News

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..."

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.

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.

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

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.

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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Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
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Tennis player Andy Murray's mum Judy has been paired with Anton du Beke for Strictly Come Dancing. 'I'm absolutely delighted,' she said.
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Prices correct as of 17 September 2014
Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

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A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

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