Watermelon is now available at Booker

自从前年知道 Booker 卖西瓜,又大又甜又便宜,每年盼着买,一买就很多,找找小时候夏天床底下塞满西瓜的感觉。今年我从春夏之交就关注 Booker 西瓜啥时上市,今天终于等到了,就想去拉一车回家。

Booker 无籽西瓜只卖夏季三个月左右,说明它不是反季或大棚种植,更符合纯天然概念。它个头中等,每个 6 KG 有强,售 £2.50/个,非常超值。

Booker watermelon
Booker watermelon

按我原来的标准,西瓜再大,也无非芝麻小事,是难登博客大雅之堂的。但最近一期《非诚勿扰》有个男嘉宾专写这类没深度的文章,还能靠此周游世界。我想我是不是也可以将我的生活经验汇编成册,或许可以帮助到刚来英国的人。

BT Infinity up and running

BT Home Hub 5
BT Home Hub 5

几天前 BT Home Hub 5 寄到了。路由器很漂亮,反应很快,可惜功能太单一,连 Mac 地址绑定、远程管理等功能都没有。等有空看看能否刷零售版的韧件,把隐藏的功能都激活。

今天 BT 工程师如约前来安装新的电话线和 BT Infinity,大约花了十分钟,就装好了。从下订单到安装让我等了一个多月,是 BT Infinity 太火爆,还是 BT 工作效率太低,不得而知。但我仍然很激动,因为终于有稳定的网络可以让 IPPBX 如鱼得水

BT Infinity 稳定吗?过段时间我再回答。目前我只是基于对 BT 的信任做的假设。

BT Infinity speed test
BT Infinity speed test

下行速度高于 30 Mbps,上行速度高于 17 Mbps。我对下行速度有点小失望,离标称的 76 Mbps 还很远。我甚至怀疑 BT 是不是搞错了,给我装了一个 BT Infinity 1(标称 38 Mbps),而我订的是 BT Infinity 2。仔细看了看,BT Infinity 1 标称上行速度只有 9.5 Mbps,那无论如何都不会是 BT Infinity 1 了。

BT Infinity 1 or 2
BT Infinity 1 or 2

17 Mbps 上行还是挺给力,强力对比原来的 ADSL 只有 1 Mbps 左右的上行。这下远程办公感觉就好了。

访问一般的网站,用 BT Infinity 和 ADSL 感觉差不多。上 YouTube 感觉了一下,如我所愿,1080p 的视频不用缓存就能播放;上优酷,也不错,超清视频也不卡;上土豆,仍然很卡,看来它不够国际化。

Never use Kwik Fit

很多年前,我去 Kwik Fit 修车前问过一个朋友:“Kwik Fit 可靠吗?” 他说,“糟透了,千万不要用。”他没讲实例,我也没有亲身体会,所以我并没有形成对 Kwik Fit 的坏感。

那时,车的排气管坏了,我公司边上有家 Kwik Fit,我早上把车送给他们修,下班去取,觉得很方便。当然 Kwik Fit 的价格不便宜,但体谅它这么大一个公司肯定有很大的管理费用,所以我也觉得合理,毕竟它有地缘优势。

那次修车还算顺利,所以接着的年检和保养我又想到 Kwik Fit。恰好 Kwik Fit 又在搞年检和保养优惠促销,我就决定去 Kwik Fit 做年检。年检没有通过,Kwik Fit 要我更换一堆零件,包括全部轮胎和电池。我从未被要求一次更换那么多零件(之后也没有过),有点犹豫不决。考虑到去其他地方重检,可能还是得更换,Kwik Fit 又说只要我在它那里换了零件,年检就过了。还是为了方便,我就咬牙让 Kwik Fit 换上了全部轮胎、电池和其他配件。

之后我想,可能我的车到了那个时间就得大量换零件了,所以并未觉得 Kwik Fit 有什么出格之处,只是之后再也不用它了。

后来有一次,车胎破了,拉到一个修理厂,技师怎么也卸不下那个轮胎,最后动用锯子锯断螺钉。技师说,是螺帽拧得过头了。哎,最后一次是 Kwik Fit 拧的。但我还没形成对 Kwik Fit 整体的坏感,只想 Kwik Fit 运气不好,雇了一个不称职的员工。

最近我觉得电池蓄不住电。今天,我在车内听收音机,所有的灯都是关闭的,只有五分钟,竟然连收音机都放不了了。这才几年啊,又要换电池?!当年我不熟悉行情,现在发现 Kwik Fit 的杂牌电池比 Euro Car Parts 的名牌 Bosch 电池要贵一倍多。贵就贵吧,竟然还是这种质量。

终于,我跟 Kwik Fit 的缘份全面崩溃,愤愤不平地写下以上文字警示后来人。

When will I get my £200 credit from O2?

In June, 2012 I visited the O2 shop in 49 George Street, Hove, BN3 3YB, enqurying about opening an account and getting two Samsung S3 mobile phones. David told me I could get the phones virtually free by paying £99.99 upfront and he would credit me £100 into my account for each phone. I still keep his written notes, luckily.

O2 credit promise
O2 credit promise

On the next day or two, I revisited the shop. I paid £199.98 for two phones. Christina went through the contract procedure with me. She was fully aware of the £200 credit. However, she told me, she could not add £200 to my account while I was there, because I was porting the numbers from Vodafone to O2. She had to wait a few days until the porting process finished and then my account was active. She said she would add £200 credit in a few days. So I left the shop with two new phones happily.

I have no way to check if O2 has put £200 into my account or not. Only at the time O2 monthly direct debit shows on the bank statement, I know the credit has not been credited. I started tracing the credit in August, 2012. At first, I thought it is a piece of cake to get it back. I did not trace O2 hard. I popped into the O2 shop occasionally when I was on George Street for something else. Sometime I had chance to speak to David, sometime I did not. David never denied his promise – how can he? I am glad I have not thrown away these pieces of little notes.

David asked me at least twice to write down my company name, address, account number, contact number. He always said someone would contact me. From my ten times visits, I received only one call from O2 in October, 2012 (or so, I can’t remember). But he did not sort out my issue straight away, instead he promised another call back within a week. Well, I never received a call back since then.

My last visit to the O2 shop was three weeks ago. I met David. David must think he should do something differently this time. He composed an email to the Area Manager reporting this issue, and clicked “Send” in front of me. I took it that David wanted to correct an error happened 7 month ago, he need some kind of authorisation. David said someone, probably the Area Manager, would contact me by the Friday within that week.

Well, more than a week passed. I had not been contacted by “someone”. I was not surprised this time. I must be a very patient man, but I lost my patience with O2 after half a year tracing the credit. I did something I was reluctant to do. I started a complaint procedure.

I am annoyed at being badly serviced by O2 for 2 aspects.

  • Why O2 always ignore my queries? Why should I spend so much my valuable time tracing £200 credit? O2 wasted me much more than £200 worth of my time.
  • O2 customer services seem do not bother with what is happening in the O2 shop. They said to me “the O2 shop is franchised – you have to sort your credit with the shop”. It sounds like “it’s none of my business”. I regard the O2 shop part of O2. Whatever the O2 shop is doing wrongly will ruin the reputation of O2. O2 is responsible for all outlet channels. Even if O2 customer services are not able to sort out the credit alone. They should liaison with the shop instead of asking me to go to the shop.