Episode 2 Watchdog

Episode 2

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Comet, making promises it can't keep, First Choice selling resorts


that aren't finished, and buy this at Cineworld? They're making a


profit you won't believe. Plus, Heinz, Pepsi and the RAC - it's


Watchdog, the programme you cannot Hello, and good evening. Welcome to


Watchdog. We're live, as usual, from Television Centre. Tonight,


Comet telling customers their warrantee covers everything. Don't


you believe it. I'm just angry and disappointed that they actually


sold me something that was actually of no use to me. At all. Also


tonight, First Choice - it gave this resort ten out of ten. Really?


It wasn't even finished, plus Cineworld, Odeon, Vue charging a


fortune for popcorn. You'll be astonished at the mark-up. Pepsi -


its multi-pack cans have shrunk from this to this. According to the


company, it's because of us women. I am not a woman, which is why I


put this week's hidden cameras inside the gent's, where we found


this rogue coming up with some novel ways to spin out a job. Check


out the Bruce Lee moves. Mind you, he didn't want us to


think he was time wasting, so he Yes, say hello to Mohammad Shamrez,


better known as Sam, but also known as Tony. We've a lot more footage


like that, and tonight we're planning a special screening just


for him, so join us, as we play it again - Sam. First, though, Comet -


248 branches in the UK selling everything from settles to fridges


to sat-navs to plasma screen TVs. They have probably tried to sell


you an Extra Care Service Plan. Are these worth the money? Is Comet


selling them correctly? What do you think? Electrical goods - expensive,


delicate and temperamental - so how can you get some piece of mind when


buying them, putting an end to the headaches of call-out charges and


replacements? The Comet Extra Care Service Plan could be the answer.


It covers the cost of repairs or replacement for up to five years


depending on the type of product you buy. Sounds perfect, but it


isn't. Ask Dan Curran, a salesman persuaded to them buy one for his


new TV. The cost of the extended warrantee was �250. The guy did


tell us if anything went wrong with the telly, they would replace the


TV to the value we purchased it. Earlier this year a shadow appeared


on the screen. When a Comet engineer couldn't fix it, they


replaced it, worth �200 less than he'd originally laid out. After


contacting them, they told us the extended value of the TV was done


on a specification and the specification was far superior than


the one we purchased. I feel angry. Wrong advice about replacements and


also about repairs - when Joy bought her laptop in June 2010,


Comet assured Heros Collonges warrantee covered accidental damage.


Eight months later her daughter dropped it on the stair, and it


stopped working. I said to her, don't worry because I have taken


out the extra cover, but when I called Comet, they told me they


wouldn't repair or replace the laptop as it didn't cover me for


accidental damage. I am just angry and disappointed that they actually


sold me something that was actually of no use to me. Comet never did


repair her laptop, but they did accept they had given her wrong


advice and agreed to refund her Warrenee payments, but have they


learnt interest their mistake? Apparently not. Following a flurry


of similar complaints, we decided to check out their sales tactics


ourselves. Cue the Watchdog mystery shoppers.


On a tour of 15 Comet stores across the country, they told staff they


were looking to buy a TV, a fridge freezer or a washing machine, and


every single time those staff began selling Comet's extended warrantee,


the Extra Care Service Plan. have this service care plan that I


would recommend for anything you Not true, unfortunately. Misuse is


not covered, neither are a few other things, like damage by vermin,


although at this Nottingham store, Cosmetic damage like scratches is


also excluded, which must be news to this staff member in this


Out of the 15 stores we visited, staff in eight of them told us we


would be covered for problems that the warrantee specifically excludes.


Six failed to mention any of the exclusions at all. There were other


claims too, like this in Comet's Reassuring, yes, true, no. In fact,


at every Comet store we visited, staff gave uss a few, misleading or


insufficient information - all of which are potential breaches of the


Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations, 2008. I am


concerned about misleading information being given to


customers as to the contents of the policy and what is covered. The


second concern relates to information that customers are not


being given. The policy contains a number of quite significant


exclusions, and these are not being told to customers. So why are they


getting it so wrong? We've heard from an employee who has told us


they're under pressure to persuade customers to buy the extra care


warrantees. He showed us this document issued to some staff. It


lays down the target of selling two extended warrantees per shift,


warrantees, as we have seen, are sometimes being missold. In the


instances I have seen, I believe that there are some case -- cases


where there are misleading actions and where there are misleading


omissions that could cause an average consumer to buy the product


when had they been given the full information about the product, they


may not have well so decided. told us they carry out ten million


transactions a year with a vast majority of shoppers pleased with


the high standard of service provided. But our mystery shoppers


certainly aren't. Come and play at Comet. "Come and


play?" How about playing by the rules? Riz Lateef reporting there.


We asked Comet about the customers featured in that film. They say


they regret not having met their expected levels of customer care in


both cases, although they did believe each was resolved. They say


all customers who buy the Extra Care Service Plan must read and


sign a document setting out the terms and conditions before


purchase. They then have a 45-day cooling off period in which they


can cancel. Comet deny pressurising staff to sell these. They're sorry


for any occasion when a customer is unhappy, and as a result, they're


implementing refresher training on their extra service plans for all


staff. To coment on that or any of tonight's stories, you can e-mail


Meanwhile, a huge response to last week's story about soaring


household fuel bills. Remember the graphs. The big six energy


companies insist they're in competition, yet we showed how they


consistently increased their prices in line with each other. Compared


to last year the average family is paying 18% more for gas and 11%


more for electricity. So thinking of cutting down your energy use?


Listen to this - Scottish Power customers have contacted us to say


that it's low users who are being penalised the most. That's because


the company does something known as frontloading. It's raising the cost


of the first 225 units of electricity that you use by nearly


30%, but the units used after that - well, they hardly go up at all.


So in other words, the less electricity you use, the bigger the


percentage rise in your bill? Correct, and it's the same for


those who get their gas from Eon. They're being hit with a whacking


31% increase for the first 2,680 units, but the rise for units used


after that is only 9%. What's the defence? Both companies say that


all our bills incur fixed costs, things like the price of the metre,


transportation and getting the energy into our homes, and then


they look to recover those costs through the initial energy we use.


Meanwhile, if you're struggling with your energy bills and need


advice, a reminder of that Home Coming up, First Choice - it gave


this aqua park ten out of ten - not the way we add up. Our score is


nought out of ten. Plus, motorists left stranded and told to drive


home in dangerous cars by the RAC. Now, we have had lots of experts on


Rogue Traders, expert bodgers, expert time wasters, but for the


overcharger, we have had to wait until tonight. Express Plumbing


Limited of Bedford - not to be confused with businesses of a


similar name, and they've perfected a way of getting money out of you


than you'd ever thought possible. It's very clever - almost the work


Now, this is a show I have always fancied doing. The trouble is


Johnen John Humphries shows no signs of retiring, still, might as


well get in a bit of practise while I'm waiting.


Your name is Tim, and your specialist subject is Express


Plumbing Limited. He wanted his leaky boiler. Sam replaced it with


a motorised head. Was the boiler fixed when he left? No, we had to


pay another engineer �225 to fix I. We have spoken to other plumbers.


How much were you charged? �1,406. Correct. Tim, put your money in the


lavatory. This man called the company in May


to fix his leaking loo. The same Sam the plumber said he'd fix the


leak by fitting a plastic cap there. Your time begins now. How long was


Sam at your home? 40 minutes. Correct. We spoke to five local


plumbers. They said the job should cost �74.70. What was yours final


bill from Express Plumbing? It was �509.94. Correct. So there's two


contestants who have thrown their money down the drain. What about


number three? Your name is Andrew, and your specialist subject is -


Express Plumbing Limited. Andrew phoned Express Plumbing


Limited when water began dripping if his kitchen ceel, but by the


time they'd arrived it had stopped. Express Plumbing Limited claim


they're an honest company. Where can you see this statement? On the


company's website. Correct. Plumber Sam said he'd need to lift the


floorboards to investigate further. Andrew said no. So Sam left after


40 minutes, with a surprise. How much were you charged? �414.


Correct. Andrew, put your money into the lavatory. So a bog full of


catch, three unhappy customer, one seemingly dodgy work man and no


passes. That there is a plumber with a history of overcharging.


I'll start it, so I'll begin. What do we need now? I know this. We


need a house. We need a team member, or actor, to behave as a


householder, and we need a round of drinks for the team. I'll have to


take the first one - actually, I'll need a lot of cameras. We have the


Holy Trinity of rogue traders, house, old lady, secret traders.


Now, here's the plumber who has come along to fix the boiler.


hello there. Yes, do come in. Is it Tony? Yes. Hang on. All our


complainers had a plumber called Sam. Is Tony going to be any


better? It's a simple problem. This has fallen off. It seems so, as his


diagnosis is correct and his bill, not that bad. But this is odd


because we kept getting complaints about the company, so we call them


out again to a different house. With a member of our team, Tom,


playing the owner, and plumbing expert Danny Davis has reviewed the


action. Here is the fault for Express Plumbing Limited to fix -


the robe urt doughnut ring that sits between the system and the loo


pan is leaking. All it needs is replacement. Thank goodness the


emergency plumber is here. Ring or Hold on, did you say Sam? Are you


and Tony the same bloke? Actually, yes, and the real name is Mohammad


Shamrez, director of Express Plumbing. But today he is being Sam.


But is he being honest? Delayed his at the bottom, and when you flush


He has spotted the problem, should be a pretty easy job from here.


agreed on the phone to a whopping half-an-hour rate of �95, as it was


an emergency. So we are counting the cost from the moment he arrives.


How long should the job last? should take no longer than an hour.


An hour and a half would be the top end. 90 minutes. Just long enough


for Tom to rustle up a home-made pizza. Will he make it before Sam


is finished? He might do if Sam carries on like this. He has the


siphon there, it flushes the water into the toilet from the system.


Why he needs that, there is one in the toilet that works perfectly.


The bolts have come off with ease but Sam is in no hurry. Unlike Tom,


We can see there the doughnut. That is all that needs replacing, the


black rubber ring. Remember, this is a simple job, but Sam seems


determined to complicate it and stretch it out like pizza does.


has an operating valve, it is what fills the system with water but it


Someone has used silicon on this, you are not supposed to use


silicone. To be on the safe side, I would be better of changing it all


in one go. Somebody may have done that, but it is not affecting the


operation of these parts. So the parts are a necessary and, frankly,


so is this. -- the parts are unnecessarily. Sam, Tony, or


Mohammed obviously fancies himself as a kung-fu king, and when it


comes to time-wasting he reigns supreme. See how he manages it


later after the small, perfectly formed, Chris Hollins.


Charming. I love you the way you are.


And the good news is that at least I am not getting any smaller. Not


that you are telling us about more shrinking food. Remember, last week,


we featured Innocent smoothies, bachelor Cup a Soup and Cathedral


City cheddar, reduced inside but selling for the same price --


Batchelors' Cup a Soup. We have more, Cadbury's Roses, lighter


because they have 11 less chocolates in the 10th. What


flavours are missing? It looks like a very from tin to tin, but in that


one we are missing a few toffees. love the toffee, so much in common.


It is an outrage. That is what customers are selling because they


are paying the same price for the tin. Cadbury said the chocolates


are excellent value for money but they have had to make the


chocolates -- made the tins smaller because of rising prices. We have


Heinz Farmers' Market soup, down a whopping 22%. And the excuse was


that? They blame rising raw material prices but saving you can


have an improved recipe which helped towards a five day fruit and


veg requirement. And no doubt they have no control over the retail


price? That is right. And finally, Pepsi. Josie Hodges by a multipack


every week, 24 cans, 330 ml each. Last week, same-store, same price,


but hands were just 250 ml. Pepsi say the smaller cans have not


replaced the older ones, they are still available, and once again


they do not control the price in shops. But here is the best bet,


they have launched a new cans in response to consumer research that


says many people, especially women, would prefer the option of a


smaller tan. So it is down to you. Thank you, Pepsi, of course we


prefer spending the same money on a smaller car and.


Next, the RAC and that reassuring # Just like me, they long to be


The oldest motoring organisation in the country with more than 7


million members. They say every journey is important to them.


# Just like me, they long to be close to you... #.


Don't you hate it when this happens? You are in the middle of


nowhere, no doubt in a brush, and your car breaks down. -- no doubt


in a rush. Try to fix it yourself? Good look, you need and expect.


Which is why people join a motoring organisation like the RAC. They pay


their money and expect them to be there in their times of stress.


Isn't that right, Lesley? I was driving down the motorway and Mike


Carr engine cut out. When he called the RAC, they did not recognise him


on their system -- Mike Carr engine. It took several phone-calls to


convince them he was a member. was a freezing cold February night,


my life was put in potential danger. So he is not a happy customer. What


about Max Gilbert? Might clutch cable broke, so I called the RAC on


the premium rate number. I was on hold for 10 minutes and ran out of


credit so I decided to push my motorcycle across town to use a


phone there. I eventually got an answer, but I was told someone


would be with me within an hour. But they were not. In fact, a


mechanic took an hour and-a-half to arrive. The wrong kind of mechanic,


in the wrong kind of trip. It was a man with a normal fan that would


attend to cars, and very little knowledge of motorcycles. I was


countries as to why the wrong person had been sent out and


annoyed, -- I was confused. It had started to rain and the frustration


had grown and grown. It was around 3.5 hours until I got someone


capable of taking the bike away. Breaking down? Frustrating. Bad


customer-service? Infuriating! Your recovery service leaving you


stranded? You are kidding, aren't you? Sadly not. 18-year-old on a


free man broke down on the N11 and called the RAC full recovery. It


took the repair man nearly an hour and a half to arrive. And when he


did? They gave me two options, pay a private company to toe my car,


which would cost �155, or upgrade for �35 to get me back home. So she


paid the �35 to upgrade and get towed back to a mother's house. All


OK then? About 10 minutes into the genet, he got a call from what I


presume was his boss saying, what are you doing? -- 10 minutes into


the journey. He said, taking her home. The boss said, why? Get her


to pay the �155 or drop her off at the lay-by. The RAC later admitted


that the patrol man should not have offered the upgrade but had said to


drop her in a safe place. He dropped her in a lay-by. I was so


scared, I didn't know where I was, it was those very. I was frantic, I


did not know where she was, it took me an hour to find her. To see her


sitting in that car, I was livid. I could not believe they had just


dropped her. So instead of rescuing their


members by the roadside, the RAC are standing some of them up and


letting others down. As for being close to you, sometimes they would


rather just deal with you over the phone and even then the advice they


give can be dangerous. We were driving to the Lake


District to go walking, and we were just coming in to a service station,


Rebecca was driving. Pulled up the handbrake and it came off in hand.


I phoned the RAC expecting them to come out as they had in the past


when I had a problem, and they put me through to a technician who


basically told me it was mechanically sound to drive and I


should drive to the nearest garage, over 10 miles away. Driving without


a working handbrake is not only unsafe, it is illegal. Under the


Road Traffic offenders Act 1988, all parts of the law-breaking


system need to be in working order. The chances of having a hefty fine


for this is unlikely if you are heading to a garage. The bottom


line should be, is this? It is not safe to be on the road with a


faulty handbrake or emergency brake, as it is known, that is what it is


therefore. Would you use the RAC in future? Not at all, I have lost


confidence. Whatever they did now they could not restore my


confidence. I certainly will not be using the RAC in future. It has


been a total trauma. The advert shows this gentleman coming to the


rescue. It is not true, it is sad they do not treat their customers


directly. After these stories, they might


also want to rethink that lyric. The RAC has offered sincere


apologies to all of those we featured. It says it has acted


promptly to understand the reasons for each complaint and the lessons


learned will help prevent similar mistakes in the future. It says all


four occurred in the last six months, when it received more than


1.7 million breakdown calls and tapped over a million customers.


The average time to attend was 48 minutes.


Next, First Choice, one of the biggest travel companies in the UK


but no stranger to Watchdog. In May, we caught them taking bookings for


an aqua park in Sharm el-Sheikh that was not finished. We are sorry,


they said, the political unrest in Egypt caused building delays. Four


months on, same resort, another unfinished hotel? More unhappy


holidaymakers. What is the good of heat if you


cannot cool off? Especially if you are taking the children on holiday.


The millions of families booking their summer breaks, hotel pool


facilities are high on the checklist and there is plenty on


offer in the First Choice brochure. There are some really good looking


hotels here, all with water parks in sunny locations all over the


world. Here is one, the tropic Kana resort in Sharm El-Sheikh. It has


an unlimited on Side Water Park, 35 slides, great photographs, and a


young lad he called Tomic who claims to have been on every ride


and gives it 10 out of 10 -- called Tommy. What more could you want?


Proves it has been built would be nice. Call me suspicious, but First


Choice have performed for taking bookings or parks that are not


complete. This was another resort in Sharm el-Sheikh that we featured


in our Last Series. First Choice accepted bookings for the resort


months in advance and missed the deadline for opening it twice. It


did finally open in late May, but those who arrived earlier were


greeted with this. Lovely. They would not make the same mistake


again, would they? We booked the holiday online, we booked it about


January, and we were due to go on 19th May. When we got there on the


transfer bus, you could see scaffolding, a building site.


they would make the same mistake again. PS. This is the water park


that greeted them at the resort back in May. The representative


told them they should have received an e-mail saying the park was


unfinished before they threw out. We did receive an e-mail but it was


just a countdown to say, 30 days until you go, here are your holiday


essentials. No e-mail about the water park not being opened. They


paid �1,500 for their holiday. First Choice later offered them


just �10 each in compensation. It was a similar story for Clare


Thomas and her family, who built the Park in March and this is what


greeted them in May. All First Choice have offered them is �150


compensation for Clare's �1,500 holiday. I did get it, the


brochures have been out since last year as there is nothing to save


the slides had not been built. pictures are not labelled as


artists' impressions, and it says, you will find all sorts of slides


and shoots. And of course, we have Tommy there who has tried them all


But how can he mark slides that don't even exist? Customers are


asking similar questions on First Choice's Facebook site, the site


that has been advertising different opening dates all summer - four


different opening dates, in fact. Infuriating and frustrating, but at


least the online information was accurate. If you contacted the


company by phone, that wasn't always the case. Our researchers,


posing as holiday-makers, called them as late as July the 20th.


First Choice told us that the water park was definitely open and that


it had really good reviews. So why when we actually flew out to the


resort two-and-a-half weeks later were we greeted by this - parts of


the resort closed off, only half the 35 slides open, and building


work still clearly in progress? In fact, none of the slides in the


children's section were ready for use. When we arrived, we were told


that it wasn't completed. The only thing that was completed were the


slides that were for over 12-year- olds. So if your kids were over 12,


at least they could use the slides? Not necessarily. It said the adult


slides were available but had not been health-and-safety-checked by


First Choice, so they could not recommend we use them at all. Tommy


rates a ten out of ten. I can't understand how it can be reviewed


and rated that when it hasn't been built yet. It's really


disappointing. What's the latest news from out


there? On checking a couple of days ago, we were told the adult and


children's sections are both fully opened. Only four months late,


then! And after the kids have gone back to school.


Meanwhile, it seems the stress of the job has taken its toll on First


Choice's slide tester Tommy. He's gone from a rather youthful-looking


chap in the 2011 brochure to what looks like a greying 40-something


in the next brochure. Maybe he knows Watchdog is after him. He's


got a few questions to answer. How does Tommy plead? Well, as far


as the brochure's concerned, it's guilty. First Choice say they've


changed the wording in the new edition. They say their failure to


include phrases Leichhardtist's impression or planned appearance


was an exceptional mistake. What about the delayed opening? They


blame the workers in Egypt. Customers who booked were given a


choice of staying at another resort, cancelling and getting a refund or


switching to another property. They say they usually contact people


according to their departure date but say this caused confusion on


their Facebook site. They say they're sorry about the mixed


communications from their communications team. OK. Coming up:


going to see a weepy at any of these cinemas? If the movie doesn't


make you cry, I promise you, the price of the food should. Back to


Express Plumbing Limited of Bedford. Boss Sam is stringing out a loo job


so he can claim his exs torsionate fees. Will rehe finish it before


researcher Tom has finished his 90- minute meal? In a race against time,


Tom seems to be winning. In the kitchen, the pizza smells lovely.


Upstairs in the bathroom, something smells fishy.


Why is he making those sounds? What? Those sounds that make it


wasting has made him hungry. Now, maybe it's the smell of the pizza,


which is cooked and ready after one hour and ten minutes - oh, yum! As


we stuff our faces, Sam finally gets on with fitting our new parts,


been here, and he's finally said that he's actually finished.


done, all sorted and working fine. There you are, no leak? No leak,


totally dry. A result which could have been


achieved in a much shorter time at a much cheaper price.


What's the damage then? �700.97. Well, drain my hose - �700


including parts and VAT for a job that should have cost �82 according


to five local plumbers we called. Somebody say Whoa! Whoa! That's a


lot, isn't it? Not only that, he left us with a


leak where there wasn't one before. Some would say we have this rogue


bang to rights, but it's still not enough. Are you serious? I am


always serious. I'd like to see Sam - or Tony - doing his thing all


over again, then I would like to take sounds from the first job he


did, set them to music, and play the whole lot back to him on a big


telly. To make him realise in a moment of epiphany he has been


filmed all the time. Exactly, and we'll film that too.


same expert. So Danny, tell us about the frault you're going to


set today? Very simple, one ball valve cock, whatever you want to


call it. All I am going to do is adjust the arm in here so water is


going to keep flowing longer than it normally would and it will


overflow - simple but effective. Away you go. Simple to fix too. All


he needs is a new float valve. The job shouldn't take longer than an


hour. As for the music, that's DJ Drag It Out, also known as


researcher Hannah, who will confront Sam with the video


evidence and teach me to dance like a young person, but before that,


can she complete her 60-minute set before he finishes his very


expensive bathroom job? He's quoted us �110 per half hour for his


labour, which is staggering, would you say? Uh-huh. Sam is it? Yeah,


that's it. Sam's clock starts ticking from the moment he steps


through the door, so ours will as diagnosis. All he needs to do now


system down. This is going to take a whole lot longer than it should.


That's bad news for us, but no problem for Sam who is an expert


time waster. He settles down as the water, and our money, drains away.


Meanwhile, our DJ is well into her set which comprises mostly of happy


house and handbag trans. MUSIC


I am 100% certain that this is drained down now, so he should just


be getting to the job in hand. seen zombie flicks where people


move quicker. There is nothing Hang on a minute. There is


something happening. 28 minutes into the job, it looks like Sam has


spotted our cam. Have we been rumbled, Sam?


Well, you'll have to keep watching to find out, won't you? We'll be


going to the bathroom again in ten minutes. We hope we can hold it in


until then - the excitement, that is. A quick update on your texts


and e-mails. Lots of you getting in touch about shrinking food. Here is


one, Georgina Turner has been in touch about Cadbury's Animal


Chocolate Biscuits. The multipacks used to contain eight 20-gram pacts.


It's now been changed to six 22- gram packets, but the price is the


same. Also Muller-light yogurts are down in size, but no price change.


Have there been any e-mails about your swimming shorts with pink


flowers? Yes, there is lots of e- mails about that, so we'll have


Speedos next week. So exciting. Next, cinema popcorn, no smaller,


but the price, a lot bigger, at least since Rick Wakeman last


visited. I used to love going to the


pictures - ornate old cinemas, classic movies, matinee idols. All


right. All right! I am not that old. Mind you, I can remember the days


when cinema snacks didn't cost a fortune. I'll have some popcorn,


please. Sure. That's �4.50, please. How much? That's daylight robbery.


Yep, we all know cinema popcorn is expensive, but lately, it's become


even more so. Take a deep breath - here's what the three largest


chains charge for a small portion in London. At Vue, a small box is


�4.70 or �3.15 per hundred grams. At Odeon, a small box is �3.95 or


�5.27 per hundred grams. And then there's Cineworld. Their small bag


is �4, which works out at a whopping �6.45 per hundred grams!


think it's ridiculous, so expensive, especially when you're taking three


kids with you. I think it's terrible when you just want to the


get in and watch a movie quickly. You can go to the supermarket and


get something ten times less of the price. It ruins it. Of course, we


don't have to bite, but we are a captive audience, and if we fancy a


snack during a movie, the cinemas have got us exactly where they want


us. In fact, one chain, Cineworld, seems a bit too keen on eliminating


any competition. We went to the cinema as sort of a friends and


family group, and we were shocked when the children's bags were


searched. My friend had some popcorn she had brought from home.


Subsequently, we weren't allowed to take it in. Obviously, the cinema


realise if people bring their own food and drink, they won't make as


much profit. So how much money are they making out of popcorn? I


combined this ready-made bag from the supermarket for just 91p per


hundred grams, yet if you buy a small portion, Cineworld sell


theirs for a massive �6.45 per hundred grams. If this is what


they're flogging in the foyer, that would be a 600% mark-up. But of


course, it's even higher than that because the cinemas buy their


popcorn in bulk from whole salers. Will those same wholesalers sell to


individuals? I'm after a rather large quantity of popcorn and some


boxes. Actually, a few of them will as


long as the order is big enough. By making a bulk order, we managed to


get pre-popped popcorn for around 33p per 100 grams and 10p for the


small boxes that go with it. That means if I were to make up a 62-


gram portion of popcorn, similar to this Cineworld bag, then that would


be 21p for the popcorn, plus the price of the box, a total of 31p.


Now, remember, Cineworld sell this size for �4. Now, using these sums,


that would deliver them just under a 1,200% mark-up. Very tasty! But


according to some, that still doesn't reflect what the cinema


chains make. Well, if you can get hold of popcorn of 33p per hundred


grams, it's obvious these cinemas are going to be getting it even


cheaper, and their margin is going to be higher, but we have to bear


in mind the price of a ticket doesn't recover their costs. They


have the building costs. They have staffing costs. They need to make


money from concessions, and that is the reason that the margins are so


high. That's right. The cinemas charge these prices on the ground,


so they'd make loose otherwise, which seems odd to me, as last year


cinema attendances hit one of their highest rates for 25 years. In 2010,


we bought 169 million tickets. That's a lot of people. They all


need feeding, and I reckon they Welcome to my popcorn stand, where


you can buy popcorn for just 31p. At least, I thought you could. A


slight oversight on my behalf. Tens out that because of my working for


the BBC, I am not able to sell it. -- it turns out. So I will have to


give it away instead. Free popcorn! Come and get your grumpy old


popcorn! There you don't. Want some free popcorn? Save your pocket


money and buy your mother a present. 31p, bat is all each box costs may.


If I shifted 100 a day and sold them for what the multiplex does, I


would clear �2,500 a week. It beats playing the piano for and it thing.


A few responses, Vue saved their pricing is in line with other


venues and well food and drink is an optional extra, customers are


welcome to bring their own snacks to the cinema. That is the case


with Odin, and say they offer a range of deals -- with Odeon. One


consists of popcorn, a drink and sweets for �2.99. Cineworld say


they offer great value compared with other activities and the price


of popcorn is affected by things other than just the draw costs of


the ingredients. But why are Cineworld searching people's backs?


They say it is for other reasons, security, stamping out piracy. They


do ask people not to bring in their own food and drink but have


apologised for the surge, saying it could have been done more


sensitively. -- for the search.


Moshi Monsters. If your kids are between six and 12 you are probably


sick of hearing those words. The free internet game and social


networks fight has become a phenomenon with 40 million


registered users in the UK -- social networking site. Children


are given a cyber monster to look after and those who pay a monthly


membership they have access to a virtual zoo where they collect


Monster pets called moshlings. But the makers Mind Candy have


introduced a new monster, Dustbin Beaver, see what they did? He


completes the set but can only be collected if children agreed to pay


an additional �32.99 a year to subscribe to the Moshi Monsters


Magazine. Mind Candy admit there have been complaints, and say they


are trying to come up with a solution that is fair to everyone,


but parents want the magazine subscription plans thrown out. Over


to you, dustbin. Feeling under the weather? Don't


rely on your smart phone for help. Researchers at the University of


Bath found 6,000 apps offering advice for health problems, but


more than two-thirds of them were created with no input from medical


professionals. Some of the most popular ones claimed to have


control pain, focusing on my brains, backache and arthritis, but


researchers say there is no regulatory body monitoring the


quality of the advice, which could be misleading. Which would explain


why this has not cured my man cold. A crispy chicken fajita dinner


sounds nice, looks delicious. One problem, no chicken. Makers Old El


Paso tried to persuade us to buy the Fahey ticket with this mouth-


watering advert. -- the for heater kit.


Introducing mouth-watering for heaters. -- fajitas. Crammed with


chicken, lettuce and sour cream. But look at the text, chicken not


included, and neither was the letters of sour cream. Not good


enough, say the Advertising Standards Authority. From now on,


Mexican is off the menu, the advert has been banned.


Back in Sam, also known as Tony, also known as Mohammed, boss of


Express Plumbing Limited of Bedford. His name is confusing but don't get


theirs mixed up with anyone else's. We have seen him time wasting, we


have seen him over charging, but, That is interesting, he is looking


in all of the corners of the room. At this point we were expecting him


to run downstairs and confront us, but he does not. Maybe he does this


in every house he visit? Looks like he is continuing to do his job.


Checking his e-mail has taken us past the half-hour mark. We are now


on �220 just for Labour, of which there has not been much. While our


many cop shows the cost per second, Sam charges for the whole half-an-


hour the moment it starts. The good news is that we are not paying for


I'm just going to put bat there. That is better. -- to put that


Did he just spit on the floor? Did he? Yes.


OK, the hour is up, you can stop dancing.


She may have finished to 60 minutes set and the off of oxygen, but Sam


is a long way off. He has not decided where to fit the new part


and is still racking up �110 for every new half-an-hour. It looks


like he is trying to put the valve in the other side. Is there any


need for that? None whatsoever. is worse than useless. Why? He may


have removed the over fly which would mean if this fails in the


future it would not overflow outside, it would come in the


property. Said this could lead to the bathroom flooding? -- so this


Batted it, look at that. In to the 4th half-an-hour -- that is it. The


job should have taken an hour but he charges us for two hours after


taking an hour and three-quarters If the new valve ever fails, the


water will flow inside. Thanks, Sam. Do you know how much? We checked


ourselves with five local plumbers, who said it should cost �82.


�628.60. It is clearly time for me to make an appearance, just as he


was asked to stay to watch a little What is going on? �628. Tony, Sam,


or should we call the Mohammad Shamrez? It was almost worth �628


for the most astonishing display of time-wasting I think I have ever


seen, which included yawning, stretching, it included the kung-fu


moves, it included staring at nothing in particular. Easy as you


go. It is a bit of a tricky corner, this one. OK, you are clear. See


you! At this point I would normally make a pithy closing remark, but


suddenly this one wants to see me again.


In what planet could you possibly charge �628 for what you did and


did not de there? Who read the book To Ten was told a rate of �110, you


probably had it recorded -- whoever booked it was told. You have left


us with a job with no overflow pipe. If it overflows, it will go in the


room. No, what type of thing is put in there? They don't go wrong.


never go wrong? Day never go wrong. It is more to do with the time that


you spent sitting on the lavatory. I got delayed putting that a foul


on there. Delayed like this? What was this about -- putting the valve


on there. The other thing you cameras need to know, it is not as


simple as turning off the stopcock and changing the valve, because the


water was coming from the cold water storage system. There is an


isolation valve in the airing cupboard. Well that is new, there


is rarely an isolation valve for the whole system. You never looked,


so you never found it. It is very rare, ask any plumber.


He denied everything, including calling himself Tony.


I am not Tony, you spoke to someone else. I have never called myself


Toni. Do come in, is it Tony? were there 34 minutes in all, a


good job he was not charging me for it. I am sure you do not have the


time for this, have a nice day, thank you very much. No shocking


next time, don't grab me next time. You know what I mean, I didn't like


it. That is a window into... It was shocking, the way you grab people.


Please don't do that again. Have a nice day. Thank you, goodbye.


There des Mohammad Shamrez, back of two cuckoo land, or wherever else


they think it is acceptable to charge as much as he did for as


Meanwhile, back on Planet Earth, we can confirm Sam is called Sam,


short for Mohammad Shamrez. Still a long way off Tony. We have received


a number of letters from his company which say that Sam knew he


was being filmed and saying he denies leaving us with a leap at


the second property and replacing part unnecessarily. They admit they


are more expensive than your local plumber but say they spend


thousands on advertising and all of the engineers have an iPad. Lucky


them. They tried to get an engineer out within one or two out was so


they say they provide a specialist service. So are we, letting you


know about people like Mohammad Shamrez, the latest phase on our


Rogue Traders Gallery. -- the latest phase.


Not the are unhappy with the extended warranties being sold by,


it -- a lot of you are unhappy. We have had text messages from some


Comet employers, very interesting and we may come back to that later


in the series. Lots of e-mails about the RAC, mostly from people


and say they had the same sorts of experiences.


Cinema-goers are unhappy, not with the movies but the price of the


food, not just popcorn but �4 they did buy it for a hot dog with


Portadown catch-up -- �4.35 for a hot dock with watered down in


ketchup. Keep sending those in to us. You


can click on the website or you can Thank you.


Next week, Barclays, Lloyds, RBS, they mis-sold hundreds of PPI plans.


If you are using a company to get your money back, you could be


fleeced again. Lancome, Maybelline, air brushing


persuades you to buy. Who else is making sneaky claims?


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