/ Food & Drink, Motoring, Technology

Your comments this week – parking, pork and phones

Have you ever contested a parking ticket? Are animal products lurking in your food? And how big is too big when it comes to smartphones? We’ve been having a natter about these topics and more this week.

Picking a uni

Universities minister David Willett’s asked what your priority would be if you were picking a uni. Jem picked ‘value for money’:

‘Unis need to be able to be held to account by the students. Given the level of fees, they need to be able to demand (or at least have it demonstrated to them) that they are getting more bangs for their bucks.’

Car spare wheels: why they’re a dying breed

We think spare wheels should come as standard with cars. So does Lawrence A:

‘No matter how good the tyre is, if you run over a nail, a pot-hole or something which has fallen out of a skip, the tyre will suffer damage, no matter how well it is made. When this happens, there is no guarantee that you will be able to locate a replacement within the range of your run-flat, space-saver, or can of sticky goo. For the sake of 10-20Kg and a fraction of a mile per gallon penalty, we still need to carry a real, full size spare wheel. Now, and long into the future.’

Paul has been left on the roadside with a bust tyre:

‘It took half a day for them to get the tyre, so thank goodness the damage occurred locally and they were able to run me home and deliver the car when done. It doesn’t bear thinking about what would have been the scenario if we had been away from home.’

Pork in my cereal bar – why didn’t you tell me?

We discussed how we found pork gelatine in a cereal bar. However, Morag is well-versed with checking the ingredients:

‘I’ve been a vegetarian for over 30 years. I never expect anything to be veggie and always check. Most veggies know what sorts of things are typically booby trapped with gelatine, rennet, animal fat etc. and avoid them. It’s not really a surprise but it can be annoying at events where people and even caterers have put little thought into the food they are providing.’

I’m moving banks, why can’t I take my number?

John Peel would welcome the introduction of portable bank account numbers:

‘As someone who switched banks last year the process would be much simpler with a portable bank account number. For me there was a period of time where my wage had gone to my new account but some of my direct debits had not been transferred successfully in time and so I had to leave money in my old account – I was lucky to have money to cover this situation, others may not be as fortunate and would possibly get a charge for going overdrawn.

‘Portable bank account numbers would encourage people to switch and ditch a lot more, knowing that wages and direct debits would not need to be thought about.’

How big is too big when it comes to smartphones?

Tim is a fan of well-endowed phones:

‘I’ve been using a Samsung Galaxy Note since last November. I’m almost 50 and I have no time for a pathetic little screen with microscopic text or barely four words fitting onto it. I have no regrets about my decision.’

Paul Hancock likes the less well-endowed phone:

‘If I have a bag with me then my iPad will be in it. But for when I haven’t, I hang on to my Sony Eperia Mini. Yes, the screen in ridiculously small and can be inconvenient to use, but I can make it work in most situations and at least I do have it with me because it fits snuggly and unobtrusively into any trouser pocket. Well, at least nobody has ever asked me if I’m just pleased to see them…’

Complain for change: ever appealed a parking ticket?

RoyJ, who gets our Comment of the Week, shares his experience of successfully challenging a parking ticket:

‘I had taken notice of the parking limitations signs and it appeared that I would be OK for 4 hours. So on returning to my car 3 ½ hours later I was surprised to a “Parking Offence Notice” on my windscreen.

‘The following morning I took my camera to the same street and photographed all the signs in that street, they all allowed 4 hours parking. I then wrote to the Chief Constable enclosing my time/dated photographs, and received a courteous reply, blaming vandals for tearing off the plastic stickers that were limiting the parking to 1h, and the ticket was withdrawn. Moral – always check the signs and if necessary provide evidence where possible.’

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).

Charles Gilbert says:
15 September 2012

Parking Tickets- No success in having any recinded

All of the parking tickets I have received have been due to the stealth of the traffic warden even to placing the ticket behind my back while a was talking to an ex-colleague. They are very quick to move in to note the expiry time , from thereon-in all they have to do is schedule their visiting time and they are guaranteed at least moderate income generation success.

Isn’t this just doing their job efficiently?

You could spoil their fun by returning to your car by the time your parking ticket expires, or park out of the meter area and have a walk.

It appears the LA can reinstate & traffic order like NO RIGHT TURN without informinglocals & issuing PCN s when no sign .Shouldn’t an MP address this fairly not taking sides.He has been leaving his PAs, with alternative agenda ,the control to maladministrate. Two Freedom of Information Act requests revealed PCNs issued went from 0 to 100 . The so called Independent Appeals Adjudicator , paid by the Leader of Islington Council bringing Appeal is on the Transport Committee as Chairman . He eventually took their side knowing the other FOI requested date of installation of sign . The Information Commissioner sent them back 2/3x the problem likewise Solicitors Regulation Authority having informed them I had complained. They then sent the fine doubled with A Charge certificate & bailiffs & no means of day in Court as Court is a Call Centre Northampton.They won’t supply address. Why should I pay if been going down this road for last 2/3 years after a policeman had told me now viable route before 1996 . When wanted to record as Fraud the Police[ Call centre?] refused to do . Why should I pay if not guilty. Do the Solicitors want to know?