sse SSE ditch free number   how to ring them, or anyone, for freeSSE may have dropped their prices, but they’ll be trying claw money back in other ways, like scrapping the free phone number customers can call them on.

The energy company have stopped using the 0800 number, and instead, fired up the 0345 numbers, which will cost you (up to) 9p a minute from a line land, or 40p from your mobile.

Now, you may remember that the rules around 0800 numbers changed recently. The short version is that Ofcom said that 0800 numbers had to be properly free, with no hidden costs. This change has seen a number of companies having to be straight-up about any charges that crop up when you ring them.

SSE are throwing the blame at Ofcom, even though they could actually run a free phone service if they wanted to. The energy company said that this was adding a “a significant cost”. They also assume that most people have inclusive phone minutes packages, so it should be free in the long run (tough cheese if you don’t).

Of course, if you want to ring a company for free (any company for that matter), there are ways around it. You could try the WeQ4U app for starters.

The app says: “WeQ4U is a FREE Android/iPhone App and Service that puts you through to UK 01,02,03 and 08 numbers for FREE, without queueing. Mobile users save approx. 35p per minute on their 084 and 087 calls with WeQ4U, whether they encounter a queue or not, so it saves you money and time.”

Give it a whirl. Don’t give misers your money.

Bitterwallet Facebook censorship Lose the Facebook apps on your Android, and speed everything upIf your Android phone has been slower than an aged sloth that’s been on the bongs lately, and you’ve shut down apps and cleared cache, but to no avail, there might be one more thing you need to try – deleting the Facebook apps.

The apps Facebook make are the kind that constantly work, which can slow your phone down and drain your battery. BW tried it, and the performance of the phones tested improved greatly.

Multiple people have been pointing this out recently, and over at AndroidCentral.com, they’ve been running tests. Over there, Russell Holly wrote: “Recently I noticed some performance issues on multiple phones, and had started paying closer attention to what exactly was causing these problems. When Facebook turned out to be one of the more egregious resource hogs, I uninstalled it to see how things improved.”

“Not only did my performance issues go away entirely, but I discovered I didn’t actually lose any of the Facebook features I cared about by uninstalling the app.”

Basically, if you want to use Facebook while getting rid of the app, you can still use it via your phone’s browser. Basically, you can still access it as normal through Chrome, or whichever browser you use, and still get what you need from the service.

He continued: “Active Facebook users… will notice a few things missing [including Instant Articles, location-based functionality and autoplaying GIFs]. For a more casual user like me, these aren’t features I miss, and I think it’s great Facebook has put so much effort into their mobile implementation so users who find the app to be a little much can still have a great experience.”

If you want to have a designated app for Facebook, that won’t clog up your phone, then one option is an app called ‘Metal’ (which you can get here), which will ensure your phone is faster, and lasts longer.

Facebook themselves have said that they’re going to be looking into this. A spokesperson for the social network said: “We have heard reports of some people experiencing speed issues stemming from our Android app. We are looking into this and will keep [users] posted. We are committed to continuing to improve these issues.”

You may recall that Apple users had similar issues last year, and Facebook were quick to fix the problems that arose. They’ll no doubt be doing the same for Android, but you suspect it might take a little longer. We’ll keep you posted.

Want to know how to kill Bill on Facebook?

January 25th, 2016 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

People can be incredibly annoying on Facebook at the best of times, but when they stumble across a new meme, and then promptly overuse it, you might start feeling murderous.

Of course, no court in the land would convict anyone for lamping someone because they’ve overdone it with a new joke, and screwed it into the ground.

The latest advised you to be like ‘Bill’, a stick man with a hat on. Bill, basically, is a judgemental little git, and people add their own text telling you how to live your life and all that. The good news is, is that you can kill Bill.

belikebillll1 Want to know how to kill Bill on Facebook?

Basically, if you see a ‘Bill’ post, you can either unfollow or delete the friend who shares them (unfollow on Facebook means you’ll still be pals, but you won’t see any of their updates, while unfriending them sees you deleting them from your network entirely) or, just get rid of the Bill memes.

When you see one, click the drop down arrow on the right of the post, then all you have to do is hit ‘Hide all from’ from the app your friend has been using.

This works for any meme, page, or website that might do your head in. So if you’re sick of seeing inspirational Upworthy posts, tired of people sharing links from a particular magazine, or whatever, the above instructions should get rid of them.

How to fix your iPhone battery nonsense

January 19th, 2016 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

apple logo How to fix your iPhone battery nonsenseHave you been having grief with your iPhone 6s and 6s Plus phones? Has the battery indicator been doing your head in?

Well, Apple have explained what’s going on, saying that the battery life indicator is showing a higher percentage than the battery actually has. Don’t worry though – there’s a quick fix you can do, and we’re going to tell you how to do it.

Ready? First off, restart your iPhone. Then, when it is back on, go to Settings, then General, and then go to Date & Time. Make sure that Set Automatically is turned on. And that should be it. If you want to make extra sure, then restart your iPhone twice, so it can detect the right timezone, and it should be fine after that.

Seems like a nonsense that you should have to do that, but there you go. It seems to fix the problem, which is software based according to Apple. Quite why the battery indicator and timezone of your phone are connected, is another matter.

Either way, this came to everyone’s attention after a number of iPhone owners started complaining about it online, saying that their iPhone 6s and 6s Plus models were running out of juice much faster than the battery indicator was showing. At least this isn’t a problem with the battery itself, as that would be a pain to sort out and live with.

Apple haven’t found a permanent solution yet, but we can assume they’re working on it, now they’ve acknowledged the problem and say they’re aware of the complaints. Until then, follow the instructions above.

windows 10 New way to stop Windows 10 harvesting your data, all over againThere’s been issues with your security and Windows 10 before, and we’re here again, after some updates. Microsoft decided to make some changes, and we’re particularly good at letting users know what they were up to.

If you changed your settings when you heard about Windows 10 storing your keystrokes and voice commands last time, looks like you’re going to have to do it all over again.

Mercifully, this is not a tricky thing to fix. Here’s what you have to do:

First off, hold down the Windows key and press R. There, you’ll get a pop-up, where you need to type in ‘services.msc’. Press ‘enter’. In the list that comes up, scroll until you see ‘Connected User Experiences and Telemetry’. Double click that.

Then, click ‘Stop’. From there, you need to select ‘Disabled’ from the drop-down menu, and then click ‘OK’. And that’s it. You’re done.

Or, if the Threshold 2 update hasn’t installed on your device yet, this will all be under the ‘Diagnostics Tracking Service’, where you do the same as above to stop that from harvesting all your data.

Easy peasy.

car scrap How to... check if theres been a recall on your carHave you heard something about your car being recalled? Did someone down the pub half tell you something about airbags being faulty and you think it might be your vehicle, but you got so blind drunk that you can’t really remember what they said?

Or maybe you read about a recall concerning your car in a newspaper and want to know more, like a sensible person?

Well, there’s a handy tool that you can use whenever you feel like, so you don’t have to rely on car manufacturers to get shipshape, or trawl around the internet looking for something to help you out.

The government have got a tool where you can check to see if there’s been a recall for vehicle, part or accessory, which is really handy.

The site says: “You can use this service to find out if a safety fault has caused a manufacturer to recall: cars, motorcycles, quadricycles and tricycles” as well as “caravans and horse boxes, child car seats, seat belts and harnesses, tyres, components and parts, agricultural equipment, lorries, buses, coaches and minibuses.”

Obviously, you’re going to have to have a few things at your disposal first. You’ll need to know the manufacturer, model, and date of manufacture. If you have that information, you’re away!

Click here to use the vehicle recall tool

junior doctor 300x273 What you need to know about the junior doctor strikeThe junior NHS doctor strike kicked off at 8am this morning, and will run for 24 hours. If you’ve missed the news, the action is a result of disputes with the government over new contracts, pay, and working conditions.

Regardless of your feelings about it all, there’s certain things you’ll need to know today, should you have an accident or whatever.

What If I Have An Emergency?

Doctors are not going to stop working in emergency cases. All the A&E departments in the UK will be open and working as normal. What will be effected, is a number of routine treatments, tests, non emergency surgeries, and minor appointments. So if you get hit by a bus, you should get the usual treatment, but your bunions will have to wait for another day.

Will There Be Any Further Strikes?

Yes. Unless talks with the government are resolved, there’s going to be two more strikes. There’ll be a 48-hour strike by junior doctors from 8am on Tuesday January 26th. There’s going to be a full withdrawal of labour from 8am to 5pm on Wednesday February 10th.

What Do I Do If I Need Non-Urgent Treatment?

The hospitals are prioritising cancer care and emergencies, so if you have something that can basically wait, you’re advised to visit pharmacies, call your GP, or call NHS 111 just for today (the phone number is, unsurprisingly, ’111′).

Is Everyone Supporting The Junior Doctors On This Strike?

According to a recent IPSOS Mori poll, 66% of people said that they support the industrial action. It seems that people trust doctors more than politicians, but that won’t surprise many. One of the reasons this is happening, is that health secretary Jeremy Hunt is planning to cut the number of hours that junior doctors can claim extra pay (it is obviously more complicated than that).

Do I Need To Do Anything?

Just keep an eye on anyone who is vulnerable or elderly. Anne Rainsberry, the NHS England director overseeing all this, says: “We have tried and tested plans to deal with a range of disruptions including industrial action. As ever, the safety and care of patients is our top priority and the NHS has robust plans in place to ensure those who need emergency treatment will continue to receive it.”

“We have been working with hospitals and other NHS providers across the country to ensure we can continue to protect the safety of our patients and provide the urgent services they need. We will monitor the situation across the country to ensure these plans are in place, and are ready to respond to any significant increases in pressure in any region over the course of this dispute.”

Have Junior Doctors ever gone on strike before?

Yes they have, all the way back in 1975. The BBC have an interesting piece on it, if you want to find out about that. Basically, these kinds of strike are very rare indeed, so many feel that things must be bad for it to happen now.

Get help with what to watch on Netflix

January 11th, 2016 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

netflix transparent Get help with what to watch on Netflix Do have a Netflix account, and spend most of your time scrolling through endless films, and not actually getting down to watching anything?

There’s so much stuff on Netflix, that a lot of things get hidden from you, unless you know exactly what you’re looking for, and can tap it straight into the search function on the app.

Well, here’s some help. If you click here, you’ll see that all of the sub-sections on Netflix are available to you. If you’re signed-in to your account, when you click on each section, you’ll be able to see what films are available to you.

So, you can choose from the usual things that have come up on your menu, but you’ll see that there other ones like ‘political comedies’, ‘b-horror movies’, ‘latin American movies’, ‘steamy thrillers’, and a whole load more. Obviously, you may have seen these options if you watch a lot of them, but you might not have.

The design of this site is helpful and basic, but does look like crap… but don’t let that put you off.

If you want to go even deeper, there’s an extended list here. Hopefully, that’ll cut down on some of the time you spend searching for films, so you can spend your time actually watching them.

santander logo Rates being slashed on Santanders 123 current account next weekSantander’s 123 account has been pretty popular, but the rates paid on the current account are going to be slashed as of next week, thanks to a rise in the monthly fee.

From January 11th, it’ll be £5 a month, up from the previous £2. With a lot of people switching to the account for the high interest rate, this’ll be irritating news.

As it’ll now be charged at £60 per year, which could still be a good deal for those with a reasonable amount in their account. For those with smaller balances, this isn’t very good news at all.

So, with £2,500, at £2, you’d earn £16 after charges. With the new £60, it’ll wipe your interest and, in the end, you’ll be paying Santander £20 to run your account.

It is worth shopping around now, and we previously wrote about this, with some good tips and links to where you can compare accounts which will work for you best.

Have a look, here.

How to… quickly challenge parking fines

December 30th, 2015 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

Bitterwallet appeal parking tickets1 How to... quickly challenge parking finesHate parking fines? Course you do. Well, a teenager has set up a site which has apparently saved Brits £2million in a matter of months, where you can appeal your penalties.

Over 86,000 people have launched appeals against council parking fines since August, using the site set up by Joshua Browder. Around 40% of those who have appealed have been successful in overturning penalties, according to a poll.

£5.2million’s worth of fines were challenged, and it is thought that this has seen £2million’s worth of penalties avoided by motorists (based on an average fine of £60 per person, and that 86,204 had used his DoNotPay.co.uk website to launch appeals).

Browder said: “I am shocked that the site has had such a large impact. When I started DoNotPay, I thought that it would help a small handful of family and friends. I could never have imagined that it would help reclaim millions in parking fines.”

“I am disappointed that the councils are targeting the most vulnerable in our society. The elderly and the disabled are disproportionately receiving unfair tickets. The council has a responsibility to protect these groups rather than target them and it is rewarding to being doing something to work towards that.”

The site is free to use, and allows you to pick one of 12 reasons of defence. You then enter your details and send an appeal created by the website, to the council who issued the fine. The whole process takes less than a minute, apparently, so well worth a look if you want to try and avoid a nonsense fine.

Visit DoNotPay here

How to… free up space on your iPhone

December 15th, 2015 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

how to expert 300x300 How to... free up space on your iPhoneThese days, everyone seems to be a techie, and when you ask them for help with something, they’d rather scoff at you than help. So, to those who find this advice searingly obvious, you pat yourself on the back and go back to your smirk.

For the rest of you, who didn’t learn all that stuff – here’s a thing that might help you: if your iPhone is getting too full and it is causing you bother, here’s some great ways of freeing up space on it, so you can stop swearing at your handset.

These are all super easy to do, so don’t worry!

Lose Pointless Apps

We’ve all got apps on our phones that we never use. Do you really need Facebook’s ‘Pages’ app? Their apps are pretty large, and could be eating up your storage space. Likewise, do you have a bunch of games that you used to play, but haven’t touched them in yonks? Well, get rid of them! Uninstall them! Delete iPhone apps by tapping and holding an app’s icon, and it’ll ‘wiggle’. Hit the ‘X’ that pops up, and woosh, you’re done.

Cloud Storage

Are you storing a load of stuff in the cloud that you’re not bothered about? Well, go to Settings, then General, then Storage and iCloud usage. Under Manage Storage, you’ll be able to see everything that’s hogging up your phone. There, you’ll probably find out that iPlayer is taking up a lot of space (don’t need it? Bin it) and photographs. Go through your Photo Library and delete all the ones you don’t need anymore.

You might have a load of music on there that you don’t listen to anymore, or remember, if you have Apple Music, you can stream everything from there with WiFi or 4G. That way, you won’t have a load of tracks weighing your phone down.

Clear Your RAM

You can also clear your phone’s RAM to make everything quicker. While your phone is unlocked, hold down on the top power button until the ‘slide to power off’ slider appears, and then hold down the bottom home button for five seconds. If you’ve done it correctly, your home screen will reappear, and your phone’s RAM will be cleaned out!

Careful Of Newsstand Apps

If you have a load of digital subscriptions with Apple, some mags don’t auto-delete old issues. If you get the Metro delivered to your phone, they save everything, forever. That is GB’s worth of stuff that you don’t need! Easy way to lose all those is, don’t delete individual papers, but rather, delete the app.

Auto-Delete Old Messages

Old messages can really clog up your phone, so you can set up your messages to auto-delete in iOS 8. Go to Settings, then Messages, and then hit Keep Messages. You can toggle the settings there, for 30 days, or a year. Toggle the settings for Audio and Video messages too. Get those to expire after a couple of minutes.

How to cancel your Zavvi Zbox subscription

December 8th, 2015 1 Comment By Mof Gimmers

 How to cancel your Zavvi Zbox subscriptionHave you signed-up for Zavvi’s Zbox? If you don’t know what it is, it is a monthly box of geeky stuff that is sent to you, for £35 a month. You get games, toys, collectibles, and that sort of thing.

To some, it all sounds great, however, cancelling your subscription seems to be a massive pain in the rear. Twitter is filled with people complaining about this matter (as you can see here), and over at HUKD, there’s more complaints, with people saying they’d cancelled their subscription, but were still getting charged, and money coming out of their account for something they no longer want.

So, how to do cancel your subscription? Well, according to Zavvi, you have the right to cancel ”within 14 days without giving reason.” The company’s terms and conditions say: “To exercise the right to cancel, you must inform us of your decision to cancel this contract by a clear statement (e.g. by selecting the appropriate option in your account or a letter sent by post). You may use the example model cancellation form below, but it is not obligatory.”

“Please ensure that the items you are returning are unopened and in any original packaging. Unwanted goods need to be in pristine condition with any retail seals unbroken.”

Zavvi promises to “reimburse to you all payments received from you, including the cost of delivery”. The ‘model cancellation form’ is as follows:

To: The Hut.com Limited, Meridian House, Gadbrook Park, Rudheath, Cheshire, CW9 7RA.

I hereby give notice that I cancel my contract of sale of the following goods:

Ordered on:

Order number:

Name of customer:

Address of customer:

Signature of customer (only if sent by paper):

Date:

Now, if you’ve done all that, and they’re still being berks, you can try and get a refund by making a complaint to this e-mail address: feedback@thehutgroup.com. The company also say: “If you are not satisfied with the way in which we have handled the return or replacement of any item, we want to hear about this. Our aim is to resolve the matter for you and ask that you please contact our customer service representatives at feedback@zavvi.com or by post at Customer Service Department, Zavvi, Meridian House, Gadbrook Way, Gadbrook Park, Rudheath, Northwich, Cheshire, UK, CW9 7RA.

If you’re paying by direct debit, cancel that with your bank and that should put an end to it. The company also seem to have an auto-enrol thing in place, so be careful of that too.

It seems people are getting stung because of this, again, from the company’s t&cs: “You are entitled to cancel your subscription at any time, however unless you cancel your subscription with us within 14 days from the day on which you acquire physical possession of your first “ZBox”, you will not be entitled to a refund.” They add: “If you wish to cancel your subscription before the term has expired, you must give us four weeks prior notice, otherwise you may receive the subsequent months’ “ZBox”.

If you’ve done all this, get your bank to investigate the issue and put a block on the company taking money from your account.

netflix transparent Netflix hackers flog your details   how to fix thatBad news movie fans and binge-watchers of TV shows – hackers have been selling your Netflix details for less than a quid!

The good thing here, is that these hackers aren’t actually after your money, rather, they’re just freeloading with your user details.

So, if you want to know if someone is using your details, have a look at your ‘recently watched’ section. If looks like a load of things you’ve never watched, and would never, ever want to watch, chances are, someone’s jacked your account.

To stop this from happening, it is a very simple process – go to ‘Your Account’ and hit ‘Sign out of all devices’, which will log you out of every device that has been using it. So if someone miles away has been watching Orange Is The New Black on their phone, you’ll log them out.

Obviously, from there, you’ll have to change your password. Try to ensure it is a different one from your email password and what have you, to make certain that hackers haven’t got it.

Then, you’re away! You’ll be the only one watching what you’ve paid for, and no-one will ever know that you’ve been secretly watching Robinson Crusoe On Mars over and over, like some kind of mad person.

France Flag 300x182 How to remove the French flag tribute from your Facebook profileAfter the awful attacks in Paris, Facebook was filled with people showing their support by putting French tricolour filters over their profile pictures. Of course, faux-intellectuals almost immediately started debates about it all, but mostly, a bunch of people wanted to show solidarity to a country they normally slag off.

However, some people are annoyed as they can’t get the filter off their profile pictures. Their support was only meant to last for a couple of weeks – they want to go back to the way things were before Facebook encouraged users to customise their pictures.

Some people will have set a time limit to their filter, which means, within a week, your picture will revert back to its normal self.

If you didn’t, and you’ve been scratching your head about how to remove it, quite simply, all you have to do is hit ‘update profile photo’. You can either upload a new photo, or choose one that you’ve previously uploaded. And that’s it. We would’ve thought that was obvious, but we’ve seen a lot of people complaining about this.

Seriously. On one support page, one user vented: “This is something that Facebook should be fixing. We had a choice of how long to leave the flag ‘on’ and its not working.” Another chipped in by saying: “I shouldn’t have to do anything, should have been automatic!”

Well, we’re sorry the world hasn’t worked out how to cater for your every need automatically, but if you want to click two buttons on your own profile, you can get your page looking like it did a few weeks ago.

Cela a été facile, non?

Automyze – helping drivers save money

November 19th, 2015 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

poolside Car wash 300x197 Automyze   helping drivers save moneyBuying a car is a pain in the hole, and sometimes, they cost you far too much in repairs, compared to the price you paid for it.

And so, to Lucy Burnford who bought a car, which ended up having a catalogue of problems, which then saw her coming up with something to help other drivers from having the same problems as her.

She’s come up with Automyze, which is being referred to as an online ‘personal assistant for your car’. The AA liked the idea so much that they snapped it up. The idea is that the MOT history of a car is more important than the service history. Instead of knowing what necessary work has been done on a vehicle, instead, you can find out all the maintenance work it has had.

Lucy says: “I developed the idea but not from a tech or auto background but I, and everyone I spoke to, thought it had legs. A full service history is basically a book with a couple of stamps – it does not tell you if the car has had bigger bits of maintenance done. I asked the guy selling my car and he said it had all been done but you have to take someone’s word for it. You can buy service books from eBay and sell them on yourself.”

And so, wanting all the documents for a car in one place, she hit on an idea: “I really wanted to create a digital hub and a portal where you could see if the car has had any major things go wrong and been serviced correctly.”

Lucy and her team came up with Motoriety, which eventually became Automyze. Drivers set up an account, and then you can call up information on MOT, tax, vehicle servicing, repairs, insurance, and all that stuff. Within the next 12 months, it is predicted that there’ll be half a million cars registered on the service.

Even though this is a joint venture with The AA, you don’t have to be a member to use it. If you want to have a look at it, click here.