S.H.O.P.S. reveals the public’s concern about payment when shopping from
74% of Britons
feel that that the home shopping industry needs to be more tightly
regulated and are concerned about fraud, a national survey conducted
by ComRes on behalf of S.H.O.P.S. (Safe Home Ordering Protection
Scheme), has revealed. 89% believe home
shopping companies (including shopping on the internet, TV Shopping
channels and responding to advertisements and catalogues) should be
independently checked before they place advertisements that ask for
money in advance.
S.H.O.P.S., a body that protects readers on behalf of all the UK’s
national newspapers including The Sun, The Daily Mail, The Sunday
Times, The Daily Mirror, The Daily Telegraph and The Express, commissioned
the survey to gauge public opinion about regulation in the home
shopping industry of which they are a key player.
The survey found that 65% of people in the UK will use some form of
home shopping; including shopping on the internet and TV shopping
channels; in the key purchasing period leading up to Christmas...
but 23% do not think sending money in advance of receiving goods is
The survey also showed that there is great confusion among the
public about existing regulations concerning home shopping and what
protection they afford.
S.H.O.P.S’. Chief Executive Ron Davis says the unique protection provided
by their Scheme, which vets advertisers who ask for payment in
advance before they appear in National Newspapers and also provides
compensation to consumers should they fail, is a model which could
be adopted by other home shopping media.
Ron Davis comments:- ““Every National Newspaper in the UK is a
member of SHOPS which means readers can buy from advertisements
which require payment in advance of receiving goods with our
assurance. These guarantees are not available to consumers who shop
via other media such as online or through TV Shopping Channels.”
Ron cites the recent example of Global Sourcing Technologies Limited
which advertised flat screen LCD and plasma TVs in national
newspapers in the period leading up to Christmas in 2008. The
company went bust, leaving hundreds of consumers out of pocket.
S.H.O.P.S. stepped in and paid full compensation to any readers who were
affected, at a cost of £55,000.
“This a good example of what can happen to consumers. Although
Global Sourcing Technologies Limited passed the SHOPS’ vetting
process and were cleared to advertise in national newspapers, after
a short period their business failed. We were able to help
immediately when readers complained that their TVs had not been
delivered. We have cash reserves to compensate consumers
in the rare event that an advertiser in National Newspapers fails to
deliver. It is a level of protection you can’t get on the internet
or other media.” said Ron
S.H.O.P.S. is a self regulatory
body supported by all National Newspapers in the UK. Launched in
1975, the Scheme has offered protection to consumers for more than
three decades and £5.2 million has been paid out to consumers in
compensation over this period.
Ron comments:- “Self regulatory bodies are the answer.
National Newspaper SHOPS step in to resolve issues and help
consumers by providing full compensation not available through
statutory regulation. And it works – we know that consumers are more
likely to respond to advertisements in the national press if they
know an advertiser is secure. Readers should always look for the
SHOPS sign in advertisements where they are asked to send payment in
advance because it shows we are there to protect their purchases.”
S.H.O.P.S. is often compared to the role of ABTA within the travel
industry. Consumer protection is both needed and desired in the home
shopping sector and the National Newspaper industry uniquely meets
that need. Consumers will be able to determine those advertisers in
the Scheme through a clearly printed S.H.O.P.S. sign on each
advertisement or catalogue.
For more information visit:-
CADETS LAUNCH NATIONAL CAMPAIGN TO FIND OLD SHIPMATES
one of Britain's most endearing youth charities, is asking Britain
'Were you a Sea Cadet?' Charity records show that over
the last 70 years almost 1 million people have been a Sea Cadet at
some point, that's one person in 60 of the UK population, and the
charity wants to reconnect with them to build up a picture of Sea
Cadets now and then.
Over the years the charity has seen some famous names grow from ex
Sea Cadets including, Sean Connery, Paul O Grady, Dan Snow, former
deputy prime minister John Prescott, jazz musician Kenny Ball and
actor Paul Bethany. And with 400 units across the country and 14000
young people taking part, every town will have former Sea Cadets in
The charity, established in 1854, wants to hear from former cadets
who can help either with a one off donation, a spot of volunteering
or who might just be interested to hear what Sea Cadets has been up
Sea Cadets is driven by the support of the Royal Navy and the 8500
volunteers who help inspire and train young cadets each week.
Volunteering is for many a real vocation, but it is often claimed
that Sea Cadets is one of the country's best kept secrets, yet with
one in every 60th person having been a Sea Cadet it seems everyone
should know a former Sea Cadet.
Across the UK 14000 young people aged between 10 and 18 get involved
in Sea Cadet activities, learning vital life skills like leadership
and team working via challenging adventure activities on a naval
theme. They can earn extra qualifications too which can boost
confidence and give them a head start in life. This is only possible
with the incredible support of volunteers who use their own skills,
knowledge and experience to guide, coach and encourage the next
Former Sea Cadets can get in touch with the charity by visiting the
you can also
email them or call:- 020 7654
7000 or write to:- I was a former Sea Cadet, MSSC, 202 Lambeth Road,
London, SE1 7JW, UK.
Should children be tested earlier for dyslexia?
child psychologist believes new tests for dyslexia could help
diagnose children from a much earlier age than before.
Doctor Peter Gardner, Chartered Educational Psychologist and Founder
Director of Appleford School in Shrewton, near Salisbury, Wiltshire,
says the tests could help children and their parents feel more
comfortable about overcoming difficulties with reading.
“Children who have dyslexia can have problems with reading, writing
or spelling. It is believed that one in 10 children have some form
of dyslexia, which is Greek for ‘difficulty with words’. Parents
naturally want the best for their children. They know that good
literacy skills are the building blocks to educational success and a
satisfying career. But many parents are in the dark about their
child’s special educational needs and how best to help them.”
Dyslexia Awareness Week runs until Sunday, 7 November 2010, and
organisers are asking people to focus on the strengths those with
dyslexia can bring to the community. Many famous dyslexics
like Richard Branson, Tom Cruise, John Lennon and Keira Knightly
have all gone on to achieve huge success.
Dr Gardner believes anyone can do the same, with the right help:-
"It used to be thought that you couldn't diagnose dyslexia until
about seven and a half or eight years of age, but now there are very
good indicators at about four and a half to five. Children who have
difficulty with rhyme and threading beads at that age; that sort of
skill can often predict later dyslexia."
Dr Gardner has written helpful fact sheets on Dyslexia and
associated learning difficulties which can be found at the Appleford