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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..."

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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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?