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Sleuth: 06/06/2008

The Co-op makes a statement, Band on the Wall and discounts for nurses

Published on June 6th 2008.

Sleuth: 06/06/2008

Co-op makes a statement
Co-op Bank has its customers’ statements accessible online, but only for a year. After that people have to pay a fiver fee to get them sent out. Sleuth didn't like this and rang the bank up. “At Confidential we have four years of stories you can read by pressing a button or two and typing a few words,” Sleuth said. “How come the Co-op, with no doubt their massive computers with huge memories, can’t manage this, but insist on charging people?” The reply was predictable: “it’s an administrative charge, to process the statement.”

Sleuth pointed out a few facts: £5 for printing and sending out a statement is excessive; accessing statements online is greener which is something the Co-op Bank goes on about; it costs almost nothing to store information online this way; this should be a free service. Sleuth then asked to speak to a bigwig about this clear example of ripping extra cash from customers? Somebody will ring back they said. Nobody has. Shame really because Sleuth loves the company and doesn't like it when it let's people down.

Medical attention
Sleuth attended the Band on the Wall bash yesterday at the Town Hall to celebrate the progress made in re-opening the legendary Swan Street venue and appeal for more sponsors. Most of the major players were there, but John Thomson, actor, comedian and patron couldn't make it. Michael Trainor, excellent local artist spoke instead. “I first came to Band on the Wall when I was fifteen which wasn't strictly legal,” he said. “I went because I loved live music and also because it advertised 'Discounts for Nurses' which I found strangely appealing.” Sleuth understands.

Topless drummer
Sleuth on the way into the above Band on the Wall event bumped into another legend, Bruce Mitchell, event organiser, drummer with Durutti Column and so on. He was putting on a shirt and tie in the street outside the Town Hall. Sleuth walked into the building with him. “So when did you first play Band on the Wall?” Sleuth asked. Bruce gave Sleuth a cheeky grin, “just after World War One,” came the reply. Bruce is an experienced Manchester musician but Sleuth's pretty sure he's stretching things there. In fact today (Friday) is Bruce's birthday. He's 68. This means he was 66 on 06 06 06.

Morecambe not wise
Manchester based property developer Urban Splash has gorgeously and expensively restored one of the great UK hotels of the twentieth century in Morecambe, the Midland Hotel. Sleuth went along to view the fabulous structure but had doubts whether the rest of the town was following on behind. Right by the hotel is an old beach building, merrily rusting away and sporting the sign ‘Jug of Tea, £1.50.' Everyday is like Sunday, as Morrissey once sang.

Cat fear
Sleuth loves crazy PR. Apparently folks, we should feel very proud about the fact that a Chorlton cat has won an award. The people behind Felix cat foods wrote Sleuth this note and supplied a picture as well: ‘We launched the Felix Factor, a nationwide search to find a cat in Britain as mischievous and loveable as Felix, the famous black and white cat. Out of the 4000 entries we received, we chose Bella, a cat from Chorlton, as our winner.’ Look at the picture above. Sleuth doesn't think Bella is too pleased.

Pure filth
Within about seven minutes of Confidential posting Graham Stringer’s column (click here) about his doubts over organic food the Soil Association, champions of the latter ideal and criticised in the article, were on the phone. “Can we publish a thousand word response?” they panted, “It’s ready now.” The editor told them to go and have a rant instead, underneath the column, in good Confidential stylee. They got annoyed. Sleuth wonders if the Soil Association had felt muddied by the accusations in the column but didn’t want to get their hands dirty by ranting.

A matter of judgement
Sleuth likes Crains Manchester Business the newish business mag in the city. This week they started listing companies with 'County Court judgments attached to their risk reports by credit reference companies'. There were some surprising names in the first list, the Living Room, Grant Thornton UK and biggest of all, the Manchester Metropolitan University. Shame the list doesn't reveal why they've had these judgements against them. Still Sleuth wonders if the University has an accounts department which should be looking into this.

And finally...
Gordo ruins Liverpool..... click here

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13 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

ktfairylikuidJune 6th 2008.

RBS actually sent me a message on my online account to tell me to go paperless they made me feel gulity for endangering the environment. But when you opt for it they say there will be a charge for getting copies later, bu tnot how much the charge is. You can only view the last 4 months online - rubbish!! HSBC lets you view years back - or it did last time I looked!

chipperfatJune 6th 2008.

co-op rubbish

AngelaJune 6th 2008.

Cats are users.

ClaireJune 6th 2008.

Let the soil association have a proper response - go on it's only fair! Stringer is very biased over a lot of issues in my opinion, and I for one would like to see the other side of the coin on this one.

GezzabelleJune 6th 2008.

Chipperfat, stop fishing for someone to argue with on a Friday afternoon. You little tinker!

chipperfatJune 6th 2008.

is it lunch break cat lover or are you on a free period?

Mr TJune 6th 2008.

£5's nothing, Barclays charged me a tenner for my old statements, citing the genius reason that I should have properly filed them away and kept them in the first place. Considering the number of people requesting old statements for the OFT charges cases it's not surprising they've suddenly found the cash to build a load of new flagship branches. Banks are profiteering scumbags, it's a shame that there's absolutely no way to live without them.

SimonJune 6th 2008.

I went overdrawn on my account ONCE and had a letter from the Co-op a couple of days later saying that I wasn't the type of customer they were looking for and my account would be closed within 30 days! Perhaps they thought I was spending the money on unethically sourced weapons of mass destruction?

Cat loverJune 6th 2008.

chipperfat you should be drowned for that cruel comment...

Co-Op customerJune 6th 2008.

Hmmm, I think that you can request your statements under a "subject access request) under the data protection act. I did it with smile (part of the Co-Op) and I don't think they charged me anything, after intially trying to charge me £5 PER PAGE. And cats like Felix prefer Whiskas.

AnonymousJune 6th 2008.

Cats are fabulous!

chipperfatJune 6th 2008.

cats should all be drowned…one killed a beautiful song thrush in my garden a while ago. and people that own cats are lazy gets, probably teachers!

katarinaJune 6th 2008.

What's the deal with Band On The Wall??? Just why exactly are the coucil ploughing public money (that's before the 'sposorship')into a venture that will most likely finish off small independent music venues in Manchester? Or whatever is left of them after exorbitant rents, rates and parking fines?

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