Friday, 27 September 2013

Double standards
FRENZY a Daniel Jones story by Mark King

Thank you for all your support with my dispute with Dulux paints, and it seems that I'm not the only one who has had a poor level of customer service from this once well respected brand.

I do wonder why a lot of companies don't learn that to keep a customer's loyalty involves more than just getting money out of you. Or why they don't learn from history because in the long run the most successful companies, and the ones that ultimately survive, are the ones that learn how to not only give customers what they want, but also how to treat their customers when they do get it wrong.

We all get things wrong and humanity has a great ability to forgive, but not to forget.

Dulux are not the only brand to be claim to offer a premier product and service when they cant live up to that claim. Another brand which at present has a terrible case of double standards is Barclay's Bank. They seem to have been involved in one way or another with most financial scandals that have come out into the open.

Barclay's chief executive was forced out and replaced recently by another who then claimed in the national media that the bad old ways of exploitation purely for profit would end, and they would focus on the needs of their customers.

What a load of old Cod's-wallop as we say in my part of the world.

I have two accounts with Barclay's Bank with one of them having a six monthly charge to use it. They take money automatically from account one to pay this charge on account two, and the money is transferred by their computer in a fraction of a second between the two.

Now this is the double standard that Barclay's bank employ.

The other day I transferred some money from account two back to account one and did it take a fraction of a second to complete? No it will take seven days!

Yes, seven days. The money disappeared instantly from account two and then I received notice it would take seven days to appear in my other account.

What is Barclay's bank computer doing for the next seven days, going on holiday? Has their computer booked seven days leave so is now laying by the pool soaking up the sun, drinking cocktails?

No. I tell you want it is doing! It is holding onto my money and earning interest which is not paid to me, but which is used to inflate the bank's profit. It should be classed as theft because the bank is taking interest that should rightfully belong to me. If you consider that millions of their customers will be transferring money electronically, and which should go through the system in seconds, but is being held back, then the money they make using this scam must run into millions of pounds.

This brings me back to Dulux paints or what I should say is Akzo-Nobel who manufacture the paint. We have been dealing with them for over nine months in trying to get fair compensation and what a farce it has been.

Matt Pullen a U.K based director of the company for Northern Europe appeared in the national media twelve months ago to admit that Dulux paints has changed their product causing it to become faulty. He claimed that all complaints would be sorted out quickly and fair compensation made.

I ask then is nine months considered acting quickly, and is £100 fair compensation for the cost of re-painting 26 internal doors both sides plus nearly two years of stress?

What do you think?


Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Terrible service
FRENZY a Daniel Jones story by Mark King.

To all my readers around the world I must apologise for the late posting of my Tuesday blog, but I had to let my anger settle before I could write.

My blood has been boiling to the point I thought steam would come shooting from my ears like a cartoon character.

Please let me explain.

A couple of years ago the wife and I decided to paint our internal doors in our home. So we went out and purchased what we considered to be a premier brand of gloss paint. We bought Dulux. We took a week off from work and as I'm self-employed I lost a weeks earnings.

I'm not a great lover of painting especially glossing as the smell gives me a head-ache plus a sore throat as well, but as you can expect an internal door to last twenty years before re-painting is required I thought it was worth the effect.

Anyway, within a couple of months my wife noticed the bright white doors were turning yellow. They have got to the point the paint looks as if our home is a Victorian Chinese opium den.

We didn't know what to do until senior directors at Dulux U.K admitted in the national media that their product was faulty because they had changed it, and that it caused their white gloss to fade prematurely.

As we still had the remains of the original tin of Dulux gloss as proof and the hard evidence of the yellowing doors we thought it wouldn't be too difficult to get due compensation.

How wrong could we be?

My wife has been communicating for over nine months with Dulux customer services. She has spoken to them on the phone, she has emailed them, she has sent off photo evidence, she did every thing asked. Dulux either didn't respond or took months to reply. Then they kept loosing all the evidence, so after nine months of  terrible, stressful customer service from Dulux they finally offered some replacement paint and £100.

The problem is that the cost to employ a decorator to repaint 26 internal doors is between £700-£1000 (Labour only) and that doesn't include our own original labour, or even for the nine months of stress plus the time spent, and wasted.

Well I'm not going to give up without a fight so keep reading as I inform the world how I get on with seeking fair justice from a company that once prided itself on its customer satisfaction.


Friday, 20 September 2013

Personal moments
FRENZY a Daniel Jones story by Mark King

It was a sad day on Wednesday.

I went to a cremation of my friend's mother and afterwards the wake was held at his house. My wife offered to look after their young son for the day, and they gladly excepted.

I go through a lot of funeral services now I'm a verger at the parish church, and I have to attend to two next week. The wedding season is now coming to an end and as they drop off the amount of funerals seem to increase.

Weddings, funerals, christenings are all personal moments that we hopefully will never forget. I say that, but I had a troubling experience when I entered the crematorium because I had visited it before, but I couldn't remember for whose funeral it was for.

It has been bugging me since and as I wright this blog it's still slipped my mind. I have racked my memory, but I still can't place a face or name.

We all have personal moments and I am having another one because for the last nine months my wife has been trying to get some simple justice. We bought a product that was defective and she has been trying to get compensation, but for nine months this company has been giving her the run around.

I think because she is female they think they can bluff her off, and like I said after nine months of wasted excuses I have now got involved.

Hopefully we can get this dispute sorted out, but if we can't then I will need your support.

Where ever you are from America, Central America, South America, from the whole of Europe through to the Middle East/Africa and then onto the far east in India, China, Japan, and finally in Australia plus New Zealand I know we can work together to get justice.

Mark King.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Tea and cake around the radio.
FRENZY a Daniel Jones story by Mark King

It was early afternoon on a Wednesday and I was sitting next to my mother-in-law in her car as we pulled into the underground car park at the Forum in Norwich. This is a building that I love and which is a great credit to not just Norwich, but to the whole of Norfolk I wrote parts of my latest book FRENZY a Daniel Jones story within its red brick and glass walls.

I was heading to the BBC studios to appear on the Stephen Bumfrey Show on radio Norfolk.  Sue was not only giving me a lift, but also hoping to have a look around the studies as she is an avid listener to the radio station. When we arrived at the BBC reception we were asked to sit in the guests waiting area in view of the general public with strangers walking by, glancing, wondering if I was somebody famous.

Then the moment came when we were taken up to the offices. I was nervous but my mother-in-law looked excited when she was more than welcomed into the heart of the station.  We were introduced to Thordis who soon had us at ease while behind the glass in his booth was Stephen himself. Within ten minutes I was sitting opposite him with Thordis by my side and we talked about FRENZY and other things in general. The two hosts make a great team and work so smoothly together.

I was on the show for over twenty minutes and enjoyed every moment of it.  When we got home I made a pot of tea, and when the wife arrived soon after from the school run with the children we all sat around the kitchen table feasting on cake as we listened again to my appearance the wife had taped earlier using an old fashioned tape recorder.

It was a simple pleasure but one all the family enjoyed, and a couple of days later I dropped off a box of assorted cream cakes at the BBC reception for Stephen and the crew to say thank you. 



Friday, 13 September 2013

On the radio
FRENZY a Daniel Jones story by Mark King

When you take a new direction in your life you will have to learn things and at times skills too.

What new skills do you need to learn to become an author you may ask?

Well there are many and it's not just in the skill of writing, you still have lots to learn about publishing and publicity as well. Learning how to promote not only your book, but yourself as well, is a skill as hard as any.

I am still a shy virgin when it comes to getting myself noticed in the wider world, but slowly I am having to learn. I don't mind so much my writing becoming successful or my name too, but I still feel uneasy about my face becoming well known. But, and as I say there is always a but all author's need  publicity.

With this in mind I completed my first radio interview this Wednesday on the Stephen Bumfrey Radio Show. I went into the BBC studio's as nervous as a virgin on his wedding night, but once I got going I enjoyed every moment, and it was a wonderful experience.

Well you can share in that experience by clicking onto the link below and listen to the segment of the show I was on.

Feel free to let me know what you think of it by emailing me at the address above.



Friday, 6 September 2013

The final days
FRENZY a Daniel Jones story by Mark King

By the third day I awoke in the morning knowing I had at least slept through the night. There were a couple of times when I was woken up by a noise from outside the tent, but I soon went back to sleep knowing it was probably just the mole having a look around.

Emma wondered over from here tent for breakfast. Once again we feasted on fried bacon and egg rolls with tomato sauce plus plenty of steaming hot tea. Now I have travelled to many different places around the world and no matter what hotel you stay in you are normally offered two types of breakfast, the continental or the English breakfast, and I know one thing for certain the fried English beats the continental time and time again.

There are various things my country has given the world like the English language, most world sports, parliamentary democracy etc, but one thing we never get any credit for is our food. Well a good old fried English breakfast should be added to the list of world greats, and you know why? Because it doesn't matter your social background, most people enjoy an English breakfast.

By midday Emma had packed her tent and was making her way home and we walked to the beach at East Runton. There was light cloud in the sky with a breeze to match which made it perfect weather for just laying on the beach, reading and sleeping.

This is just what I did. I relaxed so much as I stretched out on my towel to the point where I could feel myself drifting off to sleep, and at that moment life felt like heaven. I now know the meaning of the saying less is more. When I resigned from a secure career to write Frenzy I knew I had to sacrifice a hole way of life, less of the Caribbean and more of Cromer, but at that very moment less was defiantly more.

In the evenings the wife and I settled into a routine of siting outside watching the sun set as the children ran about the field with their very large group of new friends. With drink in hand we would chat to the neighbours, and with no street lights to blacken out the night sky the stars were our television set.

Thursday was our last evening and we talked openly about staying another night, but we had to return to the modern world. You always know when you have had a holiday that was more enjoyable than you originally thought it would be, and that is when you want stay for longer. A bit like a good book?



Day two
FRENZY a Daniel Jones story by Mark King

I woke up on day two of my camping holiday. Well I say woke up! I'm not sure if I really went to sleep in the first place. There was no terrible wind or rain like I had experienced on my other short camping expedition earlier in the year, but still enough strange noises to keep my mind ever alert. Some fly had got in-between the inner and outer shell of the tent just above my head, and kept buzzing away near to my ear, no matter how many times I tried to squash the little bugger.

Then there was the niggling ache. For some reason pulses of pain kept shooting down my right arm as if a nerve was being squashed. Nothing major but enough to keep me tossing and turning, and then when I did get comfortable the same thing would happen in my leg. Like I said just a small nagging sensation that stopped me from going into a deep sleep.

During the night I heard something creeping around the outside of the tent, and pictures of a rabid fox or savage dog, or worse, some axe wielding madman kept filling my imagination. In the morning the two small moulds of dirt either side of the tent confirmed it was neither of these, but just a local mole who probably thought what in hell was this huge object that had landed on top of his home turf.

Never mind the damage was done, I was tired and I had only just got up to the rising sun, worse still was that I ached from here to kingdom cum. The muscles in my backside felt as if I had completed some crazy two hour spinning class at the gym.

After a nice cup of tea I rustled up a cooked breakfast of bacon and egg rolls, and then relaxed in my chair with just shorts on as the early morning sun beat down while I read a book.The children ran about the field with all their new friends and life couldn't be better.

I had to leave the family at 12.30 but they wasn't bothered because my wife's friend Emma was staying an extra night to keep them company.

I had to return the forty five minute drive to Norwich because my father was in hospital for an eye operation and I wanted to see him, plus my team were playing at Carrow Road in the Carling cup against Bury, a smaller club from the lower leagues. As I'm also a club steward not only do I get to see the game for free, but I get paid for it as well.

My father came out of hospital with no problems and by 17.45 I was at the ground and in my position. I cover the part of the stand where the away fans sit as all grounds are segregated to control any possible violence. Bury brought just under a thousand supporters which is nearly a third of their normal home attendance. It was a big day out for their club playing against a English Premiership Team.

I was asked to cover pitch side to help control a group of about forty young lads who were very drunk and by the look of some of their eyes, plus constant chatter, had been sniffing too much cocaine. They were a pain in the backside to control and when Bury scored they wanted to storm onto the pitch. A steward who tried to stop one of them was head-butted and another punched. Now normally there is a large police presence at games, but tonight it was police free with only a lone police van waiting outside the ground.

As the young hooligan was pulled out by some stewards his mates dragged him back and stood around him like Roman centurion  guards. He wasn't safe for long. Myself and a handful of others went into the crowd to get him and once he was in a head lock it all went crazy. His fellow gang members tried to get him back and the only thing stopping them was me.

These young lads charged at me like baying dogs for my blood with threats and flying fists. I pushed two out the way and held the rest with just my extended hand looking them straight in the eyes while saying, 'do you really want to try it on?' A skinny little runt wanted too and took a swing at me but I got to him first. That was it! They all knew that if they wanted to get their mate back they would have to go through me, but non of them had the balls.

I've got a scare around my left eye brow after someone knocked me out in a pub when I was a youth after they smashed a large glass astray into my head. I'm also six foot two and as we say in England, I'm built like a brick-shit house so I can look the part if need be.

Don't get me wrong it was scary and my heart was beating like mad, and if the youths had crossed the line I would have been in trouble, but, and as I also say there is a but, these lads reminded me of myself not that many years ago. Norwich won 6.3 in the end and when I left the stadium I saw the young lad that had caused so much trouble sitting in the police van looking hung-over, and dejected. I knew what he was thinking because I've been there myself.

I'm a lover now not a fighter, but I must say I haven't had so much fun in a long time.

It was roughly 23.30 when I arrived back at the camp site. The children were tucked up in their sleeping bags as the wife and Emma sat outside enjoying the stars, plus a bottle or two of wine.

When she turned off the lamp as we slumped into our sleeping bags I was already heading into the land of nod, exhausted but content, and with a smile on my face.



Tuesday, 3 September 2013

I'm back
FRENZY a Daniel Jones story by Mark King
ISBN 9781846248771

I'm Back!

Yes, after a week relaxing I am back in the land of the blogasphere.

Five days camping in North Norfolk at East Runton and then a long weekend at home, and now it's all over.

We arrived at Manor Farm on Bank holiday Monday just after 1pm to glorious sunshine, and a welcome smile from some friends of the wife who had been staying at the same site all weekend. For two hours I tolled in the heat as I put the tent up, and the children enjoyed the freedom of running about the field. Other campers kept turning up to replace the ones leaving, and soon the site was a buzz of activity.

It was hot and my shirt was wet with my labour, but by about 4pm the tent was finished, the car unpacked and everyone except myself has headed down to the beach for a paddle.

I settled down with some cold beers outside the tent and to read with my shirt off as the sun slowly made its decent to the horizon.

When the family returned I set the barbecue alight and we feasted on burgers, sausages, and rolls with cheese, and various sauces. By the time the glow of the sun was all that remained the children were running about with new friends they had made. The wife and I supped on wine and when it became to dark for the children with the air turning chilly we got them into their Jim-jams, and then finally into their sleeping bags.

The little ones took some time to get to sleep as they kept messing about, but in the end all there was left to keep us company were the stars that silently twinkled in the heavens above. Add in the occasional shooting star and the picture was set for a relaxing experience of living a life that our very distant ancestor's would have once lived.

It was lovely to say the least. No television, no internet, no distractions other than the wonderful sounds of nature and it's inspirational beauty.

I don't know what time we went to sleep ourselves but when we did I was exhausted, but content.

Would it last? Well you will find out on Friday.