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Consumers have had enough of bad service being blamed on Covid, new study finds

The old Covid excuse simply won’t fly these days, apparently…

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People across Greater Manchester are fed up with bad customer service being blamed on Covid, new research has suggested.

According to the UK Institute of Customer Service, the number of complaints about poor service in the last six months has reached the highest levels since 2009.

Companies are being accused of using the Covid pandemic as an excuse for shoddy customer service, long waits on the telephone and late deliveries, the study found. 

The sectors with the biggest issues are transport, and local public services, such as GP surgeries, councils and police services and telecommunications.

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The survey, which quizzed 10,000 participants, also detailed how at the start of the pandemic, consumers were tolerant of delays and other issues as businesses fought to cope with the effects of the crisis.

But now that several months have passed, the excuse is no longer deemed as sufficient.

Jo Causon, the CEO of the Institute of Customer Service, said: “Saying ‘because of Covid’ is not a good phrase. Organisations must not hide behind this blanket statement.”

As for a solution?

@glenncarstenspeters / Unsplash

Well, Causon said that retailers simply need to be honest with their customers about any potential delays so they are aware of how long they might have to wait to inform their decision about what to buy.

She did admit, however, that many businesses had responded admirably to the difficulties created by the pandemic, and that managed queuing systems – such as inviting people to call at quieter times – was one major area of success.

Causon also pointed out that other companies had actually gone out of their way to assist people during the crisis, and that delays in deliveries can be blamed on the Suez Canal crisis in March, not bad customer service. 

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North West GP says NHS is under pressure because patients have ‘inability to wait for anything’

The GP also said patients shouldn’t have such ‘high expectations’ on what the NHS can offer

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A GP has warned that the building pressure on NHS doctors and A&E staff is a result of patients having an ‘Amazon Prime mentality’.

Dr. Johnathan Griffiths, a GP in Winsford, Cheshire, voiced his controversial opinion in his online blog, where he discusses current and trending issues within healthcare and the NHS, according to Cheshire Live.

There, he claimed Emergency Departments are struggling to keep up with ‘increased demand’ thanks to a number of different factors, one of which being patients having ‘high expectations’ and the ‘inability to wait for anything’. 

He wrote: “We talked about the ‘Amazon Prime’ mentality that we all now have – high expectations and inability to wait for anything.

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“There are significant numbers of people aged thirty-fifty presenting to the ED [Emergency Department] with undifferentiated symptoms that are possibly better managed by GPs. These individuals do not want to wait for GP assessment and want everything investigated and sorted in one trip. This is what they get in the ED.”

Dr. Griffiths added that, despite having to wait for hours and, in some cases, throughout the night in the ED, patients will get the opportunity to receive blood tests and x-rays so will recommend visiting to their friends.

He wrote: “By and large, they have nothing wrong with them and should never have been there in the first place.

“In our conversation we were both concerned that people seem to be less able to self-manage minor illness and seem to be presenting at earlier stages. This is certainly true in General Practice where we are seeing patients seeking help after a few hours of a sore throat or cough.”

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Dr. Griffiths offered some potential solutions that could make a ‘positive difference’ to the issues the NHS is facing, which included more public facing communications as he feels there is a ‘disconnect’ between expectations and the reality of what NHS services are currently able to provide.

Since the start of the pandemic, the number of people waiting for NHS treatment in England grew by a fifth, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, who found that 5.3 million people were waiting for treatment in May 2021, a jump of 4.4 million from February 2020. 

Health Secretary Sajid Javid, previously warned that the crisis is ‘going to get a lot worse before it gets better’, writing on Twitter: “The Covid backlog for appointments is sadly going to get a lot worse before it gets better, as more people start to come forward.

“Tackling that is going to take time – but it will be one of my top priorities.”

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Tyson Fury still loves going to Poundland and B&M despite £70M fortune

Tyson and Paris continue to shop at budget stores to keep their children grounded

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@parisfury1 / Instagram & Poundland

World Heavyweight Champion Tyson Fury apparently loves a good Poundland and B&M haul despite being one of the richest figures in his sport.

Well, according to his wife, he does.

Loose Women panelist Paris Fury, who has been with the Wythenshawe-born boxing star since 2006, recently spoke to OK! Magazine about their efforts to keep their six children grounded and respectful of money.

She said: “We’re trying our hardest. I want the children to be grounded and have the normal upbringing me and Tyson both had.

@parisfury1 / Instagram

“We’ll go down the Poundshop and the B&M, and I’ll say they can’t have certain things. I’d be so disappointed if they grew up not knowing the value of anything, so we do try.

“But then there’s times where one of the little ones will go on an aeroplane, turn left to first class and say ‘Get me a Diet Coke, please!’

“So we then scratch our heads and think we haven’t cracked it.”

The couple have always been open about their rise to fame, with Tyson himself speaking candidly about his own battle with mental health issues.

@parisfury1 / Instagram

Tyson, who is bipolar, spoke to The Guardian recently about his ‘terrible’ anxiety, saying: “I’ve come a long, long, long way. My anxiety was terrible. I believe anxiety is one of the worst things that anybody could have. It’s the fear of the unknown. It’s crazy.”

He continued: “I never seeked help for my mental struggle until 2016. I didn’t know what was going on. I wasn’t experienced. Nobody knew around me what was going on. Very uneducated on the matter. And as soon as I got help, the sooner I could go back to get recovered.

“One of the best things I ever did was come out and speak about it, because with communication you can get over any hurdle. But keeping it all to yourself and not communicating with others, you’re a bottle of champagne being shaken and shaken, waiting for the top to explode. And you’ll have a mental breakdown and won’t recover – or you seek help and try and get better.”

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Group of millionaires call on Rishi Sunak to tax them more because ‘they can afford to pay it’

‘The cost of recovery cannot fall on the young or on those with lower incomes’

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A group of British millionaires have called upon Chancellor Rishi Sunak to tax them and other rich people instead of raising national insurance for working people.

The evidently empathetic millionaires penned an open letter to the Chancellor, where they urged him to introduce a wealth tax on the nation’s richest people to help pay for the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic and tackle the growing inequality gap.

The millionaires, who work in a number of different sectors and industries, wrote: “We understand the immense pressure on the Treasury to deal with crises both present and future – from inequality, to Covid, to climate change.

Number 10 / Flickr

“We know there will be high expectations for you to find the money needed. We know where you can find that money – tax wealth holders like us. We can afford to contribute more, and we want to invest in repairing and improving our shared services.

“We are proud to pay our taxes to reduce inequality, support stronger social care and the NHS, and to ensure that we’re building a more just and green society.”

They added that they want Sunak to ‘address the economic imbalance of the current tax system which places a deeply unequal burden on working people’.

The letter also acknowledged that the planned 1.25% increase in national insurance will ‘hit working people the hardest’, so taxes on the wealthiest in society should be increased instead: “The cost of recovery cannot fall on the young or on those with lower incomes. There are many of us – people with wealth – who will support a more progressive system of taxation, and we urge you to do the same.”

Sarah Agnew / Unsplash

According to The Guardian, Gary Stevenson, a multimillionaire former City trader and one of the signatories, said: “Instead of raising national insurance and taking £1,000 a year away from families on universal credit, the chancellor, who is a multimillionaire, should be taxing himself and people like me – people with wealth.

“We can’t expect to have a strong or stable recovery if the fiscal burden of it is placed on our care workers, street cleaners and teachers – key workers who deserve better – while we don’t tax the rich.”

Technology entrepreneur Gemma McGough, who also signed the letter, said it made economic sense to tax rich people more, saying: “This letter isn’t a goodwill statement, this is an attempt to shake the chancellor by the fiscal shoulders and wake him up.”

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