Dear Just-Eat…

I know, for those of you who follow me on Facebook, I’ve already had a rant about this, but please consider this a 12″ extended version of the afore-mentioned rant. I also realise that ranting on a personal blog with 2 readers is a bit pointless, but if it gets my feelings out there into the internet-o-sphere, and someone reads it, and boycotts Just-Eat like I’m going to do, then my work here is done.

Anyway, Just-Eat was, until tonight, one of my most visited websites on a weekend. For those of you who were unfamiliar with the concept (perhaps you’ve been living on the moon for the past 8 years), it allows you to order take-away food directly through their website, from any number of establishments in your local area. The take-away / restaurant would then get a printout of what you wanted, and then they’d prepare and deliver it, with NO human interaction. It’s perfect for me, as I can’t stand talking on the telephone, and the order is printed out, minimizing the chance of cock-ups with the order.

I would usually order a curry, usually once a week, from many of Hartlepool’s finest curry outlets (Yes, Cafe India was on there), in fact, since August, I’ve ordered through just-eat 23 times. That’s a lot of curry.

Anyway, they had a thing where they would charge you for the use of credit cards. That wasn’t much of a problem. There was one time where I paid by card, the money was taken and the meal never showed up, even though the restaurant swore blind they delivered it, and I had to fight for a refund. If you decided to pay by cash, you dodn’t have to pay the 50p. Fair enough. A livable arrangement.

Anyway, as I mentioned, there was a 50p surcharge in place to pay via credit or debit card. Then, the ban on card surcharges came into force. Now, how were they going to go about this. Were they going to be a good company, and begin to absorb the charges themselves? No, of course not, otherwise, I wouldn’t be typing this, with my fingers bashing the keyboard so hard that the neighbours are banging on the wall. And I don’t even have neighbours!

NO, Good old Just-Eat did possibly the shittiest thing a company could ever do to a customer, and they brought in the 50p surcharge for EVERYONE, whether you are paying by card or not.

I would just like to know how pissed they all were in the meeting, when the brightest spark in the room, possibly slumped over a table suggested this… I can only imagine it went something like this…

Whoever 1: “Well, we’ve been shafting customers with our 50p card surcharge, but the government are going to put a stop to this… what can we do to get around this?”
Whoever 2: “Oh… I don’t know…. Shaft everyone?”
Whoever 1: “PERFECT! I LOVE IT!”

Well done, you’ve lost me as a customer, and hopefully, many many more. Yes, credit card charges cost money, but you find another way of absorbing the charge. I’m sure you make enough from the takeaways and restaurants that are signed up (but hopefully won’t be for much longer). You wouldn’t DARE increase their fee. Noooo, instead, you take out out of the pocket of the consumer.

The other argument is “Well, 50p isn’t much is it?”. Yeah, once. But take those 23 times I mentioned above. If I ordered as frequently now (fat chance of that), I’d be £11.50 out of pocket for absolutely NO REASON. It’s like going to Argos, paying for something with money, and then charging you 50p for the fucking barcode stuck to it.

I would love to know if they have a marketing team. If they do, I’ll expect a copy ‘n’ paste response from a script, scouring the internet for their name, and posts such as this one. If, just eat, you ARE going to come back on this, please include the meaning of the word “moron” as the third sentence of your comment. Y’know. To show that you’ve read and understood this.

Yours sincerely,
Angry Jamie

Goodbye Cafe India, it’s time to (not) dine…

Sad news, for all of you who love their curry, and live in this fair town of Hartlepool… Cafe India, one of my regular haunts (or one that cropped up regularly on my rotation of Hartlepudlian curry houses anyway) has served up its last onion bhaji.

I noticed it earlier in the week. I work a mere stone’s throw from its location, and I noticed that part of the window looked to be boarded up. The road it was on was not the most elegant road, so I had hoped it may have just been smashed. Imagine the heart-wrenching scene, when I approached closer, and yes, the entire place was boarded up. I have heard via Facebook that it closed due to lack of staff. Maybe this means there’s a chance it’ll reopen if they find someone? I notice their Just-eat page is still active (naturally, you can’t order from it). Maybe it’s just lulling me into a sense of security. Maybe it’ll disappear just as suddenly.

Over the recemnt months, I’ve been less of a customer. Not for any fault of theirs, it’s because, due to ol’ crater-foot, I was barely out of the house for 4 months, and the once regular occurrence of a curry, pretty much disappeared into the ether. Ironically, the last time I was in here was immediately after Hartlepool got relegated to the Bananavanarama league, way back on 6th May…

And, now we don’t have Cafe India, we might not even end up with a Hartlepool United…

#savepoolsday – 20th January.

Something for nothing…. a “free” mouse…

I’ve always been one for a bargain, so when I see an offer that’s clearly too good to be true on somewhere like facebook, I’m a sucker, and I just have to have it. Well, that’s a complete lie. This is the first of these I’ve ever done, but who knows? Maybe there’ll be more. I doubt it.

Before anyone complains I’m jumping on some type of sponsorship bandwagon, I’m not. In fact, I’m not even going to name the site I got this from. Nobody gets free adverts from me. I’ll tell you, but only if you’re really interested.

Right, so, onto this free mouse then. Way back on 6th December I saw a post on Facey B for a free mouse. Just pay shipping from the US to the UK, all of $9.99. OK, it wasn’t free, I’d never heard of this website, I’d signed up to it using my “spam name”, I’d accidentally got my address wrong while ordering, and the site was saying that due to the amount of orders, it could take 3-5 weeks. Oh, well, this is going to turn up then, isn’t it?

I’d genuinely forgotten about it, but exactly 4 weeks to the day since I ordered it, there was a knock on the solid oak doors of Mercuryvapour Towers, and a parcel from Taiwan. A very flimsy package, consisting of a plastic bag, a zip-lock bag, some bubble wrap and the mouse. I’d show you the packaging, but I’ve lobbed it, but I was very, very surprised that it made it here in one piece.

Upon first inspection, it didn’t feel too bad It’s covered almost entirely in that “soft-feel” stuff, except for the part where your thumb goes, that’s just normal dimpled plastic. There seems to be some type of scribbled circuit design with a swirl in the middle, and the letters “JWFY”. The cable is braided red and black, but nothing special.

What does it look like when plugged in?

Clicky Bigger

A mouse of many colours. I’ve never been a fan of LED-for-the-sake-of-it. RGB gaming and all of that type of crap can go suck a bag of disks. An LED simply for decoration is a waste of the world’s finite resources. I long for the days of beige keyboards, and beige PCs, where they’re heard, and never seen. Now they’re silent disco-balls, and the peripherals are no different.

The mouse is no exception. I’m not going to break it open, but I’d guess there’s 4 RGB LEDs in there, cycling infinitely through a range of colours. The underside is, as you’d expect… plain, with no model number or similar, just a patent number…

Onto the big question… how does it feel? Actually, not too bad. It moves nicely on a mouse pad. The usual features you’d expect from a gaming mouse are present. Backwards + Forwards browser buttons, mouse sensitivity button.

There’s one thing, after an hour of use, that is stopping me from liking this (and the fact I already have a gaming mouse that’s not near as garish as this), and its the mouse buttons. I have small hands, with short stumpy fingers, so this is less of a problem for me, but if you have long fingers, this mouse will give you PAIN. The ends of the buttons are incredibly sharp.

The photo doesn’t quite do justice how bad these are, but honestly, you’ll need to take a file to those bad lands before using it for any period of time. I just caught it while typing that last sentence and had to look to see if I drew blood. Makes me wonder about the legality of the safety marks on the underside of this thing. I mentioned the flimsy packaging it came in. After feeling those buttons, I’m surprised it never cut straight through it.

OVerall, this is a *really* entry level gaming mouse. The free promotion for these has ended, and the site is selling them for $15. they have another design of “free” mouse still available, but you can almost guarantee it’ll be the same circuit board in a slightly different case. For those of you who know which site I’m talking about and are still waiting on their mice, you will eventually get it.

Oh, and a quick thing about the “Spam Name”… If you sign up for a promotion that offers you free stuff, and you think the company are going to sell your details (no company gives something away for nothing!), just change your name slightly when signing up. I call myself “Jay”. That way, if you ever receive anything with that name, and it’s not your “freebie”, it can go straight in the bin without being opened!

Happy 2018!

You can’t have failed to notice that 2018 is here… at least in GMT / UTC circles anyway. No doubt the sound of fireworks going off has woken everyone on by Facebook profile, and are now desparely checking their phones to see which drunken tirade is happening on there right now.

As usual, I’m not sat in front of my computer typing this at this ungodly hour, instead, no it’s almost 3AM on the day before, but through the magic of technology, it looks like I’m wishing you a happy new year. Deep down, I really am, but I know, by the time you read this, I’ll be the wrong side of a crate of beer (or indeed Southern Comfort – one appeared in my drawer at work, and I genuinely have no idea where it came from. Thanks, anonymous gifter!) just like I am every New Years’ Eve.

2017 has been there year where I’ve started enjoying blogging again. Nowt much happens in my life, but I’ve certainly enjoyed transferring that nothing into text for you to endure.

Here’s to the rest of 2018!

To the ones we’ve lost in 2017…

2017 has seen a lot of change. Normally, I’d do a review of the year, month by month, but seeing as the entire time between August and mid-December was lost to a foot problem, I don’t think there’s much point. Instead I’ll look back at some of the things that were around at the start of the year, but have now been confined to history.

First off, we’ll start off with a sad personal one of mine…

I found it too difficult to post about on here at the time, so I didn’t, but back in the summer, we lost Sam, or Samson go give him his full name. On the 19th July at the ripe old age of 18, he made his final journey “up the coast road”, to join his sister in Doggy Heaven, where she can once again try to mount him, and they can both hide rotting bits of meat under the sofa for the rest of eternity, and he can lie at the top of the stairs leading to the pearly…. dogflaps (?!), and wait for someone to trip over him in the dark. Six months have passed, and I still instinctively pause at the top of the stairs to make sure I’m not going to step on him!

BATCHELOR’S MILD CURRY SAVOURY RICE

I had intended to write a blog post addressing my dismay at the discontinuation of Mild Curry Savoury Rice, to be replaced with “Super Rice”, but I never got round to it. Although the two look very similar, to me, there was a world of difference.

I have been a fan of the Savoury Rice variety for as long as I can remember. In fact, here’s a photo of me, at Sandy Bay, demolishing a bowl of the afore-mentioned rice-based snack…

Judging by the look on my face, you can tell I was enjoying it. Or maybe I just looked that way as a kid, who knows. Anyway, this remained in the very small repertoire of foods I’d actually eat as a kid.It survived with me, throughout my teens, 20s, into my 30s. OK, there’d be times where I wouldn’t have it for months, even years, but at the back of my mind, it’d be there.

Unfortunately, it was a recipe that “Bachelors” tampered with from time to time, making a pouched “microwaveable” version, for example. These didn’t last long, and eventually went back to the dehydrated backet variety.

Fast forward a few years, and I noticed they’d changed the branding. It was now “Mild Curry Super Rice”, and instead of taking 15-20 minutes to cook, it took 5 minutes. Well, I’d be interested to see what it was like. Aaaaaaaaand, I hated it. The newly formed rice was stodgy, the flavouring stuck to the side of the pan and turned black. It was overall, a disappointing mush, and it contained the scourge of all these types of products… dried peas. Every time I see then I just have to ask why they even exist.

It turns out miracles happened, and I found a shop in the town centre that still stocked the “Savoury Rice” variety. It was still the old recipe. Longer cooking times, no dried peas. A tear of happiness rolled down my cheek. This remained the case for a good few months. Both varieties lived their separate lives.

Then, my foot happened, and I was unable to attend the town centre for a couple of months. I went to stock up, only to find… yes, you’ve guessed it… “Mild Curry Super Rice”. I fell to my knees, clutching my head. A part of me had died. A huge part of my culinary life was at an end. I hadn’t been this devastated since Birds Eye discontinued their “Boil In the Bag” curries some time in the mid 2000s.

All is not lost, however. There appears to be another change to the recipe, and dare I say, it’s “acceptable”. The rice isn’t at bad, and the flavour is adequate. If you put those two packets together though, you’ll notice the values in the health thing are different. Changed recipe, or smaller packet? I shall investigate further.

THE APPRENTICE

If, for some reason you haven’t watched it and intend to, then skip this secion as there’ll be spoilers.

Wow, what was that all about? This was by far the worst series I’ve seen it. Normally there’d be some people who you want to see do well, but no, not this year. I hated all of them. And then, that end? Both of them got the bloody money. A grand anti-climax to an utterly depressing 12 weeks of television. After this years’ disappointing show, I’d be interested to see if they completely reshuffle the way the show works, or even abandon it completely. Either way, I’m not sure I’ll bother watching.

I’d attempted to write more on this, but everything I typed just turned into a long, rambling post about nothing, so I’ll just leave with wishing you all the best for the last day of 2017, and if you have a birthday in 2018, then have a happy return.

See you in 2018!