Sunday, 17 May 2015

Nuisance Phone Calls

A while ago, fed up with the continuous marketing calls, hang ups and offers of dubious technical assistance  I had our phone company add caller display and silent call rejection to our account.

The rejection of silent calls has cut them down but a few still get to my land line.  In the space of about 40 minutes, earlier in the week, I received 3 calls, all hang ups when the answering machine started.  The words "the other person has cleared" is the norm on it these days!

I checked the numbers online.  Two of the calls appeared to be from a number used by the notorious Microsoft technical department.

Now, I am obviously a bit tech savvy and I have been known in the past to string these chaps along, just when they think they have scored I tell them in no uncertain terms that they should stop calling me.

This morning I was minding my own business when the phone rang.  I recognised the number from earlier in the week on the caller display.  On the spur of the moment I answered it with the phrase "Directory for which town please".

I have not used the directory enquiries service for quite some time as it is much easier to look it up on the web.  But I thought I would try using their greeting.

The heavily accented lady at the other end of the phone spoke and asked me how I was today.  My reply was the same "Directory for which town please".  I think I repeated it 3 times before she said "oh is this a business?"  I think I have the wrong number, sorry to disturb you and she hung up.

I have not had any further calls from that number today.

I will be interested to see what happens over the next week.

Remember these "technical" people posing as Microsoft Support are not really trying to help, they are attempting to relieve you of your cash while infecting your PC at the same time.

If you are in doubt run malwarebytes, superantispyware or/and any free anti virus software.  I can recommend Avast Free Anti-Virus.  Or call a local computer repair service.   I know a good one for the Essex area!!

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Online and paperless bills - Help or Hindrance?

Paperless bills are a common "convenience" 

It is that time of year for Car insurance renewal.

I think like a lot of people, we have put our car insurance in the "paperless" category, along with the utilities, council tax, phone, broadband etc.

We only get our documents printed if we do the work ourselves.

The Network Manager mentioned it yesterday in a fit of And Another Thing I have to Pay, so I looked for the documents and then found that last year, when the deed was done we had opted for online documentation, but he didn't sign in and print out the documents.  To be honest, when do you really need to produce them anymore?  Tax is done online. So there are no trips to the Post Office with all the relevant documentation in your hand.  It kind of slips your mind that these things are due.

I did the usual online comparison thing and found that the two cars could be insured for approx £310.

The current insurer would not give me a quote online as, after I had tediously put in our information, it suggested that I telephone customer service as it "believed we were already customers".  It would have been nice if they had come up with that little gem when I entered the vehicle registration numbers or email address and not after I have entered every scrap of data requested, for both cars and both drivers!

The same company has played the game with us before.  I was prepared for their usual tricks.  I went online to their documents portal and found our documents.  The "current" documentation is showing the not yet started until the end of the month documents.  I had to trawl three documents to find the important information - how much is this going to cost me.  
Total for the two cars and two drivers - £440. These documents have been on the documents portal for a couple of days. Why did they not issue a letter? Or, more fitting to the paperless ethos, an email to say something along the lines of "Its that time again, please find your renewal info online".  At least with the utilities you get a heads up when they ask for a meter reading.

To make matters worse, the quotes I got did not include the sizable excess that is on our policy, meaning that each time we claim we loose a couple of hundred quid of it.  Not  that we have made many claims, I have 19 years NCB and He has 16.  

I will be chatting to their customer services in the next couple of days.




Saturday, 9 May 2015

Nexus 7 and 5.1.1 update

Happy to report that the recent 5.1.1 update has not given my Nexus any adverse reaction.

However, I did remove the Book of Face app from it a while ago. That did change things!  I have even been able to reinstate the screen orientation.

I originally used this useful tutorial, which made a difference after the 5.0.2 update
http://www.googlenexusforum.com/forum/nexus-7-faq-guides/8754-guide-tuning-nexus-7-android-5-0-lollipop-maximum-performance.html

Still playing with the technical preview of Windows 10.  Its not the fastest running it in Virtual Machine, but I like what I am seeing so far.  Network manager has just been given a windows phone - he has been an android convert for a while.  I am waiting for the cursing and stuff to begin when he starts using it on Monday.  (Almost reason enough to go out early out on Monday morning!)

Have a great weekend.



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