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Ebay Schmeebay

I'm not delighted.

I bought something on Ebay last week which turned out to be fake.
It was blatantly obvious on inspection that it was fake as soon as it arrived so I am satisfied that the seller is not innocent as she is making out to be. If it was an honest mistake, I would expect an apology and a refund, but the tone of her messages is accusatory and ineloquently hostile. Hello fraud.

So, I did as Ebay's help centre asked and reported the item as counterfeit, then told the seller I would be returning the item for a full refund, including return postage cost. The seller went nuclear about how honest she was, has imposed lots of conditions but is refusing to cover the return postage. Ebay allows her to do this - even if a seller has knowingly misrepresented an item, Ebay rules do not put the buyer back in the position before the sale occurred.

This is wrong.
As it stands, this could hardly be described as the seller taking "full responsibility for the listing" as it states on the auction ad if Ebay allows buyers to end up out of pocket due to seller fraud.

Furthermore, because Ebay are satisfied that the item is fake, they have pulled her transaction completely.
This means I cannot leave feedback in which I would obviously leave a firm warning to buyers.

Is it just me or is Ebay trying to hide the fact that they hosts sellers like this one without penalty because faked items are usually those that fetch good prices, and in turn make Ebay £££ in final value fees?
Dear Tesco,

So, you've been caught with your pants down over the horsemeat thing and sent a non-apology email to your customers about it. Classy. Now you've stopped the small discount you offered to some public sector workers. Considerate. And only now have you decided to price match like Sainsers do. Bit late.

Tell me, why should people shop with you and not Sainsers when they haven't been/don't rip their customers off with horsemeat at the same price point, give us a discount which has always been more generous than yours and unlike you, give us free delivery on our weekly shop just for spending £40.

Seriously?
Me.
OK, so the Gov has gone after the disabled and now the children of single parents. Yes, their victims are getting increasingly defenceless but come on - going after minors is frankly embarrassing. What's next? IVF tax?

The Gov has plans to charge parents to use CSA, in fact, plans to charge the parent who has the children, not the parent who has left and is refusing to pay. Astonishing. The CSA was formed to get the non resident parent to pay the parent "with care" but proposed changes would simply strengthen the non resident parent's position (nothing to lose by refusing to pay so will quickly become default position) AND give the refuser a way to use the situation to get back at the parent with care.

Under Gov proposals, the parent with care must pay £100 application fee to use the CSA and the Gov will additionally levy up to a 20% charge on the monies paid in admin fee. Look at it this way: the children of a broken relationship are being asked to pay an upfront charge and regular deduction from their maintenance because the parent that left refuses to pay for them and their government won't make them. Embarrassing. Let's face it, any money that comes out of a single parent family comes out of money usually spent on the children, so the children are paying. That's a large demographic of unhappy voters in waiting.

If you can bill one parent, you can certainly bill the other. There are clearly other options: 

1. Submit to financial assessment AND make payments under contract or access to the children will be stopped until they do. Having children is about responsibility (financial, support) and rights (access, decisions etc) and the law should be clear and firm on this. It's not.

2. Pay a 20% surcharge onto the refuser's payment to cover the deduction.

3. Pay a £500 penalty to the refuser's account and pursue him like a parking penalty. Kids are more important than parking yet we don't enforce support with anything like the same vigour. Priorities, anyone?

So the Gov would see single parents in an even worse financial position than ever before. Taking this further, punishing single mums (usually, although I accept some are dads ) for not making a relationship work carries other unpleasant implications, the flavour of which would put the status of women back 100 years.

That's one hell of a Tory "long game". 

Eurovish.

Hooooo. I'm watching Eurovision at home and missing the Gathering as I am being exhausted.

Don't like Judith's tinfoil dress.

So, Finland. Anyone singing along with Da Da Dam? Bit clean-cut, what?

Writer's Block: Into the night

How would you describe your perfect evening in six words (e.g., I stayed home and ate pasta)?

Fall asleep, head on Nick's lap.

Feb. 23rd, 2011

Dear God of the Interwebs,

I've found a super flat in zone 2 that would solve oh so many problems. Close to work and my chums, so would be future-proofing the next phase of ma vie against the evils of over-tired which you've seen fit to reward me with. I'm not ungrateful Oh Lord, and I now believe you did this because I reneged on a bargain I struck with you about running butt nekkid around my garden if you let me pass the Criminal Law final. Sorry, but me? Nekkid? *shudder*.

I get it. I'm facing up to the fact that leaving home at 6am and getting back around 9pm is not a good thing as things go, esp on part time money and with the whole disease thang hanging over one's head. Silly me. So, if you wouldn't mind cutting the c*ap and giving me a lottery win (£230K is fine, kthnx) I would be relieved to say the least.

Best, LBT. x

Ha haa ha haaa ha *tears of laughter*.....


I just had email from Number 10.



Sorry David. If my teens (my students, that is...)want to do community service, they usually punch someone first.

 

Who do we think we are?

Yes, I'm still coughing and numbly gazing at daytime TV. On some hiddeous Sunday talk show called "The Big Questions" this morning they were slugging it out over the crisis being suffered by the elderly. Do we all have a sell-by date? Should the elderly be forced to sell their assets to pay for care?

My first reaction would be *No*. People pay their taxes in good faith now and punishing the saver is not the answer. If we cannot expect a pension or some semblance of medical or social care when we retire considering the NHS cuts and comments about elderly care this week,  what are we paying for and more importantly, how will this develop?

In 1881, a 72 yr old widow died in abject poverty in the Bloomsbury workhouse. Nothing unusual about that? OK so far. Her name was Ann Green and she was my Great-great-great grandmother. She herself was the youngest of 9 and had coincidentally raised 9 children of her own. I presume she had supported her husband John through his years of business as a Silversmith but on his death she was certainly left with nothing. She lasted less than a year. When I found out that she had passed away in such a place under what I understand to be filthy and maggot-ridden conditions, I wasn't ok. I was frankly rather upset and my position changed.


If she had owned a property, I would have urged her to sell it and give herself a good death. Anything would have been better than what I imagine to be such a squalid and comfortless end. She didn't have the choice to pay, but I imagine that if she did, her care may have been arguably better than standards today.

This issue has raised its ugly head again this week in the press, with the release of reports detailing conditions that describe various levels of neglect, willful or otherwise of the elderly both in hospitals and residential settings accross the country. Being forced to pay, possibly twice, for care is one thing, but paying at all for the neglect described is effectively robbery. Ann died aged 72 dirty, malnourished and surrounded by strangers. I can't help thinking that more than a hundred years on, with the increases in the standard of living and education that we now enjoy, the attitude towards end of life care appears to have regressed.

I don't know whether the answer is more tax, have more babies, compulsory pension/assurance investment or as Joe Haldeman* suggests, no access to healthcare at all on retirement. But I do know that we ruled out the notion of Big Society some 150 years ago when the government had their asses handed to them by Florence Nightingale and other contemporary notables. http://www.nhshistory.net/poor_law_infirmaries.htm 

I'd like to think that any contemporary exchange would look something like this: **

http://www.youtube.com/embed/xHWtXSKSQSY

We ought to be ashamed of ourselves.

* Author of "The Forever War". One of my favourite books.
** Big Train. Big Fan.