Britain is set to be hit by winds of up to 65-mph this week as arctic weather storms through the UK with a vengeance. The Met Office's yellow weather warnings are expected to come hand-in-hand with power disruptions and school closures - while drivers are being warned to be especially vigilant on the roads. And as with any storm, travel delays are also forecast - with Eurostar already cancelling some trains. So what are your rights? "Flight disruptions aren't ideal, especially when you’re looking forward to your big getaway, however, there are some tips that are worth bearing in mind to minimise disruption," explains Emma Grimster at TravelSupermarket. "If you have a flight booked, check with your airline and airport well before leaving home for any updates and advice on disruption to schedules. Alternatively contact your airline by phone and ensure it has your up-to-date contact details lodged in your booking. "Rail companies also publish details of delays and changes to … [Read more...] about Trains cancelled and flights grounded because of snow – your refund rights
Is John Lewis in danger of throwing away its long-held and hard-won reputation for being Britain’s best-managed retailer? Guardian Money readers have been filling our postbag with tales of poor service from John Lewis – and even members of staff have joined in, albeit anonymously. Longstanding customers, some of whom have shopped at the store for 30 years, have described their experience of service levels in recent months in terms of shock and disappointment. They talk of washing machines and fridges dumped in gardens, nonexistent or cancelled deliveries and repeatedly failed orders. In many cases customers have described how multiple yet different orders all failed in some way. Staff in the stores continue to be praised in readers’ correspondence but the retailer’s fast-growing online operation, johnlewis.com, has come in for sharp criticism by some. “The service we received was most un-John Lewis like” has been a common theme in many of the letters … [Read more...] about Has John Lewis lost the digital-age plot?
Marc Brown loves to shop at BrightHouse. Over the past couple of years, he has bought a television, two sofas and a hi-fi from the store, and today he has come in to buy two tablet computers, one for himself and one for his mother. With BrightHouse there is no need to pay straight away; instead, the price is divided into small weekly chunks, repayable over the next few years. Since he began shopping with BrightHouse, his weekly payments have gradually notched up. Once the cost of the new tablets is added, Marc, 38, a former Southwark council employee who lost his job in 2007, will be paying BrightHouse £103 a week. He receives about £140 a week in benefits payments, leaving him £37 a week for everything else. "My mum helps with the bills," he says. His enthusiasm for the model is undented by the steep weekly charge. He likes the system for its "affordability". In the post-recession reshaping of the British high street, there have been several notable winners: … [Read more...] about Buy now, regret later? The secret of BrightHouse’s success
Sleeping on a tiled classroom floor, sharing cigarettes and always on the lookout for police raids, the students of Carmela Carvajal primary and secondary school are living a revolution. It began early one morning in May, when dozens of teenage girls emerged from the predawn darkness and scaled the spiked iron fence around Chile's most prestigious girl's school. They used classroom chairs to barricade themselves inside and settled in. Five months later, the occupation shows no signs of dying and the students are still fighting for their goal: free university education for all. A tour of the school is a trip into the wired reality of a generation that boasts the communication tools that feisty young rebels of history never dreamed of. When police forces move closer, the students use restricted Facebook chat sessions to mobilise. Within minutes, they are able to rally support groups from other public schools in the neighbourhood. "Our lawyer lives over there," said Angelica Alvarez, 14, … [Read more...] about Chilean girls stage ‘occupation’ of their own school in education rights protest
THOMAS Cook customers owed compensation from the failed travel firm now face delays before getting their money back. When the brand collapsed in September, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said that claims made on the first day of the refund programme would get their cash back within 60 days - which is today. But now the regulator says that only two-thirds will be paid on time. The remaining third have been contacted by the CAA, who is handling the refunds, asking to provide more information before their payments will be process. The CAA has so far received 215,000 valid claims and a total of £160million has already been refunded to 60 per cent of them so far, including direct debit payments. About 800,000 people had been due to travel with the collapsed firm in the months following its demise, or were already abroad when it fell into administration.The claims website was so inundated with refund requests on the day that it launched on October 7 that the website crashed. Richard … [Read more...] about Thomas Cook refunds and Atol claims – when will I get my money back?