Mike the Psych's Blog

What if psychologists ruled the world? In real life?


Car reg to catch the eye

What goes through the owner’s mind having this as your car registration number? Near Turf Moor football ground for Man Utd game. Do you think he gets pulled over a lot?

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White van man’s considerate parking at Tesco Burnley

Let’s just park it close to the entrance. Zebra crossings aren’t important!

Not the only stupid/lazy driver that day.

Young guy parked in child & family spot, someone else doing a Clarkson, but this was the worst.

Not the first time I’ve posted on this either.


Tesco shoppers – leave the free fruit for the kids!

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Tesco has now rolled out the free fruit for kids initiative to most of its stores.

Burnley Tesco was one of the pioneers but had to suspend it briefly because adults were helping themselves to the fruit, by the bagful in some cases.

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The other day I noticed the new posters and realised people were taking the “Help yourself” slogan too literally.

As I was taking the picture a couple of women were discussing it and one asked the other if she should take one. I politely told her it was for kids only at which her friend said she always took one so her friend did.

Shame on you both!

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Against all odds – town celebrates Premier status

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Today a small town in the old industrial heartland of Lancashire celebrated its football team, the “Clarets” achieving promotion to the Premier League. Burnley turned out in force to watch the civic reception and celebration parade.

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P1020167P1020174The bookies had Burnley one of the favourites to be relegated so it was really against all odds with the smallest squad in the division and having bought only one player and one loan signing all season.

They also had the meanest defence in the division and a year-long record of being undefeated at Turf Moor.

And die-hard fans will also savour the fact that Burnley beat arch-rivals Blackburn Rovers for the first time in 35 years (having been robbed last year by an off-side equaliser).

So not only do Burnley have the bragging rights but ascendancy over Blackburn who failed to make the play-offs and a chance to return to the Premier League.

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From Bombay to Burnley

Santander recently announced that the call centres set up in Mumbai (formerly Bombay) by building societies, which are now part of Santander, were all closed down on July 1 and since then all their call centres have been in the UK, in Glasgow, Leicester, and Liverpool.

This is in response to Santander consistently being rated the worst bank for customer service. It is now ranked second worst after Barclays (which still has one call centre in India).

Indian call centres are a source of frustration to UK callers. Sometimes you can’t understand the accent and their adoption of English names, presumably to make you believe you are speaking to someone in England, is farcical. Also as problems have become more complex scripted responses don’t work so well.

The reasons for returning to the UK may not be totally altruistic as labour turnover has increased amongst the graduates who work in Indian call centres and wage costs have risen. Competition from the Philippines has also reduced India’s market share which has grown significantly in recent years.

Santander weren’t the first to make this decision. A lancashire telecom company, New Call Telecom, earlier announced that they were setting up a call centre in Burnley rather than in Mumbai. They said that staff in lancashire were hard-working and loyal and customers preferred dealing with people in this country.

Some banks such as the RBS, including NatWest, have always had UK call centres. NatWest however seems determined to force people to use automatic paying-in machines. The branch in Burnley closed down two cashier positions over a weekend earlier this year and rebuilt the wall so you couldn’t tell they were ever there.

This means the queues are getting even longer yet they have staff walking around asking if you want to pay in automatically despite customer complaints that they want to deal with a person. And how annoying is it when, after you have actually got a cashier to deal with your task, they ask if there is anything else they can do for you?

I’ve suggested they might wash my car or carry my shopping but to no avail. Now if I said I wanted to buy an insurance policy or see a financial advisor I bet I’d get a cup of coffee!

And I found out today that Santander only does business banking with automatic paying-in. So give them credit for the call centres but not for their automation – which means fewer jobs in the long run.