“It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.” - Andre Gide
22nd November 2019 / Issue #345
giffgaff Gives You The Voice
For anyone who hasn't seen the fantastic news, giffgaff are sponsoring The Voice in 2020. Following on from the announcement, the team have some additional dates for filming the campaign and you can get involved. So if this something you would love to be a part of, then click here. For more information and locations, click here.
Another returning feature - your stats
Just in case you missed our community dev diary last week (here), which brings news and updates of what's happening, the members wanted a return of our stats and our dev team has obliged. It's an experimental version, head over to your profile page, and select 'stats' to check out the feature so far! Give Ian and the team your feedback here.
Do you have a refurbished phone? Feedback needed!
@kateegreen and our giffgaff social team need some help getting feedback on our experiences with refurbished phones. Can you help out? If you can, head over here and get involved, or you can PM Katee.
Our Members' Discussions
Here are a few of our fellow members' recent discussion threads, head over and give your views:
Our new member @darce83 who joined us this week says: "Hey everyone smile". Well, we are now Darce, seeing that you've joined us. Welcome our new community friend to giffgaff over here.
Our new member @jacobitewarrior asks the members a question: "What's the benefits of our giffgaff community". Well, you will soon see why we all love the community. Head over here and say hello.
Our new member @philg7373 has made the leap to giffgaff and joined us on the community. Say hello and give our new friend a big giffgaff hug here.
On This Day In History
1869 In Dumbarton, Scotland one of the last clippers ever made was launched, the Cutty Sark. She is the last surviving clipper and is preserved as a museum ship in the centre of Greenwich.
1963 President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in his open-top motorcade by Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas, Texas. On the same day, Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in as the 36th US President.
1990 Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher resigns after a disastrous year in which she launched her widely unpopular 'poll tax' Community Charge. She announced her resignation following a leadership challenge by Micheal Heseltine.
Photo Of The Week
This week's featured photo is I love my job by @verityjahane. Some of the comments included:
- "Awwww what a little cutie. Thanks for sharing the pic with us." (bobrobinson)
- "Such a gorgeous looking wee dog & such a beautiful picture thanks" (the_bookie)
- "Aww, how beautiful" (frenchielove)
- "Way too cute" (goofygirl)
- "Aww he's such a cutie" (cherryripe247)
- "I can see why you love your job, well done" (dartgirl)
- "Ahhh....." (yvonnearmstrong)
- "Lovely innocent puppy" (haseebhejazi)
Another selection of brilliant photos this week, and as always it wasn't easy choosing just one. They are all winners and so are the people who captured the images. We all appreciate them so please keep snapping and sharing - thank you all!
Amazon Black Friday Tips p2
Hello everyone, in this week’s gaff I’m going to be covering some tips centred around getting a ‘good deal’ on Amazon this Black Friday. If you’d like to read more tips like this (this is a 2-part series), check out the 8th of November’s gaff. And, if you’re wondering, Black Friday is on the 29th of November.
- Donate to charities for free. Simply starting-off your Amazon deal-finding session with smile.amazon.co.uk means Amazon donates 0.5% (excluding some fees) of the purchase price of the item you’re buying. You can choose which charity you want the money to go to, too. You can also use Amazon Smile in the latest update on the Amazon Shopping Android app (not sure if it’s possible on the App Store version). Learn more here.
- Consider items from cheap third-party sellers. Note that these items come directly from overseas (so be prepared for 3+ weeks for delivery) but are usually only a few pounds. These sellers usually sell items that are very simple (plasticy type things!). You don’t need Prime to order these types of items, either. Check here for examples.
- In some cases, you don’t actually need to visit other websites – the deals are actually on the same website you’re reading this on. Check out the Hot Deals and Tips tag here.
- One very important thing to know before purchasing any item is to know who you’re buying from. To put it very simply, Sold by ___ and Fulfilled by Amazon means the sellers' items are all stored in Amazon’s warehouses so can usually be delivered much faster than non-fulfilled-by-Amazon products, if something goes wrong with an item, contact Amazon. Dispatched from and sold by ___ means the product is stored with the seller themselves, which can be in different countries (so will take longer to deliver), if something goes wrong with an item, you have to contact the seller themselves. Dispatched from and Sold by Amazon means the seller is Amazon themselves, who store the items in their own warehouses (so you can get some items as fast as the same day, assuming the item and your address qualifies). If something goes wrong, you’d contact Amazon directly. I’d highly recommend you visit my in-depth explanation of this here.
Hopefully, some of you can use the tips above. These were mostly taken from the previous content on the giffgaff forum but I’ve tweaked them a bit (and added a few more tips) to improve coherency.
Disclaimer: None of the aforementioned websites and tips have been chosen in return for a reward or incentive - they were chosen purely due to their usefulness. giffgaff nor the gaff Team will be held responsible for any repercussions as a result of their use. If you’re interested, check out my content hub from the giffgaff forum here.
Fintech: A year on
You may remember that last year I ran a couple of articles on a new wave of banks, known as ‘challenger’ banks and how the industry of FinTech was growing worldwide, with new banks opening up over the last few years that have sought to challenge the way traditional banks do business, with exclusive card designs, low/no fees, discounts, better interest rates and more. Now I’ve been using Monzo for over a year and I recently opened an account with Starling Bank, so I wanted to give a review of my experiences with these new banks, but also how the playing field is looking as 2019 draws to a close and 2020 is in sight.
Firstly to my experiences. I’ve been using Monzo, a mobile-only challenger bank started in 2016, as my main bank account for all my payments, wage payments and my day-to-day banking. To start with, I initially used my main bank account with HSBC to supplement my Monzo account, by taking all my payments through that account, and then using my Monzo account, however Monzo have rolled out some features in the last year which have pushed me to switch, and I now use my Monzo account as my main current account. Features such as their new cash ISAs, zero fees abroad and a new feature called ‘Get paid early’ which was rolled out early this year. Basically, it means that Monzo will pay your salary a day early and you have full spending access as you normally would, it’s a form of subsidy where Monzo themselves pay you a day early and then take your salary the following day.
As previously mentioned I’ve been using Starling recently too, and I like that they both offer the ability to track and manage your payments as and when, and both of them offer the ability to manage, freeze, replace, get a pin reminder and lock your card in the app. I had an incident earlier this year where I lost my Monzo card in a city centre, and it was picked up and used for various contactless payments, as soon as the first payment went through, I got a notification on my phone, I was able to see when and where the payment was made. From there I was quickly able to freeze my card, order a replacement delivered to my home, and then contact Monzo with their in-app support system to get the malicious payments refunded. Starling’s support system is equally fantastic, and they offer an in-app messaging system, and an identity verifier to ensure your support access is secure.
Now, onto the industry as a whole. We’ve seen the sudden rise of a whole host of banks into the mainstream, and it surprises me that it’s taken this long for the banks to reach the public with their revolutionary features. Some of the banks have been around for a good few years, and I’ve only recently heard of them. I’m talking banks like Starling, Monzo, Monese, N26, Revolut and Atom. Many have launched new and ‘revolutionary’ features in the last year, as we’ve already explored - such as lower fees, better interest rates, card protection, metal/designer cards and others. One such bank stands out though, but it isn’t a bank, but it also technically is. Curve Card is a unique spending option that combines all your bank accounts onto one card, and not only that, you can earn cashback points to spend at a whole host of retailers. They’ve been on the up since launch and are one of the few ‘banks’ who act as an aggregator between your payments and all your bank accounts.
That’s all for this week, keep an eye out for the next refurbished phone review coming next week!
Thanks for reading!
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