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Member since: 20.11.2009

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    • Samsung SGH-U900 Soul / Mobile Phone / 11 Readings / 11 Ratings
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      23.12.2009 14:09
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      A reasonable phone

      The Samsung Soul is a modern sleek looking slide phone. There is a touchpad style control panel in addition to the normal keys.

      Despite being dropped and generally abused for the 18 months I have owned it, the phone is still working. It does scratch easily however and the chrome effect quickly becomes scruffy looking and worn. It's more substantial in size and weight than a lot of modern phones and has a good sized screen.

      I'm not a fan of the touchpad controls as I'm constantly pressing the wrong button and loosing texts or sending half written ones. Also there seems to be a delay on these buttons, which is getting worse as the phone gets older. The other irritating thing is when you send a text message (particularly a multi-page one) it takes ages to send and you can't do anything else with the phone while you're waiting or you'll loose it all.

      As a phone it works perfectly (although it can be a little quiet in a noisy environment) and has all the features I need including Bluetooth, mp3 player, fm radio, alarm clock and the ability to send and receive videos. There are a few standard games which I never really bother with, but obviously you can download more, as you can with ringtones etc.

      There are 128mb of internal memory which can be expanded, but this is plenty for me and I would consider myself a fairly regular user.

      The built in 3G HSDPA technology provides high speed internet access which is an important feature for me. The impressive 5m pixel camera with face recognition is also good quality. I currently have 70 photos on mine and a few videos and it keeps telling me it's full. The picture quality is good in daylight but not so strong when it's dark.

      The battery life started off very good but has got worse recently. It goes down really quickly when you use the internet or camera facility a lot.

      The main menu is basic, colourful and fairly intuitive. It's easy to find what you want.

      All in all, it's a decent phone which is impressive looking when new but quickly becomes worn. It's robust and strong and does everything I need it to. I would recommend it as solid and reliable but don't be too fooled by the look as it doesn't maintain it's good looks for long!

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    • tesco.com / Online Shop / 10 Readings / 10 Ratings
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      22.12.2009 13:47
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      A good service

      Supermarket shopping used to be the bane of my life - I can think of nothing worse than a packed supermarket full of screaming kids and trolley-rage fuelled shoppers. Then I discovered Tesco on-line.

      I had always previously shopped with Tesco and believe them to be the best value for money, with a wide range of products at a wide range of prices. The bonus-points scheme is also very impressive.

      Since discovering Tesco on-line, I have had my shopping delivered at the start of every month without fail and have found it a convenient and time-saving option to braving the supermarket aisles.

      The sign-up process is very simple with only a few basic details including email address asked for.

      The website is very simple to use. The offers are clearly laid out in a separate section and it's worth checking through there first to see if there's anything worthwhile.

      If you have done your shopping on the website before, you can access your favourites or have a repeat delivery. This is a very useful feature and can save a lot of hunting around. Not only that, if you're a club card holder and you use your card when actually shopping in the store, this is recorded as well.

      If you're a first time buyer or looking for different products, they are very neatly and clearly sorted into categories, which is the easiest way to find something. The search facility is not particularly good, often coming up with hundreds of options, none of which bearing much resemblance to the item you were actually after.

      The price for delivery varies from £2.50 to £6.00, although if you hunt around on-line, you can very often find free delivery or money off your shopping. Delivery times are in two hour slots from 0900am to 11pm, and I have always found them to be very punctual. Occasionally the time you want is unavailable, for example looking today (22nd December), there are no deliveries at all until the 27th. This being Christmas, that's an exception rather than the rule and you can generally get next day delivery.

      The shopping is delivered in crates direct to your door and the service I have experienced has always been friendly and helpful. The standard of fresh food is generally ok, but can be a bit hit-and-miss as obviously they are not going to take as much care when selecting as you would yourself.

      Also, some products are occasionally out of stock. Tesco chooses a replacement for the product, which is normally something fairly logical and you always have the option not to take it. On average, in a monthly shop, there are two or three things that have been replaced, so this is never a huge problem.

      All in all, I have received an efficient service and have no cause for complaints. With friendly, punctual staff and an easy to navigate website and the customary good Tesco value, it has made my shopping much easier.

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    • easyjet.com / Internet Site / 9 Readings / 9 Ratings
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      10.12.2009 23:20
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      Make the most of cheap flights while you still can!!!

      EasyJet is a British based budget airline company offering cut-price trips to over 100 airports in 27 countries throughout Europe and North Africa. They operate from all the major British airports.

      As an occasional business and leisure traveller, I regularly use EasyJet and have only praise for them.

      The website is well laid out in the distinctive orange and white EasyJet colours. Special offers are clearly laid out and some of these can be very impressive indeed. You can book accommodation, car rental and travel money (though this is actually done through their partners) however I have only ever booked the actual flights.

      You simply choose the airport you wish to leave from, the destination, the dates (and whether or not they are flexible) and the amount of travellers. The site will then show you a list of possible flights with prices (the lowest price is clearly marked).

      Booking is very easy and straightforward and you can print confirmation straight away. You can also print boarding passes online saving a great deal of time at check-in.

      Of course, the real advantage of EasyJet is the prices. As an example, I recently spent roughly £60 on a return flight from Gatwick to Marseille, and that price seems to be around about the average for most destinations in Europe. Along with RyanAir, they are the cheapest around.

      Any extras have to be paid for. For example, you can pay about £20 extra for a "speedy" ticket which means that you board the plane first and choose where to sit. You also have to play a similar price to check in any luggage. As I normally only go for a couple of days, I try to pack everything into my hand luggage which you don't have to pay for. People complain about having to pay extra for all these things, but in reality it's this which keeps the prices down.

      As a budget airline, there is only one class of seat. These are fairly comfortable but quite cramped if you are above average height. However this is not too much of a problem as most of the flights are only short. The service onboard is always efficient and friendly. You have to pay for any food and drinks but the prices and quality are reasonable. There are also lottery-style tickets to buy and the normal duty-free.

      Unfortunately, the government seems to be about to declare war on cut-price airlines, another nail in the coffin of many small businesses. So my advice would be to make the most of it whilst it's there.

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    • UPS / Transport / 15 Readings / 15 Ratings
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      23.11.2009 21:39
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      The United Parcel Service (UPS) is the world's biggest package delivery company and has a very good reputation for providing a good, efficient service.

      I used the UPS to return my faulty xbox360 back to Microsoft. They emailed me the label to use, with easy to follow instructions about how to package my item and how to arrange delivery, which I did on-line.

      The website is very user friendly and straight-forward to use, there is quite a lot to fill in and you need to know the weight of the product you are sending. I specified that I wanted it to arrive from 1400 - 1600 on a Friday afternoon. The times you can choose vary depending on where you want the collection from.

      I arrived home at dead on 1400 and waited....and waited.... At just after 1600, I checked online to see what had happened. Apparently they had already been to my property and been unable to collect. Obviously they must have arrived just before 2 when I wasn't there. What was annoying was the fact that they failed to ring the telephone number I had provided. I phoned the customer helpline and was spoken to by a very polite lady who was nonetheless unable to help me and told me I'd have to re-arrange the collection.

      I re-arranged the collection from 1400 to 1500 the following Monday. At 1000 that day, I received a phone call saying that they would be able to collect between 1600-17.30. On this occasion, they did arrive on time and I was impressed with the friendly, efficient service I received.

      Overall, I was treated politely and courteously by both the courier and the customer-service department. The system is easy to use, easy to book and very user-friendly.

      The UPS are a huge company, dealing with thousands of parcels a day, and it is inevitable that occasionally things do go wrong. However, my overall impression is one of an efficient, well organised company that make the whole procedure very simple.

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