Finally Finished

*Ages* ago (well before I moved) I bought a load of laundry pods because they were on a very good offer. (Reduced price and increased loyalty/rewards points, I think – might’ve been a multipack deal in there too)  I might even have taken advantage of that offer twice – although that was mainly through forgetting I’d done it once already. Regardless, I then didn’t get round to using them.

When I moved, I realised I still had them, so decided to use them up before going back to the methods I prefer (liquid/gel rather than pods or powder)  Somewhere along the line I also discovered I’d been using the pods incorrectly – turns out they’re supposed to go into the washing machine *first*, then the laundry on top , whereas I’d been using them in the same way as the liquid/gel methods.  Live and learn, and all that.

Anyway, this is all a roundabout way of acknowledging that I’ve finally – *finally!* – just used the last of those sodding pods.

The next couple of laundry loads will be a comparison exercise – do I really notice the difference?

But for now I can’t deny, I’m just happy to be at the end of the pods.


Bah HumbugAnd at last, Christmas Day is upon us.

That means that at least we’ll be getting rid of adverts for perfumes, excessive food, trite festive bullshit, and other horrors.

In return, we’ll now be seeing ones for holidays, diets, and stopping smoking. (I assume)

And we’ll be back to this old garbage in eight months or so.

In the meantime, may this bring to you and yours whatever works for you.

Festerous Advertising

Bah Humbug“It gets earlier every year!”

We’ve entered November, and it seems like all the advertisers have gone “Fucking hell, Christmas is coming!“, so it’s all turned into a retail frenzy of fuckery.  They’ve already thawed out Mariah Carey and Michael Bublé (Or “Mickey Bubbles” as I tend to call him) in ads, as well as a couple of other “celebrity-laden” ones where I know the faces and couldn’t give two shits about any of their names.

So by the time we’re on November 2nd I’m already sick of the entire bloody thing.

Bah Humbug indeed.

MOT Thoughts

Following on from getting the car’s MOT Test done this week, I had a look back on the history of my car’s MOT tests (that’s just a link to the service, not to my specific vehicle)  Something I find interesting on it all is the inconsistency of what’s reported as faults.

I’ve noticed it before – but even when using the same MOT Test Centre, they don’t seem to check the same things every year.

As an example – last year I had advisory warnings about corrosion to the rear doors, and to some suspension components. This year? Neither of those problems was mentioned at all – and I know I haven’t had any work done to sort them out!

It’s not just this test centre, either – the same was true when I was using the Kia dealership down in Milton Keynes, and I know was true with the Saab (an exhaust back box that was blowing one year and not the next, for example) and I thus assume for the Ford as well. (I didn’t really check/track then)

Obviously it’s meant more for looking at current serious faults that would make a vehicle dangerous – although in that case I don’t quite get why misaligned windscreen washers or headlights result in a failure rather than a “needs fixing” – but the lack of consistency on the historical ones just leaves me with a bit of a feeling of “This is all just subjective and/or guesswork, isn’t it?

Finance Trials – Follow Up

Following on from my complaint to the Financial Ombudsman about [Company A]’s fuckery, I got a response this morning from them.

Well, I say a response. More of an acknowledgement. With this in it…

We try to resolve complaints as quickly as we can. But there’s currently a very high demand for our service – so it might take around four months before a case handler gets in touch with you and starts looking into your complaint.

(That’s their emphasis on the timescale, not mine)

So on current evidence I’ll be lucky to hear anything at all before 2024…

Laid Waste

One of the (admittedly silly) things I’m generally proud of is how comparatively little non-recyclable waste I generate here. When it comes to my bin-collection days, I’m usually quite surprised by how full the bins of my neighbours are in comparison.

Now admittedly the other households usually have more people in, and I take that into account – but all the same, those bins are filled to the brim most fortnights.

Mine seems to generally work out as one bag per fortnight, so I generally (unless it’s been stupidly warm, in which case I’d rather be rid) actually only put that bin out every other fortnight – and even then, it’s nowhere near full. I could probably get away with only putting it out every six weeks, to be honest.

On the other hand, I’d be considerably more stuffed if I forgot to put the recycling stuff out for collection. (I base that on knowledge, I messed up one day and missed it when the collection came far earlier than usual, and it was a pain in the bits to catch up!)

I know that, all things considered, it means precisely cock-all. But I’m still happy that I’m not landfilling much stuff at all.  (Obviously most of my carbon footprint is taken up with idiot drives, rather than the waste I generate)

Subscriptions and Stupidity

Interesting to see that subscription things are now the latest target in the Government’s “How can we protect stupid people from being stupid?” process.

Now OK, some of the tactics used by subscription-model companies can be a pain – particularly the “sign up for a free trial and we’ll charge you after that” thing – but also (as that summary hints) they bloody well tell you what they’re going to do!  I assume that people just get as far as “sign up for a free trial” and then stop reading/comprehending, but it really isn’t rocket science.

If you’re wanting to try it, then sign up for the free trial.  But at the same time put a reminder in your phone for 25-ish days away that says “Cancel [x]”. Then when the phone says “Cancel [x]”, do so.  Voila, no charge.

Yes, the model absolutely relies on people being stupid and not bothering to cancel the subscription. Similarly, most gym memberships expect/hope that the majority of people will sign up for the year and only use the place for two or three months. (although that one is a contract, so they can’t easily get out of it)  But a subscription model paid month-to-month is an easy one to cancel – assuming even a vague level of competence, of course.  The first time the payment comes out, if you don’t want it, it’s easy to go “Oh, fuck it. Forgot that – let’s cancel that now so I don’t have to pay again next month!”  and just log in and get it cancelled.

Now OK, I accept that I’m probably not “normal” on this, but I keep a close eye on my money – I know when payments come out, I know what I’m expecting to pay, and I check my bank account every couple of days, minimum.  I know where I stand on all of it on any given day.  So it absolutely gobsmacks me to see things like this (from the story linked above) :

John, for example, told the BBC he had signed up to Amazon Prime video for a 30-day free period and forgot to cancel it when he had to start paying for it.

“I’m just gutted I spent £6.99 a month for 18 months for no reason”.

Now, I’d like to see Amazon’s side of that story, and see whether “John” actually watched Amazon video in that time, and/or whether he got Amazon deliveries in that time. It’s worth noting that Amazon is actually an oddity in this case, in that you pay for Prime delivery and get the video stuff as well – so if he’s paid for Prime to get things delivered next-day and made use of that then it’s not been a waste of money in the first place!

As for cancelling, John comes up with this gem…

“It was such a stressful ordeal and left me with a lot of anxiety. It ridiculous, these companies only care about the money not the person”.

I mean…. A) Welcome to Capitalism.  And B) it’s a simple process. Yes, they’ll say “Are you sure? Here’s what you’ll lose out on” and so on, because they do want to keep your custom/money. Of course they do.  But it’s not a challenging thing to just say “Yep, cancel it”.  Certainly most (if not all) of the online companies make it easy – a couple of clicks and it’s done.  Even the dating sites don’t make a big thing of the people leaving – they know they’ll have plenty of other people signing up or staying on.

All told, if someone says they’re short of money (“Cost of living crisis” etc. etc.) and yet still ‘not knowing’ that they’re paying out for subscriptions, then they’re not actually that short of money. (Or are congenitally and irredeemably stupid)

On the other hand, I can absolutely see that it would be good/ethical for a subscription service to send a check-up message if the person using it hasn’t accessed that service at all in (for example) six months, and have them opt back in (or at least say “Yes, I want to keep going with this”) at that point. And if they don’t respond, then their account gets deactivated. Among other things, that would be useful in scenarios where the person has died or become incapacitated, and reduces the whole nightmare of trying to unsubscribe someone from something where you don’t even know their username/password.