T-Mobile poor network coverage

The Managing Director

T-Mobile UK (Everything Everywhere Limited)

Hatfield Business Park

Herts AL10 9BW

6th October 2014



Dear Sir

Re Account number [      ] / Phone number[      ]

I wish to make a complaint about the poor coverage of the T-Mobile network.

Phone calls are frequently dropping because of poor coverage. As proof of this, please refer to my phone bill, from which you will see that very often I have to make several calls to the same number. This is because the call has dropped due to poor network coverage– not because of my phone (a Blackberry).

I know this is T-Mobile’s issue, because the calls are dropped in similar places:

  • on the M40;
  • on the Chiltern Railways line;
  • on the road from Warwick to Stratford;
  • on the road from Banbury to Buckingham;
  • These are just a few examples.

Please put up a proper number of 2G/GSM base stations to give people simple voice coverage before you try and move to 3G or 4G!

Please also tell me if I pay any extra for a connection charge, to connect a call.

Yours faithfully


Virgin Media Broadband problems

I’ve been asked to write a complaint letter due to more complaints about Virgin Media broadband. Here is a draft letter for others to use who have similar problems:

The Managing Director

Virgin Media

Media House,
Bartley Wood Business Park,
RG27 9UP

Dear Sir/Madam

Account number: [             ]

I have recently upgraded to your supposedly faster broadband package (XXL – up to 152mb).

Whilst I have seen occasional improvement to the broadband speed, I frequently have to wait a long time for pages to load while on the internet. Sometimes the pages don’t load at all.

I am paying more money than I did under the Broadband XL package, but the overall service is still poor. I have been mis-sold a service.

Please can you investigate the problems with the broadband in this area, and please send me a partial rebate for the extra money I have been charged.

I await hearing from you within 14 days of today, failing which I shall make a complaint to Ofcom.

Yours faithfully

Chiltern Railways Twitter dissatisfaction

I was surprised to learn that Chiltern Railways (@chilternrailway) does not include in its Customer Satisfaction Surveys details of the number or nature of any of the complaints that passengers make on their twitter accounts. Chiltern Railways use them internally, but I understand that Customer Satisfaction results form part of the assessment of managerial bonuses, so perhaps that is why they are not included? Northern Rail (@northernrailorg) apparently do include twitter complaints – so well done to them.

If you would like Chiltern Railways to include Twitter complaints, here is a draft letter you can send by email to customerservice@chilternrailways.co.uk

Dear Sir/Madam

I understand from your Twitter administrator that Twitter complaints to @Chilternrailway are not taken into account in any customer satisfaction surveys.

Please provide details of all past Twitter complaints to the Customer Complaints Team, and please confirm that Twitter complaints will be used going forward to reflect true customer dissatisfaction.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours faithfully

BT Broadband problems

We’ve been asked to write a letter to BT Broadband about a continuing problem that BT  won’t solve.

BT Correspondence Centre
Providence Row
DH98 1BT


Dear Sirs

Re Phone number: [                       ]

I wish to make a formal complaint about the poor quality service I am receiving despite the large fees that I am paying BT.

I have a combined phone and broadband package. The problem is that when you connect to a phone call there is a background hiss. It gets louder the longer the conversation lasts. There have been engineers to visit but the problem has not been solved. One engineer says it is the hub; the hub has been replaced but the hiss has still not gone  away.  The problem is so bad that I have to turn off the broadband to speak to someone on the phone. This means that no-one can use the internet if one of us is on the phone. This is not acceptable, and is not hat I have paid for

I have made several calls to your customer care line but I get no answer. Last night I was on hold for 45 minutes. A recorded voice tells me the lines are “very busy”; that is not an answer and merely evidences the poor quality of  BT’s service as you clearly have too many complaints to deal with.

Please will you arrange for someone to come and fix the problem with  either the broadband, or the hub, or both. Please also arrange to give me a credit of my monthly subscription for the period that the problem has been continuing.

I look forward to hearing from you in 14 days, failing which I shall issue a claim in the small claims court for a rebate for the last 2 months subscription costs.

Yours faithfully

[                   ]

Cc Sir Michael Rake
BT Group plc,
BT Centre,
81 Newgate Street,
London EC1A 7AJ

Google Data Request

Someone asked me how to find out what data Google hold about them. Here is a letter I drafted for them to send to Google UK requesting information under the Data Protection Act:


Chief Legal Officer/Data Protection Officer
Google UK Limited
76 Buckingham Palace Road

Dear Sir/Madam,

Data Protection Act 1998

I wish to know and understand what data Google Group (as hereinafter defined) holds about me personally.

For the purposes of this letter, Google Group means Google UK Limited or any affiliate company, parent company, or subsidiary or sister company, in any parrt of the world.

This letter serves as a formal Subject Access Request in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 (as amended) requesting you to provide me with details of:

–          all information that Google Group hold about me on computers;

–          all information that Google Group hold about me in manual filing systems;

–          a description of such information, what Google Group uses it for, who Google Group might pass it to, and the source of the information.

I thank you for your assistance and look forward to hearing from you with the next 40 calendar days.

Yours sincerely,



Found a stone in my Muesli…

14th May 2013

Sainsburys PLC

33 Holborn

Dear Sir/Madam,

Fruit & Nut Muesli

I recently bought a packet of Sainsbury’s Fruit & Nut Muesli. I attach the receipt.

I wanted you to know that in the packet was a stone that I bit into. I enclose the stone in this letter. Luckily it did not break a tooth, but it could easily have done so.

Can you please investigate how a stone managed to get into one of your cereal packets, and let me know the results of your investigations.

I do not want any compensation, but please make a sensible contribution to charity.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

Chiltern Railways

Why are Chiltern Railways so expensive? And with such poor service and delays as well. A letter needs to be sent.


14th May 2013

Chiltern Railways Customer Services
Merton Street
Banbury, Oxfordshire
OX16 4RN


Dear Sir/Madam,

Expensive fares, delays and poor service

I have today paid £95 (ninety five pounds) to make a day trip from Leamington Spa to London Marylebone.

The cost of the trip is scandalous in itself. However, the train was late in arriving at Marylebone (I caught the train departing at 07.42). The return journey (the 16.47 from Marylebone) was also late back to Leamington.

The cost of travelling to arrive after 9.30 am in Marylebone would be £50 (a difference of £45). I assume this means that the proper cost of travel is £50 but you want to charge a premium price of £45 for people to travel in the morning and at peak times.  I should not have to pay a premium price of £95 for a poor service. Please arrange to send me a refund of £45 within the next 28 days.

You also advertise that you have Wi-Fi on the trains. Very often (including the 16.47 today from Marylebone) the Wi-Fi does not work. I think you are misrepresenting the true service that you provide, and that the advertisements are misleading.

Please arrange, within the next 28 days, to take down all advertisements saying that your trains have Wi-Fi until you can guarantee that Wi-Fi will be available on all trains. handle If you do not do, I intend to raise it as an issue with the Advertising Standards Authority.

If your Wi-fi network on the trains can’t handle the data load, then you should arrange for the system to be upgraded.

I look forward to hearing from you

Yours sincerely,

T-Mobile/Everything Everywhere

Lots of people seem to be having problems with T-Mobile/EverythingEverywhere. If you’ve made countless calls to Customer Service and haven’t got  through, or haven’t got a proper response online or via twitter, try sending a letter by post to the Managing Director at T-Mobile. Here is a draft. Please let us know how you get on @disconsumerism or on the Reply page.


The Managing Director

T-Mobile UK (Everything Everywhere Limited)

Hatfield Business Park

Herts AL10 9BW


Dear Sir

Re account number [     ]/Phone number [        ]

I wish to make a complaint about the fact that I had no 3G coverage in my area for [  ] days. T-Mobile/EE has charged me for a service which includes 3G, but it has failed to deliver what it has charged me for.

T-Mobile should not say that it has coverage everywhere because it doesn’t and your advertising about the scope of coverage is misleading.

I rang your customer services team countless times and was fobbed off with excuses. No investigation was carried out for [ ] days.

When I did get through, I was promised a callback 3 times, but those promises were not met either.

The whole episode was extremely stressful for me. I suggest you take steps to improve your customer service department.

Please arrange to recompense me for the Lack of mobile coverage, and for the poor service, and please also make a charitable payment to  [insert here charity of your choice].

Yours faithfully

Safe and ethical working practices

There has been lots in the news about the use of cheap labour in emerging economies. Much work is sub-contracted, so the key to making change is to get Western companies to make sure their sub-contractors and suppliers adhere to the company policies on use of proper working conditions and use of child labour Here is a draft of a letter to be sent to companies selling low cost clothes. If enough letters are sent to the CEO of the companies, then they will make sure their buying teams and legal teams take proper action to ensure there are obligations in the contracts and that audits are conducted to ensure compliance.

Dear Sir/Madam

I believe that you use subcontracted labour to manufacture garments and/or have suppliers in [Bangladesh] [other countries]  which are sold in the UK and Europe.

Can you please confirm that you have agreements in place with your company’s subcontractors and suppliers to ensure that:

1         they comply with all relevant laws, regulations and standards in all of the countries in which they operate

2      Forced, bonded or compulsory labour is not used and employees are free to leave their employment after reasonable notice. Employees are not required to lodge deposits of money or identity papers with their employer.

3      Employees are treated with respect and dignity. Physical or verbal abuse or other harassment and any threats or other forms of intimidation are prohibited

4     Negative discrimination including racial, religious  or sexual discrimination is prohibited

5     Employees understand their employment conditions and fair and reasonable pay and terms are provided.

6    Working hours of employees comply with national laws and are not excessive.

7    As far as any relevant laws allow, all employees are free to join or not to join trade unions or similar external representative organisations.

8    A healthy and safe working environment is provided for employees, in accordance with international standards and national laws.  This includes safe buildings and facilities, access to clean toilet facilities, drinkable water and, if applicable, sanitary facilities for food storage.

9    Where an employer provides accommodation, it shall be clean, safe and meet the basic needs of employees.

10   Proper health and safety information and training is provided to employees.

11   No person is employed who is below the minimum legal age for employment.

12    Children (persons under 18 years) are not employed for any hazardous work, or work that is inconsistent with the child’s personal development.

13   Where a child is employed, the best interests of the child shall be the primary consideration

14    Policies and programmes that assist any child found to be performing child labour are contributed to, supported, or developed.

15    No form of bribery, including improper offers for payments to or from employees, or organisations, is tolerated

16   Environment: Finite resources are used responsibly and carefully

17   Operational practices that reduce any environmental burden associated with their activities are promoted

18   Innovative developments in products and services that offer environmental and social benefits are supported

19  They accept a responsibility to engage with communities and to invest in society in a way that makes effective use of their resources, including support for charitable organisations

20   Their Code of Ethical Purchasing is based on the following international standards:

The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The Conventions of the International Labour Organisation.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Please also confirm that you undertake regular audits of your suppliers and sub-contactors to ensure compliance with the terms of these obligations.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely



Miles per gallon claims

I have heard several people complaining about the fact that the miles per gallon (MPG) on their car does not meet the promised MPG in the sales and marketing materials for the car. Apparently, this has lots to do with the fact that when car manufacturers do their tests for MPG, they strip down the car and make them more energy efficient just for the tests. That doesn’t sound good!

To try and get them to change the tests, and to publish proper MPG results, here’s a sample letter to a car manufacturer. I suggest this is sent by post to the head office of the manufacturer of your car. Please leave a reply on this blog when you get a reply – thanks a lot.

[Managing Director

ABC Car company]



Dear Sir/Madam,

Claims about Miles per Gallon

In or about [ insert date], I bought a car [insert make of car and model ] (the “Car”).

One of the reasons I chose to buy the Car was because your brochure said that the Car could get [ x  ] miles per gallon (MPG).  I have tested the number miles that I can drive for each gallon and I can only get [ y] MPG. This is a long way off the promised MPG in the brochure.

Please can you send me details showing what tests you carried out so that you are able to promise the MPG in your brochure. At the moment, I am spending more on fuel that I expected to, and this is because your brochure is misleading about the MPG the Car can achieve.

I look forward to hearing from you and would appreciate your proposals to compensate me for the extra mileage costs that I had not been expecting to spend.

Yours faithfully