JezzWarren.com

2014

Delivered Or Dumped

Probably that worst service I have received was from both Yodel and My Hermes.
I buzzed in the courier and he could not even be bothered to bring my package to the door, instead he hurled the package with enough momentum to slide and tumble towards the front door.
The trouble with companies like yodel my Hermes is they employ Joe Bloggs, someone who is trying to earn a few extra pounds so has no understanding of delivery protocol i.e. How to deal with customers, how to deliver a box or how to pick up a large box safely. So the service you receive may be cheaper but of less quality and absolutely no standards.

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However using a company like UPS or TNT or even Parcelforce they actually employ people to work and represent their company they do not subcontract so as a result you have a person who delivers to your door with a kind greeting possibly calling you sir or madam, and delivering to you as a customer, everything about that delivery is all about customer experience it is about training retraining and to give customers the best possible service. It might be slightly more expensive than companies such as yodel or parcel to go or my Hermes but that money is reflected in the quality of service it costs to train individuals that work for such companies. It is therefore a reflection on the price you are paying for ultimately the quality of service.

Misfit Or Misfortune

I have had my troubles with fitness bands, trackers and motivational tech and last week was no exception. The Misfit Flash so appropriately named met on all the tech but lacked on comfortability and so tracking health and fitness came at a price, the cost of comfort and so another tracker bites the dust.
I have opted for the Jawbone Move, a similar bit of tech slightly cheaper but far more comfortable and a perfect substitute until the release of all the big named wearable tech in March/ April of 2015.
I was a bit disappointed that the Misfit Flash had so much going for it, it was stylish, compact, affordable and yet lacked in comfort after long periods of wear, the sort of thing you do not expect from wearable tech and for me clearly a Misfit or was it misfortune?
So the Misfit Flash has be returned and exchanged for the Jawbone Move, lets see how tiny tech does now.

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The Flash

The wearable has become the new bit of tech that the body conscious or those who are concerned that they be sitting on their arse a bit to much are using at the moment, but that is all set to change in 2015.
The tech on these fitness bands are becoming so advanced that more and more data about yourself can now be monitored, in some of these wearables sleep tracking is also an option.
Several years ago I had a Nike Fuelband and I think because at that time, wearables were in the early stages, it just did not meet the expectations that Nike had made the band out to be and the Fuelband was forever losing data in-between the sync relationship from phone to wearable, not a good start.
However the 2015 horizon is looking good for the best of the best.  Apple have jumped on to the bandwagon of wearables with its iWatch and those wearables that did not seem to come up to the mark now do.  Jawbone also had a misfortune in its early stages but now seem to be heading the way as wearers want more and Jawbone offer all that and more in its latest model the UP3, due to be released any time soon.
My only concern is what do you buy into in the meantime when you know there is going to be update soon for the bit of tech you really want?
I’ve opted for the Misfit Flash, the budget bit of tech that might be cheap but offers more than most for your buck and has released its latest model ‘The Flash’.

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Small and as colourful as you want it to be ‘The Flash’ is packed with preset features and is waterproof, lasts six months on a single battery, comes with a wristband and clip-on accessory, works with iOS and Android, and tracks steps and sleep.
The Flash is not just waterproof for the shower and the bath but to 3ATM, which means it can be worn in water down to 96 feet in depth (Note: water resistant and waterproof tech should never be worn in salt water, though). So you can wear it in the shower or while swimming. In the Misfit app it has a fitness tracking mode that recognizes swim activity.

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You click the Flash's soft-touch top to show daily progress as the LED lights complete a circle (for instance, if 6 of 12 dots are lit, you've completed 50 percent of your daily step goal). Afterward, it even tells the time via flashing dots for hours and minutes. 
Sleep tracking records automatically, just like on the Misfit Shine, and it does a pretty good job of guessing when you actually went to sleep. It records "light" and "deep" sleep plus the hours slept, which is not as rich a sleep-tracking tool as more advanced REM-sensing, heart-rate-enabled ones such as Jawbone and Fitbit's upcoming wearables, but it is fine for the price.  You can also set a smart alarm that wakes you at your lightest sleep pattern closes to your wake up time, a feature I tried out yesterday only to be woken a whole hour before my actual alarm clock, thankfully I did not feel groggy, so even though I was up earlier than I wanted to be I was not in a bad mood about it or wanting to go back to bed, The feature works.

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The Flash works via Bluetooth with the Misfit app, which is available for iOS and Android and soon for Windows Phone. You will need Bluetooth 4.0 to sync with the Flash: iPhone 4s or later, iPod Touch 5th gen, and iPads going back to the 3rd-gen Retina, or Android 4.3 or later phones. It syncs easily, and the Misfit app cleanly lays out daily progress in steps and sleep. It allows you to label activity sessions, and the app integrates with a variety of other ecosystems: My FitnessPal, RunKeeper, MapMyFitness, Walgreens and many more.

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It comes in seven bright colors. It's cute. Does it reinvent wearable health tech? No. Keep in mind that the Jawbone Move also costs about the same price and does nearly the same thing, but it's not water resistant and for recording sleep you will need the wrist band that is at, yes you guessed it, an optional extra.
I have used Jawbone apps and find that they go that bit deeper for information, but I like wearing my wearables in the shower, too. So until the latest UP3 is available this is the bit of tech for me.
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Taco Bell

Taco Bell is an American chain of fast-food restaurants based in Irvine, California. A subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc., they serve a variety of Tex-Mex foods including tacos, burritos, quesadillas, nachos, other specialty items, and a variety of "value menu" items. Taco Bell serves more than 2 billion customers each year in more than 6,500 restaurants mostly in the U.S., however the United Kingdom has not missed out on its Tex-Mex delights as in 1986, a location was opened in London on Coventry Street (between Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus) followed by a second location in Earls Court near the Earl's Court tube station. Taco Bell sites in the UK in operation at the Strategic Air Command and United States Air Force bases at RAF Mildenhall and RAF Lakenheath and whilst visiting Gary I got to try a taste of Taco Bell.

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Everything Is Big

What is it about the Americans? They are often referred to as doing everything so much bigger, whether it be food portions, household appliances, their homes or their cars. Is it because the major of Americans are built larger than us in the UK or is it a status symbol?
Well, one thing is for sure, there is a whole load of things bigger than me and there was me thinking I was large until Gary took a photo of me when on base at RAF Lakenheath.

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Commissary

After spending a short time on the RAF base in Lakenheath one thing instantly caught my attention, a large plain looking building with just the words Commissary on it. For those of you who do not know, a commissary is the equivalent to a grocery store on a military base. So I already liked this place based on name alone and it was here where I would go to get some treats to take back home with me. Unlike supermarkets here, isles were just dedicated to a certain product such as cereals, candy and the choices were endless.

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Some of these sort of products we here in the UK and can get them in larger Waitrose stores, Harrods food hall and online specialist sweet stores, so this was an opportunity to stock up on those items that over here in the UK we are ripped off with import duties and retailer mark ups.

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Luckily my visit coincided with an American tradition of Halloween and candy, what we know as sweets, where plenty and mainly in large bumper bags. My mother is partial to Hershey chocolate and the variety meant I had to get one of each choice and as Gary said “it’s your mother you should get her the choice”. Wayne had heard in a song about Tootsie Roll and wanted to try them and I wanted cereals and in particular ‘Lucky charms’ something that over here is about £7 a box, but on base it is closer to $1.99 a box.
As much as this was about getting to know my new friend Gary, the trip to the Commissary was defiantly a highlight and an insight to the joys of American eating, all be it most of my purchases were candy and cereals.

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Toll Change

One of the biggest advantages of going to see my new friend Gary is where he lives, it means that on route in both directions I can visit my mum and sister, whether it be for a sleep over or for a few hours to break in the journey.
No matter when I visit, the biggest hold up is that of Darford crossing, something soon to be a lot easier as the barriers will be removed and like the congestion charge, you will be able to pay by text, account (with a reduced rate) or a one off payment online. The big downside to the new and hopefully less congested Dartford crossing is a rise in toll fees, yet again the driver is hit with another increased fee. I think when the fees come into play I will open an account and then that way my fee for crossing will be a lot less, even with the increase in effect and as credit does not expire it means I can top up once a year for those journey to my mum and sisters or to see Gary.

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Scheduled

Everyone who has ever tried to do something long term has probably found that the biggest challenge is not reaching your goal but maintaining a schedule to do the task in hand and when it comes to weight loss this is one of the biggest hurdles faced by most, since goals like that are not seen with quick results.
Last year I had sports injury that stopped me from running and so had to take a more sedated approach to keeping fit but unfortunate last year that did not happen and I fell more and more into a progressive slump.
This year I feel more motivated to want to lose the weight and keep fit and being an owner of a treadmill there really is no excuse to why I’m not at least using that, I cannot blame the bad British weather for not using that.
From experience I have noticed that when you become aware of your body shape and decide you really do not like what you see then you have two choices, you can shy away from the whole issue and cover yourself up in lose baggy clothing or take a firm stand and decide at present that you do have a curvy body and that the shapes do not quite fit into place so you set a realistic goal and a schedule to do something about it.
I have set a goal of 18 months to lose weight and scheduling a daily run for 30 minutes on the treadmill with the aim to lose enough weight that I am happy with what is see looking back at me in the mirror. I find setting a goal like this is realistic and something I will stick to, being told to lose X amount of kg might be a medical achievement for some but that type of goal is no good if you still look at your body and still know you are physically fat rather than medically fat.
I have tried lots of diet plans and as much as some are helpful in educating you to eat right the one thing they all have in common is that it is a complete change of lifestyle that cannot be maintained long term and you then understand why the diet industry is worth a staggering two billion a year in the UK alone, just on dietary products to help you maintain losing weight.
Luckily for us iPhone users there are applications that make tracking weight and goals a lot easier and making life that little bit easier to maintain your goal.

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I have been using a application called ‘MyFitnessPal’ and works well and is simple to use. After signing onto the program, you enter your weight, age and goal weight. The application asks you to judge the amount of daily activity you do. You can then choose how much you plan to lose each week. In addition, you set your exercise goal. Next, you are told the number of calories you should eat each day in order to lose that weight. Each day, you will fill in two daily logs: what you eat, and what you do for exercise. My Fitness Pal stores thousands of different foods, including many brand name items and wight he iPhone application you can just scan the bar code and enter how much you ate of that item or go wight he recommended does that the barcoding reports back. for those items without a barcode or un-scanable barcode you can type in a search term and choose the closest matching item. Your food diary on My Fitness Pal will save foods that you commonly eat, so after entering that food once, all you need to do when you eat that again is just check the item and add it to that meal.
Along with entering your meals, you can enter your exercise for that day. Just like the food diary, the exercise diary section lets you type in the type of exercise you have done and tell how many minutes you did. It will calculate the number of calories you burned and add those additional calories to the total amount you can eat that day if you so wish to, I however prefer not to.
When you have finished entering your log for the day, you will get a note which tells you how you are doing and what your weight progress will be in five weeks.
If that was not motivational enough of not clear enough then wight he new iOS 8 operating system the Apple ‘Health’ application lets works along side most diet application and shows in its main dashboard dietary and exercise information to keep you motivated.

iOS Joke

Everyone wants the latest iOS but waiting over six hours to download and instal is in my minds eye is a joke. Apple should adopt a ticket request system next time a new iOS is available. It could act as how theme parks allocate ride times, so when a device requests the download then a ticketed time slot is allocated for that device, this way the servers would not be overloaded and downloads would be quicker.
But I hear you say “what happens if I miss my time slot?”
Well in all fairness I would say “tuff luck” and you should be made to request another ticketed time slot, I think for those who have patiently waited their turn should not have to wait any longer and abusing the system means your have to join the que again.
Maybe I should not be in so much of a rush to want to download the latest iOS then I would not be waiting so long for my download.

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Float & Borough

Today was a treat for Wayne and Kelly as we made our way to Float Works (it was Kelly's first time).
After having a relaxing float it was time for a bite to eat and thought that going to Borough Market would be good because of its wide range of foods, drinks and treats to eat but also the fact is was within walking distance and only a few steps away from Floatworks.

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Kelly and Wayne had never been before and I knew they would love it, with the endless choices of different world foods, drinks, ices and sweet treats from all over the globe, all of course homemade and served to order. Despite Borough Market being a busy place and the hive of all good food there is still plenty of places to sit down and enjoy your food and the bustling atmosphere. We all had something different to eat and also enjoyed some fresh juices and ice teas as today was exceptionally hot, could not have picked a better day to go to Borough Market. We was going to find a bar to have a drink in but that seemed to be everyones idea on such a hot day so instead head homeward and rounded the evening off nicely with a Chinese take away.

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Waitrose Delivery

Ever supermarket does it, it is home delivery, but what one is the best?
I have in the past tried a few of the leading supermarkets take on home delivery and have never been really satisfied with the results as the food delivered was either close to its use by date, packaging was damaged, tins were dented, the list goes. But I thought I would give it one last try with Waitrose.
I am glad I did as the service is excellent, you can order from either on the web or via the Waitrose phone app and it is just like all the other supermarkets where you pick your time slot, order your goods and also have the day before your delivery to amend your order.

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But one thing that really made Waitrose stand out from all the others was the after sales service. On the very first delivery two of my items were close to their use by date and instead like the other supermarkets that you would just have to use these items first or freeze them where possible, Waitrose add a kind note to your delivery notice “We are sorry that some of your items are close to the used by date so instead of not including them in your order we have given them to you for free of charge.” I could not quite believe that some of my shopping was for free, no other supermarket has ever done this, in fact Waitrose is the only supermarket to do this. If I thought that was good service on another delivery experience I ordered a bag of Lemons and one of them looked a bit worse for wear and unsalvageable so I called customer services and they took my delivery number and not only did they refund me the full value of the item in question (£1.50) but also gave me a further £1.50 refund and said it was there way of saying sorry to give customers a double refund, result.
When your items are delivered the drivers are always well presented, polite and above all extremely helpful, they offer to carry your goods into your kitchen and items are placed in appropriate labelled bags i.e. freezer items, fridge items, cupboard items and instead of giving you all of your shopping at once, you are given it in the order that is most important, freezer items first, then fridge items, fragile items and then the remainder of your shopping.
There are a few improvements that could be made, such as a large choice of its own branded essential items and lowering the cost of how much you spend to get free delivery but other than that it is a truly wonderful service that has made me want to use Waitrose for my grocery shopping.

Lens Conclusion

Simply put, I just did not get on well with them, I had so much trouble getting them in my eyes that it would make my eyes sore and then I would not want to wear them. For me and my lifestyle contact lenses are just not right, but at least though I can say I tried.

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The Mill House

Wayne and I do like to try out new places to eat and many a time we have driven past ‘The Mill House’ and wondered what it was like there, okay it is only a Harvester but it is not one of those town placed Harvesters so they tend to be a lot less full of hustle and bustle and was pleasantly peaceful with lovely surroundings. Wayne had the rack of ribs meal with unlimited salad, hot beverage and ice cream sundae. I had the Tennessee grill combo, unlimited side salad and summer breeze juice (orange and cranberry).
The visit was so nice that we are going to make this our Harvester of choice.

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Contacts Trial - Day Three

After yesterday's failed attempt it has put me off attempting today and then coupled up with my right eye still feeling sore from yesterday, bugger me if I'm going to attempt to poke about with my eye again. I am going to leave it a few days before having another go at it as a friend suggested.
So in the meantime I am going to write a list of pros and cons for wearing lenses and then take a step back and see if it is really worth the hassle of wearing lenses over glasses.

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Contacts Trial - Day Two

Day two of the contact lens trail and from last night I noticed that the lenses did not feel as strong as my glasses so I popped back to the opticians to discuss my concerns and I was told that they will never be as strong due to the fact they sit in your eye, unlike glasses that sit a short distance from your eye. So do I put up with the slight difference in lens strength over convenience?
I give up, it cannot be that hard to get them in, really it is supposed to be an improvement not a headache and with half an hour to get one lens in and failed and one wasted set, I will now have to try again tomorrow as my eye is so blood shot from todays attempt. Nothing is worth this much hassle, is it?

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Contacts Trial - Day One

I think with everyone who wears glasses, they get to a point where wearing them is inconvenient or they simply forget to have them to hand when they need them, like an unexpected meal out and you need them to read some small print on a menu and they are at home on your desk, so at times like this contact lenses seem to be the best option.
I went to my opticians and enquired about wearing lenses and I have taken one of these free trails, it lasts five days with five pairs of daily disposable contact lenses and a teach session on how tout them in.
I was quite nervous when I arrived at the opticians but soon over come that and my only stumbling block was not putting something in my eye, it was being able to lift my top eyelid high enough to be able to get the lens in as every attempt the lens would catch my eyelashes and prevent a successful insertion.
Getting them out is even easier and that has not proved to be a problem.
I am quite surprised how comfortable the lenses are and after not thinking you have them in your eyes you do forget they are there.

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A Day Not Being Mum

I am lucky that when I go to any theme park, I do not have to worry about what rides I can and cannot go on, I say that because this year I took Kelly to Thorpe Park and normally when Kelly goes to such places she has her boys with her who can only go on certain rides because of height restrictions or the fact the ride might be a little to fast or scary for them, even if you have the luck of going with another adult and doing the parent swap idea where one que’s up, goes on the ride and then they swap places after the ride, it is still very much a long winded process that can really eat into you day at the theme park. So this trip to Thorpe Park was extra special for Kelly as it was just an adults day out.
I wanted it to be extra special for Kelly by taking the driving element out for her and so I picked her up about 7:30am and took a pleasant drive there, allowing for plenty of time and hoping not to get caught in to much traffic, we arrived with plenty of time on our hands and had a good hour before the park actually opened and so drove a few miles down the road to find somewhere open to grab a coffee and a snack. We found a garage that served Costa coffee and sticky cake treats and it had a nice private parking area, so I parked up and broke the rule of allowing people to eat and drink in my car, well it was a special day out.

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After we had our cake and coffee we headed back to Thorpe park and this time when we arrived there was a few more cars and it was time to grab a parking bay and head to the gates and wait for them to open. Like so many other visits I wanted to get the biggest rides out of the way and so headed straight to ‘The Swarm’ but today the ride was closed so we headed for ‘Saw’.

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I had in my mind a plan of action that we would try and get as many main attractions out of the way at the start of the day and then if we wanted to go on them again I would buy fast track tickets for the individual rides. That was a special treat for Kelly as she had no idea that I was going to do that for her, I wanted her to experience the top rides in the best position, it is know as pole position, it is front row seats.

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The weather had turned out to be quite hot, in fact hot enough to go on the wet rides in the middle of the day rather than at the end of the day when you do not mind getting a little wet. How is it though, that Kelly actually did not get very wet at all, I took most of the soaking, oh well the day was hot enough that I dried off very quickly, we did however give ‘Tidal Wave’ a miss, that was taking getting wet to the extreme.

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The park was not busy so we did lots of rides several times and then only needed to do fast-track for three of the rides to be able to sit in pole position, we even managed to spend some time in the arcade and I had to have a go on the claw grabber machines and I won a cuddly toy, we also spend a few pounds in two pence’s on the penny flips and Kelly won a few things for the boys.

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All in all the day turned out brilliant, we had time to ride on all the rides, some several times, stop and have a spot of lunch with time to rest, go on the water rides and dry out and collect ride photos at the end of the day and then leave before the park closed, we actually left when we was tiered and could not rid anymore. Kelly and I are looking forward now to the next theme park visit later in the year.

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Quick Four Minute Workout

Hands up how many of you are happy with your weight, yes I thought so not many show of raised hands. Yes, we all hate the fact that it is far easier to put weight on but so hard to get shot of it and diets or going to the gym never seem to work because it is all about committing far to much of the little time that we do have, or there will be another excuse. But I think I have a solution that will not eat into to much of your time or make you commute to a lengthy gym membership.
The solution is a quick four minute work out that can be done anywhere, anytime and with no need for equipment, the only equipment you need is will power.
I gave it my best shot today and yes it is intense but that is the whole aim of this type of work out, it is known as HIT which stands for High-intensity Interval Training and is used by lots of Olympic athletes. It works by doing a quick four or seven minute workout that gets your heart pumping and your major core groups working together. It can be done from your iPhone, iPad or from the developers website.

App link: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/quick-4-minute-workout-tabata/id803491681?mt=8
Web link: http://www.tinyhearts.com/7-minute-workout-quickfit/

What have you got to lose, oh about four or seven minutes in your day and some or that excess weight.

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Broadening The Range

The scenario is, you are using your iPad in the lounge streaming your favourite movie or on a FaceTime call with a friend, then you head to the kitchen and then all of a sudden, you are in a wifi no-spot.
What do you do?
The solution is a wireless extender or signal booster. Like other wireless technology, wireless range extenders use radio frequencies to transmit data. Your wireless router transmits data to a network-connected device, such as a laptop or network-ready printer, over radio signals. These signals have a maximum distance they can travel and if the device is far from the router, may never reach the device. Wireless range extenders sit between the router and the device to capture the signals. The captured signals are amplified and retransmitted to the network. This process allows for a greater network area without physical wiring.
Today the BT dual band wifi extender arrived and the set up was really simple, it was simply just plug it into any power socket within your existing wi-fi range and it’ll connect wirelessly with your router, giving you the improved reliability and speed of dual-band and helping to make dead spots a thing of the past.

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10 Years Loyal

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I have been a loyal customer of T-Mobile for 10 years and when I first joined, the service was perfect but then you joined forces with Orange and suddenly the service became like the old service we came to expect of Orange; it was unhelpful, unprofessional at times and my loyalty of 10 years was meaningless!
Back in April of 2013, I started to experience a loss of service and I had cause to contact customer services: Violet that raised the case to the Tech Support team. I was put through to Ross in Technical (Device Escalations - Team 342) who suggested three options 1) Cancel my contract, 2) the offer of half price line rental or 3) a signal booster box. As both myself and my partner are loyal T-Mobile customers, cancelling was only ever going to be a last resort and half price line rental would not solve the problem so we opted for the signal box. Ross sent out a Signal Booster Box S3 (14th June 2013) and explained that it connects to the internet and should give us full service. Because of the disruption of service that Ross could see we were experiencing, he sent out the box for FREE including FREE P&P. The box arrived on Monday 17th June 2013 just shortly before 9am. I was eager to get the booster box plugged in and my service returned to how it once was, so I made a call to register the box and shortly after, is when the real problems started.
On the 17th June 2013, I called Gillian at Tech Support in Greenock Team Number 544. I explained to her that after connecting the booster box, the home wi-fi stopped working. She then messaged Device Escalations to pass on this information.
Later that day, Gillian called back and obtained more information about the Signal Booster Box. She said that it can take up to 9 hours for the box to update itself and then for the wifi single to return to normal. After leaving the booster box plugged in for the full 9 hours, it still crippled the wifi and I had to resort to unplugging the device. As soon as I did, the wifi returned to its usual lightning speed. I called Gillian back again and she put me through to Mandy in Retentions and Cancellations. Mandy made a few enquiries with Technical and spoke with her Manager. I had noticed that T-Mobile also did a Nextivity signal booster box that required no internet connection, however this was only available for business customers and in my desperation, I asked Mandy if there was anyway that I could upgrade to a business account in order to obtain the Nextivity booster box. Mandy said that this was not possible and that she had written an email to Ross in Technical (Device Escalations - Team 342) asking for him to call me on the 18th June (around 10am).
On the 18th June 2013 - following Mandy’s call in Retentions and Cancellations, she was unable to get hold of Ross in Technical (Device Escalations - Team 342) and instead, James called.
James asked me to give him 10 to 15 minutes to sort out the problem as he needed to speak with Network Support and that after that time, he would call me back.
James was not very helpful when he finally called some 4 hours later. He was confrontational from the start.
As there was no resolve when James called back, I asked to speak to his manager as I did not want to have to listen to his confrontational tone anymore, however he replied very rudely: “no amount of asking to speak with a manager is going to make any difference. We are a very busy small department here, too small, if you ask my opinion” and then after I confronted him about his manner and tone of voice, he then said: “please don't tell me what I should and shouldn't say.” I got off the call absolutely disgusted with how I had been spoken to and worse still, my problem had not been resolved.
18th June 2013 - Either phone conversations are recorded at T-Mobile or it was just a fluke that Kirsty called me at 7pm to enquire as to whether James had dealt with my problem or not. I expressed my grievance with her. She was most understanding and apologetic and asked if it would be ok for her to call me back in a few hours so that she could review what was said and try to resolve my ongoing and unresolved problem. At 9.15pm Kirsty called again to get the IMIE number from the signal booster box to pass on to Network Support. Kirsty informed me that Network Support are going to make contact every other day in an attempt to resolve the problem with the signal booster box and to find out if there are any particular times in the day that the booster box does the job it was intended to do.
21st June 2013 - Network support failed to call yesterday and have not called today.
23rd June 2013 - 5.45pm - I called T-mobile and was finally put through to Peter Perkins in Wales and he suggested that I plug in the booster box one more time as he said there had been a number of problems with the internet communications at their end and the information it was sending to the signal booster box. He also asked that I email him tomorrow night after 9pm as he said “that's enough time to establish that it's all working well.” Both my partner and I ran tests, e.g., made a voice call, had a FaceTime call, turned the Playstation on during another call, tested the iPads and iPhone signal strengths, however I was still encountering a few problems but I maintained keeping the signal booster box turned on and connected to the internet.
22nd Aug 2013 - 12.15pm - Spoke to Kami in Device Escalations in South Wales, who gave me an explanation as to the likelihood of a rapid LED flashing on our booster box, and yet, I felt that we were being fobbed off.
I kept a record of the performance of the signal booster box so that any further person I spoke with at either Device Escalations or Tech Support, could see that the problems may marry up with problems that either departments may also be experiencing.

Booster Box Record 2013
18th June am 1 Bar to No Signal - pm 2 Bars to 1 Bar
19th June am 1 Bar to No Signal - pm 2 Bars to 1 Bar
20th June am & pm No Signal
21st June am & pm No Signal
22nd June am & pm No Signal
23rd June am 1 Bar - pm 2 Bars to 1 Bar
23rd June After Box working 5 BARS
24th June 1 Bar as Box not working, red light
24th June - The booster box throughout the day fluctuates, it goes from one extreme to the other.
11th July - Another random test of the signal box only to find that today the box is flashing green and yet no one in the household is making any phone calls.
22nd Aug - Yet another day where the booster box throughout the day fluctuates.
15th Sept - Good service on the booster box, no problems today.
17th Oct - Booster box seems to be working ok and have had a good service.
8th Nov - Spoke too soon booster box is playing up again, solid red light today.
18th Dec - Booster box has been working ok, however at least once a week the box will go to a static red and service for that day is very poor.
Booster Box Record 2014
5th Jan - Booster box has been working ok, however at least once a week the box will go to a static red and service for that day is very poor.
11th Feb - Booster Box rapid green flashing light.

20th Feb 2014 - To date, Network Support have still not made any communication with me and due to the abysmal service that I have received, I will not be renewing my contract in March 2014.
I have been using a Virgin 30 day rolling contract sim on a 2nd phone and the service of both reception and customer service is superb; way better than I have ever received in the 10 loyal years that I have been with T-Mobile.
21st Feb 2014 - Gareth at Retentions and Cancellations knows the problems that I am facing with T-Mobile and is very apologetic and extremely helpful with trying to keep my custom, however he can only offer me one deal that still requires a 12 month contract, similar to that with Virgin; unlimited text and calls but only 5GB of 4G data at a cost of £18 (normally £36). Gareth tried to keep my custom as he said "Virgin hive off EE" and yet the signal on Virgin is better than that of T-Mobile. Gareth also said: "my hands are tied and I cannot offer you anything near to what Virgin are offering.”
It saddens me that today on 24th Feb 2014, Derek at Retentions and Cancellations called and because of the limitations to what he can physically do, my only choice was to leave my 10 year relationship with T-Mobile and take my PAC number over to Virgin.
It is a real shame that the only thing T-Mobile have actually performed well is giving me my PAC number.
Why is it that the service of T-Mobile is not only poor in customer services but also in its retail stores as well? As today, I walked into a Virgin media store and was greeted as customers should be; with a warm welcome and not of that I have experienced when entering an EE store.. who think that it is ok to call me: ‘Mate’ and being asked ‘what we gonna do for you then?’ This is unprofessional and where it might be appropriate some of your more younger clientele, it is most certainly not acceptable with me.
I cannot believe that T-Mobile are not willing to reward loyal customers and would rather lose a customer with 10 years worth of loyalty. Retentions and Cancellations need to have the power to price match and because they do not, you have just lost another customer!
T-Mobile, I have been loyal to you for far too many years and this is how you reward me? Well no more! The buck stops here! I’m leaving you and I will not be singing your praises as I once have done.
Joining forces with Orange may very well have been your financial lifeline but it has also been your downfall as you have adopted their poor customer service skills and lack of customer loyalty.
T-Mobile, EE, whatever you want to call yourselves, if you cannot improve on keeping your loyal customers happy, do at least do one thing right, give all your staff the same training, if stores such as Apple, John Lewis and Ikea can do it and be consistently good at customer services then why can’t you?
Disgruntled former customer

To Bed

Some of us suffer from not being able to get to sleep when we need to and some of us work to many hours and do not get enough sleep, either way how much sleep do we all need to have?
According to the National Institutes of Health, the average adult sleeps less than seven hours per night. In today’s fast-paced society, six or seven hours of sleep may sound pretty good. In reality, though, it is a recipe for chronic sleep deprivation. There is a big difference between the amount of sleep you can get by on and the amount you need to function optimally.
The amount of sleep we need depends greatly on our age as Newborn to 2 months old needs about 12 to 18 hours of sleep and yet and child between the ages of 5 to 12 years old only needs 10 to 11 hours of sleep. While sleep requirements vary slightly from person to person, most healthy adults need between seven and a half to nine hours of sleep per night to function at their best.
The biggest trouble I have is, do I need to be reminded of how many hours I need and when is the best time to go to bed?

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This is where the ‘To Bed’ app for iOS users comes in handy. The app states “Like your loving Mom, the app knows when there is no need to remind you. And when vacation comes around, just activate "vacation mode" and there will be no mentioning, whatsoever, about getting to bed.
Probably a little sexist that it talks about mom waking you up when it could have been dad that woke you up, other than that it is easy to use. You set the time you need to be awake by and your age then it works out how much sleep you need and alerts you via the notifications centre as to when you have half an hour before you need to be in bed. All the settings can be customised as some people might want reminding an hour before it is bed time, either way I have been using the app for just over two weeks now and I am feeling more awake and more energetic than I once was due to having the right amount of and when I should be going to bed. I am now no longer a night own, well only when I want to have that late night.

Popcorn

I love to watch a film with a bucket of popcorn between my legs, slowly munching away but doing this with shop bought popcorn can be bad for your health as it is normally loaded with all kind of salts, sugars and fats but making your own is another matter, so I treated myself to a popcorn maker for my movie nights.
There are a few that you can buy and some need you to add oil for the cooking process but adding oil means adding fat, so I opted for the healthier alternative and purchased a electric heater style popcorn maker. It is so easy to use, just fill the hopper, flick the switch and in only 3 minutes out shoots light, fluffy popcorn.

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Popcorn is not just a food that is naturally high in fibre, low in calories, sodium, sugar, and fat-free but also it has more of a past than we relies.
Some Native American tribes believed that a spirit lived inside each kernel of popcorn. The spirits would not usually bother humans, but if their home was heated, they would jump around, getting angrier and angrier, until eventually they would burst out with a pop.
Popped popcorn comes in two basic shapes, a snowflake and mushroom. Movie theatres prefer snowflake because it is bigger and confections use mushroom because it will not crumble when treated with flavourings and packaged for retailers.
Our love of popcorn started when American vendors began selling popcorn at carnivals in the late 19th century. When they began to sell outside movie theatres, theatre owners were initially annoyed, fearing that popcorn would distract their patrons from the movies. It took a few years for them to realise that popcorn could be a way to increase revenues, and popcorn has been served in movie theatres since 1912.
Nowadays, many movie theatres make a greater profit from popcorn than they do from ticket sales, since for every pound or dollar spent on popcorn, around 90% of that is pure profit. Popcorn also makes moviegoers thirsty and more likely to buy expensive drinks.
It is a good thing that popcorn is low in calories, sodium, sugar, and fat-free as when we eat popcorn it takes our brain receptors longer to let us know we are full.

Cup O’ Joe

I love my Nespresso coffee machine and it proves to be very convenient at times but it can be costly when you have to purchase fifty capsules at a time and then wait for the courier to deliver it. So sometimes I like to have a nice pot of black coffee and so doing it the old way is just the trick.
Going "old fashioned" may seem like you are taking a step backward and it often is. However, there are some things that are just better when done without the new devices and gadgets. Making coffee is one of them. Now, I know what you are thinking, there is nothing wrong with my electronic coffee maker. Maybe not, but until you have tried brewing your morning cup o' joe via stove top, you do not know what you are missing!

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50% Off At Tattenham

Have you every been approached to take a store discount card and all the company needs is your email address. I often avoid such card schemes for two reasons, one I do not know who will end up with my email address, will it be used for the right reasons or will it be sold on and secondly not another card I have to carry with me because it is not one of those scale cards that I can add to my stocard app.
However I am glad I decided to take on the offer that Beefeater had as my first reward was 50% off any main meals in January. So the weather was not nice but the food was as both myself and Wayne decided to take up the offer and head over to the Beefeater at Tattenham Corner for a late lunch.
The service was cheery even though the weather was not and the endless plain or spicy fries was a great bonus. We both left full and for once not wanting or needing a dessert.

beefeater burger

It Is On eBay

Some people have a spring clean out and others let it build up and though I have in the past collected way more than I should have, it has come to that time that soon I will be moving on and setting up a new life in a new place. So it has meant that some things need to go, I am not packing years of items I will not use in my new place, only to be put back in a cupboard that they came from.
One item I want for my new place is a new fridge freezer as the one I have now is not only thirteen years old but surprisingly I find is not big enough for my needs and so I have listed many of my items on eBay in order to get a few extra pound towards that new fridge freezer.
It has felt like a full-time job in listing items, answering buyers questions and many trips to the post office but all that aside I have made more than enough to buy my new fridge freezer.
Next on the list to save up for is a washing machine, I wonder how much more I need to sell to find funds for that?

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From 13 To 14

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This is my first post of 2014 and I know that it is a little overdue but I have been wondering just how to put it all down.
It has been an eventful year with a few ups and a few downs but all in all not to bad and with out going into to much detail I think this quote sums up 2013.

Time is an equal opportunity employer. Each human being has exactly the same number of hours and minutes every day. Rich people can't buy more hours. Scientists can't invent new minutes. And you can't save time to spend it on another day. Even so, time is amazingly fair and forgiving. No matter how much time you've wasted in the past, you still have an entire tomorrow.
Denis Waitely