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Accessible legal tips, know-how and news for anyone with a complaint or legal issue from Stephen Gold, author of The Return of Breaking Law, the book

Tuesday 29 October 2019

Waitrose Lift Saga Earns Free Choc Cake

Maybe Waitrose have had their lift recorded announcement and other problems at their Richmond, Surrey store  (see http://www.breakinglaw.co.uk/search/label/Waitrose). But how can you fail to love them after their response to my Birthday greetings?!

Sent: 26/10/2019 12:21
Subject:  Car Park at Richmond-upon-Thames Store

I would like to both congratulate and apologise to you. As to congratulations, this is on the occasion of the first anniversary of the perverted automated announcement in your centre lift from ground floor to car park that the lift is descending rather than ascending and thereby sending its passengers into a state of intense confusion. As to the apology, this is on account of the lateness in conveying my congratulations which has been due to pressure of shopping.
I have previously drawn your attention to the lift problem which you had stated was being fixed. I am wondering whether the engineer has been caught in dreadful traffic?
May I offer a solution? I would be prepared to take up an honorary position in the lift in question and personally announce its direction of travel at appropriate intervals. All I would ask is that you made available to me a slice of your exquisite chocolate cake from the new Waitrose 1 range during tea breaks, assuming, of course, that I would be entitled to such breaks. I could arrange for my cat to take over duties during them.
I look forward to hearing from you.  
Yours sincerely
Stephen Gold
[Sitting down and not up]

From: Waitrose Customer Service
Sent: 28/10/19 19:27
Thank you for the offer of manning the lifts, however I am going to have to decline your help as I have now spoken to Jasmine, one of the duty managers in store this evening. She has advised that she will bring this to the attention of the maintenance team to get this fixed as quickly as possible, as we do not want to continue to confuse our customers anymore..

Apologies that this had not been rectified when you first queried this. I hope you will accept a small gift card so you can purchase that lovely chocolate cake you so desire. Please reply with your full home address and I will get this arranged for you.   

If you'd like to comment on the service I've given you, click the link below to take part in our quick survey - as a thank you, we’ll also enter you into our monthly prize draw where you could win Waitrose & Partners gift vouchers.

[link provided]

Kind regards 

Waitrose & Partners Customer Care
Case Reference: 06915209

I have accepted their offer. I'll be back when I have finished the cake.

Monday 28 October 2019

Taxing Matters (or Who Needs An Accountant?)

After http://www.breakinglaw.co.uk/search/label/tax%20appeals perhaps I should be kinder to the taxman - and especially as my return for 2018/19 is awaiting his scrutiny.

HMRC has a new online customer forum where you can post questions on a range of tax topics that are answered by HMRC experts. Anyone can view the forum. I wouldn't suggest anything like 'I have never disclosed my profit for driving a minicab on the side. Where do you suggest I hide the money?'

But 'My ISA provider told me that if I took my interest monthly then I would be taxed on it. Isn't this nonsense?' would be okay. Actually, I asked it on Friday last week and they answered it today. It is nonsense. No, not their answer!

Go to https://community.hmrc.gov.uk to register. It's free.

Tuesday 22 October 2019

Whistleblowing Latest

We have  met the law that protects whistleblowers who engage in spilling of the beans. See, for example, http://www.breakinglaw.co.uk/2017/05/power-to-whistleblowers.html

As a respite from Brexit,new whisleblowing law comes into force on 05 November 2019 in the form of the Public Interest Disclosure (Prescribed Persons) (Amendment) Order 2019 (SI 2019/1341)  It follows the annual review of the prescribed persons to whom workers can whistle an unhappy tune. The Commission for Equality and Human Rights is added as a prescribed person and the matters which whistleblowers can report to the European Securities and Markets Authority, Financial Conduct Authority and Welsh ministers are updated.