The weekend is upon us, which is nice. Unless you’re working tonight and all weekend, in which case, godspeed. Anyway, with some days off, you might want to watch a load of films for free. Sounds good right?
Well, there’s no catch, because Paramount Studios has launched their own YouTube channel and stuck up loads of films up, which you can watch for nothing. Hundreds of them!
Paramount say they are offering… “a collection of Paramount full-length films and clips including selections that range from black-and-white to colour, comedy to horror, and everything in between.”
Now, it is only available to Americans at the moment, so you’ll either have to wait or, we’re sure you can work the internet well enough to use a VPN or whatever, to get at all that lovely stuff.
We suggest having a look at CyberGhost (which you can get for free) or PrivateInternetAccess which will cost you, but well worth it if you’re going to be wanting to use it a lot (and it has won a load of awards and don’t mistreat your information as well). Anyway, have fun.
Short answer to both of these questions is that, no, Sony haven’t done anything of the sort.
That thing you can see on your PS4 is just an advert, so don’t sweat it. Obviously, Sony aren’t going to be giving games away for free, and you can assume that they understand how jumpy gamers are, so they wouldn’t want to anger them by making them have a game they didn’t want or have the memory space for.
Basically, in that horizontal information bar, Sony have whacked an advert for Destiny in it, which might annoy you if you’re anti-adverts, but you can opt-out of those too if you want.
If you don’t like these ads – which Sony have been mercifully tasteful with thus far – you go to your PlayStation 4 Settings, click System, then Automatic Downloads, and there, you should untick the Featured Content box. That means no more ads, which are uniformly ‘opt-in’ as standard.
There’s a similar thing with Microsoft’s Xbox One, which has a ‘What’s New’ section. Either way, if the appearance of Destiny on your PS4 has bugged you, you now know what you need to do, to get rid.
If you’ve upgraded to Apple’s iOS 9, and found that a load of stuff you want to look at online is suddenly blocked (hey, we’re not here to judge you, okay?), there’s a really easy way of getting around it, so you can fill you boots with whatever you like.
Apple’s content blockers are enabled or disabled through the Safari section of Settings, as you’d imagine, but if you only want to do it temporarily, and quickly while looking at something you wouldn’t normally get stuck into, then there’s a nice shortcut you can employ.
If you tap and hold on the reload button in Safari, it will give you an option to ‘Reload Without Content Blockers’, which means you can quickly look at a page as the developers of the page intended. With this method, there’s also an option to look at the desktop version of the site, if that’s your thing (you might want to hit a ‘submit’ button on Tumblr, which isn’t available on the mobile app, or whatever).
Either way, it is as easy as that. If you want to turn off content blocking completely, then go into your settings and mess around in there.
Train passengers will be automatically refunded if their train is delayed by (at least) half an hour, thanks to a new scheme called the Automatic Delay Repay (ADR). The service is being launched by Virgin Trains, but the government are looking at getting all the operators to use it.
So what’s the score? If you buy an advance ticket through an operators website or app, you’ll get money back if your train is sufficiently late. The money would be with you within three days, and you won’t have to claim for it as it’ll be automatic.
Journeys with multiple connections across different operators are not eligible under this new scheme, so if you want refunds, you’ll have to do it the old fashioned way. You can see our guide to getting compensation for a train journey, here.
Virgin are giving themselves a kick in the pants about this, as they’re the joint-second worst performing operator in England and Wales, with around 5% of their trains either late (by more than 30 minutes), cancelled or failing to make a scheduled stop in the past 12 months. As such, Virgin Trains think that they’ll be paying out an extra £2.8m under the new scheme, which in part, will be thanks to people getting refunds who previously couldn’t be bothered to do it as it all seems like a massive faff.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin says: “Virgin Trains are making the most of modern technology to improve the service customers get. Our plan is to make sure passengers across the country benefit from schemes like this and we are encouraging other operators to roll out similar schemes nationwide.”
So, here’s the things that will get you a refund for the trains:
- Delays of 30-59 mins will see you getting 50% of the cost of a single ticket or the relevant portion of a return ticket.
- Delays of 60-119 mins will see you getting 100% of the cost of a single ticket or the relevant portion of a return ticket.
- Delays of 120 mins or over will see you getting 100% of the cost of a single or both portions of a return ticket.
However, if you’d like to deal with them through the official channels and stop cold-callers from mithering you all the time, we decided to put some tips together. This comes after the solar energy company who were hit with a record fine for their complete disregard for the rules.
Why Are They Ringing Me?
Call-centres have huge collections of numbers and ring everyone up. They’re a pain, but for the most part, at least they’re indiscriminate.
What’s The Law Regarding Cold Callers?
Since April, if you tell the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) that spam calls have caused ”substantial damage or substantial distress”, then the company responsible can be slapped around with a fine. They can be fined up to £500,000.
How Do I Avoid These Nuisance Calls?
When you sign up for anything, if you tick a box that allows a company to send marketing things to you, and share your details with ‘trusted’ pals of theirs, you could end up being spammed by people down the phone. There’s a lot of money made by companies selling on your details to third parties.
You can also register with the free Telephone Preference Service, which aims to prevents companies from contacting you. It isn’t going to stop everyone, but it will stop many. To put your number on the list, phone 0845 070 0707 or go to tpsonline.org.uk. If a persistent caller is hassling you, you can make an official complaint to the ICO. Make notes on how often a company is calling and what time of day they’re doing it, as that’ll help the ICO officers. Click here to do that.
And If They Are Still Getting Through After All That?
Find the offices of the company who are pestering you and defecate through their letterbox. It won’t stop the calls, but it might make you feel better. We will not bail you out if you get arrested for doing this.
If you’ve bought yourself a new iPhone, or updated to iOS9, you may have noticed that your data allowance is being ravaged. That’s nice, especially if you’ve only just been able to switch your phone back on after it kept bloody crashing all the time.
If you have noticed (or haven’t, in which case, you might have an unpleasant surprise when you get your next bill), there’s an easy workaround for the problem.
The issue is to do with a new feature called ‘WiFi Assist’, which switches your phone to 4G when your WiFi connection is rubbish. This has been an Android feature for a while, but new to Apple, hence the potential for a horrible surprise come bill time.
To switch off the service, here’s how:
Go to Settings from your home screen. Then, click on ‘Mobile Data’ (if you’re in America, you should hit ‘Cellular’) and then scroll to the bottom of the list, and underneath your apps you’ll find ‘WiFi Assist’ where you can toggle with the settings. Obviously, you’ll be wanting to switch it off.
And that’s it. You can leave WiFi Assist on for a bit to see how you go on, but if you find your data is being blitzed, then at least you know how to stop that from happening again in the future.
While Home Fire Risk Assessments or a Home Fire Safety Check can sound a bit heavy, you can get the once over by members of your local fire and rescue service.
If you have a thing for people turning up at your house in firefighting uniforms, parking a fire engine outside your home, without you having to torch your sofa, you’re in luck. These checks will be carried out by operational firefighters.
You can get them to come ’round at your convenience (although they might have to leg it if there’s an actual fire that needs putting out elsewhere). The checks are completely free and, once they’ve sussed out the situation, you may also be eligible for free smoke alarms to be fitted. They’ll do that for you too, which is nice.
When visiting, the fire staff will look at potential risks in your house, as well as give advice on how to escape your property in the event of a fire.
You can find your local Fire and Rescue Service by clicking here. Book an appointment with them directly, and they will advise on what happens from there. You can also make enquiries on behalf of another person.
And remember, for your own sanity or someone else’s, all Fire and Rescue personnel have photo ID and you should ask to see it. If you’re suspicious, you can ring their base. You won’t ever be asked for any money, and anyone who does is a scam artist, so sling ‘em out of the house or phone the police on them.
This is a very valuable service that not many people use, so get on it and make your home a little safer.
Soon, there’s going to be a big shake-up with the Consumer Rights Act, which aims to be more relevant in the digital age. If you want to exercise your rights, then you’re going to have to know what the changes are. So with that, we’ve rounded up everything you need.
The new Consumer Rights Act 2015 becomes law on Thursday 1 October 2015.
Three piece of consumer legislation have been changed and updated. These are the Sale of Goods Act 1979, the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 and the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982.
NEW DIGITAL RIGHTS
Here’s an interesting one. New digital legislation says that, when you purchase digital content, you now have new rights. So anything from apps to downloaded content, you don’t have a 30 day period of grace. If there’s something wrong with your new digital content, you’ll be able to demand repair or replacement in the first instance. If that doesn’t fix the problem, you can ask for a price reduction, which can be up to 100% of the cost.
The interesting thing is that your compensation will come from the retailer, not the developer. So, if an app you’ve bought from Google Play doesn’t work, Google have to sort it out, not the person who made it. The retailer will also be liable if any device or other digital content you own is damaged as a result of shoddy digital content.
This means that the retailers are going to have to be on it with regard to the apps they accept on their marketplaces. Same goes for games downloaded for consoles. One thing is clear – if Apple do an update which bricks your phone, you are now protected by the Consumer Rights Act.
30 DAYS OF REJECTION
You have 30 days to reject a faulty product now. The idea is that, within this time frame, you’ll be able to take a knackered item or product back for refund without any hassle. Previously, the Sale of Goods Act said products had to be replaced within a ‘reasonable time’, so at least we’ve got some clarity now.
You’ll still be able to return things after 30 days, but after that time, the retailer can offer a repair job or a replacement before they have to give a refund.
UNFAIR CONTRACT KILLER
The Consumer Rights Act is now making it easier for you to challenge hidden fees and charges. If you take umbrage with a company, they will be assessed for fairness on contracts, pricing and how prominent and transparent their charges are. Companies will now have to be straightforward with fees and talk explicitly, in plain-English, what they’re going to be taking from you.
There’s a lot more to the new Consumer Rights Act, which you can read all about here. Which of the new rights are you most looking forward to exercising? Do you think the new Act goes far enough or would you like to see other rights and protection included?
There’s more to the new Consumer Rights Act too, including stuff about repairs and second-hand goods. Have a look at the run-down from our pals over at Which!!! by clicking here.
If you think that you’ve been missold Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) and you’ve been lazy with regards to sorting it out, you’re going to have to get a wriggle on, because the Financial Conduct Authority is thinking about putting a deadline on the whole thing.
Now, you might think it is really difficult to make a claim, but it isn’t. You can do it yourself and should in no way be paying someone to do it for you.
The people who say they’ll do it for you will charge you a big ol’ fee, and they’ll add VAT to it. It really is a racket, but you can do it for yourself.
So, let us give you the low-down on how to sort out this PPI nonsense.
What The Bloody Hell Is PPI Anyway?
Basically, banks offered payment protection insurance, which were designed to protect your loans or credit cards or whatever. However, banks, loan companies and credit card firms missold them for high rates and, in some cases, customers were forced to have them without knowing about it. As a result, the establishments who did this have to pay compensation to those affected.
So, How Do I Find Out If I Was Missold Something?
Okay. If you’re unemployed, self-employed, or retired or even had a medical problem that prevented you from working at the time you took out the policy, you’re good to make a claim. Or, if you were told that the insurance was compulsory before you could be approved for credit, you’re golden. Even if the PPI wasn’t properly explained to you, you could be in with a shout of getting some cash.
When Do I Need To Make A Claim?
Do it now. Stop mucking about and get your claim done. Now the FCA is talking about a time limit on this, you need to pull your finger out. Also, if your policy was taken out longer than 6 years ago, you might have some bother, but that shouldn’t stop you trying.
How Do I Make A Claim Exactly?
Get any paperwork you have. If you don’t have it, never mind, we can still get a claim done – you will need to ask your lender for copies of your paperwork. Thanks to the Consumer Credit Act, you can legally ask your lender to sort you out with copies of paperwork. It’ll cost you a quid to get them though.
If you can’t remember which who you took loans out with, then get in touch with credit report agencies like Experian.
Once you’ve got all your details, you’ll need to write to whoever you have your policy with. If you are not much a letter writer, worry not, as you can use the free templates for letters by clicking here. And if the company has gone belly-up, no matter, you can get in touch with the Financial Services Compensation Scheme people, by ringing 0800 678 1100 or clicking here.
Don’t be thinking you’ll get your money quickly though – there’s a massive backlog on this, but your bank should tell you within 8 weeks of you getting in touch, whether you’re successful with your claim or not. If you’re unsuccessful, but think the bank are having you on, then take your claim to the Financial Ombudsman Service, which is free.
Call them on 0300 123 9123 or go to the FoS site by clicking here. You can write to them too, via snail mail: The Financial Ombudsman Service , South Quay Plaza, 183 Marsh Wall, London, E14 9SR.
Is That It?
Pretty much. Get your bum in gear and make a claim! Good luck!
When Apple released iOS 9, little did they know how much bother it was going to cause them. Users angrily tweeted about how it had completely borked their phones and some had to do factory resets to get everything working again.
Basically, once iOS 9 has downloaded, a glitch meant that some people’s devices froze after users were prompted to “Slide to Upgrade.”
However, Apple seem to have fixed everything now, which is good news for those of you with an iPhone or whatever. And the update looks like this.
So what have they sorted out? Well, the new update fixes the issue where some couldn’t complete setup after updating. It also sorts out the issue where alarms and timers failed to sound off.
It also fixed the issue in Safari and Photos where pausing a video could cause the paused frame to look like a mess. It also sorted out the problem where some people with a custom APN setup via a profile would lose data.
You can download and install iOS 9.0.1 by opening Settings > General > Software Update on your iOS device.
There’s been a lot of chat about iPhones crashing thanks to Apple’s latest update. People have been saying that their phone is bricked. Thanks stupid Apple.
The problem is the Slide to Upgrade screen isn’t responding, so here’s some thing you can do to fix everything. Kinda.
Apple have said that they’re going to release a new update soon, which will sort everything out, but if you’re in a rush and can’t wait for Apple to pull their finger out, here’s some workarounds.
What To Do If Your iPhone Won’t Work After Updating
You need to connect your iOS device to a computer that you’ve previously synced with iTunes and make sure that iTunes is open.
Then, you need to select your device and if you don’t see it listed, you’ll have to do a ‘Force Restart’. You do that by pressing and holding the Sleep/Wake button until the red slider appears. You drag the slider until your device turns off, and then, when it has done that, press and hold the Sleep/Wake button again until you see the Apple logo.
If you did a backup of your device before updating to iOS 9, then restore it to the previous OS. If you don’t know how to do a backup of an Apple device, click here to see how. Hopefully, that should do it.
If not, and you’re still seeing the Slide to Upgrade screen and everything is borked, then you’ll need to restore your device.
If you don’t see your phone on your computer, press and hold both the Sleep/Wake and Home button for 10 seconds or so, until your device restarts and appears in iTunes. Then, it’ll prompt you and you’ll choose Restore. Basically, this is a factory reset, so your phone will be as good as new, but you might lose some stuff if you haven’t backed things up or saved them to a cloud.
From now, thanks to Apple being a regular glitchfest, it’d be worth doing sporadic backups of everything, just in case this all happens again/
There’s around 3 million in the UK using the current account, and pay in £2 every month (or £24 a year if you prefer) and, in return, you get cash back on bills and a 3% interest rate. However, as of next year, customers will be paying £60 every year, which is £5 per month.
If you have a smaller balance, you will invariably not reap the benefits. So if you have the minimum £3,000 in the bank, you will earn £90 in interest, with £60 of that gone in fees. That’s equivalent to a 1% interest rate.
So with that, it could well be time to switch accounts. There’s a number of good deals around (we’ve previously extolled the virtues of the Santander 123 account, but after this change, it doesn’t seem like the good value it once did). Some account providers will actually pay you to switch, which is half decent… however, do a little research first, as you don’t want to be lured in with a good offer with a bank that has lousy customer service or will sting you on overdraft fees or what have you.
One favourite to switch to, is Halifax, who will hand new current account customers to £125. Until the 18th October, those using the Current Account Switching Service to join the Halifax will get their dough. If you pay in £750, you’ll get a £5 monthly award too. You’ll need to set up two direct debits and be in credit every month for this to work.
First Direct are also paying you if you switch, giving new customers £100 to join them. If you want to leave them after 6 months, they’ll give you another £100 when you leave. Yorkshire/Clydesdale Bank are doling out £150 to switch, but you need to pay in at least £1,000 for at least two months, and have two or more direct debits.
The Co-op Bank, who have been in a lot of bother of late, are giving out £125 to those who switch, with £25 of that sum going to charity, if that’s your thing. You have to pay in at least £800 within 31 days of switching, and again, have two direct debits. First Direct’s 1st Account will get you £125 for switching, and a £250 interest-free overdraft bundled in as standard.
There’s more deals doing the rounds, so have a look and see what suits you best. uSwitch have a guide and comparison table, here.
We thought it’d be funny if we had an article called ‘How to rob a hotel safe’, when in actual fact, the gist of this particular post is to say ‘Hey! You might not want to keep your valuables in hotel safes after seeing this’.
Either way, it is up to you what you do with this information. What information? Well, a gentleman called Jim Stickley has decided to upload a video to YouTube, which shows you just how simple it is to get into a hotel safe.
If you have the correct tools for the job (which aren’t particularly expensive or sophisticated), even you could get into a locked safe.
As you can see, all you need to do is unscrew a thing, which is really easy, locate the lock entrance and BLAM! you’re half way there.
Then, with very little effort and a bit of bent wire, the safe is open and picked. As Jim Stickley has a particularly sneaky brain, he then shows you how to relock the safe, so no-one will suspect a thing.
So, in summary – if you’re keeping your valuables in a hotel room safe, you now do so at your own risk. Or, if you’re a ne’er-do-well with a job cleaning hotel rooms, the world’s your oyster. Until you go to hell, that is.