/ Health, Motoring

This week in comments – MOTs, GPs and uni

Illustration of man and woman and speech bubble

From keeping yearly MOTs to ditching expensive GP numbers, it’s been another busy week of discussions on Convo. Here’s what you’ve had to say on these subjects – and on whether students still want to go to uni.

MOT u-turn

The government is changing its plans to make the MOT every two years – is this a good idea? This is what Lessismore has to say:

‘Yes, but let’s have the car companies taking responsibility and making sure that the electronic systems in our cars truly show a problem when a symbol lights up on the dashboard. Why should we be paying again and again for these computer tests just to be told that there is nothing wrong with the car? The MOT will now fail these cars.’

And don’t forget to cast your vote in our poll – so far 55% of voters agree with the plan to keep yearly MOTs.

Will Facebook’s Timeline reveal too much of your past?

Your responses have been mixed on Facebook’s plan to move everyone over to their Timeline layout. Ben Rose doesn’t see any issue with Timeline at all:

‘1) If you don’t want anybody to know, don’t put it on the internet. 2) If you only want certain people to know, don’t give access to the others.’

But Which? Computing editor Sarah Kidner isn’t so sure:

‘I’ll wait and see how this looks but for me it’s a step too far and I’d seriously considering leaving Facebook.’

Is your GP still using an expensive phone number?

Having taken your previous comments to Health Minister Simon Burns, we wanted to find out how many GPs are still charging more than they should when you call them. Keith’s surgery hasn’t changed its ways:

‘I live in Halifax and my GP Practice uses 0844 numbers. I have emailed both the surgery and Halifax PCT and both give the stock answer: “Our provider has stated that the call cost is the same or less than local landline calls”. I am with BT on inclusive minutes so I pay more.’

Gregory Rose is a GP who looked at this way of funding a new phone system back in 2003:

‘We turned down this option as it would, overall, cost patients more and we were aware of the NHS principles/rules with regards to charging patients, and agree with them. We negotiated 50/50 funding with the PCT at this time. It still, however, took £2,000 away from the funds we could use to provide healthcare and other services.’

Why I’m ditching cashback sites like Quidco

Martyn Saville is unimpressed with Quidco’s poor customer service so he’s ditching the cashback site. Ian explains why he did the same:

‘I used to use Quidco all the time until my large transactions started to get declined. Paying me £10 here £20 there was never a problem, but whenever I had a lot of cashback due or made large cashback purchases they would be declined.’

Commenter Martin is happier to stick around:

‘I originally used GreasyPalm, but became an avid Quidco user when I saw the much higher cashback on offer. In the three years I’ve been using them, I’ve “earned” hundreds of pounds for spending what I would have done anyway.’

Do you really need Apple’s extended warranty?

Are Apple warranties really necessary, asks Sarah Kidner. David Ramsey has made use of his:

‘I bought a late 2008 MacBook Pro and I took out extended warranty before the first year was out. During the extended warranty period I had a set of fans, a motherboard, two super drives, the charger and a battery fail. The total cost of the repairs were in excess of the original purchase price – I got a good deal IMHO.’

But Wavechange hasn’t ever needed to use it:

‘In the last 20 years I have bought nearly 20 Apple laptops and desktop computers for work and home use and most of them have been heavily used. I cannot remember ever having to make a call outside of the 90 days telephone support included with all new machines. AppleCare has been a waste of money for me, but I do know others who have found it useful and have avoided expensive repair costs.’

The truth about uni applications – students still want places

Scragglygoat is this week’s commenter of the week with his response on uni applications:

‘I was astonished when it was explained to me that university education was, at the time, free, with no compulsion to stay in the UK, pay taxes in the UK or repay any of the cost if I left. I was born overseas to UK parents, “immigrating” when I was 10 years old. I have come to value very highly the excellent education I received in the UK, but I certainly don’t regard it as my right to receive it.’

Comments have been edited due to length, so make sure to read them in full on their relevant Convos (by clicking on the red title link).