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    • More +
      29.01.2015 05:35

      Advantages

      • "Good protection"
      • "Nice sleek design"

      Disadvantages

      • "A little pricey for what it is"

      Great product! Looks really smart! Has a lifetime warranty!

      I received an ipad from my wife for Christmas and I wanted to keep it pristine and undamaged so I set about finding a case to protect it. I wanted a cheap case that was a simple design, no frills. I wanted a padded case, preferably water resistant sot hat I could put it in by bag with all my other gear and it would not get harmed if it was inevitably bumped around a little bit. I looked online and eventually after viewing tens of cases I found this one which had a really nice, simple but sleek design. It was black and looked padded which was great.

      I ordered it and it arrived a few days later. I paid around £15 for the case plus delivery, so it wasn't cheap. I like Belkin products and I have used them in the past. I trust their brand and I have always found their products to be of good quality, durable and long lasting. The case is a pleated design which looks really stylish but still understated which I like. It is made of neopreme and is reasonably water proof, you could splash water of it and it wouldn't get through. The material is stretchy and easily accomodates the ipad and a keyboard inside. It has a soft quilted lining which avoids scratches on the ipad and it is lightweight and durable with an easy to use zip. It comes with a lifetime warranty from Belkin and it is soap washable.

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    • Play.com / Online Shop / 0 Readings / 0 Ratings
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      29.01.2015 04:54

      Advantages

      • "Great prices"
      • "Great website"

      Disadvantages

      The best site for DVD's and CD's!

      I first discovered Play.com around 10 years ago and it was a revelation. I couldn't get over how cheap there DVD'S and CD's were. Over the years competitors have caught up and now there is not much difference in price between play.com, Amazon and Zavvi. I usually check the price of an item I want to buy on all 3 and normally play.com comes out on top. I love the logo and the branding, its so distinctive and it draws you to it. It has a really nice looking and well set out website which is really easy to navigate. It has clearly marked sections with easy to find products.

      I like the way that its bestsellers list is clearly displayed so that you can get good ideas of what is popular and what is a really good deal at the moment. This helps me to choose Birthday and Christmas presents for family and friends. When you choose a product it goes to your basket and the site will also make sensible suggestions about what other users who picked that product also liked. This is not annoying and has actually led to several purchases after it showed me things I would likely be interested in.

      When ordering from play.com the service is really good, its easy to sign up and order your products. There delivery is at the time it says that it will be and they don't bombard your email account with offers every day like some companies do.

      I would fully recommend this website.

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    • Nationwide Building Society / Investment Fund / 0 Readings / 0 Ratings
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      29.01.2015 03:19

      Advantages

      • "Friendly staff"

      Disadvantages

      • "Poor online services"

      Mediocre service! Poor online services! Friendly staff!

      I've had a mediocre experience with nationwide. I have a mortgage with them and I have to say they gave a competitive rate of interest. They are good if you like face to face discussions and as a building society they offer a more personal service than some of the other lenders. Setting up my mortgage with Nationwide was a little bit slow if i'm honest. Because I bought a new house I had to wait for them to come out and give their evaluation before anything could proceed. Fair enough they want to check if the house is worth what I say it is before they lend me money against it but it was the length of time it took, around 2 weeks which really frustrated me.

      When you get them on the phone there attitude is really friendly, accomodating and happy to help, but getting them on the phone is another matter. I have sat in queues for ages trying to get through to the right person and when they have said they will ring me back at a certain time they never do and i'm left waiting around at home needlessly for a call that never comes.

      Their online services are not that great and certainly not as good as big banks such as HSBC. A lot of things you can't do online and you have to ring them which is a bit frustrating when you are busy or want a quick decision. overall I think they are OK and wouldn't go out of my way to recommend them.

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    • HP Photosmart 2610 / Fax Machine / Copier / 0 Readings / 0 Ratings
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      29.01.2015 02:48

      Advantages

      • "3 in 1 functioning"

      Disadvantages

      • "Slow fax machine"

      Fantastic machine! 3 in 1 functioning, fast and reliable! Looks great!

      I have used this copier in work for the last couple of years and it hasn't let me down yet. I use it almost every day and I can honestly say it is a great machine and and on only a very small number occasions has it jammed or needed attention. This machine acts as an all in one printer, fax machine and copier and it it does a really good job of all 3 functions.

      The machine looks really good, there is a good weight to it but it is not too heavy, cumbersome or overbearing. It is quite noisy but for an office machine that's standard. You probably might notice the noise a bit more if you bought it for your home. It's got good wireless network set up options and you can easily link several computers to it and send through print tasks which it will log and complete in order.

      The printing quality is great with 4800 x 1200 dpi and it prints at a rate of around 30 sheets per minute in black and white and at round 20 sheets per minute in colour print. Switching between functions is really easy and involves the simple switch of a button. Photocopying is easy to do and produces really good quality copies. I have regularly used the fax machine and it is perfectly capable but I will say that it is pretty slow and can take over 30s to send a fax and sometimes up to a minute, which doesn't sound much but when your busy and standing next to the machine it can seem like quite a while.

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    • o2.co.uk / Online Shop / 0 Readings / 0 Ratings
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      29.01.2015 02:24

      Advantages

      • "Clear pricing options"
      • "Easy website to navigate"

      Disadvantages

      Great website! Easy to navigate! Good online service!

      I am a current o2 customer and I regularly use there online shop to upgrade my mobile phone contracts, buy add ons and look for new mobile phones. The website is quite distinctive, very eye catching and bright and has it offers clearly visible. It is quite easy to navigate around and it doesn't take you very long to find what you are looking for. When you find the phone you are looking for you can click on it and it will give you a price for pay as you go or for contract hire. If you pick contract hire it will give you options depending on the size of the memory of the phone, 16GB, 32GB, 64GB etc and on the tariff you pick.

      The table of memory size and tariff options is well laid out and you can easily compare the different price brackets for each phone and what each price bracket entails with regards to mins, texts, internet allowance etc. So it is really easy to pick your mobile phone over the internet.

      If you are a current o2 customer you can look up your own phone and it will clearly tell you when you are due an upgrade, what it will cost you to upgrade to various models and how long you have to wait for your cintract to run its course or else how much to buy out of your current contract. It also tells you how to expect as a part exchange on your current phone.

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    • More +
      29.01.2015 02:12

      Advantages

      • Cordless
      • "Very reliable"

      Disadvantages

      • Expensive

      Great drill, cordless, easy to use and very reliable!

      I bought this cordless drill about 3 years ago and it was a great buy. I bought a new home and that came with a lot of DIY jobs which needed to be done. Firstly I had to create a lot of storage space as we were downsizing because we were going from rented to bought accomodation. The living space was fine but we needed somewhere to store all the stuff we had accumulated over the years. Its amazing how much stuff we had collected and even more amazing how difficult it is when it comes to actually making the decision to throw something away when you know what you originally payed for it.

      Anyway I decided to floor the loft of my new home and in order to lay the loft panels I had to drill pilot holes for which I used the drill.

      I also had to put up lots of pictures, mount a plasma tv and attach a wide variety of things. Because I was worried about hitting electricity wires when drilling inside I always switch the power off and this is a great bonus of having a cordless drill, you don't need the mains connection.

      This drill is fantastic, I have never had any problems with it and it looks great. It take around 2-3 hours to charge and then it will last you all day, depending on use of course. It is really comfortable to hold and is not too heavy but has a nice weight to it so you can press firmly down. It cost me around £150 new and is worth every penny, I would fully recommend this drill.

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    • More +
      29.01.2015 00:20
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "works great"
      • "looks good"
      • cheap

      Disadvantages

      Great value slow cooker!

      The Morphy Richards Slow Cooker I am reviewing today is the 3.5 litre stainless steel version. It' priced at £29.99.





      My thoughts



      The idea of the slow cooker is awesome, just chuck ingredients in and leave to cook overnight or while you're at work or whatever, so it's ready when you want it rather than having to cook when you really can't be bothered.



      This slow cooker looks great, the stainless steel is shiny and looks expensive. It doesn't take up loads of space on the kitchen worktop. The only thing is that the cable is a bit shorter than I'd like, and it means I'm quite limited to where I can put it.



      The cooker is so easy to use it really is foolproof. All you do is put your ingredients in and then choose your heat setting, of which there are only 3, and leave it to cook. On the low heat setting it can be left for 10-12 hours, on the medium for 8-10 hours and on high for 7-8 hours, meaning you really can just set it off, go to work, and come back to a lovely dinner.



      The lid is made of quite heavy glass, and the actual pot is heavy black ceramic. The pot part is removeable and dishwasher safe which means it's very easy to clean after use. The rest of the unit just needs a quick wipe over and that's it, although because it's stainless steel you can end up with a lot of fingerprints and smears if you don't clean it correctly. You also need to be careful when touching the lid as steam can escape from around the outside and it's easy to burn your fingers.



      I mainly use this for making stews, usually by simply throwing in whatever ingredients I fancy and adding some stock, and they always turn out great. You need to make sure you add enough liquid or it will boil down and end up with your ingredients burnt onto the bottom. I've also used it for cooking meats and I've loved the way they turn out when using this, it's always so tender and nice compared to oven roasting. There are so many slow cooker recipes around these days that you really are spoilt for choice. You can even cook desserts in it, though I haven't tried any of these yet.



      I have had this slow cooker over 2 years now and haven't encountered any issues with it, it works just as perfectly now as it did when I first started using it.



      Recommended?



      Definitely. This is a great slow cooker which works brilliantly and is excellent value for money in my opinion.

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    • Pet Plan / Pet Insurance / 0 Readings / 0 Ratings
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      29.01.2015 00:16

      Advantages

      • "Goid customer services "
      • "Good cover"

      Disadvantages

      Good company! Check the small print so you don't get caught out!

      I have 2 beautiful Ragdoll cats called Bella and Dolly! I bought them 18 months ago and they bring my family a lot of joy. My wife and my son dote on them and they are very playful and affectionate. They are house cats and so they don't go outside and they sleep upstairs at the bottom of our bed.

      I wanted to get them insured because I knew tgst if they were to become unwell then it may well cost thousands of pounds in order to get them the treatments that they require. I know that I would end up paying the money even if it run into thousands as they are so precious to our family.

      I was recommended PetPlan by our vet who actively advertised and promoted their services. I took out a pet plan policy and it cost about £10 per cat per month. This was a lot if money but I was willing to pay it for the peace of mind that it gave me that my cats were covered.

      You should always check what the limit per confition is. They advertise there overall cover amount but this isn't that important its the amount PER confition that will catch you out. If your car gets a chronic condition like eczema that's needs tegukar treatment then it will only be treated up to a certain amount say £1000, then when that's exhausted you will have to pay. But thus condition could go on for 15-20 years. If you try to switch companies you will have to declare this condition as PRE-EXISTING and they won't insure you for it so be careful.

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    • Armitage Rotastak Choc Drops / Small Pet Food / 0 Readings / 0 Ratings
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      28.01.2015 23:50

      Advantages

      • "last ages"
      • tasty
      • cheap

      Disadvantages

      tasty snack for hammies

      We have a syrian hamster who absolutely loves these! One small bag costs less than a pound but it lasts for ages. I bought a pack in september 2014, i tipped them all into a small plastic storage container, and feeding a couple every few days we still have loads left, certainly enough to last another good few months. We dont feed them daily as ive bought a large variety of treats for him so i like to alternate. Also i think treats of fresh fruit and vegetables are a much healthier option for treats, however yhere is nothing wrong with feeding these choc drops as long as it is in moderation. We also have these in the yoghurt flavour which our hamster loves just as much. Sometimes if he is being a little reluctant to come out of his cage or if i want to wake him up during the day then i use a couple of these choc drops as a kind of bribery!

      These choc drops made by rotastak are readily available from every pet shop ive been in. All major pet shops as well as smaller independent stores stock them and they are almost always found in the aisle with all the other hamster accessories and food.

      I would definately recommend these to anyone with a hamster that they want to treat, however i do know that dwarf hamsters are prone to diabetes so to avoid making you're hamster seriously ill it is recommended you ignore the allowance on the back of the back and give very small amounts of these, i would say no more than 1 every couple of days, or break them up and feed one small piece daily.

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    • Admiral Car Insurance / Car Insurance / 1 Reading / 0 Ratings
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      28.01.2015 23:50

      Advantages

      • "Long Cover Abroad"
      • "Multi Car"
      • "Long Standing Customer Discount"

      Disadvantages

      Definitely worth a quote!

      I've been with Admiral for years now. Good coverage abroad which is longer than most countries and ideal for those who travel abroad for summer camping holidays.

      Phones have always been manned, resolved my claim quick and easily and didn't leave me hanging for days for answers.

      Make sure you check your policy clearly with regards to a hire car as they are not always included but doesn't cost much to add it.

      You have to go direct to them for a price but their website is easy to use and gives you the answer in seconds. You can usually haggle a little bit if you ring up too!

      Been with them 5 years now, I do re check quotes every year but so far have never needed to leave.
      Definitely recommend!!

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    • More +
      28.01.2015 23:34

      Advantages

      • non-greasy
      • "nice bottle"

      Disadvantages

      • "does nothing for my hair"

      Rather ordinary oil actually

      L'Oreal Elvive Extraordinary Oil is a versatile hair oil enriched with a blend of 6 precious flower extracts. It's priced at £9.99 for a 100ml bottle.


      My thoughts

      I do like the packaging of this product. The bottle is made of a heavy glass which gives it a feeling of being expensive and high quality. It looks smart, and it has a press top dispenser on top which makes it easy to get out just the right amount.

      The oil can be used on wet or dry hair, and according to the instructions on the bottle it can be used after shampooing as a luxurious treatment, before styling to protect and transform the hair, or as a finishing product, for silky softness and luxurious shine.

      The oil has quite a thin texture and a soft scent which is a bit soapy and floral. It's not a great scent in my opinion, which is a shame as I've used other oils that smell lush and make me want to use them every day.

      The thin texture of the oil makes it easy to work through the hair, whichever way you decide to use it. I've tried using it both before and after styling, and also as an overnight treatment. I like the fact that it doesn't feel heavy or greasy on my hair, but that's about where the positives end or me. I just don't find it really does anything for my hair at all.

      When I used it after styling to tame my flyaways it did so to a certain extent, but very soon I found my ends looking less than smooth again, and the flyaways made a very quick reappearance. When I used it before styling I didn't feel like it was protecting my hair as well as other products I normally used, and my hair felt quite dry afterwards. And when I left it on my hair overnight expecting to wake up to super silky locks, I was so disappointed to find it hadn't made the slightest bit of difference, even though I'd used loads of it!


      Recommended?

      No, I wouldn't recommend this hair oil at all because I just didn't find it effective at all. I've used similar products which have worked wonders for my hair, but this one just does nothing for me.

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    • More +
      28.01.2015 23:32
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "work well"

      Disadvantages

      brilliant

      I have always suffered with quitebad hayfever since being very young. I used to get tablets free on prescription however when I stopped being eligible for free prescriptions i decided to try cheaper alternatives that are readily available from local supermarkets.

      I have found piriton allergy tablets to be the best out of all i have tried so far. I still get the odd sniffles when taking these however they really calm my eyes down, stop them from swelling and watering and generally feeling really sore. Not even prescription tablets did this, i had to use eyedrops for it. Overall im very impressed

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    • More +
      28.01.2015 23:27

      Advantages

      • "really works to volumise and thicken the hair"

      Disadvantages

      • "packaging could be improved"
      • "smells very artificial"

      Big fat hair

      Lee Stafford My Big Fat Healthy Hair Shampoo is designed to boost hair's body and texture, enhance gloss and shine, and banish dulling deposits that make hair go lank and limp. It's priced at £5.99 for a 250ml tube, but can often be picked on a 3 for 2 offer making it better value.


      My thoughts

      I do love the whole Lee Stafford range and the packaging is usually great, but I have had slight issues with this tube! It looks good enough, but the plastic it's made from is quite thin and after I got part way through the tube I found it was starting to break at the sides where it had been squeezed, so I ended up with a bit of leakage from the tube. Other than that the packaging is good, it has a flip top lid which makes it easy to use.

      The shampoo is a thick gel texture and has the usual Lee Stafford scent which is a kind of very artificial sweet floral smell, but I find the scent to be stronger in this shampoo than most of the other products.

      It lathers really well and I hardly need to use any to create a lovely thick, luxurious lather which feels lovely to massage through my hair. It takes a little more rinsing than other shampoos, but still not enough to cause any problems. My hair feels fresh and clean after rinsing it out.

      Once my hair has dried after using this it does feel and look quite a bit fuller than usual, and that's without any styling whatsoever. Having fine hair I've used a lot of thickening and volumising shampoos, and none of them have ever made any noticeable difference until I tried this! My hair feels soft and smooth but it has extra body and texture that means it looks fuller and more bouncy, and it's much easier to style.

      If I use this every day it does start to feel a little drying after a couple of weeks, but this is easily solved by using a more intensive conditioner with it, or using a leave in conditioner. It can also feel like it's leaving a build up on my hair after a while, but I just switch to a tea tree shampoo for a couple of days to detox my hair and then switch back to this.


      Redcommended?

      Absolutely. For many, many years this was the only thickening shampoo that made any difference to my hair, and whilst I have since found a couple of others that work, this one remains the best value and I keep going back to it.

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    • Churchill Insurance / Health Insurance / 0 Readings / 0 Ratings
      More +
      28.01.2015 23:27

      Advantages

      • "Decent quotes"

      Disadvantages

      • "Poor customer service"

      Decent quotes but poor customer service!

      I used Churchill insurance a couple of years ago. I used them because they were one of the best quotes on the price comparison website go compare. It wasn't the cheapest quote but it was the cheapest quote by a company I gave heard of. I always go with the cheapest quote by a reputable company. I take the view that a reputable company will pay out a claim rather than risk the good reputation and brand image that they have worked hard building up over years.

      It was quick and easy to book the insurance policy and I was able to do it on the Internet quite easily. The price comparison site Gocompare referred me to the Churchill website. This was simple and easy to set up.

      When I came to renew the policy the next year I found that they wanted to put my policy up for no reason. I hadn't had a crash and tgere were no incidents. They were only putting the price up by around £20 but I found this really annoying and switched to another company.

      The problem is that a lot of companies don't reward brand loyalty anymore. They know that everyone shops around year on year and will switch to a cheaper competitor at the drop of a hat so they no longer reward brand loyalty. This means that the best insurance offers always go to new customers.

      I tried ringing them with queries several times and they take a long time to get throught to on the home if you pick the right option. As soon as they work out that your not a new customer your waiting for ages. If you want to take out a policy and pick the new customer phone option you get through straight away.

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    • More +
      28.01.2015 23:27
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "good power"
      • "good size"
      • "easy to use"

      Disadvantages

      • none

      The small mixer that behave like a tough machine



      When it comes to cooking in the kitchen I like to try and save time by letting machines do as much work for me as they can. I don't mean that I have a robot in the kitchen, what I mean by that is that if a machine can make life easier in the kitchen then I will give it a go.
      One thing that really helps out when it comes to mixing things up quicker than by hand is this one mixer.
      This is a good sized hand mixer, being about 272mm high by 180mm long and 85mm wide and giving 300watts of power from the well ventilated motor.
      It has a five speed setting, controlled by the slider paddle on the top front of the unit. With simple speeds recognition being 1 – 5. with a burst power button on the top of the unit to give you a few seconds of extra power.
      There are two holes in the underside of the unit which house the actual mixing attachments, those attachments being the dough mixers, for making bread and such like. The other set are your basic beaters, which look like a few wires bent into a bit of a pair shape in order to mix up what ever they plough into.
      In front of the control switch there is another button that, when pressed, drops the attachments out, into a bowl so that they can be cleaned.

      This is so easy to use and just the right size so that it not only gives a good mixing but it is light enough to use for long periods. The handle that goes over the main body is a good size which makes using it so simple, with the handle being the right size too.

      The entire unit is easy to clean, although don't throw it into the washing up bowl as things will go pair shape. What you need to do is simply wipe it over with a damp cloth and away you go.
      The attachments are as strong as the proverbial and lasted longer than I thought they would
      this sells on the open market for about £15 - £20, which is money well spent for such a useful tool

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