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  1. A few things to say here:- 1 - Shop at Currys and you deserve all you get. Period. Though I accept that in a lot of locations these days people don't have that much choice. In my own area, if you're looking for 'white goods' it's Currys or do without. Their 'business model' is to screw you over - realise that before you step into their shops. 2 - Thermal-printed receipts have been a problem for years - and right across the retail sector, not just with Currys. The use of this technology isn't accidental. It's deliberate policy to issue customers with receipts that - hopefully - will be unreadable within a few weeks, depending upon how they are stored. I kid you not. 3 - If you have a receipt from ANY high street store - photocopy it IMMEDIATELY upon getting home - an inkjet-printed copy should last for years, inside a folder - staple the original to the copy. Not many people these days who don't have at least access to a scanning printer. 4 - If it's over £100, use your credit card, if only for the protection. Fall out with Currys (or whoever) and you still have some chance of getting your money back. 5 - Above all - KEEP RECORDS SAFE - don't just stuff receipts etc into a drawer and hope for the best.
  2. I'm an ex-Vodaphone customer. Absolutely permanently an ex-Vodaphone customer. This news items surprises me not in the least given my own past experience. Frankly, I'd buy a carrier pigeon before I ever signed another Vodaphone contact. IMHO anyone silly enough to sign up with or remain with this provider deserves everything they get.
  3. The problem ISN'T just cold callers. It's also a whole lot of public services who don't care or can't be arsed to sort out their call systems. Mainly, I'm talking about the NHS - though there are others, including departments inside my local Council. I'm just fed up with telling my GP and other medical professionals that if they phone me and my CLID indicates 'Withheld Number' I'm just NOT GOING TO BLOODY WELL PICK UP!! Why the hell would I ever want to answer a dozen spam phone calls a day (which I currently ignore) just to find out if the odd call is from an NHS operative? Just NOT going to happen. Not exactly rocket science is it ??!! I have to make it clear here that before my retirement I worked for almost 40 years in public service - and never EVER saw the SLIGHTEST need to conceal my phone number from members of the public I needed to phone. If public services could just get their bone-idle act together, then withheld numbers wouldn't be a problem - all we'd have to do is just ignore them all.
  4. I'll drink to that. Long ago parted company with Which? whose own businness activities don't always bear close examination.
  5. Like others here, I seriously doubt that BT will maintain this as a free service for very long. If we can depend upon BT for one thing at least, it's surely greed. I don't like spam calls any more than anyone else, but I find an allied annoyance even more of a nuisance. And that's the growing habit of many public bodies, including the NHS, of withholding their numbers from caller ID. I refuse to answer any withheld number - I don't see why I should endure repeated withheld-number spam calls just on the offchance that one of them is from the NHS. None of the explanations I have heard makes the slightest sense - I served the public for 40 years before retirement and never found any need to conceal my telephone number. More than one of the medical personnel I have to deal with tell me that they don't understand the requirement either, and increasing numbers of their clients often cannot be reached by phone - like me they simply don't answer withheld number calls. Crazy.
  6. I'm afraid I have little sympathy with anyone silly enough to get involved with TalkTalk. I sacked them some years ago, and endured a year of evasions, lies and 'lost' correspondence as they sought to obtain money I simply did not owe them. Promise after promise that it had been sorted out - only for the harassment to resume within weeks. It took legal action to sort them out - they gave in the day before the hearing. A year later, they bought out my isp - Claranet - after which quality of service went totally down the tubes. I cancelled of course. But... well you can guess the rest. Though it did get a bit surreal when they claimed they did not know I'd changed isps - contacting me via my new email address!! There's only one way to deal with TalkTalk - STAY AWAY FROM THEM.
  7. It's another example of parking control in this country being run by dodgy firms who are imho 99% criminals. It's just a protection racket - if Capone was still alive, he'd be kicking himself for not thinking of it. There is a lot of thoughtless, even criminal, parking - but the current system isn't solving it. It's just adding more levels of bureaucracy and rigmarole.
  8. This development - along with contactless cards - is not something I want, asked ofr, or would ever dream of using. The system is secure? Yeah right - now where have we heard that, time and time before? With the last few weeks of Heartbleed revelations, it must be obvious to most sensible people that none of this technology can ever be made 100% secure. After my brother's card was cloned at the till of a major supermarket, I no longer even use my card in shops - I use a bank ATM and shop with cash. Apart from anything else, keeping within a set amount of cash in my pocket has saved me a small fortune. Card technology just makes it too easy for bills to mount - and this new development of paying by phone is designed to solve a problem that doesn't exist (other than the system wanting us to spend more.)
  9. You may have a lot more than credit checks to worry about. Although an ex-Librarian, I don't use my local public library. It may have something to do with the fact that - not being an avid Mills & Boon or celebrity biography reader - I find little to interest me. I in fact own more good books than in my local library. I'm not rich - you don't need to be, shopping for books online and in charity shops - I spend less than £20 a month and I'm a year behind reading my purchases. My problem with libraries is more because - on joining up - I was offered a 'convenient' swipe card, which it didn't take me long to discover was in fact a back-door identity card - something I've fought half my life against. I burned it. Paranoid, you may think? Many years ago, when book issues records were still manual, in smaller libraries at least, I was asked by the police to hand over my readership files so they could check what everyone had been reading. I told them I would burn the files first. Most of my colleagues in other branches complied without demur. I was threatened with prosecution until the matter (somehow ) hit the media, at which point the police ran for cover. I would imagine these days, with digital files and compliant petty officials, your reading habits are probably a matter of record for any minimally-official (or Lodge-sponsored) busybody who wants to see the library files. For those who might be saying by now "if you've done nothing wrong you have nothing to be afraid of" - IMHO you're part of the problem. A society without privacy - or a society (like ours increasingly) where privacy depends on wealth - is not a free society. IMHO public library records are no longer private - read the fine print. I'll carry on buying what I want to read. If nothing else I at least know where my book was last.
  10. Depends how many books are involved. Most libraries these days are quite liberal. Though if even a dozen books are involved the fines owing would seem to me to be well below the economic limit for a collection agency. The point probably isn't so much the fines as the added charges (i.e. profits) for the collection agency. I wouldn't be surprised if (as usual in my direct experience within local government) the contract originated, like so many others, inside the local Lodge.
  11. Now retired, I was a senior Librarian for many years. In my long experience, few 'fines' systems are worth the candle. In fact they can actively discourage people from returning books. They rarely even benefit the library concerned, as estimated fines (often hugely inflated) are typically deducted from budgets at the start of the year, forcing libraries to depend on the fine income. If everyone brought back their books on time, many libraries would be insolvent. What often starts as an understandable attempt to recover books far too often ends in raw, crude income generation, of the kind whose hidden costs often outweigh benefits. On top of all that, the legal basis for library fines is often ambiguous. In my own direct experience, the self-righteous mind-set of public employees 'punishing' the very public that employs them is a product of a top-heavy local government system that's now totally out of the control of those it's supposed to serve. And if fines are ill-advised, then employing commercial debt collecting agencies is deplorable and, in my view, totally unprofessional.
  12. It's even worse up here north of the Border, where court judgments can be obtained at the drop of a clerk's rubber stamp - nothing a civilised person would call due process. They'vce been promising to change the system for years, but of course it never happens - too many snouts in the trough. If the council have made a mistake (shockingly common) you have no opportunity to plead a case. The first clue you get is often a huge bill followed by the arrival of the bailiffs. They're supposed to tell you in advance - they rarely do but of course the council's computer record of correspondence will always say what they want it to say. As for the relationship between council and bailiffs - around here you need look no further than the local Freemason's Lodge, where more council business is done than in chambers.
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