The Sun steals copyright – an update

28 08 2012

Well, well, the power of Twitter appears to have worked. Within a couple of hours the online article has been updated and is now crediting me with the image.

Thanks to everyone who retweeted postings and shared on Facebook. However, I would really like to see if and how the print version of the article credited the image. If anyone accidentally bought the Sunday Sun in Scotland at the weekend and still happens to have it, could they share a scan of the article with me to decide if I am going to take this matter further with them?

Thanks again for your quick action and support (so far)…


The Sun steals copyright

28 08 2012

It would appear that I attract large multi-national companies who believe that their size means they can treat the little man any way that they wish and get away with it. Those who know me will understand that I am not prepared to let this happen and will happily use the power of social media to both obtain justice and raise awareness. This time it is the news empire headed by Rupert Murdoch that has decided to challenge my patience. I must state at the outset that I have very little sympathy for this organisation and the approach it takes to doing business – there are countless well documented stories of how they abuse their position – that said this particular campaign would have been carried out against any media organisation that misuses their position.

A model friend of mine excitedly contacted me a few weeks ago to tell me that The Sun newspaper had contacted her to run an article on her career as a fetish model and asked if I would allow her to use on the photographs I had taken of her be used in the article. Despite my already expressed dislike of the newspaper, I pragmatically agreed that I would allow the model to provide the image on the strict condition that I was credited in a very specific manner “Richard Dyson – Trixta Photography” on the basis that I could then use the image as tear sheet material for my own portfolio. The article has now been published online (and I believe it has also been issued in the print version as well although I haven’t seen a confirmed copy of the article yet) and as you can see from the attached screen grab, taken just a few minutes ago on 29 August 2012, they have decided to not only miss the required credit but also claim that they own copyright of the image given that I have not provided them with licence for usage and are also offering the image for syndication purposes.


I have, of course, spoken with the model concerned and she has confirmed that she expressly advised The Sun the credit that should be applied to the image. Whilst I have no reason to believe she didn’t request the credit a multi-national media organisation such as News International  should carry out the correct due diligence on its use of media and obtain the correct licence from the copyright owner of the image. In reality they don’t bother and think they can get away with it – not in this case!

I have sent an invoice for a reasonable amount, in line with industry standards, for the use of the image to The Sun and almost 24 hours later I am still to receive anything other than an automated acknowledgement so it would appear that the means to stimulate a response turns once again to a blog-post and the assistance of social media. Can I urge photographers and indeed any other creatives to raise awareness of this unscrupulous behaviour by Murdoch’s empire by re-tweeting and commenting on this post.

Whilst doing so, it would also be worthwhile to raise the awareness of a similar case this time involving Marks and Spencer and a very talented woman Rachael Taylor. Her story is available here and equally needs the support of anyone who believes in the right of creative ownership

Introducing the 2012 calendar

20 10 2011

For the past four years I have been producing a calendar for family and friends and during this year I have gone all out to capture images that have a general theme of landscapes. I am really pleased with the images I have captured and I’m now at the stage where I have produced a calendar which this year I am offering for general sale. There are three calendars available, all using the same set of images;

Option A – A3 Wall Calendar (40cm x 30cm) – Cost £25 – features spiral bound black pages, double side printed on high quality 250 gsm card.

Option B – A4 Wall Calendar (28cm x 21cm) – Cost £22 –  features spiral bound black pages, double side printed on high quality 250 gsm card.

Option C – Desk Calendar (24cm x – Cost £18 – features spiral bound black pages, double side printed on high quality 250 gsm card.

If you are interested in purchasing a calendar from me, simply send an e-mail to stating the numbers you require of each calendar and where you would like them to be delivered to and make a payment to my Paypal account for the correct amount.

These high-quality calendars will make a superb christmas present or  simply fantastic for you to view 13 great images throughout the year.

Edinburgh Tourist Blocking Tactics

19 08 2011

Over the last couple of weeks I have been working for Three Weeks photographing various events around the Edinburgh Fringe. As a result I believe I have identified a concerted attempt by tourists travelling around Edinburgh to prevent the locals of Edinburgh from getting around by deploying several tactics to block the streets of Edinburgh. In my research I have identified the top 11 (top 10’s are so passee) tactics that I have seen working well. Feel free to let me know if I have missed any and I’ll add to the list.

1. The Walk Apart

This is the simplest of the tactics and involves the tourists walking side by side. There are two key elements to the walk though, the first is velocity which will be at dawdling pace and the second is spacing – it is key that the distance apart is just insufficient to allow the local to cut between the two tourists and also sufficient to ensure that the gap between roads and buildings doesn’t allow a sidewards overtaking manoeuvre.

Fig 1. The Walk Apart

2. The Chicane

This is a variation of The Walk Apart and is again a dawdling paced tactic. Here the tourists not only create a gap that is impossible to cut between, they also create an added dimension of one walking slightly ahead of the other, making the overtake much more difficult.

Fig 2. The Chicane

3. The Diamond

We are now getting into much more complicated patterns and using larger groups of tourists. I have noted that this one is particularly popular with the latin tourists (possibly due to the size of families) and is a combination of The Walk Apart and The Chicane. The tourists create a diamond shape which contains all the blocking difficulties of the first two tactics and brings them together into one of the hardest formations to beat.

Fig. 3 The Diamond

4. The ‘Look, Edinburgh has a Castle’

This tends to be a Princes Street tactic, and is most successfully deployed by the asian tourist. They lure the unwitting local into thinking that the tourist is ‘one of us’ by walking at a good pace – this is the case until they spring the surprise manoeuvre of stopping instantly to stand and stare at the Castle that suddenly appears from nowhere. The effect is almost impossible for the local to avoid.

Fig. 4 The 'Look, Edinburgh has a Castle'

5. The Crab

A variant of The Walk Apart which requires the tourists to walk in the same slow pace, however, as the local approaches for the attempted overtake, the tourists start to veer toward the road forcing the local to either slow down or move into the road and face the wrath of the Lothian Transport driver.

Fig 5 The Crab

6. The 90 Degree

This isn’t too dissimilar to The ‘Look, it’s Edinburgh Castle’ but can take place on any street that contains the tourist tat shops. As the tourist is drawn to the shiny things (or more likely tartan and ginger things) in the shop window they create a much larger obstacle as they stop and turn. The key element here is that one of the tourists will stand in the middle of the pavement whilst the other one stares.

Fig 6 The 90 Degree

7. The Umbrella

Really only used during the Fringe period when the annual monsoon season arrives. Here the cunning tourist uses the umbrella as a weapon to prevent any local brave enough to attempt to overtake The Walk Apart. There are, of course, many variants of this tactic as it can be used with any of the other manoeuvres.

Fig 7 The Umbrella

8. The Child

Here the weapon of choice is a small child. The tourists look to have created The Walk Apart poorly and have left a gap large enough for the local make the cut-through overtake. However, at the last minute this is blighted by the appearance of the small child who will invariably undertake their own Look, Edinburgh has a castle and stop sufficiently quickly to allow the tourist to plough into the child who is able to deploy the head to the groin.

Fig 8. The Child

9. The Suitcase

This tactic tends to be deployed close to Waverley Station and requires the tourists to find the busiest time of the day and drag an over-sized suitcase through the streets. It is always good for the tourist to deploy this in conjunction with The Crab. This is another manoeuvre which can result in physical injury to the local and is therefore highly popular with the tourists.

Fig 9 The Suitcase

10. The Street Performer

The next two tactics are generally deployed on High Street (or Royal Mile as the tourists prefer to incorrectly call it) and are aided and abetted by performers. The first is the large crowd that will gather around yet another person creating a tight-rope by two of said tourists and then walking across it whilst juggling sharpened knives or fire. The tourists gather in droves to ensure that there is no way for the local who has to walk along High Street to perhaps collect a parking permit from the council offices (no local would choose to walk along High Street in August).

Fig 10 The Street Performer

11. The Drama Student

Again a High Street tactic, this time involving a second year drama student who believes that the most innovative way to hand out flyers is to lie in the middle of the street or stand on a bollard, after all, nobody has ever thought of that before.. The tourist will interact with this display and cause an impossible blockage for the council office attending local to pass.

Fig 11 The Drama Student

I am sure that now the tactics of the tourists have been revealed that there will be some new ones that will appear. I urge any resident of Edinburgh who identifies either a way to combat the above tactics or identifies new ones to be deployed so that I can provide a public service to the locals of Edinburgh.

Never shop at Dixons Group, they don’t KNOWHOW to do Customer Service

26 07 2011

My long running dispute with Currys, part of Dixons Retail plc has come to an end, by no means a happy one, but one that at least allows me to get on with doing things I enjoy as opposed to chasing incompetents within the organisation to resolve what should have been a very simple complaint. At the bottom of this post I have included the letter sent by members of Currys ‘Customer Action Team’ and also from the KNOWHOW franchisees who are responsible for delivery – make your own mind up about them, I’m not going to comment on the complaint any more. However,I do want to end this whole sorry episode with some recurring themes that have popped up through the month and half this has been running for.

Pretty much all the people I have spoken to about Currys or Dixons or PC World have all expressed some form of dissatisfaction that has led them to state to me; “I never shop with them now, my expectation is to receive crap experience and it’s usually what I got”. Customers with this point of view are never going to back unless things change significantly – and for information Sebastian James and Katie Bickerstaffe, that change isn’t just rebranding the failed ‘Techguys’ as ‘KNOWHOW’ and expecting anything different.

The other common response I receive from people is that they will only ever go to John Lewis now, yes things may go wrong – they always will and I can accept that as long as they try and prevent it going wrong in the future – but when they do go wrong they fix it quickly and effectively. The repeat business and additional business when customers tell their friends more than outweighs the immediate short-term loss. I’ll be following that advice in the future, just as lots of poor comments are a good indication of poor service the number of positive comments I have received about John Lewis are a good indication of a good experience for the customer.

So what could Currys have done better to improve my experience? Rather than repeat some old-ground on their call centre I made some suggestions in the first post relating to the first point of contact complaint and I’d urge Sebastian James to go there and read what I suggested. I’m assuming he may read the blog given the number of people who pointed him this way yesterday evening (thanks very much for doing so) – sadly, he didn’t have the guts or simply couldn’t be bothered to respond.

However, after I complained to John Browett CEO of the organisation the customer experience could have been better and I shall comment on these learnings for Sebastian to review should he be able to do so whilst also fitting in the various government reviews he gets asked to do (and no doubt paid for) by his ex-school buddy David Cameron;

  • The customer has a contract with Currys (or whichever part of the business they have the misfortune to buy from), therefore don’t hide behind organisational boundaries and get different parts of the organisation respond to different parts of the complaint – seek advice from them, yes, but then speak to the customer as the combined voice of the organisation.
  • Given the immediacy of an e-mail do not press send and leave the business for the day, especially when supervisors or team leaders have left – this gives the impression that the thought process of your ‘Customer Action Team’ is “the message I just sent was a difficult one, I know it hasn’t addressed the concerns of the customer and I am not going to get into that discussion tonight”. If it’s a difficult one and you can’t justify the answer – it’s probably because the answer isn’t right.
  • A very simple one, when you say you are going to make a call, refund a charge, send an e-mail – do it when you said you were going to do it. So many occasions throughout the process I was chasing responses from the organisation because they didn’t do something as simple as make a call. I stressed to them every time that I would rather hear from them to say they need more time than not hear from them.
  • This one is directed at Sebastian James (if anyone else needs to try and contact him his twitter address is @dixonsops). If you chose to open up a Social Media presence in a public area like Twitter and clearly state in your user name that you are representing Dixons then be prepared to receive customer comments and respond to them. Again, my experience would have been better if I had received a tweet saying you will get someone to look into it – instead you buried your head in the sand and ignored social-media pressure and made my experience even worse. Go back a few paragraphs and read again what I said about the change that will bring back customers and how it needs to be real – so far Sebastian James all I see from you is paying lip-service and spinning a story that customer experience is so important to you.
I’ll finish here and re-iterate a message I would like anyone who reads this to follow;


– you can find these on the Wikipedia page for Dixons Retail plc.
Thanks to everyone who re-tweeted, posted on Facebook, spread through word of mouth the appalling service I have received and if anyone knows a flooring company that can replace my floor for half price please point them my way.
To close off the sorry tale, here are the last four mails, two from different parts of Dixons Retail plc and my final responses.
Date: 25 July 2011 19:24

Dear Mr Dyson

Firsly, please again accept my sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused to you in relation to the delivery of your appliance, or in dealing with your claim.

I believe you have been speaking to one of my colleagues Melanie Robinson, First Line Manager from our Call Centre in relation to your telephone conversations to the Call Centre and also to Tom Littlejohn, Operations Manager for our Franchisee CW Scotland since our initial telephone conversation in relation to the points raised in your letter.

I understand that Mr Littlejohn has offered you compensation to the sum of £250 to cover the damage to your your flooring, or the option to pursue the damage claim through his Insurance Company and that Melanie Robinson has offered you £50 as a goodwill gesture over and above this sum. It is also my understanding that you have declined this compensation.

I would like to clarify that we have completed an investigation in relation to the delivery of your appliance and confirm that the individual who visited your home on our behalf has now left the company.

Please be assured that we have taken learnings from your experience and put processes in place to ensure that no other customers are similarly disappointed.

I understand that we have failed to meet your timeslot and provide you with the high level of service which we would normally provide. I would like to make a final offer you to the sum of £350 in total as a good will geature in order that we may bring this matter to conclusion for you. This offer is made to you in full and final settlement of your claim.

Kind Regards

Lynn Liddell

Site Manager

Knowhow Customer Service Centre


Mob: 07739 653219

From: Richard Dyson
Date: 25 July 2011 22:09

Prior to me responding to this e-mail, can you provide me with the e-mail address of Melanie Robinson. I have asked on several occasions that the two elements of the complaint are considered together along with the additional complaint that I have raised concerning the poor customer service I have received as part of the complaints process. For absolute clarity these three elements are;

1. The poor service received by your delivery crew including the damage caused by them which I have already stated has been quoted to me as £575 plus VAT

2. The poor service that has been provided by the call centre in Sheffield where they called me a liar and handled my first point of contact complaint in a disgraceful way.

3. The abysmal way in which the complaint has been handled – there has been poor attitude from members of staff (primarily in the Customer Action Team); not returning calls when promised; refusal to respond to all elements of the complaint in one communication; the amount of time I have had to invest in getting you to provide responses; poor quality responses, including your own, that contain simple spelling mistakes evidencing the importance you place on customer service; the assertion I have turned down the offer of your insurance company – I turned down the derisory offer of £100 and since this time you have prevaricated in engaging your insurance company.

You may wish to reconsider your e-mail based on this feedback and finally respond in a way that represents the combined views of all areas of Currys.

I have asked Melanie to call me before 10am tomorrow and I still expect this telephone call where I shall raise the same issues as I have stated here. I have also been trying to engage Sebastian James through his twitter account and used significant social media contacts to raise the poor service awareness with him. I shall continue to use this medium until such time as I receive a response which meets my requirements expressed in various e-mails and telephone conversations.


Date: 26 July 2011 13:28

Dear Mr Dyson

Following on from our recent telephone call this morning, I am able to confirm that I am now in receipt of the decision in respect of your complaint, issued by Lynn Liddell our Scotland site Manager.

I see from the mail sent that Lynn has offered you a more than generous sum of money, £350.00, in respect of your complaint about the delivery aspects of your matter, inclusive of your property damage claim.

During our conversations we have discussed the poor communications that you have witnessed and as a result of your feedback, I have initiated my own internal investigations with the members of staff that have touched your good self at some point on your journey with us.

I proposed to offer you £50.00 because of the experience that you have encountered when you initiated correspondence between you and our Contact Centre, this offer remains.

This further offer means that your total compensation package reaches a sum of £400.00 in full and final settlement of your claim, without prejudice from the KNOWHOW™ team.

May I assure you that we will continue to improve our business end to end to ensure that this type of complaint is eradicated and that further purchases that you may make in the future will result in you receiving a standard of service that not only meets your expectations but exceeds them.

Please let me know as soon as possible if you wish to accept our offer, I look forward to speaking with you again shortly.

Yours sincerely

Melanie Robinson

DSG Retail Limited Customer Solutions Manager

KNOWHOW™ Customer Contact Centre

Tel: 01142 806021

From: Richard Dyson
Date: 26 July 2011 17:35

Dear Ms Robinson,

Thank you for your response which has combined the response of the various parts of the Dixons Group involved in this complaint.

Whilst I do not, and will not in the future, accept that the offer received from Lynn as ‘more than generous’, given the damage caused by your employees amounted to £575 plus VAT, (i.e. £714) I will reluctantly accept the offer that is now being proposed from your company of £400 relating to £350 for damage caused to flooring and £50 in relation to the quality of service provided by your call centre function.

It is obvious throughout the entire process that I have been ‘banging on a closed door’ in terms of your customer service and whilst your public display of improving customer service is spun in the press by the likes of Sebastian James, the actions I have seen throughout this process are the demonstration of reality.

Given the legislative changes that were made to ‘Faster Payments’ between banks last year, I do not think it is unreasonable to receive the sum of £400 by the end of this week (Friday 29 July 2011). In order to assist you my Bank Account details are as follows – Sort Code: xx-xx-xx; Account Number xxxxxxxx

I note your comments in relation to the customer service improvements you are making, however, I do not intend to test in the future if they have had any effect. This entire experience has left me in a position where I would not have any desire to shop in any part of the Dixons Group in the future and I will strive to ensure that any of my friends, colleagues and other contacts are fully aware of the experience I have had and can hopefully decide to take the same position.

Yours sincerely,

Richard Dyson

Why is it so hard?

25 07 2011

The whole Currys Customer Action Team is really beginning to frustrate me! On two occasions now, one of their Team Leaders, Melanie, has promised to call me back at a certain time and has failed to do so – how far up in this organisation does one need to go to to get any decent customer service – Sebastian James (contactable through Twitter @dixonsops) tells his staff that their customer service is improving yet the reality is this complaint – poor frontline service, poor customer service after the event. If Sebastian James had anything about him and lived up to his promises about how good customer service is he would take personal interest in this complaint and intervene – I fear that his customer service is the same as the rest of his organisation.

Current place where we are is that I have had a quote from the flooring company that the cost of repair to my floor is £595 + VAT (£714) – the offer from Currys stands at £250 plus £50 gesture of goodwill for the service elements. This is unreasonable or am I a lone voice on this one?

I would urge my friends to assist me by sending a tweet to @dixonsops pointing him to this blog and asking him to take personal action to resolve this quickly and efficiently. To help here is something you can copy and paste;

Will @dixonsops please investigate the complaint raised by @rich_dyson – his complaint is here

When will people do what they say they will?

19 07 2011

I know this is going to upset a certain John Sutherland, but hey, some people are reading this so his views can’t be representative of everyone. The Currys saga continues as the promised call on Monday didn’t happen so I contacted them late in the day and spoke to a very pleasant person called Adam that informed the person who was going to call me was actually on annual leave and their deputy wasn’t in that day so he would ensure that someone would call me. I requested a specific time for the call and actually received one this morning at the time specified – well done Currys, you have kept a promise.

The person I spoke to, Melanie, who was very pleasant seemed to recognise that the complaint hadn’t been dealt with well, acknowledged that not accepting calls in the Customer Action Team wasn’t appropriate and tried to defend the improvement in Currys customer service by telling me that there are only 3% of customers who do not get the service they paid for from delivery staff, so it would seem I am one of the unlucky 3%. It woud be interesting to know what the overall complaint figures have been at Currys, this could be my first foray into a FOI request territory – anyone with experience want to assist me in wording the question?

The long and short of the call is that Melanie will speak to the ‘top man’ in the delivery office at Glasgow and will then provide me with an update by the end of the day with progress. It’s now 6:35pm and I have left a message on Melanie’s answer-machine (looks like she must go home at 5pm too) asking for the promised update.

On a totally unconnected matter, I am very much looking forward to photographing Jo Caulfield (@jo_caulfield) tonight. Will be good to have a chat about tweets that she has retweeted recently as well as enjoy her show. I’m sure I’ll be posting a photo on my daily Blipfoto page