More adventures on the web

You have probably heard of eBay – the website where you can buy or sell virtually anything.

If you can use it, of course.

I first used eBay around 20 years ago, and both bought and sold items on it.  I created my account, set my password, and happily continued to use the site – without issue – for years.
Until they were hacked.

The hackers got a lot of information: names, addresses, email addresses, maybe even credit card numbers.
What they didn’t get was passwords.

(Passwords are always encrypted.  I’ve run a few websites, and if a user forgot their password, I couldn’t tell them what it was – because even I couldn’t read it!  )

EBay’s response?  Lock user accounts until the user allowed ebay to contact them with a new password.  By text, to a number they didn’t have; by phone, to a number they didn’t have; or by another option I can’t even remember it was so pointless.

I still cannot access that account.

So I created a new one.  Which I haven’t used yet – and probably never will.

You see, within a couple of days of creating the account, eBay told me that there was ‘suspicious activity’, locked the account, and told me to change my password.

I did.  Then I changed it back.  Then they locked the account again.

I tried to contact them.

They do not have an email address!  You can telephone them, I believe, but I’ve read online that you can be on there over an hour.  You can also use a thing called ‘live chat’, or use an online help thing – all you have to do is log on…

Yep.  If you can’t log on, you have to log on to get help logging on.

I did find an online form that is supposed to go customer services, so I asked them why they keep locking my account, and pointed out that if they didn’t want people to use the site, they should close it down.  And if they did want people to use the site, they should allow them to log in!

I wonder if I’ll ever hear back from them…

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Sandals full of holes

My partner and I, now, are intent on having a good holiday every year – to which end, I’m always keeping an eye open for holiday options.
This week, I saw an advert for Sandals holidays in Barbados, and thought ‘lets find out how much’.

If anybody can find out, let me know!

I started by doing a search on my phone, and soon got to the webpage.  No prices listed – but I’m used to that, you just pick the holiday you want, and when you get to the checkout they tell you the total.
(You then close the page without booking, and – if you were daft enough to give them your details – you spend the next month fighting off all the ‘its not too late to book’ messages, but that’s another post.)

Read more…

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What’s the point of using search engines?

Just wanted a quick answer to a simple question.

I’m working on an app for a friend, and part of it will involve printing out a document.  I have to create the document, then send it to the printer.
It’s an app for Android, so I need to write code to print the document from an Android device.

Done some research, looked at one or two options, and came to the conclusion that the best (easiest) solution would be to create a PDF file, and then print that if needed.  With the PDF, he can email the document to people, and save on the physical printing.

Or he could print the PDF file.  Couldn’t he?

So, I ask the search engine: “how do I print a PDF file from Android?”

Great.  Half an hour of swearing, muttering, and going round in circles, and I know everything I need to know about ‘how to print TO a PDF file” but not a single word about how to get a physical, paper printout of it.

I tried everything I could think of, trying to get an answer to a very simple question.

I finally got my answer.  It took me less than two minutes.

I picked up my Android phone, located a PDF file, and printed it out.  All it took was a click on the menu, and a click on the ‘print’ option.

It was simple.

But getting a search engine to tell me how to do it?  Priceless.

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Another bad review

This post is about the stupidity of customer surveys – although it may not look like it at first…

Last night, we went out for a meal again.  Not to Wetherspoons – we’re still waiting for the letter of apology and vouchers we were promised – but to another pub we liked the look of.

In truth, it’s the first time we’ve gone out for a meal since the Wetherspoons debacle, so badly were we scarred by the experience!

We chose the ‘Waterloo Cross,’ which is just off J27 of the M5.  We had spent a while looking at various establishments online, comparing menus, and made our choice based on what was available.

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Let down badly by Wetherspoons

One of my first dates with the new love of my life was at a Wetherspoons, and we are regulars at the one across the road – well, a couple of visits a month for a meal.

I’ve spent some money there over the last couple of years, so it seemed perfect when work colleagues arranged for us to have a combined hen and stag do there.

The Wetherspoons concerned is The White Ball, Bridge St., Tiverton, Devon.

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Travelodge? No thanks.

Been a while, I know, but… life gets in the way.

Since losing my partner, I’ve been through Hell.  I lost three months totally – no memory of it whatsoever.
But I woke up.  And started a new life – which is what my partner would have wanted.  I started dating, after a long chat with my step-daughter about it.  I now have a job, a new car, and a new partner.

In a couple of days, I travel to Cyprus for a holiday.  When I get home, I’ll be married again – the wedding is in Cyprus, by the sea.  Yay.

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Service Please

For the last few months, I’ve been trying to find somewhere for our little dog to stay while we go abroad – and I keep on hitting the same wall.
It’s a wall that is not confined to that little corner of the world, either, as I keep hitting it in other areas too.

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Modern living involves giving your contact details to almost everybody you have any dealings with.  Even the smallest relationship will involve a request for your name, location, and email address.
You already know my views on this…

Today, though, I’m talking about how that information is used, and how stupid the people using it are.

My partner has just moved in with me.  We hired a van and moved all the furniture last week, and we have set up mail forwarding with the Post Office.

Any mail to my partners old address will now be redirected to their new address, which is mine.
Today, a letter arrived here with no name on it, just the address.  It’s from the Post Office, and it’s an advert for mail forwarding…

Why?  What possible sense is there in spending money telling me about a service we just used?!?!?!

Do they think we’re going to move again?

And yes, it is just an advert – it is not a receipt, or an acknowledgement.  It makes no mention of the fact that we have just used the service, and has no name on it – neither mine nor my partners.  It is, however, marked ‘Private and Confidential’ for some reason – though why an advert should be Private is beyond me!

No.  My address has been added to a database and marked as ‘interested’ in mail forwarding, without a single thought being given to the fact that A) We obviously know about the service as we’ve just used it, or B) the fact that this is the address mail is being forwarded to.

The only word is stupid, surely?

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I’m depressed now…

Today was a good day.

Today, we spent over three hours in the Travel Agents, during which we arranged a two week all-inclusive stay at a hotel in Cyprus.  During that time, we will stand on the beach and make our vows to one another.
We will arrive in Cyprus as an engaged couple, and leave as a married couple.

We then had a nice lunch, and reflected how happy we were.

Today, I told my betrothed, was the third happiest day ever – including the future.
After a pause, I was asked what were one and two.

Well, number two, obviously, is the day we got engaged.  And number one?  That is in the future – the day we get married.

After we had enjoyed that moment, I realised something – and I’m now very depressed.

What did I realise?  It’s simple.  My wedding day will be the happiest day of my life.  Everybody knows that.

Sadly, though, it leads to an inescapable conclusion.

It that’s the happiest day of my life, then it can only be downhill from there!

My best will be behind me, and every day after that will be sadder.

I’ve condemned myself to a life of misery, haven’t I?

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A great invention

I’ve thought of a great invention.  Something that we could all really use.

We all, now, have access to the internet in one way or another – even if it’s only by going to the local library – so wouldn’t it be great if there was some sort of global interconnection of all the available information.

I’m talking about some method whereby people like you and I could just type in a short question, and have the answer appear on the screen within minutes.

Read more…

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