Steve Pennington´s profile

Reviews (36)

Toysrus

Awesome!

I like it when a company sets it's stall out clearly and then sticks by it no matter what. No diversification attempts here to try and make yet more money, simply toys, toys and more toys and the model hasn't changed, not once, ever. That's not a bad thing nowadays.

Leathermans

Beautiful, Clever and Useful

I bought my first Leatherman while in Bosnia in 1995, it was the simple original. I've still got it! It's been back to Oregan be fixed twice in that time, all it costs is the postage thanks to their 25 year guarantee.

I upgraded to the Wave in 2007 while in Afghanistan and while I'll always have a soft-spot for the original, the Wave approaches perfection!

I love Leatherman!

Groupon UK

Relentless...

I've just started using Groupon and I like the overall concept but their E-Mail marketing is utterly relentlessly, non-stop. Every morning I wake up and notice that I've received 4-6 E-Mails through the night all from Groupon...and yes, I do check my E-Mails before I get out of bed!!

19 April 2012

Reply from Groupon UK

Hi Steve, we're pleased that you like our business model. If you are signed up to more than 1 city pages you may recieve multiple emails. Thanks again for your feedback!

Maplin

Makes me look clever...

Whenever I go into Maplins (usually for a new computer mouse or something equally pedestrian) I aalways make sure I wander around their techy stuff first, you know, the computer cables and connectors and weird micro tools. This is so that if anyone I know sees me in there they'll hopefully think I'm some sort of tech-savvy, über clever, mekon brained E=MC2 understanding sort of dude!

I'm not by the way.

After 5-10 minutes of looking at dynamic HD coaxial splitters I head over to the RC helicopters which was my real purpose for popping in, in the first place.

That's the point though I'm making, caters for everybody in it's own versatile sort of way. Other than Mouses and Mouse Mats it also does lots of things that you never knew you needed before you went in there like a portable folding keyboard!

Wonder though if the founder was any relation to Joe Maplin of Hi-De-Hi holiday camp fame?

Waterstones

Corporate Selling Carried Out Perfectly.

This is a big company and yet when you're in there it doesn't feel like it, it still feels like you're in a classic old fashioned bookshop from a bygone age, well about 30 years ago anyway! You know, before the world became greedy and broken...

They are on the ropes a bit at the minute, e-readers are giving them a bit of a kicking but I have a feeling they'll pull through. Incorporating Costa Coffees into many of their shops was a stroke of genius. Hope it makes the crucial difference.

Personally I think the e-readers will see off the independent high street book shops so rather than flogging a dead horse, throw your weight behind Waterstones. Especially 'cos I've still got a few quid on my loyalty card!! ;-)

Facebook

Stop Tinkering Dude...

I remember the first time I logged in to Facebook, amazingly just 4-5 years ago or so and was intrigued by the concept, it was all so new but was also still in it's infancy so I soon lost interest and didn't visit it again for over a year!

When I did log back on I saw that the site had evolved massively and was much more than just an half-hour interest visit to check on Zombie or Vampire challenges or some such gubbins. It had become a genuine 'Social Network'.

Clearly, fast evolution is required in any early E-Project if it's to grow and survive in such a competitive world but after a while you simply have to STOP TWATTING about with it! You listening Zuckerberg? I am utterly threaders with having to relearn where everything is every few months, and as for you deciding what you think I might find important, well...you ain't God dude.

Let your baby go man, improve by all means in the back-end but leave the front bits alone. If you don't, as soon as a viable alternative comes along, everyone will jump ship. I've been looking at Twitter but it's sh!t.

Maybe I should come up with my own...Craniumkindle maybe!! ;-)

Seriously though...leave it alone now!!

Samsung

They Just Get Everything Right!

From style and looks to functionality and ease of use, Samsung just seem to get it right every time. Without consciously planning to, my flat is gradually becoming a Samsung homage!

More importantly though is their pricing structure which fits their huge range perfectly. You can still look at their top of range gear and think 'hmmm...maybe'. I was looking at their new 3D 40in LED Smart (wireless connectivity built in) TV today with a 600hz refresh rate (that'll do for the footie) and stood there for a couple of minutes watching Shrek 4 in utter amazement at the zircon ceramic sharpness and the gloriously deep and vibrant colours on the screen before me thinking 'hmmm...maybe'

After Christmas I reckon...

Skynews

Tabloid News

They set the bar for low quality, artificially high impact news as soon as they began reporting, what, 20 years ago now?

News is ephemeral...who can say what's big news at any one time for all but the biggest stories. By it's nature it's subjective. Ally this with 24 hour broadcasting and suddenly breaking news becomes 'Southend Utd manager has resigned/been sacked...' or 'there's been a tornado in Wisconsin'.

These stories may be important to you if you come from Stockport or Wisconsin but that hardly justifies breaking news status and to be fair Wisconsin is huge and Southend isn'y particularly well supported so it may not even be big news throughout either city/state!

ELC

Excellent!

I love the ELC and so does my son, even though he's 5 now we still find ourselves sneaking in there now and again.

It's a bit pricey but that's generally reflected in the quality and they've got a huge range of appealing toys, both traditional and a bit more modern.

He's still got quite a few of the toys I bought for him years ago!

Dominos

Not the best telephone service...

I order regularly from the Chalk Farm branch and generally they are excellent, had to phone again to chivvy along on occasion but that's usually a Friday night rush thing. Get a big military discount too!

Issue I have though is the telephone service, which I have to use (rather than the online service) to get the discount and is always an adventure. Having to check before you begin ordering whether the person who answered the phone speaks English is annoying to say the least.

I understand the ethnic diversity of this area of North London very well but I think the minimum requirement to work in a shop of any type in England is a reasonable grasp of English!

Always got there in the end though and very happy generally, hence the 4*s.

MVC

Never had a problem...

I use MVC regularly, they're not so well known online as some other companies but they are so well priced and so far delivery has been near perfect. No complaints here.

They used to be on the high street too but haven't seen any shops in a while?

Paypal

Aint Quick, Aint Cheap...but it's Safe!

I see there are a lot of negative reviews of Paypal and there's no doubt their charges are high and they aren't always too quick to pay out but they are the safest thing out there.

Just think back a few short years and how fraught with worry buying from anyone but the biggest stores online was.

It may not be perfect but it's safe...unless your name's Patrick from New Orleans that is. Ha ha...

If his post get's removed you won't know what I'm talking about here will you so have a look quick...just scroll down. He aint happy. Mind you, it sounds like a load of old cobblers to me, maybe he works for Google Check-out. ;-)

Vodafone

Racal has come a long way...

I've been with Vodafone for over 10 years now and can't think of a single bad word to say about them. They've been generous with their upgrades and faultless with their product support.

My old Sony C905 (which is the best non-smartphone, phone out there) had some problems with the buttons over the course of it's 2 year contract life and Vodafone replaced or fixed it every time. They extended the warranty to the contract length which is really reassuring.

I sometimes get the feeling that there are cheaper deals out there on other networks but faith in a telecommunications company is slow to build and quick to lose (just ask BT!) and until they do something to make me lose that faith, I'll stick with them.

Keep Low, Move Fast.

Peace Out.

Trustpilot

Group Review is Here to Stay...

...so get used to it!

Even Facebook has been slightly behind the curve here but customer/user review is the way forward for many new concepts (judgmental/commercial/factual) specific to the WWW.

There will always be people with axes to grind and to be honest there are simply a lot of doofuses out there but it's not difficult to filter this static out.

Examples:

Google Review: Google is the best site for search
ebay Review: Best site to buy
BBC Review: Best site for crappy sitcoms

You get the picture. Genuine reviews are easy to spot and reward with your attention so ignore them at yer peril Penelope!! ;-)

Thebookdepository

Top Marks

Simply for coming up with, and willing to stick with, that name.

The GrassyKnoll.co.uk will be next!!

Virginmedia

Poor, poor service...

I suspended (note suspended, not cancelled) my Sky account to give Virgin a go. They were terrible from the get-go from support to the quality of the box.

Once bitten as they say so went back to Sky within the Virgin Media cooling off period. They still tried to charge me the Earth mind. Guess that's how you get as rich as Branson eh?

Heard he's trying to fly to the Moon or something.

You seen the film Moon by Zowie Bowie? Very mind twisty but very good...

Seabiscuituk found this review useful

Next

Who doesn't like Next?

Okay, they're never gonna set the world alight but their gear is stylish and well priced, a combination that shouldn't be sniffed at nowadays.

FTSE Top 100 company as well I believe!

They do go in for a lot of brown and blacks but I suppose that's not really a criticism if you like those colours. Which I do so, cool! If you want bright stuff then bugger off to Uniqlo or Desigual or something and pay under/over the odds respectively.

Who's in charge though, you never see 'em on't telly like you do with some of the other CE's out there.

Users

Unbeatable Entertainment

Butlins is simply top notch. If you're ever bored at Butlins then go and stick your head in a coke fired steel forge.

In order of bestness...

1. Minehead
2. Skegness
3. Bognor Regis
4. Filey (long gone but the first one I ever went to!)

Bit pricey but if you truly consider what they offer, it's worth it.

REI

A Huge Range

I truly massive range but be wary if you're European.

There's an excellent range of good quality goods here and a lot of which are genuine bargains, particularly considering the exchange rate. Some of the brands are not all that common in Europe though and actually some of the more commonly European stuff (like a Merrell fleece jacket) I think you could find cheaper this side of the pond, even considering the exchange rate.

Other than that though, there's some bargains here but mainly because of the £/$ exchange so keep a mince pie on it before buying.

Imdb

Too much influence maybe...?

This is a comprehensive site standing for the Internet Movie Database and has become very popular amongst the proletariat as well as the executive in recent years.

But, as massively successful sites are wont to do (Facebook!), they become a victim of their own success and have been criticised in a number of areas in the past, most recently for publishing ages of actors without their consent.

You might say WGAF but actually, it's an important factor when casting agents, well, cast so it becomes an accepted grey area and actors may find it useful to misrepresent themselves occassionally.

There has also been allegations of the site refusing to 'display' and therefore advertise certain films.

Still, if ever you recognise an actor but can't get his name off the tip off yer tongue then IMDB (or Wiki) will be there for you to put yer out of yer misery.

Gary found this review useful

Argos

Like an Offline Amazon

Amazon is HUGE and the Argos magazine is HUGE. They're like odd on/offline mirrors of each other. If you can't get it in one, you'll get it in the other. Most likely it'll be available in both though.

Fact is mind that Argos aint that cheap anymore. Not sure why because it operates with relatively small overheads but you can usually find the same thing cheaper on and offline nowadays.

If however, you absolutely, mudder firkin gotta have that Lay-Z Spa Inflatable Tub and cannot wait for the internet to work it's magic, then Argos is where you should head. They might even have it in store to drive away with!!

Ebay

Be wary, it aint what it was...

Looking at it now, ebay is a simple concept that anyone could have thought of. The reality is somewhat different, it was born into a far less advanced internet age where auction style buying and selling was cutting edge. Paypal was still a distant future concept and people were still wary of internet financial security. It really was revolutionary and along with Amazon (selling books) and Google (selling, err searches) it set the stage for what would become the huge success that is Internet 2.0.

As ever though, the opportunists and criminal elements see an opportunity and try to take over, and it's turning into a dumping ground for fake, poor quality or simply non-existent wares.

Just be careful is all I'm saying and never buy a car from ebay!

Seabiscuituk found this review useful

Hamleys

Genuine Quality Yet Not So Costly

Having lived in NW1 and worked in SW1A, I regularly walked passed Hamleys on Regents Street and almost as regularly popped in - I've got a 5 year old son!

The staff can be a bit pushy and annoying at time but other than this very minor quibble, this shop approaches perfection. I simply adore it.

Prices are a tad higher because of the location but you can be sure that you're getting quality and what a choice. Huge floor upon huge floor filled to the brim with stuff that you (yes you) and your kids will love!

My tip is, buy the missus the Syma S108G Marines Cobra Attack RC Helicopter for Xmas...if she doesn't want it, then well...you know who will!! *snigger* ;-)

Seabiscuituk found this review useful

BBC

The End of Empire

A long time ago, in a Galaxy far far away was born the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). There was still (just about) an Empire that this BBC could serve, but gradually the Empire declined yet the BBC remained secure. Secure and aloof. How could this be?

Well in a free and capitalistic society a ubiquitous and perpetual tax was somehow raised to support this BBC. It was called the TV Licence. The BBC had a charter to ensure quality (huh?), yes really. A bit of paper that said they would distribute quality programming such as '2 pints of Lager & a Packet of Crisps' and 'Coming of Age'. Truly awful. Not to mention 'Allo 'Allo' that we only think of as being good (moaning - ha ha) because all we had on the other channel as alternative was 'Are You Being Served' - godawful cack!

Yes Empires decline but Corporations don't...but they can be brought down maybe. All Hail Ross and Brand...

iPlayer aint bad apparently mind and I'm quite partial to a bit of Jim al Khalili on Beeb 4. Not Clare Balding though...fat ugger that one.

R H Vincentand Seabiscuituk found this review useful

Rightmove

What if I'm not a 55 or 60 year old retiree?

That's all this company seems to try and sell, whether you're eligible or not. And while we're at it, why do 55+ folk pay so much less for their homes?

I wouldn't mind a 2 bed flat in Surrey for £80k? I don't play loud music or anything so what's with the discrimination? Might take this up with the courts...

Even E-Mailed 'em to say that I wasn't eligible for their 'Deal of the Week' and I still effing get them!

Seabiscuituk found this review useful

Ryanair

Genuine World Class Cattle Class

Yup, they're the best at being bad! And yes, better (at being bad) even than easyjet in case you've read my review of their 'service'.

Why oh why do we accept this level of service? They aren't even that cheap anymore...no airlines are now that they're so heavily taxed so why do we keep going back to them?

Just as a salutory warning though, the Japs are experimenting with seating free flights to reduce costs (to them) further. Won't make no difference to us mind because the more they stuff on their flights, the higher the taxes will be raised to so WE'LL pay the same to stand for 2 hours or more to sit!

Imagine that, a seat on an aircraft that you ahve to pay extra for...it's on its way folks.

Seabiscuituk found this review useful

Easyjet

World Class Cattle Class!

Yup, they're the best at being bad!

Why oh why do we accept this level of service? They aren't even that cheap anymore...no airlines are now that they're so heavily taxed so why do we keep going back to them?

Flew with them from Dus-Stn and have never felt so much before like I was an embuggerance to a service provider. Truly awful and until we stop accepting this standard of delivery it'll just go on and get worse.

Avoid em if at all possible...please!

Seabiscuituk found this review useful

Poundland

Toblerone bar not as big as you remember...?

That's because this company and 99p Stores get them to reduce their barsizes to fit their utterly immobile price marketing strategy!

How illogical is that? Just imagine, in 30 years when £30 then will be the equivalent of £1 now all you'll get for your money is a scratch and sniff to remind you of what chocolate was like.

RIDICULOUS!

Seabiscuituk found this review useful

Primark

Primarni My Arsie!

Just read my tongue in cheek review of Tesco, remove the groceries and Humax TV's and imagine sweatshop conditions 'somewhere in the Far East' and that's Primark Quality!

Avoid at all costs.

Gave 2 stars because it is soooo incredibly cheap and for it's 'green credentials'. Buy a T-Shirt and 3 weeks later it can be recycled into a duster. Buy a shirt, hey presto, 3 weeks later a car wax buffer!

Seabiscuituk found this review useful

Tesco

Never gonna be classy but....

Well of course it's never gonna be looked at in the same way as Waitrose but then again it's bottom line is about 10x that of Waitrose so why should it care? Quite right too, capitalism is big business and where would we be without it? Everyone knows it's better to sell something incredibly cheaply (made in China - $3200bn trade surplus) 2 or 3 times than to sell a a more expensive item (made in the UK - err, a lot of debt) a single time. We're a global economy now and we have to look beyond our own frontiers.

The Head of the ECB has just gone cap in hand, begging to the Chinesers, like some modern day Gallic Oliver - consider youwself, at 'ome!

Sell it cheap and sell a lot of it that way we can make a profit on a 1p to £1 bottom line!

Britishairways

'I ain't gettin' on no plane!' 'Unless it's BA!'

BA Baracus wouldn't willingly fly so they usually drugged his milk! Hmmm, and these were his friends? Anyway, I bet he would have flown if British Airways had had a bigger footprint in the States in the 80's. In fact I bet he'd have a platinonium frequent flyer card or something!

I fly with BA (not Baracus) regularly but every now and again I give another airline a punt and always end up back with BA (the airline) filled to the brim with abject disappointment at the level of service of Easyjet or Air Berlin or (worst of all) Ryanair. BA (not Mr T or the 2nd rate Quentin (seriously!) 'Rampage' Jackson)) do indeed stand out from the crowd, bit more expensive maybe but you get what you pay for which is good 'ol fashioned, Britishness with still, a slight scent of imperialistic empirisism which let's face it, none of us are averse to.

Stewardesses aren't always as fit as they used to be but that's PC for you I guess.

Moneysavingexpert

A bit busy...

I get his E-Mails every week and by christ, you need a week to get through it. Maybe a slightly more discerning choice of offers is in order here, I mean who really gives a hoot about £2 off a punnet of strawberries? Especially if they've been flown in from Chile. Not a great advert for the green cause either really!

Once bought some very cheap but good quality knives though from an offer on his site. Sold by some Frenchman, Jean Patrique? No, me neither but they've been excellent. Wonder if I can review them...

Toodles.

Amazon

Like a massive Argos!

Amazon, big river, big women and BIG online store! It's just so monumentally huge, is there anything you can't buy on there? Gonna have a look...waitout...

...searched for 'Toto Coleo' of I Eat Cannibals fame. Came back with no results and instead offered me 'Toto Color' - crayons and stuff.

Doesn't matter though because Amazon has everything else.

Gonna go search for a Sainthood, or at least beatifaction. Bet I can get that on there...waitout...

...nope, apparently not. Got an MBE though. Sweet!!

HTC

Highly Triuphant Communications (copyrighted so don't nick it))

Beautiful phones that work intelligently, intuitively and above all fingerlerly. Never before has a finger been put to such good use as when navigating using HTC Sense. So gratifiying! Those Taiwanese may be working under the constant threat of Chinese invasion but you know what, they say that people work better under pressure and this is the proof I guess.

Just look at the Polish codebreakers prior to WW2 - worldbeaters they were 'cos they were under pressure from the Hun. Maybe that's what's caused the Western economic meltdown...no more threat from the East? You getting this? Bring back the Cold War that'll sort the Greeks, Eyeties and Spanish out. Oh, and the Micks.

Why do they keep adding gubbins that they know you're never gonna want or use though like 'Teeter' (WTF?) and 'Friend Stream' (doesn't work) and worst of all 'Stocks' (simply ridiculous).

Google

'Searching' for words to describe it's efficiency!

With Google there's no melodrama like you have (every 6 months or so it seems) with Facebook. There's no confusing 'updates' or 'improvements' it simply searches and finds...and boy does it FIND.

You want a new car? Google it! (avoid eBay!)

You want a new wife? Google it! (Russian's are cheap!)

You want porn? Google it! (Porn Hub's the place to be!)

Basically it does exactly what it says on the tin...well, not quite exactly 'cos they spelt it wrong.

A one followed by a hundred noughts is a 'Googol'. Everyone knows that.

Attention to detail Brinny, Pagey & Smithy!! B-

Eyewear Outlet

Stunning, truly stunning!

The service provided by Mrs The Braggster was nothing short of exceptional. The E-Mail arrived, unexpectedly it must be said, but it did arrive. First time! Now that's service.

I clicked to open the E-Mail and you know what,? It opened with an air of smooth magic and gossamer whispers, Mac Bookesque but on Vista. Truly Inspiring! Now that's quality.

Ordered my gear and the price just melted as the discount took hold. It was like 'Priceless' watching the numbers fall (but not like a full Priceless answer otherwise it'd be free - mind, wouldn't that be cool). An aspect of beauty I won't forget in a hurry, I can tell you. Functionally superb! Now that's reductionism in real terms.

Gear ain't arrived yet mind but fingies crossed eh!!

Steve Pennington´s profile

profile image of Steve Pennington
Steve Pennington
Reviewer
Male, 1972
Münster, United Kingdom

About

A grim Northerner, lacking any discernible sense of humour. I simply say it how I see it...but with a bit of added fun!