Just another awful day


So I had an appointment with the consultant at the hospital (about my hearing degradation) and this was the start of yet another awful day. Patient transport told us to be ready 2 hours before the appointment. They showed up 30 minutes before the appointment (for a journey that takes an hour), we contacted the hospital (to see if there was any point in coming, since quite a lot of places won’t see you if you’re late – they said to just “turn up”).

When we were still waiting for the transport, they said the taxi said “10 minutes” (and you know what taxi companies are like, for some reason they always lie and say “10 minutes”).

So yeah, we were late to the appointment…

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Priory Care Group are still Disgusting and Neglectful in 2022 (an update!)


June 2022 Update, A Year Later:

I believe my emails have been quite respectful and cordial to Priory Group, however it seems that no one had the decency to respond to my further questions, making this the 3rd time I have been ghosted by Priory. The only reason that they started replying to me again was because I had contacted the ICO and they had said they had to.

With regards to my complaint with Priory Group, they said that too much time had passed from the time of my complaint to now and that they consider the issue closed. I brought up that the reason they hadn’t received my complaint and dealt with it at the time was because they stopped replying to any communication from me and they refused to make an exception to deal with any of the issues.

A doctored Priory Group logo with a "No Entry" sign over the top and additional letters overlaid so it should be read as No Priority.
Priory, or No Priority?

So I’ve felt it necessary to update my public statement to include further information about my interaction with Priory Group, which will hopefully give people pause for a second thought before they’re too saddled with a company that doesn’t care about those that they are supposed to help.

They claimed to offer a certain level of service but when I tried to access those things that they had promised me, they would say that they were unable to do that, or they would lie and say that they had never said they had agreed to the things they had said, in an attempt to gaslight me into doubting myself.

I am disappointed but not surprised that Priory Group values profit over people, and Priory’s board of directors should be ashamed. This certainly isn’t good enough for my family, Ms. Cresswell.

I can only hope fortune smiles better upon Priory employees when they reach a time in their life when they depend on support that isn’t dependable and they aren’t cast aside like day old milk as I was. I honestly urge people to keep members of their family safe and do their due diligence in deciding if a company looking after your loved ones is truly good enough.

My original post from 2021 follows.

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Evri – New name for Hermes, same terrible service in 2022

Doctored Evri logo with more authentic branding for their company. Nevri. The Same Hermes.

So you might have noticed that notoriously bad courier company Hermes have changed name to Evri, but besides a rebranding, has anything actually changed?

I originally said about Hermes in a review I was invited to write on TrustPilot:

No matter how much I try and avoid Hermes, you can’t. Sellers on eBay that say they use Royal Mail are sending out with Hermes and when you call them out on that, they say it’s because “Hermes are better because of the pandemic”.

I have experienced nothing but problems with them and they don’t have any contact point for the end customer so all enquiries have to go via the supplier/seller/business, they will lose parcels and say they are still “on their way” regularly. Joe Lycett (the comedian) did an exposé on them last year in his “Got Your Back” series on Channel 4 that they send perfectly labelled parcels to auction houses that they could have returned to sender or ultimately delivered.

Many sellers on eBay so far that are advertising the fact they use a different courier than Hermes are sending with Hermes now and citing the pandemic for the change yet haven’t updated the listing.

I would typically have gone elsewhere as the only way to send a message (to Hermes) about how bad Hermes is for the end customer is to speak the only way we can – Financially since they have no other way to contact them although they are making this incredibly difficult.

You can’t contact hermes at all as an end customer, and I certainly wouldn’t ever use them for deliveries I would make from my company. I don’t mind paying for delivery, since it’s a justified expense however a lot of people feel that they shouldnt’ pay for delivery. I’d prefer to pay for quality. You can get better service for the same or better prices from most other couriers.

Typically at one of my clients, they use Royal Mail for anything that is affordable for Royal Mail Second Class Recorded and everything else through Parcelforce 48, and it’s only around £6. DPD also offer a significantly more reliable delivery service. UPS is good but confusing for end customers as tracking timings on their page are sometimes not local.

There are delivery companies that do a massively better job than Hermes and the prices aren’t much different… and they have customer help desks and won’t fail to deliver a parcel that they’ve already accepted that needs “sending with a specialist courier because it’s too big”, since they are told the sizes of parcels in the first place.

I am now actively avoiding Hermes and will not use sellers who use Hermes. I am willing to pay to avoid having parcel delivery turned from excitement to fear and disappointment.

Did I ever get a reply, and what’s happened since?

Well, as to be expected, I never got a reply from the company when they were known as Hermes or now that they’re known as Evri. I have tried contacting them numerous times but nothing has changed.

On the new Evri site, they still have the same useless fake “chatbox” that they treat as if it is a real online customer interaction mechanism, but it isn’t. You can’t speak to anyone in customer services directly, as a customer of Evri or as someone receiving a parcel.

There is also no contact telephone number for receiving or sending parcels either. It’s an entirely disappointing experience with them, and despite a new name, it doesn’t appear that anything has changed on the outside other than a lick of paint.

Can the Evri Model work?

It’s not like the Evri model couldn’t work. I can see the advantages of having a well managed central operation and hiring self employed couriers. You don’t have to have an entire workforce to manage and the people that are doing deliveries for you are self employed and could feel empowered. The problem with Evri is the central service isn’t well managed, not by a long shot.

That’s not to say that some of the couriers that actually do the work for them aren’t good – the opposite in-fact. Some of them are quite excellent but lack the support of the centralised company. Speaking with our local courier, she has been let down many times by them.

Once she had 54 Amazon parcels to deliver and she did not get the manifest sheet from them. If you don’t have the manifest you end up taking personal responsibility for the parcels because you can’t prove the history at that point. It’s personal risk that she took to benefit the people receiving the parcels.

If she followed exact procedure, not a single person would have gotten their Amazon parcel that day, so it’s easy to see why some of the other people who do their deliveries don’t want that level of personal risk if the correct paperwork is not made available by Evri.

Conclusions and final thoughts

Joe Lycett did an exposé a while ago (back while they were known as Hermes) showing how many parcels they could have successfully delivered but didn’t (with clearly readable addresses) and ended up at auction houses, even when the online tracking said it was still on it’s way.

The item I was talking about in my original TrustPilot review was listed as “on it’s way” months afterwards, and it’s no surprise it still hasn’t turned up. I’m glad more eBay sellers are being honest about which couriers they are using now, although many of them still use “Other 24 Hour Courier” to hide the fact they’re using Evri, even though the old Hermes delivery option is one you can show on your listings.

Looking at the Evri – About Us page on the ‘new’ Evri site, the entirety of their history condensed into about a paragraph, less effort has been put into this text than this entire post. Not to mention their choice of fonts for the new logo clash horrifically.

My conclusion is… totally new name, slightly rebranded website but same terrible company.

HTTP Status Endpoint for UptimeKuma for PHP websites like WordPress


So after I saw TechnoTim’s latest video showcasing a project called Uptime Kuma, he shows how to setup and use Uptime Kuma for monitoring websites and network services running under TCP. One of the problems with monitoring a website, such as one powered with WordPress, if you don’t use decent caching, the uptime check can put a bit of a load on your server, and it will have a longer response time.

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So it was late one night and I couldn’t sleep, which is nothing abnormal for me and I got thinking. Is there any way I can improve the compression ratio of my collection of PS1 games, or was 7zip with LZMA the de-facto and best option? The truth it turns out is a little more complicated.

Updated 2021-07-15: Article finished, downloads and final conclusions added!

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Elegoo Display and Stolen Code


So I bought myself another one of the Elegoo 2.8″ touchscreen LCD modules recently, and decided to have a deeper dive into the code. I looked through the examples and I thought “This looks very similar to code from Adafruit.”

You can download the original “tutorial” files from Elegoo directly at https://www.elegoo.com/pages/arduino-kits-support-files if you’d like to take a look for yourself.

[Update #1 added at 22:12 below]

If you’re in a rush and just want a better way to do this, use the > give me the code < link.

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