Deal of the week

DIY store Woodie's is bringing its party business online with the launch of its new website The site offers delivery anywhere in Ireland for €5.95 but where it may really appeal to consumers is in the pricing, with over 7,000 products listed on the site starting from 99 cent. Given the cost of throwing a kid's party nowadays, it is worth a punt.

Tip of the week

Beware of pushy and unscrupulous salespeople willing to bully you into signing up for services you don't want. A Sunday Tribune reader recently found herself under serious pressure when sales reps for a certain electricity company touting for her business marched into her living room – uninvited – sat down and started taking down her details on the pretence that she was losing out on a last-day discount with her existing provider. Only when she checked with her partner did the woman realise that these sales reps were from a completely different company and had effectively been deceiving her into switching providers. She promptly asked them to leave but not before taking their details to lodge a formal complaint.

Bad value of the week

Mobile phone companies are a law onto themselves sometimes but the news last week that both O2 and Meteor have or are planning to almost double their call connection charges for prepaid customers takes the biscuit. The hike has already been implemented for O2 customers, who will now pay nine cent compared to five cent previously. Meteor customers face a similar hike in mid-August. The changes are collectively expected to affect 1.5 million people. Easy to see why the hike is worth it to both companies but more reason to ensure that you shop around to get the best deal available.

Recession rates

Security Online

Beware of internet security: Never use online banking on a free wireless network. 'Evil twins' are where a person broadcasts a stronger wireless signal within a wireless network calling it a similar name and when you type anything they record it, including banking log-ins etc. The best defence for this is to only use internet banking on a trusted network.

Top 10 Irish scams: see Consumer Connect at

Tip: Banks will never email you asking to verify sensitive information. Don't ever respond to such emails, and never click on any links in them.