Thursday, November 27, 2008

Beware The 070 Number

Having received the following in reply to my bike ad and exchanging a couple more emails I eventually called the number, what harm can it do I thought?
My Name is Mr Frank Moore am an Australian based in Hawthorn Terrace DURHAM UNITED KINGDOM.I saw your advert that you have a bike for sale am interested in buying the bike from you i will like to know the mechanical history bike.I can't download the pictures from the site kindly furnish me with more picture's of the bike so that i can have a view and make up my mind on it.Am buying the bike for my Son as a birthday gift and my Son his presently in South Africa practicing as a Medical can ring me on 07031856882 or Regards Frank
Well it turns out that 070 numbers are not mobile numbers, they're "personal" numbers, that can cost up to 50p a minute. I wish I'd googled for that particular number earlier, having found this, which sounds strangely familiar:
My Name is Mr Dennis Wilson am an Swedish based in DURHAM UNITED KINGDOM.I saw your advert on internet that you have a pup for sale am interested in buying the pup from you i will like to know the health condition of the pup,Is the pet KC registered?furnish me with more picture's of the pup so that i can make up my mind on it as am buying the pup for my Son as a birthday gift and my Son his presently in South Africa practicing as a Medical can ring me on 07031856882 or Regards Dennis

Monday, November 24, 2008

Recommended Listening

Radio 4 schedules its comedies at 6:30 weekday evenings. Usually the best are on Monday and Friday (The Now Show, The News Quiz, Just a Minute) while the midweek shows are decidedly mixed. Some of the less humorous examples include the occasionally amusing Milton Jones, a large collection of one liners loosely connected by some absurd plot; the baffling, as in, why/how the hell did that get on air? Count Arthur Strong, a series of gags relating to an old man's mishearing, with predictably non-hilarious results; and those that are so banal that they merge into each other: Hut 33; Double Science; Clare in the Community; Fags, Mags And Bags; etc. But now Radio 4 have rebelled, putting the last series of literary quiz show (boring!) The Write Stuff on Mondays, followed by the new series of Milton Jones, while leaving the genuinely funny Listen Against to Tuesdays. So that's my recommendation, sorry it took so long. While I'm here I might as well say that Screenwipe is the best program on TV at the moment.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


After calling Virgin Media again about the junk mail and listening to somebody verbally lead me through the process of removing our multiple addresses from their database I really thought I'd got through to them, but unfortunately it seems not. I rang them again today, our address was not in their database apparently, so now it is, with a note for them not to mail us. She recommended the Mail Preference Service to me, which we have been members of for sometime now.

The latest FStream update that allows it continue playing when the iPhone sleeps has stopped the even flaky functioning on the 3G network :( It still works for some of my friends so double :((

Following a suggestion on the ADSL Guide forums I filed a complaint with ISPA on behalf of my girlfriend. Virgin Media contacted her before she'd even seen my email informing her that I'd done anything, so she was a bit confused. They have since given her a migration code and promised her that they won't charge her a cancellation fee.

My ebay scammer address seemed to work, my iPhone has now successfully sold. Unfortunately I am now getting dodgy emails about my bike ad, one from "DURHAM UNITED KINGDOM" who wants to buy it as a gift for his son who is a medical doctor in South Africa, surely there must be closer basket cases to Durham, and South Africa for that matter.

I continued to receive replies from paypal even after my final thank you and good night. I guess they have to reply to every email. The latest was a request for feedback. My answers included: "Your representatives largely do not seem to speak English. That would be a good start. There is also way too much insincere waffle about how they are so pleased to be able to help me that it almost sounds sarcastic." and "It's a rip off for sellers but very convenient."

Something I've been meaning to mention for a while: 02 seem to have quietly dropped their fair usage limit, yay!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Yvonne has requested replies to her 100 foods post. I can't be bothered with these lists, I'm not sure who would be interested in my culinary experiences. But here's some notes on the more interesting items (I've included Yvonne's responses next to the numbers, mine are below):

1. Venison - I have never tried this. I would though. I have eaten veal

Wasn't that impressed by the venison I had. Not sure what venison has to do with veal. Veal is a cruel way to bring up calves. Venison is typically wild deer.

6. Black pudding

Love it!

7. Cheese fondue - made it.

She made it for my house mate at the time and I. I think she was quite nervous about it but it was very enjoyable, and my first fondue.

9. Borscht - made it.

She hasn't made it for me :(

19. Steamed pork buns - well now, I have no idea what that is.

These are the clouds you get for Dim Sum. I loved them the first time I tried them but I've got a bit bored, they're a bit dry and dull.

50. Sea urchin - no.

Street urchin - yes.

55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal - I cannot think of many things worse than that.

Don't knock it till you've tried it... there's just something about that sauce...

68. Haggis - no.

If you like black pudding you must try haggis Yvonne!

75. Roadkill - no.

Was tempted to stop and pick up a pheasant the other day, was disappointed that I didn't. I am turning into my dad.

77. Hostess Fruit Pie - Is that a brand name? Well, no then.

Is that a joke?

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Paypal Pony Of Customer Service

If wishes were horses I would ride the Paypal pony of good customer service and feed their native English speaking representatives lumps of thank encrusted sugar.

In the real world I am enjoying their sarcasm, intended or not. Emphasis is my own.


Dear Paypal

The seller is saying that his paypal account has been blocked temporarily until he receives a pin code in the post because he changed his address. Is that possible?

Thanks, Jamie


Dear Jamie Kitson,

Thanks for contacting PayPal. My name is Nikki and I appreciate the opportunity to assist you with your questions about troubles with the account regarding a spoof email.

Allow me to explain, the email you have received is a SPOOF EMAIL, it may exactly look like a genuine PayPal email but it is not. I did not find any limitaions[sic], restrictions or unauthorised access on the account. Please do not respond to the email so we can protect your account. Kindly forward the email you received to and so we can investigate the e-mail’s source.


(Later in the exchange I am told that they cannot check the seller's account, I believe they totally misunderstood here and checked my account.)


Please could you actually read my question before responding? I have not received any email from paypal. I want to know if paypal ever blocks accounts until the user has received a pin number in the post.

Jamie Kitson


Sorry, I see your reply was relevant to my question. However, you state that there is no restrictions on his account, however, when I initially tried to pay him through ebay/paypal, I was informed that the seller was not currently able to receive payment, this was not any sort of spoof, it came directly from the ebay/paypal site.

Thanks, Jamie


It is still the case, ebay/paypal is telling me that the seller cannot currently receive payments.



Dear Jamie Kitson,

Thank you for contacting PayPal my name is Robbie and I appreciate the opportunity to assist you with your question regarding your concern.

I do understand that you want to clear things out. I am very sorry for the confusion this has caused you. Let me assist you with the best that I can for us to be able to resolve on your concern.

Upon carefully reviewing your account, I have seen that you would have a perfect PayPal account with you. Please be inform that your PayPal account would only be blocked if you would have certain restriction in your account, for as long your account would not be restricted your account would not be locked. I assure you that your account would not be lock.

I hope I was able to address your concern accordingly. It has been a great experience to serve an outstanding client like you. I really do appreciate your patience and understanding.



I am not enquiring about my own paypal account. I am enquiring about the sellers account. I recently won an auction on ebay and when I tried to pay I was informed that the seller was not able to receive payment. The seller informed me that paypal had locked his account until he received a pin number in the post. I want to know if this is an action paypal takes, ie, is it possible?



Dear Jamie Kitson,

Thank you for contacting PayPal. My name is Charlene and I appreciate the opportunity to assist you with your questions.

I understand that you were informed that the recipient was unable to receive payments due to the limitations on their account when you try to pay the seller.

Ms Kitson, I am not able to check if there are limitations on the account of the seller. It would be better if the seller will contact us so we can check and further assist them as to why they cannot receive payments.

I hope I was able to answer your query. Thank you for your time. We highly value the trust customers like you place on us. Rest assured that we always give our best to provide you with excellent, secured services. Should you need further assistance, please feel free to email or call our Customer Service Representatives on 08707 307 191.


I am not asking you to check the account of the seller, I am asking if what he says is possible. Does paypal sometimes lock accounts until the user has received a letter in the post containing a pin number?


Dear Jamie Kitson,

Thank you for contacting PayPal. My name is Andy and I appreciate the
opportunity to assist you with your concerns.

I understand that your seller still cannot receive the payments on his
PayPal account.

I apologise for the inconvenience that this may have caused you. Upon
careful review of your previous correspondence with us, I was able to see
that you were given the information that your sellers account does not have
any restriction to receive any payment; we also provided information of a
possible spoof that you might have received. However if your seller is
insist that he/she cannot receive the payment you may need to advise him to
contact PayPal so that we would be able to assist him/her. If there are no
limitations on your sellers account we believe that there should be no
problem for him/her to receive the payment. In addition PayPal do not block
payments in relation with codes confirmed from the post.



I have now spoken to one of your representatives by phone. She
informed me that the previous person would not have been able to check
the seller's account and that it is possible that Paypal has suspended
his account until he receives a pin code via post.

Thank you and goodnight.


Monday, November 10, 2008

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Clear Billing From O2

My monthly extras for October:

Subscription Discount31 Oct 080.14
Unlimited Anyone UK Texts (x2)31 Oct 080.00
O2 Web Bolt On04 Oct 08 - 31 Oct 08-5.77
Unlimited Web Bolt On03 Oct 08 - 30 Oct 080.00
Free Itemised Billing01 Oct 08 - 31 Oct 080.00
Unlimited Anyone UK Texts01 Nov 08 - 30 Nov 080.00
Unlimited Web Bolt On31 Oct 080.00
Unlimited Web Bolt On01 Nov 08 - 30 Nov 080.00
Total monthly extras-£5.63

I don't think I'll be rushing to point out to them that they've subtracted the price of my web bolt-on from my bill rather than adding it. I seem to remember NASA did a similar thing with Hubble, so they're in good company. Or was that when they mixed metric and imperial?