cdave: (Default)
The last company I bought glasses off online was a highstreet opticians who were branching out. But they seem to have closed shop now. So I went looking elsewhere, and may have been stung. Thought I was a bit savier that this. Ah well.

I've ordered a pair of cheap glasses, and they've not even processed the order yet according to the online tracking. The site seemed to be a UK company, with a UK number, but no-one was answering. I looked a bit further and it's registered to an office with about a hundred other companies. Looking further still I found 4 online opticians all registered by the same overseas agency.

perfectglasses.co.uk
glassesexperts.co.uk
exclusiveeyes.co.uk
eyeexperts.co.uk

They don't answer their main lines either, but I seem to have found a chink in MAK Media & Creations Ltd.'s airwall. The person on the end of line said he'd get someone to look into it, and seemed very surprised that his number was on their site. So here it is in case it disapears +44 20 70 60 70 55.

These two site don't seem to be registered to the same company, but have bits of the same text on their site, so I could be wrong, and plagerism is wrong anyway.

cheapnewglasses.co.uk
facefurniture.co.uk
cdave: (Default)
Photobucket
Any steampunk fans? You've got until the end off office hours to a bid on these funky glasses.
cdave: (Default)
I'm still not reading LJ thoroughly, but I've seen a couple of different takes on the amazon macmillan dust up over ebook pricing last weekend.

I thought I'd describe my current book buying habits )
But what does that imply for ebooks?

Looking at it, most of the top end books, I get tend to be partially just because I want them now, but also because I want an author's signature or to add to a collection. So hardback novels are artefacts as much as story devilry vehicles, I'm unlikely to buy an ebook instead.

The middle ground's potentially interesting. I still feel the lack of artefact means I wouldn't want to pay as much for an ebook as a paperback, but I'd probably be willing to replace most of this purchasing habit with ebooks, if I wind up with a decent reader.

Ebooks are unlikely to replace the cheap's section as there's no second hand market for them. And I enjoy interacting with the aforementioned to-be-read piles to select something to read. Anyway, that's hardly the top end of the market they're trying to capture. Although I can imagine there's lots of free content on the net these days. It's how I've first read most of Cory Doctorow's stuff (of which I know own paper editions).

Or something like escape pod. Yeah, I can see how they'd be great for short stories magazines. I know donation driven short story sites exist online, but I'm not too keen on reading them for some reason. Actually, subscribing to something like Interzone or Analog that way would be pretty neat.


[1]As an aside, I've noticed for a while that I've not seen the shutters up at the Finsbury Park Comic shop. I'd assumed that I'd just not been past it before 6.30, when it shuts, but getting a glimpse through the open door last week, it looks like all the shelves have gone. And so has their website. It's a pity.

The owner said the Marvel/DC price hike hit at the same time as the relative devaluation of the pound. Combined with people cutting costs because of the credit crunch, he lost a fair few customers last year. Well, he lost me but that's not why. I stopped going because every single time I went in there, they hadn't put aside all of my standing order, and I had to rummage through their back issues, to see if I recognised one I was missing. They specialised in superhero comics with alternative covers anyway, so it was rare that I'd find a new serial I was interested in anyway.
cdave: (Default)
A couple of useful sites I've had difficulty re-finding recently.

Price comparison site with graphs tracking how much your item cost recently. Won the channel 5 Gadget Show challenge at the end of last year for consumer electronics.

For weird tat don't forget Froogle. I found a pair of welding Goggles for a fiver there.

Restaurant Vouchers. Fairly London chain centric, but with several 50% off deals it's worth checking before heading out.

P.S. Don't tell anyone about the fantastic Japanese omelet place that [livejournal.com profile] monkeyssk8 told me about, where they cook the stuff in front of you. It's too fun to get any busier.

It's bad enough that I told [livejournal.com profile] plentyofants, [livejournal.com profile] piesandmash, Fuzz, Jez and Si about it at Christmas.
cdave: (Default)
Very busy at work. No lunch break today.

--

Why do cats sit on papers?

--

Some photo's of the hyperinflation in Zimbabwe. Increasing large bundles of bank notes paying for nothing. An every increasing number of zeros added to new note issued. They knocked 10 zeros off the end earlier this year, and may have to do it again before the year is out.

--

Nurse led drop in centre say: I've likely sprained big trapezoid muscle, which would take around two weeks to start feeling completely better. So take ibuprofen to reduce inflammation. Full range of movement available from both shoulders. Excess movement in left should probably just an elongated tendon, talk to GP next time, but don't worry about it. So I won't.

--

Saw Bond in Basingstoke with: Fuzz, [livejournal.com profile] piesandmash, March and March.

America has exploding petrol. Europe doesn't.

As spotted byFran.

--

Read "Kitty and the Midnight Hour" by Carrie Vaughn (first recommended to me by [livejournal.com profile] makyo over three years ago!) basically in one sitting. Train and tube ride home. A bit before going to sleep. Then a bit more as I was over 3/4 of the way through. Took around 2.5 to 3 hours.

Basic premis: A werewolf running a late call in night show on the supernatural. Werewolves, Vampires, and other unspecified things (and lists only get three items in before being interrupted) are real, but generally try and stay hidden from public view.

Cut for world spoilers. Not really plot spoilers. )

--

More love for the UK online battery shop. They spotted a mistake in some invoices from ages ago, so sent out a polite email with an updated invoice, telling me that I can ignore it, unless I was using it for VAT reasons. I like when shops own up to things without prompting.
cdave: (Angry)
So far it's taken over 10 helpdesk calls to sort out find out what's going with the stupid stupid Verified by Vista phishing look-a-like payment site. (MasterCard SecureCode is the same damn thing).

If a payment site:
appears in an embeded iframe (with no way of seeing the URL),
or in a pop-up with out an address bar,
or comes up after I've already entered my card details and asks for them again,
or triggers a javascript XSS warning on noScript,
or only lists a phone number which is not valid ( 0870 154 0121 );
then I'm not going to trust it!

Here are some valid numbers:

0844 811 9111 Customer service: Takes a while to get through the menus but eventually a human told me there was no failed transaction on my account, but there was a £1 charge due to expire on the 10th. However they can't help with the secure.barclaycard site (and as an aside only have access to 6 months of account data).

0870 156 6485 Barclaycard Secure/3D Secure queries: Only for Debit cards, can't help with Credit card problems.

0844 811 9152 Barclaycard Secure/3D Secure queries: Only for Credit card, can't help with debit card. Only one that seems to be based overseas.

They said that the receipt history page isn't receipts, it's a list of attempted transactions. Clearly. The transaction that was showing up on there was a failed transaction. Even though there's no indication of this. I eventually paid again, and apart from a slightly higher Receipt ID the two "receipts" look identical.

Raah!

If I see a site uses Vilified by Visa, or MasterCard SuckyCode, then I'll will first see if there is another payment option. Then see if there is another site selling the same thing. Then consider if I really need to spend money, before going through all this again.


Then the shop downstairs closed as I walked up to it.
Then vending machine wasn't taking pound coins, so I went and got change.
Then it wasn't taking change.
Then the coffee shop had a massive queue.
So no sugar for Dave.
Grr.
cdave: (Default)
Having a decent customer service is important to me when I but things. It's why I won't use Dabs any more and use CCL online instead.

So I'm very pleased to be able to recommend Advanced mp3 players.co.uk.

There was a minor cock-up. I'd ordered an mp3 player that was out of stock, and due to be back in stock on Friday. I paid for next day delivery to get hold of it by Saturday. However it didn't arrive. I emailed them on Sunday, and had a reply at 9:20 on Monday morning. It seems that by the time it arrived, they had missed the cut off for next day shipping. So the refunded me the cost of the next day shipping. Great service, and incredibly cheap too.
cdave: (Default)
Ick. After getting my ebuyer account deleted, I received their newsletter today. After carefully selecting the opt out, and Not selecting the opt in during registration (Tricky gits).

Filthy spamming gits. Why do they have me on their "spam me" list in the first place, and why do they still have my email address after deleting the account?
cdave: (Default)
The CR2032 Battery I needed for the Sea Monster on my motherboard arrived almost exactly 24 hours after I ordered it
.
.
.
with a tiny Belgian milk chocolate.

I wish I needed more batteries now.
cdave: (Default)
Ooh, CCL Online have a proper UK landline number to call. And people on the end who can actually help.

If you see this, thanks for the (ages old) recommendation Fuzz.
cdave: (Default)
Good buying experience at Battery Force.

Asks for payment and delivery details, and at the end offers the chance to create an account for order tracking, just by adding a password.

Has a simple, thorough, privacy policy. Including a no spam policy.

Bad buying experience at ebuyer.

When trying to pay by Switch it tried to load a Mastercard verification site, secure site, which looks like a phishing scam, and didn't load anyway.

It auto populates your address, using your postcode and house number, in a way that is not valid on the form (it leaves off the mandatory county) so you have to go back and re-populate it anyway.

I don't have a landline, therefore I cannot update my email address. Really. It let me register with a mobile, and used that to populate the main phone number, however you have to use a valid UK landline in order to update your address.

When I asked them to delete my account ("No, not deactivate, delete") they changed my email address to NULL and left the account open.

Turns text links black (with no underline) after you click on them, so you cannot see the same help topic easily.

Wishy washy privacy policy. Stored under "First Time Visitors" section of help desk (Do existing users not have any privacy rights?).
"Very occasionally, we may share your details with carefully selected third parties. However, if your communication preferences show that you have chosen NOT to receive information from third parties, then of course your details will not be shared.
...
We do our best to maintain the accuracy of any personal information you do supply to us. "


Hahaha! Best bit. There's a link on their "about us" page to "Find out why our customers love us so much..."
"We are sorry but the page you requested is not available."


edit: Ah they've now deleted the actual account. It just took them a couple of hours.
cdave: (Default)
Grr! I've just spent about an hour and half trying to book tickets to Canada.

I was thinking about visiting some friends out there and was told today that aircanada.com had a sale on that finished today.

I visited aircanada.com, entered the flight details and got a price. I thought I should compare it, so looked a couple of other flight sites. By the time I'd come back my session had expired.

So I went back to the start and saw the section on air miles. I haven't flown transatlantic recently so I looked into that and decided I should probably get a bmi card, rather than aircanada's own one. Of course this meant the site timed out.

Back to the beginning again. And this time, when prompted, I tried to create an account on the site to save all my information, so I wouldn't have to enter it again. It wouldn't accept a UK mobile as the contact number, and I have no landline at the moment. Meanwhile, timeout.

Restarting again, I got as far as the payment section, and found that they have implimented "Visa Secure services" which means that the only way to pay is to agree to the terms and conditions of this market^h^h^h^h^h^h security exercise. I read them, clicked acknowledge, and Visa returned me to an aircanada timeout screen.

Round and round the Mulberry bush. After restarting and entering my credit card details again, and passing Visa's Security, I get taken back to aircanada page telling me that they cannot accept payment as the price has changed. It looked the same to me so I asked for assistance on the site, and some called me straight away (I'm glad the time diff is minus 5 hours). He said that the prices are all dynamic and are updated if someone else books a seat on the same flight as you. I pointed out that what with the sale the price hadn't changed. He told me to just enter my card details again, but I had been timed out.

At this point I took a brief break from aircanada. As, after entering my card details so many times I realised my card was about to expire, and I didn't have the replacement yet, so I called my card issuer. It seems they still have my old address and daft me hadn't noticed the statements not arriving (I pay the full amount by DD, and only use it rarely anyway). So I asked them cancel the card they'd sent to my old address, and send me another new one to my new address.

Back to aircanada, enter flight details, payment details. Card declined. Sigh

Back on the phone to the card issuer. It turns out that the last person I'd spoke to had changed my address on the system, cancelled my current card, and left the card sent to my old address active. Grr! They can't reactivate cards, and aircanada don't take debit cards. I couldn't reach my parents, so started begging round the people who'd stayed late at the office, offering to pay cash tomorrow. One very nice guy agreed to pay with his card.

Time to fill in the aircanada site details again, this time with his card. However he got the Mastercard secure verification screen pop up. He failed. He thought he'd used the wrong phone number first, but it wasn't that. Then he spotted that the post code field wasn't long enough to cope with London post codes, and had missed the last letter. So he deleted the space, didn't change the phone number back and failed for the third time. Which blocks you from using your card online.

He kindly filled in the details again with another card, while on the phone trying to unblock his first card via the 0844 number provided (they couldn't, he may never be able to use that one online), and it went through!

So I make the 8 times filling in flight information, 5 credit card number entries, and 4 phone calls. Hasn't the internet made our life so much easier?

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