Category: News

Profits climb for Shop Direct after cutting Littlewoods catalogue

Littlewoods contact number

Littlewoods and Very owner, Shop Direct has seen profits leap 78% pre-tax to £71.7m after dropping the home-shopping catalogue.

After 80 years of circulation, the Littlewoods catalogue was dropped in May, along with the axing of smaller websites Woolworths, K&Co and Isme, in order for the company to focus on the key sites Littlewoods and Very.

The ditching sure enough saw a shift in focus to their online operators for the Liverpool-based group with record profits for the third consecutive year.

The catalogue circulated 25m copies a year when it was at its peak, around 5m in 2011, and in 2012 the catalogue accounted for 72% of the company’s sales. Only 300,000 copies of the final catalogue were sent out in May.

Some new names sold across the websites include high street front-runners, River Island and Miss Selfridge and smaller popular brands Sonos and Bang & Olufsen.

An additional luxury ecommerce site was also launched in February, VeryExclusive, featuring over 150 upmarket brands, including Reiss, Marc by Marc Jacobs and Vivienne Westwood.

Alex Baldock, chief executive of Shop Direct, said: “We passed some important milestones last year: we called time on the catalogue and we are now a retailer dedicated to digital. We’ve transformed quickly to this more focused business – only three years ago, nearly three quarters of our sales were from catalogue customers.

“Four months in, we’ve made a strong start to the new financial year. We’re in good shape for the peak Christmas period – and we expect growth, discipline and transformation to drive another record year.”

Billionaire owners of Shop Direct, Sir David and Sir Frederick Barclay also own the Daily Telegraph, Ritz London Hotel and have mass property and retail investments.

How to use the Prove I Called Littlewoods and Very contact numbers

As with any large online retailer, there are a variety of reasons you would need to use the Littlewoods or Very contact number. From payments and deliveries to credit cards and accounts or to query an outstanding order. Unfortunately, situations arise when you may not be satisfied with that service and need to complain or even have a dispute. What’s more, should you require evidence that you actually called, we can provide that too – including details of time, date and duration. If you need to speak to a team member, call the Very contact number today and thankfully our Littlewoods contact number will connect you with a Littlewoods adviser, fast, too.

 

Competition and Markets Authority clear EE and BT merger

EE contact number

 

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) have provisionally cleared the £12.5bn deal between BT and EE which was announced in February.

It will see the BT group takeover the UK’s largest mobile phone operator EE. The swoop was cleared by the competition watchdog on the grounds that the deal was “not expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition in the UK,” they said.

The deal will create a communications giant, covering fixed-line phone, broadband, mobile and TV and will treble BT’s retail customers. The CMA proposed no changes in the terms of the deal, as with little similarity between BT and EE’s core markets it is unlikely to damage the interest of consumers.

The CMA said the two firms operated in different telco areas “with BT strong in supplying fixed communications services (voice, broadband and pay TV), EE strong in supplying mobile communications services, and limited overlap between them in both categories of service”.

John Wotton, chair of the CMA inquiry said: “Having considered all the evidence, the group does not provisionally believe that, in a dynamic and evolving sector, it is more likely than not that BT/EE will be able to use its position to damage competition or the interests of consumers.

EE currently has around 25m subscribers and is joint owned by former state telecom companies, Deutsche Telekom in Germany and Orange in France. Both French and German governments retain stakes in the business and will gain stakes in BT under the proposed deal.

BT chief executive, Gavin Patterson welcomed the arrangement: “The combined BT and EE will be good for the UK, providing investment and ensuring consumers and businesses can benefit from further innovation in a highly competitive market.”

BT is dominant in the UK’s broadband business, owning the infrastructure of how broadband is delivered throughout the UK – even via Sky.

Communications watchdog Ofcom have launched a separate investigation in a wider review of the competition in digital communications, specifically into the breakup of internet broadband and the position of BT-owned Openreach in the market.

Competitors such as Vodafone have spoken of their disappointment of the CMA decision and call for Ofcom to force BT to sell off Openreach; improving competition and the service they provide.

The CMA said in a statement: “We are aware of concerns voiced recently about Openreach and wider concerns are currently being considered by Ofcom in their review of the whole telecommunications market.”

The publication of the enquiry’s final report, however, has been pushed back until January 18th in order to consider all responses.

BT also continue to have increasing conflict with leading pay-TV providers, Sky, as they introduce more pay-TV services and make substantial investments in sports rights. Furthermore, Sky plan to offer mobile contracts through a deal with the second largest mobile operator O2, which will continue to drive competition in the market.

Using Prove I Called when contacting telecommunication companies

Need to use a telecommunication company’s contact number? When calling any telco company they should be able to serve your customer service needs quickly and efficiently. There are a range of different reasons you would have for contacting them, such as billing, mobile network problems, broadband issues, cancelling contracts or general technical help. Whether you want to use the EE contact number, the O2 contact number, the Orange contact number or the Vodafone contact number for your mobile needs, call through Prove I Called and we can provide you with evidence of your call in case you need it further down the line. You can also use the BT, Openreach or Sky contact number for any internet or the Sky TV contact number for TV-related reasons and gain the same evidence you might need in case of a dispute with the company. Call the BT contact number today and have your problem dealt with, fast.

Jet Airways introduce new services for the winter

jet airways

Indian airline Jet Airways are set to introduce 19 new flights in the domestic sector this month.

They will step up services to domestic routes between Delhi and Mumbai to meet demand, with eight new flights between four new city pairings and 19 new additional frequencies in their winter schedule.

Flights from Mumbai and Delhi to the eastern port city Visakhapatnam will be effective from November 15th with daily flights launched between Srinagar and Jammu for better connectivity to key destinations.

The press release stated: “Flights to/from Visakhapatnam will provide connections for guests to/from North America, Europe, London, and the Middle East over Jet Airways’ domestic hubs in Mumbai and Delhi.

The airline also added: “Connectivity between Bengaluru and Hyderabad is being further enhanced with the introduction of a third daily service. Services between Bengaluru to Mangaluru are being increased to six frequencies a day.”

Effective November 15, 2015, the route between Delhi and Hyderabad will have a fourth daily frequency. Similarly, the airline will operate a second frequency between Bengaluru and Goa, six days a week, effective November 30, 2015,” said the release.

Calling the Jet Airways contact number through Prove I Called

There are a number of reasons you would need to call the Jet Airways contact number. They are an airline offering flights from a variety of places to a worldwide set of destinations and can provide flights that address a number of different preferences, from business trips to family holidays across the globe. If you have had an issue with a booking made with Jet Airways, a problem with payments or billing or any other enquires you may have, you can contact Jet Airways through our contact number. Using our service will provide you with proof of the time and date of your call should you need to present evidence of these details at a later date. Our service can prove to be the difference between success and failure during a disagreement with a company. Call the Jet Airways contact number today.

Ryanair to launch new services from Manchester Airport

RyanAir contact number

Budget airline Ryanair are to roll out a major expansion programme at Manchester Airport, connecting an extra 500k people to the airport and creating 400 new jobs.

It means the carrier now has 41 routes and 250 flights per week, with 3.8m people in and out of Manchester via Ryanair a year. The eighth aircraft will see six new routes to European destinations, with more flights to ten existing destinations.

The new additions

New routes

  • Bratislava, Slovakia x 3 per week
  • Bremen, Germany x 2 per week
  • Brindise, Italy x 2 per week
  • Carcassonne, France x 3 per week
  • Limoges, Malta x 4

Existing route add-ons

  • Alicante – now x 2 per day
  • Barcelona – now x 2 per day
  • Faro – now x 2 per day
  • Ibiza – now x 1 per day
  • Madrid – now x 1 per day
  • Milan – now x 9 per week
  • Rome – now x 9 per week
  • Valencia – now x 3 per week
  • Warsaw – now x 3 per week

Ryanair has seen a 25% growth at Manchester Airport in the past year including both leisure and business customers. Their newest expansion will create 50 direct jobs with Ryanair and 325 in airport’s terminals.

Kenny Jacobs, chief marketing officer at Ryanair told the Manchester Evening News:Manchester is one of the fastest growing airports in the Ryanair network, and we look forward to working closely with Manchester Airport Group as we continue to grow jobs, traffic and routes in the North West.

Our customers can look forward to further ‘Always Getting Better’ improvements in the coming months, including our ground breaking personalised website, with exciting new digital features such as ‘hold the fare’ and real customer destination reviews, and improved menus, new cabin crew uniforms and new cabin interiors on board, with more to come in year three, as we continue to offer so much more than just lowest fares.”

He added: “People are showing they are definitely more willing to spend money on leisure trips, while we are also seeing more business travellers choose a low-cost airline for their trips.

“We are also seeing a huge increase in in-bound travel to Manchester, with a lot more people on the continent booking city breaks and a lot of business travel too.”

Ken O’Toole, managing director of Manchester Airport, said: “With new routes for the airport and further capacity increases on existing services, today’s announcement will provide passengers with more choice and value, and will contribute to further sustained growth by Manchester Airport beyond our current all-time passenger record of 22.9m passengers.

“With over 22m people living within our two hour catchment, two full length runways and a £1bn transformation program announced, Manchester Airport has, and will continue to have, the available capacity and demand to meet the needs of our catchment that extends as far north as Scotland and south to the Midlands.”

How to use Prove I Called

Firstly, the Ryanair contact number is one of the most searched helplines around. They rank highly in the budget airline industry, so customers would have hundreds of different reasons for calling. Whether it is to request a booking, to manage an existing flight or to cancel one altogether, their main phone number will be able to help. Manchester Airport is also a front runner in the UK, being the largest airport in the North. It serves thousands of passengers each day so there are bound to be many reasons you may need to use the Manchester Airport contact number – parking, lost luggage, and arrival times. When you dial through the dedicated Prove I Called numbers, you have the peace of mind of knowing that you have evidence of your call – something that can be vital when logging a complaint with the company. Make a call to the Manchester Airport contact number or the Ryanair contact number today and have your issue resolved – fast.

Parent brings fake Provisional Driving Licence website to light

Provisional Driving Licence contact number

A Consumer Champion letter on The Guardian has brought a fake provisional driving licence website to light.

Letter author known as SB, from Great Dunmow, Essex, reported a website masquerading as an official government one when their 17-year-old daughter tried to apply for her provisional licence online.

The teenager recognised something was strange when she reached the point of payment and was told of the £108 cost. Fortunately, she beckoned her parent before processing the payment on her debit card which should be only be £34.

Her parent, SB, then realised it was not the official DVLA website and was thankful she hadn’t completed the transaction.

She said: “I know Guardian Money has previously warned about the dangers of using websites which masquerade as official government sites, but thought there had been a significant crackdown.”

Rebecca Smithers for the Guardian said the teen would have accidentally used ‘UK Licence Services,’ which states in small print that it “is no way affiliated with the government of the United Kingdom or the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency). We are a third party processing agency which charges a service fee.”

She said Google should be doing more to prevent the “copycat” providers from “creeping through” into search pages, despite them inhibiting the advertising-led sites from ranking at the top of a search-results page.

She added: “The DVLA has also recently warned about a new scam email doing the rounds, claiming to be from the DVLA and urging drivers to verify their details or risk losing their licence.

Calling the DVLA or Provisional Driving Licence contact number through Prove I Called

Issue with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency or a Provisional Driving Licence in particular? Hopefully you haven’t fell victim to the fraudulent websites, but you may have a query surrounding lost licences, registration numbers, starting an application for a provisional licence or would like to get more information about vehicle licensing. If so, calling through the Prove I Called contact number means you will be able to later have evidence that you did in fact ring the organisation – which could be vital in any complaint that you may have with the body. Phone the DVLA contact number now and let their member of staff resolve your motoring matter, effectively. Alternatively, if you are looking to deal directly with the section of DVLA that deals with provisionals, call the Provisional Drivers Licence number and have your problem dealt with, fast.

Parking Eye remove woman’s £100 fine for parking in free car park

Parking Eye

A Leeds grandmother was issued a £100 fine for visiting a free car park, only to have it cancelled when the Yorkshire Evening Post questioned the Parking Eye enforcement company.

Karen Slingo was shopping at Westside Retail Park on Leeds Road while she had her car parked in the three-hour-for-free car park. She said was there for around 20 minutes in the morning, and returned later that evening for a few minutes while visiting the McDonald’s drive through.

Mrs Slingo was then shocked to receive the £100 parking fine in the post later that week, stating her car had breached the three-hour limit and had been caught on camera doing so.

She then wrote to Parking Eye, the parking enforcement company responsible to notify them of their mistake. They responded with a letter insisting there was no evidence to substantiate her claim and the fine remained.

Mrs Slingo told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “I was appalled. I don’t mind paying if I’ve done something wrong, but this could have been an old person they were chasing for payment of a wrongly-issued fine.”

Once she contacted the Yorkshire Evening Post the enforcement company agreed to cancel the ticket, shortly after being asked for comment.

A Parking Eye spokesman said: “It appears that the vehicle registration was mismatched due to the position of one of the ‘bolts’ that affix the plate to the vehicle.”

How to use Prove I Called when contacting Parking Eye

Have a query for Parking Eye? Call the Parking Eye contact number today and be put through to a member of the team dedicated to automatic numberplate recognition and find out what they can do for you. What’s more, should you require evidence of your call, we can provide that too with the Parking Eye contact number.

Ofcom chief casts doubt on potential O2 and Three merger

mobile phone

The boss of communications watchdog, Ofcom, has expressed her concern about the mobile operators O2 and rival Three making a £6.6bn merging deal.

Combined, the companies would become the UK’s largest mobile firm with a 40% market share and would reduce the number of UK network operators from four to three.

Sharon White, who succeeded Ed Richards at Ofcom in March 2015, says that if the deal goes ahead it could lead to higher prices and poorer service and remove the “competitive new entrant” in Three.

In a speech at the London School of Economics and Political Science, White linked the merger with BT’s plan to buy EE and said that with the planned mergers there will be “risks to consumers and businesses who have enjoyed one of the most competitive markets of recent years.”

She went on to speak of the growing evidence provided by users elsewhere who are paying more because of mergers, including mobile prices in Austria rising by 38% after the number of networks were reduced to three in 2013.

She said: “Light users of mobile – typically that means older people, children and teenagers – have been hit hardest, seeing prices rise by 38%.”

Mobile operators argue that the UK market is “too competitive,” and they require consolidation to boost revenue and increase efficiency, but White said that profit margins would be too low and Ofcom’s experience is that although consolidation, in theory, has benefits, “competition, not consolidation drives investment and delivers low prices.

White deems this a “crucial period for the telecoms market” and called for greater powers to aid the communications watchdog in protecting consumers from the risk of a less competitive market.

Keen to intervene in a market as soon as she sees higher prices and poorer services emerging, she said Ofcom would: track prices, monitor operators’ financial positions, report on customer satisfaction levels, and help to make switching between providers easier for consumers.

It is likely that Ofcom will play a role in the Competition and Markets Authority inquiry into the Three/O2 merger.

How to use Prove I Called when contacting your mobile network provider

Two of the largest mobile networks in the UK, both O2 and Three, naturally have very busy phone lines. Whether customers are calling the 02 and Three contact numbers for straightforward issues such as billing, or wish to make a complaint about the network, both of their customer services teams should help. Dial now through our dedicated Prove I Called numbers and you will have the additional reassurance that you will receive the data needed to prove you called. Vital information will be provided in case you need it further down the line when making a complaint, so whatever issue you are experiencing with your network provider, call through the O2 contact number or the Three contact number today.

Ocado criticised for charging customers 5p per bag without notice

Ocado

Customers have criticised the online supermarket, Ocado, after it announced it will be charging 5p per bag without giving the option to opt out.

The government legislation imposing the 5p per plastic bag came into place on October 5th, though despite the grocer emailing customers about the change and the effect on the environment, customers are still urging the upmarket grocer to go bag-less.

Ocado stated in the email: “From the 5th October we will charge 5p for each bag used to pack your shopping. The legislation applies to all single-use plastic carrier bags, which includes the ones we must use to make sure your groceries arrive undamaged and in tip-top condition. The additional charge will appear on your receipt.”

The supermarket will donate all the proceeds from the bags to good causes and have introduced a ‘Bag Recycle Bonus’ which allows customers to have their 5p returned if they give their bags back to Ocado.

Customers argued, however, that the store isn’t using other measures to save money, such as crates used by other supermarkets. Many frustrated people complained about the rules on Twitter, unimpressed with being unable to refuse plastic bags, and claimed the store does not fill the bags efficiently, with some containing only one item.

Suzanne Westlake, head of corporate responsibility at Ocado, told The Mirror: “With our natural advantage in this area, our business model is built around efficiency and low waste. We’ve been operating a closed loop recycling scheme for many years now and our drivers have always taken back plastic bags – both our own and others – during a delivery, which we then make into new bags.

“We’ll be continuing with this scheme but will shortly also be paying customers if they return bags back to us to reward them for helping us to help the environment.

“Our Bag Recycle Bonus Scheme will help us to meet the aims of this new carrier bag charging legislation in England, reducing littering and damage to marine wildlife.

Using Prove I Called with Ocado

Need to call the Ocado contact number? Being one of the largest online supermarket delivery services, the company will get hundreds of customer service enquiries from their customers every day. With a large amount of people needing to call the Ocado contact number, the helpline is a vital way for users to get in touch. By using the Prove I Called number, the platform will give you access to evidence that you called and spoke to a member of their team. The information provided will prove useful in any future conflicts you may have with the company, especially related to complaints or queries. Whatever your issue, call the Ocado contact number today.

Man outraged with Job Centre computer systems

Police and ambulance services were called to Redruth Job Centre when a man became distressed with the system and the government’s failure to pay him job seekers allowance (JSA).

59-year-old former lorry driver, Phillip Heath, blames his frustrations on the fact he was told by staff he must use the computer to claim his job seekers allowance and this failure had left him starving.

Phillip was signed off sick 12 months ago after suffering a heart attack and although his doctor deemed him unfit to work, a Department of Work and Pensions medical assessment declared him fit. Consequently, Phillip had to apply for JSA to manage.

He told the West Briton: “I’ve spoken to the Redruth job centre several times and each time I was told that to claim job seekers allowance I have to have the internet and an email address.

“As far as I’m concerned you might as well go and throw a computer in Stithians Dam as I have no interest whatsoever in learning to use one.

“They aren’t listening to me, all I hear is computer, computer, computer and I haven’t been paid since September 4th. I can fix a car and am a very hands-on guy, but don’t even know how to turn on a computer.

“I’ve barely had anything to eat for 12 days. If a person has a pet they get prosecuted if they don’t look after it but the government are starving me and doing nothing about it.

“Redruth Job Centre has nothing in writing saying that I have to use a computer,” he added.

During the row at the centre, Mr Heath was seen by the ambulance service after he complained of chest pains and was then taken home by the police.

A police spokesman said: “A man became aggressive in Redruth Job Centre, at around 12.30 on Wednesday September 30.

“Both police and ambulance attended due to concerns over his health.

“Paramedics gave him the once over, but there was no need for him to go hospital so police took the man back home and gave him some words of advice.”

A spokesperson for the Department of Work and Pensions insisted there are job centre advisors at hand to help with the online side of job seekers applications, but the matter at Redruth is one for the police to resolve.

How to use Prove I Called when contacting the Job Centre

Job Centre Plus provide a great number of services including: benefit entitlement, how to claim, finding employment, application forms, practise interviews and disabilities – and they have a range of ways to contact them depending on the query, question or complaint. The first point of call is Job centre helpline number, open from 8am to 6pm Monday-Friday, where a member of the central helpline team should be able to deal with your issue quickly and effectively. When you call a Prove I Called line, you can also be sure of having evidence of your call; vital if you need to escalate a problem to the level of a complaint. However, regardless of your matter, a call to the Job Centre contact number should be able to help resolve things.

Good news for National Rail card users, bad news if you’re travelling with Virgin

Changes to ticket prices and fines

National Rail will offer digital versions of all their discount railcards – 16-25, Senior and Two Together. This will come as great news for those eligible, as many often face fines if they forget it.

There are over 3.7 million users of the discount cards today which offer 30% off, but if you buy a discounted ticket and then forget your card, you are obliged to pay up to an £80 fine.

The new National Railcard app will allow you to show rail staff your card even without an internet connection.

Anthony Smith, chief executive of campaign group Transport Focus, said: “Passengers will welcome anything that makes their journey easier and prevent them from being unfairly penalised.

 “We have a complex fares system, so it’s crucial that the rail industry makes sure that travelling using the railcard app is made simple to use.”

Operators have launched a search for developers to create the app, intending to launch it by April, 2016.

The young person’s 16 to 25 railcard also underwent changes last month, as Virgin Trains changed the conditions. New rules mean the discount is only available on off-peak times, which will show large increases in ticket prices.

Commuters, often travelling in and out of London to save money and for convenience, will now be unable to afford the difference in price.

Commuter, Georgia May, told HuffPost UK: “My daily commute is £27 return a day, however, this is trebling in price to £86,”

 “More than my daily wage. I commute as I cannot afford to rent in London.”

A petition has now been launched by the 22-year-old commuter, urging Virgin to change its new policy.

Georgia added: “I want Virgin to be held accountable to their actions and reverse this decision.”

“I started the petition go highlight how unfair Virgin are being. Many people with a railcard have the 16-25 one. Therefore this policy is specifically targeting a number of younger people who are more likely to be in lower paid jobs and therefore need this need the discounted price to subsidise their means of travel.

“Crucially this is a threat to people’s jobs as myself included, people will no longer be able to afford to travel to jobs they worked so hard getting.”

A spokesperson for Virgin Trains said: “We are the only train operator to offer this double discount where customers can use discounted, off-peak tickets on peak-time trains.

“Normal railcard discounts on peak and off peak tickets are unaffected and there are still many great deals available, particularly with some planning and flexibility.

Contacting rail service providers with Prove I Called

If you have any issues you would like to take up with Virgin Trains or National Rail, use the Prove I Called contact number today. There are several reasons people have for calling either of the companies, whether it’s to report unsatisfactory service, find lost property, check train times or reserve tickets.

A direct call to the customer service team using the Virgin Trains contact number will also give you evidence of that call in case they are needed in a further dispute. It’s reassuring to know you have the proof when you might need it, so call the Virgin Trains or National Rail contact number now and have your issue dealt with, fast.