The populace have spoken…

By | May 8, 2017
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The populace have spoken.

No, I don’t mean the local elections last week.

And I’m not talking about voting for the latest winner of Celebrity Strictly Bake-Off Idol On Ice…

I mean a group of people far more important to me – my readers!

After my article last week about Amazon Prime, several people took to the web version to leave a comment or reply. Some were simply saying thanks for making it clear (Thank you! It’s always nice to hear that what I’ve been doing helps!). And one or two had some other related tips. And the tips were so good, I thought I should share them with everyone – here you go:

First, Chris pointed out that I missed out a really good feature of Amazon Prime Video – that you can download films or episodes from a series to the tablet to watch later on when you don’t have an internet connection (or if the internet connection is too slow to watch them “live”).

That can be useful if you’re going away for a few days and want something to watch in the evenings but you won’t have wifi (or it might be a really slow connection). Or if you want to watch it in a room your wifi won’t stretch to. Or even if you want to take it round to a friend’s house to watch together.

And as Chris said, Netflix and Now TV don’t give the same ability.

Some people probably won’t use it, but at times it can be really handy.

Several people have mentioned about how Amazon promote Amazon Prime when you’ve ordered something – they offer you the free fast delivery service if you take up a free trial of Amazon Prime.

That can work well – you get all the benefit of it for a month and as long as you cancel it you pay nothing. But it’s easy to forget to cancel and end up paying… or not be able find the email they send you with a link to cancel it. Or even to not realise you need to cancel it!

Well, now you know to watch out for accidentally signing up for Prime when you order something. (Look out for it saying “free delivery with Amazon Prime Trial” or words to that effect.)

And if you do take the trial and can’t see how to cancel it or don’t want to wait for the email they send you, you can cancel without that email. Here are Amazon’s instructions on how.

If you do join on a trial (accidentally or on purpose) and forget to cancel within the trial, you’ll find yourself paying an amount every month – and you might not notice at first.

That can be an unpleasant shock if you suddenly realise you’ve been paying for the last 4 months!

Obviously you should cancel it straight away if that happens, but it might also be worth getting in touch with Amazon. At least one reader did and found that Amazon checked he’d never used the service and refunded him. I can’t guarantee they’ll always do that but it’s worth checking with them!

And one reader asked about ebooks that are available free. Well, as well as the “borrow a book every month on Kindle” thing I talked about last time, there are lots of ebooks available free on Amazon – and you don’t even have to belong to Prime to get them. They’re all the old books that are out of copyright. Dickens, Thackeray, Trollope and so on.

Amazon do have a page listing some of these here, but if you like classics you might find it as easy to search for a particular book title or author and then look down the list for Kindle Ebook versions listed at £0.00

Coming Up: The downside of technology?
I know, I know. If I write “the downside of technology” some wag will come along and ask “Which one?”.

I do think things like computers, tablets and smartphones are great. It’s not just the gadgets themselves – that’s not the point. It’s what you can do with them.

But there are some downsides. One that people don’t think about very much is how using them can affect your sleep.

It’s not the catastrophe that some newspapers like to make out, but using a device with a screen a lot can affect your sleep.

It’s not all bad – there are at least two ways it can actually help your sleep! But if you’re using a screen a lot, it can make it harder to nod off at night… or mean you don’t sleep as soundly.

It set me thinking – and looking into how much it matters. And what I discovered was gobsmacking – to me at least. And fascinating as well.

Anyway, more on this later – this email was supposed to be about all the tips from everyone else. Thanks again to everyone who left a comment (and if you want to leave a comment on this one, you can go here to do it).

20 thoughts on “The populace have spoken…

  1. Mavis Watney

    First, thank !

    Please could you send in larger text, there seems no way of enlarging it. Or,is there?

    1. Brenda Greenhalgh

      Press Ctrl down while moving the wheel in the centre of your mouse

      1. Tim Post author

        Yep, holding ctrl down and rolling the wheel on your mouse (or tapping the + and – keys on the keyboard if you don’t have a wheel) will do it in most email programs. If it won’t work in yours, you should be able to come to this webpage version of it and do it there to make it bigger.
        It’s a useful trick and works for most webpages.

  2. Janette

    I think your news letters are great and have passed your email to friends. So a big thank you.



    1. Tim Post author

      Thanks very much! ALways nice to hear what I write is proving useful!

  3. John Harwood

    You can find a heck of a lot more free books on Amazon by going to the Kindle store and just typing ‘free’ in the seach box -it will come up with hundreds, just one word of caution it will also come up with many that you may – aherrm, cough – not wish to read or your children to see!

    1. Tim Post author

      Good point – that’s another way to do it – you get a slightly different mixture but it can be worth trying both.

  4. Ann McGrath

    Thanks for these tips – really good. I got caught in the ‘Amazon Prime’ trap – didn’t know I’d signed up to this service when I ordered an item. Luckily, I checked my bank very regularly (like every day) and spotted the deduction.

    I was so cross when I rang them up and this poor lady got an earful!! Anyway, they returned my money straight away and now I’m very careful when ordering from them.

  5. Janet

    Hi Tim
    Thanks for all your tips.
    I print a few of them out then I can refer to them.
    One query I do have —nothing to do with your site– on Amazon. After I have orders books & filled my basket & paid, & go to sign out I yet to find or see the log out sign. Perhaps you could mention this in your next news letter.
    Thanks to all your team you are all great.

    1. Tim Post author

      On Amazon, to log out you have to click on the “Your Account” link at the top. Then at the bottom of the menu that appears it’ll say something like “Not Janet? Click here to sign out”. You can sign out there, even though it suggests it’s for if you’re signed into the wrong account.

  6. joan

    more words and promises than substance in this one, I find.

    1. Tim Post author

      That’s a shame – still I suppose the same tips and advice won’t be useful to everyone.

  7. June Hawkins

    Tim, thanks for all your tips, in the past you had a really useful article I that I thought that I had saved , but I had

    not, item about the uses for the top bar of the computer, what do they do ? or what you can do with them, I have a windows 7 laptop, made by Samsung, I guess that in a while I will have to think about getting a new toy, till then this suits me ok, can you remind me what the article was please ? I have bought a couple of your books, for my I-pad, which are great, I hope that you can help, all the best, June.

    1. Tim Post author

      Hmm – I can’t remember that article. The bars across the top of a web browser are called Toolbars – there are umpteen different ones like the Yahoo toolbar, the Google toolbar and so on.
      We have covered them in some books – could it be you’re remembering one of them?
      It’s quite possible I’ve written something and forgotten it – it does happen sometimes! But I had a look through and couldn’t see articles I’d done about it.

  8. Roy Walker

    Dear Tim,
    Re. becoming an involuntary member of Prime.
    This happened to me and it was only after 3 months I realised what was happening.
    It took me another month to find out how to complain to amazon, but when I did they refunded the 4×7.99.

  9. Janice Marshall

    If you are caught by Amazon Prime and don’t want it, just tell them.
    I noticed they were offering me free postage with Prime and used it a few times.
    A bill for about £80 appeared on my credit card, I contacted Amazon and they readily refunded the amount.
    It is easy to be caught out if you don’t check your bills.

  10. Kathryn

    Talking of free ebooks, how about borrowing from your library with Overdrive. You can read them on an iPad and no doubt on any tablet. You can borrow for various amounts of time, at least 21 days. You link into any library you have joined. I find it very useful and you read offline, good for holidays. You can request books if they are not on the list. Its probably a good idea to know your author or title as it would be quicker, also you can choose from a desktop/laptop which is also quicker then go select on your tablet for reading later.

    1. Tim Post author

      Good tip – this can be another really good way to read interesting books free. I know my Dad uses it – again usually when he’s away on holiday.

  11. Brian Fenoulhet

    What’s with the dates on the comments? 8 May 2017, or 9 May? My watch tells me it’s only 5 May! My calendar, too! Also my newspaper (I know, I know, so old-fashioned!!!)

  12. Brian Fenoulhet

    Don’t worry about it! I’m only one month out. Of course it’s June.


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