Friday, March 18, 2011

Theft is all around us.

It isn't just the government, local councils and the police who are indulging in collective micturition - the abstraction thereof. Legitimized theft is now an everyday fact of life. I have just put the phone down on a customer "service" individual, or rather they hung up on me, as I attempted to explain why the taking of monies for no service provided is by anyone's estimation, theft.

You've all seen it. In this instance, it was You go through their sign up procedure, for a "free trial period", as all of them require, before you can get what you need. Only then do you find their system cannot find your details and thus cannot provide you with a service. But when you to check your account, you find that they have taken the money anyway.

Now comes the fun bit: you ring up for a refund to be told by a brainless automaton, masquerading as a human being that there is an implied membership renewal, by way of signing up with them. You may not have realised it, but since you did not call in order cancel it, you are not entitled to a refund. Another player in this game is, which does exactly the same.

And although in this case, it is only a matter of fifteen pounds, the effect is quite disproportionate to the amount. A lesser mortal might contemplate locating their offices (if indeed they're in the UK and not just a registered PO box) and shoving a burning rag through the letter box. But our kind of people don't do this. We might briefly in our imaginations rehearse rampaging though their offices, floor by floor, pumping magazine after magazine into anything that moves, Terminator style. Such is the value of a good education.

But people like us don't do such things. We do not resort to violence. We're the nice people who go to trading standards, taking weeks to be told that these thieves have a perfect legal right to steal our money. So we smile sweetly and wait for the next gang of thieves to steal our money. We know that if we protest too much, it is us, not them who end up with the criminal record.

However, even nice people like us do not have endless patience. And while we would never dream of storming down to the offices of the thieves and ripping throats out - in the immortal terms of that age-old advert - we know a man who can.