TalkTalk a bunch of rogues – it’s official

By | June 1, 2011
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In the Computers newsletter this month:
  • Ofcom agree about TalkTalk and the search for a decent broadband company continues…
  • Dodgy emails “from” Facebook
  • Two nifty tips from readers
  • Don’t buy my latest book. (How many authors ever say that)
Hello

Well, I didn’t expect to be backed up by no less an organisation than Ofcom – even though I’m sure it’s coincidence. I’ve also got several tips from readers for you and news about my latest book (don’t buy it).

TalkTalk a bunch of rogues – it’s official

Wow – I didn’t expect to get quite so much response from other people who’d found TalkTalk (or other Broadband companies) to be be unhelpful to say the least.

Shocking stuff – but what I didn’t expect was to read that just a week or so after I wrote about TalkTalk’s dodgy tricks, Ofcom have come down on them like a ton of bricks.

I’d like to think I’d made a difference but as far as I know no-one from Ofcom reads this (though who knows…) so I think it’s just coincidence. Given how sneaky TalkTalk’s ploys were, I suppose there was a good chance they’d be investigated.

Anyway, they should have to clean up their act – on that particular ploy at least.

Any good ones

A lot of the people who wrote in about it were asking if there is a broadband company I would recommend.

It’s not easy to find a good one. I’ve heard good things about Greenbee (the new name for Waitrose’s broadband service) but they’re fairly expensive.

Laura (who does a lot of our customer service) has been recommending Plusnet, who advertise as “Good Honest Yorkshire Broadband” (If they’re in Yorkshire, does that mean instead of emails you send E-ba-gum mails Sorry, couldn’t resist…).

Plusnet do seem to be generally quite good at the moment but I hesitate because they’re part of BT – and dealing with BT is sometimes a nightmare beyond belief. At the moment they say they’re run independently, so BT don’t get to cause any problems – but you don’t know how long that’ll stay true!

So if I had to recommend one, I’d say either Greenbee (but they’re a bit expensive) or Plusnet (but watch out in case BT start running it directly).

Watch out for emails “from” Facebook

There are all sorts of dodgy spam emails, saying you’ve won a lottery or suchlike. But one I hadn’t heard about is an email that pretends to be from Facebook. It says you’ve won their lottery and you need to set up a bank account. Sounds plausible – and they’re not asking for any money… yet.

But after that they’ll say you need to transfer… and if you do, they’ll then start asking for more for some reason or other. And as you might guess, the email isn’t really from Facebook at all – it’s from a con artist.

The person who told me about it was smart enough to spot what was going on and didn’t transfer any money over – so watch out and if you get an email like that, now you know to just delete it!

Following on from last time – a tip from a reader…
A reader mentioned that if you have a recent version of Windows, there’s another trick you can use when swapping between different windows you have open.

I mentioned you can hold Alt and tap the tab key (above caps lock) to swap between the windows. When you do that, if you carry on holding down Alt (and let go of tab) you get little “thumbnail” versions of each window. If you have a recent version of Windows and you point the mouse at one of them, you’ll get to see that window full size – which can be handy if you aren’t sure which window is the one you want! Thanks for the tip, Pete!

And another tip from a reader…

Getting lots of text easily in Microsoft Word
If you’re setting up, say, the layout for a club newsletter but you don’t have all the articles yet, you might want lots of text to fill in the page, so you can see what it’ll look like when you do have the articles.

You could type in a lot of gobbledegook – but there’s a quicker and easier way. If you type in
=rand(10,10)
and press enter, you’ll get 10 paragraphs, each of ten sentences.

A handy and quick way to fill in a page to see what it’ll look like. Thanks for the tip, Ken!

My latest book… but I don’t recommend you buy it

I’ve just finished my latest book – “Simple Ways to Make your PC Easier to Use”. Unlike most books, it doesn’t try to tell you how to do anything new. Instead it shows you how to make it easier to use your PC to do things you already do. Sometimes it’s by changing a setting to make it work better. Sometimes it’s by knowing a different, easier way to do something. Sometimes it’s even about how you physically set up the PC. (There’s more information about the book at /PCEasierToUse.htm)

I really think everyone who uses a PC should read this book, no matter what they use their computer for.

Yet, I don’t recommend you buy it. Have I gone nuts

No (well, Julie sometimes disgrees, but I haven’t this time). I’ll tell you more in the next newsletter, but you might be able to get hold of a copy without paying for it – I’ll tell you how next time.

Sorry to be so mysterious but it’s not all quite sorted yet – I’ll tell you more next time.

Yours
Tim Wakeling
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