Friday, 6 December 2013

Harassment- pure and simple!

I don't often take to ether on non- crafty subjects, but my recent experience at the hands of MBNA bank has made me so angry that I'm going to break the habit of a lifetime and have a little rant about their (lack of) customer service.

First off, I should say that I'm in a bit of a dispute with them about some charges to my account, and a couple of months ago, had a long chat with them about life the universe and everything, and amongst other things we discussed - I asked them to not deal with my business by phone.

So life continues on peacefully, until about three weeks ago when I picked up the phone to someone wanting me to tell them the answers to various security questions and alleging to be from MBNA.....

Well needless to say, I refused to engage with them...... (Well would YOU give out that sort of information to a cold caller just because they say they are from a bank???) not least because I thought I had made it abundantly clear back on the last occasion that I did not wish to have dealings over the phone, so was not expecting to be called by them.......

Well what a silly move that was..... Because every day for more than 3 weeks, I have been bombarded by phone calls from MBNA.... Not just once a day, but several times a day, at all hours of the day and night to both my mobile and landline numbers, and totally ignoring the request made a few months ago not to ring me! Even when I answer the phone, and they identify themselves, the fact that they get an "Email me!" Just before I put the phone down doesn't seem to have got through to the call centre staff..... And you would think that having been told quite clearly, umpteen times, that I wasn't going to talk on the phone, that the message would have sunk in by now!

Don't get me wrong, I know that I do need to engage with the stupid sods, but I have asked that communication be via email (sensible and widespread in the 21st Century - no?? ) or by post, I just prefer not to do so by phone! I have (reluctantly) phoned them several times this week, and contacted them via the secure email on their website telling them to email me or live chat online with me - but no - it seems that they have been brought up that the phone is the only way to communicate with customers!

I don't know about the rest of you gentle readers - but I HATE dealing with anything serious over the phone, especially when it's a cold call that I'm not prepared for. The normally cool, calm and confident in person me turns into a jabbering weeping wreck at the end of an awkward phone call...... And it's not helped by the fact that the person on the other end of the phone usually hails from a call centre in India, and has (for me anyway) an impenetratable accent!

Most people don't realise that I do have a slight hearing problem..... I've never been able to hear properly when there is a lot of ambient noise, and have problems when people mumble or talk too fast, or have a heavy accent. Face to face I can manage easily as I obviously lip read and read body language, but on the phone, I can't see the caller, and end up saying things like "Pardon?", "Can you say that again a bit more slowly?", and "I'm sorry, but I really cannot understand what you are saying" more times than I care to think about. It's frustrating for me, and surely it must be equally so for the caller?

Add in the other side of the problem for those of us who have hearing problems - the fact that we tend to speak more loudly than usual because we can't hear properly..... And while I might talk to the occasional staff member when I initiate the call, there is no way I am going to discuss my private business with anyone in public where it would be all to easily overheard!

So, why the rant today?

Well yesterday, I bit the bullet, and picked up the phone to them myself, seeing as the four emails sent via their website seem to have fallen on deaf ears. After nearly an hour on the phone, I thought we had finally got things sorted, only to be dragged out of the bath at 8:15 this morning by two calls to my mobile (one from a number I had blocked) and one to my landline, both of which I ignored? Then, the final lighting of the touch paper..... They did the same thing again an hour later.......

To me, this is harassment pure and simple! It's bad enough to have to deal with calls you don't want to , but when the caller refuses to listen to reasonable repeated requests to deal with the matter by other means it's starting to get serious! I have been called at least 3 times each day to both phones for the last 3-4 weeks, so a minimum of 6 calls a day for 25 days is a lot of wasted time and effort on their part, and the cost to them must way exceed the £30 odd that they were chasing.

The end of the tale? Well an angry call to the UK office seems to have finally sorted it out, and I have told them that I want my phone numbers deleted from their records, something that I will follow up in writing. But I'm thinking of starting a campaign to stop this bombardment of calls in these situations. Luckily, I can deal with it, but what about those more vulnerable? I can now understand why some people in financial difficulties can be pushed into taking drastic action, the constant ringing phone and calls from people who refuse to go away or listen......

This sort of thing should be stopped straight away..... It clearly is not time and cost effective for the institutions, it's annoying for those on the receiving end, and it could push a vulnerable person over the edge.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Online Ordering is now available to everyone!

Whoop! Whoop!
All the glitches have been sorted out and my online shop is now up and running at long last!
If you decide in the middle of the night that you just have to order some of the latest goodies - just head on over there and follow the simple instructions and your box of goodies will arrive with you in around a week (but usually less!) - and you don't run the risk of getting your head bitten off by the grumpy person who would have been woken up to take your call! All payments are secure - and you can call me any time for any after sales service you may require - just as if you had contacted me directly!
Talking of new goodies..........
The brand new Winter catalogue launched last weekend and it has some lovely stuff in it - all designed to help you have a creative holiday season, be it Halloween, Thanksgiving (for all you US expats!) and Christmas - we even have a Hanukah stamp set in there as well!
Normally at this point I would say get in touch with me by email or phone to place an order - but now all I have to say is - go to my online shop and place your order - although if you would like to ask any questions please don't hesitate to get in touch in the usual manner....

Phone: 07528492765

Saturday, 6 July 2013

New Goodies!

Well a couple of weeks ago, I had a hard decision to make - go on a long awaited retreat - or go to a SU training session where we'd be making some samples from the new catalogue.... As I had waited for one for almost a year it was a bit of a no-brainer for me, but the lovely Natalie allowed me to buy a kit of the goodies she used at the training session so I could make the samples at home. Well I sat and made them last week, and as the new catalogue is now well and truly launched - I thought I would share them with you!

There is a mixture of new stamps, papers and accessoriesto show you .. and I can only direct you to Natalie for any credits which aren't her own...... So let's get on with the goodies shall we?

Here's the first card. The base is the new Baked Brown Sugar card stock, topped with a piece of Strawberry Slush (also new!)which has been stamped with the Really Good Greetings stamp set before being whiz zed through the Big Shot using the Modern Mosaic embossing folder. It's topped with 3 stamped labels (another new stamp - which I think will be VERY useful!) and cut out with the matching framelit..... They are finished with some images from the Mosaic Madness stamp set, popped on dimensionals and embellished with a pearl! It shows that you don't have to keep a label as a complete label LOL!

And here's a second card, using the lovely new Crisp Canteloupe, Baked Brown Sugar and Pistachio Pudding cardstock. It's also got the scrumptious Quatrefancy Speciality paper, and features Really Good Greetings again, and finished off with the same stamp sets used above!

Here's another lovely general purpose card - again using Strawberry Slush card, but this time using the matching new In Colour inkpads along with the transparency sheet from the Quatrefancy paper pack and Mosaic Madness Stamps - I think I forgot to mention that there is a scrummy new matching punch for this set - and its used to great effect here!....

Now - I bet you never saw Mosaic madness being used to make a Christmas card - but here you are - showing that the punched shapes make fantastic baubles. This is a "stepped up" version of the card above - same design but stamping the front with versamark  and adding some Itty Bitty punched shapes and rhinestones to bring on the Christmas bling!

Finally for today - here's a card set using the gorgeous new main colour Smoky Slate (pale grey) and Naturals white card - this time using the Epic Day This and That Papers and stickers and a few scraps of ribbon! I will be running a class making these cards soon so watch this space!

As ever - if I can help you with ordering any of the products I have used - please don't hesitate to get in touch! 01728492765

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Happy New Year!

No - I'm not going mad thinking that the New Year is here 6 months early - but for all Stampin' Up! Demonstrators and their customers - yesterday saw the launch of our new 2013-14 catalogue - so its a very Happy New (Stampin' Up!) Year for us!.

Yes, we have a shiny new 210 page catalogue full of brand new goodies including 10 new/ returning colours into the colour families, 5 new in colours and lots of new stamps, papers and accessories

If you would like a copy check out the link in the sidebar which will take you to the online catalogue, or if you would like a real live paper copy to stroke please let me know and I will post one to you for £5 - which is fully refundable on an order of £50 or more!
If a new catalogue wasn't enough - as part of the 25th Anniversary celebrations, SU are bringing out a series of "Best of ...." stamps which brings together some of the most popular stam images of the last 25 years along with one brand new stamp just for this set. Last month we had flowers - this month it's gorgeous butterflies as you can see below!
And even more to tempt you - this month there is a promotion offering 25% off 3 different stamp sets - designed to give some bargain greetings on your cards!

If you would like to place an order with me for any of the new goodies, please dont hesitiate to get in touch! Unfortunately my online shop isnt open for business just yet, but if you give me a ring or drop me an email, I'll be happy to put a manual order in for you.
As a bonus for the new year - if you can collect your order from my house, or you live fairly locally - I can offer you your order POST FREE, saving you the normal shipping charge of £4.95. This offer is available for all orders placed in July and August.
Go on - you know you want to..... or 07528492765 - and your new goodies could be with you in a week or so!

Saturday, 1 June 2013

June's Special Offers

Hello again!

As some of you may know - this year sees Stampin' Up!s 25th Anniversary. and there is a year of celebrations underway  and there are some treats in store for customers as well as demonstrators.

As part of the celebration, SU are bringing back some of our favourite stamp images from the last quarter century and combining them into five sets, which will release-one set per month- until October 2013. Even better, along with some great classic images, each "Best of" set will also include a never-before-seen image!
  • All Best of stamp sets will include 3-5 images, including a never-before seen image, and will be priced at 17.95 € / £13.95.
  • While SU are releasing just one Best of stamp set per month (with a new theme each month) until October, all of the Best of sets will be available until March 31, 2014.
  • All Best of stamp sets are available in Clear-Mount only.

The first of these very special sets is now available - Best of Flowers, and you can see the contents below
Single Stamps

A few months ago SU asked their North American Facebook friends what they thought of the idea of being able to buy single stamps instead of a whole set. The response was so positive that they started experimenting with it in the North American Market. The experiment has been successful—so successful that they decided to try it out in our market too! From now until 31 August 2013 (or while supplies last) I'm excited to offer you five single-image stamps for you to choose from!

  • You can find the stamp item numbers on the flyer.
  • These won't be sent in the usual cases or packaging; they'll be packaged in cello bags. If you'd like a case for your stamp, you can buy our Clear-Mount Stamp Cases that come in packs of four.
  • This offer is available for clear-mount stamps only.
  • The stamps won't come with a Clear-Mount Block, and you'll need to purchase a block separately if you don't already have one. The recommended block sizes can be found on the flyer.
  • There's no limit on how many stamps you can purchase.
  • These stamps are only available through 31 August 2013, so get them while you can! 

 Just a quick reminder of the retirement lists - see my post from yesterday for the links to the retiring stamps and accessories - since I posted them yesterday - several more items have sold out, so please dont hang around if there is something you want - it's a case "You snooze - you lose!"

Get in touch by email or by phone 07528492765 to place tour orders

Carolyn XX

Friday, 31 May 2013

Going! Going! Gone before you know it!

Well - here it is - the event which is second only in SU Excitement to the new catalogue next month - the list of what is retiring to make way for all the new goodies!

 There are two lists for you to check out:- and there are discounts to be had on some items as well!

The retiring stamp list can be found HERE

The retiring Accessories can be found HERE

If there is something on there you fancy - please get in touch as soon as you can, because a lot of stuff has already gone - and aeven more of the rest will go sooner rather than later!

You can get hold of me on or on 07529492765 - I will be sending orders off just about every day between now and then, but if there is something you have set your heart on - please dont hang around - order today!!

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

This n' That - new goodies available NOW!

This and That Special OfferYour life is: Fabulous. Quirky. Exciting. Perfectly messy. And happening really fast. So we’re happy to introduce our newest product line that lets you capture it all on-the-go. This and That will debut in the 2013-2014 annual catalogue, but we’re giving you and everybody else the chance to get it now!

From 1–31 May you can get our five This and That products in a bundle for 15 percent off! Or, you can buy them separately through June and into the new catalogue (but why would you do that when you can get them all for at a discount?).

The 5 items you can get RIGHT NOW are

The fabulous Epic Day Journal (131268 - £9.95)
Epic Day Designer Paper pack (12 sheets) (130814 - £9.95)
Remember This n' that Rotary Stamp (131463 - £5.50)
Epic Day Stickers (131271 - £4.50)
Epic Day Washi Tape (131269 - £4.50)

So the individual items normally add up to £34.40 - but if you order them as a bundle before the 31st May you can get all 5 items for just £29.24. If you want to take advantage of this offer - the catalogue code to use is 133905 - but remember - the discount is only available if you order before the end of May!

As a further incentive - and to celebrate my return to active status - if you choose to order the set from my brand new online shop - I will give you a £4.95 credit off your next order - which means that you will get the items at 15% off and the cost of the postage charge off your next order!

Watch for more This and That products added to our line in the coming months!

Hello! Hello! I'm back again!

Well OK - maybe using a Gary Glitter song title isnt in the best taste - but the lyrics of the song mean a lot to me after my recent spate of ill health, and I hope that I am indeed back on the right track!

This is a very exciting time of year for Stampin' Up! demonstrators all over the world, as the new 2013-14 catalogue goes live in North America on 1st June, and evrywhere else on the 1st of July. There are some exciting new things happening with the new European catalogue, but Im afraid you will have to wait and see what it is until then - but in the meantime let me tell you whats been happening since I last posted!

Well first up is the Spring/ Summer catalogue which has some really exciting products in it!

All of these will be available until the end of June when the new catalogue launches, and hopefully a lot of the things in it will transfer across to the new catalogue.

There's a new link to the 2012-13 catalogue as well, check it out and make your wish list as if the new European catalogue is anything like the US one, there is going to be a huge retirement list, so if there's anything you have had your eye on for a while - better get it now before its gone for good! I give you that warning as we have already been told that 10 of the current colours are being discontinued, and most of the retiring inkpads and cardstock are already sold out!

So why am I telling you all this?

Well - as of today, you can now place an order with me anytime of day, thanks to my new Demonstrator Web Site!

The site is a work in progress at the moment, but over the next few days, I will be filling in a lot of details of upcoming events and adding some of my own photographs. The big thing to note on there is the Shop Now button which allows you to place your order.

Please bookmark the website address as it allows you to not only find me easily, but if you order via a demonstrator's own website - you get added benefits (eg hostess pounds to spend if your order is £150 plus), which you dont necessarily get if you order through the find a Demo website or the main Stampin' Up! website.

Watch this space for more news and projects coming soon!