Category Archives: Business

Sportsdirect – very poor customer service – part 3

This is part 3 of my ongoing complaint against Sportsdirect. You can read part 1 here, and part 2 here.

Quite a few weeks ago now I made the mistake of buying a supposedly cabin-safe suitcase from Sportsdirect. I got it home, discovered the measurements on the label were wrong (they say it’s smaller than it is), so I attempted to return it (due to it being useless in the actual size and not the product described on the label), and they refused to refund me.

Since part 2, I have written them a letter and posted it recorded delivery. I posted it on the 8th May, and they received it on the 10th May.


As of 3 June, I’ve received no reply or acknowledgement of this letter. Continue reading Sportsdirect – very poor customer service – part 3

Sportsdirect – very poor customer service – part 2

This is part 2 of my ongoing complaint against Sportsdirect. You can read part 1 here.

Last week I bought a suitcase from Sportsdirect, discovered the measurements on the label were wrong, attempted to return it (due to it being useless in the actual size), and they refused to refund me. I’ve done some digging, mostly on google and web forums. Some very helpful people on MoneySavingExpert have given me links to various sources of information, but the most simple and helpful one has been a leaflet from the Office of Fair Trading’s website (link).

I’ve emailed, explaining the situation. I sent this Sunday, and there’s been a bank holiday, and then two working days since then. No reply, so far.

Today, I messaged them on Twitter:


OK so they reply on Twitter, but how come they can reply on Twitter in a matter of hours, yet they only “aim” to reply “within 5 working days” when you send them an email? That’s a bit shit. Continue reading Sportsdirect – very poor customer service – part 2

Sportsdirect – very poor customer service

It’s not often I blog about things I’ve bought in actual physical shops. That’s because I don’t shop in person often. However, yesterday I shunned my Amazon account, threw caution to the wind, and went into a branch of Sportsdirect near where I work. I wish I’d checked out their online reviews first, but I didn’t. Lesson learnt – internet = better.

So Friday 3 May, I went into Sportsdirect, Cribbs Causeway. I went in looking for a suitcase, and saw some things that looked like suitcases. Continue reading Sportsdirect – very poor customer service

The January Sales

They don’t even start in January anymore. They start from 6am on Boxing Day, depending on the shop. I’ve never quite been sure about whether or not they’re worth bothering with. I’m skeptical as to whether or not they exist, or it’s just a massive ploy to trick people into buying things they don’t really want. Is anything really any cheaper?

I remember buying a video recorder in the January sales, years and years ago. It was £200 before Christmas, so I waited til Boxing Day to see if it would be reduced. On Boxing Day, I walked into an electrical store and bought it for…exactly the same price it was in December. Maybe there were others discounted, but I had already chosen which one I wanted, so that wasn’t any help to me. Continue reading The January Sales

Young Apprentice – Future business brains?

From the title, you might think I’m about to rip into the contestants, but you’d be absolutely wrong. I’ve disappointed you there, I can sense it.

I used to enjoy The Apprentice, and I’ve blogged before about the show’s questionable moral points and prize. Partly as I’ve been busy, but partly as I think I’d find it really annoying, I’ve not really been watching this series of Young Apprentice. However, I was half-watching something else last night, and switched over mid-way through the episode, to discover they’re still doing that fucking stupid task with the Yellow Pages directories. Does Sugar have shares in them or what?

The task goes like this: Continue reading Young Apprentice – Future business brains?

Business response

Recently I’ve had a change of credit card. I’ve had a new card, and a new pin. Not because I wanted it, but because one bank bought part of another bank, and my card transferred to another supplier.

As a result of this, I had some queries, which I sent to my old bank. I messaged them several times very near to the transfer date, through their online secure message system, and each time, they replied within 4 hours – in plain English, with the tone similar to the one I had used to contact them. I contacted them via their online system, so they replied via their online system. Well done them, especially considering they were probably receiving lots of questions from other customers about what happens to their direct debits after the changeover, or whatever. Continue reading Business response

Good old Yellow Pages

I did a bit of business research a few years ago, into different methods of advertising. As part of this, I looked at costs of advertising in various places, including the Yellow Pages. Because I’m sad, I’ve continued looking at the number of pages when each arrive. So did you know it has been shrinking, continually over the last few years? I don’t mean the book has gone from A4 to near A5 (although it has), but the number of pages.

Here’s the proof from the Bristol directory (number of pages include indexes, contents, etc.):

  • 2008/2009 – 1584 pages. It contains for the first time, a new takeaway menu section – with whole takeaway menus. 25 pages of takeaway menus.
  • 2009/2010 – 1256 pages. After a year of heavy advertising (huge billboards, etc.) about the restaurants and takeaways section, there are now 23 pages of takeaway menus. 2 down from last year.
Big billboards. One of many.

At this point the book shrinks. It was 29.5 by 21cm (A4, pretty much). From 2010/2011, it has shrunk to 17cm by 24.5cm.


They also introduce the “Name Finder” – an A-Z of all the companies advertising.

  • 2010/2011 – 1064 pages. The takeaway menus now amount to 11 pages. 148 pages of the total is A-Z company index.

And this year’s, which arrived a couple of days ago:

  • 2011/2012 – 784 pages. The takeaway menus 14 pages. 135 pages of the total is A-Z company index.

I’m assuming a few of these businesses have migrated online, but the book has shrunk by more than 50% (in pages terms), in 4 years.

In the interests of fairness, I should add it isn’t just the Yellow Pages. Here’s the Thomson Local, Bristol:

  • 2006 – 504 pages of adverts, 176 pages of A-Z of businesses.
  • 2009 – 340 pages of adverts, 144 pages of A-Z.
  • 2010 – 250 pages of adverts, 98 pages of A-Z.

Also shrunk by just over 50%, in 4 years. I think we all know that people are searching online these days, and I imagine people are buying smaller adverts and/or spending more on Google Adwords, etc., but the A-Z section is telling. The rate of decline is quite something.

Despite this, the local magazine where I live – Bishopston Matters – seems to be thriving. I don’t have all the back issues to compare, but I think it’s getting larger each issue. Certainly seems to be retaining advertisers well. Is hyper-local the new local?

Tips for Dragons’ Den

I’m only a viewer. I’ve never been on the show. But from watching  a lot of it, it seems that despite this being the 9th series of the show, some people are still making mistakes which surely seem obvious to viewers.

I understand that each nerve-wracking negotiation can drag on for hours, before being cut down to a couple of minutes of entertaining TV, but unless it’s been edited into an unrecognisable state by the BBC, surely these days there can’t be any excuse for seemingly making some of these errors. With that in mind, here’s my top 8 tips for being successful on the show (in no particular order).

Continue reading Tips for Dragons’ Den