Posts Tagged ‘The Net’

Warning PayPal echeques

July 12th, 2007 2 comments

When I first used PayPal, I had a card registered and nothing else. I then decided to become verified and registered my bank account.

From then on when making a payment, PayPal’s confirmation screen said that the funding source was my bank account, and that the BACKUP funding source was my card.

Note the word ‘backup’, suggesting to the user that this is only required if there is a problem with the primary source (bank account). This is further reinforced by the fact that the payment is always taken from the bank account by direct debit and never by card payment.

When I made a couple of payments recently, I noticed that the payment method stated ‘echeque’ from my bank account. I assumed that this was PayPal’s new term for a payment from my bank account. Not so! The echeque payment method incurs a 7-9 working day delay! At no stage was a warning given that this payment would not be instant. Additionally, the email receipt clearly states that a payment has been made to the recipient when this has clearly not yet happened.

I was only alerted to the delay when an ebay seller informed me that ebay was telling him he had been paid, but was not showing in his PayPal account. I then started investigating and discovered that my payments were showing as ‘uncleared’ and that the reason was that echeque is a different payment method which had been selected because my card (which I had been led to believe by PayPal was only for backup) had expired.

Since then I have discovered several websites who accept PayPal adding prominent warning messages about the delay involved with echeque payments. It is clear that they have experienced problems with their customers not being aware of the delays involved with echeque. This is hardly surprising – it is not in PayPal’s interest to warn you about the delay, because this means the money sits in their account earning interest.

A google search for ‘warning paypal echeque’ also yields several people unhappy with the lack of warning for echeques.

From a telephone call with PayPal customer services, it appears that the card details are not in fact a backup as implied by their web pages, but are necessary to make the payment instant.


Ebay now have this graphic on their site, encouraging you to use PayPal:

Misleading PayPal ad

In case you can’t see the animated gif, it says “cheque = 10-14 days, PayPal = Instant, Get Paid Instantly”
Not if the echeque method is used – this is extremely misleading.

VirginMedia have started Throttling Connections

May 4th, 2007 No comments

NTL 205 Cable ModemAccording to VirginMedia’s own website, they have started to automatically reduce the broadband speed of people who they determine are using too much bandwidth. It would appear that downloading an ISO image is enough to trigger this throttling.

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Websites with needless music

March 31st, 2007 No comments

Aaarrgghh!! One of my pet hates is websites which suddenly burst into music. It’s annoying when you’re at home and the music you actually are listening to is suddenly ruined by the website’s own musak. It’s even worse in a work environment.

The most heinous crime, however, is not to include any way of switching the damn noise off.

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Embedding a Google or Youtube Video without breaking validation

March 9th, 2007 No comments

You Tube/Google LogosIf you use the code on Google Video or Youtube to embed a video on your website, they give you the now defunct embed tag which breaks the HTML validation.

You can however get around this using the method on CK Samples blog.

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Keep Moving Traffic Website

October 16th, 2006 No comments

keepmoving16octThe people who brought you Metcheck have come up with a traffic website:

It looks a very exciting venture, but I think they need to iron out a few bugs:

Today there is a major incident on the M6 Southbound with the motorway closed. Now while keepmoving have a column on the left of their page showing this, and the graph on the right shows that the M6 is far and away the most requested information on their phone line, the motorway specific data in the centre shows no problems. Click here for a larger screenshot.

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Freeserve number change

October 3rd, 2006 No comments

FreeserveMy mother-in-law has always been with Freeserve on Dial-up and does not use the internet enough to warrant paying for broadband. When Dixons sold Freeserve to Wanadoo in France (part of France Telecom), she was none the wiser, except that she didn’t understand why her homepage had changed to

Now that France Telecom have decided to merge the brand names under the Orange brand, her homepage has changed again, still with no explanation. Since her homepage is still actually set to, this redirects to Surely, it doesn’t take much for Orange to spot the redirections and display a banner explaining the change.

Now the really crap part: She started getting a message saying she had to change the number her computer dialled. The POP server also started refusing connections, refering her to the same page. Not exactly much warning nor much explanation to someone who just wants to check her emails and log in to her bank.

The automatic ‘download new number’ option does not work, even when logged in as administrator, but then again that’s Windoze for you.

Previously, she had dialled 0845 079 6699 (1p/min weekday eve), but the new number is 0844 058 7000 (2p/min).

There is no valid reason for doubling the price, especially as most people won’t realise this.

According to the FAQ on the changes:

Why is the number changing?
We’re asking you to change to this new number as the old one is out of date and will soon be closing.

What utter Bollocks! If you need to change it, change it to another 0845 number. The real answer is that Orange don’t like dial up customers and have therefore chosen to fleece them.

When did you tell me about this change?
We emailed you about 30 days ago explaining what the number change was and what you’d need to do.

No you did not! My mother-in-law received no such email.

So basically, no warning, no valid reason for the change in price. Shame on you Orange.

How to waste a domain name

August 11th, 2006 No comments

I’m always amazed at the number of vans and lorries I see with a web address such as but then right next to it is a mickey mouse email address such as or

If you’ve gone to the trouble of paying for and setting up a proper domain name, then why not use it for your emails as well?

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Getting hammered by Google for no return

April 5th, 2006 No comments

Google’s bot has been hammering my site throughout March (over 16,000 hits, more than 70% of traffic). So what do I have to show for all this bandwidth usage? Three measly supplemental links, all well out of date, one of which has been banned in my robots.txt file for more than two years!
What the hell is Google up to?

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.htaccess cheatsheet

January 23rd, 2006 No comments
Categories: Uncategorized Tags: , , domains back up

November 28th, 2005 No comments

Just checked and all my websites have come back.

Read more…

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