Category Archives: Business

Tripleclicks – A Platform for Getting Something Back!

EBay, Amazon, Tripleclicks. You wouldn’t usually expect to hear these three mentioned together but Tripleclicks can do what the others do, and it’s also part of a larger business that exists to help you earn.

Tripleclicks is part of SFI, a multi level marketing business based in the USA but with members Worldwide, all working to improve their own standard of living and helping each other to do the same using the forums and various other methods of communication available to them. Members can even ask the founder questions in the Ask Gerry section!

I started with Tripleclicks because it makes it very easy to open a store on the site and you can connect with other store owners selling similar or any other products. It’s a very sociable platform in that way.

If you have things you want to sell, or you want to find another retail platform to search for bargains, check out Tripleclicks. It costs nothing to have a look through 😉

Struggling Banks – Time To Nationalise Them?

Some retail banks have been complaining that they struggle to make a profit, even going so far as to keep the bail-out money during the worst of the 2008 economic crisis instead of lending it out as they were supposed to. The same thing happened during other crises where banks didn’t lend the money out so it didn’t help improve the economy much.

With the banks justifying this behaviour is it time to Nationalise (or part-Nationalise) all struggling retail banks and integrate them into the State’s Treasury? Having banks under State control would ensure no bank collapses, there would be no bank runs and liquidity won’t be an issue. This would also be a way to help everyone get a bank account so no one is left out.

A full Nationalisation of the banks would be expensive and the only major benefit would be convenience and ensuring long term stability. That may be enough for many of us but others would like to see something more. So that would be where a part-Nationalisation would be mentioned.

Part-Nationalisation would instead give the State, say, 75% of the shares of a bank (each one if kept as separate entities, otherwise of the whole banking network) but the other 25% would be owned by the public (as private holdings). This would be achieved by either giving shares to every adult (taxpayer or general public adult) in the Country free of charge with dividends attached and paid twice a year, or even yearly, or they could be sold on a stock exchange, but with a limit on the amount able to be purchased by each person (Natural person only, 1000 shares maximum) to avoid abuse of the system by financial institutions and corporate investors. This is to keep shares owned by people who can sell them to other people or they can hold them for the dividends as a long term investment. Whichever way it’s done, this would benefit anyone holding the shares as it’s unlikely they will decrease in value, given the fact they would be from a Government entity that is backed by the Treasury.

Uber – Technology Firm or Cab Firm?

We’ve all seen the news reports that various Governments are doing what they can to thwart Uber. They either refuse licences or they launch a competing service, but now the European Union is going to decide, once and for all, whether Uber is a platform provider (a tech company as they call themselves) or a transport company (a cab firm basically).

This is actually very simple, and I don’t need to have a lot of lawyers and politicians to explain this. Uber is a cab firm. When Uber started it may have been simply a platform provider, a marketplace, but the moment they took it upon themselves to acquire their own licences they became a cab firm.

The way to stay a tech company, a platform provider, would have been to only provide the space and bring together drivers and the public. Drivers would have to have an operator’s licence (O Licence) to work as an independent driver, or to work for an Uber supplier/partner company (a cab firm) that has it’s own O Licence. Uber would just earn commission on bookings completed and maybe have a membership fee payable by their partners for use of this marketplace. That would have kept Uber as a tech company and there wouldn’t be all of the legal challenges.

And if I can see this, then it should be ultra simple for legislators Worldwide to tell the difference..

Gifthulk – Earn ‘Free’ Gift Cards

In April I posted about InstaGC, a platform that lets you earn points which can be redeemed for gift cards, today I am going to tell you about another such platform, this one is called Gifthulk.

Gifthulk is similar to the other reward sites, it rewards you for searching, as well as watching videos and undertaking various tasks such as surveys. And the amount of points required for gift cards is higher than some of the others, but this is a good, stable platform that has been around a while.

As a member you do have benefits such as competitions to earn you points. I regularly play the ‘guess the card’ competition, and have won a few times. I prefer the ‘guess the suit’ one because I seem to do better on that! You win 4 points when you guess correctly and that may not seem a lot but it costs you nothing to participate and you have a number of chances to win!

My prize goal is a Paypal gift card, they’re just like cash in the bank. Actually when you withdraw it from your Paypal account into your bank account that is exactly what it is!! But you’re not ‘limited’ to just Paypal gift cards, there are many others to choose from, some of which are for department stores so it’s worth having a good look through.

If this seems to be something you’re interested in, have a look at the site and decide from there


Steve 😉

Customer Service – Why do companies fail so badly?

Why is it so many companies fail to do the most basic thing and treat their customers with the proper respect? Go on to any reviews website and you will see many negative reviews because of the way a business has treated their customers, sometimes customers don’t realise that they allow it to continue because they accept it. Even if they complain, or write a bad review, they may then still use the same firm later on, hoping it has improved the way it deals with people outside of the business. This only reinforces those behaviours and makes them feel as if it doesn’t matter because people will keep coming back to them so why spend money on training for staff or improving technology that could be used to create a better experience for their customers?

There are many businesses that see customer service as extremely important and they make the investments necessary to provide a great service for their customers but there are still too many who don’t see it as worthwhile to spend money on customer service improvements. Why do they fail, why don’t they care? do they take it for granted that people will still purchase their goods and/or services? “Build it and they will come”!!

Bad Behaviour – Case study 1

Recently I was working for a pizza delivery franchise, a franchise of one of the best known pizza brands in the World and one that has always believed in excellent customer service.

Working for this particular franchise though was disappointing, to say the least. Management considered customer service to be something they didn’t need to think about, it was at best an afterthought, but really it was to them an inconvenience – the cost of doing business.

I was a customer service representative, I took orders from customers on the phones and in-store, as well as dealing with queries from customers regarding their orders or about the products. It seemed instead of me being there to deal with the customers, I was really there to do the work no one else could be bothered to do – and that included the customer service stuff.

When some boxes needed to be labelled it was me that had to do it, even if there were customers in the store waiting to be served, the boxes took priority! Some people would look at this and think “of course they do, without the boxes the pizzas wouldn’t be packaged”, the problem with that logic is without the customers there would be no need for the boxes as the pizzas wouldn’t be ordered in the first place. And keeping the customer service representative from doing their job when a group of people are standing around chatting, including store management, isn’t setting a good example to employees and doesn’t instil confidence in the customer that their order will be taken correctly and the store is being managed to a high standard, particularly where the storage of food is concerned.

Years before working at this franchise I worked for another franchise representing the same brand, but their employees were always taught to ‘exceed the customer’s expectations’ and we were all treated as part of a team. Two different franchises and two very different ways of working.

Bad Behaviour – Case Study 2

From late 2014 until January 2015 I was working for a private hire (taxi) company located near my home. One thing that frustrated me during my employment here was the way drivers of wheelchair accessible vehicles were refusing to pick up people in wheelchairs. We would take bookings and the drivers would simply ignore the bookings. They knew where the regular pick ups were so they would drive outside of the areas at those times to avoid being given the bookings, this resulted in customers being left stranded as they couldn’t get back home and they had been expecting to be picked up. This continued until the company had to tell customers we couldn’t do the work and the local authority accounts for the work that was supposed to be undertaken were cancelled.

Good Behaviour – Case Study

I am a vegan. I have been a vegan for a number of years and before this I was ‘just’ a vegetarian from childhood until my early 30s. Until recently it was difficult to find good vegan food, it seemed as though you had to guess what was suitable and supply of any products that actually stated they were suitable for vegans was extremely limited.

And then I found a health food store called Holland & Barrett which changed everything for me.

Over the years I have been able to enjoy products such as ‘Jumbo Sos rolls’, steakless pies, soya cheese and blueberry ice cream. On top of being the supplier to the populace of these great products, this health food store, and the other stores since it’s expansion, also employ great sales associates who understand customer service. I don’t recall ever having a negative experience with any product or staff member in any of their stores and they have always been able to advise me on health related things or make sure I claim the points for my purchases (they always ask for the points card, and if you don’t have it on you, they will take your post code and it’s added to your account – just so you don’t miss out!).

Fantastic customer service isn’t about simply smiling at a customer, it’s about making their visit to your business something they would be happy telling their friends and relatives about, and recommending they also visit if they require health related products. They should have a positive experience and have felt important, not treated as if they’re in the way and the staff member cannot wait for them to leave.

Unfortunately firms like the bad behaviour case studies above aren’t concerned about customer service and tend to ignore concerns from employees which only makes things worse as those employees are more likely to take time off work, and when they’re at work and annoyed, others then suffer from lower morale too.