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ALL THE LATEST NEWS, VIEWS AND STORIES FROM AROUND YOUR LOCAL AREA:MAY/JUNE


THE WONDERFUL AND COMPUTERS


WORLD OF DIGITAL


I’ve said it before but I’m going to say it again: It’s time to look at who provides your utilities and what you’re paying!


The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) recently received a super-complaint from Citizens Advice about long-term customers overpaying for key services. Their report said: “People who fail to shop around or switch providers for a whole range of services are over-paying 11 million pounds a day in penalties which in total means those who do not switch providers are paying on average £877 a year too much.”


That’s 11 million pounds a day – wow! What could the NHS do with an extra 11 million a day? What if this money was dedicated to plastic reduction, or given to charities? We could literally change the world in which we live!


This is systematic corporate exploitation of the consumer and you need to help stop it from happening. The complaint covers five key areas: savings accounts, mortgages, household insurance, mobile and broadband. Once again, we are being ripped off by those to whom we entrust our most essential services and they are laughing at us!


I’ll give you a good example: I went to see a customer who complained her Broadband was very slow. I checked and indeed it was less than 3mb - in fact her upload was faster than her download, very unusual with residential Broadband. I suggested she should look to another provider, or at least see if her current provider could move her to fibre broadband. Her concern was they provided her telephone broadband and her subscription TV channels and was concerned switching provider would upset everything.


However, I returned a week later, and she was very happy. Her current provider said that they indeed could offer her Fibre broadband (up to 60mb) and as a loyal customer they would reduce her bill by £55.00 if she retained her current level of services. Great news indeed but the real win was that this reduction was giving an annual saving of £660 – BY MAKING ONE PHONE CALL!


I meet customers all the time who have been with their utility providers a long time. So, here are some more personal examples where I saved money and I encourage you to make those phone calls:


Mobile Phone – re-negotiated, upped my data allowance and got all I can eat text and calls £9.00.


Energy Bills – renegotiated my Gas and Electricity saving £10,00 a month.


Phone and Broadband – renegotiated and got £15.00 a month off.


Car Insurance – moved provider and got a whopping £160.00 cheaper policy.


Banking – left the big boys and went local, stopped paying standing fees and funding none eco-friendly investments.


So, there you go, food for thought, I hope. If you need help, you know who to call.


David Jeffries 016973 61066 • dj@ministryofdoing.co.uk Solving People’s Digital Problems


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CHALLENGING AN UNFAIR DISMISSAL? ~ CITIZENS ADVICE ALLERDALE ~


“I’m 3 months pregnant and just beginning to show, so last week I thought I’d sit down with my manager and let


them know before any speculation could take place.


“My manager was really happy for me but this week, I’ve been pulled aside and told they’re letting me go due to poor performance.


“I’ve worked here for two years and never had any negative feedback, so I don’t understand. Could they be sacking me


just Is this legal?”


It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been working for your employer, being fired because of pregnancy, or pregnancy- related issues, is automatically classed as unfair dismissal.


Although your employer said you were being sacked for poor performance, you’re right to be suspicious, as this only came to light after you told your manager about your pregnancy. If your employer says your dismissal has nothing to do with you having a baby, you will need to prove that it was. You can ask your employer to send you written reasons for your dismissal.


for being pregnant?


As you have been employed for two years, your employer can only dismiss you for specified fair reasons, such as gross misconduct or persistent poor performance. Except in the most serious cases of gross misconduct, your employer will be expected to follow a fair process and show the dismissal was for a fair reason.


If you want to challenge the dismissal, you can take your case to an employment tribunal. You should first raise a grievance with your employer and contact the Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service


about Early


Conciliation. Be sure to act quickly, as time limits in employment tribunals are short.


ARMATHWAITEHALL HOTEL AND SPA





For further help, contact Citizens Advice Allerdale, Town Hall, Oxford Street, Workington on 01900 604735, or visit us at: www.citizensadviceallerdale.org.uk.


ISSUE 431 | 23 MAY 2019 | 5


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