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How well do rail lines conduct themselves?*

This post was written in collaboration with CALLCARE.
CALLCARE recognise that there can be nothing worse than bad communication and poor products, when it comes to customer service. We’ve all had issues with contacting a company’s customer service and it seeming like an impossible task. Like a phone line that is only open during the hours you work, or such a long response period that your issue becomes nullified in the end.
When it comes to train and tram travel, delays and faults are unavoidable.We all get on with this, and sometimes companies can be able to help out customers affected. Looking at the EU for the legislation getting me a damn lot of compensation when I was stuck in Vilnius Airport for a stupid amount of time a few years ago. When it comes to travel upsets, we all need a speedy response from customer services. There’s a lot on the line, whether you miss your train or make it, whether you end up stuck in a station for hours but are on the bounce.
CALLCARE wanted to find out how long it took customer service accounts in the UK for train and tram companies to respond to tweets from customers.  By looking at their Twitter feeds, they found an average of how long each company took to respond. There were definitely some surprising stats due to the fast paced nature of the industry. Check out the full #RailResponse research here and check the infographic below.
I get the train everyday for work in Liverpool, and I’m reliant on TFL a lot when I’m in London so I have a boatload of customer service stories.
When it comes to London Northwestern, who aren’t listed due to not having an active Twitter account, my woes are going unheard about trains going from being on time in the morning to suddenly being 25 minutes late.
Virgin Trains are always super responsive, whether I’m living up North or in London, they’re one I’ve had to rely on. That changes soon, as they’re losing the line for their lack of a decent pension plan for their staff. However, their customer service response rates are high, with a 4 minute average response time, and quick assistance to me in the times I’ve had my seat double booked, needed tickets changing last minute, or had issues like my ticket being locked on a different phone sat in a drawer 200 miles away. That was a bad one. However, their lack of respect to their own staff has caused them to lose some of the most profitable train lines in the UK and may cause their collapse.
Merseyrail, one local to Liverpool, respond in a nice 7.2 minutes, way ahead of the average at 15 mins. I’ve never had a real issue with Merseyrail, I used to rely on it everyday when I volunteered in the arse end of the city as a student. However, I did get shouted at for having my feet on the seats once. My fault, I guess.
TFL and London Overground are backing up the pack, with pretty slow response times. Though, these people are dealing with likely a larger amount of tweets than anyone else due to how many people use the Underground and Overground, as well as a lack of station staff available due to budget cuts. However, every interaction I’ve had with TFL staff, as well as DLR staff, as this was my local line, has been amazing and something I can’t really fault!
What experiences with train and tram lines have you had?
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How much are men willing to spend on clothes?*

This article was created in collaboration in collaboration with Chums.
How much do you spend on clothes? How much are clothes worth to you?
Recently, Chums ran a survey across 10 major UK cities to find out who would spend the most on clothes, as well as how much each city was willing to spend on each item of clothing. You can check out the full research here, and an infographic below.
In collaboration with Chums, I’m going to be walking through my spending habits.
I’m Liverpool born and raised (discounting living in London for a bit and spending a lot of time there), so we’re gonna focus on the spending habits there.
Turns out, us in Liverpool are likely to spend a massive £40 less in total on a selection of items () than the first place city, Birmingham.
T-Shirt – £19
In Liverpool, we’re willing to spend £19 on a T-shirt. Judging off the last T-shirt I bought, which was a Uniqlo plain green tee at £9.99, it looks like my spending habits are lower! Although, I always end up paying more for terrible quality band T-shirts, and spending less on higher-quality shirts that don’t have some indie band slapped on. Not sure how good I feel about that. Though that’s more of an issue with venues taking huge chunks from a band’s merch sales at a gig, rather than an issue with the bands themselves. The music industry is vicious and has driven the prices of merch way high for us consumers, and the margin the artists see is minimal.
Jumper – £19
The most I’ve spent on a sweatshirt was £30 and I *still* feel some type of way about that (it was band merch lol). I’d say in general, I spend about £20 on a jumper. I can tell I’m getting older and a bit more aware about spending ethically, as I’ve become more eager to spend a little bit more on a longer-lasting, better quality jumper than a £6 Primark one that will fall apart in two washes.
Jeans – £39
This is almost bang on for me. I spend most of my life in black skinny jeans, so I have been through the market looking for the best affordable pair. I *think* River Island sells the best ones, for about £33. The pairs I’ve had have lasted through many, many wears, especially since they’re essentially my chosen uniform for work, so I can’t recommend them enough.
Trainers – £59
For me, this varies massively. I love a good pair of Vans or Converse, coming in about £50 a pair. Though the last shoes I bought were from Pull & Bear for a cool £6, so who knows what my real spending limit is. The most I can recall having spent on trainers was £60 on a pair of Nike Cortez’s a few years back that are still going strong, despite being a little bit battered. I’ve seen people in Liverpool drop way more than £59 on trainers, so I’m gonna assume this is an average as I have an inkling this city loves trainers that cost a *tad* more.
Occasion Shoes – £39
I hate shoes that aren’t trainers. If they aren’t comfy, I don’t want them. I’ll spend about £35 on these, as I need a pair that look good and feel damn good too.
Work Shoes – £39
Work shoes for me are trainers, a dream come true tbh, so I’m gonna class my spending habits as £28, a nice in between of £6 and £50.
Underwear – £19
If this is £19 a pair, I need to get my life together. I love a multipack and a deal, I am in no way spending £19 a pair, though I was gifted an amazing pair of BN3TH boxers a while back, they’re incredible and retail about £15, so I’ll go off that. That’s my aspiration.
Bag – £49
I treated myself for the last bag I bought, £45 on a Herschel bag from TK Maxx. I get an awful lot of buyer’s remorse and I’m a bit stingy on accessories and things, but dropping £45 on a high-quality backpack has been a gamechanger for me. I’m obsessed with it and would 100% drop that cash all over again.
Jewellery – £19
All I wear is a watch, and that watch is a standard Casio that cost me the grand total of £12. Love it. Not the most fancy, but it does the job.
My total comes to £226 as opposed to £301, the average for Liverpool. I’m putting this down to the fact my money tends to go elsewhere, I love to travel and put all of my cash into that. And as much as I love trainers, I save them to wishlist instead of buying them, one day eh?
Thanks to Chums for working with me on this post, and for getting me to review my buying habits. See how your’s stack up too!
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Am I Wasting My Time Blogging?

blog coffee book

This is a topic I’ve been sitting on for a while as I’ve watched many friends and peers in the blogging world decide to shift away from traditional ‘blogging’, to photography, freelance consultancy, LinkedIn posts and anything else that has began to gain traction- or just pack the whole thing in completely.

Its not only the blogging world that seems to have hit a bump, so many written content based websites have been taking hits as of late, as a freelance writer and music journalist, I’m beginning to see this more and more often. Great websites, with great content, written by fantastic people are having to close and axe their activities simply as it isn’t profitable anymore, it isn’t leading anywhere and what was a project of passion has become an intense burden. It’s often I receive e-mails from sites I’ve contributed to over the years to say that things have to change, that the formats that worked for so long are dying. So as it goes, we watched the 2005 movie version of War of the Worlds, not the 1938 radio drama after all.

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Goodbye 2018!

I was going to start this joke off with a tweet about having not showered since 2018, but it seems I started last year’s send off in that exact same manner. And also it’s a few days into 2019, so you better hope I’ve showered since 2018. Let’s recap another 365 days on the planet shall we. Typing ‘365’ with some confidence as I’m pretty sure 2018 wasn’t a leap year, don’t really know though. Continue Reading →

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My Year in Music

Oh it’s the most wonderful time of year, it’s Spotify Wrapped day! Every year I get overly exciting for a personalised playlist and stats about who I’ve been listening to this year, even though I already know because I’m the one doing the listening. Either way, this is a great old day.

Every year I document my stats on my blog, more so for myself, but if you fancy a gander, you can find them all here: 2015, 2016, 2017.

Top 5 Artists

1) Bastille (Last Year: 1)

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