SSE 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.
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.
There’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.
Have 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!
The 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.
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.
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.
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.
These 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.
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.
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:
Name of customer:
Address of customer:
Signature of customer (only if sent by paper):
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: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 email@example.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.
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.
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.