Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Daniel answers your digital inclusions questions

Daniel Richards, Project Coordinator for Get IT Together - Gwynedd writes a regular newspaper column for The Daily Post,  answering readers questions about IT and digital inclusion:

Q1 – I have been online for a couple of years now, use email and Skype regularly, and enjoy Facebook a lot. I am thinking of doing some shopping online, but am nervous of how to go about it. Any tips?

A1 – Your first port of call needs to be some safety advice – try getsafeonline.org – there are a load of important facts there for you to study. Once you are confident on the safety aspects, start out small, and get used to the processes involved.

Most reputable companies will want you to set up an account with them, and you will need to register payment methods and contact methods. Use the reviews provided, and do your own research on the goods/services, especially if new to you.

There is no point googleing BHS, but be aware that a polished, all singing web site could be run by one man in his attic, but would cover London, Paris & Peckham! Search for reviews, the more the better!   

Q2 I am getting frustrated with delivery companies! As I work office hours, I am never home when items I have ordered online are delivered. How can I work around this?

A2 This is an age old problem for shopping online- yes, you can order a brand new telly from the warmth of your bed, on a cold wet Sunday night, but that is no use if you are out fixing Mrs Williams’s dodgy central heating for the rest of the week!

The reality is, that out here in the wilds of Wales, a lot of delivery firms only come up once a week, if that. So if you are not in for white van man on Monday, his next available delivery date is probably next Monday.

Look for alternative answers – a lot of retailers offer delivery to alternative addresses, or even local pick up points. Check if you can give special instructions for delivery- such as your mobile number for them to call you when they are in the area-after all, you are the customer.

Q3 I have gone a bit crazy on my computer in the last few weeks, having insured my car (saved £150), insured the house (£200 less) and even changed my internet provider. I did both the insurance deals through a cashback web site my friend recommended –was that wise?

A3 Congratulations, now you are making your computer pay its way! Cashback sites earn commission from companies for bringing in business – and they offer you a share of the commission in return for using them.

There are a lot of similar sites, and most give you access to you ‘commission’ after a set time has passed, usually after they have received their share. Remember to research the site, as there are a few rogue ones out there, and try to cash in your money as soon as you are allowed to do so.

I have heard of people making great savings through using these sites, but be warned, they can be addictive! I would be very weary of buying a product from a specific supplier, based purely on the size of the cashback. As with all ‘offers’, check the fine print.

For further information or to book a place on a course in Gwynedd, please contact:

Daniel Richards, Get IT Together – Gwynedd, Project Coordinator 
Email: daniel.richards@citizensonline.org.uk
Telephone:  07854 690 529

Get IT Together in Gwynedd is supported by BT’s Connected Society programme, BT’s commitment to help people right around the world gain the skills and confidence they need to join the online community and Communities 2.0, Gwynedd Council, Cartrefi Cymunedol Gwynedd.

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