The Anonymous Widower

I’m Now Following The Queen’s Example

By Legend, the Queen never carries any cash.

I’m now deliberately following a similar policy, but I only use a contactless bank card for most of my daily purchases, like my paper and food.

I’ve even still got a couple of John Lewis vouchers gathering dust in my wallet, as sincve the new M & S Food opened in Dalston, I rarely go need a Waitrose.

One thing I find with M & S Food, is that on a typical purchase the average price is two pounds per item. So to keep under the thirty pound contactless limit, I rarely buy more than fourteen items. These unusually fit easily into usable bag.

Buying my paper in M & S or a station also means I can use contactless for the purchase.

A couple of days ago, I was approached by an aggressive tin rattler for a charity I would never suppose because of some of their practices. So I waved my card and asked. “Do you do conactless?” I got a smiling “Sorry! No!”

I still use cash for three purposes.

  • Restaurants with waiter/waitress service, so the tips go to the staff. It also means at busy times, in cafes I use a lot, I always get a table.
  • Black cabs, when I occasionally use one.
  • Personal services from local tradesmen, where the value is small. Otherwise it’s a bank transfer.

But it’s amazing, how little cash you now need.

 

April 25, 2018 Posted by | Finance | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Why Did I Get The Samsung QLED Television With The Faulty Screen?

These pictures show the screen omn my new Samsung QLED television.

Notethe shadow down the screen.

You don’t expect that, with the price I paid.

I shall be going into John Lewis today.

January 30, 2018 Posted by | Computing, World | , , | 1 Comment

How To Annoy Customers

I just sent this message to John Lewis Card Services.

I shall be cancelling my card at the earliest possible opportunity.

I have a problem with my left arm, due to it being broken by the school bully and a stroke which didn’t help.

So for convenience, i don’t use any web sites that use the shift keys in passwords.

Why do people do this?

Passwords should always be able to be typed with one hand.

For instance, why couldn’t I use say “donald=13”?

No-one would guess that!

October 10, 2016 Posted by | Finance | , | 2 Comments

My Useless John Lewis Credit Card Statement

I recently bought a winter coat in Marks and Spencer. The zip has gone, so I want to find the store, where I bought it, as I use several of the large ones in London regularly. I probably bought it with my John Lewis credit card, so all I need to find is a transaction at over a £100 for Marks and Spencer to get a date and store.

But I can only get the last statement as a spreadsheet, which just gives dates, values and not the store. It’s not even formatted to the sort of level, that a child of six could program.

Quite frankly it’s utter crap!

Unlike with Amex, which gives you everything you need to trace purchases, in an easy-to-read clickable format.

Do John Lewis expect me to keep paper copies of all my purchases?

Paper is so Nineteenth Century!

November 18, 2015 Posted by | Finance, World | , , , | 3 Comments

A John Lewis With Its Own Station

John Lewis didn’t have a store in Birmingham, but they opened one in the Grand Central Shopping Centre on Thursday above the reopened New Street station.

It is pretty spectacular to say the least.

The comedians will start to be calling the West Midlands, the White Country, if stations of this style appear all over the area.

I wonder when you last saw the sun in the main Birmingham station!

September 24, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 1 Comment

My Credit/Charge Cards Got Cloned

I use an American Express Charge Card for my travel, for the insurance and also because, if I know I’m picking up rail tickets, I don’t have to think which card I’m using. It is contactless, so I kep it separate from my Freedom Pass to avoid card class and often I don’t take it out with me.

I also have a John Lewis Partnership Card, which I use for everyday purchases and on-line, as it doesn’t use that non-protection system Verified by Visa, which is a pain in the arse.

Over the last two weeks, both have been cloned and used online for substantial purchases. With both cards, the fraud protection systems at the card companies picked up the illegal uses and the cards were stopped , causing me the hassle of having to update various web sites, where the card is stored.

So how did the cards get cloned?

I’m not sure, but both of the card statements often come in the post on the same day. I doubt it’s anything to do with the Royal Mail, although because they are moving buildings in the main sorting office that serves me, there has been a couple of things that have gone astray or turned up late.

Normally, when the statement arrives, I put it by my computer and pay it the next time, that I go on-line. I then shred the statements.

But I’ve been away a lot in the last month or two and I’ve had builders around, which caused the shredder to be out-of-use for a time.

So perhaps I was less than zealous in shredding a statement!

I suspect that as I put the green sacks for recycling outside late on a Wednesday night, someone has been raking them over and removing ones that might be promising

One thing I have done is make the American Express card paperless, so there is nothing incriminating from that going in the rubbish.

Unfortunately, the John Lewis card has no paperless facility and as it is not contactless, I am seriously thinking of giving it the order of the boot. It will certainly be going into temporary retirement.

In fact, I would say don’t get a new credit card unless the following conditions apply.

  1. The card’s call centre and processing is based in the UK.
  2. All statements can be paperless.
  3. Past statements are available on-line in an easily readable form.
  4. Cards are contactless.

I think contactless cards are important. Most contactless payments are in big retailers or in London on transport. Transactions are probably caught on CCTV and there is often no handy piece of paper that could be taken by untrustworthy staff. The twenty pound limit also means that you can’t use them for the sort of purchases criminals like.

I have worked on very secure projects in the past and only access my bank accounts from one computer that never leaves my house.

People ask me if I would use ApplePay or the future AndroidPay. I certainly would, as if say the system was cloned and I lost money, Apple or Google would be finished. Until proven otherwise, I feel that they are more secure than contactless cards.

If you worry about contactless cards, just reflect on the fact, that I have been unable to find any negative comment about their use on London’s transport system, which is one of the largest contactless card-based systems in the world. There are so many out there who hate Boris with an absolute passion, that if anything had happened, it would be repeated ad infinitum.

The weak link in all these systems isn’t the technology, it’s the fact that we do stupid things, like drop our phone or card (Guilty, as charged!) and that criminals end up in retailers and card companies in positions, where they have access to sensitive data.

How can you be sure, that the nice man in the corner hardware store hasn’t taken your card details and sold them on to someone, who has the knowledge to take card numbers, expiry dates and names and addresses to defraud on-line retailers and service providers?

August 19, 2015 Posted by | Finance | , , | 6 Comments

I Thought Couriers Like This Had Reformed

I knew that today, I would be getting my new cooker hood delivered. The delivery company confirmed yesterday that it would be coming today and that they would tell me today, in what four hour slot it would come.

The message yesterday was just an automated voice one, with no instructions on where to phone, text or e-mail if there was any problems.

This morning, I got the delivery slot as any time between 15:00 and 19:00. This is very inconvenient as I have an important appointment, I booked some time ago, at 18:00.

It doesn’t matter to me, if I don’t get the hood delivered today, as it won’t be installed until next week or even the week after.

I have no means to contact the couriers to say this time is inconvenient.

Also judging by this courier company’s attitude of we deliver it when we decide and don’t tell you who we are and how to contact us, I suspect it would be a difficult process to get the item redelivered.

So it is wait here until it is delivered and hope that it turns up.

Incidntally, I actually ordered the hood from the John Lewis web site, so for a start they will be getting a complaint to say the least.

But I did think that couriers with these sort of attitudes had reformed.

July 10, 2015 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

A New Take On Dumbbells

I bought these dumbbells in John Lewis, as my fitness trainer, said I needed some heavier ones.

A New Take On Dumbbells

A New Take On Dumbbells

There was only one problem and that was bringing two 4 kilo dummbells home in two flimsy plastic carriers.

August 21, 2014 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

Two Knives From Sheffield At John Lewis

My kitchen knives are rather elderly and blunt, despite proper sharpening, so I thought I’d treat myself to some new ones from John Lewis.

Two Knives From Sheffield At John Lewis

Two Knives From Sheffield At John Lewis

Made in Sheffield, as knives should be! Just like my Sheba cutlery was in the 1960s

July 2, 2014 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

Signposts In John Lewis

I saw this set of signposts in the floor of John Lewis today.

Signposts In John Lewis

Signposts In John Lewis

It’s a good idea. But would a polished brass plate on the pavement attract the light-fingered with crowbars?

July 2, 2014 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment