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    John Lewis bombarded by complaints from irate shoppers after customer service meltdown at its home furnishings division

    John Lewis has been bombarded by complaints from irate shoppers after a customer service meltdown at its home furnishings division.The department store group announced in February last year a major restructuring of the division, which includes carpets, curtains and flooring. It claimed it would ‘improve the customer experience, resulting in a more efficient way of operating’.The announcement was one of the first made under managing director Paula Nickolds. Proud: John Lewis has a reputation for good customer serviceIt meant that instead of being able to contact stores directly about an order, customers instead call a Central Administration Hub. Together with ...

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    Leading lender admits to making series of careless errors in court documents used to try to evict borrowers from their homes

    Battling: Julian Watts claims that Mortgage Express was sloppyA leading lender has admitted to making a series of careless errors in court documents used to try to evict borrowers from their homes. Customers have accused Mortgage Express – the former Bradford and Bingley home loan arm now owned by the Government – of being slapdash in its approach to highly sensitive repossessions.Julian Watts, who resisted being evicted by Mortgage Express from his Surrey home, says the amount of his loan was incorrectly stated, as was the interest rate.Former policeman Wes Wright, a buy-to-let landlord, says Mortgage Express wrongly said he ...

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    Analysts say Japanese firm stalking drugs giant Shire could launch 'credible offer' and win support from shareholders within weeks

    The Japanese firm stalking drugs giant Shire could launch a ‘credible offer’ and win support from shareholders within weeks, analysts said last night.A £40 billion bid from Takeda could create the seventh biggest pharmaceuticals firm in the world, sources said.The deal is part of Takeda chief executive Christophe Weber’s bid to create a global behemoth to rival the likes of Pfizer, Roche, Novartis and GlaxoSmithKline. Analysts said Takeda was increasingly ‘bullish’, despite declaring its interest was at an ‘exploratory stage’ 11 days ago. Bitter pill to swallow: The deal is part of Takeda chief executive Christophe Weber’s bid to create a ...

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    WPP whirlwind: Chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell may be out within weeks

    Media giant WPP spiralled deeper into turmoil this weekend after allegations levelled at chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell threatened to leave the company rudderless.After an extraordinary week, The Mail on Sunday can reveal that:Sources fear Sorrell could be ousted within weeks if an investigation finds him guilty of misconduct;Chairman Roberto Quarta has been coming under heavy fire for flouting boardroom etiquette by having two FTSE chairmanships at once.Sorrell’s 33-year tenure at WPP – a company he set up from scratch and built into a £15 billion global powerhouse – is in doubt after the board last week launched an investigation ...

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    The four graphs that show why our household finances face a very bumpy road ahead

    There's no knowing how the UK economy will fare over the next few months. Whether wages will finally pick up and businesses boom or if a downturn is just around the corner – as tends to happen every few years.But a series of data released by the Bank of England and the Office for National Statistics suggests that households could struggle if things take a turn for the worse.These four graphs offer a snapshot of the difficulties British households are already facing.1. Household saving ratio has hit a record low The household saving ratio has dipped to just 4.9 per ...

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    Redress this £9bn fashion blunder: Designers' desperate plea as Brexit puts London Fashion Week at risk from copycats

    It is one of the world’s most iconic fashion events which this year drew a front-row appearance from the Queen.But London Fashion Week, which brings designers and their fashionista followers flocking to the capital, could become one of the most high-profile victims of Brexit.Fashion industry bigwigs, politicians and lawyers say Britain’s withdrawal could make must-have fashion styles on London’s catwalks vulnerable to design theft.They say the issue needs urgent attention or risks designers deserting London for Paris and Milan –already powerful rivals. London Fashion Week: Britain's catwalk showcase could be left vulnerable to design theftLord Clement-Jones, an expert in the ...

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    From travel delay refunds to help with heating: Five perks to make sure you get bundles of free cash

    Every year, millions of people are failing to claim valuable tax breaks, refunds and compensation because they don’t know about them.Here, we reveal five perks you could be missing out on and how to get them.TRAVEL HICCUPS If your train is cancelled or severely delayed and you decide not to travel, you can typically demand a refund. If you continue your journey and arrive at your destination more than 30 minutes late, you should be able to claim back at least part of your fare. Too late? If your train is cancelled or severely delayed and you decide not to travel, you can ...

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    Next bids to be the new John Lewis: After the toughest trading for 25 years, fashion chain opens in-store coffee shops, hairdressers, bridal service... and even a Ford car showroom

    Next is planning to fit out stores with prosecco bars, hairdressers, coffee shops and even a car showroom as it battles to win back customers.Lamenting the fashion retailer’s most challenging year in a quarter of a century, chief executive Simon Wolfson yesterday unveiled his blueprint to revive the High Street chain, which traces its roots back to 1864.With profits from its shops tumbling 24 per cent last year, Next is launching a fightback by renting out space to travel agents, florists, wedding-dress makers and spas to coax shoppers back. Next is planning to fit out stores with prosecco bars, hairdressers, ...

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    Fading hopes of finding a buyer for Maplin puts 2,500 jobs at risk

    Jobs of 2,500 Maplin workers are on the line The jobs of 2,500 Maplin workers are on the line as hopes of finding a buyer for the stricken electronics chain fade and stores begin to close over the coming weeks.The electronics retailer, owned by private equity firm Rutland Partners, appointed PwC to oversee an administration at the end of February after rescue attempts failed. Nearly 130 jobs at the firm’s head offices in London and Rotherham have already gone. 

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    Bank of England holds interest rates steady at 0.5% but indicates a rise in May is still on the table

    The Bank of England appeared to keep a May interest rate rise on the table as it announced it is holding the rate at 0.5 per cent for now.The monetary policy committee voted seven to two to hold the rate this month, which was widely expected. As ever though, the devil was in the detail of the commentary which accompanied the decision.'Recent data releases are broadly consistent with the MPC's view of the medium-term outlook as set out in the February Report,' the Bank stated. 'The prospects for global GDP growth remain strong, and financial conditions continue to be accommodative, ...

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    Charities miss out on £600m a year from those who don't tick the gift aid box when donating

    Charities are potentially missing out on £600million each year because gift aid was not added by those donating, the Government says.A third of eligible donations made to many of the UK's 200,000 charities did not have gift aid added when they could have done, data from HM Revenue and Customers shows. The Government released the findings as it urged people who donate to declare gift aid on their donations to boost the cash that reaches their charity at no extra cost. Charity: HMRC data suggests that many donations could have had gift aid addedGift aid allows charities and community amateur sports ...

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    Revealed: How fraudster Gerard Walsh was stripped of his university honour after failing to pay the £2.5m donation he had promised

    What do Carol Vorderman, Doctor Who writer Russell T Davies and Gerard Walsh have in common?They all received honorary fellowships from Cardiff University in July 2008.Walsh was later stripped of his honour after a £2.5 million donation he had pledged failed to arrive. Party: Cardiff University set debt collectors on Gerard Walsh after he failed to pay the bill for his 50th birthday bash, held on college groundsIt was meant to fund the first Cochrane Chair in Public Health. A professorial research post, it was named after Dr Archie Cochrane, a pioneer of the NHS.The university confirmed to The Mail ...

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    Out of vogue: Lady Judge shelves her business plan to launch a fashion line after controversial exit

    Barbara Judge has put plans to launch a homewares and fashion business on the backburner after quitting the Institute of Directors amid allegations of bullying, racism and sexism.Lady Judge – known for her pie-crust collar shirts and bespoke tailored skirt suits – had been in the early stages of launching a fashion and soft furnishing company with the possible name of Lady Barbara.The 71-year-old businesswoman registered Lady Barbara as a trademark for a range of goods including luggage, handbags, cushion covers, bedspreads, shoes, hats and curtains. On hold: Barbara Judge has put plans to launch a homewares and fashion business ...

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    Fraudster Gerard Walsh took millions from the Nolan transport dynasty: Now he is seeking a huge chunk of YOUR cash from RBS settlement

    Predator: Irish businessman Gerard Walsh duped the Nolan familyThe Mail on Sunday has unmasked a fraudster behind an action group which last summer won £200 million of taxpayers’ money in a settlement for small investors from RBS.We can reveal that Irish businessman Gerard Walsh duped the Nolan family – who run a haulage business in the UK and Ireland – in a multi-million pound investment scam.Family members are appalled that, given his record, Walsh went on to co-found the RBS Shareholders Action Group, which purported to represent thousands of small investors.The Mail on Sunday can further reveal that Walsh ...

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    Forget millennials - cash in on golden oldies: Why you should be investing in pharmaceutical firms and cruise liners catering to the 'silver pound'

    It may be too early to invest in the life-extending biotechnology firms being set up by Jeff Bezos and others.But Laith Khalaf, at Hargreaves Lansdown, suggests more down-to-earth investments for anyone wanting to benefit from an ageing population and longer lifespans. He said: ‘AstraZeneca and GlaxoSmithKline are pharmaceutical firms that look set to benefit.  Laith Khalaf, at Hargreaves Lansdown, suggests some down-to-earth investments for anyone wanting to benefit from an ageing population and longer lifespans'And insurers like Legal & General or Aviva, and asset managers such as Standard Life Aberdeen or Schroders, could see exposure to new pensions freedoms.’He also suggested ...

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