Adventure001 vouchers are not worth the paper they’re printed on

For Christmas, my partner gave me what should have been a dream gift: a pleasure flight in a helicopter.

Sadly, it is anything but a dream…

You see, what they actually bought was a voucher, that entitled me to register on a website, enter the voucher code, and then exchange it for the flight.
Only it doesn’t work.

We’ll start with the simple fact that the telephone number they give is not included in any free minutes you may have – you have to pay for the call.  So I didn’t call.  I went onto the website.  Where they insisted I register – giving them all my data which they can then sell.
Not just that, but part of registering is entering the code on your gift voucher – and you have to enter a valid gift code to get in.  Note that, please: the code has to be valid.

OK.  I registered, got into the website, and couldn’t find where I was supposed to enter my code to get the flight.  So I emailed them.  Their reply?  Register on the site, and follow the instructions.
But… that’s exactly what I did do!  And I said that, in my email…

I dig around, and finally spot a bit of small print that says it can take up to a week for a code to verified.  So I wait, checking every day.  Then I go away for a few days, to a wedding, so I don’t check for 4-5 days – and when I do check, I see that there is a new button on the website, something like ‘book your date’, and I think ‘yes!’

Only, when I click on it, I’m told I need to enter a valid code.  And my code is not valid.  But you need a valid code to get in to the website….?

I email them again, and they tell me to phone them.  So I get my partner to phone them…  £3 and ten minutes later, we’re still waiting for an answer!  (We did learn something interesting, though – every few seconds, we got a recorded message saying that all their team members were busy dealing with other customers.  As I commented to my partner, it shows how bad they are, if all their staff are tied up with complaints for ten whole minutes…)

I email them one more time, telling them that I refuse to pay for a phone call, and ask why they are incapable of dealing with problems via email.

I’m still waiting for a reply.  I hear that they are terrible at emailing, which is not a surprise – they can’t charge you for emails, after all.
No, they want you to phone them, and spend hours waiting for an answer

The conclusion I am forced into is a simple one.  Flights for all at has been set up for the sole purpose of selling vouchers – which have no value.  The business plan is that you, the customer, finally realise that it is cheaper to buy a helicopter flight with somebody else than it is to spend hours on the phone trying to get the flight you were given.

If you think about it, it IS the perfect scam.  The person trying to book the flight is not the customer – and has NO rights.  The person who has the rights lost them the second they gave the voucher to somebody else.
In the eyes of the law, the contract is between the supplier and the purchaser – you actually have no right to a refund of money you never paid, and those businesses who refund or exchange gifts only do so as a sign of good faith – they are under no legal obligation to do so.

My partner arranged the gift over the phone, and the flight is from a local small airfield – the same one I flew a plane from three years ago.  And I know that I can drive out there any day, and book a pleasure flight in a helicopter, or even book lessons.  No advance payment, just turn up on the day, pay, and wa-hey!
I seem to remember that it was cheaper than the voucher, too.

So please, if you want to give somebody a dream present, make sure you go direct.  It’s cheaper, and you get to see them enjoy it – because you have to go with them to pay for it.

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Travelodge? No thanks.

Been a while, I know, but… life gets in the way.

Since losing my partner, I’ve been through Hell.  I lost three months totally – no memory of it whatsoever.
But I woke up.  And started a new life – which is what my partner would have wanted.  I started dating, after a long chat with my step-daughter about it.  I now have a job, a new car, and a new partner.

In a couple of days, I travel to Cyprus for a holiday.  When I get home, I’ll be married again – the wedding is in Cyprus, by the sea.  Yay.

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Modern living involves giving your contact details to almost everybody you have any dealings with.  Even the smallest relationship will involve a request for your name, location, and email address.
You already know my views on this…

Today, though, I’m talking about how that information is used, and how stupid the people using it are.

My partner has just moved in with me.  We hired a van and moved all the furniture last week, and we have set up mail forwarding with the Post Office.

Any mail to my partners old address will now be redirected to their new address, which is mine.
Today, a letter arrived here with no name on it, just the address.  It’s from the Post Office, and it’s an advert for mail forwarding…

Why?  What possible sense is there in spending money telling me about a service we just used?!?!?!

Do they think we’re going to move again?

And yes, it is just an advert – it is not a receipt, or an acknowledgement.  It makes no mention of the fact that we have just used the service, and has no name on it – neither mine nor my partners.  It is, however, marked ‘Private and Confidential’ for some reason – though why an advert should be Private is beyond me!

No.  My address has been added to a database and marked as ‘interested’ in mail forwarding, without a single thought being given to the fact that A) We obviously know about the service as we’ve just used it, or B) the fact that this is the address mail is being forwarded to.

The only word is stupid, surely?

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A great invention

I’ve thought of a great invention.  Something that we could all really use.

We all, now, have access to the internet in one way or another – even if it’s only by going to the local library – so wouldn’t it be great if there was some sort of global interconnection of all the available information.

I’m talking about some method whereby people like you and I could just type in a short question, and have the answer appear on the screen within minutes.

Read more…

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As I’ve mentioned more than once on here, I like to add the email addresses of SPAMmers to every SPAM list I can find.    I consider it to be a public service.

Not the standard stuff – there’s just too much of that.  No, it’s the ‘clever’ ones, that pretend, or claim, not to be SPAM.  The ones that add you to a mailing list just because you exist.

Well, I’ve just got an email that is very annoying, because I can’t add them to the list!

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I’m letting off steam about an old chestnut again.  Oh, hello again, too.  Sorry for the large gap between posts, been busy living.  And working.

OK.  For a while now, I’ve fancied the idea of a large, family, holiday.  As you know, I had a holiday on my own last year, before the world ended – and while I was looking for somewhere to have that holiday, I saw so many places to take this holiday that the idea stuck in my head.

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Barking up the wrong tree

I got an email today from a website called  Their business is ‘lead generation’, and they want me to use their services…

‘Lead generation’ is basically a service where they charge for a list of potential clients.  In their email, they say that they are different to other services as they ‘check that leads are relevant’.

Sounds great, doesn’t it?

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What SPAM is and isn’t

On the menu bar across the top of every page is a link to the ‘Scumbags’ page, which is updated many times a year.

Part of the reason for this page is to highlight how the rules for Direct Marketing are a total waste of time. The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) have a ‘code of conduct’ which they claim makes what they do different to SPAM. Their code states that they will not just send emails to any address they can get hold of, but will instead only send marketing materials to those who have ‘expressed an interest.’

Now, they will argue that visiting their website is expressing an interest, or that clicking on an advert is, or having your eyes open when they walk across in front of you – all of those, I admit, can be argued for.

The code also requires any email sent to include an ‘unsubscribe’ link – giving the illusion that we, the recipients, have some say in whether we are on their lists.

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I can only call it greed

As I might have mentioned before, my partner passed away recently.  At the cremation, there was a collection box, as my partner’s wish was for donations to a particular charity rather than flowers.

Last week, I got a letter from the funeral directors, telling me that a donation had been made in my partner’s name to that charity.  Nice, my partner would have been happy.

I won’t say how much it was, as it’s not important.

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The choir isn’t listening

As my readers should already be aware, I’m the carer for my disabled partner, who suffers from various annoyances ranging from joint pain to diabetes, and apart from a cocktail of drugs they are on four litres of oxygen full time.

I make use of a sitting service to get time off, but would happily (almost) leave my partner home alone while I walked the dog, or did the shopping.  Provided they ‘toileted’ before I left, and promised not to leave their chair, I could leave them for an hour or two.  (Of course, I make sure my mobile is charged, and I can drop everything and be home in minutes…)

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