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British Expat Newsletter:
7 February 2007

[Old BE links]

Hello, and welcome to those who have joined up since our last newsletter.

In this issue

  • This week: Poor service
  • Virtual Snacks
  • Bizarre Searches
  • Quotation and joke

This week

There I was, unable to connect to the Internet and wondering what to write about this week. The answer was staring me in the face – poor service! And have we had loads of it recently. It seems we’re not alone because every time I mention it to others the response is almost overwhelming. Everyone has their bad experiences to tell.

I think my wants are fairly simple. Just give me what I pay for or offer some kind of compensation. I know that our own service (BE’s) falls down at times and I’m very quick to try to make it up to paying customers. For others, well, it’s a free service – we do our best, but paying customers come first. And we’re not about to make changes to our service simply because a non-paying customer doesn’t like what we offer. (If any of our paying customers are unsatisfied then please get in touch and we’ll try to put it right ASAP. Here’s a link to our contact form .)

So as I write this, the ISP is down (again) and we can’t connect to the Internet. All this for only £60 (yes, that’s sixty quid) per month. Also our previous web hosts let us down so badly we moved hosts (websites all down too often). Then the web hosts wanted to keep charging us… the credit card company wouldn’t stop the payment… we had a load of hassle with the credit card company… tried to do things via the bank… we still haven’t got Internet banking because the bank is playing silly bu99ers.

And recently the simple act of trying to order some DVDs online proved to be a nightmare. You can read Dave’s review about the DVDs here:
DVDi.co.uk – a personal experience

OK, I’ll calm down.

But seriously, we’re not alone. Judging by the postings on our forum, everyone else is having to put up with similar levels of hassle in their daily lives too. Is this acceptable?

I dunno. What can we do? Well, some people get attention or lobby by blogging. Seems like a good idea to me, although I’m not an experienced blogger yet.

Does name-and-shame work? Again I don’t know, but after our ex-tenant trashed our home in London we built a site to do just that (name and shame, that is, not trash houses): www.trashedhouse.com . I don’t know how successful it’ll be but at least we were mentioned in The Guardian’s business sense section recently. It’s a start.

We were also (allegedly – ha ha) repeatedly cheated by an affiliate network, Commission Junction, and on a fairly brief Internet search discovered that again we weren’t alone. If I had £1 for every other similarly disgrunted CJ affiliate I found, then I probably wouldn’t be sitting here writing this. OK, time for another new site:
www.cjsucks.co.uk

Now, don’t get the idea that we spend all our time in a festering frenzy because something hasn’t gone right. The Trashed House site dates from a problem in 2005 and the CJ Sucks! is because I was persuaded by others to set it up.(Honestly!)

But the point is that many of us are being shafted at every turn. And it seems there’s very little we can do about it. Well, there’s another website in there too – but I’m not quite ready to go public with that one. 🙂

For those who are new to the weekly newsletter, please don’t think that it’s a weekly rant. We’ve covered all sorts of subjects from pizzas to rail journeys and it’s something different every week. If Dave would get the archives fixed up then I’d have been able to give you a link to some of the stuff. I guess he’s too busy building name-and-shame sites.

Do you have anything to say about this topic? Or do you have some suggestions for other issues we might discuss in our weekly email? Why not comment and tell us?

Virtual Snacks

Just a few suggestions if you have a little time to spare:

Trading Standards Central is a one-stop shop for consumer protection in the UK, with pages for consumers, businesses and schools, maintained by the Trading Standards Institute:
Trading Standards Central

The Consumers’ Association have a pretty good online presence, although unsurprisingly some of the website is available only to subscribers:
Which? online

Bizarre Searches

Some strange search terms which have led people to visit British Expat recently:

  • she cupped the boy s testicles
  • mustard sinuses
  • land crucher photos
  • chastity belts for women toll free
  • gläser british pine
  • supersex hall
  • smoll penis
  • li>seneca exigua pars est vitae quam nos vivimus

  • trevor morgan with his shirt off
  • quiz chicken fox

Till next time…
Happy surfing!

Kay
Editor
British Expat Magazine

Quotation

“It is not the employer who pays the wages. Employers only handle the money. It is the customer who pays the wages.”

– Henry Ford, US industrialist (1863-1947)

Joke

British Airways Customer Service

My wife is on a business trip, and I’m expecting her to arrive home tonight. I just got a call from British Airways. It went like this. I want to emphasise that I am not making this up, and the transcript is pretty much-word-for-word, as I was so perplexed I thought I’d better write it down right away.

BA woman: Hello, this is British Airways. Is Ms. Showalter there?

Me: Um, no, she’s not home yet. Is there a problem?

BAW: Okay, well, can I leave a message for her?

Me: Sure. Is there something wrong? As far as I know, she’s on one of your flights right now.

BAW: We just wanted to let her know that her flight is going to be arriving a little late. It will be arriving in Philadelphia at 7:45.

Me: The one she’s on?

BAW: Yes.

Me: You want me to tell her when she gets home, that her flight arrived late?

BAW: Yes.

Me: Okay, I’ll let her know.

BAW: Thank you, sir.

PG Author: Kay McMahon

Kay has been an expat for nearly 30 years. She set up the British Expat website back in early 2000, whilst living in London and missing the expat life. These days she spends much of her time lugging computers and cameras around the world. (Dave gets to deal with all the really heavy stuff.)

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