September 22, 2009


Some of you may remember reading here and here about our adventures with British Gas. In a nutshell, we were conned into signing up with a so-called price protection scheme, which resulted in our monthly electricity bills going up from £29 to £67. So much for the protection... Anyway, after we got the Energy Ombudsman involved, the price went back down to £35, which is what we've been paying since December last year.

Having replaced the fridge/freezer, the old one being on its last legs and using up ridiculous amounts of power, our energy consumption came down quite significantly. Two days ago we received a quarterly statement from British Gas, on which we saw that we are almost £100 in credit after paying £35 per month for 9 months. In the light of this, our monthly payments have been put down to £22.

That's less than 1/3 of what we would have been paying had we not kicked up a fuss.

The moral of this story is that you should not let yourself be bullied around by your energy supplier. As a consumer, you have rights!

September 08, 2009

Update to the O2 saga

A couple of weeks ago I posted an article here bemoaning how little time it took O2 to mess things up with my account.

It now appears that paper billing is indeed activated on my account because on Wednesday 26th I did receive a paper bill from O2. It does, however, also appear that they're not billing me for this despite the clear indication that it would cost me an extra 97p per month.

For what it's worth, I never did receive that call that I was supposed to receive on the Wednesday, but I'm not too bothered about it since it was merely to confirm that I had received the bill in the post.

But it doesn't stop there. A few days later I received a duplicate of the same bill! OK, they're not going to bill me twice, but it certainly does demonstrate a lack of organisation. I suspect the person who was supposed to call me simply decided to send the duplicate bill regardless rather than "waste" time calling a customer who is evidently off his rocker.

We'll see what happens next time round. I should receive another bill (once only, hopefully) around September 26th.

Update 22/09/2009: I just received an e-mail bill. The paper billing for last month and this month appears on it.

September 02, 2009

When copyright protection defeats its own purpose...

Is it just me or do other people find this extremely annoying and patronising?

So, I go out and buy a legitimate DVD-Video from a legitimate store, get home, stick it in my DVD player and expect to be able to watch the film on the DVD.

Can I?

Hell, no!

I am now FORCED to sit through a video sequence telling me that piracy of DVD-Videos is illegal. I can't skip past it. I then have to sit through a slideshow of copyright notices and contact details for anti-piracy organisations in the UK. I can't skip past that either.

Has it not dawned on the people who design these damn stupid sequences that they're showing them to the wrong people? It's absolutely infuriating! I know that piracy is the source of all evil in this world, which is why I go out and buy legitimate discs. Anyone who buys a DVD on which that sequence appears has already done the right thing and doesn't need to be told.

Is it any wonder people make bootleg copies of videos if they otherwise have to sit through all that nonsense before they can actually see the programme they've paid to see?