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Recipient actually lived in Illinois, not Daughter Killed In Car Crash

Minister gaffes: The best slip-ups of years gone by

The Rail Minister Theresa Villiers added to the growing list of ministerial media gaffes this week when she suggested that sacked call-centre workers in Newcastle relocate - to Mumbai.

Leading article: Hindrance not help

Workers at the East Coast Rail call centre on Tyneside are facing redundancy. Their employer is moving the call centre to Mumbai, where costs are cheaper. But the blow will be cushioned, according to the Transport Secretary, Theresa Villiers, because these workers have the legal right to request a job at the new office.

Barriers come down in post office makeover

Thousands of "bandit barriers" in post offices are to be ripped down in an overhaul of the network to make it more friendly to customers.

Leading article: Energy market is not working in the interests of customers

Movements in the wholesale price of energy only get passed on to customers when they rise

Leading article: The market's not working

The promise that accompanied energy market liberalisation in 1999 was that competition between providers would keep a lid on prices and drive up levels of service. Things have not worked out like that. When the wholesale cost of energy was low, the big six firms kept their consumer prices high. Yet since the wholesale price has shot up, they have passed all the increases to their customers. And, as the Commons Energy Committee points out today, customer service has been dreadful too. Consumers are being pressured by commission-hungry salesmen to sign up for deals that they do not understand. And given that the number of different rates has risen from 180 to 400 over the past 18 months, this lack of comprehension is hardly surprising.

Being Modern: Call centres

"Hello. I wonder whether you could explain something on my bill..."

Santander brings call centres back to the UK from India

Santander has become the latest UK company to bring its international call centres back to the UK. The bank, which has performed poorly over complaints according to the industry ombudsman, says it has made the move in order to improve customer service.

Being modern: Ikea

Ikea: it has become almost as ubiquitous as childbirth and, similarly, though the experience may cause pain, we'll always go back for more.

Simon Read: Santander deserves a second chance to get it right

Customer service has become a crucial battleground for banks. Still suffering from the negativity generated by their major role in the credit crunch and the subsequent recession, our high-street lenders know they need to improve the way they deal with customers to rebuild their tattered reputations.

UK firms decide it's time to hang up on Indian call centres

Santander is the latest company to bring customer service operations back to Britain, Sarah Arnott reports

Energy giant Scottish and Southern Energy to shed 900 jobs

Up to 900 jobs will be axed at Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) after the company announced today it was immediately suspending all its doorsteps sales.

Santander call centres return to UK



Banking giant Santander UK today said it had returned all its call centres in India to the UK following complaints from customers.

Liverpool players, including Alberto Aquilani, return to training

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard and £35million record signing Andy Carroll both returned to pre-season training alongside one player who was back at Melwood for the first time in almost a year.

Julian Knight: Free bank shares sound good – but just won't work

It took barely 24 hours for No 10 to close down Nick Clegg's idea that we should all be given shares in RBS and Lloyds.

Only geeks work at Best Buy: electronics giant sues over label

Careful who you call a "geek." It might get you sued. The US retailer Best Buy, which is renowned in roughly equal measure for selling cheap electronics and providing patchy customer service, is claiming legal ownership of the well-worn term of abuse.

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Minoan Crete and Santorini
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Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones