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Grumpy Owl

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Posts posted by Grumpy Owl

  1. 10 minutes ago, Macnamara said:


    your property has to be category C to rent it out and this energy Bill will no doubt impose that your property has to be category C in order to sell it


    bare in mind they are raising interest rates so that peoples mortgage payments are going up. So we could see a situation where many people can no longer afford to keep their homes but can't sell them either because they can't upgrade them to comply with the EPC demands. Presumably the banks would then repossess them.


    This then would achieve the WEF's mantra of 'you will own nothing and be happy'. Bare in mind that the abolition of private property is one of the planks of the 'communist manifesto'.


    As I mentioned earlier, if you can't afford to upgrade to meet EPC standards, your only option will be to sell below market-value to 'cash buyers' or via auction. The 'cash buyers' will be cash-rich investors, either wealthy landlords or private companies such as housing associations/trusts, who will either be able to pay to have the property upgraded, or find loopholes and exemptions to get around legislation - think 'exempt housing' or accommodation for migrants/refugees.


    We fast head back into the feudal mediaeval times where 'robber barons' owned all property and 'allowed' the peasants to live in them in exchange for 'tribute' or labour.

  2. 8 minutes ago, k_j_evans said:

    This is from one of mine - a D. It used to be a C - just - but now they assume there is no roof insulation even though it was done under a govt scheme and 100% of the lights are low energy. So it in the process of being sold.epc.jpg.49c147471e65f6adf6caaec5e56c892c.jpg


    Were you present when the EPC inspection was carried out? Did the surveyor ask you any questions? I'd definitely challenge this if I were you.

  3. 4 minutes ago, Macnamara said:

    in the new energy bill it says that they want peoples appliances 'smart' and connected to the grid so that they can manage upswings and downswings of energy


    so that sounds to me as if we are going to be told when you can use certain appliances for example you might be allowed to run your laundry washing machine at night during a low energy time.


    I think it is more the case that they want the ability to charge consumers more for energy during times of 'peak usage'. That's ultimately what this all boils down to, rinsing the public for every penny they can get.


    I wrote about this last year here: https://thegrumpyowl.co.uk/2022/06/27/the-real-reason-for-smart-meters-is-becoming-ever-more-apparent/



  4. 24 minutes ago, Sit down, Waldo said:

    The higher EPC ratings will either get watered down or shelved. There's already a lack of installers & electric heating is expensive & terrible for EPCs. The data used for commercial EPCs was updated last year & altered some of the calculations quite significantly...big rating improvements for properties using electric heating & similar falls for those on mains gas. I wouldn't be surprised if something similar happens to the software for domestic EPCs.


    In 2022, my combi gas boiler was rated as 'Good'. I still believe this is far more energy efficient than any heat pump.


    They just move the goalposts, by 2032 when it is next due to be renewed, I bet any gas combi boiler will be marked as 'Poor'.


    The thing with heat pumps is that they are powered by electricity, which is now far more expensive than gas. I would hazard a guess that for the amount of electricity a heat pump uses relative to its heat output, you'll find a conventional convector or halogen heater - or even night storage heaters - are far more effective at warming up rooms.





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  5. 14 hours ago, k_j_evans said:

    It's being raised to C for letting property. Watch for rise in homelessness and rents ... AND they don't even check the attic to see if there is insulation, just "assume" based on age of property, refuse to look at invoices for cavity wall insulation, assuming there isn't any. EPCs are a joke.


    My landlord had this property's EPC renewed last year. I was here when the surveyor was doing their thing. Had a look around, took some measurements, didn't ask any questions though.



    This guy has 'assumed' there is no energy lighting, not sure how he was able to work this out just by looking at enclosed light fittings and didn't turn any on to check.


    If they had asked, I would have been able to demonstrate that actually, 4 out of 6 fixed lighting points in my flat have low energy LED bulbs.


    In the grand scheme of things, the property is rated EPC 'C' (score 72), and it wouldn't have made much difference to the rating if this had been noted correctly.




    So yeah, I agree these EPCs can be a bit of a joke.


    Raising the barrier for letting to C would be a concern though.



    For properties in England and Wales:

    • the average energy rating is D
    • the average energy score is 60



  6. Oh dear.


    Smart washing machines explained




    Smart washing machines are appliances that can connect to your household wi-fi network in the same way that other devices do, such as tablets and smartphones. You can then set your washing machine remotely using an app on your phone or tablet, or via Alexa or Google Assistant. 

    Seriously, you have to actually physically go up to the machine in order to put laundry inside. So while you're stood there, you may as well just set it using the front panel controls. Why use an app?


    Looking at the prices of the 'popular models' they compare, clearly these smart devices are designed for dumb people with more money than sense.


    Bosch WAU28P89GB smart washing machine, around £959

    Samsung WW11BB944DGBS1 smart washing machine, around £829

    Miele WED164 smart washing machine, around £999


    So much for a 'cost of living crisis'! I wonder how many gullible people are getting rid of perfectly good older washing machines just so they can be 'trendy' by having a smart one?



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  7. If this does turn out to be use of DEW - which I wouldn't rule out - it then raises the spectre of 'what actually happened on 9/11'.


    A lot of people including Dr Judy Wood and researcher Andrew Johnson believe that the World Trade Center was brought down using a DEW, and for their beliefs they were widely mocked and ridiculed by other so-called 'truthers' keen to push and promote their own theories.



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  8. 3 hours ago, Sit down, Waldo said:

    I've come across plenty of examples of lenders insisting on C ratings. There're outside of their remit here as there's no legislation for this. I think eco promises are proving difficult to achieve but apply some pressure to the lenders & you can effectively force changes through the back door.


    That's the thing though, there doesn't need to be any legislation while it is the lenders who are pulling the strings.


    If lenders are already starting to refuse mortgages on properties rated D to G, then that will be an awful lot of homes which become unavailable to prospective genuine buyers.


    By 'genuine buyer' I mean those people who want to buy a home so they can live in it, and can only do so by borrowing money.


    And if you're a seller looking to sell a D to G rated property, you're faced with the prospect of spending a fortune in order to obtain a higher EPC rating, or having to sell below market-value to a cash buyer.


    You can already start to see who benefits from all this, and its not us plebs...

  9. From that article:


    Anyone selling or letting a property must obtain an energy performance certificate. Inspectors will be given the power to order 'improvements' and prevent the property being sold or let if they are not carried out to the letter.

    Such improvements will include fitting heat pumps, loft insulation, double glazing and so-called 'smart appliances'.

    Compulsory installation of fridges, washing machines, immersion heaters and so on, all connected to the internet, will allow the Government and the energy companies to monitor electricity consumption and switch off your supply if they think you're using too much.


    It has always been the case that when selling a property, an energy performance certificate (EPC) must be obtained, so that is not new.


    What I read elsewhere is that the rules surrounding EPCs will be changed.


    At present, there are no restrictions on buying or selling properties, based on their EPC rating. However:



    Properties can be let if they have an energy rating from A to E


    If you buy a property rated F or G, then you are not legally allowed to let it out.


    An EPC will include 'recommendations' on what you need to do in order to improve the EPC rating.


    Over the years, these recommendations change, depending on whatever the flavour of the period is. I've seen EPCs where solar panels have been recommended, now lately it is heat pumps.


    What will eventually change is that properties rated F or G won't be able to be sold, or prospective buyers will find it difficult to get a mortgage.


    And of course the barrier to being able to rent out a property will probably be raised as well.


    Properties at this end of the scale will become devalued, and if you can't get a mortgage to buy one, the only people able to buy them will be cash-rich investors, who will be able to afford to 'do them up' to meet the required standards, and then rent them out at ever-increasing rates.


    Or more worryingly, these properties will be bought up by developers, who then demolish them and replace with 'new builds'.

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  10. It's getting a bit ridiculous to be honest.


    I can sort of understand some types of device being ideal for 'smart' use, but really, who needs a smart Wi-Fi enabled washing machine?



    With smart washing machines, those from LG do not allow the use of their app without users giving their name, email, phone contacts, precise location, phone number, and date of birth.

    LG told Sky News the app requested such details "to help tailor the experience, learn habits and anticipate needs, enabling customers to manage their smart appliance on the go".


    Why would I need to manage my washing machine "on the go"? I load it with laundry, set a programme, and let it do its thing until it finishes.


    My 'dumb' washing machine shows me on its display how long is left to run, and beeps when it is finished. I can even set a delay timer.


    It has two control knobs and a couple of other buttons for extra features. It is easy to use, I don't need a fricking app to control it. And it doesn't need my email address, location, or my contacts list to function. Because IT DOESN'T NEED THAT INFORMATION.


    "Help tailor the experience, learn habits and anticipate needs"


    FFS my washing machine is completely non-judgemental. It doesn't care if I haven't used it that week.


    The device itself doesn't need your data, the manufacturer does.





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  11. "Saharan dust" isn't that uncommon, happens once or twice every year, depending on wind/atmospheric conditions.


    We've had no rain here in Birmingham for over a week now, so I've not really seen much of this to be honest.


    I have noticed the sky has been quite hazy for the last couple of days, though not completely overcast, still been very pleasant in the sunshine.

  12. 6 hours ago, Anti Facts Sir said:

    I wonder if this is what all the endless digging up of roads and pavements is about. Installing a totally new communications network to replace the existing one, and not just making your broadband faster so the porn sites don't buffer so much.


    They have to make the broadband faster so they can fill more web pages and apps with adverts and trackers.



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  13. At work recently, we were forced to change our broadband provider.


    We already had fibre broadband, but an engineer put in a new wall socket, and we had a brand new router set up.


    Our existing landline phone connects (via an adapter) to this new router. We can still make and receive calls, to the same number, as we did previously.


    So I don't think it is true that 'landlines' are being totally killed off, as some people have been making out. It's just the way that the landline is 'connected' that is different.


    10 hours ago, k_j_evans said:

    Of course, what's more important is that analogue phones work during power cuts. Phones attached to your internet router don't. So no way to call for help in an emergency when power is off. Good way to kill off the plebs.


    But that is still a valid point. If the power goes off, and your router isn't on, then you can't use the phoneline. (If your phone is a cordless type with a powered base unit, that wouldn't work either, even if connected to a copper line!).



  14. Remember that Common Purpose graduates have no loyalty to anyone apart from Common Purpose and their agenda.


    Be wary of any MP or councillor who is willing to join another party - yes, some are acting in their own self-interests, but are others acting in someone else's?


    I don't know if this woman is Common Purpose, but the signs are there.


    Labour councillor told she is 'only working for herself' after failed Lib Dem bid


    A Labour councillor in Wolverhampton has landed herself in hot water with senior party bosses after attempting to jump ship and join the city's Liberal Democrats, it was revealed this week. Celia Hibbert, who represents Penn ward, had a meeting with the chair of Wolverhampton Lib Dems Julian Donald on August 10, to ask about joining the party and sitting as a councillor and prospective parliamentary candidate - details of which were noted in the minutes of the group's August 29 meeting.

    The Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) has obtained a copy of the minutes, which state: "Penn Labour councillor Celia Hibbert has expressed an interest in joining the Lib Dems and becoming a parliamentary candidate. The chair met Ms Hibbert and his report was received. The view of members is that Ms Hibbert should not be welcomed in the Lib Dems. The chair will wait for her to make contact before letting her know."

    from: https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/black-country/labour-councillor-told-only-working-27642957


    Thankfully, the Lib Dems in Wolverhampton saw right through her. But why would a Labour councillor on a Labour-controlled council seek to defect to the Lib Dems and become a prospective parliamentary candidate?


    Infiltration? Anyway, its now backfired on her, and as well as being rejected by the Lib Dems 😁, she is also in trouble with Labour.



    A statement from the (Liberal Democrats) party's candidate for Bushbury North Harry Marston added: "Cllr Hibbert approached us a couple of weeks ago to arrange a meeting to explore the possibility of her joining the Liberal Democrats and sitting as a Lib Dem councillor. We agreed to meet with her and following this meeting, the local party has decided not to move forward with any arrangement with Cllr Hibbert. We believe that she does not share the Liberal values needed to be a member of this party - let alone to sit as a councillor - and that is our reasoning for not moving forward with her."


    Cllr Hibbert's attempt to join the Liberal Democrats has now been brought to the attention of regional Labour Party bosses. An official source for the party told the LDRS: "It's against the party rules to request to join another political party. Cllr Hibbert is welcome to join any party she wishes, but she will never again sit as a councillor for the Labour Party.

    "We're only interested in having councillors who uphold our values and work hard for their residents. At this point, Cllr Hibbert is only working for herself."


    Ouch! 😅


    At this point, I'm surprised that Cllr Hibbert hasn't played the 'race card' yet.




    In 2019 she campaigned unsuccessfully for parliament in the East Midlands constituency of Harborough, and announced last year that she would be applying to stand as Labour's parliamentary nomination for Wolverhampton South West in the next general election. However, the party selected a different candidate to run for MP. Cllr Hibbert, who Labour say has also been linked to a bid for Stoke Central, was named in The Mirror last year as beneficiary of a grant from the MotheRED project, which aims to assist mothers with the costs of running for election as a Labour MP.


    It's just gravy-train surfing now, and she's that desperate to get on board, she'll stand anywhere for any party.


    Thankfully this woman has been rumbled and now faces an undignified exit from local politics. But you can bet that if she is involved with Common Purpose, she'll be back, somewhere else.

  15. On the subject of Burning Man...


    Burning Man: Police investigating death during heavy rain


    An investigation has been launched into the death of a person during torrential rain at the Burning Man festival in the US state of Nevada.

    No further details have been given about the circumstances of their death.

    Thousands of people remain stranded at the event after the bad weather turned the ground to deep, slippery mud. Roads in and out are closed as vehicles can barely drive on it.

    Burning Man is held in the Black Rock Desert, which is usually dry and dusty.

    "The Pershing County Sheriff's Office is currently investigating a death which occurred during this rain event," the Pershing County Sheriff's Office said on Saturday, adding that the person's family had been notified.

    The heavy rain has made it difficult for people to leave by vehicle and the sheriff's office said some attempts to do this had made the ground even worse.

    Further rain is expected and the authorities have said that it could be several days before the ground dries up enough for people to leave.

    For this reason, people have been told to conserve their food and water.

    The festival's toilets are also out of use, revellers say, because the service vehicles cannot drive on the mud to empty them.

    from: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-66700006




    Reminds me of Glastonbury in 1997!

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  16. On 8/24/2023 at 9:49 PM, Nemuri Kyoshiro said:

    There are companies that sell British food over here and they have no problem getting stock in, but it's mostly stuff from the big boys like HP Sauce, Walker's Crisps, and chocolate/sweets/biscuits.


    Yeah, the 'big brands', owned by the likes of BlackRock, Vanguard etc, who all happen to be American. 😉


    You'll probably find that stuff is manufactured in the US though, rather than imported from the UK.

  17. On 8/20/2023 at 8:55 AM, Mikhail Liebestein said:

    “It just got too much – Brexit,” Karjalainen said. “We were heavily geared for export. We’d be selling to Finland, Sweden, Norway, Ireland, Netherlands, Italy, Spain. We had Hungary in the pipeline. And it all disappeared with Brexit.”

    Post-Brexit trading arrangements with European Union countries meant that Bone Machine’s craft beers needed to be accompanied by expensive and time-consuming paperwork.

    “Everyone was saying ‘it’s too complicated to import anything from the UK any more’,” Karjalainen said. “In terms of pure output, that was about 30% to 40% of what we made. In terms of income, it was probably more than half.”


    Everyone is keen to 'blame Brexit' when in reality it is the EU that is making importing difficult, and it's all deliberate of course.


    The EU is just a big protectionist racket designed to protect its own 'big companies' from any kind of outside competition.


    On 8/21/2023 at 2:00 PM, Nemuri Kyoshiro said:

    In the US, the supply of good British beer has pretty much dried up, at least in my neck of the woods. Sam Smiths, which used to be plentiful, can't be found except at a few high-end specialist stores that charge over $8 a bottle. European beers - German, Belgian, and Czech - are cheaper and easier to find. Other British goods have either increased significantly in price, or have disappeared. Trader Joe's - a grocery chain that formerly carried foods from all over the world, now carries only one two British cheeses whereas before, it was at least a dozen. Whole Foods, now owned by Bezos, has about 25% of their former selection of British goods. EU produced goods can be found quite easily there, especially cheese and wine. You can even buy part-baked French bread but it costs $5 a loaf.


    The USA is just as protectionist, but you'd think that in the absence of any recognised trade deal with the EU, it would be just as easy for UK companies to export to the USA.


    At work, our customer base is primarily end consumers, while our exports to EU customers have died a death in the last couple of years, business to customers in the USA is booming.


    I don't know whether UK companies are being put off from exporting, or whether USA distributors are being encouraged to source 'preferentially' from EU businesses.

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  18. 15 hours ago, Observations said:

    Lucy Letby

    "33 years old"


    "Always denied involvement, but the evidence"

    "11 families"

    "It's been hell"

    "Lessons will be learnt"

    "In our hearts"



    "It's horrific to think of it 'cause you wouldn't think anyone would be capable of that"


    Its another story that just came out of nowhere and is suddenly all over the mainstream media.

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  19. 6 hours ago, Nemuri Kyoshiro said:


    That didn't take long. Someone calling himself Dr. Miles Stones has put out a book on Kindle entitled "Fire and Fury. The Story of the 2023 Maui Fire and its Implications for Climate Change." Can you believe it? And the name of the author? They are rubbing our noses in it.




    I'm reminded of the number of books that suddenly appeared on Amazon during the Nicola Bulley 'current thing'.


    It's either 'ghouls' trying to profit by writing books based on current news reports - classic 'parrotting' just to establish a 'narrative'.


    Or it's a book that is AI generated - by a ghoul hoping to make a profit AND further push a narrative at the same time.



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  20. Local journalism reaches new low...


    I visited Wilko store after huge administration sale launched and left feeling confused


    In my town centre, Wilko is one of the last remaining big-name retailers and always seems one of the busier shops. And in the cost-of-living crisis, it has become a go-to store for many for cheaper household essentials.

    The brand's 400 stores are at risk of closure as the race to save the chain continues after it fell into administration last week. The budget retailer is continuing to trade from all its stores “without any immediate redundancies”, administrators have said.

    As I walked to the store, I couldn't see any glaring signs to advertise the administration. And then I spotted the empty signage outside, and a tiny black and white flyer.

    More and more signage followed inside the store - but to me it looked surprisingly busy, with lots of people in store. But I must admit, I didn't see that many sale items.

    from: https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/whats-on/whats-on-news/visited-wilko-store-after-huge-27518619


    Honestly this reads more like a Mumsnet blog article than a 'news' story. And if she can be 'confused' by all this, well it tells you all you need to know about the calibre of journalists being recruited by Reach. (Or maybe its all about dumbing down the audience...)



    I saw some plates and bowls 'reduced to clear' for as little as £1.20 and a few reduced storage baskets, but that was it. Had the administration sale not hit my local store yet?

    The same could be for household essentials. While there was big yellow signage showing price points - to me, who visits Wilko fairly regularly, it felt just like their normal discounted prices.

    It was then that I spotted a Halloween section. If this store was on the way to closing would they be stocking for a date more than two months away?

    Creepy decorations, light-up pumpkins, party accessories and games. Wilko was stocked up for the spooky season, so I was even more confused.


    It's exactly as it says on the tin, its an 'administration sale'.


    This is all about clearing out stock, and turning it into cash, so that bills and creditors can be paid, in an effort to make the business a 'going concern'.


    Not everything will be heavily reduced in price, and there will of course be the usual psychological trick of making shoppers think they are getting a bargain when they aren't.


    Yeah, maybe its a bit early for the Halloween season, but if you got loads of Halloween-related stock sitting around doing nothing, then may as well offer it for sale and see what you can get for it.



    I was confused why Wilko wasn't surviving - here in my local store it seemed like the busiest store in the town centre as I walked back to my car. And in recent weeks when I had visited to stock up on the likes of household essentials such as laundry tablets, washing up liquid and anti-bac cleaning spray, it had seemed busy then.

    "Seeming busy" is not quite the same as actually being 'busy'.


    I've been to a few local Wilko stores in recent weeks, mainly on Saturday or Sundays, and I found them to be surprisingly dead, hardly any shoppers.


    Which makes for a pleasant shopping experience, until you're forced to use their self-checkouts.


    I wonder why so many people now prefer to do their discount shopping at B&M or Home Bargains instead?



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  21. Quote

    You’re being taken to court over this?

    If people want to read the claim against me, they can follow this link, go and read the documents – the claim and defence, and form your own opinion.

    I’m not being sued for defamation, but harassment and breach of GDPR rules. This is not ‘in-person’ harassment. They are saying the opinions in my book amount to harassment! My barrister writes: ‘The claims are denied and make very little reference to or reliance on any conduct or specific statements of opinion by the defendant made about either of the claimants. Instead, the claimants purport to bring a claim of harassment which is based almost entirely on general observations, other statements and published opinion of the journalist, about an alleged incident at Manchester Arena, and base most of their claim on what he believes to be untrue about the narrative which has been presented to the general public. In summary, they are seeking to bring a claim against the defendant for being an independent broadcaster who has advanced opinions which are different to the mainstream media’s, all under the guise of harassment against them personally. This amounts to censorship, is an abuse of process and should be struck out.’

    The word ‘opinion’ appears in my book over 100 times, and there is a message at the front which makes it clear I’m expressing opinions throughout the book.

    The intention of this legal action is to get an injunction against me and bankrupt me, and if that were to happen, it would have serious ramifications for my freedom of speech, and everyone’s. They’re trying to shut me down.

    from: https://www.richplanet.net/article.php


    'Opinions' are now 'harassment' it would seem.


    And 'GDPR rules' shouldn't apply as the persons in question have already been named by the mainstream media.


    I think this case will ultimately be thrown out, but it will have further ramifications as 'the powers that be' seek to nullify all kinds of "wrongthink".


    Opinions are not facts. There is nothing wrong with having a contrary or different opinion, it is perfectly healthy.

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  22. On 8/2/2023 at 8:03 PM, Grumpy Owl said:

    Etsy U-turn in row over withholding sellers' money

    from: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-66387147


    Parasites. Leeches.


    It's worth pointing out that online marketplaces such as Etsy and eBay don't actually 'produce' any items offered for sale themselves. They just provide the 'platform', through which buyers then find and buy items offered for sale from various sellers.


    (Amazon is slightly different, as it does retail products itself, as well as sells its own brand products, but does also allow third-party sellers to trade as well)


    On a slightly different note, but still related, the likes of AirBNB are almost the same, they don't own or maintain any properties themselves, they just provide a platform for hosts to take bookings.


    The marketplaces charge sellers monthly subscription fees, as well as taking a percentage of any sale as 'commission'.


    eBay ditched Paypal as its preferred payment processor a few years ago now, and manages payments and refunds itself. Buyers no longer pay the seller directly - you give your money to eBay/Etsy/Onbuy etc, and then they pay what is owed to the seller, less commission/fees etc.


    Somebody must have worked out that if you have millions of buyers making millions of purchases every day, even if you only 'bank' that money for a couple of days, it must be collecting some interest somewhere.


    No wonder hedge-funds are such big 'investors' in these platforms.



    I can understand these platforms 'holding' onto monies for a few days before releasing the funds to its sellers, but to freeze payouts for up to 45 days is a bit ridiculous.




    Now Amazon are at it...


    Amazon asked by minister to justify temporarily withholding sellers' funds


    The government has demanded answers from Amazon after its recent policy change led to hundreds of sellers unable to access their money.

    In a letter seen by the BBC, small business minister Kevin Hollinrake asks the tech giant to explain how it will "mitigate" the impact on sellers.

    One seller, Daniel Moore, who sells ink cartridges, says he has £263,000 locked and cannot pay his VAT bill.

    Amazon said the policy change had affected a small number of sellers.

    The letter from Mr Hollinrake was sent after the BBC spoke to several businesses who say the recent policy change leaves them unable to restock or pay staff and bills.

    Amazon's recently amended policy is to hold back some money from sellers in case buyers demand a refund.

    That leads to sellers not having access to their takings for around two weeks.

    from: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-66474221


    It's always been the case that Amazon takes a couple of days to 'payout' monies to seller, and only once dispatch has been confirmed. Any requested refunds are deducted from the seller's balance first, and if these are insufficient then Amazon charges the seller's credit/debit card.


    There's simply no need to hold on to sellers' funds for any longer than a week.


    Unless Amazon are trying to squeeze smaller businesses off their platform. Which they have form for doing.


    If you're an online seller, don't rely on these marketplaces. Set up your own website, and encourage your Amazon, eBay or Etsy buyers to buy from your website next time.

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