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Argos over the past few years has become a well known and to many people a much loved institution on our high streets. I do actually like the concept of catalogue shopping in a store because it's quick, easy and convevient and like many other people over the years I have spent hours pondering over the catalogue at home and spent hundreds if not thousands of pounds as a reasonably regular customer. However I do have one big problem with Argos (and certain other shops as well). THE SIXTEEN DAY NO QUESTIONS ASKED MONEY BACK GUARANTEE! What a fantastic concept, why could I possibly have a problem with something that is designed to offer customers the ultimate in after sales service? "If you don't like it, bring it back and we'll refund your money" Have you ever thought though?... What happens to that Video, TV, Stereo AFTER you have brought it back to the shop? Well if it's not faulty it gets sold to some other poor soul.....SO WHAT? I hear you cry. Well it might just be that Video Recorder that someone's been using for past two weeks and decided they don't want anymore so it's packed back in the box (as neatly as possible but never quite the same) brought back to the shop "NO QUESTIONS ASKED" and YOU buy it. Call me old fashioned, fussy or whatever else but when I pay full price for something that is "BRAND NEW" that is exactly what I expect something that is BRAND NEW, not something that has been used by someone else for the past two weeks. Surely in anybody's book it is now second hand but it's being sold to me as BRAND NEW???? Well maybe i'm just unlucky or a bit fussier than the average person but I can honestly say hand on heart that around half of the things that I have bought from Argos in recent years have been taken out of the box prior to me buying them. You can always tell because seals
have been broken etc. and you can never pack items back in the box the same way they were packed originally....in short, you just know. The worst case was a beauty product my wife bought (which is supposed to be exempt from the Money Back Guaratantee) which invloved sticking pulsing electrical pads to your face with a special gel that was bought seperately . However somebody else had used it: How do I know? Because all the special seals on the bags had been broken AND THERE WAS GEL ON ALL THE PADS.... Yes you could say it was a one off, a mistake or whatever else but there have been many other instances where I have bought things that have been unpacked prior to me buying them and when I ask the shop assistant the Argos policy on returned goods (that are not faulty) I am always told the same thing. "If goods are not faulty and look ok they are checked and resold" SO BUY DEFINITION THEY ARE NO LONGER BRAND NEW!!! So why pick on Argos? There are many other shops that will accept goods back on a similar basis. (which by the way is not a legal statutory right, shops do it for good will). Well I can only talk about my own experiences and other shops give you the option of choice. Boots or Comet for example let you pick your own boxed item underneath the one on display which are all factory packed. Comet even go a stage further and say they will only accept none faulty goods back if the box has not been opened. The moment you open the box you have to keep it. This to me seems like a much more sesible policy and strikes the balance between offering good customer service to the returners AND THE BUYERS. So next time you buy something "brand new" especially electrical items remember it's worth while checking it before you get home to see how it is packed and if it's not packed properly somebody else may have owned it for a short whi
I have been a frequent visitor to Turkey for over ten years and over those years have made many friends who I still keep in contact with. Turkey in recent years seems to have won this reputation for being cheap and cheerful in terms of getting there and the cost of living, which it is, there is no doubt that Turkey is still is a developing country, but it does have so much more to offer than just cheap lager and food. Many of the resorts can and do easily compete with other resorts in Europe. Olu Deniz Some of the best beaches you will see anywhere in the World. Bodrum Cosmopolitan bustling resort which is great for clubbers and boasts the largest open air disco in Europe. Kusadasi A shoppers paradise which is eclipsed only by Istanbul and Izmir. A great base for culture vultures with the massive biblical archaeological site of Ephesus only twenty minutes away. It is said because of Turkey's diverse history there are more Greek ruins in Turkey than there are in GREECE. Not to mention some of the natural wonders like the hot springs at Pamukkale and the catacombs of Cappadocia I could go on and on naming all the resorts and what they have to offer but I would be in danger of sounding like a holiday brochure. The point of this opinion is simply to say that Turkey's reputation of being a cheap place to sunbathe all day and get pissed at night is an unfair one as other than this it has so much more to offer. You can of course spend your fortnight doing this if you want (I've done it myself) but it still is a great cultural experience, it is definitely NOT like being in say Spain or Greece and you will experience the Asian influence everywhere in Turkey even in bed when you are woken by the Muezzin on a morning which is the local mosque calling muslims to prayer over a loud speaker. By far Turkey's biggest asset in my opinion is the fr
eindliness of its people THEY REALLY ARE. I have never expeienced such a willingness to help from anybody like the Turks do it (and I have visited many other countries in the World) even to the point when you are a new visitor it can be a little overpowering, even suspicious until you become used to their idea of hospitality. I'll give you a quick example of this: My Wife and I once stopped two scary looking policemen, gave them a business card of a restaurant we were looking for and asked them for directions. Neither of them spoke English and spent the next minute or so talking to each other scratching their heads and rubbing their chins. At this point I fully expected them to hand the card back shake their heads, smile and walk off, but oh no not in Turkey. One of them clicked his fingers and summonsed a local shop owner from across the road and spoke to him in Turkish, at this point the two policemen shook our hands smiled and went on their way. The local shop owner shut his shop introduced himself as Ali and walked about half a mile with us right to the restaurant door during which time he was enlightening us with stories about his family and children etc. etc. It's hard to explain but it was almost like he'd been given a Mission by the Police and he was going to see it through right to the end. I have many examples of similar experiences and frankly it' is these types of positive experiences that you remember and helps make the holiday an enjoyable one. It is almost like there is an unwritten law in Turkey that no matter who you are, bus driver, shop keeper, bar staff etc. or even if you are just a passer by you must always be courteous and helpful to tourists (especially British tourists) and you do genuinely get this feeling of being made to feel special. THEY LIKE THE BRITISH Like any country Turkey isn't perfect they do have problems and I woul
d always advocate people take reasonable responsibility for their own safety like you would anywhere. Some resorts do have problems with beggars who just sit on the street holding out their hands but they in no way make you feel threatened. I would offer the following tips to anybody planning to visit Turkey. Remember Turkey is a developing country if you want five star service go somewhere else,power cuts for example are quite common, many hotels only have hot water available at certain times of day and many of the typical tourist rooms are quite basic but clean. I feel this all adds to the experience. The Turks are very laid back about everything, if you are told your meal will be served in five minutes and half an hour later you're still waiting, don't shout at the waiter, because if you do, you will probably spend your whole holiday shouting at people, just learn to relax like they do and politely tell him you are in a hurry they will then bend over backwards to help you. Learn to say no with a smile. Turkey is a poor country as are the people and everybody is trying to earn a living even the shoe shine boys, people selling fake perfumes and yes even the beggars (they don't have social security out there you know). You don't have to go into every shop or bar when approached, just like you don't have to buy everything that is offered to you on the street, Just say no BUT SAY IT WITH A SMILE and if they persist, keep walking, keep smiling and keep saying no, Don't feel threatened or pressured as I said they are just trying to make a living (or make ends meet would be nearer the mark) And finally remember your calculator. Look at the exchange rate and you will know exactly what I mean. Ever wondered what it would feel like to be a millionaire, well go to Turkey and you will become one, a Turkish one that is.
I’m ready for a good moan so lets have a go at banks and building societies. I can’t have just a general moan because I’ll be here for about a week. But I do have a question for anybody who takes the time out to read this. We live in a World where we have sent men to the moon, landed little remote control cars on Mars. We can send e-mails, photographs, television pictures, weather reports etc. etc. etc. to the other side of the World in a split second. We can even send information into the depths of Space. SO WHY ON EARTH DOES IT TAKE THREE DAYS FOR A BANK CHEQUE TO CLEAR? Think about it, there is absolutely no reason at all from a technological point of view why a cheque number can’t be entered into a computer when paid in at the bank and cleared straight away electronically. Building societies are even worse they take ten working days. NOW I WONDER WHY THIS COULD BE? Call me an old cynic, but could it be that the banks make millions of pounds on the interest generated by keeping OUR MONEY for three days longer (or ten which ever you prefer) than they should. Next time you are in the bank out of interest ask the assistant why it takes so long, and see what rubbish they tell you. I am in no way qualified to make this accusation (i.e. I don't work in finance etc.) However it is an opinion I will stand by unless anybody can give me a good answer to the above question. What do you think?
I remember the Royal Mail when they had an efficient excellent service. Letters always arrived on time, I never had to collect mail from three streets away, in fact I never had a problem. Then one day something happened that was going to change my love affair with the Royal Mail for ever. MY WIFE BECAME A POST LADY!!!! You always hear people harping on about how difficult it must be being a Postie, you know the sort of thing…the early mornings, all the walking, the bad weather drone drone. Well for once I’m going to stand up for all the postie’s partners out there. This is what I have to contend with; Getting nagged at every night to go to bed before 10 O’ Clock because she has to get up at 4 .30am Always getting useless phone calls at work because she doesn’t know what to do with the rest of the day after getting home at 10.00am. Me always having to take the dogs out because “I’ve done enough walking today”. Getting woken up every morning by all the banging and walking around in the bedroom. No more Friday nights out. I remember going out on Friday’s with my wife… not anymore, not when the Queen needs you on Saturday mornings to be the guardian of her local mail. Its just Friday nights in with a curry, bottle of wine and all that soppy “quality time” rubbish. Sordid Affairs? Forget it any letters with even a hint of perfume would be spotted at thirty paces. So basically with the exception of the Internet my wife has complete control over all my written correspondence. But the worst thing of all (which is the main thrust of my complaint) is that the service I now get from the Royal Mail is a nightmare. You see all the posties give each other their personal mail when they are at the depot so we don’t have a postman as such anymore, so now my wife brings home my mail.
AND FORGETS TO GIVE IT TO ME!!!!! So three days or so later I might just get that letter I’ve been waiting for, oh and I now also have my own personal letter censor if there is any junk mail that my wife thinks I don’t need, she opens it for me and throws it away not thinking that I might actually WANT to read it. I once threatened to ring up and complain about her if she didn’t give me my mail on time and it was better for a while but not for long so if it doesn’t improve I’m going to get her sacked. When I think about it this isn’t a complaint about the Royal Mail at all, It’s a complaint about my wife but there isn’t a section in DooYoo to moan about wives NOW THERE'S A SUGGESTION! Despite all this I Still Love her especially in that Postie uniform so it’s not all bad I suppose. The moral to this story is NEVER MARRY A POSTIE unless you happen to be a complaining old fart like me who enjoys a good moan. And just in case you’re wondering yes I have written this tongue in cheek, but if DooYoo did have a partner’s complaints/relationships section I’m sure it would be the most read part of the web site and it would provide an excellent release for frustration. I’d be interested to hear your comments.
I am not going to go on and on about how fantastic Mame is, that has been stated very well many times already and frankly if you are not convinced now you never will be. NOW JUST CONSIDER THIS AS PERVERSE LOGIC..... Like many other people I own hundreds if not thousands of pounds worth of games software with many of the latest titles in my posession, yet since discovering Mame I have temporarily lost interest in all of these and instead I choose to spend hour upon hour playing Moon Cresta (an early eighties space shoot em up)It's sad I know but there it is. You see that is what Mame is all about it allows saddo twenty and thirty somethings like me to get all nostalgic about how gaming used to be when we were kids spending hours feeding 10p's into arcade machines. For me just the sound of Moon Cresta brings all the memories flooding back of when I used to be respected by my peers not because of me but because of the high scores I could get playing this particular game (I only wish I was that good now). We all have certain songs that take us back to a particular time or holiday or remind us of a certain girlfriend/boyfriend, well mame is the gaming equivalent of that. So all I would add is, if you are the right age to remember playing such games then Mame is a must, forget Lara Croft (well for now anyway)and get on Space Invaders, Pac Man and Defender that's where it's all happening.
Like Many other people I have lost faith in the NHS over recent years although this has been fuelled through media coverage rather than personal experience. Recently my elderly mother fell and broke her hip, like most sons I rushed to the hospital as soon as I was informed, my mother had been there for about half an hour. The only thing going through my mind at the time were the scare stories we all hear about frail people waiting weeks or months for operations/hip replacements etc. the facts of my particular experience are these. 1. The ambulance arrived within five minutes of being called. 2. My mother was admitted at 1.00pm by 6.30pm they were operating. 3. We were constantly informed what was going on, what the procedure was etc. 4. FOUR DAYS LATER she was walking (aided) I was ready to admit her to a private hospital to avoid "all the NHS problems" but there were none. I am convinced if we had gone private the service would have been no better than what we received on the NHS maybe with exception of nicer wallpaper and a private room but who cares about that when your hip is broken. I know my positive experience is no consolation to those people who have suffered at the hands of the NHS but you can only judge things as you find them. Although I hate to admit it as I am not a Labour Supporter, maybe just maybe they are starting to make difference. The media would never report on a case like mine because it is a positive one. The NHS only ever gets critisised by people (including me). So for once WELL DONE and thank you for making a difficult time for my family a little easier by not adding to our problems. I hope all my future experiences with the NHS will be similar to this one.
Have you ever liked the idea of putting on the sunglasses jumping into the convertible and driving for miles in the hot summer sun surrounded by some of the most stunning scenery in the World? Yes? then Banff National Park is for you, read on! Banff is usually associated with skiing and winter holidays, people sometimes overlook the fact that Banff also serves as a fantastic summer destination. There is only one way to explore this wonderful part of the world and that is by car (preferably open top). The roads are long straight and quiet so much so that driving actually becomes an enjoyable experience. There are many points of interest where one can stop, get out of the car and explore, far too many to mention here but if you think of crystal clear turqoise lakes, glaciers, waterfalls and snow capped mountains you get the idea. Most areas of interest are signposted and are easily seen from the conveniently positioned parking areas at the side of the road. Wildlife is also a common sight. watch out for parked cars and people looking into bushes this usually means there has been a "sighting". Three or four people usually indicates mountain goats or deer, seven or eight people would probably mean elk and if there is a big crowd with people fighting for position to get the best photograph then it can only mean the best sight of all THE BEAR. Please be careful if you do see bear especially if there are cubs nearby as I am assured on good authority they can literally rip people in two they can also run very fast so please be respectful and keep your distance and DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES GO NEAR THE CUBS. In addition to Banff National Park the Icefield parkway drive to Jasper is also a must with even more incredible scenery, the highlight being the glacier which you can actually walk on but wrap up warm. There is also a useful information centre there offering trips refreshemn
ts etc. I would suggest anyone visting the Rocky Mountain area to stay in both Banff and Jasper as both have lots to offer although my favourite is banff. Don't forget your binoculars and camcorder!!!!!!!!!