A BIT OF A ‘U’ TURN

OK, it’s time to eat my words…. well some of them anyway!

A few days ago I blogged about giving ‘the worst customer service award’ to the Curry’s Knowhow service.
I finished the blog off by saying…..

So, don’t take out one of these contracts with Currys.
They don’t contact you in any way shape or form. Every call was made by us to find out what was happening.
Nothing written in your contract will be honoured.
I would recommend simply paying £10 a month into a savings pot so that when or if your item goes faulty, you should have enough in the pot to replace or repair.
Don’t waste your time and money paying into this lemon of a maintenance contract.
You’ll regret it!

I’m taking that bit back!!
I stand by what I said about the customer service part.
They don’t make any attempt to contact and couldn’t have cared less that they were leaving us without a TV over Xmas.
The excuse we got was that the service has changed and now it states that a loan TV is subject to availability.
Our arguement was that it didn’t state that in the contract 4.5 years ago!! and we hadn’t been informed of any changes.
We had also been paying £8.99 a month for a service that now only costs £6.50 a month!

Anyway, when they finally conceded and wrote the TV off and decided to issue vouchers for a replacement, I was more than a bit dubious as to the amount they would offer.
As it was a like for like replacement policy, we looked at the Currys website and thought that we would be lucky if we received £550 as this is what a new LG with the same specs as our old TV was now selling for.
Well we finally got our voucher code today and we were exceptionally pleased with the result.
They offered us £729!!

Finally!! They got something right.

So we went along to the store today and we upgraded from a basic 50 inch plasma to a 55 inch Smart 3D TV!
It’s another LG and the picture is incredible!
It’s passive 3D so our cinema 3D specs work on it which is a bonus.
The 3D quality is amazing.

I have to say, we took out the ‘new’ Knowhow policy.
At the end of the day, they paid up and if anything goes wrong with the TV at least they have the hassle of fixing it and not us!!
If they can’t fix it at least we know they’re fair with their offer.

I would also like to point out that the in store staff were brilliant.
They always are.
We’ve never had any reason to complain about the service we get in store at Currys, it’s just the Knowhow service (or lack of) we’ve had issues with.

OK, That’s it then.
Last post of the year.
I’m working New Years Eve and New Years Day so there won’t be any blogging now until the new year.

Have a fabulous New Year!!

2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 40,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 15 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

END OF THE YEAR ROUNDUP

OK, so I have a very short 4.5 hour shift to do today to make up my full hours after doing a short shift on Xmas day.
I’m back to full shifts on Mon, Wed’s (New year’s Eve) and Thurs (New year’s day)
I have a dental appointment on Tues morning and I’m going to my Brothers for drinks and nibbles on Tues afternoon.
So today is the only chance I have to do my roundup for the year.

All in all, it’s been a better year this year.
We still had all the medical issues kicking around and money is still tight but we made the decision NOT to stress about it this year.
Me and Ian pushed the budget and invested in Unlimited Cinema cards which have been an absolute joy to have.
I have been to the cinema a grand total of 48 times.
Taking the kids to the cinema is now not so stressfull because we are not worrying about the cost quite so much.

We made the decision to spend more time together as a couple.
Even if it’s just the cinema trips and the occasional breakfast out.
Sometimes, if finances allow, we even manage to take the kids for a breakfast treat.
This alone has made a big difference for us this year.

We have seen big changes in our eldest daughter Murron who started college in September.
She has the freedom of Bedford because of her bus pass, she has a boyfriend she’s been with now for almost a year and she’s absolutely loving college!
I can’t believe the change in her.
She gets herself out of bed in time to catch the bus for college, even if she’s not feeling good.
We couldn’t even do that with a cattle prod while she was at school!
She may be treating the house as a hotel but at least she’s happy!

While finances have been tight, as usual, they have actually been better controlled this year.
So much so that me and Ian actually bought each other Xmas presents this year for the first time since having the kids.

I have only had 9 Dish of the Week’s this year.
Technically only 7 because Joel Kinnaman had 2 of those entries, Karl Urban had 1 and they both battled it out on a joint entry!

028 789

The others who made it to the list were..
Sam Haughan

Jamie wedding outfit

Tom Hiddleston

Number 04

Michael Fassbender

Fassbender 01

Lee Pace

Pushing Daisies

and Chris Pratt

chris pratt 4

My blogging started off really well in January as it usually does and then by summer it started to slow down until we reached december which has had a grand total of just 6 posts, including this one!
I really must try to do at least one a day next year.

Next year is going to be full of landmark celebrations.

Dharma will be 13
Marjorie will be 16
Murron will be 18
Ian will be 50
and we will be celebrating our 21st wedding anniversary in August with a family holiday to York.

There are lots of other things I could have blogged about this year but for various reasons, I can’t.
Needless to say, we plan to keep next year under control like this year.
We will continue with our Unlimited Cinema membership.
We will continue to enjoy our occasional breakfasts out, including the kids.

My priorities for the year are….. and strictly in this order….
1. My family’s health and happiness and my family in general.
2. My own health and happiness.
3. Work.

I may be doing some soul searching over the next year.
If certain things don’t change I may take a drastic decision before the end of 2015, we’ll see.
Keep checking into my blog to find out.

I hope everyone has a fabulous new year!

Finally, for anyone interested, I started keeping a simple log of films that I’ve watched this year.
I’m surprised I kept it going all year!
The list topped 338 (finalised at 340) films last night and there is the potential for a couple more before the year is over.
So here’s the list.

Gnomeo and Juliet
Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug
Sorcerer’s Apprentice
Captain America
Ghost Ship
Elysium
Star Trek Into Darkness
Capricorn 1
In the Line of Fire
Dredd
The Count of Monte Cristo
Riddick
Kick Ass 2
White House Down
Speed
Star Trek
Star Trek Into Darkness
The Big Blue
Prince of Persia
Insidious
Mission Impossible
Mission Impossible 2
Mission Impossible 3
Mission Impossible 4
Jack Ryan – Shadow Recruit
12 Years a Slave
Cold Light of Day
Eight Legged Freaks
Amazing Grace
Captain Horatio Hornblower
This Means War
Jack Ryan – Shadow Recruit
Olympus has fallen
Angels and Demons
Mortal Instruments – City of Bones
Rush
LOTR – The Fellowship of the Ring
LOTR – The Two Towers
Rush
LOTR – The Return of the King
Kate and Leopold
Imposter
Batman Begins
Batman – The Dark Knight
Batman – The Dark Knight Rises
Source Code
Barefoot in the Park
Robocop 2014
Pacific Rim
Robocop 2014
Paul
The Monuments Men
Harry Potter – Deathly Hallows Pt1
Harry Potter – Deathly Hallows Pt2
Donnie Darko
Robocop – 1987
Shutter Island
Robocop 2014
Cuban Fury
Robocop 2014
Jarhead
Thor 2
Easy Money – Snabba Cash
Easy Money – Snabba Cash
Hugo
The Right Stuff
Gravity
Lola Versus
Legion
White House Down
Prisoners
I Skuggan av Värmen (In Your Veins)
The Darkest Hour
Enders Game
I Skuggan av Värmen (In Your Veins)
Non Stop
300: Rise of an Empire
Guarding Tess
The Fifth Estate
Easy Money 2 – Snabba Cash 2
Paranoia
Easy Money 3 – Snabba Cash 3
Johan Falk: Spelets Regler
Johan Falk: Kodnamn Lisa
Skyfall
Johan Falk: De 107 Patrioterna
Johan Falk: Organizatsija Karayan
Johan Falk: Barninfiltratoren
Johan Falk: GSI – Gruppen For Sarskilda Insatser
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Lola Versus
Safe House
World War Z
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Hours
Saving Mr Banks
I Skuggan av Värmen (In Your Veins)
Outlander
God Save the King
Noah
Johan Falk: Kodnamn Lisa
Catch Me If You Can
The Bone Collector
Last Days On Mars
Divergent
Easy Money 2 – Snabba Cash 2
Den Osynlige – The Invisible
Leon
The Heat
Amazing Spiderman 2
The Darkest Hour
The Other Woman
Transcendence
I Skuggan av Värmen (In Your Veins)
Frozen
Drop Zone
The Machine
Sleeping Beauty
Magic Mike
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
The Da Vinci Code
Mom and Dad Save the World
Argo
Star Trek Into Darkness
Pompeii
Man of Steel
Erskineville Kings
This Means War
Thor 2
X-Men
X-Men 2
X-Men Last Stand
X:Men Origins
X-Men First Class
Wolverine
Easy Money (Snabba Cash)
Unstoppable
Fantastic 4
The Silence of the Lambs
Bad Neighbours
X-Men: Days of Future Past
Godzilla
X-Men First Class
The Fifth Eliment
Paul
August: Osage County
X-Men: Days of Future Past
Ever After
The Man in the Iron Mask
R.I.P.D.
X-Men: First Class
Prometheus
Edge of Tomorrow
Jack Ryan – Shadow Recruit
Breakfast Club
Maleficent
X-Men: First Class
X-Men: Days of Future Past
Shame
Centurian
Robocop
Robocop
Jack Ryan – Shadow Recruit
Robocop
Withnail and I
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Captain America: The First Avenger
Doom
P.S. I Love You
Iron Man
Iron Man 2
Iron Man 3
X:Men: Days of Future Past
Fish Tank
Stand By Me
Star Trek: Into Darkness
The Great Raid
Tooth Fairy
Underworld
Tron Legacy
Extract
Robot and Frank
Ted
White House Down
Enchanted
Non-Stop
How To Train Your Dragon 2
Transformers – Age of Extinction
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Fighting
Rush
Last Vegas
Man of Steel
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Evolution
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
The Lego Movie
The King and I
Rainman
Stargate
The Horsemen
Twister
Paul
This Means War
Lola Versus
Star Trek
Jack Ryan – Shadow Recruit
Battleship
Billy Elliot
Guardians of the Galaxy
Carrie
Mightly joe Young
Robocop
Insidious – Chapter 2
Guardians of the Galaxy
Always
World War Z
The Legend of Hercules
X-Men First Class
Galaxy Quest
Divergent
Night at the Museum
17 Again
Patch Adams
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Mrs Doubtfire
Into the Storm
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Pearl Harbor
Lucy
We Bought a Zoo
Guardians of the Galaxy
Gladiator
Leap Year
The Amazing Spiderman 2
The Fall
Pacific Rim
Apollo 13
The Losers
Bad Neighbours
The Sting
King Arthur
Pompeii
Locke
Immortals
Only Lovers Left Alive
This Means War
The Mortal Instruments
The Hunt for Red October
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Chronicles of Riddick
The Cold Light of Day
Dracula Untold
Cinderella
Sleeping Beauty
Jack Ryan – Shadow Recruit
X-Men First Class
Gone Girl
Thor 2
The Maze Runner
Priest
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Ghostbusters
Edge of Tomorrow
Day After Tomorrow
Oblivion
Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome
Red
Prince of Persia
Red Dawn
Outbreak
The Ten Commandments
Moon
Man of Steel
Fury
Avengers Assemble
Captain America: The First Avenger
Alien
Pacific Rim
Godzilla
The Anomaly
Angels and Demons
Bride Wars
Reign of Fire
Snowpiercer
Nightcrawler
Avatar
Cabin in the Woods
X-Men
Robocop
Coyote Ugly
X-Men – Days of Future Past
The Other Woman
Pride and Prejudice
Guardians of the Galaxy
Snowpiercer
Earth to Echo
How To Train Your Dragon 2
Transformers – Age of Extinction
X-Men 2
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Guardians of the Galaxy
Skyline
Interstellar
Guardians of the Galaxy
Flash Gordon
Goonies
I Come With The Rain
Love Actually
Skyfall
Horrible Bosses
Captain America the Winter Soldier
Home Alone
Home Alone 2
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay part 1
Jingle All The Way
Muppets Xmas Carol
Blue Thunder
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Close Encounters
Rise of the Guardians
Ladyhawke
Star Wars: A New Hope
Gremlins
10 Things I Hate About You
Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
Star Wars: Return Of The Jedi
Into the Storm
Hercules
Armageddon
The Explorers
Daybreakers
Night at the Museum 3: Secret of the Tomb
The Core
Edge of Tomorrow
Wall E
The Santa Clause
Guardians of the Galaxy
The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies
Captain America: The Winter Soldier

HOW WAS IT FOR YOU?

So that’s it then, another Xmas day come and gone in the blink of an eye.
That’s said, it was a really good day….. even though I had to work an early shift!
You can’t expect to work in a hospital and not work the occasional Xmas Day!

Anyway, as I was working and as my kids are 12, 15 and 17 and old enough to show a little restraint, we decided that no-one would be opening presents until I got in from work.
We are having Xmas dinner today so on Xmas day we had a buffet.

The morning started with a bit of scare!
I sat at the computer for a cuppa before work and looked at the e-mails that had come in overnight.
I was a bit surprised by a £50 payment that had been taken via our Paypal account.
I’m used to getting fake e-mails occasionally so I did what I usually do and I went to Paypal to just check the account.
However, this turned out not to be fake and was actually accompanied by two other payments af £100 each!!
Thankfully thay hadn’t been taken out of the bank account yet so after securing the money in the bank by moving it into a savings pot, we investigated a little more.
It turns out that the payments were to an online gaming site.
As the payments were requested at 3am, 4am and 6am it was pretty bloody obvious that it was no-one in this household that used the account because we were all in bed asleep!!

So we started a dispute with Paypal for all three payments.
We couldn’t talk to the bank because they were only dealing with lost or stolen credit cards over Xmas.
By the time I got in from work, Paypal had reversed the payments and limited our account until we changed all of our securities.
If that’s the end of it, then Paypal still gets a gold star and a thumbs up for a brilliant service.
I’ll keep you posted.

So, now that I was well and truly awake and my stomach had been sufficiently churned I headed off to work.
Thankfully it was a fairly quiet and uneventful morning with pleasant company and a few laughs.
Even a quick look in by Santa to give the kids some pressies.

Towards the end of the shift I received a text from my kids.
Not to say ‘ Happy Xmas Mum, hope everything is going OK’
Nope!
It said ‘hurry up, you’re killing us!!’

So much for restraint!

I decided to have a bit of a laugh when I left work.
Well, actually it was a bit mean.
I called home and my youngest daughter, Dharma, picked up the phone.
I said ‘I have some bad news, they are a staff member down for the afternoon and I have been asked if I could stay until 6pm, is that OK?’
To be honest I was expecting some squealing and a big fat NO but what I got was Dharma bursting into tears!
I quickly rectified the situation by telling her I was actually on my way home and then I had a good laugh.
Poor kid.

Within an hour of getting home, all the presents were unwrapped.
Me and Ian actually got each other some serious presents for the first time in around 17 years!!
I finally got the Seksy watch I fell in love with a couple of years ago and some jewellery to accompany it.
The kids were happy.
Murron was sorting out her new tool box and all the new tools she got.
Marjorie was sat on the sofa with her Ipad.
Dharma had dragged Dad upstairs to setup her new TV, Bluray and Chromecast.
I was left sorting out the mess and pottering around with drink in hand getting ready for Xmas dinner today.

I’m sat here this morning to write this blog entry, which have been few and far between this month.
The veggies are prepared.
The table is set.
The Turkey has been in the oven for just over an hour and is beginning to fill the air with that wonderful smell.
The house is quiet….. and remarkably tidy!

I’m just going to make the most of it for an hour before I go have a shower.

I hope you all had a fabulous Xmas too!!

WORST CUSTOMER SERVICE AWARD GOES TO…….

If you read my blog regularly you will know that I love my movies.
So does my husband Ian.
We’ve never been ones to go out partying and boozing and we don’t smoke.
Our only vice is the cinema and our own movie collection at home.
A collection that recently topped 1000!

So, It comes as no surprise that when we last needed to get a new TV, we pushed the budget and got quite a high spec 50 inch model.
This was four and a half years ago so it wasn’t cheap!
We did this with Currys and we decided to take out their ‘Whatever Happens Premier Club’ maintenance contract at 8.99 a month.
This would mean that ‘whatever’ happened to the TV, even if the kids put a hammer through the screen, we would be covered for repair and if they couldn’t repair we’d get a replacement.
OH yes, we’d also get a loan TV while we wait for the repair.

So when we noticed a strip of pixels out all the way down one side of the screen last Wednesday, we decided to give the Techguys a call.
No problem they said, we can pick it up on Friday and it should be a simple repair and we’ll have it back by Xmas Eve.

The TV was indeed picked up on Friday but no Loan TV was given to us.
When Ian queried this on Saturday we were told that it was subject to availability and that there were 24 people in our area in the queue waiting for a loan TV!!
At no point in our contract does it state ‘subject to availability!!

Anyway, on Tuesday Ian decided to check the status of the repair on the online tracker to find out that ‘customer contact’ was required.
As nobody had made that effort to actually contact us, Ian called them instead only to find out that they would probably have to write off the TV because they could no longer get hold of the parts to fix it.
This couldn’t happen until the 10 day period allowed for fixes was up, even though they new it was not fixable! Then it would take a few more days to process before any kind of decision could be made on how much we would recieve in vouchers for a new TV!! Meaning that nothing would be done until the new year.
OH yes, we still didn’t have a loan TV meaning that technically we’d be without a TV over Xmas!!
I say technically because we’ve dragged the TV out of the bedroom downstairs to fill the gap.
But that’s not the point!

Anyway, Ian spent an hour on the phone this morning being shoved from pillar to post until he finally spoke to someone who listened to our complaint.
We pointed out that since buying the TV four and half years ago we’ve spent a further £500 on this maintenance contract that isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.
He saw our point of view and pushed the write off through but stated in normal circumstances is would take about 48 hours to process but as it was Xmas it may take a little longer.
What he couldn’t tell us is how much we would receive in vouchers for the new TV.
The contract states it would be like for like and looking at the Currys website, the TV with the same specs and same make is currently selling for £550 so I will be expecting ‘at least’ that much or more.

So, don’t take out one of these contracts with Currys.
They don’t contact you in any way shape or form. Every call was made by us to find out what was happening.
Nothing written in your contract will be honoured.
I would recommend simply paying £10 a month into a savings pot so that when or if your item goes faulty, you should have enough in the pot to replace or repair.
Don’t waste your time and money paying into this lemon of a maintenance contract.
You’ll regret it!

So, just waiting for a decision now.
Could be time to upgrade to a 60 inch!!

CHRISTMAS SPIRIT

So that’s it then.
All set for another Xmas.
I am working Today and Tuesday and when I get in from work on Tuesday I will be having my dinner and putting my feet up for a few hours before going……….. shopping!!

Yep, a midnight run to Tesco to get all the date sensitive food like vegetables, fruit and salad.
If I’ve forgotten something after that then tough, I won’t be doing any more shopping.
It’s lovely doing the last minute shop at midnight.
The store is not busy, there’s no queues at the tills, the staff are cheerful and the Xmas music is playing.
I did it last year and it was well worth it.
No fighting through the crowds and the queues during the last shopping day before Xmas.
The rest of my Xmas Eve will be spent cleaning the house so I don’t have anything to worry about for a few days.

Xmas day is going to be a challenge for the kids this year.
I’m working an early shift from 07:30 – 15:30
The kids have been told they will not be opening any presents until after I get home.
They are all old enough to show a little restraint.
So Ian will be cooking lots of nibbles and getting a buffet ready and when I get home I will get changed, get a drink and we can start our festivities.
Xmas dinner will be on Boxing Day.

Right, time to get these last 2 full days out of the way!!

THAT’S IT THEN

Urgh!!
That’s it.
Annual leave over.
In about 1 hour I will be sat in handover.
I could have done without my bloody car alarm going off three times in the night!!

Something else to worry about.
The damn thing has started going off randomly and is getting more frequent.
Looks like we may have to get it looked at.
Probably be expensive right on top of the Xmas overspend!!

Shit!

Anyway, back to today.
Got to get my head back into work mode.
Got to start by recalling all the door and computer codes and passwords!!
It’s amazing how quickly you can forget simple things like that.
I’ll be on catchup all day!