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David McClelland, Technology Expert

Rip Off Britain Holidays

David McClelland, Technology ExpertFor the last two series of BBC One’s Consumer Affairs show Rip Off Britain I’ve appeared as the Telecoms and Technology Expert primarily offering hints and advice to the millions of mobile phone users in the UK.

This week sees the second season of its successful spin-off show, Rip Off Britain: Holidays, and once again I’m delighted to be on hand to help.

With Britain in the grip of one of the wettest and windiest winters in a generation our thoughts naturally turn to an escape abroad to warmer and sunnier climes.

However, in an increasingly connected society, among the challenges of travelling abroad is how safely to use your mobile phone without getting a nasty surprise from an unexpectedly large bill upon your return home – so-called ‘bill shock’.

This is just a short iPlayer excerpt from a longer item, to see the full shows visit the Rip Off Britain website.

The BBC has also published a downloadable guide featuring my handy hints for taking your mobile abroad which you can download here.

Rip Off Britain: Holidays broadcasts on BBC One at 11am each day from Monday 6th to Friday 10th January 2014, repeated the following weekday on BBC Two at 7am.

BBC One - Rip Off Britain Logo

New series of BBC One’s Rip Off Britain

BBC One - Rip Off Britain LogoA brand new series of Rip Off Britain hits the BBC One schedules this September and once again I’ll be popping up as a guest expert to help disgruntled viewers with their telecoms and technology gripes.

As well as the hugely successful Pop Up Shop I worked on several items for the current series including a piece with my daughter Evie about in-app purchases on smartphones and tablets, plus a workshop with Gloria on top tips for using your mobile phone abroad.

Rip Off Britain has a great team of experts who, like me, regularly appear to help viewers who feel they have been victims of a rip-off. The team includes Dominic Baliszewski from Broadband Choices; Dr Jessica Barker, an independent cyber security expert; Sarah Pennells, founder of SavvyWoman.co.uk and The Independent’s Travel Editor, Simon Calder.

Series 5 of Rip Off Britain is on BBC One every day in September at 9:15am. You can catch up with whole show or watch individual clips on the BBC Rip Off Britain website.

Fast Forward – 3D Technology Investigated

The latest episode of Fast Forward, my future technology show on O2 Guru TV, is out now and this one is a bit special: a 3D special in fact.

Sylvain Preumont, iMakr Store London, 3D Printer

With the BBC announcing only last week that it is pulling the plug on its 3D programming citing a ‘hassly’ viewing experience, I embark on a journey to investigate if today’s 3D tech is more than just expensive televisions and embarrassing glasses.

In the show I get creative in the world’s largest 3D printer store, go hands on with the world’s first 2D/3D dual-dimension interchangeable compact camera lens from Samsung, take a look at an innovative 3D pen and visit the world’s leading lenticular and 3D artist Jeff Robb.

Think 3D tech is tired and underwhelming? Watch this and then let me if you still think so.

Subscribe to O2 Guru TV to watch more Fast Forward episodes as they come out.

Julia Somerville, Gloria Hunniford and Angela Ripon

BBC Rip Off Britain Pops Up in Liverpool

This weekend I’ve been with the BBC One Rip Off Britain team in Liverpool giving consumer advice and top tips in the show’s pop up shop.

BBC Rip Off Britain Pop Up Shop LiverpoolAs a technology and communications expert for the show I get asked a lot of questions throughout the year about mobile phones, landlines and the internet.

A common theme for many viewers in this year’s pop up shop has been how to deal with nuisance calls; there were also complaints about call charges to 118 directory services numbers, particularly when they offer to connect the call on your behalf.

In a new item for the show I gave a workshop on top tips for using your mobile phone while abroad: Gloria Hunniford and I took to the streets of Liverpool to show how, with a little planning, everybody can safely roam with their phones while avoid a nasty bill shock when they return home.

Season 5 of Rip Off Britain is due to broadcast on BBC One during daytimes in September.

5 top tips to safeguard against inadvertent in app purchases

In app purchases have been in the news again recently following the revelation that one junior gamer unwittingly racked up a £1700 bill on his dad’s credit card during a particularly prolific 15 minute gaming session.

The BBC One Rip Off Britain team paid a visit earlier this week to ask me what in app purchases are what the so-called ‘freemium’ business model means; plus I demonstrated how you can very easily be no more than three screen taps away from expensive in app purchases within a supposedly free game.

We also filmed a lovely sequence of me and my 3 year old daughter Evie playing CBeebies games together on our iPad.

If you let your children play on your smartphone or tablet then here are my 5 top tips which I suggest will safeguard you and your family from any inadvertent in app purchases:

In app purchase

  1. Never share your password, even if it’s to download a so-called ‘free’ app.
  2. Enable restrictions on your device. At present they aren’t enabled by default so you must take action to make your phone or tablet safe.
  3. If the game doesn’t need a network connection then turn on your device’s airplane or flight-safe mode – this will disable its network connection preventing any purchases.
  4. Regularly check your purchase history, make sure you recognise all of the downloads on there – each app store has its own easy link to do this.
  5. Supervised play – vet the games you let your kids play and supervise when they play. Not only can you keep an eye on what your children are playing it’s a great way to share in their excitement, entertainment and education.

I’ve written in the past about how adults can safely introduce their children to smartphones and tablets, most recently for the National Childbirth Trust. This item on in app purchases for the BBC will be broadcast on later on this year.

BBC One - Rip Off Britain Logo

Rip Off Britain returns – watch a quick clip!

Julia Somerville, Gloria Hunniford and Angela Ripon

Julia, Gloria and Angela

Consumer affairs show Rip Off Britain returns for its Spring 2013 primetime run on BBC One.

I’ll be appearing once again as the golden girls’ telecoms expert advising the good people of Great Britain how to fight their corner against unfair contracts, shocking bills and tricky terms and conditions.

Here’s a quick clip from the opening episode of this series where I help a former squash world champion get to the bottom of a dispute with his phone contract:

This season airs on Monday evenings at 8pm (just after Eastenders!) from January 7th 2013 for 8 weeks.

You can catch-up with the rest of the Rip Off Britain series over on BBC iPlayer.

Apple iPhone 5

BBC Local Radio Interviews on iPhone 5 Announcement Day

Apple iPhone 5On the day of the iPhone 5 announcement I was appearing on various BBC local radio stations (and some commercial ones too) throughout the UK talking about the  unveiling, offering my insight into which new features it might include.

Apple’s annual announcement of its latest and greatest iPhone generates more tweets, posts, column inches and airtime than any other consumer technology product launch.

On air I also discussed some research carried out by gadget recycling website cashinyourgadgets.co.uk revealing what we do (or rather don’t do) with our old gadgets after we’ve upgraded. I’m as bad as anybody with several old laptops, mobile phones and cameras slowly gathering rust in my drawers contributing to the estimated £1 billion of old, unused tech cluttering up our cupboards in the UK alone.

Listen to an excerpt from one of the interviews where I chat with Tony Fisher from BBC Radio Hereford and Worcester:

Like most other pundits my predictions for the iPhone 5 came true, hardly surprising given all of the leaks ahead of the launch.

Julia Somerville, Gloria Hunniford and Angela Ripon

Rip Off Britain – Season 4, BBC One

BBC One - Rip Off Britain LogoSeason 4 of BBC One’s Rip Off Britain airs every weekday morning during September between 9:15am and 10am.

I’ll be making a handful of appearances during the course of the series (which we recorded earlier this year at the BBC’s Pop-Up Shop in Gateshead) helping viewers with their consumer technology queries and contract gripes.

You can catch up with the shows on BBC iPlayer here.


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