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Stamp out price hikes: Firms that exploit customers now are unlikely to hold onto them for long, says VICTORIA BISCHOFF










No one enjoys haggling more than yours truly.

As consumer group Which? pointed out this week, you can make serious savings by ‘making a nuisance of yourself’. And, as my husband will attest, this is something I’m rather good at.

But even hardened hagglers like me become weary in the face of nonsensical pricing decisions.

Cost of living crisis: With bills soaring, firms should be going out of their way to ensure households are not paying more than they need

Cost of living crisis: With bills soaring, firms should be going out of their way to ensure households are not paying more than they need

Take my car insurance renewal premium, which crept up by £17.26 this year. A quick look on comparison websites revealed there were identical deals available for far less than I paid in 2021.

When I called my existing provider to ask if it could match the price, I was immediately offered a ‘loyalty discount’ of £26.05.

Could it go further? Bingo — another £10 saving. Any more, I persevered? Success!

The third discount was slightly more complicated as it involved bundling in a month’s worth of home cover, but resulted in a further £31.59 off.

That’s a (very welcome) total saving of £67.64. But what a waste of everyone’s time. And as we report, it’s not just insurers forcing customers to fight for a fair price.

Money Mail Reporter Amelia Murray has discovered that telecoms giants are offering a secret discount to customers who call to negotiate a new deal.

Given so many companies are now reserving their cheapest offers for those who manage their accounts online, it’s no wonder people are confused.

With bills soaring, firms should be going out of their way to ensure households are not paying more than they need to. 

Yet, as is so often the case, they instead try to sneak through higher prices in the hope customers don’t notice they are missing out on vital savings. And this brings me to my next major bugbear.

Why are broadband and phone providers allowed to hike prices mid-way through a contract?

After all, if you lock into a fixed mortgage or energy tariff, the price remains the same for the duration of the deal.

We’re not talking about a modest rise, either. The clauses woven into their small print mean they can hike prices each year by inflation plus close to 4 per cent.

Many mobile giants even go a step further by using an outdated — and ultimately more costly — measure of inflation to determine increases. 

This means millions of households now face bill hikes of 10 per cent or more. It truly beggars belief.

If a tiny supplier in East Yorkshire can cancel its price increase to avoid burdening struggling households further, why can’t the likes of BT and Vodafone?

The top bosses would do well to remember that customers have a long memory. Exploit them now when times are hard and it is unlikely they’ll stick around later.

Counter argument

So much for ‘declining footfall’ in bank branches.

My local HSBC bank was packed when I visited to drop off some Christmas cash the other week, with some 30 customers in and out in the 15 minutes I was there.

But, my goodness, what a faff! The supposedly convenient self-service machines no longer accept First Direct bank cards as they have not been upgraded after the HSBC-backed telephone bank switched from Visa to Mastercard.

Customers can still deposit cheques and cash at the counter. But, as we reported last year, four in ten HSBC branches no longer offer counter services. 

First Direct says the issue should be fixed at some point ‘this year’ — but wouldn’t it have been more sensible to resolve the glitch before rolling out new cards?

No-spend trend

After boasting of my New Year Resolution success last week, I must now confess a failure.

Number nine on my list of ten money-saving goals for this year was to commit to one spend-free week in January. I won’t make excuses for my pathetic efforts (or midweek Mocha addiction).

But our ‘no-spend trend’ feature has inspired me to try again next month.

The winner is…

A huge thank you to everyone who voted in our revamped Wooden Spoon awards last month. 

The sheer number of entries we received speaks volumes about the sorry state of customer service today. We will unmask the unfortunate winner next week.

moneymail@dailymail.co.uk

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Download speeds of around 1,000Mbps enable customers to download feature-length movies in seconds, back-up their photos to the cloud, and join video calls without a stutter. In busy households, with multiple people streaming music and video, making video calls, downloading software updates, and juggling dozens of smart lightbulbs, thermostats, smart speakers and security cameras and doorbells… the huge bandwidth available with gigabit-capable internet means no device will see slowdowns.

It also future-proof customers for the next generation of technology, including 8K video quality streaming, playing blockbuster video games from the cloud with services like Microsoft xCloud and Google Stadia, higher quality music streaming – like Apple Music’s Lossless format or Amazon Music HD, and more.

To celebrate the completion of its Gig1 roll-out to all 15.5 million customers, Virgin Media has dropped the price for the first time. The £198 discount will only be available until Sunday February 6, 2022.

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With record price increases on the horizon, BT has spoken out about the upcoming hike of 9.3 percent set to hit customers across the UK. BT increases costs for customers each year, with monthly bills rising by a set formula tied to inflation. For comparison, customers were faced with a price rise of 4.5 percent. BT will begin contacting customers soon, with the price rise set to kick-in March 31, 2022.

It’s worth pointing out that BT isn’t the only company set to increase its prices. Vodafone, Plusnet, and EE will all increase monthly bills using the same formula as BT, which uses the Consumer Price Index (CPI) as measured by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) in January plus 3.9 percent. That equates to a 9.3 percent increase. Unfortunately, if you’re still within the minimum contract term with your internet supplier, there’s not much you can do. However, research from regulator Ofcom reveals that around 40 percent of all broadband customers are out of contract. If you’re one of them, you should check out our rundown of the best broadband deals to secure better monthly price (or faster speeds for the same price).

Mobile networks and television companies, including Sky and Virgin Media, are also planning to increase prices soon. Virgin Media is a little bit different because the price rise won’t apply to anyone who is still within the minimum contract term. If you’ve been with the company for a few years, you can sign-up to one of the latest deals with Virgin Media and you’ll be able to swerve the annual price rise. Virgin Media says the average customer will see monthly bills by £4.70 a month.

Speaking about the upcoming price rise, BT Managing Director of Consumer Customer Services Nick Lane told broadband-focused blog ISPreview: “Price rises are never popular, but are sometimes a necessary part of business, if we’re to keep up with the rising costs we face and ensure we can continue to deliver a brilliant network experience as customers usage of data grows month on month. We’ve thought long and hard about how we make sure that any pricing changes are predictable, clear, and not unfairly focussed on our existing customers, but reflected in our new prices too.”

“These changes won’t be for all our customers, however. For our financially vulnerable customers on BT Home Essentials, BT Home Phone Saver and BT Basic, we will be leaving their prices as they are,” Lane added “We’ll soon start writing to our customers, letting them know clearly what this year’s changes will mean for them. We’ll also be explaining why this year’s increase is necessary, allowing us to continue to offer our customers the best and most reliable connection on our networks, with the latest technologies and brilliant UK based service – and all in the most sustainable way.”

If you’re out-of-contract with BT, there are some great deals around at the moment. The company is currently running a Homebuyer’s Offer, which slashes your monthly bills in half for the first three months. That means you can secure the fastest speeds currently on-offer from BT – with download speeds up to 900Mbps, that’s around 12x faster than the average broadband speed in the UK – for just £27.49 a month.



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Your monthly bills are about to skyrocket. The Office of National Statistics (ONS) has published the latest inflation figures for the UK, which are used by some of the biggest mobile networks and broadband and television companies to calculate their annual price rises for existing customers. Spiralling inflation could force some customers to pay almost 10 percent extra each month – making it more important than ever before to take advantage of deals and discounts when they’re available. According to research from Ofcom, around 40 percent of all broadband customers are out of contract, if you’re one of them, you should check out our rundown of the best broadband deals to secure better monthly price (or faster speeds for the same price). The record-breaking price rises from BT, Vodafone, Plusnet, EE, TalkTalk and others follow confirmation from Virgin Media that the average customer on its fibre broadband plans will see bills rise by £4.70 a month. That’s around £56.40 extra to be paid each year. 

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) has reached 5.4%, while the Retail Price Index (RPI) hit 7.5% this month, according to the latest inflation figures published by the ONS. To calculate their annual price rises, BT, EE, Plusnet, and Vodafone use the Consumer Price Index (CPI) + 3.9%. These companies typically rely on the figures published in January to calculate the price rise for the upcoming year. Based on the figures published this week, BT, EE, Plusnet, and Vodafone customers will see bills rise by 9.3%. For those on the most affordable broadband package from BT, the Full Fibre Essentials plan with average download speeds of 36Mbps (half the average home broadband speed in the UK), can expect to see an increase of £2.60 on their current £27.99 a month deal. That’s an additional £32.20 a year.

However, for those who bundle together faster full-fibre speeds with television, the 9.3% is likely to inflict much more pain on your current account. For example, BT’s VIP + Fibre 2 bundle, which includes average download speeds of 73Mbps, Sky Cinema, BT Sport, access to exclusive channels like Sky Atlantic, Sky Comedy and Sky Max via NOW, Sky Sports, Freeview channels via BT TV, and a Netflix subscription, usually costs £105.99 a month. Those who subscribe to this bundle can expect to see bills rise by roughly £9.80. That’s £117.60 extra each year.

For comparison, last year, with CPI measured at 0.6%, most broadband and mobile phone operators charged customers a total annual price hike of around 4.5% within the first few months of the year.

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TalkTalk uses the CPI + 3.7% to calculate its price rises, so customers can expect to see slightly lower increases than those signed-up with the companies listed above. Shell Energy uses “up to 3%” + CPI to work out its annual rises. At the moment, Shell Energy charges £21.99 for its Superfast Fibre Plus bundle, which boasts download speeds of 67Mbps, so – if the company takes the higher end of its own range – users can expect to see prices increase by roughly £1.80 a month, or £21.60 over the next year.

O2 uses the figures published by the Office of National Statistics next month, instead of January like its competitors. However, it’s worth noting that O2 also relies on the Retail Price Index rather than the CPI, which is tracking much steeper.

Meanwhile, Sky Broadband, Sky Mobile, Virgin Media and Three Mobile charge a set amount each year, with no variation based on other factors, such as inflation. For example, Three Mobile has already confirmed to its customers that prices will only rise by 4.5% next year. That’s about half of what is currently projected for ISPs that rely on CPI or RPI. However, all of this could be subject to change as the rates that will be used by ISPs to calculate the annual hike haven’t been published yet.

There are a number of broadband companies that pledge to never increase prices throughout your contract. For example, Zen Broadband reassures all customers that they’ll keep the price at the start of their contract for the duration – regardless of whether they’re with the company for the next 12, 18 or 24 months. However, the company typically charges a little more than the competition from BT, Vodafone or Plusnet.

Of course, all of the figures listed above are estimates. Companies sometimes adjust the prices differently based on each individual bundle and package, so the percentages listed above should be seen as an average rather than a definitive calculation for your next broadband or television bill. BT, Vodafone, Plusnet, EE, TalkTalk, O2, Shell Energy and others will begin notifying customers in the coming weeks about their annual price rises, so keep your eyes peeled for an email or letter with the definitive calculation for your situation.

It’s also worth pointing out that annual price increases are not simply a ruse for Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to squeeze a little more cash from your current account every month, companies face rising costs from suppliers, not to mention that developing new systems and investing in infrastructure – like the ongoing plan from BT-owned Openreach to upgrade 25 million homes across the UK to full-fibre broadband by December 2026 – costs extra too. To try to compensate for these costs, the broadband providers listed above have linked annual price increases with the rate of inflation.

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Speaking to Express.co.uk, a spokesperson for BT and EE said: “As usage across our networks continues to increase and with our customers relying on us for connectivity more than ever before, it’s crucial we continue to invest in our networks, services and the latest technology. As such, and in line with our terms, our prices for existing customers will be increasing from 31st March, with a similar rise also being introduced for new customers. We remain committed to supporting customers on low incomes or facing financial hardship, and will therefore be freezing prices for our financially vulnerable customers.”

Lyndsey Burton, Managing Director at broadband comparison engine Choose, told Express.co.uk, “It is time for Ofcom to act again on mid-contract price increases. They have previously brought in regulations specifically to prevent financial hardship, yet their safeguards are failing to protect customers from exactly that. The pandemic has demonstrated how reliant we are on broadband and mobile services to keep us connected to each other. Ofcom concede these are ‘essential’ services and yet they are failing in their duty to support customers’ ability to budget for them. As the current economic climate shows, CPI and RPI linked prices are difficult to plan for and customers will only get a few months’ notice before inflation-beating price rises are implemented.

“Broadband contracts are usually between 12 and 24 months in length, with many customers signing up to 18-month deals. Surely it is fair and reasonable to expect providers to fix their prices completely during the contract period to ensure customers know where they stand financially until the contract runs out. Ofcom either needs to ban mid-contract price hikes completely or, at the very least, they must set a cap that more fairly distributes inflationary costs.”

The only thing that could seriously slash your bills is switching to a new contract with the same provider or a rival broadband firm. If you’re currently in-contract, this won’t be possible – although, it might be worth talking to a customer service representative as they might be able to switch you to a new deal if you’re willing to sign up to a further 24-months, for example. If you’re out-of-contract, there are some brilliant deals only available to new customers right now. While you’ll still be faced with an annual price rise with the majority of broadband suppliers in the UK, if you’re starting from a lower monthly cost – or getting faster speeds, television channels, or more mobile data – for the same cost, that should make this bitter pill a little easier to swallow.

Express.co.uk has rounded up some of the best broadband deals available in the UK right now. Find them below…



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Bitcoin price plummets to five-month low amid wider tech sell off and Russia’s crypto crackdown

  •  Bitcoin has dipped below $40k, its lowest level since August 
  •  It comes as the Federal Reserve announced plans to tighten monetary policy 
  •  The Russian central bank announced proposals to ban all crypto trading 










Bitcoin has dipped below $40,000 as speculators dumped cryptocurrencies amid a wider tech selloff with a potential interest rate hike looming.

The coin has fallen from its previous all-time high of more than $68,000, which it reached two months ago, in a blow to those who hoped it could act as a hedge against inflation.

It coincides with inflation in the UK hitting a 30 year high of 5.4 per cent and a general expectation that the Bank of England and Federal Reserve will soon raise interest rates. 

Bitcoin has dipped below $40,000, its lowest level since last August as the Federal Reserve tightens monetary policy

Bitcoin has dipped below $40,000, its lowest level since last August as the Federal Reserve tightens monetary policy 

It has led to Bitcoin breaking below its critical support of $40,000 to reach its lowest level since August. It is currently trading at $38,315.

The $37,000 to $40,000 area is often seen as a critical support level and should the price plummet below this it may well put an end to what has been a short to medium term bull run.

‘The notoriously volatile asset has now retraced more than 75 per cent of its gains since the summer with the potential for risk-off sentiment in equities to continue to weigh on cryptos,’ said Victoria Scholar, head of investment at Interactive Investor.

Ethereum has also dropped to under $3,000 and has fallen almost 30 per cent over the last month after reaching a high of close to $5,000 before Christmas.

‘The negativity on Wall Street this week with the Nasdaq shedding nearly 5 per cent is permeating into other risk assets including the crypto complex. 

‘A hawkish Fed trajectory, which aims to dampen price levels, is softening the appeal of inflation hedge assets. On top of that, Russia’s central bank announced draft proposals to ban all crypto trading.’

The Russian central bank announced draft proposals seeking to ban all crypto trading and mining. 

The regulations would also block any crypto investment made by banks and ban any exchange of crypto for traditional currencies.

‘Russia imposing a blanket ban on Bitcoin mining may well have an impact on its hashrate and price in the short term. 

‘However, I don’t believe this will be a long-term headwind,’ said Simon Peters, analyst at eToro.

A mining hashrate is a security metric in crypto. 

The more hashing, or computing, power in a network the greater security has and it is less likely to be attacked.

It is estimated from the number of blocks being mined in the last 24 hours and the current block difficulty.

‘Russia is only responsible for approximately 11 per cent of the global hashrate. This is in stark comparison to China, which when it banned bitcoin mining in May 2021, the mining operations based there accounted for 60–70 per cent of the global hashrate of the bitcoin network. 

‘When these China-based miners went offline due to the ban, the hashrate dropped significantly along with price. 

‘But, as those miners set up in other countries/jurisdictions the hashrate rebounded and is now at an all-time high.

‘If Russia does ban bitcoin mining we may well see a similar pattern, but to a far lesser extent.’ 

While the Russian regulations seem harsher, it only comes after a slew of announcements on cryptocurrencies by regulators across the world.

This week the Financial Conduct Authority announced it planned to launch a crackdown on financial advertising amid concerns about ‘the ease and speed with which people can make high-risk investments’.

It wants to ban incentives to invest like the refer-a-friend bonuses and rules around risk warnings would also be tougher.

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Your monthly bills are about to skyrocket. The Office of National Statistics (ONS) has published the latest inflation figures for the UK, which are used by some of the biggest mobile networks and broadband and television companies to calculate their annual price rises for existing customers. Spiralling inflation could force some customers to pay almost 10 percent extra each month – making it more important than ever before to take advantage of deals and discounts when they’re available. According to research from Ofcom, around 40 percent of all broadband customers are out of contract, if you’re one of them, you should check out our rundown of the best broadband deals to secure better monthly price (or faster speeds for the same price). The record-breaking price rises from BT, Vodafone, Plusnet, EE, TalkTalk and others follow confirmation from Virgin Media that the average customer on its fibre broadband plans will see bills rise by £4.70 a month. That’s around £56.40 extra to be paid each year. 

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) has reached 5.4%, while the Retail Price Index (RPI) hit 7.5% this month, according to the latest inflation figures published by the ONS. To calculate their annual price rises, BT, EE, Plusnet, and Vodafone use the Consumer Price Index (CPI) + 3.9%. These companies typically rely on the figures published in January to calculate the price rise for the upcoming year. Based on the figures published this week, BT, EE, Plusnet, and Vodafone customers will see bills rise by 9.3%. For those on the most affordable broadband package from BT, the Full Fibre Essentials plan with average download speeds of 36Mbps (half the average home broadband speed in the UK), can expect to see an increase of £2.60 on their current £27.99 a month deal. That’s an additional £32.20 a year.

However, for those who bundle together faster full-fibre speeds with television, the 9.3% is likely to inflict much more pain on your current account. For example, BT’s VIP + Fibre 2 bundle, which includes average download speeds of 73Mbps, Sky Cinema, BT Sport, access to exclusive channels like Sky Atlantic, Sky Comedy and Sky Max via NOW, Sky Sports, Freeview channels via BT TV, and a Netflix subscription, usually costs £105.99 a month. Those who subscribe to this bundle can expect to see bills rise by roughly £9.80. That’s £117.60 extra each year.

For comparison, last year, with CPI measured at 0.6%, most broadband and mobile phone operators charged customers a total annual price hike of around 4.5% within the first few months of the year.

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TalkTalk uses the CPI + 3.7% to calculate its price rises, so customers can expect to see slightly lower increases than those signed-up with the companies listed above. Shell Energy uses “up to 3%” + CPI to work out its annual rises. At the moment, Shell Energy charges £21.99 for its Superfast Fibre Plus bundle, which boasts download speeds of 67Mbps, so – if the company takes the higher end of its own range – users can expect to see prices increase by roughly £1.80 a month, or £21.60 over the next year.

O2 uses the figures published by the Office of National Statistics next month, instead of January like its competitors. However, it’s worth noting that O2 also relies on the Retail Price Index rather than the CPI, which is tracking much steeper.

Meanwhile, Sky Broadband, Sky Mobile, Virgin Media and Three Mobile charge a set amount each year, with no variation based on other factors, such as inflation. For example, Three Mobile has already confirmed to its customers that prices will only rise by 4.5% next year. That’s about half of what is currently projected for ISPs that rely on CPI or RPI. However, all of this could be subject to change as the rates that will be used by ISPs to calculate the annual hike haven’t been published yet.

There are a number of broadband companies that pledge to never increase prices throughout your contract. For example, Zen Broadband reassures all customers that they’ll keep the price at the start of their contract for the duration – regardless of whether they’re with the company for the next 12, 18 or 24 months. However, the company typically charges a little more than the competition from BT, Vodafone or Plusnet.

Of course, all of the figures listed above are estimates. Companies sometimes adjust the prices differently based on each individual bundle and package, so the percentages listed above should be seen as an average rather than a definitive calculation for your next broadband or television bill. BT, Vodafone, Plusnet, EE, TalkTalk, O2, Shell Energy and others will begin notifying customers in the coming weeks about their annual price rises, so keep your eyes peeled for an email or letter with the definitive calculation for your situation.

It’s also worth pointing out that annual price increases are not simply a ruse for Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to squeeze a little more cash from your current account every month, companies face rising costs from suppliers, not to mention that developing new systems and investing in infrastructure – like the ongoing plan from BT-owned Openreach to upgrade 25 million homes across the UK to full-fibre broadband by December 2026 – costs extra too. To try to compensate for these costs, the broadband providers listed above have linked annual price increases with the rate of inflation.

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Speaking to Express.co.uk earlier this month, a spokesperson for BT said: “As usage across our networks continues to increase and with our customers relying on us for connectivity more than ever before, it’s crucial we continue to invest in our network, services and the latest technology. As such our prices are due to rise next year, as per our terms and conditions, however, customers on BT Home Essentials, BT Basic and Home Phone Saver will not see an increase to their prices in 2022 and we’re looking into how we can help support others who may be financially vulnerable.”

Lyndsey Burton, Managing Director at broadband comparison engine Choose, told Express.co.uk, “It is time for Ofcom to act again on mid-contract price increases. They have previously brought in regulations specifically to prevent financial hardship, yet their safeguards are failing to protect customers from exactly that. The pandemic has demonstrated how reliant we are on broadband and mobile services to keep us connected to each other. Ofcom concede these are ‘essential’ services and yet they are failing in their duty to support customers’ ability to budget for them. As the current economic climate shows, CPI and RPI linked prices are difficult to plan for and customers will only get a few months’ notice before inflation-beating price rises are implemented.

“Broadband contracts are usually between 12 and 24 months in length, with many customers signing up to 18-month deals. Surely it is fair and reasonable to expect providers to fix their prices completely during the contract period to ensure customers know where they stand financially until the contract runs out. Ofcom either needs to ban mid-contract price hikes completely or, at the very least, they must set a cap that more fairly distributes inflationary costs.”

The only thing that could seriously slash your bills is switching to a new contract with the same provider or a rival broadband firm. If you’re currently in-contract, this won’t be possible – although, it might be worth talking to a customer service representative as they might be able to switch you to a new deal if you’re willing to sign up to a further 24-months, for example. If you’re out-of-contract, there are some brilliant deals only available to new customers right now. While you’ll still be faced with an annual price rise with the majority of broadband suppliers in the UK, if you’re starting from a lower monthly cost – or getting faster speeds, television channels, or more mobile data – for the same cost, that should make this bitter pill a little easier to swallow.

Express.co.uk has rounded up some of the best broadband deals available in the UK right now. Find them below…



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Peloton bosses sold more than £360m worth of stock before fitness firm’s share price crashed










Bosses at exercise bike maker Peloton sold stock worth more than £360million before the share price crashed last year.

Chief executive John Foley and other executives offloaded millions of shares at prices over $100 before a profit warning triggered a plunge in November, US filings show.

The fitness company, whose bikes start at £1,350, had already taken a hit in May when it recalled all its treadmills in the US and the UK after a child died when he was dragged underneath the machine.

Peloton - whose flagship bikes start at £1,350 - had already taken a hit in May when it recalled all of its treadmills in the US and the UK after a child died when he was dragged underneath the machine.

Peloton – whose flagship bikes start at £1,350 – had already taken a hit in May when it recalled all of its treadmills in the US and the UK after a child died when he was dragged underneath the machine.

It then had a high-profile setback in December when a lead character in Sex and the City, Mr Big, died after an intense Peloton workout in the first episode of the TV show’s reboot, And Just Like That. 

Analysts said that it raised questions of whether ‘Peloton is losing degrees of control over its storytelling’.

Peloton released a spoof advert starring Mr Big actor Chris Noth, which was pulled when assault allegations against him emerged. 

Peloton floated on the US Nasdaq in 2019.

Its shares have nosedived by almost 80 per cent in the past year. Last night its stock was worth $31.84.

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The renowned audio brand positioned the newly-launched Bose 700s above the QC 35 IIs, thanks to the sleek modern design, the ability to pair to two devices at once, boosted noise-cancellation, and support for Amazon Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant (the QC 35 IIs only have support for the latter, which is great for Android users… but not anyone else).

Bose 700s boast 11 levels of active noise cancelling – cutting out the rumble of the train carriage on your commute, the hum of the photocopier beside your desk, or the groan of a jet engine on your next flight.

Noise-cancellation lets you enjoy podcasts, music, radio, or watch a boxset or movie on your phone without the need to crank up the volume to damaging levels. The bundled adapter means you’ll be able to use the Bose 700s with an in-flight entertainment system on your next long haul journey.



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If you’ve been thinking of picking up an Amazon Echo smart speaker then now is the perfect time to do so. The Alexa makers have slashed the price of its 4th gen Echo speaker – which usually costs £89.99 – by £30 to £59.99. If that wasn’t enough, to sweeten the deal Amazon is also throwing in a free Philips Hue bulb to help start you off with your new smart home set-up.

These smart bulbs are the ideal partner for your new Echo speaker, and will allow you to turn on or off the lights and adjust the brightness all with the sound of your voice.

A single Philips Hue bulb is usually priced at £17.99 on Amazon, meaning this latest Echo deal will save you almost £50 in total.

The 4th gen Amazon Echo and Echo Dot speakers were first launched in 2020, and brought with it the biggest redesign since the Alexa device first debuted.

Instead of the disc or cylindrical designs seen on previous Echo devices, the 4th gen models boast a spherical shape.

Besides this new-look eye-catching design, these latest Echo speakers are also environmentally conscious.

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The 4th gen Echo devices are made with 100 percent recycled aluminium and fabric plus 50 percent recycled plastic, so are kinder on Mother Nature to produce.

Plus, unlike previous Echo speakers the 2020 models support lossless (aka CD quality) streaming which is available with Amazon’s Music Unlimited service.

Spotify are also meant to be launching its own take on this higher audio quality, dubbed Spotify HiFi, but exact release details are yet to be confirmed.

Any music you stream on a 4th gen Echo will also be enhanced by Dolby Audio support, and will be blasted out via the speaker’s 3.0inch woofer and dual 0.8inch tweeters.

If you’re limited for space and would rather pick up an Echo Dot, then Amazon is also running a money-saving deal on the 4th gen version.

The 4th gen Echo Dot is usually priced at £49.99, but right now you can get it for £29.99 – either with or without six months free access to Amazon Music Unlimited.

To get half a year’s worth of access to the Spotify rival for free you’ll need to be a new subscriber.

If you sign up to the Music Unlimited deal then you will save almost £80, when factoring in the saving on the Echo Dot and on cost of the music streaming service.



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