Monday, 12 December 2011

Anonymous cold calling


We have covered printed crap through your letter box in the past. What about all the obnoxious spam phone calls that you might get? Sometimes these are more than just a nuisance, for example the outright scam schemes targeting the elderly and computer-illiterate by telling them to pay to have viruses removed from their PCs. These calls are unaffected by whether you have registered with the toothless TPS or not. Here are some examples I received recently:

Monday, 7 November 2011

Potentially good news


Junk mail is an irritating scourge in the modern world: wasteful of resources and time, demanding attention like an obnoxious child, and hiding the important post amongst a sea of glossy paper waste. Royal Mail have received a high crap score from us for their part in promoting it. Well, the good news is that a new initiative should make it easier to opt out in future.
"The average UK household receives more than 370 items of unsolicited paper mail a year, the majority of it unaddressed." Source

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Pestering Banks

Note the annoying nag screen - there is no
option to permanently disable it

When you use Internet Banking with the Co-operative Bank they now always make a popup box appear trying to persuade you to install extra software - see image above. Most people won't want to do that. Not only is it extra hassle (on top of the stupid and wasteful gadgets that many customers refuse to use on ethical grounds) but the Co-operative Bank state that they won't compensate you if the software damages your PC or data or causes problems.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

"Argos t'shops, and y'know wot 'appens?"



The original Argos shop experience
Twice in June I went into my local Argos. Both times the item I wanted (in any colour, and even variant models) were out of stock. I assumed that those checks were monitored and that therefore new stock would come in for the in-demand items. Any sensible company would do that.

I made my way to Argos a third time two weeks later, assuming one of the two options would be in by then. I got to Argos around 3pm. They were still out of stock. Not wanting a wasted journey I looked at other options and found something I would accept as a close match to what I needed. I paid for it and was told to wait three minutes. I was number 648.

Sunday, 31 July 2011

HTC disappointment

I really wanted to like HTC as a company. Their smartphones are attractive and promise so much. Sadly there are some flaws, and when you contact them you realise that their customer services are pretty useless. As ever, there will be evidence to back this up.

When contacting HTC
Some months ago I contacted HTC via their website.


HTC's Customer Services website. Two cardinal faults straight away. 1) No email address offered. 2) The form REQUIRES the serial number for a product - so if you want to contact HTC with a pre-purchase query you are stuffed.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

HM Revenue & Customs: communications hell



I needed an answer from HM Revenue & Customs about a tax issue. If you make a mistake then they will hammer you so it is vital to get the correct answer.

"That shouldn't be a problem," I naively thought. "I'll email them with the relevant information and get a response. Quick and easy and no cost - and even better, you have a record of the response." Ha! You can't email them, it turns out. No, you have to ring them - and if, as in this case, you want to point them to a long URL and documents then get ready for a real pain up the arse.

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Bryncarnedd Cottages, Aberystwyth


The view from the 'garden' - that is the 'launderette'

We definitely can't recommend Bryncarnedd Cottages, Aberystwyth.

We paid £380.00 for six nights at the end of March. However we were unhappy with a number of things and complained.

Sunday, 27 February 2011