21 October, 2012

Google Maps: View a saved route on your phone in 65 easy steps

  1. Open Maps on PC
  2. Find home location
  3. Right click -> no option to save
  4. Search for home address
  5. Click Save
  6. Confirm My Saved Places
  7. Search for work address
  8. Open Maps on phone
  9. Tap the Maps menu bar
  10. Tap the My Places menu
  11. Tap the Recent tab
  12. Tap My Saved Places
  13. Find only home (discover later that there's a result list bar which will show all)
  14. Go back to PC
  15. Try to use saved locations for Home/Work in My places
  16. Does not compute, have to type address into Home/Work fields
  17. Click Directions under Home
  18. Shows directions to home, From field empty
  19. Click Directions under Work
  20. Shows directions to work, From field empty
  21. Click Home in My places
  22. Right click location on the map
  23. Click Directions from here
  24. Click Work in My places
  25. Right click location on the map
  26. Click Directions to here
  27. From field is erased
  28. Right click home on map
  29. Click directions from here
  30. Type work address into To field
  31. Get directions
  32. Click Save
  33. Confirm My Saved Places
  34. Click My Places
  35. Click Directions
  36. Empty
  37. Click Maps
  38. Click My Saved Place
  39. The saved directions can be found here
  40. Go to phone
  41. Tap layers
  42. Tap My Saved Places
  43. Error: No Results Found for maps.google.com/maps/somethingorother
  44. Search high and low for some way of getting rid of this erroneous layer
  45. Open phone Settings
  46. Open Applications
  47. Open Maps
  48. Uninstall updates
  49. Go to Play store
  50. Install Maps again
  51. Go to phone
  52. Tap Maps menu bar
  53. Tap My Places
  54. Tap Directions
  55. Nothing
  56. Tap My Maps
  57. Tap My Saved Places
  58. The From location is shown, with the beginning of the route. Can we just view the route?
  59. Tap Results List
  60. Tap Walking directions
  61. Tap Directions
  62. Prompted to find directions from My Location to work
  63. Tap Back
  64. Tap Map
  65. Success!

24 March, 2008


Kwik-Fit (GB) Limited
216 East Main Street
West Lothian
EH52 5AS

Dear Sir,

I took my car (**** ***) to your Stockport (154-179 Heaton Lane) branch on 9th August for an MOT test. The failure certificate (************) stated a number of faults. As your garage was not able to rectify them all, I took my car to Electro Mechanical Services (EMS) for repairs. After completing the repairs, EMS completed a full MOT test, which failed on a number of accounts, including brake hoses which were so deteriorated as to be on the brink of failure. The faulty parts are in my possession, should you wish to dispute the extent of the deterioration.

The break hoses are a mandatory part of the MOT test; it is difficult to understand how your mechanic missed such a failure. This could have led to a severe accident, had the test not been repeated by EMS. I therefore wrote to your Stockport branch on 19 August requesting a refund of the botched test, and some compensation for the considerable inconvenience thereby caused.

The Stockport branch manager phoned me to deny any obligation or professional responsibility, and advised that my only recourse was to contact VOSA. I therefore took the issue up with VOSA. They attempted to investigate, initially desiring to interview the mechanic who performed the test. This was complicated by the fact that the mechanic was no longer employed at that particular location. After a considerable length of time, during which nothing of substance was achieved, VOSA advised me to complain to the Trading Standards Officer.

I wrote to the Stockport Trading Standards Service on 6 January. It seems that this issue should have been dealt with by my local office, and as a consequence there was some delay in obtaining a response. Trading Standards have now advised me to write to Kwik-Fit's head office before proceeding to court.

Hence, I am now writing to you. Your Stockport branch were clearly negligent and unprofessional in carrying out the service for which I paid them. I am certainly owed a full refund for the test that was not carried out to any acceptable standard. It would also be reasonable to provide some form of compensation for the extended period of time during which I was without a usable vehicle, and the significant danger to both myself and other road users had I simply gone along with their repairs and retest.

I look forward to a prompt resolution.

Yours Sincerely,

Kwik-Fit's response was indeed quick. I was phoned by the Operations Manager (Andy Bennett), who helpfully informed me that

1) Kwik-Fit do not deal with customer complaints. Go cry to VOSA.
2) They will not put their position in writing. So what if I've sent in two letters of complaint, that doesn't mean they have to document their shoddy service and screw-the-customer policy.

13 October, 2007

BT (British Telecom)

BT Correspondence Centre
DH98 1BT

Dear Sir or Madam,

I moved into the above address (I sent this on headed notepaper) on 1st July. As there is already a BT line installed, but not activated, I attempted to contact BT with regards to activation. Thus began a sorry week of spending all my free time in phone boxes, calling BT customer disservice. Most calls involved listening to music which I did not fancy until I ran out of time, occasionally speaking to an agent who would offer to put me through to the relevant department, only to resume the onslaught of unending hold music. On one occasion, even your busker gave up, and my call was abruptly disconnected. On another occasion, the agent asked what is was that I wanted, and when I requested line activation, he hung up. Perhaps he wished to spare me the futile agony of BT's hold service.

On 5th July, your system was considerate enough to offer a call back. The agent who called took my details, requested permission for a credit check, and promised a call back within five working days from the relevant department. I have not heard from you since, despite the agreed period having elapsed three days ago. I cannot say that I am surprised.

On 15th July, I resumed my regular pilgrimage to the phone box. Following a mostly irrelevant dialogue in some vaguely incomprehensible blend of English, and a language native to the Indian subcontinent, he routed my call through to the relevant department. After a few minutes on hold, your busker tired of tormenting me and dropped the line.

I immediately called back and asked for the complaints department. Your operator routed me through to the faults department; perhaps BT's policy is that anyone complaining about their service must be faulty. The fault operator, like his colleague earlier, was not familiar with the English language (what does the B in BT stand for?), and I had immense difficulties explaining to him that I do not have a phone line to report as faulty. Having surmounted the formidable language barrier, he explained to me that BT's complaints department cannot be contacted by telephone (perhaps they couldn't get a line installed), and that I must write to your correspondence address. Thus, I obediently made a written complaint to this address.

Not having received any acknowledgement of my complaint (or a phone line), I again trespassed upon the inner sanctum of a phone box on 31st July. I explained my predicament to the operator; after several minutes on hold, he put me through to the broadband department. After several further minutes on hold, the broadband department put me through to the foreign languages department; not sharing a common dialect, and communicating through a medium which does not support gesticulation, he was able to convey nothing more informative than that I was through to the wrong department. After several more minutes on hold, the music stopped with the out-of hours department, who told me to call back during normal business hours (which it was when the game started). He also told me that there is no direct number for the in-hours department; pass-the-customer-parcel is BT's favourite game, and I have no right to deprive them of their only joy in life. It may be noted that callers are greeted with a recorded message advising them to call between 8pm and 10pm, when lines are less busy.

On 1st August, I dutifully called back during business hours. Again, after requesting that the line in my new address be activated, I was inexplicably routed to the broadband department. The agent who (eventually) answered the call offered to put me through to the sales department; after a minute's subsequent silence, I got the wrong number tone.

I immediately called back, went through the same automated menu choices as before, and amazingly, was answered by the sales department. Your agent took the same details as the agent who called me on 5th July, and made the same promise about a call back within five working days.

Despite changes in Government regulation, BT still has a monopoly over the provision of new domestic telephone lines, except in a small minority of areas served by cable. Knowing this, you tie new customers into a full year's contract. In common with other abusive monopolies, you also treat (prospective) customers like dirt, knowing that despite your appalling service, they have no one else to go. What do you further require before condescending to grant me a phone line, which I cannot obtain elsewhere? A sacrifice of lambs? My blood on the cross?
I look forward to a prompt resolution.

Yours Sincerely,

17 May, 2007

Bury Council Tax

Email sent to council, 18th February

I received my first council tax bill, for £502.63 (apparently covering several months), approximately one month ago. I sent off the enclosed forms, pointing out that

a) I was, until very recently, unemployed
b) I am the only tax-payer living in this property, as I share it with a student.

I have now received two responses; a form for submitting a council tax student certificate, along with a reminder notice for the full some of £502.63, threatening legal action.

As I have already explained, I was unemployed during much of the period covered by the bill, and I am sharing the house with a student; I cannot possibly afford, or be held liable for, this bill.

The reference number on the bill is ***, property reference ***.

Yours Sincerely,

Reply from council

Message [***] triggered rule [Encrypted ] at 17:42:50 18/02/2007

Sender: ***
Recipient(s): counciltax@bury.gov.uk
Subject: Council Tax

An email item you sent to counciltax@bury.gov.uk
has been temporarily blocked because it appears to contravene
the Council's rules for email use, as defined in the Authority's
ICT Security Policy.
The email will be released within 24 hours, subject to review.

9th March

The Magistrates' Court send me a summons for non-payment of £567.63 council tax, plus £65 costs.

Letter sent to council, 11th March

On 4th January this year, you sent me a council tax bill for £502.63. Although this is the first council tax bill which I have received, you allege that this covers the period of 15th October '06 through to 31st March '07.

Included with the bill were forms for various types of appeal. As I could anyway not afford this bomb-shell, having been until recently unemployed, I submitted the enclosed forms, detailing my period of unemployment, and that I am the only tax-payer resident at the billed address.

On 14th February, you sent a reminder for the full bill, threatening a loss of my right to pay by instalments (which I had never been offered). The reminder ended with a paragraph asking me to get in contact if “you do not owe the amount shown above”.

In response, I sent an email to your published contact address on 18th February. You sent a reply the same day, stating that my email would be reviewed within 24 hours.

Having made two attempts to contact you with regards to resolving this issue, both at your invitation, I was shocked to receive a summons to court last Friday. I have not at any time indicated any unwillingness to pay such taxes as I am liable to; I have merely attempted to clarify the correct amount of tax, and to discuss an affordable regime of payments. By ignoring all my communications, and perusing an unwarranted legal aggression, you are clearly guilty of malicious harassment. In particular, your charge for costs is utterly unjustifiable.

I look forward to a prompt resolution.

Yours Sincerely,

On 26th March I called the council to discuss the issue, and the agent who answered the phone informed me that as their computer systems were broken, they couldn't do anything.

On 27th March I called the council again. The person I spoke to gave his name as Mr. Crook, but that could just as well have been his character profile.

Mr. Crook insisted that the council did not ignore the letter which I had sent them, then told me that they had had it on file for two weeks, but had not done anything about it. Apparently, in the council's Revenues/Thefts/Humpty-Dumpty department, not responding to a letter does not constitute ignoring it. He also insisted that they would not ignore any email, although in the 17th May letter (below) they admitted to having done just that.

Mr. Crook's attitude throughout the conversation was the most negative and unhelpful that I have ever experienced, but he did arrange a repayment plan.

Reply received from council, 27th March

I refer to your letter dated 11th March 2007 regarding the summons that was issued to you on 7th March 2007.

You stated in your letter that you had made two attempts to contact the council tax office and had sent an email that the Council tax office responded to. I have searched my records and can not find a copy of this email, please forward a copy of this email in order that it may be investigated further.

You also stated that you live in the above address on your own, however, on 16th January 2007 I received a discount form which stated that two adults lived at the address, (I have enclosed a copy of the form) and that one of the adults was a student. A student discount form was sent, but as yet this has not been returned.

A bill was issued to you on 4 January 2007 for £502.63. As no payment was made a reminder was issued on 12th February 2007. Again as no payment was made, a summons was issued on 7th March 2007 for £567.63 which includes £65 costs. As such the documents have been issued correctly and payment should now be made in full. If payment can not be made in full, please contact the office on 0161 253 5095 to make a payment arrangement.

If you wish to discuss this matter, please contact me on 0161 253 7096.

Letter sent to council, 27th March

On 18 February, I sent an email to counciltax@bury.gov.uk, which I quote in full:
{copy of email}

Your email system sent a reply the same day, promising that it would be reviewed within 24 hours; I have enclosed a copy of this reply. The encryption referred to is my digital signature, a standard means of verifying the senders of email; the text itself was not encrypted in any way.

Three weeks after promising to “review” this email, you did indeed reply – with a summons to court, and a further bill for legal costs. Responding to an attempt at dialogue with aggressive legal action is clearly unjustified, and charging me for the cost of your unwarranted harassment is ludicrous.

I understand that the council's policy is to rebuff any attempts at communication and to reach straight for the legal guns. However, as a reasonable person, I would prefer to settle this out of court. Is there any ombudsman or independent tribunal who could arbitrate?

Yours Sincerely,

10th May

One and a half months having passed, I call the council to nag for a response.

Reply received from council 17th May

The summons that was issued to you on 7th March 2007 is correct and according to my records a payment arrangement has been made. As your discount has now been granted and your bill reduced, I have amended your arrangement and enclosed a new instalment letter.

With regards to your claim for Council Tax benefit, please contact our Housing and Council Tax Benefit office on 0161 253 5008. Please pay as billed until any amended bills are issued.

The email that you received from our ICT unit saying that your email would be reviewed within 24 hours meant that it would be reviewed before it could be sent to the Council Tax office, however, as it contravened the council's rules for email use, it was not sent to us. I am sorry for any inconvenience caused.

If you wish to discuss this matter, please contact me on 0161 253 7096.

18th May

I attempt to call the contact given in the Council's letter; she is away until Monday, but will call me back. In the meantime, my single person discount (on account of my student housemate) and council tax benefit (for my period of unemployment) are finally processed, and confirmation letters received.

21st May

I get a call back, who declares my original email to be irrelevant, thus discarding the High Court ruling that an email arriving at a published address must be considered as a properly served document, regardless of what the recipient's IT does with it.

However, she does agree to withdraw the summons, if I receive council tax benefit for my period of unemployment. She insists that there is no such benefit registered on my account. After I pointed out the specific bill on which this benefit appeared, she backtracked, and said that withdrawing the summons did not mean cancelling the charge for costs.

Complaint to Local Government Ombudsman, 21st May

I was sent a bill for £502.63 council tax while unemployed. I sent an email to the council's published email address, explaining the situation. The next communication I received from the council was a summons to court, including £65 costs. The council have since admitted to receiving my email, but discarding it, since it "contravened the council's rules for email use". They have not been able to explain which rule was contravened. They also cannot explain how an unemployed person with no income could possibly pay the sum which they were demanding. Nevertheless, during my last conversation with the council (Mrs C Stredder), she insisted that they are right, and that the only avenue of further recourse is to contact the ombudsman.

During the course of this conversation, she agreed to withdraw the summons, if I receive council tax benefit for my period of unemployment, while insisting that there is no such benefit registered on my account. After I pointed out the specific bill on which this benefit appeared, she backtracked, and said that withdrawing the summons did not mean cancelling the charge for costs.

The letters which I received from the council regarding this issue listed Mrs C Stredder as the appropriate contact. My account reference with the council is 43291028.

I have been subjected to unjustified legal belligerence, and spent dozens of hours fending off the council's revenue department, which is behaving like a band of robber barons from the Middle Ages. Additionally, they have charged me £65 for costs which the council have incurred while harassing me without cause.

Ombudsman replies, saying that he will resubmit my complaint to the Council's complaints procedures.

4 July

Receive a four page letter from the council, mostly rehashing everything which has happened to date. They state that "council tax legislation is written to imply that all charge-payers are equal and can afford to pay their liability". I.e., they are legally entitled to behave like robber-barons. Nevertheless, without prejudice, and on this occasion only, they will waiver the legal costs.

However, they still consider it acceptable that their e-mail server throws away anything with a digital signature.