Right to retreads

Fleet car owners often lease. I don't know why but they do. Leasers impose conditions about how the car can be returned, and I read a set today from Mercedez Finance saying that retread tyres are not "acceptable". Return a car with retreads and they charge you for a new set of tyres.

This should be made unenforceable, if it is enforcable now.

http://www2.mercedes-benz.co.uk/content/media_library/unitedkingdom/mpc_unitedkingdom/passenger_cars_ng/ng_finance_and_insurance/de-fleet_video/de-fleet_pdf.object-Single-MEDIA.download.tmp/De-Fleet.pdf is the set of standards I've seen and the line is on pdf-reader page 10: "not acceptable: …. remoulds and other substandard tyres".

Why is this idea important?

Fleet car owners often lease. I don't know why but they do. Leasers impose conditions about how the car can be returned, and I read a set today from Mercedez Finance saying that retread tyres are not "acceptable". Return a car with retreads and they charge you for a new set of tyres.

This should be made unenforceable, if it is enforcable now.

http://www2.mercedes-benz.co.uk/content/media_library/unitedkingdom/mpc_unitedkingdom/passenger_cars_ng/ng_finance_and_insurance/de-fleet_video/de-fleet_pdf.object-Single-MEDIA.download.tmp/De-Fleet.pdf is the set of standards I've seen and the line is on pdf-reader page 10: "not acceptable: …. remoulds and other substandard tyres".

Sale of services: clarity on legal insurers & unions

I want two pieces of clarity.

  1. The same consumer protection service should cover legal insurers & the legal insurance work of trades unions.  At the moment if you ring Consumer Direct about a rip-off by a trades union, they tell you to try the Financial Services Authority. Try them and they say try the Certification Office. I pressed my point on the phone so the boss of the helpline office rang me back to say that this was not a political thing; unions do other things apart from legal insurance, and that's the reasoning "like getting you cheap food at the canteen" he said. But a legal insurere that also offers human resources advice or is bundled with the services of Cardsave or the Federation of Small Businesses is covered. Likewise unions have no trouble registering with the FSA for their work flogging financial services to the mailing list, but don't want to register as legal insurers. On to the Cerfication Office: "complaints regarding a union’s failure to represent a member adequately, or at all" are not covered. That's what they say on their web site.
     
  2. Legal insurers who use no-win no-fee lawyers should be transparent about it. At the moment some legal insurers pay no insurance premium tax: all the money goes to the broker. They charge no-win no-fee lawyers such as Shoesmiths referral fees, accoding to the company quoted in an Observer article: "It's the only source of income we get", said someone at DAS legal insurance.

    Now, if the whole edifice of a legal insurance company is funded by no-win no-fee lawyers, most consumers would cancel their subscription and think of another way to get such lawyers. They would be right to do so. Apart from a murkey hope that a legal firm can use cross-subsidise cases there is no excuse for running such a service and a murkey hope is no hope at all.

Why is this idea important?

I want two pieces of clarity.

  1. The same consumer protection service should cover legal insurers & the legal insurance work of trades unions.  At the moment if you ring Consumer Direct about a rip-off by a trades union, they tell you to try the Financial Services Authority. Try them and they say try the Certification Office. I pressed my point on the phone so the boss of the helpline office rang me back to say that this was not a political thing; unions do other things apart from legal insurance, and that's the reasoning "like getting you cheap food at the canteen" he said. But a legal insurere that also offers human resources advice or is bundled with the services of Cardsave or the Federation of Small Businesses is covered. Likewise unions have no trouble registering with the FSA for their work flogging financial services to the mailing list, but don't want to register as legal insurers. On to the Cerfication Office: "complaints regarding a union’s failure to represent a member adequately, or at all" are not covered. That's what they say on their web site.
     
  2. Legal insurers who use no-win no-fee lawyers should be transparent about it. At the moment some legal insurers pay no insurance premium tax: all the money goes to the broker. They charge no-win no-fee lawyers such as Shoesmiths referral fees, accoding to the company quoted in an Observer article: "It's the only source of income we get", said someone at DAS legal insurance.

    Now, if the whole edifice of a legal insurance company is funded by no-win no-fee lawyers, most consumers would cancel their subscription and think of another way to get such lawyers. They would be right to do so. Apart from a murkey hope that a legal firm can use cross-subsidise cases there is no excuse for running such a service and a murkey hope is no hope at all.

Clarification of consumer rights vs content publisher rights, with consumer rights held paramount

Introduction:

Content duplication laws have recently run amok, but it's not required to perform a massive overhaul of copyright laws to solve this.  What's required is that a definitive list of consumer rights is produced, and considered to have a higher priority than the definitive list of content publisher rights.

For example:

Consumer rights

  1. Consumers have the right to duplicate content for the purpose of backup / disaster recovery
  2. Consumers have the right to duplicate content by transferring to a digital media format, for the purpose of playback on digital media equipment, such as portable media players, digital media adapters, computers, etc.
  3. Comsumers have the right to play media in a private context such as a private party or family gathering.
  4. Consumers have the right to access offline content whenever, wherever, and however they choose.  (which makes Ubisoft's PC DRM illegal – yay)

Consumer right exclusions

  1. Consumers do not have the right to duplicate media for the purpose of sale or free transfer to an unrelated individual or group, or piracy.  (Knowingly uploading to a public website, for example, would be illegal)

Clarifications

  1. Piracy is defined as illegally procurring a copy of content that is reasonably available in the country where the act occurred.  (which means that releasing The Shield DVD in the US does not mean it's available in the UK, thank you very much, Fox)
  2. Anti-piracy ads automatically exempt content from any anti-piracy protection afforded by the law.

Publishers would have the right to protect their IPs, but not at the expense of my rigt to use content that I have paid for. 

Why is this idea important?

Introduction:

Content duplication laws have recently run amok, but it's not required to perform a massive overhaul of copyright laws to solve this.  What's required is that a definitive list of consumer rights is produced, and considered to have a higher priority than the definitive list of content publisher rights.

For example:

Consumer rights

  1. Consumers have the right to duplicate content for the purpose of backup / disaster recovery
  2. Consumers have the right to duplicate content by transferring to a digital media format, for the purpose of playback on digital media equipment, such as portable media players, digital media adapters, computers, etc.
  3. Comsumers have the right to play media in a private context such as a private party or family gathering.
  4. Consumers have the right to access offline content whenever, wherever, and however they choose.  (which makes Ubisoft's PC DRM illegal – yay)

Consumer right exclusions

  1. Consumers do not have the right to duplicate media for the purpose of sale or free transfer to an unrelated individual or group, or piracy.  (Knowingly uploading to a public website, for example, would be illegal)

Clarifications

  1. Piracy is defined as illegally procurring a copy of content that is reasonably available in the country where the act occurred.  (which means that releasing The Shield DVD in the US does not mean it's available in the UK, thank you very much, Fox)
  2. Anti-piracy ads automatically exempt content from any anti-piracy protection afforded by the law.

Publishers would have the right to protect their IPs, but not at the expense of my rigt to use content that I have paid for. 

bank charges missed direct debit charges

bank charges are a detriment to customers,they can leave a customer of a bank in a massive spiral of debts they cannot get out of,the agreement and contract we sign is a disgrace to the banking industry,its a package of services banks say,to me and millions of people its a licence to steal money ,plain and simple,there contracts are so tightly sewn up,customers have no recourse for complaint about the way they are put into force,they tie you in so you cannot get out,they are ruining peoples financial affairs as we speak,visit bank.moonfruit.com to see exactly what they have done to millions of people,my bank is a disgrace,thats why i closed my accounts,they are so far removed from reality it is unbelievable that anyone has any confidence left.

Why is this idea important?

bank charges are a detriment to customers,they can leave a customer of a bank in a massive spiral of debts they cannot get out of,the agreement and contract we sign is a disgrace to the banking industry,its a package of services banks say,to me and millions of people its a licence to steal money ,plain and simple,there contracts are so tightly sewn up,customers have no recourse for complaint about the way they are put into force,they tie you in so you cannot get out,they are ruining peoples financial affairs as we speak,visit bank.moonfruit.com to see exactly what they have done to millions of people,my bank is a disgrace,thats why i closed my accounts,they are so far removed from reality it is unbelievable that anyone has any confidence left.

TV licence fee should be reclassified as a civil offence – not a criminal offence

Please support amendments intended to ensure that the TV licence  fee is recoverable as a civil matter only, following non-payment and failure to respond to a notice issued by OFCOM – not a criminal offence.  This is an unfair and outdated penalty.

The television licence fee is a "despised compulsory impost" and should be scrapped.  The annual charge and the BBC should be funded by other means.

Why is this idea important?

Please support amendments intended to ensure that the TV licence  fee is recoverable as a civil matter only, following non-payment and failure to respond to a notice issued by OFCOM – not a criminal offence.  This is an unfair and outdated penalty.

The television licence fee is a "despised compulsory impost" and should be scrapped.  The annual charge and the BBC should be funded by other means.