b3ta.com user Jimmy-Choo
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» Banks

Bank charges can be fair.
Checking through my credit card statement, I saw that Lloyds had managed to cock up. Obviously, I was shocked that such a large financial institution could manage to fuck up and I immediately sat in a phone queue for half an hour to talk to someone in Mumbai.

I pointed out that if you pay a credit card bill the money usually only goes out of the account once and although I appreciated that they had put the money back, in the meantime, I'd gone overdrawn and I didn't appreciate the £25 that they had charged me to ensure that I didn't let them cock up again. The charming young lady apologised in the sincere way that only several hours in a call centre several thousand miles away can teach you and said she would cancel the charge.

"Is there anything else I can help you with today?"
"Yes. You charged me £25 for a mistake. I'm charging you. £25 is fair, don't you think?"
"I'll talk to my supervisor..."

After a bit of attempted haggling, I got the £25 added to my account which rapidly turned into a takeaway and beer. Crispy chilli beef never tasted so good.

Length? About an hour on the phone.
(Fri 17th Jul 2009, 9:49, More)

» Expensive Weekends

Can anyone else smell candied orange?
Many years ago I was working for a Cable TV company. We’ll call it Wellytest for the sake of argument.. Every week, we had a fire alarm test. So far, so normal.

One Friday afternoon, we had the tannoy announcement about the fire alarms were going to be tested and stay put. The alarm sounded and was shortly followed by a deep rumbling that went through the building. After a few confused looks at each other, we carried on working/skiving. Then we started to smell candied orange, like the little orange slices you get on top of fairy cakes. Cue more WTF glances at each other.

“EVERYBODY OUT!” A fire warden burst in and got us outside sharpish. It was a lovely sunny day so we all stood around in the sun, talking bollocks. Then word of what had happened went round.

The building I was in had the Switch in it. The Switch was a big room full of slowly blinking lights that somehow connect phone calls. It’s worth a lot of money so it had it’s own fire suppression system. In the event of a fire, it gives a 30 second warning to people in the room then dumps Halon gas from the ceiling. It is only triggered by fire sensors or a yellow “break glass” fire alarm box. Halon is heavier than air so it smothers the flames by getting rid of the oxygen. A side effect of this is that it’s a touch bad to breathe in so it has a smell added. Candied oranges. The system in the room had another good trick. It left a fine powder all over everything that needs to be cleaned off every surface. Including all the circuit boards inside the boxes of flashing lights. The head fire warden had used a yellow box rather than a red box to trigger the fire alarm test. This was what is technically known as a colossal fuck up.

That weekend a special crew had to come in and clean all the electronics. £20,000 is a fairly expensive weekend.

Length? 5 seconds of rumbling followed by an uncomfortable silence.
(Tue 18th May 2010, 7:03, More)

» Public Sex

Which one of you is this, then?

(Thu 30th Apr 2009, 9:52, More)