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My gift card just didn’t keep on giving at Currys | Consumer affairs



In July, I placed two online orders on and paid with gift cards. Shortly afterwards, both were cancelled without explanation and I was told my gift cards would be refunded within eight weeks.

Despite constant promises, I’m still out of pocket. If I had paid by credit card I could have made a claim under the Consumer Credit Act. I’d have been similarly protected if I’d paid via PayPal. But since I used gift cards, I can’t get any help, and I’m getting worried I’ll never get my £150 back. My salary has been cut by 25%, so I could certainly use it.
CD, London

You raise an important point, especially when many stores face an uncertain future.

The cards were part of a benefit service provided by your employer which entitles you to discounted gift tokens. Many others will have taken advantage of similar schemes to spread the load at Christmas. However, gift cards may become worthless if the designated trader ceases trading and, as you found, even if the company you choose is not struggling, there are no protections if an order is not fulfilled. This type of payment is not regulated so, although you are entitled to receive the goods or service under the Consumer Rights Act, there’s no easy redress.

Only when I got in touch did Currys apologise and issue new gift cards to the same value, plus a goodwill extra. “This is not the standard of customer service we expect of ourselves,” it said. “The issue which caused the gift cards not to be refunded immediately was a one-off technical glitch.”

As for the vanished order, apparently it was cancelled because the items were damaged and no one thought to tell you. If you’re ordering gift cards worth more than £100, try to get the sum on a single card, and pay with a credit card, then you are protected if things go wrong, provided it’s not bought from a third-party retailer like a supermarket.

If you need help email [email protected] Include an address and phone number. Submission and publication are subject to our terms and conditions

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Matt Hancock cautions against booking holidays abroad | Matt Hancock




People should plan for a “great British summer”, the health secretary has said, suggesting that holidays abroad may not be a given as he revealed he has booked his own break in Cornwall.

Matt Hancock’s comments come after the foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, suggested it was “too early” for Britons to book summer breaks overseas.

Asked if people should book a trip abroad, Hancock said: “I’m going to Cornwall. And I have said before I think we’re going to have a great British summer. But we’ve got a lot of work to do between now and then.

“What we can do is see the line of sight to vaccinating everybody by September and anything before that would be a bonus. As the foreign secretary said yesterday, we’re driving this as fast as we possibly can.”

Speaking at the Downing Street press conference, Hancock said admissions to hospital on Monday were the highest they had been throughout the pandemic, with one Covid patient currently admitted to hospital in the UK every 30 seconds.

The latest government statistics show there are 37,475 people in UK hospitals and Hancock said the NHS “is under significant pressure in all parts of the country”.

He said it was more vital than ever that people continued to stay at home and respect the restrictions. “Don’t blow it now, we’re on the route out with protecting the most vulnerable,” he said.

“We’re getting the virus under control. Together, I know that we can do it. And we’ve got to stick at it, and especially with our plans for all adults in the UK to be offered a Covid vaccine by September.”

The health secretary also did not rule out changing the law to protect medics from charges of “unlawful killing” should the NHS be forced into situations where doctors had to choose which patients to save.

“I know that this is a very serious concern,” Hancock said. “I’m very glad to say that we are not in a position where doctors have to make those sorts of choices. And I very much hope that we don’t get in that situation and that everybody can get the treatment they deserve.”

He said he had been given clear advice that it was “not necessary at this point to change the law on this on this matter” but it would be kept under review. “I take very serious questions of this nature,” he said.

“That is not the situation now, and the data show that we are getting this under control. But that requires you to act by staying at home, unless you have one of the reasons set out very clearly as to why you can leave whether it’s for exercise, or if you can’t work from home.”

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How to delay your periods without pills




A special vacation, event or be it a medical reason- there are plenty of times in life a woman doesn’t wish for her menstrual cycle to play spoilsport on her plans. As anyone!

Even if your menstrual cycle comes up like clockwork and you one of the lucky ones, chances are, it doesn’t always work according to your plans. From cramps, mood swings to the irritability and rashes, having periods can be pretty uncomfortable, especially when you already have something important on your mind. Hence, the wish to ‘postpone’ your periods.

The big question remains- are there ways to actually postpone your periods?

Medically, yes there are pills which can help delay the flow of hormones and work to postpone your periods. With the advancement of science, there are some ways for women to put their periods on hold for a while, temporary, or the long run. But opting for synthetic hormonal pills or medicines may not be everyone’s cup of tea. You will be surprised to know that there are some all-natural, non-medical ways to delay your periods for a while. Remember, you may not be able to outsmart or fool mother nature, but some of these remedies listed below can definitely be worth a try during times of crisis!

Here are some natural herbs and medicines which can delay your periods

1. Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)

Known to detoxify the body and promote weight loss, there are some old beliefs which suggest that there is yet another use of this humble drink- delaying menstruation.

In fact, a lot of researchers have found out that the highly acidic content present in the ACV solution can help delay periods-upto an extent, but there’s no credible proof to support it yet.

Considering it as a good beneficial drink for your body, consider having a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar (in warm water) regularly for 10-12 days before your expected date.

If not delay periods, drinking ACV can definitely help with the bloating and the harsh cramps which make your period woes so uncomfortable.

2. Using gram lentils

Gram lentils, which can be found in every kitchen can also come of use when it comes to delaying your menstruation.

According to some hacks, there is evidence to suggest that using fried, powdered lentils can delay period cycle.

But there are some side-effects to the same. Excess consumption of lentils can lead to digestive troubles and flatulence.


Using gelatin might come to be of use as a cure in emergency cases.

An ancient Chinese remedy, some believe that gelatine, dissolved in warm water can push back periods by some hours, at the very least. It may not be a science-backed measure, but there are women who swear by this hack.

For the ones who want relief for a long while, the gelatin treatment can be repeated again a couple of times.

To use this, all you need is a couple of spoonfuls of gelatin powder or crystals mixed in a cup of warm water.

4.Lime juice

Lime juice, much like apple cider vinegar is also considered to be a period postponement hack.

While lime juice is hailed for its vitamin-c rich properties, the same citrus extract may also come of use in delaying your periods! Plus, it can also relieve any period complications or ease PMS pain which women experience. Some also believe that having citrusy fruits and juices also lightens up the blood flow. Make sure you have fruits, veggies and juices rich in vitamin C days leading up to your cycle.

Again, do remember that having too much citrusy or acidic content can lead to gum and teeth deterioration or irritate your stomach.

5. Multani mitti (Fuller’s earth)

According to Ayurveda, using fuller’s earth is not just good for better skin health, but may delay your periods too.

Some ancient hacks suggest women wanting to delay periods to add about 25-30 grams of fuller’s earth with a cup of warm water and have it regularly for a week before the expected date of menstruation. Some even suggest drinking the concoction for 3-4 times a day to see benefits.

Do remember this is not a science-backed cure so proceed with precaution.

6. Mustard seeds

Mustard seeds, popularly used in Indian cooking is also something a lot of women swear by in times of emergency. Soaking a spoonful of mustard seeds in water/ milk overnight and having them a week before the expected date can prove to be helpful. Antioxidant-rich chia seeds may be helpful in a similar manner.

Are there other natural ways to postpone periods?

Apart from foods, there are also some other natural methods to postpone, or temporarily delay periods. Exercise and massage are some options.

Since a lot of athletes often go by missing their periods due to extreme workouts they follow, it is said that rigorous exercise may postpone periods in cases. But, there is also scientific proof that suggests that exercise can regularize, instead of delaying periods.

Getting a uterine massage may also be an option to consider. Not only is it very soothing and relaxing but as experts believe, it can also be a hack to delay periods or postpone cycle. This technique works best when you seek professional help.


There are foods and natural techniques, apart from medicinal help you can try to postpone periods.

While these methods are safe to try, they may not be the most effective or work for everyone.

Again, there can be downsides of postponing your periods in the long run or consuming the foods in excess.

Since they are not foolproof remedies, there can also be chances of irregular bleeding or spotting which you can expect.

If you are considering halting your periods or searching for a way to deal with regular period woes, getting a gynaecologists’ opinion before trying out something on your own is advised. They can also devise ways and offer solutions which will help you in the longer run.

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Weight loss: “I finish my dinner before 7 pm to stay fit”




2020 was difficult for most of us. But it also made me realize that darkness is always bad. After all, there’s always light at the end of the tunnel.

So my journey to fitness has been quite complicated. I used to work out and train actively, until 2018. Then, my weight got stuck and I quit the gym.

Later, I went through some personal issues. Stress and anxiety made me gain weight rapidly. I reached a point where I didn’t even realize my weight had gotten so out of control. Health complications came up too.

It was only when my sister came home on a vacation that I emerged out of the dark. She really motivated me and urged me to get moving. So, in March 2020, when the country went into a lockdown, I started my fitness journey again and lost weight, with the help of my supportive family.

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