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Posted on April 28, 2011 in Junk Mail, Life, the Universe and Everything by Jay8 Comments »

Interesting development today – a leaflet was dropped through the door from an organisation called ‘Say No To AV’.¬† There is no identification anywhere on it apart from a link to a website, predictably called ‘www.no2av.org’, but the bullet points listing why we should ‘say no to AV’ were uncannily similar to those in the junk mail I blogged about yesterday.

So I thought I would go to the site and see who these people were.

Hmm.

No ‘About Us’ page.¬† No ‘Who We Are’ link.¬† No name, no party, no ownership.

So then I was intrigued and I tried using various ‘Who is’ tools to try to find out just who owns the site.¬† The first TEN turned nothing up. Not a bean.¬† They told me when it had been created, when it expires, where the server is, when it was last updated, who it was registered with, and a whole slew of traffic information, but no name.¬† So I asked OH, who looked it up for me and came back with the information after a short period of mumbling to himself in the conservatory.

Guess what?

No – go on, guess!!

It’s owned by the Conservatives!¬† What a surprise!

Well, to be fair and strictly accurate, it’s owned by one Conservative: Charlotte Vere.¬† But you can bet your bottom dol .. uh .. British pound sterling … that it’s funded with Tory money.

Good grief.

The only good thing is that there is also a ‘www.yestofairervotes.org’, which is very similar to its counterpart with the rather noticeable difference that there is an ‘About Us’ link where you can read exactly who runs it and in what capacity, and the posts on the associated blog have a by-line telling you who wrote them.¬†¬† If either of these things exist on the ‘no2av’ site, I can’t find them.

Why can’t the ‘no’ politicians be straightforward?¬† And you know what?¬† Not ONLY are the Conservatives in power as part of a coalition government because of the very ‘backroom deals’ they are now denigrating in their campaign literature, but when David Cameron came into that power he promised a more open and cleaner style of politics with less of the dirty tricks and back-biting.

So what price their complaints about broken promises and backroom deals now?

Oh, it’s not as if the opposition is squeaky clean, by any means, but … there you go.¬† As I said in yesterdays blog, I am so sick of the whole damn shooting match.

*Sigh*

OK.  Calm down, dear.

Oh please, please, please, dear sweet friends and relatives and random internet boards of which I happen to be a member, please don’t send me any more scam warnings. At least not without checking on their validity first!

I had this one in my inbox today. Again.

“Postal Scam:

Can you circulate this around especially as Xmas is fast approaching – it has been confirmed by Royal Mail. The Trading Standards Office are making people aware of the following scam:

A card is posted through your door from a company called PDS (Parcel Delivery Service) suggesting that they were unable to deliver a parcel and that you need to contact them on 0906 6611911 (a Premium rate number).

DO NOT call this number, as this is a mail scam originating from Belize .

If you call the number and you start to hear a recorded message you will already have been billed £315 for the phone call.

If you do receive a card with these details, then please contact Royal Mail Fraud on 020 7239 6655.

THIS IS NOT A JOKE.”

No, it most certainly is not a joke.  It is a form of junk mail.

I know the people circulating these things are well-meaning, and only want to save us from being taken in by con-men and wasting our hard-earned cash, or worse – remember the ‘perfume sample’ offered in car parks, which knocked you out so you could be mugged? That had no basis in fact, by the way – but it doesn’t take long to pop along to Snopes and check out the facts.

Doing so for the above email would have quickly informed my friends and relatives that while this was a genuine scam, it was very quickly dealt with by Phone Pay Plus, the telephone company concerned, and it was dealt with in December 2005!!¬† That’s over four years ago, people!¬† And this wretched email is still clogging up inboxes all over these sceptred isles.

In case you haven’t heard of Snopes, it’s a really good site where you can go and check out whether urban myths are true, and whether scams and rumours are genuine.¬†¬† In fact, why don’t you pop along there right now and have a browse.¬† It’s entertaining, even if you have nothing to look up!

And bookmark it. That way, next time someone forwards you a scam warning you can check it out before you hit that ‘forward’ button and open up your address book.

Thank you so much.

INMT-1In the mail today, came a couple of pieces of junk mail, one of which was the local villages newsletter. ¬† It’s the local ‘villages’ newsletter, not the local ‘village’ newsletter, because it covers no less than eleven parishes, and it occasionally contains nuggets of interesting information – local boot sales, charity events, services, bus timetable changes, stuff like that, as well as some genuine local news.

One such news item was the one above.¬† It concerns some excavations made in the garden of what used to be John Clare’s cottage – a focus of reverent attention to those who enjoyed his famous poetry.¬† I’m afraid I’m not one of them.¬† To me, John Clare‘s poetry is basically rather tedious, but then, I’ve never claimed to be a poetry expert.¬† Anyway, I’m glad I read this because I found it quite entertaining and had to check if it was the first of April yet.¬† It wasn’t, so I have to assume the article is genuine and sincere.

Seems the serious-minded rural poet, much revered for his nature poetry which is regarded as having depth and considerable importance, occasionally turned his hand to writing limericks.¬† Rather bad ones, if you ask me, but as I said, I’m no expert.¬† I merely offer, for your delectation, a news item containing these limericks and you can judge for yourself.¬† Click on the pic to enlarge.

Oh, and the other piece of junk mail was a leaflet offering the services of a local car valeter.  Remember this?

ITMT-2

Well, he’s still in business, and I think he’s improving!¬† Good for him, say I!

Posted on September 26, 2008 in Junk Mail by Jay18 Comments »

Picture1It’s a long while since I wrote anything for the Junk Mail category.

It isn’t that we haven’t had any junk mail, it’s more that it hasn’t inspired me to write.¬† However, after seeing the huge amount of garbage on my hall stand this morning, I was inspired.

Definitely.

Inspired.

The first piece of junk mail was for our older son (who doesn’t even live here anymore) and it was from the Honda showroom where he bought his new car.¬† Now tell me something – say you go and buy yourself a brand new car, right?¬† And you drive it home all thrilled with your new possession and you drive it around for a month, and you’re still thrilled, and then a leaflet drops through your door asking you to consider buying a new car.

What is you first thought?¬† I wonder if it’s -

‘Oooh, yeah, what a great idea – I’ll pop down to the garage and pick one up right away!’

No. I didn’t think so.¬† And yet, if you buy a new car here in the UK, that’s what will happen.¬† And it’ll keep right on happening month after month until you go down to see the showroom manager and threaten to relocate your latest new car leaflet somewhere very personal.

Then, of course, there were the usual catalogues.¬† Today’s batch included L’Occitane and Orvis. Now, I do happen to use L’Occitane products, but I’m quite capable of going to their website and ordering what I need, which is what I’ve done in the past, and I don’t quite understand the thinking here.¬† I’m an internet customer and I get internet updates on their latest offers. So why waste the paper sending me a catalogue?¬† Perhaps they think I’ve thrown my computer out of the window in frustration at all the spam I get in my inbox?¬† Some of which, of course, is … um … from them.

As for Orvis, they are matronly, and I don’t do matronly.¬† Just because I’m over fifty, it doesn’t mean I have to wear floor length flannelette nighties and tweed blazers, does it? Because if it does, I might as well book myself into the nursing home, then I’ll be able to buy these things, secure in the knowledge that I’ll fit right in.¬† However, just for now, I’m sitting here in my Harley Davidson tee shirt and Gap bootcuts, wearing my little collection of dog whistle, opium coin, skull & crossbones and dagger charms on a thong around my neck, scratching my head in bewilderment at the boucl√© colour block cardigans and wrap-around calf length paisley skirts.

Okay, so … I’ve written before about my admiration for Cancer Research UK, and it’s a charity I’m happy to support, but I never, ever respond to mailshots – and what’s more, they doubled up and mailed us twice.¬† I can’t abide waste, when it comes to charities.¬† I don’t want my money to cover some beaurocratic blunder of immense proportions – because you can bet your donkey* that ours is not the only household to get two identical begging letters.¬† Oh no.¬† there will be many thousands of us.¬† Maybe hundreds of thousands.

Sue Ryder is another charity I am happy to support.¬† They provide hospice care in beautiful surroundings and we have one of their homes here in the city, and it gets high praise from medical professionals, and from the patients and their families, too.¬† This mailshot is advertising their Christmas fundraising event, ‘Lights of Love’, and although it is junk mail, I find this one perfectly acceptable.

Also acceptable is a leaflet from a new place delivering organic foods, including ready-made pies and quiches, baked goods, and dairy produce. ¬† Until now we could only order a ‘box of the week’ containing a mixture of whatever the hell they wanted to give you.¬† You paid your money and you had no choice, and I dunno about you, but I will not eat curly kale, or swedes, and they seemed to be in every single box.¬† These new people let you pick each vegetable and fruit separately, so I might even give them a try!

The leaflet advertising free singing classes is interesting.¬† It’s a community venture and I thought I might join up, because I’d love to be able to sing and I can’t – well, of course I sing in the car, doesn’t everyone?¬† No-one would want to listen, though, trust me.¬† But wait¬† … this community class isn’t in our village, and not only is it in the city itself, it’s being held right across the other side of the city!¬† It’s nowhere near my community at all!

“Three for two on our B-rated energy efficient windows”?¬† Uhhh … the quickest of quick glances at any aspect of our house would tell the least intelligent leaflet dropper that we have already replaced our windows and doors with good quality UPVC double glazed, energy efficient and high security units, so why the fuck would we want to rip those out and put new ones in?¬† Or am I missing something here?¬† D’uh!

So, another double mailing from a health insurance provider, a supermarket loyalty card enticement, and one more: an invitation to join Lovefilm.co.uk with a free 30 day trial.

I’ve been thinking about joining Lovefilm.¬† Hmm.¬† I might just¬† …

And there you have it.¬† That is the reason I keep getting junk mail in knee high drifts across my welcome mat.¬† If just one or two percent of the mailing list takes up one of these unsolicited offers, then the mailshot has worked and they’ll keep right on doing it.

So, what to do?

Cut my nose off to spite my face and ignore an offer I’d like to take, or play along and encourage the junk mail to continue?

 

*Or¬† ‘ass’ as the MerryCans say.