‘John Williams’, a man I’ve never met nor interacted with publicly judges me ‘Vulgar, Nasty and Pompous’ for being upset after ‘The Butchers Arms’ Eldersfield stole from my family.

In a google plus review here: https://plus.google.com/100092116066128673638/about?hl=en&partnerid=gplp0

John Williams, probably a pseudonym for one of the managers or staff at the Butchers Arms (one review, no other activity, hasn’t even visited the pub apparently) attacks me with some personal, hateful language for leaving an honest review.

I left 1 trip-advisor review regarding some shocking treatment. We were charged for goods we never received, we were refused a refund. We were both stressed and upset on this day and we were meeting family and friends in the hope of getting some diversion and comfort in the midst of some pretty horrible things going on in our lives.

We were served 2 drinks with a serious problem. In 20 years of custom this was the very first complaint, since we, at the time considered the owners friends we were absolutely sure it would be no problem to get a replacement  The landlady quickly became confrontational and very insulting. This is a pattern you may see when you read the other reviews from ‘nasty’ people. You should have seen the management’s abusive responses to bad (and some good) reviews on trip-advisor before they were removed for violating trip-advisor rules.

Following this 1 review, the harassment and attacks started – not just aimed towards me but my family. The easy thing to do would be to back down – but I won’t. This is not because I am ‘Vulgar’ or ‘Nasty’. It is because I will speak out if I have been wronged. The offer is open – I will revise my opinion and review if the Butchers Arms apologise and offer a refund.

Its a sad world when a person cannot express a truthful opinion on an experience with a business without personal insults being thrown at them by strangers who have no understanding of the situation or just how many people this individual has upset.

One thing that makes me suspect that this person is actually one of the pub management is the statement that the same reviews are everywhere. I wrote 1 review. Then when I was attacked for it I posted an article on my blog, something I do when ever I am upset about anything – if you don’t like it, don’t read it. And I then submitted a google review. Hardly ‘everywhere’.

I have been balanced and truthful in all my reviews, the other similar reviews on the same place are, in fact nothing to do with me. Is it really so impossible to believe that some people have, in fact had bad experiences at The Butchers Arms, despite their excellent reputation and Michelin Star.

You, Mr Williams are a hypocrite  I say this because I am 100% sure that, were you and those close to you treated like this you would be the first to complain on a public forum about it.

Shame on Mr Williams for denying bloggers freedom of speech without harassment, while at the same time, rating a pub he has admittedly never visited as excellent. If I am such a nasty, hateful person, why are the majority of my blogs on local businesses positive and supportive.

When I, or the people I care about are attacked, I write about it. This does not make me anything other than a blogger. I am upset about something, excited about something, sad about something, I share. Its up to you if you read it, but I won’t stop writing.

#NicsFight FRIENDS LIFE FORCED TO PAY OUT after refusing to honour critical illness policy over pins and needles

Friends Life ignored huge public outcry and refused to pay out the Hughes family on a life insurance policy on an irrelevant technicality.

Friends Life ignored huge public outcry and refused to pay out the Hughes family on a life insurance policy on an irrelevant technicality.

Following an investigation, the Financial Ombudsman wrote to Friends Life this week. The Ombudsman told Friends Life that Nic Hugh’s Critical illness policy should never have been canceled and should by paid in full. Friends Life have accepted this decision and will finally do the right thing, honouring the policy and paying his widow £100,000 after canceling his critical illness policy due to pins and needles. To their credit, Friends life are accepting the Ombudsman’s recommendation without further dragging out this case to a formal hearing. But I’m sure this is only because they finally understand they are beaten.

Friends Life have been defiant in their refusal to even consider this case and meet with Nic’s family following their refusal to pay out on this policy late last year in a spectacular display of greed, incompetence, insensitivity and arrogance.

Nic Hughes, pictured above, was diagnosed with cancer of the gall bladder last year and died last october. Instead of spending his final weeks with his wife, Susannah and 8 year old twins he instead used his final breath fighting a battle with the morally repugnant insurance company.

Friends life refused to honour Nic’s critical illness policy on the following technicalities.

1) His GP had advised him to reduce his alcohol intake.

This record was a mistake, Nics medical records show alcohol consumption of just 20 units a week – The NHS recommended weekly allowance is 21 units.

2) He had reported pins and needles to his GP but had not disclosed it when applying for the insurance policy.

Nic was diagnosed with Ulcerative colitis, which he disclosed to Friends Life. In return for his honesty he paid hugely inflated premiums. Pins and needles is a text book symptom of Ulcerative colitis so, in effect this was already disclosed.

Nic’s consultant Consultant oncologist Dr Rubin Soomal, of  Ipswich Hospital, stated that neither alcohol, nor pins and needles were in any way linked to the death of Nic Hughes. Both Dr Soomal, and Nic’s GP confirmed that there was no link between alcohol consumption or pins and needles and Nic’s final illness and death. Both Drs attacked Friends life for using two irrelevent details out of context as a pretext to refuse the payout.

Basically, Friends Life were just looking for any way out of paying. They most likely pay bonuses to staff observent enough to notice these minor, irrelevant technicalities.

Kester Brewin, a close friend of Nic’s started an online petition to try and persuade Friends Life to do the right thing. To date, this petition has received over 63,000 signatures and the campaign has attracted the support of celebraties such as Stephen Fry, Russel Brand and Miranda Heart. Despite being aware of the public outcry, Friends Life refused to meet with the family to discuss the case any further, stating that the case would need to be referred to the Financial Ombudsman if the family wanted to take it any further.

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Miranda Heart Supports Nics Fight

Stephen Fry Supports Nics Fight

Stephen Fry Supports Nics Fight

Friends life executives even refused to receive delivery of petition in person in a magnificent display of arrogance and insensitivity.

Friends Life said almost nothing throughout the whole #NicsFight campaign, but they did say two things:

– That the dispute should go straight to the Financial Ombudsman, and

– That they would do all they could to fast-track this process.

So you can imagine the anger the Hughes family feel when all they get from the FO – who have been brilliant keeping them updated – is ‘we’re still waiting for documents from Friends Life.’.

In short, Friends Life have been dismissive, arrogant, insensitive and Rude. They forced Nic and his family to spend his final days locked in an unnecessary fight instead of enjoying their last moments together. They have have added to his families hardship following his death since, as well as enduring the grieving process, they must also deal with the financial hardship and uncertainty that Friends life have inflicted on them.

Through all this, the most ridiculous thing is, Friends Life have irreversibly damaged their brand because of their appalling handling of this case. The sorded details of this case will remain on the internet for ever, they had so many chances to see sense and do the right thing, and now they are being forced to, there is no going back.

Kester has done an amazing thing, both for Nic’s family and for many many other people who now know not to trust Friends Life with their policies. He has been a fierce friend to Nic, and I truly admire his determination to see Friends Life do the right thing.

I now wish Nic’s Wife, family and friends peace. I hope that now this nasty business is resolved, they can begin to put it behind them. I also hope Friends Life feel the full force of karma. The 100k they are being forced to pay is only the beginning.

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Read my original blog about this case here: http://www.mevsworld.co.uk/2013/02/06/friends-life-refuse-payout-nicsfight-nic-hughes/

RIP Margaret Thatcher – A PM that will be remembered for generations to come.

Margaret Thatcher pictured with children, Carol and Mark

Margaret Thatcher pictured with children, Carol and Mark died today aged 87.

Rest in Peace Margaret Thatcher. The PM who still divides a room full of people, and indeed the whole of the United Kingdom down the middle, I doubt John Major or Gordon Brown will ever have that effect.

Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not a fan of some of her actions and I’m under no illusions, some of the things she did caused deep, irreversible damage, however she did have a fierce loyalty to her country and its people, a quality no one in the cabinate today possesses.

Recent documents have revealed a human side she hid, she shed genuine tears and felt real responsibility for loss of life in the Falklands. By contrast, Tony Blair will never feel anything for those lives lost in Iraq.

Its a tough balance make a decision you believe is for the best, then backtrack at the first sign of public resistance; the media will swoop on you for being weak, confidence will falter and, if it was the correct decision after all, you’ve just made the country a worse place for the people who voted for you by not pushing through the resistance. Carry on regardless, despite public outcry and accusations of arrogance, not listening to the people and being out of touch will surely follow. It seems to be that a politician can never really win.

Lets try to remember historical context while making judgments on her decions, many of which we will judge out of context given the time thats passed. Lets try and stay balanced and respectful to someone who dedicated her life to her country.