“A wall bracket is a wall bracket”.
As my ex-
Always get an (itemised) invoice, and don`t pay up until you get one.
Any business failing to leave a bill is thoroughly unprofessional, and possibly dishonest.
If you get one of the “cash in hand” brigade giving you a poor service,
I`m sure that the Inland Revenue would be interested to hear their activities.
That way they might even start paying their fair share for the NHS, like the rest of us do.....
Incidentally if you purchase any parts from us and subsequently decide to employ an installer to fit them, any decent rigger should be impressed by the quality of the materials you have bought.
If they try to tell you they are unsuitable in any way, you may have picked the wrong installer.
Well this is actually quite a big question. I`m told that "darn London mate" things are more expensive, though I can`t really see why it should be that much more to fit an aerial.
Maybe the installers think they should be earning as much as "them in the City" ?
On the other hand I sometimes hear unbelievably low quotes as well, though I find it hard to believe they`re for a complete aerial installation using quality components. You must remember that the best quality cable, brackets, poles & aerials, cost 2 or 3 times as much as the cheapest.
There may, quite reasonably, be extra charges if the installer has to drive some distance to site, or he has to come back because he can`t do the job for some reason, e.g. your rose bush is right in the way of where he needs to put his ladders. Bear in mind that aerial installers haven`t got flying carpets, for example, how are they supposed to get to a wall above a conservatory (to either mount the aerial or run a cable) ?
Most aerial installers don`t like working inside (cable runs etc) because that`s a classic area for problems as to what "looks nice", or is even possible at all. Nearly all aerials or extensions will be to an outside wall, if you want it to an inside wall I`d install that bit of cabling yourself for the installer to join on to.
Anyway, for a decent quality aerial installation (everything new, including decent cable), on a standard size two storey house, to one point [no wall plate], I`d have thought £100 to £130 would be fair, possibly a bit more for an install on a chimney. If an amp is required that`d put the price up by £20 to £30, and awkward cable runs and/or access problems would also be more. Nightmare jobs (requiring time consuming aerial positioning tests etc) would, rightly, put up the price, maybe by a considerable amount depending how long it takes, though the installer should keep you aware of any potential increase in costs if he hits problems. This is why there are certain circumstances where an informed DIYer may actually stand a better chance of getting reasonable reception.
Getting an aerial installer out to repair an aerial is usually a false economy because, if you think about it, the installer coming round to your house and getting on your roof is half the job ! In fact a repair is usually more then half the price of a complete replacement.
The price of an aerial extension from your existing aerial (not to a wall plate) would usually be £50 to £60, a bit more if an awkward cable run or an amp is required. Extra aerial points put in at the same time as an aerial installation would usually be a bit cheaper because the installer is already on site with all his ladders and tools out.
Site surveys / set ups / retunes £30 to £40, assuming they can be done in under half an hour and the installer hasn`t had to come too far. Setting up one TV would normally be included in the price of an aerial installation (or each aerial extension), but if the installer changes the aerial on a distribution system it`s not reasonable to expect him to retune every single TV [connected to that aerial] for no extra money !
Lastly, you`ll always get better service from an aerial installer if you have the job done in the summer, usually April to August/September. Not only will the better weather mean he`s likely to be in a better mood ( ! ) but he`s likely to have less work on as well. When we used to mend TVs it was the same, it was always slacker in the summer. The theory is the better weather and longer nights mean people watch less TV and so are less bothered about a crap picture !
On the other hand the worst time to get aerial work done is in November/December (particularly in December, just before Christmas) when demand is at peak levels and the weather is usually crap. Thus there may be delays getting the job done and the installer is bleedin` freezing so not quite as friendly and accommodating as he might otherwise be, so think on !
These two models of 18” T & K brackets are ostensibly the same but the one on the left has metal 3.2mm thick (average) whereas the one on the right is only 2.7mm.
We sell the product on the left….. Also see bracket tests.
Three Inch Fence Posts (and the meaning of life)
It has come to my attention that some of you out there think this site has an abundance of amusing anecdotes on it. Some of you spend far too long on this site just for amusement.
I would ask, nay demand, a termination of this tremendously tiresome tittering.
May I remind you that you are with this establishment to learn.
You lot at the back there, and it`s your own time you`re wasting, will never make
anything of yourselves, and when you end up in some dead end job -
If any of the above comments apply to you I would suggest you take advantage of the following list of the more amusing jokettes and then leave this site immediately, so your classmates can concentrate on their studies in peace. Shut the door on your way out.
The Forth rail bridge of 1890 is one of my favourite structures. One of the reasons for this is that it was massively over engineered, due to the tragic collapse of the
Tay bridge in 1879.
"What has this got to do with aerial sales ?"
Well I think it goes some way to explain why we only sell QUALITY stock. I love well engineered products and I can`t stand cheap rubbish, particularly when any price difference is so small compared with the cost of the average TV.
Also see 3” Fence Posts....
Picture : Forth Bridge Visitor Centre
There`s one other thing that this business has in common with the Forth bridge. Painting the latter* is reputed to be a never ending job (this is no longer the case but why spoil a good anecdote), and as my wife pointed out, this website is never finished either.....
* The huge 10 year job of repainting the bridge with 240 000 litres of "high tech" epoxy glass paint was finally completed in December 2011. The paint is reputed to last 20 years, so simple subtraction hints at the fact the job won`t require doing again for about 10 years.
Think about it.....
In addition to our Online buying system we are more than happy to take orders over
the phone. This method is more appropriate for “non-
it`s all on paper, no bleedin` hacker can possibly get your details !
Think about it, you know it makes sense......
Our prices for some products are a little less than some suppliers and a little more for some others, though this does not always take into account the differences in quality.
All our prices include VAT and small orders can sometimes pay less P&P.
What I can never understand about people is that some of us never seem to value our time as we do at, say, work. Let me give an example. I go swimming about three times per week and those infernal coin operated lockers regularly fail and keep ones 50p. I used to go back out to the kiosk and summon the attendant to retrieve my money until I realised this was crazy..... If it took 10 minutes to sort out, that`s only 3 (three, THREE ) pounds
an hour ! In fact if everything went really smoothly, and it was resolved in five minutes flat, that`s still only £6 per hour. I`m in the fortunate position that I wouldn`t work for £6 per hour and my free time is definitely worth more than that to me. These days I simply chalk "U/S" on the locker (to save others the same problem) and write off the bleedin` 50p.
All very rational, so why do some people spend an hour or more scouring the internet to save £5 ? Even then they may well not get the same quality of product, even if they do they probably won`t get the same quality of service, and even if they get that as well, is that really worth £5 an hour ?
But wherever you decide to shop, play fair, spend your money where you get your information….
This is one of my favourite pictures on the entire site, in fact I like it so much it`s
also on the Sales / Mail Order and the Poles & Brackets page !
Nothing shows so vividly the differing qualities of materials used in this trade.
On the right is a 1” steel pole. Remember this was originally galvanised, although
as we have already seen it was only “Pre-
The alloy pole on the left is a 1” diameter 18 gauge and compared to the pole in the centre it`s smaller size and wall thickness are immediately obvious. A 6ft x 1” alloy pole weighs about 450g. The pole in the centre is a 1.25” x 16 gauge. It`s superiority is plain to see and a 6ft length of this pole has a weight of around 750g, that`s 67% more metal....
Goods are marked with this symbol to show that they were produced after 13th August 2005, and should be disposed of separately from normal household waste
so that they can be recycled.
WEEE Regulations (WEEE official disclaimer)
When the WEEE (Waste Electrical & Electronic Equipment) directive was first mooted I thought it was a good idea. I had hoped that the added cost (required for compliance) would encourage consumers to repair [i.e. genuinely recycle] products and that the directive would motivate manufacturers to make their products more repairable.
Unfortunately the WEEE does not seem to have had either of the above effects, though to be fair the manufacturers are now responsible for the disposal of waste.
As an aside it does make me smile that so many people collect all their waste paper to be environmentally friendly, and then change their TV every few years ! On a similar point also see low energy bulbs.
In November 2008 I was informed that the WEEE applied to every electrical product sold that is powered by electricity (either mains or battery) and thus it applied to the amplifiers that we sell, but not the splitters because they`re not powered ! That is to say if we sell you a product covered by the WEEE then we must, if required, accept back your old product for recycling. I have to tell you now that there is no way that any aerial amplifier is going to be repaired, not by anyone at any time, and anyone implying that it might is being "economical with the actualité". The best that can happen is it will be taken to the equivalent of the local dump and put in their waste electrical equipment container. Bearing in mind that the customer is quite capable of doing that, after all we`re not talking a fridge or TV here, I do not consider it environmentally sound (or practical) to actually post any product back to us, as is required by the WEEE. So if you wish to do that I`d prefer you to buy it from elsewhere in the first place.....
WEEE Regulations :
The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive is now UK law. The legislation aims to make producers pay for the collection, treatment and recovery of waste electrical equipment. The regulations also mean that suppliers of equipment like high street shops and internet retailers must allow consumers to return their waste equipment free of charge. If this service is required the customer must send back the old product (by second class post) and the cost of this will be refunded to them, please contact ATV before dispatching the product.
The amount of WEEE we throw away is increasing by around 5% each year, making it the fastest growing waste stream in the UK.
1 Much of the UK’s WEEE ends up in landfill, where the lead and other toxins it contains can cause soil and water contamination. This can have a harmful effect on natural habitat, wildlife and also human health.
2 Many electrical items that we throw away can be repaired or recycled. Recycling items helps to save our natural finite resources and also reduces the environmental and health risks associated with sending electrical goods to landfill.
Distributors of new Electric and Electronic Equipment (EEE) have a part to play in reducing the amount of WEEE going into landfill sites.
ATV are obliged under these regulations to offer their customers free take-
For example, if a customer bought a new aerial amplifier from ATV they would accept their old aerial amplifier and prevent it going into a landfill site by disposing of it safely. Customers must return their WEEE item to them within 28 days of purchasing their new item.
Under the WEEE Regulations, all new electrical goods should now be marked with the
3” Fence Posts (and the meaning of life) See Tests of Aerial Poles
I know what you`re thinking, “Good Lord, what a website this is, it even tells you about fence posts, it`ll be revealing the meaning of life next”. The answer to the latter is effort by the way but back to fence posts. I would only ever use 3 inch fence posts for a small fence in a sheltered area, what you should be using are the 4 inch variety. Partly because one should always do a Quality Job (and have some pride in it.....), but also because its usually cheaper in the long run anyway !
When my fence got blown down a few years back I did my usual trick and thought about it far too much. The fence was the usual 6ft square panel type and the posts were the common 3” x 3” variety. A bit of rot had set in over the years so they were probably down to about 2.5” square at the base, which is just the point that is put under the most strain.......
Now the strength of a post is down to its cross sectional area, that is to say a 3” variety would be 3 x 3 = 9 square inches. Add in half an inch of rot to the equation and we get about 2.5 x 2.5 = approx 6 sq in. Compare that to a 4 inch fence post which is 4 x 4 = 16 sq ins, or about 12 sq ins if some rot has weakened it.
The point of all of this is that a 4” post is not just 33% stronger than a 3” one, it`s nearly twice as strong. In fact if you add in half an inch of rot, it actually has got twice the strength ! The price difference on the job, whether you DIY or GSI* is not worth bothering with, and you get a fence which is TWICE as strong !
You know it makes sense, just like our 1.25” x 16 gauge aerial poles !
* Do It Yourself / Get Someone In
Incidentally, remember there are big differences in the quality of fence panels, as with everything in life you get what you pay for, try Solway panels ?
Let me tell you the best example of this fatuous answer, which is also relevant for an aerial website. We use cable reel holders both on site and in the shop because they make dispensing cable much easier. A few years ago we bought two because a couple of ours were knackered. When they got here we noticed they had a bearing on the centre spindle, and I can remember us playing with them, spinning the spindle round and thinking, “Ohh that`s posh, what a good idea, quality stuff ! “. We were like kids in a sweet shop, keen to play with our new toy. On the first job the installer pulled off the relevant amount of cable with a warm glow inside as he watched the quality reel holder smoothly rotating and dispensing the cable. When he`d pulled off the right length he went off to get his snips, but when he returned the cable reel holder was still smoothly rotating on its posh spindle and had spooled half a drum of cable all over the ground.....
The two installers looked at each other, then at all the cable on the floor, then back at each other, and said, in unison,
“What an absolutely S**T idea that is..........”
It`s actually an even worse idea because not only does the bearing make the product a pain in the arse to use but it also makes the holder more expensive to manufacture and makes it weaker, which we discovered when one of the spindles snapped off.
We`d had enough by then and welded the spindles straight onto the chassis......
I was so offended by this appalling piece of design that I took the trouble to phone the manufacturer about it.
Their response ?
Yes, you`ve got it, that immortal phrase, “no one has ever complained before (so it`s fine)”.
So let`s get this right, no one has ever complained about a product which, when you think about it, is patently useless in every possible way.
Thus proving that most people really can`t be bothered to complain, and, more importantly, just because no one has ever complained before, that definitely, definitely, does not mean that there isn`t a problem........
Actually, a more common example is the "low water use toilet". We had one fitted and very quickly I realised it was s**t, literally. In fact quite soon the pan had more skid marks than the M1. I thought there might be a better model available, so I phoned the plumbers merchant and asked if they sell a modern toilet which actually works. His response, you`ve guessed right (again), "no one has ever complained before". Maybe it`s just me I thought, so put a question on Sheffield Forum. Within 10 minutes I realised many people, maybe even most, had this same problem, but, remember, apparently, nobody had ever actually complained. Result ? We all end up with crap toilets......
Incidentally, low water use toilets, that are too low water use, really do follow the law of unintended consequences. If the loo doesn`t flush away the evidence, or leaves an indication of an poorly targeted* load, it then requires another flush (or even worse, cleaning the bowl and another flush). So it not only pisses you off (oh dear, any more toilet humour ? ), but it uses even more water than it would have done with a non low water use toilet........
* Since I got my "low water use toilet" it`s made me realise what it must have been like for a bomb aimer crewing a Lancaster in the war.
Right chaps we`re about to commence our bombing run over the target area, we`ve come all this way so let`s make it a good one, let`s drop it right in the drink. Over to you Paddy.
OK Skip.....left a bit........right a bit.........steady......steady......right a bit....... steady.......Bombs gone !
Top show chaps ! Bang on target ! Splashdown ! Navigator, plot a course for home !
As a general principle there`s nothing wrong with complaining, particularly if your complaint is constructive. Well run companies are only too pleased when customers point out to them where they`re going wrong, or better still, how they could do it better. In fact Albert Speer * was quoted as saying that complaining is a valuable process for encouraging efficiency and the fact so few people complained in Nazi Germany was a weakness as compared to the democracies.
Apparently you never heard :
Dear Mr Hitler,
I wish to register a complaint.
Every time your Gestapo lads walk up our road their dogs crap on the pavement.
(PS Please don`t send me to a concentration camp)
Anyway Albert Speer went further and bemoaned the fact that complaints from the top of an organisation downwards are common, but equally valuable is the rather less frequently heard criticism from the bottom upwards......
Don`t get me wrong, complaints/suggestions aren`t always correct or justified, but often they are.
I can tell you for a fact that much of our customer feedback has directly resulted in changes to the way we operate, e.g. when a customer wanted to transport his aerial in its box across to Ireland on the ferry we put a table of box sizes on our site. Quite apart from anything else I`m of the view that if one customer takes the time to complain or suggest something there`s every chance that many others feel the same way but can`t be arsed to bother, and one can`t blame them for that, most people have busy lives these days. For instance, have you ever sat on a train felt a bit cramped and thought I`m sure there used to be more room than this ! Well you`re right, the cheeky gits are squeezing more seats into the same train carriage. Now I can`t believe I`m the only person who has felt a bit short of legroom on some of the trains these days but, apparently, hardly anyone has ever complained about it. Result ? They get away with it.
Let the train companies, and, in fact, all companies, know what you think.
They do actually want to know anyway !
* Albert Speer`s autobiography “Inside the Third Reich”, pages 265 and 297.
Compare and contrast, do you remember that from your O Levels ? You know, the days when people actually had to sit (hard) exams ? These days you get a qualification just for turning up at school, though to be fair, to get a grade A, you do have to turn up on time.
Anyway, we give our customers unbelievable service, and don`t just take my word for it, but, ironically, this has a down side. Why ? Well I expect the same level of service whenever I deal with a shop or business, and if I don`t get it I get pretty annoyed. Unfortunately there aren`t many out there who measure up, so consequently I get very vexed, quite a bit of the time.......
I feel an example is in order, with the added bonus that, as we work through it, I`ll make certain promises, which you can quote me on, at any time.
I do quite a bit of swimming, and, although swimming requires relatively few bits of kit (excluding the pool, obviously) goggles are pretty indispensable. Over the last couple of years I`ve purchased five or six pairs of Diana Comet goggles and thought they were pretty good, until one of the nose pieces broke, which means scrapping a £15 pair of goggles, for a 5p piece of plastic. A few months later another broke, and a few months later another. So I phoned up the supplier, Proswimwear, where I`d bought them, and asked if they could obtain some nose pieces for me. They said the manufacturers don`t supply spares for that product, so you`ll just have to buy some more goggles.
Compare and contrast : Proswimwear v ATV
As far as I`m aware no aerial manufacturer supplies spare parts for their aerials, but, if one of our customers accidentally breaks, or loses, a part of any aerial purchased from us, we get on to the manufacturer and generally speaking obtain that part for them. We can`t say the parts will necessarily be free, but it`s a lot better than scrapping an aerial, or, come to think of it, five pairs of £15 goggles.....
Now I just assumed that this unhelpfulness was just the "customer service executive" (typical this, companies give people a fancy job title so they can still feel "appreciated", as they pay them buggar all) at Proswimwear were trying to fob me off, so I asked to speak to the manager. I was told that was a Mrs Goldstone, but I don`t know if "Mrs Goldstone" actually exists at all, because, unbelievably, she refused to speak to me !
Compare and contrast : "Mrs Goldstone" (Proswimwear) v Justin Smith (ATV)
I will never hide behind one of my staff and refuse to speak to a customer, ever. Sometimes, if I`m busy, I might not be able to speak to you there and then, but it will happen, not that you`d necessarily have to speak to me anyway, because my staff are all unbelievably helpful.
If the supplier doesn`t help, get onto the manufacturer, particularly as they need to know there`s a design flaw in one of their products anyway. So, I sent Diana two E Mails, and never heard anything. My gander was up now, so I then phoned Italy twice, at great expense, and spoke to the (then) "Global Export Manager", a Francois Bertonazzi. As an aside, is it not amusing how someone who answers the phone and takes orders is 'an executive', whereas someone responsible for the global export of a companies products, is only 'a manager' ! ? ! Anyway, the honourable Mr Bertonazzi kept insisting he`d get back to me, but as of August 2011 he still hasn`t, so I`m not holding my breath (unlike when I go swimming, obviously).
Compare and contrast : Diana Products v ATV
[Link] We`ll never fob anyone off, saying we`ll get back to them, and deliberately never doing so. Don`t get me wrong, we`re not perfect, and the note clipped up by the phone might get lost ( ! ? !), but if we fail to phone you back, it`ll be a mistake, and I can`t ever see that happening twice, as with my mate Francois, and Proswimwear come to that.
Lastly, Diana didn`t seem bothered that there was a problem with one of their products, we, on the other hand, are very interested to hear if there are any problems with any product we stock. So, you phone us up (or E Mail us), we won`t fob you off !
There is an interesting footnote to this tale. Since writing this piece I`ve had equally bad service from Gerrards Swimwear so began to think that poor customer service must be a “swimwear industry” problem ! However, and just to show I`m not expecting too much, Allen`s Swimwear of Kingsbury finally seemed to offer reasonable service. Satisfaction at last ?
Links, selling "Digital Aerials", and how they`re connected.....
Hopefully you have found this website informative and have learnt a little, or a lot, from it. What`s more important hopefully you`ve had a bit of a laugh as well. Whenever my wife fails to laugh at one of my cracks I tell her my readers find me amusing, she just responds "but they don`t have to live with you !"
I`ve no idea what she means, could it be I suffer from RJS (Repetitive Joke Syndrome) ?
If you think that others may also find the site of interest, you can help increase the number of visitors to it. How ?
Well I don`t really know much about social websites but I`m told that clicking the "Share to" buttons (added 24 April 2012) at the top of the page will, well, "share to", which, one would expect, would get more visitors on here. There`s a Facebook button, a Google +1 button and a LinkedIn button (also see my LinkedIn page, controversial as ever…..). The fourth button is for Google Translate so Johnny Foreigner can understand my ramblings, a bit anyway.
Alternatively, most people find this site from search engines, and the higher a site is ranked on those search engines the more people click on to it. Now the single most important factor affecting a sites ranking is the number of links onto it, and that`s where you can help, a lot. We`d be grateful for any link* onto this website from any other website, e.g. your own website, or a Forum, or a Blog (not that I really know what one of those is.....) or whatever.
Well, a big thank you to all of you who have been able to put some links onto us, when I last looked (June 2011) for the search term "Digital aerial" we were onto the first page. Hopefully we`ve stopped a few people spending money on a new aerial when there`s nothing wrong with the one they already have ! And it may also have put a few off buying Bacofoil aerials as well...... Proceed to the top of the class, and keep up the good work ! !
* Any link to us is great, but the higher ranked the website from which that link comes the better. Furthermore the "link text" also matters. Link text ? What the hell is that ? Well it`s the text on which the link is placed. Let`s try a worked example (as they used to say at school) and let`s use that ultimate subject of disinformation, the digital aerial.
Incidentally, as of Jan 2010, for the search term digital aerial this site (which probably explains more about "digital aerials" than any other) is not in the top 10 pages of Google. Above us are dozens of sites advertising the installation or sale of something which doesn`t even exist, namely, said digital aerial. How can that be right ? ! ? Well those sites selling "digital aerials" pay Search Engine Optimisation companies to get them up the rankings......
Anyway, back to today`s lesson.
Take the link in this sentence :
This website tells you that there isn`t any such thing as a digital aerial.
In this example the link text is on the word "website", but nobody puts the term "website" into a search engine, so although it`s still a link to us (which we are grateful for) I`m told it`d be better like this :
This website tells you there isn`t any such thing as a digital aerial.
The link text is now on the term digital aerial, so search engines are more likely to increase our ranking for that term, so hopefully we can stop a few people having a new aerial fitted when they don`t even need one. Basically any term with the word aerial in it is probably best, or the search term you tried to find us on, particularly if, for that term, we were on page 6 of the search engines listing......
Choosing An Aerial Installer (and tradesman generally.....) (How much ?)
I`ve got to say I don`t particularly like dealing with tradesmen. Apart from concern whether they actually do a good job, or overcharge you, the most annoying thing is that most of them never seem that bothered whether they get the business or not, builders and plumbers being the worst offenders in that regard I think. In fact many of the jobs I do round my own house I would actually get someone in to do if I could be sure they`d turn up when they say they will, do a good job, for a fair price, reasonably quickly, and (even moderately) enthusiastically ! You know what I mean...... If you know any who fulfil the above criteria, stick with them, and, if they`re in the Sheffield area, please give me their phone numbers !
We regularly get people phoning us from all over the country wanting us to undertake an aerial installation for them but, unfortunately, we only work in the vicinity of Sheffield.
The next question is can we recommend anyone, and again the answer is no, but here is some guidance in how to find an installer locally.
Does your prospective installer use steel poles (or 1" alloy) and/or Contract aerials and/or painted brackets ? That`s always a bad sign because it proves they`re using the cheapest possible materials. On a positive note if they use Log Periodic aerials that`s a good sign, as is use of copper/copper satellite cable. There`s not that many installers (5 to 10% ? ) who use the latter because it`s quite expensive, so if the installer you`re considering does use it that`s a very good indication they do a professional job.
Don`t forget to use the information on this website to check up on the installer (and the job), but don`t go on at them too long (or make it too obvious) because that`ll just annoy them !
Obviously the best way to find any tradesman is by personal recommendation but this is not cast iron as aerial jobs can be so different. The recommended installer could have done a job for someone who lives in a strong signal area, were anyone with half a brain would get "perfect pictures", even by indulging in some Bertie Bodging. I have to say, and I speak from experience, personal recommendation doesn`t always work anyway. A tradesman was glowingly recommended to me by a neighbour, his job was cheap but it was a bit of a bodge and it was difficult getting him back to rectify a problem. And he wanted paying cash, I didn`t oblige (I never pay tradesmen in cash), but it was a bit of an awkward situation.
The Confederation of Aerial Installers is a good place to start, theoretically you`ve got some redress if the job is unsatisfactory, but to be honest, although most are fine, not all CAI members are people that I`d recommend.......
I find that Church / Parish magazines are a good source of tradesman, not least because the Vicar may well remove adverts from traders that have been the subject of complaints !
Getting someone out of the Yellow Pages (or some other printed directory) is preferable to just an advert in the paper, at least they exist as a company, and have managed to survive since it was published. On that point, an old edition directory is preferable, so remember to keep one of them ! When using the phone directories there are a few things to watch for :
1 Try and use someone with a local telephone number and preferably not just a mobile as the latter can be ignored if they don`t want to talk to you, and they`re more expensive obviously ! Avoid Freephone numbers, apart from being "non local" my experience is that companies using them are often more expensive in the end. On the subject of Freephone numbers many of them (though not all) go to a central agency which then gives the job out to another company for a commission. I`ve got to tell you this fabulous story I heard from one of our customers. He phoned an 0800 number and two installers turned up within 5 minutes of each other, and then started arguing as to who should do the job ! I`m sure that`s a rare occurrence, but even so, how fantastic is that !
2 It`s definitely a good idea to use someone with (local) business premises, if you can, because it`s so much easier to get hold of them, they can`t just ignore you if you have a problem. Alternatively make sure the installer put`s their address on the advert, and make sure it`s a genuine one, not just a misleading "geographical reference point". Beware of Nationwide companies who are not local to you (they often just sub contract the work out) and many use multiple company names all going to the same call centre.
3 I think it`s good practice to go for companies with medium size adverts, big enough to convey information and suggest they`re established, but not too expensive to put in. After all, you`re the one whose paying for it, one way or another.
4 Watch for firms which use .....00000AAAAA prefixes to their company name(s) in order to improve their alphabetical ranking. You`ll usually find these pseudonyms in some obscure place on the advert. Trying to find them make`s for an amusing parlour game, hours of fun, and the kids can play too ! I know the publishers should ban it, but at the end of the day they`re not bothered so long as the advertiser pays the bill ! Personally I can`t abide anything which isn`t "up front", and this isn`t, so what does using this kind of subterfuge say about the attitude of the trader ?
5 Ironically "free surveys" are not necessarily a positive. Generally speaking people cannot survive by working for nothing ( ! ? ! ) so the temptation may well be to recommend work which is not actually required. For example, if it`s simply a case of telling you that you can already get digital with your present aerial the installer who charges a call out should be (relatively) happy to tell you this and leave. One doing a “free call out” will obviously be more tempted to recommend an "aerial upgrade".....
6 Try to get a few quotes over the phone but remember they can only be ball park figures. Avoid the temptation to go for the cheapest, unless you know for a fact that they`re reputable and they do a good quality job.
Try checking the security settings on your computer if you find that the PayPal order page is not behaving as it should, e.g it will only allow you to order one item. We experienced the latter problem on both our PCs, even though we hadn`t altered anything ! Those helpful chaps at Very PC suggested we try the reset procedure outlined below, and it worked.
In fact experiments on both PCs indicated that this was definitely the problem.
Whilst on Internet Explorer click on :
Tools > Internet Options > Security > Custom Level > Reset To Medium > Reset > Yes
> OK > Apply > OK
Alternatively try :
Tools > Internet Options > Security > Default Level > Apply > OK
This website is optimised for display at 96 DPI screen resolution and some monitors set to 120 DPI may suffer from “slippage” problems of the pictures / text.
To reset your screen resolution (in Windows 98 / XP / Vista etc) proceed as follows :
Right click on the desk top background > Properties > Settings > Advanced > DPI setting
> Normal size (96 DPI) > (Change DPI setting, restart computer > OK) > Apply
If the “General window is displayed here click Yes.
For the settings to take effect you must restart your computer.
If you want to reset your resolution back to 120 DPI repeat the above but select 120 DPI at the relevant point. My thanks to Michael Slattery for discovering this problem.
From January 2012 I`ve started adding "Auto Scroll" to the text boxes so all content should be readable one way or the other. Use of the scroll bars should be particularly helpful to readers from abroad using Google Translate.
Additionally some browsers (e.g. Firefox) will only print out the first page for some reason, the others are blank, Internet Explorer is usually OK though. In fact this site is optimised for IE all ways up.
I would personally like to thank our readers who`ve tried to help me sort out these site slippage issues, some of them have invested a great deal of their time, for free, doing so. I think these problems are just a quirk of the Webplus software which the site is written in, but the bottom line is rewriting the whole website using different software would take weeks, and, unfortunately, it`s just not going to happen.
If you`ve found this site informative and, hopefully, interesting as well,
Subjects are listed on this page in the following order :