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28 May 2010

Excel Communication - excel in deception

I don’t normally take any notice of cold callers either from phone calls or at the door. Yesterday I got called by an lady with an Asian accent who gave her name a Sarah and said she was calling from T-mobile, who is my network provider.  Instead of a phone number being displayed on my phone when she called I just had the word 'call'.  She asked me to confirm my name which she gave so I did and then asked me to verify who I was by supplying my post code, house number and the make of my phone. I said she should already have these details on the account but she again said she needed them to varify my identity so she could check and see if I was due an upgrade to a better deal and new phone on a business account.  I finally gave her the details. She then asked if my business was Sally Jane Photographic Art, a detail I know T-mobile does not have. I was now very suspicious but she seemed to already have all the information she needed.  She then said I should expect a call back tomorrow with an offer.
I contacted T-mobile and they told me they would never call with details of better offers and if ever they called for any reason their phone number would be displayed.
Today I got a call from a man who said he was calling from T-mobile. the number displayed was 01952211670He wanted to offer me an upgrade to a business account that would only cost £15 per month and give me tons more free calls, texts and also voice mail as well as a new handset.  He said it didn't matter that my contract was still fairly new as it was with the same company.  Still suspecting this might be a scam I suggested he e-mailed me the details.  He told me his e-mail was not currently working but if I gave him an e-mail address he would try and do so later tonight.
After the call I phoned the number back and it was answered by an automatic answering service for Excel communications.
Should he e-mail me I shall report him and his company to Trading Standards but I doubt he will, somehow.
I have since checked the Excel-communications web site and they don't even deal with T-mobile in the first place.  

17 May 2010

European Health Insurance Card EHIC

The European Health Insurance Card is required by all UK citizens when travelling through Europe in the event they require emergency medical treatment.  It replaced the E111 form that used to be required.  The cards are valid for 5 years after which they can be renewed either on-line, by phone (tel 0845 6062030) or at a post office.
If you are thinking of renewing or applying for an EHIC on-line my advice to you is don't unless you like wasting money.  If you renew or apply for your card on-line you will be asked to pay nearly £10 for each card when you can get it done for free over the phone or by going into your post office.  Although the fee is made clear on the web site it is not mentioned that it is free if you use the other methods. 
The downside - The only downside is the time it takes to process the application but it's barely worth worrying about.  If you apply on-line and pay the fee you are told to expect the card to take up to 7 days to arrive.  By phone it is between 7 & 10 days so not a lot of difference.  OK, if you go into a post office then it can take up to 21 days but as long as your application is in the system it doesn't matter if your card doesn't arrive on time for your date of travel.  You are given a phone number you can use should you need to in the event you requiring emergency treatment whilst you are abroad.