US Compensation for VW Drivers to Increase by 50%

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few weeks, you should know about the latest emissions scandal regarding the Diesel Volkswagen (VW) engined cars; our previous coverage can be found here and here. This has been met with huge uproar and the VW Group started to offer affected owners a $2,000 trade-in credit against the cars/ vans that had the emission cheating software installed.

In the US, on top of that $2,000 trade-in credit, affected drivers are also going to be eligible for up to $1,000 in gift cards and dealership credit and additional complimentary 24hr Roadside Assistance for up to three (3) years. It’s not fully clear whether UK drivers will be receiving the same treatment, The Telegraph has reported owners seek professional legal advice.

This has negatively impacted the resale of the motors and owners are likely to see an increase in road TAX, fuel consumption and possibly even voided warranties if the update hasn’t been applied to the vehicle. However, VW representatives want to reassure its customers that the cars are safe to drive whether or not they have the new software applied or not. Want to know if your car has the cheating software installed? US readers can visit this website and UK/ EU readers can visit this website.

Warner Brothers Offer Entire Batman Collection to Arkham Knight Early Adopters

Batman: Arkham Knight was released in a shambolic state on PC and riddled with bugs, poor optimization and widespread instability issues. This resulted in many consumers using the Steam Refund policy and voicing their disgust at Warner Brothers’ technical blunders. Eventually, the game was removed from sale to allow the developer to properly fix these unacceptable flaws.

Finally, Batman: Arkham Knight has been re-released on Steam and Warner Brothers decided to offer compensation to early adopters. Instead of handing out a season pass which most people expected, Warner Brothers is providing free copies of the previous Arkham titles. Some critics have argued this isn’t a good move as those games have been heavily discounted and most Batman fans already own them. Although, at least it’s something.

Here is the official statement in full:

“Greetings Batman: Arkham Fans!

The PC version of Batman: Arkham Knight is back up and available today! We are genuinely thankful to the Batman: Arkham fans, the Steam Batman: Arkham Community, and the PC Players who have patiently waited for this day. As a show of our appreciation to our fans in this process, we are pleased to announce three community focused programs to help us commemorate the re-launch of the game.

To kick things off, we will be giving away FREE digital copies of games from the Batman: Arkham library. This means we will be giving away copies of Batman: Arkham Asylum GOTY, Batman: Arkham City GOTY, Batman: Arkham Origins, and Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate. The Batman: Arkham library of games will be given to everyone who has already purchased or will purchase Batman: Arkham Knight for PC prior to 11:59 pm PDT, November 16, 2015. We’re actively working with our partners at Valve to make this happen as soon as we can, so watch your Steam Library. We are aiming to deliver all of the games by December.

Seeing as our community was a great help in getting the game up and running, Rocksteady will be creating a new “Community Challenge Pack” that will be given free to owners of the Batman: Arkham Knight game in January 2016. As thanks to the Steam Community, PC players will have access to the maps for a week before they hit the consoles. Stay tuned for more details on this in the Batman: Arkham Community and Social Channels.

Finally, we are thrilled to announce that we are working with Valve and the Team Fortress 2 team for a special cross-game promotion. Through November 16, 2015, Valve will be running a contest for the Steam community to create Batman: Arkham themed cosmetic items for Team Fortress 2. The winning items will be given out to those who purchased Batman: Arkham Knight on Steam before the end of the contest. You can check out the official TF2 blog[www.teamfortress.com] for all the contest details!

To recap, if you own Batman: Arkham Knight for PC or purchase it before November 16, 2015, you will get:
Free digital copies of games from the Batman: Arkham library.
The “Community Challenge Pack” DLC.
The Batman: Arkham inspired Team Fortress 2 items created by the Batman: Arkham community.

Thanks again for your feedback and support.

– Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment”

Is Batman: Arkham Knight running well on your setup?

TalkTalk Could be Put Out of Business by Compensation Claims

UK ISP TalkTalk could potentially be put out of business by compensation claims following the recent hack that compromised unencrypted user data. While TalkTalk admitted that it was a victim to a cyberattack last Thursday (22nd October), and has since claimed that it was not as serious as first feared, there is evidence to suggest that the company not only knew about the hack a week before revealing it and tried to cover it up, but that customers had received fraudulent phonecalls from parties that knew personal information as early as 16th October.

According to the Daily Star, city lawyers are drawing up compensation claims on behalf of thousands of customers, to the tune of around £1,000 each, which could cost TalkTalk up to £75 million, with further cases sure to follow.

“This is the Great Train Robbery of the 21st Century.,” Former Met Police detective and private security adviser Adrian Culley said. “There is a potentially huge liability for TalkTalk. Compensation payments could put them out of business.”

Meanwhile, TalkTalk CEO Dido Harding has claimed that it was not “legally required” to encrypt user data. Talking to The Sunday Times (paywalled content via Ars Technica), Harding said, “[Our data] wasn’t encrypted, nor are you legally required to encrypt it. We have complied with all of our legal obligations in terms of storing of financial information.” Giving your customers the finger isn’t illegal, either, but both demonstrate contempt for consumers, as does “leaving the backdoor open” for hackers to exploit.

Image courtesy of The Drum.

Microsoft Apologies For Skype Outage and Offers Compensation

The Skype service is an essential component for many internet-based companies to communicate with industry contacts and share ideas via conferencing. Additionally, the software is a tool to help family members stay in contact across vast distances. As a result, any downtime on Skype can majorly impact on your business and personal life. Sadly, on September 21st, the service encountered a whole host of connection problems and prolonged downtime. This made many users quite angry and disappointed with the speed of troubleshooting.

Microsoft has started to send e-mails out to Skype customers apologizing for the downtime and offered compensation:

“We’re sorry for the technical issue we suffered that day. We know how important our service is to you and how frustrating outages like this can be. We also know that sometimes saying sorry just isn’t enough. To make it up to you, over the next few days we will add 20 minutes of free calls to over 60 landline and 8 mobile destinations around the world. Make sure you look out for your free calls as they will be available to use for 7 days.”

It’s still unclear if the 20 minutes of free call time will be offered to every Skype user or only a select few. Although, at least Microsoft has apologized and offered a token gesture to help those affected. To be perfectly honest, I doubt many people will be overly bothered by now, and just accept that downtime can happen as part of any internet service.

Thank you UberGizmo for providing us with this information. 

Amazon Paying Up To $5K For Employees To Quit

In a move that will immediately leave people confused, Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO of Amazon, has instituted the “Pay To Quit” Program via his letter to his shareholders recently.

According to the details of this new program, this program pertains to warehouse employees. Newer employees are offered $2,000 to quit. The plan is to increase that offer by $1,000 each year until the amount hits $5,000. Mr. Bezos stated that “The goal is to encourage folks to take a moment and think about what they really want and in the long-run, an employee staying somewhere they don’t want to be isn’t healthy for the employee or the company.”

Apparently the company has played around with this program in the past, but rolled it out to its 40,000 warehouse employees in January, according to a company spokeswoman. Fewer than 10% of the employees who got the offer took it and left the company.

Amazon is in the process of adding warehouses so that it can cut delivery times to customers. Today is has 96 such locations. Company filings show it had 117,300 full-time and part-time employees at the end of last year, up by nearly a third from its employment level a year earlier.

According to data gathered last year by career website Glassdoor.com, Amazon pays its warehouse workers an average hourly wage of about $12 an hour, which comes to just about $25,000 for a full year. Its full-time workers also get stock grants which Amazon said last year had averaged about 9% of employees’ pay.

 

Thanks to CNN Money for this information.