South Shields . . . deprived? Or just bad?

I’ve written before about how every time I visit South Shields, something bad happens. Well last night was no exception.

I was walking Jack on the Leas and we love it along there, and decided to walk all the way to the south pier at Tynemouth. We did, and apart from the incredible amount of litter on the beach, we had a great time. As we passed Trow point we saw a film crew with a large WW2 truck and gun set up. No idea who is filming but it was quite realistic the way they had the gun emplacement built.

Later I parked at the Leas itself and listened to the waves and smelled the sea as I sat reading my book.  I love the beach.

Later, despite the wind I thought I felt something. I opened the rear blind, and here’s this young lad trying to steal my bike lol He’s got no chance cos the 2 chains are over an inch thick and without a serious angle grinder there’s no way he’s getting through those. Nevertheless the sportswear clad would-be thief was still having a go.  Which kind of shows his level of intelligence if nothing else.

As soon as the blind went up and the dog went mad, he ran off and by the time I’d got to the door he was gone. I left South Shields and went to Gateshead for the night. Much as I like the Leas, I think I’ll make that my last trip to Shields. Clearly they have a crime problem there that’s worse than anywhere in the country so I’m staying away til they get it sorted.

Sorry, but this means that 90% of all attempts to damage me or my van, or steal from me or my van, occur in the North East of England, specifically South Shields and Sunderland. I’ll stay south of Scotch Corner as much as I can from now on.

Florida Print…nastehhh

I was in the Metrocentre at Gateshead getting a new watch battery, when I passed Florida Print. £18 per A2 print, so I thought I’d run back to the van and get my USB stick which had some photos on. I took it back in and they said 2 hours to get the 5 prints done.

So 2 hours of mooching about the Metrocentre and I returned to find my new prints which, I thought they looked a little blue, but nevertheless couldn’t wait to get them back to the van.

Later that evening I checked them over with my glasses on to find that they all had significant banding. Banding is horizontal lines which are usually indicative of a broken print head. I was disappointed but never mind, I hadn’t left yet, so I took them back the next day. They were going to reprint, but they told me that it would be Wednesday before they could do so as the machine was broken and could not be repaired til then.
Too late I replied, I have to be in Southport by Wednesday night so I’ll just take a refund if you don’t mind.

Oh we aren’t authorised to give refunds they say. OK no problem, I’ll wait til Monday and your boss can ring me.

The boss Anne Dobie does ring me and says no problem we can re-print them all for you. I explain sorry, not going to be there as I have to go south so can you just refund me please. She says no, we have to reprint them as that’s our policy. Will you pay the postage as it’s your fault? No she says, that would be your cost. I said well given the situation can you not refund?

She then said no because they aren’t that bad, and you may have used them for their intended purpose overnight?

I was flabbergasted! First they are faulty and we’ll reprint, then they aren’t that bad, then…you may have used them lol

I checked with ConsumerDirect who indeed said they have to give you a refund if that’s what you want. I didn’t have a problem with reprints, it’s just it would cost me a fortune to have them posted out to somewhere, or drive back to the north to get them.

So I rang Mrs Dobie back, explained the situation again, and said I would have to write to her formally whereupon if she refused to give me a refund, I would take the matter to the small claims court.  She said I’ve dealt with Trading Standards before so I’m not worried.

So, I have to write to her, I have to go to small claims, I have to wait God knows how long before I can get my money back.

Update 18th June 2010

Mrs Dobie has changed her story several times now, is basically lying in letters to the county court about what happened. She now says she was happy to foot the bill for postage to send my prints out, that is a blatant lie. If she had agreed to pay the extra postage to send my prints out I would have been quite content.  What a nasty, lying woman she is. However I have been told that even if I won a civil claim in County Court, they can’t force her to pay up. It’s just not cost effective to go through it.
Too late I hear that Florida Print in the Metrocentre has an awful reputation….doh!