Frequently Asked Site Questions
Reporting problems with this web site
If you are having a problem using this web site then we hope that this page will help you decide why it isn’t working as you expect. If your question isn’t answered here then:
For product and general queries and comments use our Enquiry Form.
For technical problems and enquiries use our Technical Queries Form.
Please do not email us unless there is a good reason why you cannot use our forms, such as the form itself is broken. We rely on information generated by the forms (none of it personal!) in order to trace the problem.
Some common problems and possible solutions
I’m getting an error page
Error pages can take different forms. Reasons for receiving an error include:
You have selected an unavailable page. This error may manifest itself by returning you to the site’s home page. In most cases this is due to spelling mistakes when typing in the web site URL (aka web address) or perhaps by clicking on a link in an email where the link has wrapped over two or more lines. In a few cases we may have removed the page for some reason. If you think this may be the case and need to access it then please contact us using our Technical Queries Form.
You repeatedly get a message saying you are not permitted to access the web site or a particular web page. Please see the Advert Killers, Anti-Virus, Firewalls note.
Dynamic pages do not change
You have a very strong web cache either within your web browser or on a proxy server (your own or your service provider’s). See Cache Problems.
Your internet connection may be off-line and the page is being served up from your local cache.
My email from you didn’t arrive
It is important that you enter a valid email address in our forms. Without a valid email address we may not be able contact you.
If you submit a Contact / Enquiry form then you should receive a copy of it by email almost immediately (see above).
We will usually contact you within two or three working days of receiving an order or enquiry form (please allow for weekends and holidays). Again, please ensure your email address is correct.
The most common reasons for emails to fail include:
mis-spelling the address;
incorrect domain extensions: firstname.lastname@example.org is correct, email@example.com is not, nor is anything at aol.co.uk;
your service provider’s mail server is incorrectly set up (eg no rDNS);
temporary mail server faults due to maintenance down-time etc.
Advert Killers, Anti-Virus, Firewalls
If you have a problem that may be explained by one of the above notes then please check for this possibility.
There is no advantage to be gained by turning off these features, despite what the product’s advertising says, and it often prevents a web site from working properly. In some cases a web server may even reject visitors who have these features turned off, on the very valid grounds that email harvesters and site rippers approach in just that way.
If you think the problem lies with our web site rather than your own system, or would like advice on overcoming the problem, please contact us using our Technical Queries Form.
This site uses Temporary Cookies to track product and personal details during your visit. The information they hold is automatically deleted after a timeout of approximately 20 minutes of inactivity (that is, you have not read a new web page or refreshed the old one).
If you persistently lose information on forms or other pages on a shorter time scale then you may be using a web browser or advert filter that has Cookies and/or Referers turned off (see Advert Killers, Anti-Virus, Firewalls). If so, please turn these features on and try again. If the problem persists then please contact us using our Technical Queries Form.
Please note that our cookies are Local and will only be returned to and serviced by this web site. We do not pass any details on to other companies or agencies.
This web site draws its data from a database. If course details or other information are not displayed then the database may be in the process of being updated. This generally takes no more than a minute or two. If you try again and still get no information then please report the fault using our Technical Queries Form giving full details of the problem.
None Of The Above
If the above information here does not help you to solve your site access problem then please use our Technical Queries Form to send us full details.
Web pages are often cached in order to conserve Internet bandwidth (the amount of traffic that is sent over phone or ADSL lines, for example). This simply means that the pages are stored on a computer (yours or an intermediate traffic control computer) that is not the original web server (ie the computer that hosts the original web pages).
In the case of web browsers, pages that you read are stored on your computer. This is normal. The quantity of pages and their storage time can be modified by you in your web browser’s preferences or options panel. If you think this may be a cause of trouble then examine your web browser’s settings. You can find information on how to do this by searching on Google.
Some dialup and ADSL service providers such as BlueYonder, BT, NTL, etc cache web pages in an attempt to reduce the amount of traffic they carry. This is quite normal. However, some providers use very aggressive caching that sometimes prevents dynamic pages such as shopping baskets from being properly delivered. They may serve up a previous copy of a page without asking if the web site’s server has updated it. If you think this is the case then you should discuss the problem with your service provider. There are discussion forums where this type of thing is discussed – enquire at Google. We would also appreciate a report via our Technical Queries Form, giving details of your service provider and any other details you think may be useful to us.
Another downside to caching is blacklisting. If someone using your area’s cache has an aggressive virus that tries to hack a web site the cache may be blacklisted. This is an automatic reaction of some firewalls. If you cannot access a web site and use a service such as NTL then that is a possible cause. If it happens with this web site then please contact Technical Queries Form.
Your web browser uses an identifier called a User Agent String in order to identify itself to web sites. Some web sites alter their behaviour according to the User Agent identity, in order to present web pages more suited to certain types of browser. If the User Agent string is incorrect or empty you may experience problems reading web pages on this site. There is no advantage to be gained by hiding your User Agent identity. See Advert Killers, Anti-Virus, Firewalls.
This site is designed to time out after approximately 20 minutes of inactivity, where inactivity is defined as not retrieving a new page or posting a form for that period. Merely paging up and down the current page does not count. If values are missing or given as Unknown in error reports then that may be the reason.