Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Fixed Variables

Kai has previously blogged on this, the practice of charging/paying a fixed amount each month for a variable bill. How does this make sense? Who benefits? Do the companies hope that eventually you'll start over paying and forget about it? I suppose it might be argued that the customer benefits as their bill is buffered. I was pretty shocked at my latest BT bill which stated that unless I contacted them they would more than double my monthly payment. How did they get it so wrong in the first place? My bill is very little over my fixed monthly line rental. I called and asked why I couldn't just pay the actual bill each month, well I can!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Choice Bad

I've long believed that choice is a bad thing, choice is an opportunity to be unhappy, to feel hard done by, to regret your choosing. Choice is also an opportunity for mediocrity, to be a jack of all trades but master of none. I much prefer a pub offering four superb dishes to any restaurant offering a confusing plethora of options, as I'm sure Gordon Ramsay would agree. And so it was that I found myself confronting the NHS's Choose and Book site. It's always made me laugh hearing politicians tell us that patients want choice. Do they? Do they really? All I want is the earliest appointment at my local hospital. But to do this I had to login to the "healthspace" website using my reference number, birth year and ridiculous password. What did this give me? A phone number for Guy's Hospital! Which I called, and asked for the next available appointment. I'm so happy. I love choice me.

Oh, I almost forgot, When I first visited the site I was greeted with the following:
We are sorry, but the web browser you are using is not compatible with the online Choose and Book service.

We apologise unconditionally for any inconvenience caused by this problem and can assure that we are working to make sure that future versions of the Choose and Book online service work in as many types of browser as possible.
So I tried IE, same message, so I had to use IE 8 in version 7 mode just to login. And I had to do all that just to find out that I had to call Guy's.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Red Light

I recently heard some cyclist spokesman say that cyclists run red lights for safety. Yeah right.

From Behind

I had a cyclist run into the back of me today at the lights. A very apologetic Frenchman by the sound of it. He didn't have any breaks. I hate to think what might have happened if I wasn't there.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Mirror Mirror

Unusually I clipped someone's wing mirror today. My rubber grips are slipping off the ends of my handle bars, so it wasn't a hard knock, but the plastic of the mirror broke away. The guy was actually winding his window up as I slowly reversed to apologise and offer him my details. He wound the window back down and started muttering about fucking bikes. As I was apologising and checking the damage I noticed that the mirror had already been broken and taped back in place with electrical tape. Usually people calm down once they realise that you are appoogising and that indeed cyclists are human too, but this old boy was still muttering about cyclists not having insurance as I cycled off, having fixed his mirror. At least as well as it was fixed before I arrived.