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since 11/07/2001

16 03/03/2006

Watch out, your money will dissapear! Hi I have been with Ciao for over 5 years now and have written several articles. Mainly though, lately, I haven't had so much time and have, instead, been taking part in the many surveys I'm signed up for. That has all changed however! The Reason: Well I recently built up a total of £20 in my account so I requested payment into my account. Several months went by and no payment was received so I checked my account details which had been changed!!!!! Someone either from within Ciao or a smart hacker had entered their own details so my hard earned £20 went into their account instead!!! I have since contacted Ciao customer services several times but had little response, and as yet am still missing my £20. They have now actually refunded £12 but not the full £20. I suspect this is to entice me to keep on taking part in surveys etc to get it back up to £20 then as soon as I request payment again it'll be delivered to someone elses account yet again! Take this as a warning!! If I was you I would day Goodbye to Ciao and have a look at what the competing sites have to offer! I'm going to! Don't waste your precious time! The only good thing I have to say, as I'm very disspointed, is it's a good website to read impartial (hopefully) reviews of products but dont bother with the surveys you may suffer the same fate as I! ...

Moben Kitchens 04/03/2004

A Total Nightmare

Moben Kitchens Now where shall I begin.........I apologise in advance but I'll try and keep a long story of our terrible experience short. If your thinking about buying a kitchen you'll do well to read this. We needed a new Kitchen, saw a Moben showroom in our local High Street, called in, kitchens looked good, sales lady was pleasant so we booked an appointment for a salesman to visit us the next evening to draw up a plan and quote us a price. He arrived, showed us the samples, we decided upon a kitchen design and he designed it. So far so good. 'Lets talk about price' he said. After a few scriblings he jotted down a figure (£6800), turning the paper around he said 'what do you think about that?'. We thought £6800 was a lot of money for a small studio flat kitchen, which incidentally is for a property we are renting out so we chose the most basic choices in all areas to keep costs down, no luxuries whatsoever. 'Hang on a minute' he said and immediately deducted 10% for immediate on-the-night booking and deposit (Something no one in their right mind should do) then he deducted another 10% for early delivery and full payment on delivery. This early delivery means that the company drops off the full kitchen within a week or so, you then pay them the full amount and they then return at a "later date" to fit the kitchen. So basically you are paying up front for a service which could be sub-standard with little come back except to go through the court process. Another bad ...

Should Britain join the Euro? 27/05/2002

Don't follow like sheep

Should Britain join the Euro? Okay, okay, so we live in a free market now where trade with the rest of Europe is much easier than in the past. However does this necessarily mean that we have to join the Euro? No it doesn't. For some countries who had a failing or weak economy (Spain, Finland etc) the best thing to do was to join the Euro and then hopefully the rest of Europe would help to pull them out of recession and into a stronger postion. If it didn't then they would have something to blame. However for a country who stands in a very strong position with regards to market strength in Europe and with a comparitively high GDP then what advantages are to be gained by joinng the Euro? If the Economy in the UK is in quite good shape (compared to the rest of the world) then why change? To change to the Euro would greatly please many Euro MP's and governments from other counties as we would then be in a position on a somewhat more equal footing and playing field. However if to join was such a great thing then our Govenment would have already pusehed it though wouldn't they, like France, Germany etc. Don't you think? I say that we are doing fine as we are and why change a good thing. The only advantage would be that when we travel abroad for business or pleasure then we know exactly what we are spending as we're already used to the currency but that is certainly no reason to change it. Another down side is that if we change to the Euro the European parliment has a lot more weight with regard ...

Should all firearms be banned for private use? 19/05/2002

The Debate continues

Should all firearms be banned for private use? A very difficult debate really and one where peoples views are going to differ wildly. Basically the fact of this matter is that guns are fine if in the hands of the right person. Obviously somebody who just uses his gun in the sporting range, clay pigeon shooting or game hunting ,for example, is not the type of person we should be worried about. But do the authorities really know who can be trusted. Didn't Micheal Ryan use to be an avid Gun collecter and used to fire his collection off in a shooting range until one day when he decided that that wasn't interesting enough and (not long after the film Rambo was released) dressed up in combat gear and ran down his home town street shooting people? However to say YES all guns should be banned is a bit of a sweeping statement. For example am I the only one here who gets annoyed of the following: if somebody breaks into your home while your asleep and could seriously harm you, your wife and children if you shoot them then it's you that gets slammed into jail! All you were trying to do was stop this intruder injuring (or maybe even murdering) you and your familiy. Also another problem at the moment is Car Jacking. Imagine this: Your driving your nice car along the road, stop at the traffic lights then suddenly a guy comes up to your drivers window, with a gun or similar weapon, forcing you out of the car. What can you do? Your stuck in traffic and can't move the car. He's going to shoot you through the window if you ...

Member Advice on Attracting Women 10/04/2002

How to Attract Women

Member Advice on Attracting Women I suggested that Ciao post this article and now the've accepted it here's a few points which should stand you guys in good stead when trying to attract that girl of your dreams. Some of the below points may seem obvious to some people but, it seems, not to all. 1) Dress smartly. A guy who can show that he can look after himself is a signal to a women that he will look after them also. 2) Smell nice. Everyone knows girls like to wear perfume as they enjoy the scent, and although guys like to smell that too, men seldom look after their own scent enough. But choose a good after shave as they can sniff out the cheap colognes! 3) Be yourself. Dont try and act clever, overly funny, falsey rich, big headed etc etc. You know the type. Just be calm and be yourself. Most women find big headed, ego enflated guys a big turn off. 4) Don't stalk! If you meet a girl, say in a bar, are interested in her and do well enough to get her phone number dont text her the minute you get home! Leave it until the next afternoon or maybe even later to arrange a date. This will give her time to think and she'll, hopefully, be pleasantly surprised when you call or text. 5) Don't arrange a date the next night! Arrange it for the following weekend. Don't be too keen. 6) Choose a nice place for the first date. It will be memorable anyway but if you choose a place that knockes her off her feet , she should be impressed with your style. 7) Listen to her signals! If she makes an ...

Member Advice on Male Balding 27/03/2002

How to get your hair back

Member Advice on Male Balding Here are several proven techniques to help you get back that perfect set of hair you used to have: 1) Put several rabbits on your head. From a distance the'll look like hares. (hairs!). 2) Get someone to talk to your bald head. Plants like to breath the CO2 that we exhale and the roots of hairs do too. 3) Colour your head with felt tip pens. This is not only cheaper then buying a wig you can also change the colour of your hair anytime you like. 4) Grow a moustache and comb it upwards. Within a few years your moustache may be long enough to stretch upwards and cover your head. The same can be done with eyebrows. 5)Sleep hanging upside down like a bat. This allows the blood to drain down into your head which stimulates growth. 6) Stick a wig to the top of your mirror at home. That way whenever you see yourself it will look like you have hair. When your not infront of the mirror you can't see yourself anyway so who cares. 7) Rub a pritt stick into you head, then visit your local barbers. Once inside slip over and, without making it too obvious, roll around a bit so lots of hair sticks to you head. Get up and, hey presto, a perfect head of hair. 8) Rub orange peel into your head. If it doesn't work at least you'll have a fresh smelling dome. So there you have it, any of these techniques should work wonders but if not you may want to buy one of those miracle potions or just be content with your shiny head. You are supposed to be a better lover after ...

Members Advice on Weight Loss 05/03/2002

So you want to lose weight

Members Advice on Weight Loss I lost 3 Stone in 5 months and here's how..... Alright so 5 months sounds like a long time but I promise you by doing it gradually it's the best way to keep it off for good. The best way to lose weight is to lose around 2 lbs a week, any more and your at risk of putting it back on again quickly when you reach the weight desired. I won't bore you with how I put the weight on as that's not going to help you at all is it!?, but I will tell you exactly how I lost it. I am 6ft and of slight build and therefore should weight around 11 - 11.5 stone but got to the extent where I had to endure all the usual comments like 'whens the baby due?' ( which is particularly annoying when your a male!)and 'my! haven't you put on weight'. Anyway heres how I lost it:- TOP TIPS(which I adhered to strictly and you must really) 1) Drink at least 2 litres of water a day. If you want a soft drink have water. Not only it this extremely good for you but it can stop you craving food. 2) Do not use butter or any spread - not even 'low fat', 'lowest' or any of these. You get used to not having it very quickly. i.e. have beans straight on the toast or straight on the baked potato. 3) When doing exercise eat as soon as possible afterwards. This is because the body keeps burning off fat even after an exercise session. It depends on how long you've exercised for, and how intense it was, but for a one hours average exercise session you are still burning off fat at a high rate over 20 ...

Audi TT Coupe quattro 05/03/2002

I bought one... should you

Audi TT Coupe quattro Okay, so I've bought a Metallic silver (one in the pic) Audi TT Coupe and will try to sum up the good and bad points about it. Points to note: Great performance. Basically all models have the same engine size and is only a 1.8L. This suprises most people as the cars have a, well deserved, reputation for speed. The power results from that engine being turbo charged. There are two models - performance wise - the 180 BHP and the 225 BHP. I've got the 180BHP and is honestly fast enough. The only difference between the two is that the turbo has been 'tweeked' or boosted if you like to give an extra 45 BHP which im sure makes the cars performance quite remarkable. I'm a fairly sensible driver but when I put my footdown - in a safe area of course! - The car accelerates very well indeed, not quite scarily so but almost! Design. The car is superbly designed with all the mod cons you could desire - Climate control, Electric windows, CD Player, heated seats etc etc, and all are easily at hand and a pleasure to operate Not to mention the beauty of the actual design itself. Space: The car is idea for 2 people. There is loads of room for 2. In fact more than enough as the car is a lot wider than most. I'm 6ft and fit into it perfectly. The boot is surprisingly big. Large enough for 2 suitcases. If more room is needed the 2 rear seats can be folded down if desired. I've had 4 people in the car (once!) and is a tight squeese for those in the back. Okay for short journeys but ...

General: New Zealand 06/09/2001

Thinking of travelling around New Zealand

General: New Zealand Thinking of travelling around New Zealand? I spent 5 months touring around so hope I can offer some tips:- Travelling alone? Well if you want to meet people the best way to travel is to use one of the two popular coach tours around the island(s). Choose from either 'The kiwi experience' or 'kontiki' coach tours. Both are very similar but their routes and trip length vary. Advantages of this: No need to plan things as the routes and accommodation are all taken care of, get to meet people, cost effective. Disadvantages: Don't get to choose your own route and therefore may not get to see everything you want to. Travelling as a couple? Then in my opinion the best way is to hire a car. You'll almost certainly fly into Auckland where most of the hire car companies are based. I hired one for a month for around $NZ27 per day thats around £9 and was peak season so if you were planning to travel in the winter I expect you could find an even better deal. By all means have a look at the regular comanies such as Hertz etc but the smaller independant companies seem to have the better deals. Advantages: Total freedom and privacy, can be quite cost effective. Disadvantages: Lots of driving but roads there are very very good and it always feels like an drive in the country with hardly any other traffic around, perfect! Travelling as a group? Then why not hire a camper van? This becomes more cost effective the more people that travel. In the summer season they can be hard to come ...

Plymouth in General 08/08/2001

A guide

Plymouth in General Right, where do i begin? There's too much to say... Guess the first thing is to start with a bit... don't worry only a bit...of history. Although unrecognisable now, as it's all merged into one, Plymouth originally consisted of three towns. The Barbican (where I live), Stonehouse and Plympton. The Barbican was and still is the major fishing harbour for the town. Stonehouse was where the huge, armarda defeating, Navy were based, and still are, and Plympton....well thats just Plympton! I expect you know this already but Sir Francis Drake was supposed to have been playing bowls on Plymouth Hoe when he was informed of the approaching Spanish Armarda. He finished his game and then duly sailed out and kicked their ass! Anyway let me got on with the guide. WHERE TO STAY The best hotels are the; MOAT HOUSE - great views over Plymouth Sound and the Hoe. Remember to request a room South facing over Plymouth Sound. Wise to ask for one as high as possible. COPTHORNE - Good city centre location and the nearest to the train station. GRAND - Best by far, but also the most expensive. Situated nicely on the Hoe with good views from upper rooms. Typical of the 'Grand' hotels across the country. MAYFLOWER - Just off the Hoe but still offering good views from upper rooms, however it's location is not great being a little bit out of the way when compared to the Moat House. If you want a cheaper option the Hoe area has plenty of family run B&B's for around £15 ...

Cornwall (England) 05/08/2001

The Cornish Pasty

Cornwall (England) 'Yummmm' Yes they really are extra specially yummy, we all know that, but why? What's the history behind them? Read on...... Pasties have been around for hundreds of years, but these days eating (and making) them has much more to do with tradition, than pure practicality. Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin...... It all began back in the old Tin mining haydays of Cornwall, and to a certain extent Devon. Miners, rightly, didn't want to carry bags of food into the mine where space was restricted therefore the sensible way to get a nice nutritious lunch was to have a special 'pie' made which contains both a savoury meal and a sweet dessert. Thats how the pasty was formed in one swoop. You see, proper pasties are made with one side filled with the common, meat, turnip, potato, and onion whilst the other should contain apple, jam or another dessert dish. A common question people always raise with me is 'how did they know which side to bite into first'? The simple answer is that a piece of pastry was formed into either an 'M' - meat or 'D' - dessert and was placed ontop of the pasty before cooking thus indicating which side to munch on first. Why do pasties often have a crust on the top? This, if thought about, is also a easy question. Miners, obviously, used to have very grubby hands and to stop them ruining their lunch the crust was made so they could hold onto this while eating. The crust also played another integral part of the miners life. ...

Robbery Cruise 24/07/2001

A Cruise with a difference

Robbery Cruise A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A AA A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A AA A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A AA A A A A A A A AA A A A A A A A A A A A AA A A AA A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A AA AA A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A ... 19/07/2001

Go on.. go for the spin of your life If you want to find out what it's like to ride an Italian Beauty then read on... Let me introduce you to an absolutely fantastic website:- My apologies if you know all about this but I had to share it with you. It's the perfect website for the car enthusiast. With hundreds of dream cars at hundreds of rental locations worldwide this is a dream...for most of For example fish out your loose change from the depths of your pockets and rent the stunning Ferrari F355 for ONLY £625 per day!! There are loads of cars to choose from, all depending on your rental location. For example: fancy a Ferrari F355, Porsche 996, Mercedes SLK etc etc. Or perhaps one from the lower end of the market an Audi TT or BMW Z3 - but we don't want to lower ourselves to that level do we?!!! If you really have a love for cars and haven't got enough readies to buy one this is a good option although of course still not cheap. Would be great to do it for a weekend though wouldn't it?!!!! If you do contact them don't forget to ask about their 15% discount offer, which it seems will always apply. Go on spoil yourself, be greedy and make the world envious.......

Princess 16/07/2001

Is this the Cruise company for you

Princess So you fancy going on a Cruise? But don't know who to choose? Let me help... Have you thought about Princess Cruises? Don't worry I'm not advertising this company, I'm just going to give you their pros and cons. Princess Cruises openly cater for the middle - upper aged market. Mostly retired profession people. The average passenger age being, I would say, 55. 80% of the passengers are American but this does tend to vary on the cruise location. For example whilst cruising around Australasia I would say 60% of the passengers were American with the majority of the rest being Australian. What are the ships like? On the whole beautiful. There is an endless supply and choice of food on board and all of a very high standard. Eating areas vary from the standard high quality restaurants to the pizzeria, fast food bar, open air buffet (one of my favourites was the midnight buffet which nicely ended the evening after a few after dinner drinks. I also prefer to have lunch around the pool at the open air buffet as the weather and views were often too nice to miss being sat in a restaurent in the depths of the ship! The amount of bars on board varied per vessel but 10 is a good average, and they also vary nicely from a quiet piano bar to the 'starlight' nightclub (although this doesn't tend to get too exciting giving the average age of passengers on board!) Where should I cruise? Well this depends totally on where you want to see. Princess generally specialise in ...

P & O European Ferries 12/07/2001

P and O Ferries an insiders view

P & O European Ferries This is not a view about a particular bad crossing or a good one, but some general advice about P&O Ferries as a whole. Having worked on the 'Pride of Portsmouth' and 'Pride of Le Havre' on the Portsmouth to Le Havre run for over a year I'ld like to offer an impartial view of the whole operation, services offered and general quality. For those of you reading this who are thinking about going on a crossing and are a little apprehensive about the whole thing, don't be. These two ships are two of the largest and most comfortable ferries afloat. They are both equipped with computer controlled stabilisers that reduce any rolling movement and ensure a good nights sleep - or drinking what ever you prefer!! The food on board in the restaurent is good and reasonably priced - in my opinion the best place to eat. Otherwise you also have a self service style buffet 'cafe' which is cheap and of a much lower standard - just like you would expect to find in Asda etc, fish and chips, chicken and chips etc.. There are 2 bars on board, one often having some sort of lame cabaret act, terrible! There is also a small casino on board run by 3 x very pleasant Philippeno girls who remain on the ship for 10 complete months before returning home! A 1 screen cinema also plays one of the new releases on a crossing. Should you feel tempted, there's a small, and I mean small (sheep dip?) swimming pool down in the bowels of the ship. It's only suitable for kids really, but there are ...
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