HP Printer Manager

Been doing a lot of printing over the last few months, and keep having problems with my Epson printer.  I want to print in black, on white paper – and now I can only do that if I replace the red ink.  I’ve already had to replace the blue and yellow inks so I can use the black ink.  Not sure why that is, unless… just maybe… could it be that they want me to buy more ink than I need?  Nah, couldn’t be that…

Anyway, I just treated myself to a HP laser printer.  Big advantage is that it only uses black.  It also will do all the printing I need for the next couple of years without me having to buy any more supplies.  It will sit on my desk, doing nothing, until I need it; and then it will do what I need quickly.

I love it.

But…

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Adventure001 vouchers are not worth the paper they’re printed on

For Christmas, my partner gave me what should have been a dream gift: a pleasure flight in a helicopter.

Sadly, it is anything but a dream…

You see, what they actually bought was a voucher, that entitled me to register on a website, enter the voucher code, and then exchange it for the flight.
Only it doesn’t work.

We’ll start with the simple fact that the telephone number they give is not included in any free minutes you may have – you have to pay for the call.  So I didn’t call.  I went onto the website.  Where they insisted I register – giving them all my data which they can then sell.
Not just that, but part of registering is entering the code on your gift voucher – and you have to enter a valid gift code to get in.  Note that, please: the code has to be valid.

OK.  I registered, got into the website, and couldn’t find where I was supposed to enter my code to get the flight.  So I emailed them.  Their reply?  Register on the site, and follow the instructions.
But… that’s exactly what I did do!  And I said that, in my email…

I dig around, and finally spot a bit of small print that says it can take up to a week for a code to verified.  So I wait, checking every day.  Then I go away for a few days, to a wedding, so I don’t check for 4-5 days – and when I do check, I see that there is a new button on the website, something like ‘book your date’, and I think ‘yes!’

Only, when I click on it, I’m told I need to enter a valid code.  And my code is not valid.  But you need a valid code to get in to the website….?

I email them again, and they tell me to phone them.  So I get my partner to phone them…  £3 and ten minutes later, we’re still waiting for an answer!  (We did learn something interesting, though – every few seconds, we got a recorded message saying that all their team members were busy dealing with other customers.  As I commented to my partner, it shows how bad they are, if all their staff are tied up with complaints for ten whole minutes…)

I email them one more time, telling them that I refuse to pay for a phone call, and ask why they are incapable of dealing with problems via email.

I’m still waiting for a reply.  I hear that they are terrible at emailing, which is not a surprise – they can’t charge you for emails, after all.
No, they want you to phone them, and spend hours waiting for an answer

The conclusion I am forced into is a simple one.  Flights for all at  https://www.adventure001.com has been set up for the sole purpose of selling vouchers – which have no value.  The business plan is that you, the customer, finally realise that it is cheaper to buy a helicopter flight with somebody else than it is to spend hours on the phone trying to get the flight you were given.

If you think about it, it IS the perfect scam.  The person trying to book the flight is not the customer – and has NO rights.  The person who has the rights lost them the second they gave the voucher to somebody else.
In the eyes of the law, the contract is between the supplier and the purchaser – you actually have no right to a refund of money you never paid, and those businesses who refund or exchange gifts only do so as a sign of good faith – they are under no legal obligation to do so.

My partner arranged the gift over the phone, and the flight is from a local small airfield – the same one I flew a plane from three years ago.  And I know that I can drive out there any day, and book a pleasure flight in a helicopter, or even book lessons.  No advance payment, just turn up on the day, pay, and wa-hey!
I seem to remember that it was cheaper than the voucher, too.

So please, if you want to give somebody a dream present, make sure you go direct.  It’s cheaper, and you get to see them enjoy it – because you have to go with them to pay for it.

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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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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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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.

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Annoying

As I’ve mentioned more than once on here, I like to add the email addresses of SPAMmers to every SPAM list I can find.    I consider it to be a public service.

Not the standard stuff – there’s just too much of that.  No, it’s the ‘clever’ ones, that pretend, or claim, not to be SPAM.  The ones that add you to a mailing list just because you exist.

Well, I’ve just got an email that is very annoying, because I can’t add them to the list!

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Annoying

I’m letting off steam about an old chestnut again.  Oh, hello again, too.  Sorry for the large gap between posts, been busy living.  And working.

OK.  For a while now, I’ve fancied the idea of a large, family, holiday.  As you know, I had a holiday on my own last year, before the world ended – and while I was looking for somewhere to have that holiday, I saw so many places to take this holiday that the idea stuck in my head.

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Barking up the wrong tree

I got an email today from a website called bark.com.  Their business is ‘lead generation’, and they want me to use their services…

‘Lead generation’ is basically a service where they charge for a list of potential clients.  In their email, they say that they are different to other services as they ‘check that leads are relevant’.

Sounds great, doesn’t it?

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The computer says ‘no’

Thanks to a certain TV program, the phrase ‘the computer says no’ is pretty well known.  It has entered our everyday language as a reason/excuse for being refused a product or service for no logical reason.

Let’s take a look at this idea.  Let’s look at monthly direct debit budget plans.

You get a bill from your supplier, and it states that your estimated usage for the next year will be £1200.  (A figure chosen for no other reason than it divides nicely.)
Now, you may not be as good at sums as I am, but I’m pretty sure you should be able to see that £1200 over 12 months is £100 a month.

So they set your payments at £150.

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