The Nether Regions

The blog that slips an affectionate hand between the thighs of the regional media

Archive for the ‘Consumer rights’ Category

Local Paper Twat #2: the angry HMV gift card redeemer

with one comment

The Local Paper Twats march on, forever bypassing human decency and sensitivity in the name of making a crap point and getting themselves in the paper.

Our latest Local Paper Twat thought nothing of approaching HMV staff faced with the prospect of shop closure and loss of their annual salaries in order to make a point about a £25 gift card.

Lincolnshire Echo, 24 January 2013 (story):

Grandad hands ‘defunct’ gift card to HMV staff

Feisty grandad Robert Hoare prompted a High Street stand-off with shop staff after swapping what was a defunct gift card for new earphones at HMV in Lincoln.

The 61-year-old said he was “standing up for all those who had lost out” after the beleaguered chain originally announced it would not accept vouchers from customers.

Mr Hoare slapped the £25 card on the counter and left the shop with four packs of earphones. Staff called police, but he kept the goods after officers said it was a civil matter.


Mr Hoare’s grandson, Josh Smith, 18, is a paper boy earning £30 a week. His card was actually issued by HMV as a refund. Mr Hoare, from Rowston, near Sleaford, said he was not afraid to have risked arrest to speak up for all who have lost out.

“I did this for my grandson and all those kids who have not been able to spend their vouchers which people bought for them in good faith,” he said. “Josh works six mornings a week in all weathers delivering papers and the £25 at stake here is nearly a week’s wages for him.

“Had I been arrested, I would have denied theft and gone to court to give publicity to all those kids who have lost out. I have proved my point and I wish more people would take a stand on this.”

Then on Monday, just 48 hours after Mr Hoare’s very public protest, HMV’s administrators performed a u-turn and revealed they would now accept gift cards.

“Egotistically, I think that it was all my fault that they changed their minds,” he said.

Poor paperboy grandson Josh.  Some boys are forever proud of their grandads for fighting fascism, campaigning for social justice or rescuing people from burning buildings, but his grandad will be best known as the man who rubbed an HMV gift card in the face of some shop staff threatened with redundancy. Quite the big man.

Written by Paddy

October 28, 2013 at 7:04 pm

The diners proceeded to try to eat around the phallus

leave a comment »

A business dinner with ‘key members of a pharmaceutical company’ might not sound like a barrel of laughs, but you can always cling to the hope that the restaurant might serve you up a massive cock and balls.

Sevenoaks Chronicle, 14 February 2013 (story):

‘It’s not our produest moment’ admits eatery

WHEN staff at a Chinese restaurant served a saucy dish at an important business dinner, the reaction was decidedly sour.

Diners, including Sevenoaks resident Ashley Strong, were stunned at being presented with a giant carrot and seaweed dish resembling a man’s genitalia.


Now the owner of the eatery – Ming near Borough Green – has apologised after the prank backfired.

Key members of a pharmaceutical company were meeting their biggest client last Thursday night when they were presented with the bizarre starter.

Ms Strong, of Mill Pond Close, was one of the group of 11, but when they ordered eight set Peking meals from the menu to share, instead of a full 11, she claimed staff took offence and added the shocking centrepiece to their table.

Ms Strong, a director of the Larkfield firm, explained: “Most of the time in Chinese restaurants they do table decorations carved out of vegetables, like flowers, or ducks – something tasteful.

“But when our food arrived, we got something different.”

Ming staff had taken a large carrot, standing upright in the middle of a dish of mixed hors d’oeuvres, with seaweed arranged around it, to depict a man’s private parts.

“There was no question what it was meant to be,” Ms Strong.

“It had all the anatomy. We were absolutely shocked – it was so inappropriate.”

Embarrassed, the diners laughed awkwardly and proceeded to try to eat around the phallus.

“We didn’t say anything because we didn’t want to make a big fuss when we had our biggest client with us,” Ms Strong said.

Not to mention the ‘biggest client’ in the middle of the table, right lads!!!!?!

Whilst prepared to offer an apology of sorts to these po-faced pharmaceutical fucks, the restaurant boss pledges to continue serving up the goods. Hats off.

Ken Wong, manager of Ming Restaurant, denied that the decoration was in response to the table ordering for eight.

“We wanted to make them happy, I am sorry they were embarrassed.

“If they come back I will tell the chef not to do it again, though we will keep doing it for other parties, and special occasions like new year and Valentine’s Day.”

Ms Strong said she will never return to Ming after her firm’s embarrassing experience.

A real cock and balls story.

Written by Paddy

June 14, 2013 at 2:53 pm

The chicken curry with no chicken in it

leave a comment »

Heard about the time the Worcester News took on retail giant Asda, and won? If not, then you’re clearly not reading the Worcester News enough.

But first things first. Personally, if I bought an Asda chicken curry ready meal which was missing the ‘chicken’, I’d be mightily relieved rather than get all miserable and Gazette-Facey about it.

Worcester News, 23 February 2013 (story):

The chicken curry – with no chicken in it

A FURIOUS shopper has vowed never to return to a supermarket after he found his chicken curry contained no chicken.

chicken curry

Darren Ford bought the meal from Asda in St Martin’s Quarter, Worcester, on Monday as part of a £6 deal. But when his family sat down to eat the food on Wednesday night, they were shocked to find the curry contained just sauce.

The married father-of-one then had to spend a further £20 on a takeaway to feed his wife Louise, 14-year-old Tara and her friend. However, when the trained chef complained to Asda, they refused to reimburse him for the extra expense.

The 44-year-old, of Guildford Close, Ronkswood, said: “It’s not something we regularly do because I’m a chef, but as it was the Brits and my wife had been working all week we thought we’d have it.

“I put it in the oven and I’m looking at it and thinking, ‘Where’s the chicken?’. We had to spend £20 on a takeaway because I can’t drive and it was late at night. I phoned customer services to be told I was only going to get a refund and a £5 gift voucher. I’ve told them they can keep their gift card and I won’t be going in there again.”

Thankfully, the Worcester News stepped in and saved the day, in a dispute which I’m sure went all the way to Walmart HQ .

After your Worcester News contacted Asda, they upped their offer to Mr Ford to a £35 voucher. He said he would spend the gift card on “anything but food”.

Maybe he can visit the books section and use the voucher for some cookbooks. He is a chef after all.

Thanks to Ben Chisnall.

Written by Paddy

April 5, 2013 at 2:33 pm

Blame it on the boogie

leave a comment »

The Nether Regions is a blog which loves to dance. What we don’t love is the nagging feeling that maybe we aren’t very good at it. What we need is an objective analysis of our azonto; an external validation of our vogueing. Fortunately, a recent visit to a Lancashire dance studio has allowed us to get certified as fully qualified, professional lords of the dance. It wasn’t cheap, but it was worth it. Nothing can stop us now.

Chorley Guardian, 23 January 2013 (story)

School of dance was just a sham

THE owner of a Chorley dance school duped parents out of thousands of pounds for fake exams and ‘cut and paste’ certificates.

Oh ffs.

Natasha Jones, who owned The Ballet Academy, pleaded guilty at Preston Crown Court to forging certificates from prestigious organisations, including The Royal Academy of Dance.

The court heard how the 35-year-old would charge anything from £27 to £108 for the exams, despite not being a registered member of the authorities.

Depending on your point of view, this is either a bleak tale involving the cruel deception of innocent children or a humourous reminder that a pushy parent and their money are easily parted.

There are two things that struck me about the story. The first is that parents in Chorley really are thick. As the article makes clear, it’s not like there weren’t hints being dropped harder and faster than drone strike missiles on a tribal wedding.

One parent told the Guardian how he became suspicious of the mother-of-three, from Boarded Barn, Euxton, after she gave him a certificate which looked like it had been made on a home computer.

“We would continuously be asking Natasha for the certificates after she had passed the exams and kids love that kind of thing.

“She would come up with all the usual excuses – that she had forgotten it, that she’d left it on her desk or that it had been locked in a classroom where she worked.

“I thought it was down to her being completely unorganised as she was a lovely lady and a good dance teacher, but when we eventually got one it looked like it had been cobbled together.

“It seemed like someone had just used cut and paste to make it, but even then I thought she probably couldn’t find the original so had made that to make up for it.”

Just one more thing...

Just one more thing…

Eventually it was revealed that Jones, who had started the school in 1997, didn’t belong to any of the dance examining bodies she had been claiming to be apart of, including The Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing, and the International Dance Teachers Association


Imagine a parent striding into the local police station, their voice trembling. “I’m here to report a crime” they utter, as they solemnly place a tear-stained piece of A4 on the reception desk.

Artist's impression

Artist’s impression

There were probably murders going unsolved while the police got to the bottom of this mystery.

The second thing that gets me about this is that it really seems like a victimless crime. The ‘fraudster’ had been in business since 1997, and I’m sure a dance school doesn’t survive in Chorley for 15 years without being a fun and popular place for the kids. The parents don’t seem to have had any complaints about the standard of teaching. One mother had her son enrolled for eight years, and I bet he could pirouette with the best of them by the end.

So the kids were having fun learning to dance. None of ever failed the sham exams, and they must have felt pretty good seeing those certificates displayed on bedroom walls and kitchen fridges. Maybe the parents would have them framed, and after their offspring had gone to bed they’d look at the certificates and realise that they had raised a beautiful, capable child.

The fact that the certificates were ‘fake’ doesn’t make little Adam a worse dancer. It doesn’t make young Megan’s pride a less authentic emotion. It doesn’t mean that the children of Chorley were wasting their time. They were doing something they loved. Their certificate had the same appearance as a ‘real’ one, and performed the same function. Why then, is it inadequate?

The real criminal here isn’t Natasha Jones. It’s the parents and the police who pulled at the threads and exposed their children to the true horror: Reality itself.

Written by Thomas

January 31, 2013 at 11:00 am

Posted in Consumer rights

Cycle of despair

leave a comment »

For a nation of shopkeepers, the British sure know how to bugger up a business deal. The collapse of the Great British High Street. The untimely gold-flogging of Gordon Brown. The transfer dealings of Mark Hughes. And it’s that fetid space where sport and finance mingle which brings us our latest local antihero.

Dorset Echo, 21 January 2013 (story)

I’m stuck with 10,000 Lance Armstrong DVDs to shift

A POOLE entrepreneur is looking for creative suggestions after becoming stuck with 10,000 DVDs featuring disgraced former US cyclist Lance Armstrong.

Karl Baxter of Wholesale Clearance UK at Willis Way bought the discs before the seven times Tour de France winner’s name was fatally tarnished in a doping scandal.

Oh, Karl. You must be rueing that decision.

A rueful Karl said: “I bought the DVDs at a good price. The idea was to sell them in small job lots so traders could go on eBay, Amazon or car boot sales and sell them on.

“There was a slight amount of risk. There was suspicion but he wasn’t admitting to it.

“I was hoping the problem would die down and I would be able to find a home for them. Now I don’t think I would get a tenth of the money back.”

Karl, who sometimes buys bankrupt stock from stores that have gone out of business, said: “This is one of the few things I’ve managed to buy that has come back to bite me.”

Apart from all that clearance stock he once bought from a false teeth factory, presumably.

Pictured: an entirely competent businessman

Pictured: an entirely competent businessman

What Karl needs is a bit of entrepreneurial flair. That’s what’s going to get the country out of this economic crisis, after all. A successful small businessman would be able to turn this crisis into an opportunity. With the right idea, he could secure enough investment to dig himself out of this hole. So let’s hear it.

I could make a tower or build a big dominoes track for my three-year-old.

I’m out.

Thanks to @davidjamesevans 

Written by Thomas

January 29, 2013 at 9:56 pm

Retailogeddon in Tonbridge

with 2 comments

Imagine if the only thing lending a smidgeon of sanity to your provincial existence was the local branch of Burton, and then it suddenly closed down. Such is the plight of this poor mite from Tonbridge, Kent. A truly heartbreaking tale of teenage alienation, boredom and despair.

Kent and Sussex Courier, 28 January 2011 (story):

There’s nothing for us teenagers in Tonbridge

TEENAGERS from Tonbridge are forced to travel to Tunbridge Wells or Maidstone for shopping or “any kind of life”, according to a 17-year-old.

K College student Reece Heron has this week spoken out to raise the issues in the hope it will be a first step to change.

He has lifted the lid on what it is like growing up as a teen in the town after seeing Burton, the only shop he ever visited, announce its closure.

“All we’ve got to attract shoppers and tourists is New Look and the castle – there’s not a lot else,” he said.

“It annoys me when all I see is charity shops. Burton is going, so there’s pretty much nothing for me to go into now. I never say to my friends, ‘oh, let’s go to the British Heart Foundation for a browse’. It’s never my first thought.”

If it wasn’t for the Kent and Sussex Courier, Reece’s message might have been lost forever. But now, drunk on the attention that inevitably comes with starring in a quarter-page article in the local paper, he strides forward with a messianic sense of purpose and the confident belief that he can deliver true and meaningful change, i.e. a few extra chain shops in Tonbridge.

“We’d like to see Top Man, River Island, and other shops which Tunbridge Wells provides, but they’re getting rid of them in Tonbridge.

Reece is the first teenager, directly affected by the problem, to speak out in depth about the issue.

He added: “It’s a problem across the whole of Tonbridge, in particular for teenage boys and young men. For women you have New Look, Monsoon and shoes places, but the downfall is there’s nothing for guys.

“I don’t think many people of my age would open up about these sort of things because they think they don’t have a voice.

“But I see there’s a huge problem in the town and it needs sorting. Speaking out is my first step in trying to change things.”

This is exactly how Bono started.

Written by Paddy

February 2, 2011 at 1:21 pm

Petrol prices: the penny drops

with 3 comments

It is a truth universally acknowledged that there is nothing more satisfying than successfully filling up with petrol to a precise pound. However, a conspiracy is afoot (or is it a leg?). The people of Greater Manchester are being systemically deprived of this glorious consumer sensation and are not happy one bit.

And doesn’t the letters page of the Manchester Evening News just know it…

Yes, this idea of a global retail giant collecting income without specifically doing anything for it is really quite groundbreaking.

So much so that there has even been a follow-up letter:

Always great to end a letter with a truism: pennies really do add up, ladies and gentlemen.

Written by Paddy

October 13, 2010 at 2:20 pm

%d bloggers like this: