Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Foursquare + Amex = £10 back on £50 Tesco shopping!

Discount: Get £10 credit on your American Express credit card when you buy over £50 at Tesco (until 31 Dec 2012)

Hurray! Just saw this piece of news on my good old friend and here is my plan:

1. Find my Tesco money off coupons! (I know I have one that is £5 off £40 shop, but where is it?!)

2. Download Foursquare - a free mobile app & sign up an account.

3. Go to the American Express website and link Amex to the Foursquare account just created.

4. Go to Tesco on Saturday (the superstore for a good selection of toiletries). Use the Foursquare app to:
- find the store 
- check in by clicking ‘Check in Special Provided by: American Express’
- then click 'Load to card' to load the deal onto Amex

5. Then buy enough stuff so that I still pay over £50 after discount.

Note to self: in the past it has taken over 4-6 days for the Amex credit to show up on Lloyds online banking...

I don't own Tesco or Amex...

====================== Update: 30 Dec 2012 ======================
So, I completed steps 1-3 and finally went to Tesco armed with a 6" shopping list today. Completed step 4 on my phone when I entered the store. About 3 mins after paying with Amex, I received a notification on my phone to congratulate me that I'd saved £10! Very efficient indeed!

Review of my GiffGaff experience (2012 Sept - present)

Summary: From Three mobile network to GiffGaff (4 out of 5 marks) & staying on for now

So here's my user experience. I was originally a "valued Three customer" having joined in 2005/2006 on a very cheap 24 month contract. I kept on upgrading and slowly was paying over thirty pound a month. Being broke & friendless, it was always my intention to go on a rolling/pay and go - since VAT increases rarely impact these users. Anyway, here is a brief summary of my experience switching to GG:

Mid August: Getting my PAC code off Three
Called Three, was sort of hoping they would offer me a good deal to retain me - didn't happen. PAC code obtained after a 10 minutes. (Experience: 4/5 Three just let me go like a nobody)

24 August Friday afternoon: Signing up online
Got a GG sim from a friend. Followed the instructions to signup online (easy peasy). Didn't need to use GG straight away, as wanted wait out Three notice period, so added £10 credit to get the sim approved. Did note that sim approval takes  2 to 24 hours so waited...  and waited... and waited... (3/5 Felt a little uneasy)

25 August Saturday morning: Waiting for approval - system delay
No approval came through, so checked the GG community forum. Wanted to ask for help, and noticed loads of post about this. Checked the Service Updates: Notice board as people suggested and noted there was a problem Delays in top ups, goodybags and activations [24/08/2012]. I was not impressed at all, began panicking for a bit, thinking I'd been robbed. Logged in the forum every so often (as the website logs you out) to check for updates and come afternoon received a text to say that my sim was indeed approved! (2/5 updates on website was not all that reassuring for a new customer!)

25 August Saturday afternoonWaiting for credit + missing penny issue
Since I got my sim off a friend, I was wondering where is my free £5? Checked my account, clicked about for a bit, and noticed that the £5 was waiting to be approved (yay) switched My GiffGaff and my credit was showing as £9.99 - missing a penny (nay). Went back to the forum to search "missing penny" seemed to be a completely normal occurrance (totally unacceptable imho!) so contacted an agent to get it back. The rest of the day spent logging in to check My GiffGaff every hour or so. By the evening both my £5 and £0.01 were approved and my account was showing £15 credit. (1/5 total waste of a day)

13 September Thursday afternoonSetting up porting
Was going travelling so logged on to port my number. Surprisingly, not only was it easy (type in the PAC), I was also able to schedule porting to happen on a future date. So I selected to port the number over on 20 September Thursday. I printed out a copy of the instructions re porting and the android settings so that I would know what to do. (4/5 easy peasy)

20 September Thursday morning: On the day of porting
Took out my Three sim, inserted the GG sim. Turned phone on and put inputted the correct settings. Come afternoon lo and behold received a roaming call from a friend in London. Oh happy days and cheers to zero  hassle porting! Aside from talking too long and using up all my credit whilst roaming (which meant trying to top up abroad, which was an absolute pain due to restrictions on GG website) all went smoothly. (4/5 still easy peasy)

Then - Present: Credit/Goody bag + Payback
Since my number activated, being the simple person that I am, I tend to buy a £10 O2 top up voucher from Tesco's and call 43430 from my phone to add credit (even though you can also do it online). I tend to only buy a £10 goody bag online using my credit when I need to call/text someone. And (touch wood) I have not had any problems at all buying goody bags this way (unlike some users have problems with recurring goody bags). (5/5 lemon squeezy)

I have tried to be more active on the forum to get payback points (1 point = £0.01), but are far more experienced users with speedier fingers that trump me at the job. My stats so far: 1 solution authored / 70 kudos given / 3 kudos received => got paid a grand total of £22.06 via PayPal on 13 December. So, for the past 3 months I have topped up £40, deducting the payback, this averages out to £5.98 p/m! (5/5 a very happy customer)


  • There is no telephone customer support - you have to use the forum and/or ask an agent to solve your queries.
  • There are systems issues at time - you can only be patient (and keep a back up sim).
  • In general, you are not allowed to tether (share your mobile internet by using your phone as a wifi hotspot). You can only tether on the £10 goody bag (1gb limit). If you are an iPhone user, you may have to jailbreak to use the tethering function.
  • You can only have 1 goody bag/ giga bag at one time until it expires. If you use up your goody bag/ giga bag, you will have to wait until the bag has expired to buy a new one. 
Get a free giffgaff Sim

Friday, 12 March 2010

Packing Clothes: One Bag

Summary: How to pack your clothes inside your suitcase without crease...

Introducing Packing Clothes :: One Bag a website that provides all sorts of information on travel packing. The website provides checklists, packing lists and packing tips which are useful if you go travelling.

How to pack it > Packing clothes introduces the 'One Bag' method for light packing. It is adapted from the bundle wrapping technique, which is basically stacking the clothes and wrapping it into a bundle. On the above link you can click on this image and follow the instructions step-by-step:

Having actually tried this technique during my 4 day staycation at the Lake District, I must confess that it does what it says on the cover: "No creases and wrinkles". This may be especially useful when you go on a business trip with all your fancy shirts and trousers. I also managed to pack more things inside my suitcase as the bundle reduces the overall volume of the packed clothing.

However, it took a substantial amount of time to wrap the clothes up. You first choose all the clothes you are bringing, then stack them in order, then wrap the whole thing and shove it into your suitcase. It is so much quicker and simpler to chuck everything in the suitcase and zip up. In addition, by the end of the trip, I found it difficult to pack the dirty clothes in the suitcase without using the bundle method.

Note to self: when using the bundle method, don't get too carried away and bring excess clothing. Remember to leave space for dirty clothing and souvenirs.