Blog Archive

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Britain's Lost Compassion, John Lewis Disappoints, Two Quotes

Britain's Lost Compassion

I used to be very proud of my British nationality, in part due to the way we welcome people of all colours, races, religions and nationalities. London and may of our largest cities depend upon people who have recently or over the last few decades joined us and the vast majority now fit in well and are part of the 21st century British culture. Our house building and maintenance services and our NHS would pretty much grind to a near halt without large numbers of Europeans and people from across the world who live and work here.

Nurses and Midwives in NHS from EU

I have always loved and been fascinated by the riches that this diversity brings. Unfortunately our largely welcoming attitude seems to have turned over the last ten years, aligned with the economic challenges that the UK and world has faced in this period. After years of increasing prosperity during the Blair years, the economic crash ten years ago changed everything. All of a sudden, the foreigners and immigrants were to blame and the two large political parties competed with UKIP to see who could appear the toughest. In dark times history repeats itself; the outsiders are always to blame.

NHS Nurses

Following the resignation of Amber Rudd, the Home Security yesterday, we are starting to learn about policies that have been adopted by the Home Office including deportation targets and stories of people who have lost their jobs because it takes the Home Office years to issue them the correct paperwork. It was the Windrush scandal that brought this issue to the public eye when it emerged that people who have been here legitimately for decades were being denied papers and threatened with deportation. In most cases it is the poorest and least able to fight back who are affected.

We are not yet starting to sound like 1930s Germany but if not rapidly resolved, it will be another step in that direction. The question many are now asking is that given the Home Office's inability to correctly and speedily process today's applications, how are they going to cope with 3 million Europeans who will need to apply soon as a result if Brexit? What I struggle to understand is why on earth anyone genuinely thinks it's worth denying UK entry to anyone who is going to make a positive contribution and pay their taxes. An NHS without either a continual flow of qualified overseas staff or a magic creation of lots of British doctors and nurses will fail to look after us now and even more so in the future. Some construction sites in parts of the country are on a go slow as they can't get staff. It seems ironic that access to affordable housing and better NHS are the two things that worry voters the most despite the fact that a majority voted for Brexit which by reducing the inflow of people from abroad will make these two issues far harder to resolve!

It would not surprise me if the government falls as a result of this, particularly given that it was the Prime Minister herself who was previously in charge of the Home Office....

John Lewis Disappoints

Instead of ordering new curtains for our lounge and dining room from a local supplier, we decided to place our trust in John Lewis. Big mistake. Here is my log from order to the closing of my case.

Case Reference: 08207043

Dec 18th: I ordered / paid for the curtains (7 day service).
By mid Jan I had heard nothing so had to chase. Was told by the store there was a delay as they had lost the poles. Not very polite. Eventually was given fitting date Jan of 26th.

Jan 26th: The fitters arrived on time but left a bit of a mess (on previous occasions everything has been left spotless). Curtains don't open or close properly, don't hang properly in their creases and one pair is too high off the ground. We only saw this after 4 days as we had been told to leave them tied up and not to touch them.

Jan 30th: Rang to complain (using telephone number on the payment receipt). I went through all the issues and was told someone would call. Janette called and explained she would be handling my case and I went through all the issues for 2nd time and was told someone would call to arrange an appointment.

Feb 1st: 2 days later nothing so I called again and was told someone would call. Ross called and left a message and a phone number. I rang back but no one had heard of Ross. I called Janette again.
Ross called me again and booked estimator to come on Feb 20th (3 weeks later) as this was the earliest they could do.

Feb 20th: Linda came took measurements, photos etc.

Feb 21st: I received an email from JL to say Linda would be coming on the 20th (the day before).

Feb 21st: I received a phone call from Julie who explained she had taken over the case so I explained the issues again.

Feb 23rd: I received an email from Julie saying she was waiting for further information (photos) from Linda.

Mar 6th: I rang and asked to speak to Julie. She had been away sick but nobody had picked up my case. She said still awaiting photos so I took some and sent them same day.
Mar 13th: I rang and asked to speak to Julie. Not in so said someone would call me back same day. Nobody did.

Mar 14th: I rang and asked to speak to Julie. Not available so put through to a queue. Waited 12 mins and got through to Tom. Said he would call back 10 minutes. He did but only to say that Julie would call me later. She didn't.
Mar 19th: I rang at 11.00. 8 mins on hold. Then after 12 mins told Julie not in and I am being transferred to someone else. Back in queue. I hung up after 20 mins. Then I sent an email to The Managing Director,  Paula Nickolds complaining with copy of this log. Received a call and email from Linda Dunn saying someone would be in touch in next days....

Mar 28th: Sent another email to MD and Linda Dunn since no response after 9 days, Then I received a call from Julie who said she would organise for Pink Fudge to come and lengthen the curtains, steam them and she will order replacement rails etc. Also said I would be paid compensation and they (JL) were in a mess!

Apr 10th: Sent email to Julie to say nothing since her last call on Mar 28th. She booked in for Tim to come to house on 13th to apply silicon to the rails and said she would chase the seamstress service again.

Apr 13th: Tim + 1 came and applied silicon. Took 10 mins, Curtains now slide okay on the rails.

Apr 19th:  Pink Fudge spent 4 hours adjusting curtain length and steaming. Slightly better but not perfect. Length is a bit more even but they still look like an empty sack of potatoes hanging from a rail.

Apr 19th : JL Offered to re-make curtains but I sent email to say we have had enough and don't want any more people visiting our house and failing to correct much. Frankly if they can't sort it after 3 months they are probably too incompetent to sort it at all.

Apr 25th: I was paid £300 compensation (about 20% of the total order value) and my case was closed.

Goodbye John Lewis.

Two Quotes this month:

Charles Darwin
In the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too), those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed. Charles Darwin, The Origin of the Species

Michael Fish
What do you call two hot days and a thunderstorm? Summer. BBC Weather Joke.

No comments:

Post a Comment