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I decided I wanted a real High Definition TV and after looking around found on in Sainsbury's for only £129.95. I decided to get a Blaupunkt 24/1471-GB. It was very light so could have carried it home and not taken a car to collect it.
When i got it home and unboxed it I notice that although the screen is only 2" smaller than my previous 26" TV the case is much smaller and the TV is much lighter. It was easy to connect up and get going as it is all done automatically. The picture quality was noticeably better than a HD ready TV even though I was watching SD TV. I then tried to find the HD channels and found that there were none. Yes that is right HD TV do not have HD channels on them. In fact I have not seen one HD TV with HD channels in any shop around here. I phoned up the help line and was told you need a HD channels TV and could take the TV back if I wanted to.
I did not want to take it back however the reason being the picture was better that my old TV and I could plug my sound bar into the new TV and get better quality sound as well as picture. I have decided to use thee old HD ready TV as a computer monitor.
So I have no HD channels but HD quality SD channels as far as I can tell so can not see the point of changing also I prefer to watch youtube and blue rays rather than digital TV as you can then watch what you want to and not what is on at the time your watching the TV.
So the Blaupunkt 24/1471-GB has excellent picture quality but the sound is very small and tinny without a sound bar and it has no HD channels but the SD channels seen to be as good as the HD.
I bought my Coby Kyros 8" Tablet computer from Ideal World the TV channel. It is very easy to buy off them just phone the on screen number they charge you for doing so and give your details to the computer generated message. It was £99.99 at the time which seemed like good value but was not.
It arrived within a few days and you have to sign for delivery. It was charged up and ready to go so I logged on. It is a wifi only tablet. Already loaded was Google play, Get Jar, Aldiko a book site. Google play lets you download other apps like Amazon, ebay, Auto Trader very easily in a few minutes. Games are available like Angry Birds which work well untill the sound stopped working.
The tablet comes with a cover and a mini HDMI lead for downloading photo's that can be taken on the built in camera along with a charger. The instruction book is very small in many languages and not really needed if you know what your doing.
The Camera has no viewer and a front facing button to take pictures with which is very difficult to use. The quality of the pictures is strange like a painting. It also needs very strong light to work.
A keyboard pops up when you want to type and is good for short messages if your want to write essays forget it as it is useless for that. It can be very slow to find web pages and does not like large web sites with lots of pictures.
After about three months the sound stopped working. I phoned the number for some advise on the guarantee and was told I had to send it to Germany for any repairs as he no idea what was wrong.
Checking it out at the post office the cost was £30 so did not bother sending it back. Funny thing is if you turn a song on and then switch the tablet off you can hear the music but as soon as you switch the tablet back on the sound goes. What that is about I do not know.
It is good for use outside the home in wifi hot spots it works in foreign countries with no problem. It has an 8gb memory which is more than enough. The battery lasts for four hours or so and charges up in about the same time.
It is now a year since I bought this tablet it still has no sound I have reset it many times. Also I have seen these type of tablets going now for only £50 on ebay! I now use a desk top and have a smart box for watching programmes on the internet as well. The tablet is only used when I am having a bath now.
I joined plus net in April. I wanted the cheapest phone line and internet package I could get and noticed that at £17.50 a month plus call charges they were half the price of BT whom I had been with for years. Surprisingly they are part of BT.
I sighed up online filling in the easy to follow form on their web site. You pay up front for your first month plus delivery of a free router which they send you in the post total cost was £23.50.
The router arrived a few days later with instructions not to plug it in until told to do so as it takes a week to change over and to tell them your connection number at the exchange. You have to phone BT up to get this number and when you get it you phone plus net back and tell then it. A week later I got my email telling me to plug my router in that was on a Friday evening. On the Friday morning I noticed the BT Internet had disconnected. I plugged my router in and waiting for a the lights on the front to go green this took about three minutes. I then logged onto the internet connecting to what is called a technicolor gateway by plus net. That was on the 7th of April but my phone line bill was still with BT.
I may have connected my Internet but the phone line takes three more weeks to change to BT whom kindly sent me a bill in the mean time. On making a query as to why I had to pay twice for the same service I was told I would be refunded the BT bill after I paid it. I instead cancelled my standing order with BT and received a call from BT asking me what I thought I was doing. Eventually it was sorted out at the cost of £9 to me.
I received no problems from plusnet however who charged me for the internet but not for the phone line while I was with BT for those last three weeks. I have spoke to a few people at plus net about this and they were straight forward northern people not the stroppy Indians that BT uses.
Since then I have had no problems with plus net and would recommend then to everyone for their no nonsense internet and phone package at only £17.50 a month plus call charges. I went over my 10mb limit it did not slow down instead I was charged £5 extra because of that I have up graded to unlimited now because I have a smart box that is £9.99 plus line rental and call charges.
I bought this phone six months ago now as I wanted a backup for my computer for use on the internet. It was bought from Carphone Warehouse in Greenwich. The salesman also got me buy a useless insurance policy for £10 putting the total cost of the phone at £30 on the pay as you go network. He upgraded my old phone by putting the contacts on the new one and by keeping me on the Virgin network.
I bought it to use on line which I told the salesman was what I wanted to do with it. It is useless online as in like going back to the mid 90's. It has only been used once online for any useful situation and that was when it told me when a delivery was due. If you want to go on line use a tablet and a free wifi connection as it is much better and does not cost 50p a minute as it does on Virgin pay as you go. I seem to be spending about £10 a month and that is just to make a few phone calls and texts although Virgin give me free texts most months I only text about 100 times a month these can cost 6p if they are not free.
The biggest boon with this phone is with texting that is over any other phone I have had as the qwerty keyboard makes it easy and fast to text. I had never bothered with texting before I got the Nokia 201 but now I prefer texting to calling.
A problem when calling is it is very hard to understand people with even a tiny amount of an accent. An Irish women with a slight accent sounds like she is actually speaking Irish to you! It is the same with Jamaican and other accents as the sound is some how concentrated this did not happen on any of my previous phones.
Overall then a good texting phone that is nearly useless on the internet and only just acceptable for phone calls.
I have had to give up owning my own car as in 5 years petrol went up from 90p a liter to 1.39p and insurance from £340 to £600+ as well as road tax etc and the fact that some major malfunction was always around the corner. As I live in south east London I can cycle every where quite easily and if I need a car there is always a Zip car just around the corner.
To join Zip car all you need to do is go to the Zip car web site and pay the joining fee or just £6 a month and then prove you have a clean driving license, they ring up Swansea.
I have rented a VW Lupo from them for only £5 an hour on many occasions. All you have to do is go on line and see if a car is available near you. If one is book it. However long you need it, it is all yours.
You are sent a card which unlocks the car and the key is inside the car so you can start the engine and go. All insurance is included along with 40 miles of petrol.
I have also rented a VW Golf automatic for £6.50 an hour. It is a cheap way to get about if you do not need a car much and do not have far to go. Considering that owning a car cost £250 a month at least once you buy petrol, insurance, depreciation, road tax, fines etc you can still get a lot of Zip car use for less money.
I use to drive every where but my doctor said I needed more exercise which was another good reason to give up owning a car and go cycling instead.
So to get a zip car you register with them they then send you a membership card which gets you into their cars and away you go. Do not go over your allotted rental time however as they will charge you £35 if you do.
I sold my four year old fridge for £10 but the buyer was never heard of again even though he paid for it. Then on reselling the fridge it went for £46.99 it only cost £100 new but I also got some positive feed back a total of £56.99.
A £50 helmet went for £5.57. A £40 motorcycle jump suit went for £1.21 both hardly used. Old Car magazines bought for a couple of quid on e bay but when resold only worth 1 p.
Items bought include a starter motor but it was the wrong one but not worth sending back as the postage would have been more than the refund. The same happened with a pair of boots supposed to be size 10 but size 7 in fact. A jacket which turned out be a shirt.
My computer went for £50 rather than in the bin. Old ink cartridges are worth a few quid even when empty.
Old cars I have bought seven and four old motorcycles. The first car was a Renault 21 six years ago from a dealer. I sent to the scrap yard after a month it cost me £100 but it was clapped out. Now a days it would be worth more than that as scrap.
The next car a Renault 21 with 22500 miles on the clock which cost me £400 but then £160 for a new starter motor and £300 for new brakes just before the engine belts went after 20 months and it was scrapped.
The third car a Seat Toledo for £500. It lasted for six months but could have gone on a little longer but I bought another Renault 21 as the Seat was so boring to drive, scrap for £10.
The next car was a Renault 21 at £315. It kept going without a problem for 18 months then one day it would not start so I had it towed away, scrap £20.
It was replaced by a £500 Saab which lasted six months before the water pump and cam belts, scrap £100.
Replaced it with a Renault Clio for £350 and two new clutch cables it lasted for nine months before the clutch went completely. You can never resell cars on e bay only scrap them I got £120 for it.
As for motorcycles it is buy cheap and get then with plenty of problems. Tempted but paying for it afterwards. Be very careful as they are not cheap to run. You can resell bikes but always for less than you paid in the first place even though you have had to rebuild then so they are road worthy.
MY last car was another bought on ebay was a Clio for £365. My luck had run out. It only too half an hour before blowing up on the A-3 motorway. All the money down the drain. I also traveled to the middle of no where to pick it up from a women who just lied about every thing to do with the car. I asked her if it was a death trap "no" she said.
But after that I bought a pair of reclining leather chairs for £30 which must be worth £300 when new so suppose I got my money back I lost on the car. And I got two pairs of trousers for £5 and £5 postage but which cost more than that in postage they are good quality trousers which fit perfectly must have been £60 new in the shop.
So it is swing and round about you loose on one deal and make it up on another in the end, that is ebay if your lucky.
Popped into Decathlon after a futile trip to Canada Water to buy a used bike advertised on Gumtree.
They have a special bike only shop next to their usual shop. As by this time I was desperate for a bike to get me around I asked at the till if I could take a bike away with me and was pleased by the answer as not only could I take a bike away with me but they would also check it over and make any adjustments needed as well.
There was a nice selection of bikes in Decathlon starting at £100 up to £3000. So I had a look around for a good strong looking bike needed as I weight over 19 stone.
First bike I noticed as a single speed city bike. What the point is of a single speed bike in London? There are hills every where. It will be of very limited use so no good for me. Next I noticed a Rockrider 21 speed mountain bike for £100 and for £110 a hybrid bike. I sat on them both and found the Rockrider to be most suitable for me. This is as I need a strong, robust and hard wearing bike with lots of gears so I can get my bulk about town. I took the bike to the cash till and paid for it.
A young man then took the bike off me and but it on a special stand he had this was so he could make any adjustments needed to get the bike working perfectly. This took about 15 or 20 minutes as he kept being interrupted by customers wanting information.
Eventually then I was off on the Rockrider mountain bike 5 Zero with it's 21 gears. A happy customer after receiving such excellent service.
The bike has proved to be reliable and robust just as I expected it to be but only for the first two months of ownership. Then I had a month of getting punctures every time I used it. I stuck to my spare bike until I worked out what the problem was and bought a new tyre costing only £10. Also had to adjust the brakes they last for six months before they need to be replaced it even says so in the instruction book which is on a disc.
After six months the spokes snapped on the back wheel causing it to wobble Decathlon changed it under guarantee. I also had to fit new brake pads as the old had worn away at the cost of £17. And a few weeks later had to fit a new gear cable and the front brake cable snapped due to my heavy handedness all repaired by Decathlon quite cheaply.
The gears play up all the time and will not work properly after the rear wheel puncture It seems it has to be in the correct position for the other gears to change up. I keep changing the settings and it never works properly again after the rear puncture was fixed.
After one years use the front tyre is worn down through and the brake pads as well front and back and as well as that the gears are not working properly. Leave the bike by the front door and it is stolen even though I had taken the wheels off! Lucky I have another one.
Now after four years of use my three year extended waranty has run out but my washing machine is still going strong. Bought to replace an Indesit machine which would not stop spinning just after the guarantee ran out. That as I replace my white goods when they go wrong out of guarantee and do not bother with repairs. At £50 an hour labour it does not take long for the £200 a washing machine costs to be spent.
I bought my Beko WM5100 from the Littlewoods book as it was the cheapest machine in silver that they had. I wanted a silver machine to match my cooker and fridge freezer. I bought it with a three year extended warranty. That proved to be a waste of money as the Beko has worked faultlessly.
I do one or two washes a week and use the Mini wash 30 degree wash all the time as this really washes my clothes fast and gets them clean. The other wash cycle I have used is the cotton one at 40 degrees. It takes four times longer at two hours to do the wash cycle when it is used and I can not tell the difference afterwards unless the clothes were really dirty.
I put two caps of detergent in the detergent drawer which seems to be the right amount. It is that easy to use this machine. I installed it myself as I knew what to do; there was a bit of polystyrene to remove and the transit bolts to be taken off.
Overall I would recommend this machine to any one who just want clean clothes and a reliable machine.
Littlewoods had HP psc 1510 a three in one printer, copier and scanner with extended warranty.
It comes in a lovely box with pictures on it promising a happy experience.
Next the instructions two types one is the quick and easy install guide the other is the full on instructions.
I looked at the quick and easy guide and following them step by step had no trouble until the last task which was one of fitting the ink cartridges. I plugged machine in and the ink cartridge slid into place easily!
Next plugged to psc 1510 into my computer, a task as easy as plugging a camera into my computer, a bleep bleep noise is heard and up pops a screen that tell me to put install installation disc into the c drive putting said CD into tray is so as to let the computer download all the info it needs.
I wanted to scan all my old photos into my computer when I started to scan I noticed just how easy it is. Next I tried printing out an essay so press print it pops out no trouble what a boon it works like a dream.
As it is a home printer the ink cartridges are not very big. About 60 pages worth of essays cost £15 each is no cheaper than going to the internet cafe.
I used more black ink cartridge than colour cartridges.
The psc 1510 kept loosing contact with my computer and had to be reset all the time that with the expensive cartridges made me decide to buy another model so I gave the psc 1510 one to the charity shop.
I noticed while in Tesco one day that the HP Deskjet 1050 was for sale at only £26.97. At the time the printer I had needed two new ink cartridges for the same price of a new printer with the extra features of both a scanner and a copier. As I wanted to scan some documents at the time it was an easy decision to decide to purchase it a new printer rather than two new cartridges of ink for my presently owned one.
When I plugged the Deskjet 1050 into my computer I had to use the USB cable of my old printer as it does not come with a USB cable. I followed the rest of the installation instructions all of which took about half an hour or so and was ready to go. In the months since then I had never had to reinstall the copier. A constant problem with all my previous printers. The cartridges were longer lasting the colour one lasts as long as three black ones. I print for my business mostly a long with the odd web page, receipt and essay. I only used the scanner/copier once.
One cartridge every three months is good going for me especially as they only cost £10 each at Tesco for the branded HP one. On my previous printers I had bought recycled cartridges for the same money and that was always a risky business as to how long they would last.
My printer problems were not over as I have found a place where for 3p a page they will print out all my needs. The Hp Deskjet 1050 would never be able to compete with that price as it works out at nearly 10 times cheaper. So when the cartridges ran out it was relegated to the cupboard and eventually the bin.
This department store is on the way out. The restaurant is gone. Today BHS where I live in Surrey Quays is a shell of what a department store once was all the goods seem to be own brand lots at full price with odd racks at discounts of up to 75%.
I need a belt so popped in to BHS and got two for the price of one at £15 good value as they were leather and my size. I also fancied a jumper now winter has finally arrived. £35 seemed a bit steep but there was one going for £9 for what reason I did not know but that is cheap so I took that as well also trousers at £9 reduced from £35 is cheap although they did not have my size I got the next size up with an elasticated waist. Job done I went to the till to pay but it seems the till would not take these £9 products they as were technically not in stock. The shop assistant had to use the tag from another product costing £9 so she could charge me for them. It makes you wonder what happens when they do a stock check does there stock match up at all?
I noticed that BHS seem to have a lot of expensive kitchen stuff does anyone buy it? £20 salad bowls and £5 plates all of it available in Tesco cheaper and that seems to be the problem Tesco now sells cheap versions of everything BHS do and so what used to be sold only in department stores is now sold in every supermarket. Maybe in the future BHS will become a supermarket either that or go the way of C&A and Wollies as in one day they are in every shopping centre the next day they are gone for ever.
I was with Halifax for just over 10 years. I had a lot of trouble opening the account because they wanted to see my utilities bills but I did not have any as I lived in a Hotel at the time. I only wanted a deposit account and eventually I opened one with them this served me until 2008 when I decided to upgrade to a current account.
The current account came with a debit card and an overdraft. The overdraft was handy until they decided to charge £1 a day interest on it then it became expensive. This was after they had upgraded me to a Ultimate reward account holder and were charging me £15 a month for the privilege. Although the free RAC membership came in handy once when I ran out of petrol on my motorbike on the way to Teignmouth in Devon.
I have been able to payoff my overdraft in the last year although work has dried up.
Recently they froze my overdraft charges for three months as I changed all my standing orders to them as if I was changing my account over to them but this saving is due to end soon.
There is a machine which you have to use to make cash or cheque deposits which is very usful most of the time but has twice chewed up my money and jammed up. Both times called for the front door to be locked while they unjam the machine.
Queues are usually long. Overdrafts are expensive.
I decided to take advantage of the £100 offered by Santander to change my account to them. That was especially after Halifax tripled the cost of my over draft with them from £10 to £30 a month. My over draft with Halifax was about £600 at the time. Santander only offered me a £150 over draft however at first but at the cost of no more than £5 a month. They wanted me to change all my Direct Debits over to them and said they would do that for me. Only one was actually changed over the rest were not. Lucky for me I had not closed my Halifax account!
I was charged £25 once by Santander for the non payment of a standing order and recently have been charged £15 for being 11p overdrawn over three days due to me forgetting about a £10 charge that they take each month. They refund it but only after they have taken it out.
My account was upgraded by Santander to one of their premium accounts. They then changed all my standing order over properly this time for £10 a month. They give you RAC membership, travel insurance etc. I have used the RAC membership. It was Green Flag at the time they took me and the car home which was all good. I also saved on buying travel insurance which also is good. When I got rid of my car I went back to a 123 current account at £2 a month which they give interest on at about £2 a month.
I had a dormant account with Abbey who Santander had taken over dating back to 1997 with £100 in it. The interest over 13 years was 1p. I managed to get the £100 which they found by accident when I upgraded my account with them as the cashier noticed there was another account in my name on her screen. To get the money out I needed to bring some id into the bank. Next day I did so but the account had disappeared! I went to see the staff member who told about the account and she phoned head office up about it. They had deleted it over night not thinking I would come back with id. They thought they could therefore keep the £100! It was quite a shock to them when I CAME BACK with id.
Santader charges £20 for my overdraft how ever much up to £1000 is used so it best to use it all unless you can get rid of it which I have failed to do for 9 months now. I use a deposit machine so do not have to get in line to deposit money.
The Love Film club is a useful service where for £9.99 a month I get to see many films I would never otherwise see. I can have two films at a time which works out at about sixteen films a month at most and depending on the postal service.
You also get to watch films on line which I have done only a few times when they are offered for free Korean films come with this offer. It is because I have to watch them on my computer screen and not on the TV that I do not bother to much with this inclusive service. I can not get cinema sound and have to sit at the table.
In fact a Diana Krall in concert film I had tried to watch for free but could hardly hear I gave up on after a few minutes. The idea of paying £3.49 to watch a film on line when I want is then of no interest to me.
You get to watch a lot of films you would never otherwise watch.
Good films you have never heard of are easy to find and there is a never ending supply of them on the Love Film site you just choose what you want to watch and eventually they arrive if it is one no one else wants to watch it will arrive that week. I have found some titles are not available to rent and have had to buy them on ebay.
My last good car was an ebay special. The car was advertised with a buy it now price of £450 so I offered £325 as a laugh really. Next moment a counter offer of £350 is made by the advertiser. I accept this offer straight away even though I am still bidding on five other cars and with a highest bid on two of them.
The car looks good in the picture and is the same colour as one of my previous Renaults a 21 GTX which cost £315 and I kept for nearly 18 months. The description is limited but still I book my ticket to Brighton to go pick the car up at the weekend.
When I get to Brighton I realise I have forgotten to bring the sellers phone number and address with me. I have the street name but not the number so have to walk up the street to see if I can see the car. Lucky for me the seller sees me walking up the road and comes out and takes me to the garage where the car is safely locked away.
It starts first time and when I look over it I am amazed as it is in perfect condition not a mark on it inside is spotless also but for a smell of old car. Opening the bonnet it is all good. A nice clean engine only a small oil leak spoils the picture. I had over the three hundred and fifty pounds to the owner and away I go.
Insurance is one reason I have got this car. Also the previous owner wanted to give it to his nephew but he was quoted £4000 for insurance mine come in at nearly £600 that is with three years no claims bonus so a 70% reduction. I thought there was a recession on! It is the same price as my previous car a Saab 900.
Driving the car home to London it runs perfectly easily hitting seventy mph I keep the speed down to sixty most of the way. It all works well the 1.2 litre engine as enough power to get me up hills without a problem. Handling is good along with road holding it is like a go kart.
I had wanted an automatic and a three door but the manual is not really any problem although all my driving is around town the clutch is a bit heavy but I can live with it. The power steering is excellent and what you need around town. The car starts easily and runs smoothly my first tankful of petrol has now been used and I have managed about 31 mpg.
The car came with a few receipts stating the front brake pads are new along with a new alternator the previous owner told me it had just been serviced and he included a new belt.
The old car smell has gone after a week so may be it was an old garage smell. I looked forward to driving the car for a long time however it only lasted eight months and three thousand miles. The clutch cable went after every thousand miles meaning it needed a new clutch at a cost of £300 that was a no no. I was offered £120 scrap and took it.
It was only one week into a new MOT and two months into new road tax and just had a £100 service. At £350 and the extra £290 of repairs minus the £120 scrap price the total was £520 plus petrol at 30 mpg so 100 gallons at £6 a gallon is £600 so £1120 to drive 3000 plus miles about 30p a mile in total but forgot insurance £50 a month 15p a mile 45p a mile in total.