Archive for January, 2007

Carbon Trust (people in glass houses)

January 29th, 2007 No comments

Carbon News (Carbon Trust)We’ve all heard about the ‘greenhouse effect’, but in this case, the old saying “people in glass houses, shouldn’t throw stones” applies ironically here to the Carbon Trust, who recently sent us two identical copies of their news-sheet “Carbon News”. But the needless waste doesn’t end there – The information enclosed was identical to that in an email we had already received, so the paper version was not needed at all.

Harveys Furniture Delivery Charges

January 29th, 2007 9 comments

While looking for a 3-piece suite this weekend we visited a Harveys Furniture store, and while we didn’t see a suite we liked, we did see a nest of tables that we did for GBP 179 less 10% (~ GBP 160). However, when we asked for one we were told that they had to be ordered on an 8-10 week lead time. Don’t they have any in stock, whether at the store or a regional warehouse?

The bombshell, however, was that the delivery charge was GBP 47.50!! That represents almost 30% of the cost of the table, just for delivering an item I didn’t even want delivered in the first place – I could take it home in the car. We couldn’t believe our ears.

Apparently it’s a fixed charge, whatever the size of the order, but that’s no use if you just want a small table. We asked if they could have it delivered to the store and we would pick it up from there. “Sorry sir, we can’t do that”.

So basically, Harveys lost a sale for 160 quid because they are inflexible.

Is it any wonder that the likes of Ikea are so popular, when you can turn up and go home with the furniture you just paid for.

Update: 2nd Feb

I left a message on Harvey’s website regarding the above, and today received a reply which contained the following:

Dear Sir/Madam

Thank you for your email the content of which has been noted, unfortunately you have not stated the invoice number that your goods were ordered on nor the branch the order was placed with, and we are unable to locate your details.

If you would be able to forward the relevant information, we will be able to continue with the query and pass the details to the relevant person.

What?! I didn’t place an order! Didn’t you read the message? What a Farce!

Ironically, the message concludes with:

Assuring you of our best intentions at all times.

I very much doubt that.

Using a Microwave Oven to sterilise your dishcloth

January 24th, 2007 No comments

MicrowaveThe BBC is carrying a story that scientists have “discovered a new weapon against the germs which cause food poisoning – the microwave oven.”

Forgive me, but they haven’t ‘discovered’ anything. This is an old trick. Basically the water in the wet cloth or sponge gets heated to boiling point, and in doing so sterilises the cloth.

They may have done some research into how effective it is, but it is not a ‘discovery’ by a long shot.

UPDATE: The Fire Brigade is now warning against doing this, because some pillocks decided to try it without wetting the cloth! Some people should not be allowed to breed.

Petlog rip-off charges

January 18th, 2007 11 comments

We have recently moved house, and obviously needed to inform several organisations about our new address. For the most part, you get no confirmation until the next bill or correspondence arrives. Some even send a nice letter saying:

Thank you for taking the time to inform us of your updated details

except one: Petlog.

For those who don’t know, when you have a cat or dog, you can have it ‘chipped’, i.e. a small device, the size of a grain of rice, is inserted under the skin at the nape of the animal’s neck. Each chip has a unique serial number. Petlog (part of the Kennel Club) hold a database of these chips, referencing the id to your address should your pet ever be lost.

Petlog Demand LetterWe informed Petlog of the new address and the reply was:

Thank you for your revised details. In order to action this request, we require a payment of £7.50

What?! No-one else has asked for payment. Cheeky *******!

I have sent a letter in reply:

4a Alton House Office Park
Gatehouse Way
HP19 8XU

18th January 2007

Dear Sirs

Re: Change of Address: chip number xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

We refer to your letter of 16th January.

We must point out that in moving house, we have informed more than fifty companies and organisations, both large and small, and Petlog is the only one to have the audacity to demand a payment for thirty seconds of keyboard work.

By the time you had written your letter, you could have changed the address on your database. In fact in writing your letter you have actually typed our new address. This time could have been far better spent typing it into the database.

The amount is not even nominal. Let’s be generous and say it takes two minutes to change the address: are you seriously suggesting it costs you £225 an hour to employ clerical staff, or are you employing high court barristers? Maybe your office processes are inefficient and require serious scrutiny.

My guess, however, is that it is really a ploy to sell your ‘petlog+’ package with ‘added extras’ which represent very little value to us:

‘Free’ changes of address Having just moved house, we are unlikely to move again before the cat dies, so no value there. Especially as everyone else does it for free.

Add holiday travel details When we go away, the cat is in the cattery, we give our details to them, again no value.

Lost Pet Posters I am perfectly capable of producing my own posters, probably to a much higher quality.

The extortionate charge of £7.50 cannot be justified in any way. You don’t even include a reply paid envelope. You are playing on the emotional relationship between a pet and its owner.

I guess being part of the kennel club, you are aiming your service at those with pedigree dogs and cats costing hundreds or even thousands of pounds, however, we are talking here about a non-pedigree domestic cat with a purchase value of zero.

As far as I’m concerned, I paid enough for your service when the chip was fitted.

Yours faithfully

UPDATE: 23rd April

Well, it’s over three months later and no reply from Petlog

Call Centre Conversations

January 16th, 2007 No comments

These are supposed to be actual call centre conversations. Whether they’re real or not, they’re still funny.

Customer: “I’ve been ringing 0700 2300 for two days and can’t get through to enquiries, can you help?”.
Operator: “Where did you get that number from, sir?”.
Customer: “It was on the door to the Travel Centre”.
Operator: “Sir, they are our opening hours”.

Samsung Electronics
Caller: “Can you give me the telephone number for Jack?”
Operator: “I’m sorry, sir, I don’t understand who you are talking about”.
Caller: “On page 1, section 5, of the user guide it clearly states that I need to unplug the fax machine from the AC wall socket and telephone Jack before cleaning. Now, can you give me the number for Jack?”
Operator: “I think you mean the telephone point on the wall”.

RAC Motoring Services
Caller: “Does your European Breakdown Policy cover me when I am travelling in Australia?”
Operator: ” Doesn’t the product name give you a clue?”

Caller (enquiring about legal requirements while travelling in France): “If I register my car in France, do I have to change the steering wheel to the other side of the car?”

Directory Enquiries
Caller: “I’d like the number of the Argoed Fish Bar in Cardiff please”.
Operator: “I’m sorry, there’s no listing. Is the spelling correct?”
Caller: “Well, it used to be called the Bargoed Fish Bar but the ‘B’ fell off”.

Then there was the caller who asked for a knitwear company in Woven.
Operator: “Woven? Are you sure?”
Caller: “Yes. That’s what it says on the label; Woven in Scotland “.

On another occasion, a man making heavy breathing sounds from a phone box told a worried operator: “I haven’t got a pen, so I’m steaming up the window to write the number on”.

Tech Support: “I need you to right-click on the Open Desktop”.
Customer: “OK”.
Tech Support: “Did you get a pop-up menu?”.
Customer: “No”.
Tech Support: “OK. Right-Click again. Do you see a pop-up menu?”
Customer: “No”.
Tech Support: “OK, sir. Can you tell me what you have done up until this point?”.
Customer: “Sure. You told me to write ‘click’ and I wrote ‘click'”.

Tech Support: “OK. In the bottom left hand side of the screen, can you see the ‘OK’ button displayed?”
Customer: “Wow. How can you see my screen from there?”

Caller: “I deleted a file from my PC last week and I have just realised that I need it. If I turn my system clock back two weeks will I have my file back again?”.

Supposed to be actual dialogue of a former WordPerfect Customer Support employee, but according to, it’s just urban legend Still funny though. The original story can be found here.

Operator: “Ridge Hall, computer assistance; may I help you?”
Caller: “Yes, well, I’m having trouble with WordPerfect.”
Operator: “What sort of trouble??”
Caller: “Well, I was just typing along, and all of a sudden the words went away.”
Operator: “Went away?”
Caller: “They disappeared.”
Operator: “Hmm So what does your screen look like now?”
Caller: “Nothing.”
Operator: “Nothing??”
Caller: “It’s blank; it won’t accept anything when I type.”
Operator: “Are you still in WordPerfect, or did you get out??”
Caller: “How do I tell?”
Operator: “Can you see the C: prompt on the screen??”
Caller: “What’s a sea-prompt?”
Operator: “Never mind, can you move your cursor around the screen?”
Caller: “There isn’t any cursor: I told you, it won’t accept anything I type.”
Operator: “Does your monitor have a power indicator??”
Caller: “What’s a monitor?”
Operator: “It’s the thing with the screen on it that looks like a TV. Does it have a little light that tells you when it’s on??”
Caller: “I don’t know.”
Operator: “Well, then look on the back of the monitor and find where the power cord goes into it. Can you see that??”
Caller: “Yes, I think so.”
Operator: “Great. Follow the cord to the plug, and tell me if it’s plugged into the wall.
Caller: “Yes, it is.”
Operator: “When you were behind the monitor, did you notice that there were two cables plugged into the back of it, not just one??”
Caller: “No.”
Operator: “Well, there are. I need you to look back there again and find the other cable.”
Caller: “Okay, here it is.”
Operator: “Follow it for me, and tell me if it’s plugged securely into the back of your computer.”
Caller: “I can’t reach.”
Operator: “Uh huh. Well, can you see if it is??”
Caller: “No.”
Operator: “Even if you maybe put your knee on something and lean way over??”
Caller: “Oh, it’s not because I don’t have the right angle – it’s because it’s dark.”
Operator: “Dark??”
Caller: “Yes – the office light is off, and the only light I have is coming in from the window.
” Operator: “Well, turn on the office light then.”
Caller: “I can’t.”
Operator: “No? Why not??”
Caller: “Because there’s a power failure.”
Operator: “A power……… A power failure? Aha, Okay, we’ve got it licked now.
Do you still have the boxes and manuals and packing stuff your computer came in??”
Caller: “Well, yes, I keep them in the closet.”
Operator: “Good. Go get them, and unplug your system and pack it up just like it was when you got it. Then take it back to the store you bought it from.”
Caller: “Really? Is it that bad?”
Operator: “Yes, I’m afraid it is.”
Caller: “Well, all right then, I suppose. What do I tell them??”
Operator: “Tell them you’re too $*%ing stupid to own a computer!!!!!”

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Newspaper clippings

January 16th, 2007 No comments

Received these via email:

Swimmer Trapped by \'Beach Balls\'

Buzzing Undies make Shopper Faint

Sooty the Legend

Teatime Love Bite

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