernization system up-to crash by lowering sides on coaching and reducing payroll process careers.

The Conservatives have shot back, declaring the Generous government may have detained delivering Phoenix online when difficulties were originally recognized.

“The Liberals introduced Phoenix understanding that it wasn’t prepared now it’s planning to charge taxpayers billions of pounds to correct their problems,” mentioned Kelly McCauley, the Conventional deputy critic for Public Companies and Purchase.

“It’s been over per year as well as the perfect minister’s only remedy is really a ministerial dialogue group. Personnel that are around the edge of shedding their properties, having to hang their educations, or entering debt because they’re not being settled correctly can’t wait two more years.”

Unions representing national employees suggested Thursday’s ads, but remained hesitant of an early on treatment for the ordeal.

“It displays the prime minister is eventually using this critically,” mentioned Debi Daviau, leader of the Qualified Institute of People Assistance of Europe, which shows about 50,000 experts as well as other specialists used by Ottawa.

Daviau said she anticipated sections could utilize the reallocated $140-trillion to engage not merely pay method agents, but in addition the IT specialists had a need to backup government pay as well as other electronic techniques.

Beneath the government’s program, income that had formerly been arranged as savings from Phoenix will soon be diverted to sections. Officers in these sections may use the finances to address pay method-relevant charges, which may contain selecting more team.

Nevertheless the government could have trouble locating certified payroll process personnel to engage, must sections opt to move that course, explained Robyn Benson, national leader of People Service Alliance of Canada.

Last summer, if the difficulties with Phoenix were rising, the federal government granted a contact to outdated and laidoff pay process personnel another to perform quickly in the national pay middle in Miramichi, N.B., or atone of five satellite practices setup around the world.

Some delivered with their outdated careers, but several had previously identified different job or made a decision to not return back.

“I’m not sure there’s additional which can be planning to comeback,” said Benson.

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Before Conservatives decide Maxime Bernier, they need to look at this

26 Apr 17
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Maxime Bernier could be the next head of the Conservative Party of Europe, except one other major individuals combine to avoid him. They need to determine today.

Kevin O’Leary’s selection to dropout of the contest and promote Mr. Bernier changes the authority sport totally. The Ma-based businessman and tv superstar was never a suitable fit-for the Conservative Party – besides whatever else, his failure to communicate German was often a high downside – but his reputation among party people talked to your disturbed, populist want to strike items up, to supply an upset, on-the-soil option to the elite, downtown nostrums of Justin Trudeau and his Generous government.

Currently Mr. Bernier, a former case minister under Stephen Harper who had been previously a frontrunner in accordance with forms, has learned that layer, building him the high favorite to gain the authority.


You can find reasons never to give the layer of Head of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition, as well as the tips to Stornoway, to the former Quebec cabinet minister. This is simply not to state Mr. Bernier doesn’t deserve to become head. It’s to state that occasion associates as well as the different prospects must consult themselves a couple of questions, first.

Mr. Bernier was moved from case since he quit vulnerable papers using a former sweetheart who, it proved, once had connections to organized crime. Stephen Harper ultimately delivered him back a senior collection, but never felt comfortable trusting him using a key record, although Mr. Bernier was astar Quebec MP and Mr. Harper was eager to enhance the Conventional Party’s presence in Quebec. Does Mr. Bernier possess the thinking and common sense to guide the united states?

Mr. Bernier is really a genuine libertarian, anything we’ve not noticed in a frontrunner before in the national level. He strikes the equalization system, where Ottawa employs tax dollars from richer provinces to make certain the very least amount of solutions in worse versions, as “a survival capture, hitting all provinces and worthwhile huge government.” Does the Conservative Party desire to oppose equalization?

He opposes, too, all government subsidies to companies, including are accustomed to appeal automobile firms to create automobile flowers, or even to help in keeping Bombardier competing. Does the Conservative Party desire Europe to depend completely around the free-play of industry forces being an industrial method?

He desires to “kick the CRTC [the national regulator] out from the telecom market,” remove present supervision of the milk and chicken companies, and privatize Canada Article. Bold, Mr. Bernier. Bold.

Taxes would have been a level 15% between $15,001 and $100,000 plus a level 25% from then on. Furthermore, he’d remove any national function in medical care, while shifting very same duty details for the provinces. There’s more, however you have the move.

To get a financial conservative, these are fascinating procedures. Possibly also fascinating.

Ultimately, there’s Mr. Bernier’s way of immigration and multiculturalism. He’d decrease the consumption from your existing amount of 300,000 right down to 250,000. He’d overcome “radical Islamic terrorism.” And he feels immigration plan “should not make an effort to artificially modify the ethnic persona and societal fabric of Europe, as significant supporters of multiculturalism want.” within this, he echoes other control choice Kellie Leitch.

Currently nobody is in preference of major Islamic terrorism. But several immigrant Canadians might find these movements being a dog whistle interest nativist Canadians, a guarantee that Mr. Bernier can guard them from hazardous Muslims specifically and visitors generally speaking.

That communication won’t decrease properly inside the immigrant-major downtown ridings around Toronto and Vancouver where national elections are resolved.

Mr. Bernier can be an enjoyable applicant who gives refreshing, authentic and striking – extremely striking – choices for the mainstream assumptions on what Europe must be run. The party users may determine he is the better selection.

Nevertheless the different major prospects – Michael Chong, Erin O’Toole, Lisa Raitt and Andrew Scheer – need-to ask themselves two inquiries: First, is that this the things they desire for your occasion? Minute, who one of them is better placed to supply an alternative solution?

Party people begins obtaining their ballots inside the email early a few weeks. If an alternative solution to Mr. Bernier is always to appear, it should emerge today. As next day or two, in the newest.

Usually, the authority goes to Maxime Bernier. Which might be a superb issue. We’ll view.

What really caused customer service meltdown at Vodafone

25 Apr 17
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  • Nick Jeffery was appointed Vodafone chief executive last September
  • The firm was fined £4.6m for its treatment of customers hit by a computer glitch
  • Computer system did not give staff clear advice on how to help customers
  • Employees now have to train for eight weeks before they can speak to customers

Nick Jeffery’s wide smile slips. He leans forward and narrows his eyes. ‘I am totally, totally hell-bent on fixing these problems,’ he says.

It’s the first time the Vodafone UK chief executive has agreed to explain publicly what went wrong at the telecoms giant last year, when millions of customers were let down by shoddy customer service.

And it’s clear he’s not taking the meeting lightly. I’ve come to Vodafone’s enormous headquarters in Newbury, Berkshire, to present dozens of your complaints to the man in charge. 

For more than a year, Money Mail has been inundated with letters from customers unable to get even the simplest of problems resolved.

Tough call: Vodafone boss Nick Jeffery has pledged to fix the customer service problems that led to floods of complaints 

Tough call: Vodafone boss Nick Jeffery has pledged to fix the customer service problems that led to floods of complaints 

Many of you have been left out of pocket after billing errors and then, when you’ve complained, spent hours on the phone without the issue being fixed.

The office campus spans some 30 acres, including seven car parks and even a lake.

By the main entrance are two small, fake flames made from strips of orange material blown by small fans. Inside there is a red Formula One car on display, and written on the walls are the words ‘#wecare’.

As we head into a meeting room, Mr Jeffery explains the flames were put up to celebrate Vodafone’s plan to hire 2,100 customer service staff in centres around the country.

‘We’re investing £4 billion in the network and improving customer service — and hopefully you’ll feel from me that I’m super committed and energetic in seeing this through,’ he says, bringing his fist down hard on the table.

It’s reassuring for customers, many of whom are tied into phone contracts and feel powerless as the firm bungles their bills and complaints.


Home life: He lives in North Hampshire with his wife and three children.

Favourite film: Withnail And I.

Education: Gained an economics degree from the University of Warwick.

Daily routine: He gets up at 6.30am, goes to the gym and then eats a full English breakfast.

The first thing he does at work — he’s usually based in Newbury or London — is read customers’ emails.

He then either visits call centres or sits in meetings.

‘The best thing about my job is that there is no pattern.’

Mr Jeffery, who has been at Vodafone for 13 years and was previously in charge of growing the international business arm, knows customers’ patience is wearing thin.

His appointment as chief executive came last September, around the time the firm was fined £4.6 million by the telecoms regulator for its treatment of those hit by a computer glitch. And he inherited quite a job.

Call-centre staff felt handicapped by their computer screens, which did not give them clear advice on how to help customers. The automated call system was ‘old and complex’; customers would spend half an hour pushing buttons only to be cut off.

Many of the texts, emails and letters sent out to customers were not always clear and often impersonal, he acknowledges.

At the time, Vodafone didn’t have a senior customer service team based in the UK. These vital staff were scattered elsewhere around the world.

This meant that when customers tried to escalate a complaint — because it was a serious issue or hadn’t been dealt with properly — it routinely fell through the cracks. 

So the first move Mr Jeffery made was to set up a team of around 65 senior staff in Stoke.

He says that by the end of this year, 50 per cent of all of the firm’s customer service staff will be in the UK, increasing to around 80 per cent by the end of 2018.

Mr Jeffery also admits that in the past there have been instances where staff ‘didn’t know what they were talking about’ and have given out incorrect information.

‘From here on out in Vodafone that is not acceptable,’ he says.

Call-centre staff felt handicapped by their computer screens, which did not give them clear advice on how to help customers (picture posed by models)

Call-centre staff felt handicapped by their computer screens, which did not give them clear advice on how to help customers (picture posed by models)

Staff needed extra training. And new employees will now have to train for eight weeks before they can speak to customers.

It’s a cagey interview — Mr Jeffery seems torn between apologising for past mistakes and insisting that new measures will help Vodafone improve.

But, he says: ‘You can feel the energy coming back into the system now customers feel they’ve been listened to — especially in the past couple of months.’

He’s ordered more than 1,000 improvements to customer service systems in six months, including updating the computer screens and replacing the phone system for the first time in 15 years.

Around 2,700 texts, emails and letters sent out by Vodafone have also been rewritten so they are easier to understand.

Mr Jeffery believes these changes are making a difference. Complaints are down 50 pc, he says, jabbing his finger at numerous graphs with lines slanting downwards.

‘We get 350,000 calls a week from consumers and of those, 4,000 are raising an issue or want to understand something better, and about 500 have a complaint,’ he says. ‘Of those, 65 per cent are solved within 24 hours and around 95 per cent of the remainder are solved within three days.’

When I point to the stack of complaints I’ve brought with me, his face falls.

‘I apologise to anyone who has a complaint that’s not been dealt with. This really matters to us. We are going to fix this.’

So is there a secret to getting your gripes sorted faster?

Mr Jeffery tells me he reads every customer complaint sent to his personal email account — currently around ten to 15 a day — and ensures they are dealt with swiftly.

The address, in case you are wondering, is Do let us know how you get on.


Courtesy: Daily Mail Online

Politics Briefing publication: Trudeau purchased Gary probe; new softwood terms coming

25 Apr 17
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The RCMP investigation to the leaking of case papers that generated the suspension of Vice Admiral Mark Norman was professionally, The Globe’s and record. Data usually escapes in Ottawa, and it’s also strange to get a prime minister to consult the RCMP to have involved.

Mr. Trudeau mentioned recently that his daddy Pierre applied his associations to aid younger sibling Michel for marijuana possession.

The Ontario government has Hamilton, Thunder Bay and Lindsay as test situations in its pilot project to look at what sort of general standard money influences societal benefits. About 4,000 inhabitants were picked randomly from your three locations. These involved will soon be individuals who are under or unemployed, surviving in poverty or functioning minimumwage careers. Related studies are underway in,, the and.

History Minister Melanie Joly refused money to get a Europe 150 present on CBC, but bureaucrats forced back and got her to improve her head,. People broadcaster has several implies that were authorized from the government’s finance for remembering the 150th anniversary of Confederation, as well as the thousand pounds indirect money the CBC gets annually.

Manitoba Justice Vic Toews, a case minister in Stephen Harper’s Conventional government, can over a current judgment from your national clash-of-awareness commissioner that increased problems with Justice Toews’ measures between his moment in politics and his time-on the counter.

And Kevin Vickers, the previous-Sergeant-at-biceps-flipped-ambassador-to-Ireland, he could drop his career after he resolved a protester a year ago. “I wouldn’t be astonished if my fantastic concert is up. And when therefore, it’s been a nightmare of the journey and nothing can beat dating a hammer,” Mr. Vickers published in a e-mail received through accessibility-to-data.

on Justin Trudeau’s climatechange procedures: “Canada must be pleased with what it is using. In many places on earth, in case a head were to broadcast an ambitious carbon value of $50 a tonne by 2022, the phaseout of coal-shot electricity by 2030, required climatechange threat disclosure of widely traded organizations and assets in clear engineering, the McKibbens and Suzukis of the world could applaud. This doesn’t occur in Europe (or at the least not for extended) as the ecological celebrities are diverted from the oilsands as well as the potential which they can increase inside the forseeable future. Simply speaking, they don’t see-the forest for your trees.”

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B.C. Liberal Boss Christy Clark’s leader’s tour continues to be put-on store nowadays because the top musters a reply for the Usa States’ selection to demand a 20% tariff on Canadian softwood timber, her party claims. Five including 3.02% to 24.12% because the Americans retaliate for the things they illustrate as softwood subsidies in Canada. Ms. Clark and she’s vowing to combat the charges. She formerly employed former national cabinet minister David Emerson to become the province’s envoy in Oregon during softwood lumber talks.

B.C. Green Party Head Andrew Weaver suggests he feels voters will soon be responsive to his “principled” program — even though it indicates they could spend more in carbon fees, link tolls and street pricing. Mr. Weaver, in a, claimed he wants the occasion could have a discovery inside the May 9 selection, building on his only couch. And his views are substantial — Mr. Weaver claimed he won’t stick to for a lot more than another expression if he’s the sole Natural MLA inside the legislature, and also increasing the party’s ranking to four chairs would have been a frustration. You can find no forms that advise the Vegetables can come close-to building government, although there’s some sign help keeps growing, specially on Vancouver Area.

The Newest Democrats are guarding an agreement when the United Steelworkers partnership around the plan, including senior administrators. The Liberals declare it’s data the occasion is inside the wallet of the partnership, nevertheless the New Democrats declare they’re simply following principles Ms. Clark’s government have permitted to stay in area. One of many union staffers, Glen Sanford, contends that while he performs for your partnership, he doesn’t consider instructions from their website.

around the grizzly bear hunt: “The fortune of B.C.’s grizzlies is also very important to be described as a partisan matter. All politicians must assist defense. Difficult-and-crash politics this election time may eventually stop B.C.’s harsh and unsustainable grizzly bear trophy look. It’s time to avoid this grisly company.”


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Prepare yourselves. The softwood timber battles are back. The U.S. has made a decision to A20% tariff on Canadian exports. The extended-working contest involving the two places enters its fifth-round of talks since 1982.

The Whitehouse is really a 15% corporate tax fee within its. Mr. Trump is thought to desire this, even though such an insurance plan can strike a gap inside the shortage and cripple any potential for tabling a balanced budget. Practically a tenth of most income anticipated to be accumulated from the government in 2018 comes into play the proper execution of corporate fees.

Politicians across the Eu were swift to congratulate Emmanuel Macron following his inside the first-round of France’s presidential election. The majority are wanting that his ascension means the populist trend has and can continue to decrease. Mr. Macron, the sole key anti-Putin applicant inside the first-round, continues to be by hackers with connections to Italy, that has been doing promotions in elections throughout the world.nbsp;

and after this could be the 85th anniversary of the Vietnamese People’s Military, popularly known as the North Korean Military. The united states has usually commemorated the wedding using a present of drive and South Korea is for the bomb examination or what is the North’s sixth examination of the nuclear weapon. It had been likewise recently that prime Trump officers have questioned the complete U.S. Senate to come quickly to the Whitehouse to get a briefing around the circumstance inside the Korean Peninsula. That briefing can happen on Wednesday.nbsp;

on the German selection: “Don’t relax just yet. The true media is the fact that the German governmental business continues to be decisively repudiated. For your firsttime ever sold, neither of the 2 finalists for leader is from the major-party. François Hollande, possibly the most loathed person in Italy, is slinking from workplace using a reputation ranking that’s been only 4%. The initial-round success, Emmanuel Macron, heads a brandname-fresh occasion that’s no chairs inside the National Assembly. Anti-Western populists got over 40% of the election. This media can be as seismic as Brexit and Brian Trump.”

on Trudeau, Trump as well as the next German leader: “It is really a signal of the days a Canadian prime minister and an American leader are rooting for diverse prospects inside the forthcoming second-round of France’s presidential selection — which their counter tastes are thus transparent.”

on respecting Trump voters: “If you truly regard people and genuinely wish to aid them, you should stage with them at some time. Fighting areas could and may be manufactured more profitable. They could and may get more support from your government. Nevertheless they can’t be put-back together the means these were before. Points will keep changing, it’s just a problem of if they modify for your greater or for your worse.”

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North Korea keeps artillery routine as stress spikes (Reuters)

Centrica and SSE shares fall as energy price cap looms

24 Apr 17
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  • Centrica shares down 5% today with SSE down 3.5%
  • Tory Damian Green has said energy price cap will be in manifesto
  • Labour attempted similar move back in 2015 when Ed Milliband was leader 
  • USwitch says the move would do ‘more harm than good’ 

Two thirds of British households could see energy bills fall later in the year after the Tories adopted a price cap as a manifesto pledge in the run up to June’s snap election.

Damian Green, work and pensions secretary, claims energy price caps would be in the Conservative manifesto to be revealed early next month.

He said on Preston on Sunday, the ITV morning television show: ‘Some people feel the energy companies have taken advantage of them.’

Energy freeze: The Conservative party are set to make a price freeze a major part of its manifesto

Energy freeze: The Conservative party are set to make a price freeze a major part of its manifesto

Today, Centrica and SSE have been two of the biggest share price fallers in the FTSE 100.

Centrica shares are down nearly five per cent, while SSE are down 3.5 per cent to 198.05p and 1,395.50p respectively. 

It is estimated that Centrica – owner of British Gas – would see operating profits take a £332million whack from an energy price cap, according to analysts at Bernstein on behalf of the Financial Times.

The company recorded pre-tax profits of £2.2billion last year.

Iain Conn, chief executive of Centrica, told the FT that the Government’s plans would ‘reduce competition and choice, stifle innovation and potentially impact customer service.’

In 2016, Mr Conn’s pay package rocketed nearly 40 per cent to £4.2million.

It is believed a measure to cap bills for households on a standard dual fuel variable tariff would save the average family £100 a year.


Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said: ‘Details of the clampdown will only become known upon publication of the party manifesto on 8 May, but the market is already taking evasive action, amid fears of what the policy may mean for power utilities profits and therefore dividends.

‘This will be of some concern to income investors in particular, as SSE is the fifth highest yielding stock in the FTSE 100 and Centrica the eleventh highest.’ 


Theresa May said last autumn she was prepared to ‘intervene in dysfunctional markets.’ 

Ofgem would play a major part, setting a maximum price for energy bills in different regions.

That would follow a cap introduced this month for pre-payment meter users, who tend to be low income households.

She said at the Conservative party conference last year: ‘Where companies are exploiting the failures of the market in which they operate, where consumer choice is inhibited by deliberately complex pricing structures, we must set the market right.

‘It’s just not right that two-thirds of energy customers are stuck on the most expensive tariffs.’

In the lead up to the 2015 general election, Ed Miliband, former Labour leader, promised an energy price freeze. 

At the time, the Tories claimed the idea would mark a return to ‘1970s-style interventionism.’

However, Mr Green insists the Conservative policy is different, as Ofgem – the energy regulator – would be setting a cap, not a freeze, which would be flexible and reflect market conditions as wholesale prices change.

Five of the so-called six big energy firms have imposed price rises of up to 10 per cent in the last few months, with only British Gas stating it would freeze prices until the summer.

One firm, EDF Energy, has announced two quick fire price rises – one in December and another earlier in the month. 

The energy giants have largely blamed green initiatives from the Government for rises in recent years, alongside fluctuating wholesale costs.

Ofgem referred the energy market to the Competition and Markets Authority in June 2014. 

Richard Neudegg, head of regulation at comparison website uSwitch, said: ‘Quite rightly, politicians want to ensure that consumers get a better deal on energy. 

‘But a price cap on standard variable tariffs would do more harm than good.  

‘Price caps may sound like a magic bullet, but heavy-handed price intervention could have the unintended effect of leaving consumers worse off. 

‘Instead of lowering bills, previous market interventions in the energy sector have led to lower switching rates and higher prices – a finding backed by the CMA in its energy market investigation.

‘A price cap would be the death knell for competition. It would remove any incentive for energy companies to drive down prices and fight to keep their customers, entrenching the position of the incumbent big six.’

Courtesy: Daily Mail Online