Archive for the ‘Consumer matters’ Category

A review of the new blockbuster movie “Tenet”

August 29th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

“Tenet” is Christopher Nolan’s 11th film and I have viewed and admired all his previous work except his very first film which I’ve never seen. Of the movies that – like “Tenet” – Nolan wrote as well as directed, I was immensely impressed with “Memento” and “Inception” but struggled with the second half of “Interstellar”. […]

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A review of the novel “The Man In The High Castle” by Philip K Dick

August 26th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

I decided to read this 1962 novel after the success of the Amazon television series of the same name broadcast in 40 parts between 2015-2019 even though I never viewed the series. It was immediately apparent to me that Dick’s books are generally better on the screen that on the page – think of “Total […]

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A review of the 2017 film “Wonder”

April 28th, 2020 by Roger Darlington

American schoolboy August ‘Auggie’ Pullman (Jacob Tremblay) is well-supported by his mother (Julia Roberts) – who calls him a “wonder” – and father (Owen Wilson) and he needs all the support he can find since he was born with a serious facial deformity called Mandibulofacial Dysostosis or Treacher Collins Syndrome Based on a novel by […]

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How green is your energy tariff?

November 12th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

A recent examination of the UK energy sector by the independent consumer body Which? commented as follows: “A third of customers believe that if an energy tariff is marked ‘green’ or ‘renewable’ then they expect to get 100% renewable electricity supplied to their home. Another 11% expect that the supplier generates some of the renewable […]

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A review of “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood

November 10th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

“The Handmaid’s Tale” was published in 1985 and I eventually read it in 1994. When the sequel “The Testaments” was published in 2019, I was keen to read it, but I wanted to reread the original work first. The first book is a record made by a Handmaid called Offred who serves a senior Commander […]

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Why aren’t more consumers engaging with the broadband market?

October 22nd, 2019 by Roger Darlington

Recently the consumer organisation Which? published new research – gathering an in-depth understanding of why consumers aren’t engaging in the broadband market.  This behavioural research identifies six key barriers to engagement among disengaged consumers: Consumers have low confidence in assessing what they need and identifying a suitable package Consumers are confused about how pricing works […]

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One third fewer banks but much more online banking

September 29th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

The consumerbody Which? has just published its​ latest findings on bank branch closures. Banks and building societies closed a total of 3,312 branches between January 2015 and August 2019, with an average of 55 closing each month. A further 100 branches are scheduled to close before the end of this year. The RBS Group, which […]

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Would you like to chair the Essential Services Access Network?

December 12th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

The Essential Services Access Network (ESAN) is a grouping of consumer and voluntary organisations working on a cross-sectoral basis with regulators and Ombudsman services. ESAN strives to ensure that services which are essential to life, health and well-being (currently energy, water, financial services and communications) meet the needs of consumers, particularly those in vulnerable circumstances. After three […]

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This could be my last conference speech

November 7th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

I’ve been speaking in public for around 55 years, but this week I might just have made my last conference speech. The occasion was a London event organised by the consultancy Independ and the publication “The Water Report”. The title of the event was “Defining the social contract: essential public services, private business and better […]

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Citizens Advice super-complaint to CMA on the injustice of loyalty payments

September 28th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

A super-complaint has been lodged today by Citizens Advice with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) calling for the regulator to investigate the loyalty penalty in a number of essential markets: mobile handsets, broadband, mortgages, home insurance and savings. Research by Citizens Advice has found that consumers lose over £4 billion a year to the loyalty penalty, with 8 […]

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