A former Army serviceman who tried to steal a mobile phone from a Cardiff taxi driver has been jailed for 18 months. Wesley Howard Jones, of Llanishen1 , was sentenced at Cardiff Crown Court2 on Friday. The court heard how Jones, 39, of Fishguard Close, had borrowed a mobile phone to make several phone calls while taking a journey in a taxi on January 12.
Prosecutor Paul Hewitt said: During the journey the defendant asked to use the driver s mobile phone, was given the phone by the complainant, made a couple of phone calls, and then put the phone down.
‘Grabbed the phone’
As he went to leave the taxi he s then turned and grabbed the phone and tried to make off as he did so.
He was grabbed hold of by the complainant and a struggle ensued whereby the complainant suffered an injury to his ribs. The prosecutor said part of the incident in the taxi was captured on CCTV and the defendant entered a guilty plea to theft on June 30. The court heard that Jones was given a suspended sentence last year for two offences a theft from a Boots store and a burglary for which he was sentenced to 15 months in prison suspended for a two-year period.
Referring to the taxi driver the prosecutor said: He s never known anything like this before. He realises now that taxi drivers are somewhat in a vulnerable position.
It s made him nervous for matters in the future.
Served his country
The prosecutor said the taxi driver of 12 years sometimes had to psyche himself up to get in the car to go to work after the incident. Huw George Wallace, for the defence, said: This is a man who offends which is great shame bearing in mind his training in the Army.
As far as the probation service is concerned matters were going well until he broke his neck following an assault. Mr Wallace said the defendant was in the Army for six and a half years and was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder when he was in hospital in Germany before being discharged in 2003.
Having served his country he finished with a stress disorder, he added.
Sentencing, Judge Patrick Curran QC described the taxi driver as a vulnerable person . He said: It s resulted in complete loss of confidence by him.
It s a very mean sort of thing to do and you ve got a bad record.
But you ve served your country and you ve got a good record in that sense. Jones was jailed for a total of 18 months after he committed the offence in breach of a suspended sentence.
Technology is the great enabler, and nothing shows that more than in the charity sector, where tech is making a huge difference to millions of peoples’ lives every single day. The Tech4Good awards celebrate these achievements and it was a privilege to be a judge in the BT MyDonate category, which awards companies that have used tech to help raise funds or volunteering time. While all of the nominees were worthy, Neighbourly stuck out to the judges. It’s a social platform that connects businesses and organisations with local projects and volunteers, making a real difference at the community level. I talked to co-founder Nick Davies about Neighbourly, how it works and what it can offer. Davies explained how Neighbourly came about, as a way for companies to “activate social change”. In particular, the site was designed to help big companies work at the grassroots level, making a real difference to people, mirroring the 17 UN sustainable development goals (see lead image). Previously this kind of activity was hard for companies to achieve.
“Companies had to put people on the ground to oversee a project,” explained Davies. “The process was entirely manual.”
Having to rely on manual processes meant that companies often physically didn’t have the resources to channel into projects: they had the will but not the means. With Neighbourly, businesses can connect with volunteers on the ground, working with like-minded people to achieve change. Although the platform can, and will, be used by people wanting to get projects off the ground, hooking up companies that provide the resources, Neighbourly launched with a purpose to get the system really rolling: redistributing food.
“We knew people were going hungry and wanted to arrange a campaign around that,” said Davies. “We wanted to organise the community to fight-the-fight together.”
With companies, such as Marks and Spencer joining up (it has donated more than 230 tonnes of surplus food and is connected to over 580 UK charities), it’s fair to say that the project has been a huge success. Projects like this are implemented on a local scale, letting people see the results while enacting huge change.
This kind of charitable work is becoming increasingly popular with companies, as it lets them show their true values to the world and their customers. It also paints capitalism in a betters light: most people mistrust unfettered capitalism, but if making a profit also means a better world, it’s a win-win situation for everyone. As for the future, Neighbourly’s plans are to grow bigger and expand, working on projects all over the world. As Davies explained, Neighbourly wants to be “the world’s social network for social change”. With technology able to bring together the world over, I don’t doubt that this goal is achievable. For more information check out Neighbourly1 and the Tech4Good awards2.
It often amazes me that global telecommunication giants place young, barely-trained, temporary workers such as students as the visible face of the company in high streets up and down the land. As such, these often spotty youths just wanting to earn a bit of extra cash to see them through their studies are being placed in the front line as the primary touchpoint with customers. With minimal training, they are being relied upon to not only ensure existing customers remain loyal, but are the ones being tasked with securing a deal for a new handset or a two year price plan that could run into several hundred pounds worth of revenue. Would the likes of BMW or Mazda do the same? Unlikely. It is a dichotomy felt by all. This temporary worker labour force may be relatively cheap leading to low operating expenses on the balance sheet but businesses still need to ensure that they empower such staff with the knowledge that leads them to an acceptably high conversion rate of sales and prevents potential customers from walking out of the door and going to a competitor down the road.
Mobile operators are feeling the pressure to differentiate their customer service experience in a highly competitive industry. Short term promotions attract new customers, but do not always promote long-term brand loyalty. Operators can win over customer loyalty by keeping them engaged in solutions that satisfy their needs and lifestyle.
Every second counts
For many mobile customers, the retail store is the most frequently used point of service. Due to this popularity, traffic volume especially during certain times of the day or year can make it challenging to provide exceptional service without creating long wait times. Sales representatives, temporary or otherwise, are up against the clock. On average they will have little more than ten minutes to invest with a potential customer; likely just a couple of minutes to introduce themselves and a couple of minutes for closure. This leaves a maximum of six minutes to actually sell the wares of the latest handset or price plan. It s therefore imperative that they have any information they may need at their fingertips, empowering them with a clear understanding of a company s messaging and associated product attributes. With every second precious, any solution that can remove or reduce administrative actions, such as a CRM or booking system, means that the rep will have more time to engage with the customer and ultimately increase the likelihood of closing the deal.
A mobile society
The returns on taking the time to invest in staff are clear. This year, the number of smartphone users in the UK is estimated to reach 41.4 million1. With most changing their handsets every couple of years, this means there is in the region of 20 million new customers that these temporary workers are responsible for each year. Implementing the right tools ensures that sales reps can better serve their customers, increase their in-store experience and ultimately reduce customer churn to competitors. Integrating back end operations, both instore and at the call centre level, can increase efficiency by saving time to key in information into different systems.
It s not only when customers are looking to upgrade their phones that an empowered workforce is needed. Every mobile customer moves down a path from the point at which they purchase a phone until the time comes to move to the next, shiny new handset. Along this path, they have different needs from gaining immediate productivity by transferring their old phone s data to their new device, to getting the most out of their phone s capabilities, quickly resolving problems, and ultimately getting some value for an older model through trade-in. Whilst there are exceptions, most end user customers coming into a store with a handset issue are not overly technical and most visit without knowing what, if anything, is wrong. In situations like this, a solution that has easy to interpret colour-coded visual indicators and data outputs, can provide the sales rep the ability to present them with the facts in an easily digestible manner, thus fostering trust.
In one of our largest customers stores think colourful telecommunications giant I witnessed frustrated customers presenting their devices to a sales rep to check if there is an issue with the device. The rep used our diagnostic tool and showed the customer the intuitive dashboard screen showing green visual indicators to prove that the device was running fine. By showing them the diagnosis session helped the rep reassure them that nothing was wrong.
Enriching the customer journey
The goal for operators is to help make the mobile customer s journey an enjoyable, valuable experience that they want to take with them and their front line staff again and again. Mobile lifecycle solutions maximise productivity and create new revenue opportunities by attracting and retaining customers with unique services tailored to their needs. The solutions can not only empower the front line physical staff in-store, but ensure the same level of operations over-the-web, at a call centre tool or even via an on-device app.
Nokia is preparing to release two new smartphones this year. Nokia which had a non-competent deal with Microsoft2 had earlier announced its plan to license its brand name and start selling smartphones. Nokia s smartphones are to be manufactured by HMD Global, which now holds license to sell Nokia branded smartphones for the next 10 years. The latest leak hints at those plans coming through.
According to GizmoChina, the two phones are expected to be flagship devices with Nokia s trademark design language. A leaked photo hints at comeback of polycarbonate shells with bolder design and expressive patterns. The two mobiles which have leaked are likely to feature a 5.2-inch and 5.5-inch displays. The report says both the devices will sport OLED display with Quad HD resolution.
The report also suggests that Nokia smartphones will be powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chipset and will be running Z-Launcher UI based on Android Nougat. With Android N final launch likely to happen in October, its likely that Nokia phones will debut only after Nexus launch. With Qualcomm having announced Snapdragon 821, an updated version of 820, there is a good chance of Nokia phones getting the latest processor once it debuts. As one would expect from a Nokia device, the smartphone is reported to feature a 22.6MP primary camera. The smartphones are likely to come with IP68 certification. The GizmoChina also reports that the device will be priced at 3,000 Yuan (approximately Rs 30,140).
The Indian Express Online Media Pvt Ltd
Mobile phone coverage has been top of the agenda at the Royal Welsh Show this week. Network operators came together to discuss poor signal in Wales, particularly in rural areas. Plans have been announced for a summit to be held in autumn to tackle the long-running issues.
Having to go outside to check messages or even make a phone call is a routine for Tregaron hotelier Nia Taylor. Six miles away in Pontrhydfendigaid… they’ve taken matters into their own hands. They’ve won funding of 200,000 to built a mast – finally giving phone signal and faster internet.
At the Royal Welsh Show, representatives from the industry, along with politicians and local businesses got together to debate what needs to be done to improve connectivity. When you look at broadband connectivity, the figures are going in the right direction, when you look at mobile phone connectivity it is going in the right direction. I fully recognise that the Welsh context is different, our geography is different, we have three large national parks, but we do need to give the mobile phone operators the infrastructure they need to provide a better service for people in Wales.
Guto Bebb MP, Wales Office Minister
The Welsh Government’s facing calls to relax the planning rules around putting up some masts as has been done in England. It says it regularly meets with mobile phone operators to discuss issues affecting the industry. This autumn’s summit might be step forward in improving things. Frustratingly for some, there are no overnight solutions.