plane 300x225 Fly on a Tuesday evening if you want cheap air faresWe all want cheaper flights, and there’s nothing more annoying than booking a flight only to find it would have been significantly cheaper if we had only done something slightly differently, or booked slightly earlier/later. Now, new analysis of billions of flights has come up with a magic formula for getting the cheapest airfares- by telling you when to book and when to travel.

According to new global travel statistics from momondo, the most money can be saved by booking flights at least 53 days in advance of  departure, when you can save 29% on flight costs on average. And if you leave it late, the most expensive tickets are sold three days before departure.

But while early booking as a cost-saving tool is not necessarily news, nor unexpected, momondo have also calculated the cheapest day and time to fly by analysing 7.5 billion airfares worldwide.

Apparently, the cheapest departure fares are typically found on a Tuesday and the most expensive on a Friday or Saturday. After all, who wants to fly anywhere on a Tuesday? The time of the day is also important, as the figures showed it is normally cheaper to fly in the evening, between the hours of 6pm and midnight.

Lasse Skole Hansen, momondo’s spokesperson states: “We would always advise travellers to remember these golden rules, to bag the cheapest ticket. In general, it pays to book flights two months in advance. We found these trends consistent across the board, so bargain hunters should consider flying at night and on a Tuesday, if they want to save money on their travels.”

However, we would always recommend using a flight comparison tool to make sure you get the best deal. Sites like skyscanner have been around for ages and allow you to compare flexible dates and similar airports to find the cheapest deals. Kayak is another similar site that allows you to find cheap flights, but then predicts whether it might be better to wait a few days before booking, as the price may fall, or whether you should buy now before the price goes up.

Hilarious kid shows the art of selling loom bands

October 30th, 2014 1 Comment By Mof Gimmers

Loom bands, as we know, are trouble. Some of them are toxic. Some of them lumber dads with stupidly high phone bills. However, the main problem is that, once you’ve made a lovely thing with some loom bands, nobody wants them.

And so, to a little girl who has an original approach to the art of commerce while trying to sell her loom band creations.

Not only does she scream the street down in a bid to flog some, she also reveals a hilariously potty mouth when talking about them. Save this video – she might end up on The Apprentice or Dragon’s Den in a few years time.

Funny Girl Sells Loom Bands from Mof Gimmers on Vimeo.

Barclays put £500m to one side for Libor rigging

October 30th, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

barclays bank limited 300x300 Barclays put £500m to one side for Libor riggingMore financial institutions raiding the funds in the large biscuit tin under the bed news as Barclays have put aside £500m to cover the cost of the investigations into the rigging of currency markets.

This £500m is much larger than the £290m of total fines that Barclays have received for fiddling Libor in 2012, and is released as the Financial Conduct Authority tries to sort out a settlement with six major banks over their roles in the £3.5tn a day foreign exchange markets.

We should have a result of the investigations some time in November and RBS will be publishing their results from all this tomorrow.

Barclays told everyone about this provision as they reported their figures for the third quarter of the year, where they also lost £170m as they covered the cost of the payment protection insurance (PPI) mis-selling farce.

Of course, this all means that Barclays profits have taken a huge hit, but frankly, it is their own fault so they can’t moan about it.

The result of all this means that there’s going to be some costs cut. There’s a plan for Barclays to axe 19,000 jobs and investors need to be appeased as they’ve been furious at the high level of bonuses being doled out to top brass.

This all comes after the Lloyds group made similar provisions and, of course, announced huge job losses. Across the banking and finance sector, the PPI scandal is the costliest thing that’s ever happened in banking industry.

Deals of the Day: Thursday 30th October 2014

October 30th, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

photo 300x225 Deals of the Day: Thursday 30th October 2014Tablets are great. You can use them like books or a laptop. You can be that awful human who films gigs with them. You can use them as a gaming device. Most importantly, you can look at smut while you’re having a poo.

Well, if you’re in the market for a tablet, we’ve found a deal where you can get an Apple iPad mini (16GB Wi-Fi Silver/Grey) for £179. You’ll need a code to get it at that price, but obviously, we have that too. Click here and grab a bargain.

MORE DEALS!

Megathread of booze deals. One to keep an eye on for Christmas.
ZombiU (Wii U) £4.95 Delivered
OnCard Cashback Scheme – 5% on instore purchases via debit or credit card in Argos
Silver Moto 360 Smartwatch for £199
Valve Complete Pack £10 with code @ GMG
PSN Metro Sale: Metro: 2033 Redux / Metro: Last Light Redux (PS4) £10.49 Each and Metro Redux Complete £19.99
Nintendo 2DS White/Red and Tomodachi Game + free Pokémon White DS Game £99.99 + Free £5.00 gift Card.
Toshiba Encore 7″ Win 8.1 Tablet for £100
TRENDnet 8-Port Gigabit GREENnet Network Switch with Metal Case £13.98 delivered
Pro Evolution Soccer 2015 PES – Day 1 Edition – PS4 and Xbox One for £32.98
Samsung 40″ Smart TV + 6 x free Wuaki HD rentals (+ free £10 Argos voucher if quick) for £299
Apple TV (UK Version) for £64

FOR MORE AMAZING OFFERS, VISIT HUKD!

Aldi tops simplicity test

October 30th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

aldi logo 252x300 Aldi tops simplicity testAldi has topped something called the Global Brand Simplicity Index.

It’s the second year running that the supermarket has topped this Global Brand Simplicity Index by Siegel+Gale, beating Google and fellow discount retailer Lidl for the spot.

Using feedback from over 12,000 consumers spread across eight countries, the index works out the perceived simplicity or complexity of brands’ products, services, interactions and communications in relation to their industry peers.

That’s globally, but who won the UK list? Lidl. Yep, the plucky budget supermarket that everyone likes to shade, knocked Amazon off the perch.

The report also revealed that the general decline in traditional supermarket brands’ simplicity scores was largely down to: complicated approaches to online shopping, overpriced premium ranges and decline in own brand quality.

So while all the big boy supermarkets – Sainsbury’s was the upmarket top ranking, coming in seventh, while Asda ranked ninth. Waitrose came in at 14, while Tesco ranked in at 24 – have been having well-documented palavers, Aldi and Lidl have been quietly doing their thing, and getting bigger as a result.

Aldi and Lidl, keeping things simple eh? Who would’ve ever guessed that such a thing would be attractive to a customer who wants cheap items rather than needlessly complicated reward systems?

New Android to help to delete bloatware?

October 30th, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

500px android logosvg 300x300 New Android to help to delete bloatware?One of the most irritating things about buying a mobile is the amount of stuff that is pre-loaded into your handset, that can’t be deleted – or bloatware as it is commonly known and complained about.

For example, if you buy a Galaxy 4, you’ll find that you’re obliged to have ‘S Health’, ‘Story Album’, ‘Samsung Wallet’, ‘Samsung Link’, ‘Samsung Hub’, ‘WatchON’, ‘ChatON’, ‘Group Play’, ‘Galaxy Apps’, ‘Knox’, ‘My Galaxy’ and more.

That’s a lot of apps that you might not want, taking up space on your phone. Unless you’re the kind of person who can get under the hood of a phone, chances are, you’ll just put up with them.

However, that might be changing as Android Lollipop, Google’s latest mobile operating system, might be helping you lose the bloat.

If the apps are installed through Google Play (even if they’re done automatically when you first boot your phone or tablet up when you buy it), they’ll be on the data partition and you’ll be able to remove them. And this is according to Google Vice President of Engineering for Android and Nexus Dave Burke and Android team Group Product Manager Gabe Cohen.

That all said, there’s going to be a catch – you can just sense it. There’s no way phone manufacturers and the like are going to design all these crapps and let them wither on the vine.

We’ll find out when the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 come out, which will launch with Android 5.0 Lollipop soon. Hopefully, this will be the start of something genuinely useful for Android phone-havers.

Look out! There’s more phone fraud knocking about!

October 29th, 2014 1 Comment By Mof Gimmers

telesales telephone Look out! Theres more phone fraud knocking about!Time to get vigilant, dear Bitterwallet reader, because there’s a scam doing the rounds that tricks you into believing you’re talking to a trusted business on the phone.

We wouldn’t be doing our civic duty if we didn’t inform you of it, but if you’re one of those lazy people who can’t be bothered reading an article, then the solution we offer is to never, ever answer a phone call, just to be on the safe side.

For those who insist on answering phonecalls or, indeed, want to learn about doing some fraud for some extra beer money, here’s the low down.

This scam has been dubbed ‘number spoofing’, where ne’er-do-wells clone a telephone number of an organisation and basically impersonate them so that, on your caller ID, you’ll think it is all legit and above board. The people at Financial Fraud Action UK reckon that this has become a bit of a problem in recent weeks.

Of course, this type of scam has been knocking around for years, but it is on the increase and criminals are using it to steal your money. At the moment, according to FFA UK, the main targets are businesses, but personal banking customers are also finding themselves being contacted by these snide gits.

Basically, fraudsters are posing as bank staff or police officers and ask you for your personal and financial details. They usually tell you that fraudulent activity has been detected on your account, which is a bit rich seeing as the scam ends up with fraudulent activity all up in your business.

If the scam artists don’t get your details, they’ll try and get you to send money to another account for ’safe-keeping’. Frankly, if you’re going to fall for that, then you need to start worrying. Remember though – no organisation, including your bank, will ever, ever ask for your password and PIN number in whole. Anyone doing so is absolutely trying it on with you.

Craig Jones, spokesperson for FFA UK, said: “Number spoofing is becoming increasingly common and it’s not difficult for the criminals to fake a caller ID. So if a number appears on your phone’s caller ID display, you shouldn’t assume you know where the call is being made from.”

“Remember that if a caller is trying to draw your attention to the number on your phone display, it’s very unlikely the call is genuine as there is no legitimate reason to point it out.”

zaggora 300x203 Zaggora weight loss clothing doesnt help you lose weight?Things have moved on a bit since the days of snake oil. After all, we now have the ASA to look after us. And that is what the ASA have done today, stepping in to stop ‘weight loss’ clothes from being marketed as such without sufficient evidence to support their claims.

Clothing manufacturer Zaggora, whose clothes promise to help you “slim in style”, have been rapped by the regulator as they have no actual proof that the exercise get up they are flogging burns any more calories than someone wearing any other type of clothing.

Alongside claiming discounts of up to 70% which could not be substantiated (as the items in question have apparently been on sale permanently since 2013), the ASA took issue with the claims made in a number of Zaggora adverts that their clothing could burn more calories, thereby helping with weight loss. When pressed, Zaggora presented findings of a study comparing the calories burned both wearing Zaggora clothing and not wearing it.

However, the ASA were not so easily fobbed off, and felt that Zaggora’s study of nine, slim and fit young women was not statistically significant, nor representative, nor appropriate for the intended target market. The ASA stopped short of suggesting Zaggora had simply made up the results, but did point out that the study had not been ‘peer-reviewed’ and questioned the methodology and research controls used.

Overall the ASA “considered that the claims in the ads such as, “burn more”, “Weight Loss Hotpants”, “Slim in style”, “hotpants that burn calories for you”, “burn more fat”, and “burn more calories”, were likely to be interpreted by consumers as sustained weight loss claims, and would therefore need to be substantiated by evidence showing an effect over time,” before finding that the adverts were therefore misleading  owing to the “issues” with the evidence.

However, the ASA ruling may yet prove to be snake oil itself. Despite the ruling published today, and an edict that Zaggora must not make similarly unsubstantiated claims in future, Zaggora’s email marketing sent out this very afternoon includes the words “trim your waist” and how their ‘technology’ “helps you burn more calories”. It could be that, since the ruling, Zaggora has, in fact, got robust, defensible evidence of their weight loss claims, or it could be that Zaggora are blatantly flaunting the ASA’s direct order.

Unfortunately, if this is the case, it seems all the ASA can do is publish Zaggora’s name on a list of persistent offenders, leaving them free to claim all sorts to unsuspecting podgy folks who don’t necessarily read the ASA website as a matter of course. Unless they read marvellous sites like Bitterwallet instead…

halal test 300x163 Check everything is pork free with the Halal test kitA food testing kit which allow you to check if your purchase is Halal or not could soon be a thing in the UK.

Halal Test, which launched in France this week by French start-up Capital Biotech, uses immunochromatography, which is the same technology used for pregnancy tests, to detect traces of pork in food, cosmetics and medicines.

The portable test, which costs €6.90 each or €125 for a pack of 25, had already attracted considerable interest from several companies in the UK and further afield.

Halal Test is currently available only in France through traditional retail channels or online, but the makers of the kits reckon the UK is a very interesting market to develop further.

The test is packaged with a small tube into which a food sample is mixed with warm water. A test strip is then inserted into the tube, and after a few minutes reveals whether any pork traces are present by displaying two lines for a positive result and one for a negative result.

It can also sniff out alcohol in food products too, like a proper party pooper. The company is also developing a test that can detect how an animal was killed too. It’s all glamour, basically.

Capital Biotech said: “There are similar tests which use similar technology, but they are much more complicated to use, and require a special liquid extraction buffer usually containing ethanol. We concentrated our research efforts to simplify the use of these tests and get rid of the liquid extraction buffer, which makes them easy to use by anyone and anywhere.”

Imagine that – going to a restaurant and pulling out a mini laboratory and making the rest of your family wait for your findings while their food goes cold.

Banks want action on payday loan brokers

October 29th, 2014 2 Comments By Mof Gimmers

payday loans Banks want action on payday loan brokersThere’s been a sharp increase in complaints about payday loan brokers taking money from people without them knowing.

The Royal Bank of Scotland Group have said that they’re working to close payday loan brokers thanks to receiving 650 complaints-a-day between July and August alone. They say that there are 1 million attempts to remove money from account per month, and that one customer of a payday broker who was getting charged £700 in fees from a £100 loan.

The difference between brokers and lenders is that they don’t lend the cash themselves, but rather, charge fees to people, even if they don’t end up being approved for a loan. Worse still, is that some brokers will pass on your bank details to another party who will then also try and take money from your account.

The Financial Ombudsman have issued a warning about these payday brokers, after around 11,500 people had contacted them to complain about credit-broking websites. That figure comes from April alone.

In two-thirds of complaints the Ombudsman looked at, they agreed that the customer had been unfairly treated. They added that most people using brokers thought they were applying for a loan directly and didn’t realise that they were actually giving money to a middleman where loans might not even be given out.

Senior ombudsman Juliana Francis said: “In too many of the cases we sort out, no loan is provided and people’s bank accounts have been charged a high fee, often multiple times. If money has been taken from your account unfairly or without warning, the good news is the ombudsman is here to help.”

Terry Lawson, head of fraud and chargeback operations for RBS and NatWest, said: “We’ve seen large numbers of customers incurring charges they don’t expect when using a payday loan broker since July this year. Customers’ account or debit card details are gathered and sent on to up to 200 other brokers and lenders who charge them fees for a loan application.”

“At its height we were seeing up to 640 calls a day on unexpected fees, but we’re pleased to say we’re seeing this decrease on account of the actions we’re taking to help stop these sharp practices.”

There’s been huge problems surrounding payday loans as a whole, so they’re largely best avoided altogether. However, if you are desperate, be sure to read all the small print and make sure that the loan you’re getting won’t see you in more trouble than when you started off.

If you are having problems with anything regarding this, then contact the Financial Ombudsman here, or call 0800 023 4 567 on a landline, or 0300 123 9 123 if you are calling from a mobile. They’ll phone you back, if you’re worried about the cost of the call.

yorkshire building society Yorkshire Building Society fined for missellingYorkshire Building Society have been fined for mistreating its customers.

The building society has been slapped with a £4.1 million fine, for being shits to customers facing financial difficulties.

The findings were found after a City regulator noticed that call handlers at Yorkshire had failed to implement the right payment solutions, making it even worse for customers having a struggle.

The building society has agreed to refund all mortgage arrears fees, plus associated interest, charged to customers since January 2009.

This redress scheme, announced in February, is currently under way and about 33,900 customers will be repaid a total of £8.4m.

Those customers with an existing mortgage will have their loan credited, while former customers will be sent a cheque. Cor! A cheque. How modern. A Yorkshire spokesman named anonymous, reckons that all affected customers will be refunded by the end of 2014.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) had said that while Yorkshire viewed repossession as a last resort, it failed to recognise that delays in reaching long-term payment solutions meant that some customers incurred increased fees and interest.

These failures happened between October 2011 and July 2012 as is the company’s second fine for being devious arses.

The regulator noticed that in 64 out of 87 cases reviewed, showed that the consumer was treated shoddily.

Tracey McDermott, director of enforcement and financial crime at the FCA, said: “Customers in financial difficulty need to be treated fairly and sensitively. Firms must ensure that they are taking into account the particular circumstances affecting customers who find themselves in difficulty. Firms need to be dealing with these customers proactively, without delays, in order to ensure they are not losing out.

“By allowing cases to drift without agreement, Yorkshire’s actions meant that customers in vulnerable circumstances risked falling into further financial difficulty.”

Chris Pilling, chief executive of Yorkshire Building Society, apologised to customers using the ‘inflatable school’ joke as an apology. “We are very sorry for letting them down,” he said.

This is Yorkshire’s second fine in 2014. In June the FCA issued a £1.4m fine for exaggerating the returns that investors could expect from stock-market-linked bonds.

Help charity via your phone

October 29th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

snapdonate Help charity via your phoneA new Android app allows users to donate to charity just by pointing and clicking!

SnapDonate allows users to donate to charities on a one-off basis, just by pointing their camera at a charity’s logo.

The app recognises the logo from posters, bags or other marketing, and allows the user to send a donation handled through JustGiving.

So just point, snap and donate!

Let’s hear what Mark Warrick, founder and chief technology officer of The SnapDonate Foundation said: “In all the years I ran Busking Cancer to raise funds for Cancer Research UK, it was incredibly frustrating to see the look in people’s eyes when they were inspired to donate during a gig but just didn’t have cash on them. I vowed to enable people to help the causes they care about, without making it a chore for charities.”

“The new SnapDonate app is the first fruit of this labour of love. It is our gift to society. Pure and simple.”

The app currently works on 13,000 UK charities, including Alzheimer’s Society, Amnesty International, Cancer Research UK, Children in Need, NSPCC and the Royal British Legion.

So now you have no excuse, although remember to chuck a few coins in a bucket occasionally though, you MONSTER.

Serious Fraud Office to investigate Tesco

October 29th, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

tesco extra Serious Fraud Office to investigate TescoTesco time again! On this occasion, being investigated by the Serious Fraud Office over that preposterous accounting debacle they got themselves mixed up in.

The SFO has, according to reports, told Tesco that they’ll be launching a formal criminal investigation into the scandal and to expect a statement on the whole thing this week.

As we know, the Financial Conduct Authority are already investigating the retailer – soon, Tesco will have to open a new aisle just for people in business suits tutting at spreadsheets and mainlining instant coffee.

Deloitte, the accountancy lot, have completed their enquiries into this wretched mess, and Tesco are declining to comment on it all, apart from saying that the practices at the centre of the scandal had been going on for longer than they’d originally thought. That’s what resulted in a missing £263m.

It has been said that a ‘small group’ of employees were behind it all, and Deloitte’s investigation unearthed “inappropriate behaviour” and the fact that there’s been “deliberate intention” to pull a fast one on auditors.

Tesco shares are plummeting as a result of all this, so if you think Tesco are big and ugly enough to sort all this out and win everyone’s trust again, it might be worth buying some stock and making hay while the sun shines.

Would you pay for an advert-free YouTube?

October 29th, 2014 4 Comments By Mof Gimmers

youtube 300x300 Would you pay for an advert free YouTube?Remember when YouTube first kicked off, before Google swallowed it whole? Endlessly searching for obscure music videos and old TV shows without an advertisement in sight! Those were the days when the internet was all fields.

These days, things are different. For a kick-off, people are now able to make some money from YouTube. However, if you miss the ad-free days, Susan Wojcicki, Google’s senior VP in charge of the service has said that there is going to be a version of YouTube where you can pay to get rid of all the adverts.

YouTube has over one billion unique visitors each month, who between them, watch over 6 billion hours of videos per month and uploading 100 hours of stuff every minute of the day. The reach it has, especially in the lucrative 18-34 demographic, far surpasses any TV station on planet Earth.

So obviously, the service as it stands isn’t broken, but a lot of people do get irritated by rollover ads and the like… but are they annoyed enough to cough-up their money to lose all the commercials?

YouTube would presumably throw more at such a service, rather than just getting rid of salesmen. If they adopt a monthly subscription model, then you can imagine YouTube Premium (or whatever) would be advertless and allowing you to watch Exclusive Content From Some Bands Or Whatever and have an instant messaging services embedded in it, as the latter seems to be a huge obsession in the land of tech.

If the package was right, would you pay for a YouTube with no adverts?

Deals of the Day: Wednesday 29th October 2014

October 29th, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

multimode yoga 300x168 Deals of the Day: Wednesday 29th October 2014Are you looking for even more gadgets in your life to distract you from the unswerving misery of your daily routine of horsing food into your gob and crapping it back out? Want a gadget that opens up the world to you so you can complain about more stuff?

Well, here’s a really fantastic deal – you can get a Lenovo Multimode Yoga tablet (10.1 inch HD+ Quad Core 1.6GHz, 2GB, 16GB EMMC, 3G, GPS, BT 4.0, x2 Cameras, Full HD, Android 4.3) in silver for the excellent price of £159.99! Want in? Click here.

EVEN MORE DEALS FOR YOU!

Huawei Honor 6 4G UK version SIM free direct from Amazon £249.99
BioShock Triple Pack (Steam) for £7.99
PS4 preorder console with Call of Duty Advanced Warfare. Also Last of Us for £349.99
Sandisk Sansa Clip Zip MP3 player 4gb £21.99 delivered
Lucasarts Games: (First time X-Wing & Tie Fighter have been available in digital format, Fate Of Atlantis & Sam & Max Hit The Road also added, more to come) £3.69
Refurbished HP Slate 7″ 2800 Tablet with Beats Audio £44.98 delivered
Demon’s Souls PS3 down to £3.99
The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) Limited Edition Steelbook Blu-ray £4.99
4TB Seagate expansion external Desktop HDD for £94.99
Titanfall Season Pass Xbox One was £19.99 now £6.60
Humble Indie Bundle 13 for 1p @ HumbleBundle

FOR MORE AMAZING BARGAINS, VISIT HUKD!