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Very sad to hear on the news today that Gateway are pulling out of UK. Since there are several positive opinions on dooyoo, I thought readers should be warned of imminent departure. I type this on my trusty Gateway, which I have had for a bit over 2 years. We had shopped around a bit for an upgrade to our old trusty Compaq (still trusty but Windows 3.1 and notta lotta memory). Although Gateway wasn't the cheapest, it compared well with others and we were impressed with knowledgeable salesman, prompt delivery etc. In fact we did have a technical problem, but the people on the freefone service were excellent - yes they have an expensive helpline as well, but I gather they make people use that if they really want training rather than normal customer service. Then, when my daughter decided to go freelance and government kindly (unusual!) announced tax advantages for IT purchases, we looked around again. Her needs were slighly different - but, again, went for a Gateway. Salespeople as good as before, delivery as promised etc. I don't know what will happen to her warranty - hope it isn't needed. .
We have had the marital joint account with Fleming for more years than I care to remember - we've had others, jointly and separately, but how often we have remarked that Flemings, unlike any other, have never made a mistake on our account! When we first joined, it was Robert Fleming High Interest Account and the interest rate was then above average. Not any more! So surplus (ho ho!) cash is diverted elsewhere - but as a current account, it is still great. To arrange direct debits, check balance, ask any questions, you just need to call a freefone number. There is rarely any waiting and you speak to real, live, knowledgeable, friendly people. Online banking is not yet available, though there was hope for it earlier in the year. We haven't found this any disadvantage though, bearing in mind the aforementioned telephone service - and freepost for depositing cheques etc. Because there are no branches, postal delay means it may take a bit longer to get a cheque to them - but they seem to be cleared quicker than those I have heard horror stories about. In earlier years, they had arrangements with most High Street banks and you could pay in almost anywhere. I think it's now down to Royal Bank of Scotland. But one of its best points is its Visa card - it may not suit everyone, because it needs to be remembered that this is a debit, not a credit, card and therefore does not carry all the credit guarantees etc. Indeed we use a different credit card for normal purchasing - on which Fleming nobly carry out the direct debit! But as a cash card - provided you withdraw a minimum of £50, there are no charges whatsoever - not even abroad! When the transaction reaches Fleming, it is debited at the exchange rate then - no front loading for exchange, withdrawal or owt else. But, again, bear in mind that it is debited - at the end of the month received, so there can be 30 or more days' grace - so there is no question
of minimum repayments and interest etc. (Different story if you hold their card unconnected to an account - I believe it is a fairly high interest rate) Fairly early on, Fleming took over Save and Prosper; seemed to be growing well. More recently, it was taken over by JP Morgan - it doesn't seem to have made any difference yet. But today we received a letter to say that JP Morgan are selling off Fleming Premier Banking to Abbey National. Oh woe! They say it will be under the same management and will improve their range/services etc - but that remains to be seen. I have a feeling I will be reading lots of dooyoo opinions to find another bank
I have been with Paysu pretty well since it began. The Paystation used to be excellent when working. In particular I liked its facility to Go to an address which could be filled in. It saved the last ten or so I found it quicker than bookmarks to get to recently visited sites. The payrates looked good at first, but were steadily going down until the chances of reaching their minimum payout were receding into the infinite distance. Still, I continued using it cos I liked it - and I liked what the people running it appeared to be trying to achieve - a sort of community (in which case payment isn't the primary objective, but a little extra pocket money never goes amiss). They kept saying in their ezines how many cheats they had got rid of and even remarked that many of them get ditched just before they reach the magic minimum payout. I'm as glad as anyone to get rid of cheats, but I was absolutely gobsmacked when I suddenly couldn't log in and emailed to say so,to receive a reply saying my account had been terminated 'because it appears you have been using non human means to generate time' I have never cheated anyone in my life and feel absolutely sick at the accusation. How does one generate time anyway? I know there is software (but I don't have it) which can emulate clicks, but time??? As far as I remember, Paysu claimed you needed to be connected to internet - not necessarily clicking on adverts - to get paid - so surely all they need to prove the point is that my total ISP telephone connections amount to more (far more) than the total time which had been legitimately logged - ie when I had paystation running. Obviously my initial reaction was that they must be a scam after all, but looking at message boards, dooyoo etc, there seem to be many like me; completely gobsmacked and upset (others just plain angry, but the tone suggests that they didn't cheat either) - but a lot of others s
aying that they do get paid. So there must be something very very wrong with their anticheat software. I had noticed that it wasn't logging all visits or time and I wasn't unduly concerned (not big money either way!) but what I also noticed - and think it may be the problem - is that when my PC freezes or I lose the telephone line and have to relogin, paysu always gave an error message - usually I just turned it off and used another bar for a while. When switching back in, it usually showed the previous time elapsed - ie it would lose all the time from first login to bombout. Again I didn't take too much notice - seemed like the effect of 'not saving' as in Word or whatever. I thought it was my computer's fault, so I didn't say anything about it - maybe I should have because, by chance, I noticed later that when switching paystation on again, the time 'lost' would suddenly reappear. But is that jump what their software is seeing?? I don't know - they are judge and jury and won't answer emails. So if you get the same problem - don't expect you will ever get paid. I still feel very sad - they had a fun competition too - I was in joint lead for quite a while, but I would have been sick as a parrot if I had won and they dropped me then. I still hope that someone there has the honesty and integrity to recheck their software - I know I am not alone in being falsely accused.
From reading other opinions. I reckon a large proportion of dooyoo members. including me, 'did' Hamlet for 'A' level. Didyoo?! So most of you will know the plot -ie Hamlet scratching his head and wondering whether there was a plot or not. Should he believe what a ghost says about his uncle pouring poison in his dad's ear? After all, said uncle did marry his mum, Gertrude with indecent haste after dad's demise. Was Gertrude in on the plot, perhaps already having an affair with Claudius? Did she incite him to murder? Was there a murder at all? It seems Hamlet is as much, if not more concerned, as to whether his mother is guilty as he is regarding Claudius's part. He sets up a group of players to enact the 'murder' to see how Gertrude and Claudius react - almost Hercule Poirot! But this doesn't get him anywhere. When he 'sort of' confronts Gertrude - I can't remember the exact wording with which he does this, but I remember our teacher at school making the interesting point that actually the whole play (or the audience's idea of guilt or innocence) hinged on the producer's instructions to Gertrude's line: 'to kill a king?' Was it said with great surprise? Remorse? Matter of factly? I've never heard that point brought up since. Anyway, the other thing I remember is the textbook notes - when Hamlet is feeling like most of us when his mind is in a turmoil (but mad??) and wishing that 'oh this too, too, solid flesh would melt, thaw and resolve itself into a dew' there was an asterisk. On following this through was the helpful comment that 'this does not necessarily mean that Hamlet was fat'!!!
I usually love to pop into any Waterstone's I am passing, time permitting. But, there it was, nearly Christmas, and I rely on them for stocking fillers - silly, but not too vulgar books for my adult daughters. Usually there is a great selection - but this year, after clambering up a flight of stairs for 'humour', I found one table with about 15 titles - mainly Dilbert or Simpsons. I enjoy those, but wanted something a bit more unusual - but absolutely zilch suitable. Four other branches told a similar humourless story. Perhaps I should have shopped sooner as, to be fair, W H Smith had even less to offer - but at least there was no clambering involved to find this out! Generally, though, Waterstone's stocks a huge variety of titles in all sorts of subjects; some branches have coffee shops to encourage browsing and the atmosphere is warm and inviting.
Ah, I remember the days when Iceland was Bejam; shows my generation! Then - oh woe -Tesco's came to town and our local Bejam closed down for lack of trade. A great pity because it was great going into an uncrowded shop while the masses queued down the road! Then - yippee - they opened one in the next town up the road (no Tesco's there!). They really do have some very good bargains, but you need to keep your eye out for them as otherwise, the general stock is a bit pricey. But their broken biscuits are a must. Although they have steadily increased in price and reduced the size of the box - 1.3kg last lot, I think, they are still incredible value. Most of these biscuits aren't broken - many of them are choccie biscuits, even though it says plain on the box. All for £1.99 (Well they also used to do a broken choccie biscuit selection for £2.99 - most of these weren't broken either - but I found too many a bit sickly.) But where have they gone? I keep looking and, at last, a few weeks ago, I discovered a few boxes and quickly snaffled one. That was it! Trade seems to be picking up at last in this local store - I feared it might close as well as the first one; it stopped opening on Sundays ages ago. Go use your local Iceland, folks before you lose it.
Budgens is a relatively small chain of supermarkets, but growing steadily. They bouight out the 7-11 chain a few years back and waited for the franchises to end before refurbishing them as B2 stores. Some of these have been upgraded to supermarkets (never very large, as far as I am aware) They tend to be expensive as they are open long hours - 'spose someone has to pay for staff in antisocial hours. BUT you can get incredible bargains on fresh produce if you go in near closing time! In our area, their cut price flyers are inserted in the freebie newspaper. Well worth keeping an eye on these as the 2 for 1 offers can be very good - and not often the same as the other supermarkets are offering. (The big ones follow each other like sheep - not Budgens)
Another opinion tells what a great workhorse her Indesit washing machine was. I've still got mine - and an Indesit dishwasher! Had 'em both for more years than I can remember. Yes, they have occasionally needed repair, but my husband, being a keen DIYer has always managed to find a magic bit, lurking in cellar or garage to fix it. (No we don't keep the car in the garage, or wine in the cellar)Try any service place and they'll tell you it needs a whole new inside, or something - you should very rarely believe it, whether or not Indesit. But, hubby says, it's because Indesit are so simple, that they're so reliable. I read another opinion here which reckons Indesit not as good now - maybe not; haven't needed to try - certainly we haven't got all the latest gizmos, which weighs washing, judges what to do with it, at what temperature etc. Perhaps it's a generation thing, habit of knowing what to do with it (!), that has never made us want the frills that often cause the unreliability. (Though if we ever need to replace our machines, I expect we'll follow the trend). If we can't find an Indesit by then, of course.
I signed up for this ages ago. When I was eventually able to download piggy, it screwed up the puter big time. New version doesn't screw the computer. Indeed you can merrily surf away thinking it is logging your time. It isn't If you complain about it, you are asked to fill in a log sheet saying which dates and how long you think you should have been paid. How on earth we are expected to remember this after a month or so is beyond me. OK, so if you know this is going to happen, presumably you can keep a diary. I prefer to use a more reliable bar - or two in the space piggy takes.
This is quite a fun bar - if only one could keep Fatzo from snoring his way through one's surfing. Usually the only way to wake him up is to click on the bar, which opens the home page or current ad, resulting in loads of open pages clogging the system. Close them down (or even if you don't) he goes back to sleep. A new version improved things for a while, but I have largely given up on it. Occasionally I try again - and sometimes it works quite well for a while, but even when it does, there is little variety in the ads at the moment. Time will tell whether Mr Fatzo will come to life more regularly
Tombola is a fairly addictive site. I have never won anything, but have heard of people who have - usually £20, having referred a friend who won. (Never heard of the original friends though!) I mainly enter for the lottery. Each ticket is entered into a syndcate of 50, so wins are shared out, unless £10, which is allotted to one of the syndicate at random. You can enter once a day. Other games, mainly scratchcard are a little boring, but as any comper will tell you, you've got to be in .. so one scratches mindlessly on! The site has improved a lot. When it first started, the number of times it had errors on loading was really frustrating and I gave it up for ages. Still, I hadn't unsubscribed to their newsletter - and lo and behold, one eventually came through to say that the frustrations should be over. Mostly, they are - except for not winning! So those of you who gave up, try again. Newsletter says one syndicate had a win yesterday, giving members about £77 each. So I'll keep going ...
I have been using loquax for over a year now. It just gets better all the time, with more links added, better layout ... Being something of a comping addict, it's great to find an online site with links to mainly free competitions. Gosh, the amount it saves on postage - I've almost abandonned snail mail comps! It lists comps in almost every conceivable category; by type of prize; type of site; top sites (for often having comps) - but best of all: a calendar of closing dates! If you haven't been in for a while - just go there, look for today's date and click on everything! Those you have entered already will be greyed out. (This only applies if you enter by the calendar route though). Then, depending on time, go to tomorrow's date and the next day ..... You can subscribe to their newsletter which gives updates and may save you going to the site. Unfortunately, I find these links rarely work - but it is still a useful way of seeing what's new.
Well it *was* good - but it's very sadly gone under. I reckon I got my £39 out of it though. I came across this when looking for an alternative for screaming.net - which is another story! Message boards rang with horror stories about other free services (including scream) and there was even talk that a forerunner to ezesurf had gone bust and it was all a scam as the same staff were operating it ...... But message boards also rang, and still do, consistently, that, though it can take longer than expected after signup to get connected (chase 'em), the vast majority of users are very happy with the speed and accessibility of connection. Have never heard of anyone actually receiving the shares mentioned, but as most punters seem to agree, who cares? My daughter is now connected as well, having waited patiently for one of those freebies which never happened and hoping she wouldn't even have to pay £39. Looks like she would still be waiting!
Funny, I really rather like Liverpool Street Station; perhaps because I use it more for underground and waiting for buses outside than for mainline trains. There is quite an extraordinary vista as one descends the steps/escalator from Bishopsgate during rush hour - people en masse; yet strangely (until you join them!) it doesn't seem too overcrowded or stifling - perhaps because of the very airy conversion job done several years ago from the old station. There are restaurants and bars in the upper area - not all of them unduly expensive - and the usual array of fast food outlets in the lower concourse. But only just outside the station there is a small but useful shopping centre - and landscaped areas among the big business boys towards Moorgate. Cross the road (Bishopsgate) and you are into Petticoat Lane market - always bustling. Trains - forget 'em; just stay around the station