My N26 Black MasterCard broke and I am no longer able to make contactless payments with it. When I went on to the app to order a replacement they were asking for €6 to pay for the replacement. I’ve no problem paying for a replacement in the case of the card being lost or stolen however I do have an issue with it when it was damaged. The card was damaged by general use – inserting and removing from the chip reader, something the card should be designed to withstand. I decided to hold off ordering the replacement and instead get on live chat to ask what they could do for me.

This also let me see how their live chat is doing these days. I’ve always found them spot on – quick to connect, quick to reply and very helpful. However, it recents weeks I’ve been receiving comments from readers about N26 customer support and they have not been very positive.

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I honestly didn’t see this coming. Amazon now offer free 2 day delivery to Ireland with no minimum spend if you are a Prime member. I expected Amazon to start including free standard delivery to Ireland as part of prime but they’ve gone one better and included 2 day delivery. All items eligible for Prime delivery and eligible for delivery to Ireland are included however some items will not be eligible for free 2 day delivery but instead will be free standard delivery.

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I’m a big fan of Amazon Warehouse Deals. Amazon sell open box and returned items at a discount. All items come with 30 day money-back guarantee and are eligible for Prime shipping. Since Amazon has such a generous returns policy even for change of mind, a lot of these items are virtually brand new. Anytime I purchase an item on Amazon, I will go for Amazon Warehouse Deals if there is an option. I’ve never been disappointed. I’ve purchased my TV, headphones, saucepans, kitchen utensil set, kitchen bin, coffee machine and lots more under the Warehouse Deals option and have saved hundreds of pounds.

Amazon are currently offering a further 20% off selected Warehouse Deals prices. The discount will appear on the final checkout page. It will say 20% off below the price in the listing page if the item is eligible.

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I have always been a big fan of Parcel Motel from the beginning and would tend to defend them during the busy periods. I feel some people are unrealistic when they expect no delays during the Christmas rush, – as it is a locker system there is a finite number of parcels that can be stored in a motel at a time. With this in mind there are certain things Parcel Motel could consider doing to improve the experience.

If I was in charge I’d try to improve customer support during the busy periods. I seem to be in a minority but I find their customer support to be very good although it does slow down hugely during December. I’d also store multiple parcels for one person in the same locker, but still charge for two stays as you’re processing two parcels. There are times where I’ve gone to collect four parcels which would have fitted in one locker, but instead took up four. I’d also allow uses to select what days to accept deliveries to a motel. This would allow people who know they won’t be near a motel at the weekend to block weekends for deliveries. Their parcels would be held until Monday opening up space for other customers. I know there would be a lot of logistics and processes would need to be put in place for this to work – and now is the time to start thinking about it when you have almost a full year for development and testing before the next big rush.

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I’ve always been a bit surprised with just how expensive sending a one off parcel is with An Post at a post office. To post a 20KG parcel within Ireland costs €30.50, to the UK costs €61.50 and the rest of the world costs €82 for their Standard Parcel Service. I understand that this is for a one off parcel and if you are posting in bulk you will get significant discounts. However, what always struck me as strange is that An Post allows you to send a parcel under 10KG anywhere in Ireland for €13 (previously it was €11) by Express Post. What is annoying is that you need to ring them to order it and the parcel is collected from your address. I’d find it much more convenient to drop it off at a post office, but they said this wasn’t possible.

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