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I was here earlier on in the year opposite Cannah Mead Wharf, where they do the occasional bit of work. It’s kind of a nice spot, opposite the meadow. There are many birds in the hedges here. Solar is good. Phone signal is strong. When I got here, the C03 alarm was going off in one of the boats opposite and there was a couple of work boats moored behind me. It had been raining. When I arrived, the owners... Read More Read More The post Muscott -> Dodford appeared first on Michael...
I was here earlier on in the year opposite Cannah Mead Wharf, where they do the occasional bit of work.
It’s kind of a nice spot, opposite the meadow.
There are many birds in the hedges here.
Solar is good. Phone signal is strong. When I got here, the C03 alarm was going off in one of the boats opposite and there was a couple of work boats moored behind me.
It had been raining. When I arrived, the owners of the work-boats weren’t aboard so I got the genny out and ran it for a little while to boost the batteries up a bit.
At about 7.30pm, I get a bang on the roof, so I pop my head out. It’s the owner of the work-boats, who’s obviously arrived home and says in a rather surly fashion, ‘Do you mind if you turn that generator off’. So I looks at my watch and says, ‘sure’, ‘it’s not 8 O’clock yet’. To which he says, ‘just a simple request’.
So, I said ‘fine’. ‘When it gets to 8, I’ll turn it off’. And got back on the boat.
It had been raining all day. I was hardly running it for the good of my health.
Anyhow, come 8pm. I was in the middle of doing something, and it was all of about 8.04 by the time I roused myself to go out and turn it off, by which time my neighbours were preparing a visiting party to ‘ave a word’!
I turned it off and the guy stood there, saying nothing… ‘Is that Ok for you? I said, to which he said nothing.
Surly twat he was.
Saw him again the next day. Was going to offer to move my boat, due to the fact he was so surly and rude, I never got that far. Still. I expect the beeping carbon monoxide sensor had kept him awake the whole night.
The car is perhaps 1/4 mile walk from the boat. It’s about 1 mile into Weedon and the shops.
I’ve been here for a week now.
They’ve been building the Weedon to Upper Heyford Bypass for about 2-3 years now. Due to Northamptonshire CC running out of money and adverse weather conditions, it’s been slowed down somewhat.
Northampton CC bankruptcy has led to it being taken into national Government Administration, apparently, which is unprecedented.
As you can see from the map, it’s been built alongside the M1 as a bypass to the village of Flore in order to pass planning permission on the construction of new houses.
In the fullness of time, they say that they plan to develop right up to the M1 turning the area into one giant Weedon. A big Flore, or a Florey Weedon depending on how you want to look at it.
Local newspapers inform me that the project is due to open in 4 days time on Thursday 15th November. Flore are celebrating by having a tea party in the village hall. Yey!
Apart from that, the batteries on the boat are dying, and I’ll have to get some more.
Not had them long at all. The older ones, I got in Wootton Rivers in Wiltshire. https://www.michaeltyler.co.uk/mooring-wootton-rivers-wiltshire/
Not a very long time ago considering the warranty is for 5 years.
Or so they say… Amazon has a return Police. Did you know that? Making ‘too many’ returns gets your account flagged, and eventually, if you continue, will get you banned. Since 2018, this seems to be an increasing common phenomenon. Getting your Amazon account banned; too many returns? This morning, I received an email. This is the ‘warning’ email, and in the UK, it’s sent by a .uk address called...
Or so they say… Amazon has a return Police. Did you know that?
Making ‘too many’ returns gets your account flagged, and eventually, if you continue, will get you banned.
Since 2018, this seems to be an increasing common phenomenon.
This morning, I received an email. This is the ‘warning’ email, and in the UK, it’s sent by a .uk address called email@example.com.
The email I received reads like this:
Subject: Your Amazon.co.uk Returns
From: “firstname.lastname@example.org” <email@example.com>
Date: 06/11/2018 20:01
We have noticed multiple returns from your account in the past 12 months. You have also
requested refunds or replacements for some items that you returned.
We’d like to know how we can better support your shopping experience. Please reply to
this email and let us know why you returned your orders.
Please learn more about our return policies in the Voluntary Returns Guarantee section
of the Conditions of Use & Sale, available at the bottom of all Amazon.co.uk pages.
I’ve checked my orders over the past year.
Here is what I ordered over the last 12 MONTHS.
Of those items, 2 were never dispatched and one was not of merchantable quality, or faulty as you might say.
Looking at the return to purchase level, if we take returns at around 5. In my case, a return level of around 10%. 10% has been enough to flag me up to Amazon return Police… or so it seems.
There is evidence to suggest this is the case.
Often when you buy items on Amazon Market Place, you’ll get the SELLER contact you individually. Usually they want you to make a positive review.
Sometimes sellers can use an alias and send you opportunities to receive FREE ITEMS in return for LEAVING A POSITIVE REVIEW. Once you’ve bought the item and left a review, they will paypal you the price of the items.
Fake reviewing is talked about in a UK Business Insider article . Amazon Prime free reviewers began to be effected in the early part of this year. They were having their accounts closed. Failing to get any decent response from Amazon, (surprise, surprise), they took to social media to highlight their case.
In most cases where a customer is banned from Amazon, their breach of the Amazon Terms or Service is cited as the reason for the ban.
Some people in private Facebook groups admitted to violating policies through activities such as leaving good reviews in exchange for a reward, such as gift cards. Some said that they may have committed acts, such as reviewing products that they received for free or at a discount, that they did not realize were not allowed. And others say they have no recollection of violating the company’s policies.
According to one Prime member who had her account cancelled on Tuesday, who asked to be referred to as Ashley R., an Amazon representative said “review fraud” could be a factor in her closure.
“They said it’s an algorithm that tries to detect review fraud that may have closed the account,” Ashley R. told Business Insider.
I personally was thinking of undertaking a review of this harmless looking thermometer and humidity measuring device. I’d replied to the sellers email, and had no idea I would have been in breach of Amazon Terms of Service had I actually completed the review.
The very next day, I received the email from firstname.lastname@example.org
Either going above a 12% return rate for Amazon, or writing reviews in which you receive the item free is going to get you banned from Amazon.
It will do both of these under your Terms of Service.
It’s unlikely to tell you which you’ve breached; how, why, or give you any details at all, on the phone or over the internet…
If you want to keep your account for Christmas, I suggest you do neither….
The post Don’t get your Amazon Account banned before Christmas appeared first on Michael Tyler..
Stopped for a couple of days above the locks at Watford. They have a 48hr mooring and it’s fairly close to the A5. Sound of the motorway is pretty overpowering. Buckby Locks After this, moved the boat down to the top of Buckby Locks next to the New Inn pub. Was there for a day. Until my crew arrived, which this time was my Sister, Kerri and her offspring. Offspring have grown slightly since the last time they were on... Read More Read More The post Watford Locks -> Muscott appeared...
Stopped for a couple of days above the locks at Watford.
They have a 48hr mooring and it’s fairly close to the A5.
Sound of the motorway is pretty overpowering.
After this, moved the boat down to the top of Buckby Locks next to the New Inn pub.
Was there for a day. Until my crew arrived, which this time was my Sister, Kerri and her offspring.
Offspring have grown slightly since the last time they were on the boat. Still difficult for them to manage the gates and paddles.
Even sister has a problem and she’s fully grown.
Fairly gender specific these gates and paddles, which shouldn’t be the case in 2018. What’s the world coming to eh?
Anyway, we got through with a little help from the volunteers.
Since they have a restriction on the locks now due to the low waterlevels, Whilton now locks the bottom lock gate at around 3pm. The flight closes at 5pm.
There are no signs or indications that this is the case. And I know this because I was at top lock for more than 24 hours and there were no signs up there.
The volunteer informed us of this and that we would be fine, as we were traversing the locks, they’d open the bottom up to let us out specifically. Which was nice.
When we got to lock 5, a girl with a windlass popped up and started helping with the locks.
Didn’t really ask any questions. But she followed us down. It was only when we reached lock 6, a guy with a beard showed up and it became apparent he and his daughter had come to assist us out of the bottom of the flight at Whilton.
It’s pretty much plain sailing down to Muscott, where the countryside becomes more pleasant. The sound of the motorway dissipates and the canal is lined by woodland.
I’m here close to the bridge.
The solar ain’t great, but other than that, it’s a nice location.
Still on the Leicester Arm, one stop up from Watford locks. The sound of the motorway is pretty strong round here. Apart from that, the countryside is idyllic. I’ve got some overhanging trees and the solar ain’t great. There’s some in the afternoon but I’m currently waiting for the sun to emerge around the trees. Here’s some pictures of the current spot. As you can see, I’m all alone this time. Crick Marina Had to stop off here for some... Read More Read...
Still on the Leicester Arm, one stop up from Watford locks.
The sound of the motorway is pretty strong round here. Apart from that, the countryside is idyllic.
I’ve got some overhanging trees and the solar ain’t great. There’s some in the afternoon but I’m currently waiting for the sun to emerge around the trees.
Here’s some pictures of the current spot.
As you can see, I’m all alone this time.
Had to stop off here for some fuel, which was nice. Had a pump-out as well, the first for a 6 weeks or so. Since I left Braunston.
After Whilton Locks, they’re aren’t any elsan/pump-out facilities until Gayton Junction which is about 12 miles down.
That’s a fairly long stretch without toilet. I’m glad I got my storage to last this long, I’m not winter mooring this year, so won’t be close to facilities and I need to make them last.
Crick filled the tank up, not too expensive. 85p per litre if you go duty free. Cheaper than Braunston Marina’s. Pump out was £15. Standard price. It was an attended pump out which gives you the chance to chat with the attendant if you so wish.
Stopped for some lunch on the visitor moorings. Many people, young and old, come down here to walk the dog.
Only realised on the way to the tunnel that Crick has elsan and rubbish! Only problem is, the parking and mobile signal.
Didn’t want to move to my O2 sim, so carried on my journey down to Watford Park.
Watford is home to the UK’s oldest motorway service station, the Watford Gap! or Blue Boar as it once used to be.
The motorway is perhaps 3/4 mile from my current mooring spot. There is a hill in between, but you can still here the hum of the cars.
It’s possible to get down on to the motorway from here, so it should shorten some of my journey times significantly.
As winter sets in, I’m looking forward to getting a new set of curtains for the rear and cabin areas of the boat.
They’re made by the previous owner of the boat, Ann, who’s an upholsterer of sorts. I got the materials in Northampton from The Mill Shop. Great place for buying materials and stuff.
They’re thermally lined, and should provide good insulation against draughts and coldness which are now starting to set in.
Christmas is approaching and it is the season to be on Amazon looking to take advantage of lightening deals and let someone else take the strain of delivering your freshly ordered goods to you. They say that in the logistics business, the last few miles of delivery are the most expensive. Amazon pays drivers from it’s own logistics department to complete deliveries that final few miles. This may be through their paid or contracted fleet, or it may be from... Read More Read More The post...
Christmas is approaching and it is the season to be on Amazon looking to take advantage of lightening deals and let someone else take the strain of delivering your freshly ordered goods to you.
They say that in the logistics business, the last few miles of delivery are the most expensive.
Amazon pays drivers from it’s own logistics department to complete deliveries that final few miles.
This may be through their paid or contracted fleet, or it may be from the self employed gig delivery workers otherwise known as ‘Amazon Flex‘.
I’ve been doing Amazon Flex for nearly 12 months now.
This is my top 10 tips for Amazon Flex Drivers.
In my experience, these are the tips that are going to make you a better driver.
Amazon has it’s own fleet insurance on your vehicle from the moment you pick up your first parcel until you’ve completed your round.
If you crash within that period, (and you don’t have your vehicle covered for ‘commercial purposes‘), Amazon’s Fleet policy will cover you. You can read more about this in the Amazon Flex contract.
The first thing you need to be aware of is this:- EVEN THOUGH AMAZON COVERS YOU FOR THE PERIOD YOU DRIVE FOR THEM, YOUR INSURANCE MAY BE INVALID IF YOU HAVEN’T DECLARED AN ‘ADDITIONAL JOB’ TO YOUR INSURER.
When you take your policy out, it will ask you for your main and any additional jobs.
There are instances where drivers have had crashes whilst driving for flex, their insurer has found out, and they’ve had their cover cancelled.
When it comes to declaring it, it’s better to declare it as a ‘retail’ company, rather than a ‘delivery’ company. Apart from the fact it will save you around £600, it’s also the truth.
Before I start, let’s clarify two things 1) Route: The order taken between points 2) Navigation: The navigation in terms of exact streets and roads taken between each point.
Induction videos and Amazon ‘Flextra Mile’ and other literature and releases from Amazon will tell you ‘the best and most efficient way to deliver is by following the route suggested by the app’. Sure, the Navigation between the points is the best and most efficient, it’s just the Route it selects between those points is wrong.
Totally disregard the Route the app gives you. It’s wrong. It makes driver’s journey much longer in terms of time and distance.
Amazon app does not suggest a ‘linear journey’. It suggests a journey with travel between two or more locations or districts or neighbourhoods; whilst not delivering all the parcels in that neighbourhood, it will send you to the next, then back again to deliver some more. It can do this anything from 2-4 different neighbourhoods, never delivering fully in that area, sending you somewhere else, then getting you to come back.
To start my round, I check the waypoints and have in my mind the order in which I’d like to deliver them.
I select my Route and let the app do the Navigation.
Some people used to do this to pick up the released blocks first. Some still do…. It’s basically sitting there and tapping on your phone’s ‘refresh offer’s until an offer comes up, then tapping to accept it.
Some people even made machines and contraptions to do this automatically https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1odALfOIrg.
This may sound like a great idea. The obvious drawbacks are
1) Amazon doesn’t like you using automated devices. If they spot ‘irregularities’ with your app activity, they’ll exclude you from the program immediately.
2) It doesn’t work out financially. As you can see from the video, the guy’s just accepted a 1 1/2 hour block in Springfield. To me, I wouldn’t even get in my car for a 1 1/2 hour block. Not unless it was Christmas.
3) Blocks may not be at LOCAL depot. It may be a REGIONAL depot 40 miles away. If your soft-blocked and only receiving short notice offers, you’ve now got 30 minutes to drive 40 miles for a 1 1/2 hour block.
Even if you’re not delivering, keeping the Flex App up-to-date is a good idea.
They update or release the new App on a Sunday/Monday.
Unless your updated to the newest version, the app will automatically sign you out.
Keeping the App updated will mean you get notifications about Amazon Flex through your phone. These may be about higher rated blocks or an increased number of routes or offers, or any other updates to the service that Amazon Flex cares to pass you.
Not updating the app will mean you’re signed out and won’t receive notifications, even on blocks you may have accepted from the period before ie. telling you you’ve got a pick-up scheduled etc.
This is when the job starts to get hard. You’re not provided with any official kit or vehicle, and to parking attendants, you appear to be just a civi.
Many Amazon Flex drivers find themselves getting parking tickets.
Here are some general rules of thumb when parking/delivering in TOWN.
1) Have a sign in your window to indicate you’re delivering. It may not make any difference, but if you come to contest, that and a load of parcels in the back will suggest you’re there on business.
On the PUBLIC HIGHWAY:-
Double yellows: 20 minutes to deliver, although, this varies from local authority to local autority. If you’re not seen to return to your vehicle and move it within 20 minutes, you can get a ticket.
Parking bays: If you use the parking bays, you have to pay or park within the free parking restrictions (after 8pm, Sundays etc.).
Red Doubles/Bus Stops/Taxi Ranks/Disabled Parking/Zig Zags: Instant ticket if the police or a warden happen to pass your vehicle.
More road markings you need to avoid are here: – https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/560aa6c7ed915d035900001a/the-highway-code-road-markings.pdf
On PRIVATE PROPERTY:-
As long as you’re not clamped, if you get a ticket, it’s just an order to pay, which you can ignore.
3) To contest tickets with local government; you’re going to need proof of contract, delivery note or invoice. This means the specific addresses and screenshots of the Amazon app for those deliveries. Again, bear in mind that Amazon support are NOT GOING TO HELP YOU. You need to do it all yourself. If you can satisfy them that you’re a bona-fide delivery driver operating within the rules, your appeal will be dealt with in the same way any unfair ticket would be.
[If you do get a ticket whilst doing Amazon Flex deliveries: You need to go to Itinerary > List > Take a screenshot of the completed addresses.
This is your evidence that you’ve been delivering to those addresses in the course of business. Go to the local council website. Enter your ticket details. You’ll be given the choice to pay or appeal. Go to appeal. Enter the reason you were given a ticket and enter the evidence you were there delivering].
Mikes’ Parking Tip: If you’ve got a precinct/’mall’, use that to park for all your in town deliveries. They have a drop off space for goods inward. The gaurds are ok, and unless they’re real jobsworth’s, they won’t give you any sh*t no matter how long you park there.
Some Parking reference materials:-
It’s easy to get caught out and find yourself running out of cards or forgetting to put them in the car.
Have them. They are free. If you do run out, writing on the back of a petrol receipt doesn’t look very professional and may go missing, like the parcel you’ve just delivered.
Don’t get caught out. It’s an easy thing to forget.
Likewise the charger: Your round, if it’s 4 hours is going to take 40%-60% out of your battery. If you use an iPhone, it’s going to be more.
If you plan to do additional routes back to back, charger is essential.
It’s best to start the day with a fully charged phone if you expect to be doing deliveries.
In the back of your vehicle, keep a fold-up box. Like a filing box. Smaller parcels, turn them round, face them forward and put them in the box.
That way, when you come to a stop, instead of having to look round the floor of your vehicle for small boxes which have become airbourne as you travel between points, they’re all there, neat and tidy in the box waiting to be delivered!
You’re not employed by Amazon. You’re a free operator, and as such you need to deal with your own income and expenditure and submit a ‘profit/loss’ statement to the HMRC annually.
The main expenses part of this is going to be in the claims against your vehicle, ie. for usage and wear-and-tear.
You can calculate these using receipts from fuel, garage bills etc. or you can use the Governments Flat Rate.
Record your mileages, multiply it with the HMRC flat rate to calculate your vehicle expenses. Set that against your payment for each block. That will indicate your gross profit.
Called support > Email support
Email support are a lot more useless than phoned support. The majority of the time, they’re located in Bangladesh, have limited English skills and will do their UTMOST to give you an AUTOMATED response.
Doing a round and contacting support on the phone, the support agent will give you a PERSONAL response dependant on your problem. They listen, and will generally fix things off-the-bat.
Dealing with email support, you may find yourself getting the same AUTOMATED response for days, if not weeks. Especially if it’s a more difficult question.
I contacted support a number of times on email with a payment problem. I did a blog called – Amazon Stopped Paying me. Because the problem was above technical understanding of email support, they tried to fob me off with automated responses. After weeks of getting no-where, I posted the blog link and a description of problem on Amazon Flex Reddit Drivers Group. https://www.reddit.com/r/AmazonFlexDrivers/
It got picked up by one of the technical guys stateside, and the problem was solved. If I had not kicked up a stink, I would not have got the money I was owed, I would still not be being paid through that account now.
Amazon Flex Email Support: email@example.com
Amazon Flex Telephone Support: +448081013553
You don’t get any points for bringing parcels back. If they’ve been successfully scanned and are part of your itinerary, you’re expected to deliver them. All deliveries are expected to be attempted a minimum of twice.
If you attempt once, that’s a black mark.
If you do bring back parcels which are everyday, not ‘recipient only’, you will be ‘soft blocked’, ie. receive a lower frequency of offers or only offers rejected by other drivers.
Rather than take parcels back, if you think you’ve got too many parcels for your route, or you’re unable to deliver for whatever reason. Just chill out, don’t rush between points, deliver at normal speed. If, when you’ve finished, you’ve ‘run over’ your delivery slot. Contact support.
For anything over 1 hour; tell them your block has run over and as long as your last parcel was delivered 1 hour plus later, they’ll issue you with an ‘Adjustment’.
Generally, you don’t want to take anything back.
So this is my Amazon tips top 10 for Amazon Flex delivery drivers.
If you’ve got any comments, or you’d like to add your own suggestions, feel free below.
Just for a look around. The tea rooms were open, but I arrived a bit late. This is a very small village, with some nice houses. I made my way back using the gated byways. The post To Winwick appeared first on Michael Tyler..
Just for a look around.
The tea rooms were open, but I arrived a bit late.
This is a very small village, with some nice houses.
I made my way back using the gated byways.
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