Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Lying, cheating, money-grubbing bastards #6 Apple

I started writing this while listening to some truly abominable musak and waiting for an Apple person to transfer me to another Apple person to sort out why they are refusing my Visa card payment for a renewed subscription to the ‘Express & Star’ newspaper app.
I have already spent half an hour talking to them. They said the problem was with Barclaycard even though I earlier spent half an hour talking to Barclaycard who said there was no problem at their end.
So I then went back to Barclaycard and told them Apple said the problem was at their end. They continued to deny it. Eventually a Barclaycard person, the fourth I spoke to, agreed to call Apple and the Apple person and the Barclaycard person had a conversation while I was hanging on the line.
I was then transferred to the first Apple person and 40 minutes into this call I am waiting to repeat everything all over again to another Apple person who will, as usual, want to know my inside leg measurement, the name of my great-great grandmother and the first concert I ever went to.
This is all so unutterably tedious I could scream. Now, one hour and five minutes into my third call, Apple have admitted there is a block on my card, agree they don’t know why, accept it should be lifted but don’t know how to do it. The Apple person has supposedly agreed to talk to a colleague and one of them will allegedly phone me back. I am not holding my breath.
They did call back. They said the card had been banned three years ago due to some unauthorised transactions. I have been using this card ever since. Suddenly they announce it’s banned. They cannot – that is to say, they will not – un-ban it.
I hate Apple.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Lying, cheating, money-grubbing bastards #5 Barclays Bank

Yes, you have power of attorney. Yes, you have the right to manage the money in this account. But no, you do not have power to conduct telephone banking.
Therefore we cannot stop the two cheques you want stopped, even if they have been stolen and could be cashed in by criminals.
You must go to a branch, if you can find one that’s open and staffed by someone vaguely capable of handling your request to stop a cheque.
That might take you a day or two – our opening times are not advertised widely and of course you can’t just phone up a branch and find out when they are prepared to open their doors to their victims, sorry I mean customers – and the cheques might have been cashed by then.
Hard luck.


Friday, March 17, 2017

Lying, cheating, money-grubbing bastards #4 Trip Advisor

Trip Advisor is not there to offer objective reviews of hotels and holiday destinations – it’s there entirely to sell, sell, sell.
Which is why it rejected my review of Nonsuch Bay Resort in Antigua. I made a point of saying we booked our holiday though an independent agency called Tropic Breeze and included a link to their website.
Trip Advisor don’t sell holidays through Tropic Breeze so they don’t get included in the review. In the end, I put up this review instead:

I wrote a review for This website about how good the hotel was but as I mentioned a travel agency they rejected it. It's a great hotel and we had a good time but trip advisor is crooked.

Here's the original review, rejected by Trip Advisor:

Don’t worry, be happy

We booked this hotel through Tropic Breeze who were really good, charged us less than we expected and secured us a room up-grade so if you're looking to travel to the Windies I highly recommend them.
As for the hotel, it was fab. Our room overlooking the beach was marvellous. It was a suite with its own sitting room, kitchen and balcony as well as large bedroom and big bathroom.
The food was exceptionally good for an all-inclusive hotel (plus you don't have to wear a hateful wristband).
The staff were among the friendliest and most helpful we have met anywhere, plus they had a sense of humour.
We particularly enjoyed the sailing, which is suitable for anyone from absolute beginners onwards. The water is warm if you capsize so don't be too anxious. And the instructors are exceptional: patient, helpful and concerned about safety.
Nonsuch Bay is not the poshest place in Antigua and it is somewhat cut off so you may need to hire a car if you want to explore. It also faces south-east so darkness descends early and there are none of the stunning sunsets to be had on the other side of the island.
But don't let that put you off. We really enjoyed our holiday and hope to return.
Several hotel staff said to us during our ten days at Nonsuch Bay: 'If you're happy, I'm happy.' It sounds a bit corny and they may be encouraged to use this phrase by the hotel management but we felt they really meant it.