HRMC and Concentrix

Not that long ago we received a letter from Concentrix a company that we had never heard of before. Concentrix is an outsourced company that are working on behalf of HRMC. The overall aim is to investigate benefit claims and to try to cut how much is payed out in benefits by weeding out those that are either claiming fraudulently or incorrectly.

However the way they go about this isn’t very pleasant as the letters can be rather nasty and they work on a guilty until proven innocent basis which means dealing with them can be described as difficult. The letters ask for numerous bits of sensitive data depending on what they are accusing you off, and to top this off they give you a pretty short amount of time to get the documentation they demand sent to them. When you do this, due to the volume that they are receiving the chances of them even getting them on the system on time is remote let alone looked at. Calling them also often means holding for an hour only to be cut off automatically without ever speaking to a human.

This leads to perfectly innocent people being left without the money they are entitled to and a whole load of stress and aggro.

Fortunately and as we expected our claim was finally sorted and the result fell in our favor.

If you search online for concentrix you’ll find dozens of cases there are even newspaper articles about it

Independant

Mirror

There are plenty of places offering support and advice one such facebook group is called Concentrix Mums which has a lot of friendly and helpful people, Its also worth looking up mumsnet and netmums and of course your local Citizens Advice.

If you get one of these dreaded letters try not to panic and seek advice but most of all dont ignore it. Their is lots of help available and as long as you are claiming what you should things will get sorted.

I hope that this post helps and good luck.

 

End of the year and Birthday

So today is the last day of the year. You may have seen the 2014 review that wordpress kindly auto generated for me. Which you read Here

Its been a better year in terms of activity on this blog than I have managed in the past, My youtube channel has been growing Click and although I have had to reduce the amount of time that I can spend producing video I think that I can continue this in the new year.

I hope that you all have a very safe and happy new year celebration.

Today also happens to be my birthday and thanks to my family its been a great day. My partner made me a loverly train shaped cake. which was very chocolatey and yum.

More Car Trouble

So this month has pretty much started off as well as September ended.

The car broke down again, meaning that I was a few hours late for my proper job. This time it was the starter motor sticking. £140 later and it hopefully is once again all fixed.

I’m praying that, that is the last time the car needs money spent on it this year.

All this has meant that my time has been very limited and yet I’m still managing to get videos out on time which is somewhat of an achievement for me.

I have spent most of today after getting the house hold chores out-of-the-way making some adjustments to my artwork for my YouTube and twitch accounts as well as better organising my xsplit presentation.
As its Wednesday today I have also been sorting out the Playstation to be able to fit the new goodies coming free from ps+ which is no mean task trying to decide what games the kids play and which ones can be culled.

I have also been playing around with windows 10 and am planning on doing a blog post about my experiences with that.

so In theory there is more to come soon.

Check my twitter @ctyxxxx and my youtube http://www.youtube.com/yxxxx for all my latest stuff.

Update,News, Youtube and Minecraft

Its been a while since I last posted. It has been a busy few weeks the kids have gone back to school and I have had some drama with the car which fortunately is now working ok and has the MOT for the year. I still have manged for the most part to get videos up on my youtube channel and am keeping to my schedule of uploading something every Tuesday and Thursday. Despite an internet outage to two which meant that I was a little late on one or two of them.

I have also manged to do a few streams on twitch.tv  I stream when i can and when internet allows my latest uploads to YouTube are from a live steam that i did while playing lord of the rings online [lotro]  Part 1 Part 2 . There are more video’s on my channel and I would very much appreciate it if you would like and subscribe.

A few large pieces of news have happened since I last posted, Microsoft buying Minecraft is one. Personally on this I think that even and 2.5billion buying Mojang is a good deal for them however I do worry what it will mean for Minecraft especially on the Playstation format. I hope that Microsoft treat the community right and realise that having it on every platform known to man is a good thing.

As I type in the UK, Scotland are voting either yes or no to decide whether they want to stay part of the UK or if they want to go it alone. So far most of the polls have been very very close. I personally hope that Scotland stay as I do think that we are stronger together than we are apart. I am however getting fed up about all the coverage that there has been about it. As I live in England and am English I don’t get to have a say on the matter but its been all that has been talked about for the last few months. We should know by tomorrow morning either way.

I think that is all for now.

 

I would just like to thank my followers and subscribers and hope that you continue to enjoy my content.

 

Twitter @CTyxxxx

Youtube 

Twitch.tv

 

 

RIP CombatTesting.com

On the 10th of march 2014 part of my digital life off 7 years came to an end.

CombatTesting was a company that specialised in community led alpha and beta testing of the highest caliber. It was also a community of gamers from all walks of life across the globe that were and still are passionate about gaming and doing there damnedest to make sure that the games that was tested were as bug free as possible.

I have made many friends and learnt  a lot during my time at Combat Testing.I have learned about the processes that goes on behind the scenes to make games and how even a small change can cascade down the line into a massive problem. Its a shame that the latest trend is for publishers and in some cases developers choosing to go for paid beta’s/alphas  and cutting costs in QA costs in general. For some it works and I cant deny that it does but for most it doesn’t and just leads to a far greater cost down the road. It is I’m sure in large, part of the reason that has led to this unique community shutting its doors.

As part of Combat Testing I personally have been involved in many different games, web apps and even gaming videos I am proud of the work that we have done although it could be frustrating at times due to circumstances beyond our control. Seeing bugs that we knew about and had reported early on in development still being there at launch or even the game being held back due to platform/time/cost constraints when we could see the potential that it had.

The sadest part for me is losing a group of dedicated and passionate bug hunters many like myself that were willing to spend hours a day to hunt out bugs or potential problem areas for free and not expecting any other reward than the satisfaction of a job well done.

I joined CombatTesting when they were working on the Northern Strike addon for Battlefield 2142 Im not sure of the circumstances but I found an advertisement for them somewhere and signed up and that was the start of what would turn out to be a 7 year journey. I made my way up the ranks over the next couple of years going from General tester, to Senior tester then Lead tester where I was in charge of Mantis the old bug tracking system we used until we changed to a diffrent system and finally to CT level. Each level added more responsibility and more of a challenge.

Here follows a list of some of the stuff that Combat Testing and In turn I had a hand in.

Combat Testing was a division of Combat Studios LLC. was responsible for the testing of:
*Medal of Honor Warfighter*

*Homefront*

*Crysis 2 XBox 360 Beta Support*

*Medal of Honor*
PC, PS3
and Xbox 360
Beta Support

*Outspark*
Download Installer
Fist of Fu
Divine Souls
Fiesta

*Battlefield: Bad Company 2*
PS3 and PC beta support

*Rock Band*
Alpha, Beta, and Load Balancing test support

*Rupture*

*Battlefield 2142*
Alpha1
Beta 1
Beta 2
Patch 1.05
Patch 1.10
Patch 1.2

Northern Strike Booster Pack
Patch 1.4
Patch 1.41
Patch 1.51

*Battlefield 2*
Patch 1.3
Patch 1.4

EA Downloader (EADM)
EA Web Sales

And many other titles you love to play!

There are many more that I have had a hand in this list is by no means all inclusive.
I hope that perhaps there is a chance that in the future CT will live again and if not then the possibility of something similar is possible. I’m sure that the current trend of paid beta’s will end up going away and there are signs already of change in that area. And I’m sure that recent events for certain games will mean that QA testing will once again become a very important part of the development process.

RIP COMBAT TESTING

2006 – 2014

International Day Of Happiness

Today is International day of happiness and so a video.

Please spread the happy 😀