I can see again!

I’m officially not blind anymore!

After spending more than three years dealing with my short sightedness, not being able to see people or read things that are more than about 5 meters away from my face, I finally decided to book an appointment to see the optician this morning.

He obviously confirmed what was already obvious, that I had ‘myopia’, aka. short sightedness.

I went into Boots Opticians this morning at 9:25 and was out by 11am with vision like I haven’t had since I was 13 years old, completely 20:20. Excellent :D

I’ve done more reading today than I have in my whole life I think, I’m just reading everything that is quite a distance away, just to test myself and put a little grin on my face. I swear people that I walk past in the street must think I’m crazy, just reading signs and smirking.

I did find some spectacles that I liked, but they were £200, Gucci designer glasses so I didn’t to get them there and then because, simply, I haven’t looked anywhere else for any others, so I wasn’t exactly just going to splash out on those before I’ve had a shop around.

I decided to go with contact lenses, the monthly disposable type, though I will get a pair of specs too because, although the contact lenses are comfortable, I don’t think I could wear them all day every day.
Plus, I think I look more intelligent with glasses, so they would be a worthwhile investment for that reason alone ;)

Beware the OneStopPhoneShop!

This is the story of my dealings with the online mobile phone company, OneStopPhoneShop.com, quite a long post, get ready to dig in, like I had to.

They had the best deal on the phone that I wanted to buy Laura that I could find anywhere on the web.

I specified that I wanted to have it delivered to my work address.
The next day, I realised that I wouldn’t be able to take the delivery at work, so I called them up to change the delivery address.
“No problem” I was told, after a 10 minute wait on the phone. “Your order hasn’t been processed yet, so I can get that changed, though I don’t know when it will be dispatched.”

So, I toddle off, happy in the knowledge I would soon be receiving a brand new Sony Ericsson K750i.

24 hours later, almost to the minute of my phone call the previous day, I receive an email from the Internet Team manager, telling me that if I wanted it delivered to work, I need to fax a signed company letterhead.

So, I reply to Wayne’s email, directly to his own inbox telling him that I no longer wanted it to be delivered to my work address and that I had already called to arrange this.
Another 24 hour passed, the order status did not update on the website and I had no reply.
I call One Stop Phone Shop, or at least, I attempt to.
I started calling at 13:10 (this is Wednesday afternoon now, 2 1/2 working days after placing the order).
13:23, after starting at queue position 18, I finally get through, or at least, I think I do.
I hear telephones in the background briefly, before my phone goes dead.
They’ve hung up on me.

OK, accidents happen.

13:24, I redial.
13:30, I get an answer, wow, that was much quicker.
But, oh, wait, the phone system has messed up and passed me through to the ‘retentions’ department who can’t deal with my query. She happily transfers me to..an engaged number. I have no choice but to hang up.
13:31, I redial.
13:46, I get answered. Or at least..I thought for a second I did.
I’ve been hung up on. Again.

Now I’m starting to lose my cool.

13:47, I redial again, 4th time lucky perhaps?
13:59, the familiar sound of phones ringing and people talking for about 2 seconds.
Then, Click.


I’ve wasted the best part of an hour trying to get through to these idiots and got nowhere.

I give up, for now.

I decide at 16:30 to call them again.
The first thing that I am told is that I am at queue position 25.

16:57, 27 minutes later, I finally get an answer.
And a real live person who can speak!!

She tells me that whoops, nobody has taken heed of the fact that you called 3 days ago to tell us you no longer wanted it delivered to your place of work.
She then puts me on hold, I fear for my life that she is either never going to come back, or when she picks back up, she has butter fingers and will accidently hang up on me.

But, she does come back.
Tells me that it will be delivered tomorrow, it’s going out tonight to my home address.

Next morning comes…no phone with the postman.
Perhaps coming with Citylink..

I decide to check the status on the website.
“Status: Awaiting dispatch”
I feel as though I’m going to kill somebody, and this isn’t the start of my murderous thoughts, they get worse as you’ll see, from what happens next.

I read the FAQ on their website to find if they have anything relating to delivery times on there that I can use to back up my plight when I call them.
I find nothing, but I do find something of interest.

“One Stop Phone Shop is BS EN ISO 9001 : 2000 approved therefore our customers are guaranteed the best possible levels of service. We want you to be happy with your purchase, and would like to hear from you if you think any part of the ‘experience’ can be improved, please e-mail the Customer Services Director at james.edgeware@onestopphoneshop.co.uk.”

I take them up on the offer.
I email James Edgeware giving a detailed description of my fight with OSPS, hopefully he will read it and reply, but, I’m not holding my breath.

In lieu of receiving a reply from James, I call them again.
12:35pm (Thursday afternoon, 4 days after placing order)
Number 18 in the queue.
14 minutes go by.
12:49pm – Hold music dissapears, replaced by the sound of ringing phones and talking people..then..

I’ve been hung up on. Again.
4 times in a 2 days.
A total of 55 minutes spent in queues just to be hung up on.

This time I lose it totally.
I want blood.

I call their sales line.
Unsurprisingly, no queue. Straight through to a human being.
I dont shout, but I calmly explain to her that I need to speak to customer services.
She tells me to call the number.

I tell her, “I’m not calling that number. I’ve spent 55 minutes waiting over 2 days, just to be hung up on, 4 times.”
She tells me she can’t transfer me to anyone in customer services.

I ask to speak to the guy who sent me that email.
He only responds to letters in writing, apparently.
I ask to speak to James Edgeware, Director of Customer Services, he only deals with written letters too apparently.
The same goes for Managing Director, Nick Edwards.

An internet company, that only deals with snail mail?

Luckily, it seems that this person I am speaking to, after I have a long, fast paced rant that leaves me out of breath, has a slice of empathy in her and decides that although she’s not supposed to do it, she will look at my account for me.

She tells me that it was dispatched last night, the website status is wrong, and even gives me a consignment number. It has gone with City link.

Why did this take me so long to find out?
Why was it so hard for them to answer the phone, or reply to an email with this simple information that even is in their favour!

Well, the phone was received on Friday. I thought that the monkey was off my back and I would never have to deal with them or their shit again. I was wrong.

Laura’s mother also decided to order the same phone on the same day. It has now been over two weeks since we placed the order, and despite calling them every single day since placing the order, she still has no phone.
On Friday we were told that it would definitely be arriving Saturday morning with Royal Mail.
No phone.

Sue (Laura’s mother) called them today, to be told, “You cannot have that offer now. It’s finished.”
And you know what the really, really frustrating thing is.
Nobody in authority will speak to you.
Only the phone monkeys are allowed to talk to the public.

I have emailed their customer service manager, operations directory, sales manager and even the managing director of the company, to no reply.
Now, I work for a major company so I know how things should be run, I and everybody else knows, if things are getting so bad that the managing director is being contacted by customers to complain, things cannot be right within the company.

They are now part of the Carphone Warehouse group, perhaps I should send a letter to their managing director, perhaps he will reply? I doubt it though as they are just as useless having dealt with those boneheads in the past too.

So, my firm recommendation is to stay the hell away from OneStopPhoneShop at all costs.
And, it’s not just my recommendation, see this link here and all the flaming reviews here too!
And, if you are currently brawling with this company, here are some contacts.
Ask for them on the phone, I bet you won’t ever get them, but, here are there email addresses.
Don’t waste too much time writing individual emails to each, send the same, they most likely will never reply anyway, and, also send the same email by registered post, just to make sure they get it.

And last but not least, my next port of call, trading standards. Hopefully they will do something about the way that this company treats their potential customers and not just that, but the money that they cost us in phone calls.
Yes, they even have the cheek to use 0870 numbers, and do no open after 6pm (when it is cheaper to call) so, my one 55 minute call, cost me about £5.50. Cheers.

I’ll keep you all updated on the situatation. I will not rest, even if I have to go to Crewe and visit them.

Customer Services Director: james.edgeware@onestopphoneshop.co.uk
Operations Manager: adam.boulton@Onestopphoneshop.co.uk
Managing Director: nick.edwards@onestopphoneshop.co.uk
Sales Manager: mark.earlam@onestopphoneshop.co.uk

Are you lost?

Lost DVD finally came
Originally uploaded by charmingman.

My Lost DVD finally came today after pre-ordering it from Amazon.com, unfortunately I had to pay a customs charge of £8.76 so I probably would have saved money buying it from CD-Wow or Playusa even though their prices were higher. Never mind though.
Anywho, I have now watched every single episode in series 1 which was left on a nailbiting cliffhanger.
This would usually be annoying, but, Series 2 has actually started on NBC in the USA, so it’s available for download, the first episode of which I will get and watch tonight :D yay.

Anyone who isn’t watching Lost on Channel4 or e4 over here in Britain is definitely missing out and you should buy it on DVD *NOW* to find out what you’re missing out on. Is the only series I have watched on TV in a very long time, I find that for the most part TV is a waste of time, there’s hardly ever anything good on, so it’s a big thing for me to actually be enthralled by something.

Obviously though, as I have demonstrated in this case, I have absolutely no patience and hate the way that the UK is always so far behind the US with most series that I just buy the DVD’s or download the episodes to overcome my frustration.

WordPress Migration #2


After just a few more hours of tinkering and tyding up code, we have almost a fully working WordPress based website.
I’ve even managed to configure a very, very impressive plugin, the likes of which I had been hunting for under movabletype for months to no avail, which will interface between my website and flickr. You can see my photos page now, which I think looks very nifty, by using the ‘photos by moi’ link on the navbar. The plugin is called FAlbum and is written by Elijah Cornell. Check it out.

I now only have one or two minor things to do before the movabletype is fully redundant, and I can remove it, hoorah!

Normal programming will resume soon :)

WordPress Migration #1

OK, so after a short battle, the main homepage of the site is now being built by WordPress, rather than Movabletype, Yay!

I still have a long way to go, but I think I’m getting the hang of this new CMS.

The major difference is that WordPress is built on PHP rather than CGI. This isn’t so much of a problem, in fact it works to my advantage because I’m much more proficient in PHP than I am in CGI, so I actually understand a lot more what I’m doing when building a template than I did before.

Now, to create the individual and monthly archive templates..