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So trivial, yet it really ticks you off.

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11,937
Location
Southern California
I know the feeling, Fox! Still remember the first time, not so long ago, when saw someone making transaction by showing wristwatch to that gizmo on the counter. It literally dropped my jaw and I just stared feeling absolutely prehistorical! :)

My fiancee has one of those. We'll be out somewhere doing whatever, a question will come up, and suddenly she turns into Dick Tracy. Speaking into her wristwatch: "Siri, who starred in (insert movie name here) in 2003?" :rolleyes:
 
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10,707
Location
My mother's basement
I am still deeply unsettled when I hear somebody come up behind me on the street talking a loud conversation into one of those idiotic Bluetooth earpieces, or whatever they are. Catching three or four second snatches of somebody's one-sided conversation about their proctologist is an experience I wish I could never have.
I fear we’ll all just have to get used to it, as I think it unlikely the behavior will change. The best we can hope for is that it becomes unacceptable in public indoor spaces. I’m holding out limited hope for that.
 

GHT

I'll Lock Up
Messages
9,504
Location
New Forest
Standing in line for dawn coffee behind a cell phone wielding customer who zaps the cash register gizmo and I next fork swipe card like a knuckle dragger Neanderthal. :confused:
At least you swiped a card, I'm cash all the way, it's anonymous. No profile, therefore no sales target and my spending habit isn't bought and sold. But today I realised how far behind I have been left.

The left shoe of a pair of suede 'bucks' that I have, has a stain, well a sort of shadow, that I just cannot remove. Today though, in a small, proprietor run shop, I came across a suede dry cleaning spray, perfect.

"That's £9:95," the proprietor said, turning the card payment gizmo towards me. I waved a ten pound note, expecting a smile and a thank you. "We don't take cash," was the abrupt response, and then added, "you'll have to use your card." No apology, no explanation, I will have to use my card. The tenner went back in my wallet, I tipped my hat and bid him good day.

Realising that I wasn't buying he said: "why don't you just use your card?" "I prefer cash," I said and left. I know that I cut off my nose to spite my face but it was the rudeness as much as the card only diktat that got to me.
 

FOXTROT LAMONT

One Too Many
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1,715
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St John's Wood, London UK
"We don't take cash," was the abrupt response, and then added, "you'll have to use your card." No apology, no explanation, I will have to use my card. The tenner went back in my wallet, I tipped my hat and bid him good day.

the card only diktat that got to me.
Good show G, damn fine style I might add. :)
Customer service obligates if not demands proprietor understanding, so a finger tip dip till and extra yard effort goes unsaid. I habitually flash plastic. Indolent moi espec dawn java.:eek:
Definitely not a morning person.o_O
 

Tiki Tom

My Mail is Forwarded Here
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3,241
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Oahu, North Polynesia
I sympathize. I also prefer cash transactions and I usually carry an assortment of coins so that I can pay to the penny (thus avoiding receiving piles of change at the end of most transactions). So far I have not been rejected for wanting to pay cash… but I have received heartfelt sighs and have also experienced young people who are not accustomed to figuring out how to make change. Have also seen signs that say we do not accept cash. I am capable of paying with my debit card, but (no doubt irrationally) have fears about the security of such transactions and also about algorithms used to commoditize my spending patterns. Somebody please tell me how baseless my nagging suspicions are!
 

FOXTROT LAMONT

One Too Many
Messages
1,715
Location
St John's Wood, London UK
I am capable of paying with my debit card, but (no doubt irrationally) have fears about the security of such transactions and also about algorithms used to commoditize my spending patterns. Somebody please tell me how baseless my nagging suspicions are!
I frankly spend a better dollar/pound than I should in person, online, and have been hit a time or two by scamers but it's all in the game. Amazon Books, Vegas and New York, Macau-Hong Kong and horse racing. Vices aren't necessarily virtues but these vice are mine.:cool:;)
 

Tiki Tom

My Mail is Forwarded Here
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3,241
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Oahu, North Polynesia
My wife buys tons of crap on Amazon. Primarily because it is so damned easy to do… and then it’s delivered right to your door. Could not be easier.

There ought to be a law. :)
 

Edward

Bartender
Messages
24,880
Location
London, UK
They claimed a spate of theft & vandalism had left them with no money to replace broken payment machines, they also claimed they are legally entitled to demand payment made in this way and they rebuffed my suggestion that it was basically a form of discrimination.

Such is life!

It's been a long time coming. As far back as the eighties, BT were looking to make their public call boxes as card-based (remember those "Phone Cards" with pre-paid credit on them? Quite collectable now I gather if you kept any) as possible. The reason being that 90% of the vandalism of phone boxes (and therefore the lion's share of repairs) was done to the cash boxes. Card phones were rarely bothered with... therefore take away the cashbox and the incentive for most of the damage (aimed at accessing said cash) being done disappeared. It's a logical move to pass that out further with apps.

Of course, the other factor is simply that more and more of the population are simply switching to electronic payments. In that respect the UK and the US are markedly behind SE Asia. I'm currently in Beijing, where it's the norm to use a phone app for *everything*. Even a Citizenship Card can be had in digital form; the Chinese don't carry wallets or cards or anything - all done on their phones, most people. Cash is of course still widely available, but compared to when I first visited here in 2006, when cash was the absolute norm everywhere, it's really quite rare to pay cash on anything in Beijing now. I have thus far only used cash to pay our local admin colleagues who have access to the system to top up credit on the canteen card I use to eat and shop on campus. That's on day eight of a two-week trip.

The phone thing gives me the heebie jeebies in the way that I'm sure another generation struggled with debit cards or maybe, at a time, cheques. (Remember cheques? I last wrote one - I think - about 2005. When I switched to my current bank in 2011, I was asked if I wanted a cheque book. I did take one 'just in case' - it's still somewhere in my flat, never used.) App payments are undeniably convenient out here, especially because it means I have an electronic record of my spending that acts as a receipt for purposes of filing work expenses online. It's something I've always avoided at home - I even fought the bank for years to have a card without the "contactless" facility, though I'm going to have to give in and get one soon. I had a very embarrassing experience in the post office a few weeks ago when the chip in my card died, and I had no cash - I've gotten out of the habit of carrying cash unless I'm abroad or planning to be at an event I know will be cash-only.

There certainly are good arguments for keeping cash, even if sadly almost every 'campaign to keep cash' I've encountered leads very quickly into some conspiracy theory nutcasery, much of it antisemitic. Notably, in China it is a legal requirement that although everything is set up in most places now to assume electronic payments as a norm, by law all businesses must accept payment in cash. Before I set up app payments last year, I was able to rely on that. Back in the UK, there is no such law: businesses are obligated to accept cash in payment for a debt, but they are entitled to refuse cash as payment otherwise. The number of cashless businesses I've encountered in London is small, but definitely growing. A 'must accept cash' option a la the Chinese might not be such a bad idea, given it would keep all businesses in a state of readiness were some major outage to occur with electronic payments. I've been in a few places that had to go 'cash only' on the rare occasion when the card network went down.

I'd actually love to get an actual live call from a telemarketer again instead of the steady parade of robots the hospital collection agency sends down my neck. It's one of two voices, but every day they give a different whitebread-sounding name. This week I've hung up on Richard, Eric, Pete, Jane, and Holly, none of whom exist. And now the security company that monitors the theatre has switched to a robot, so I don't even get the satisfaction of growling when they wake me up at quarter of two in the morning because some kid rattled the front door.

I feel very fortunate with the present state of data protection law in the UK (hopefully it won't change in future). The only real cold calls I've received in the last decade or more were obvious scams, and even those I can count on one finger. Course, we got rid of the landline a few years ago once it was no longer needed for the internet due to fibre optic connections becoming available. If I'm unsure about a number, or it comes up as "private" / "number withheld" on the mobile, I generally don't answer. Same with strange numbers, though those I will tend to google to see if I need to call back.

In old Germany, we have fibreglass build-out, over the next years, which should bring better "highspeed internet" to the people. I question, how much people really need this.
Maybe, it's more another "job-creation measure" by lobby, who knows.

I'm an old fart with fine DSL 16.000 standard contract (17.692 real coming in !!). ;)

I imagine it rather depends on what speed is available... I was delighted to get fibre optic in a few years ago. Partly because it meant being able to get rid of the old landline I didn't want (and somewhat resented paying for just to be able to use it for the internet service I was paying separately for), but also because of speed. The old broadband was supposedly "fast", but during lockdown when I was working from home and even the public library was shut, it regularly took two hours to upload a 90 minute lecture recording for my classes.... and nothing else requiring an internet connection could be done during that time. Ended up doing them overnight, which was a real pain (and required much more forward planning) - not least because the university won't invest in a 'smart upload' system, so if the connection drops for any reason, you have to start all over again. Now my lovely fibre optic uploads that sort of thing in two minutes.... joy.

My cable company has just phased out the little digital adapter boxes it issued when analog cable went away allowing owners of "legacy TVs" to continue using them, in favor of big, obnoxious set-top gadgets with all sorts of obnoxious internet garbage incorporated. I have no plans to own a digital television set, or any other viewing technology that views me back, so I guess that's the end of TV for me. Oh well.

Perhaps something like Amazon Fire TV would allow you to stream with only internet required?

https://www.amazon.com/b?&node=8521791011&ref=amazon_devices_byline

Firestick needs an HD input socket.... We bought one because it let us buy an older model TV without all the 'smarts' built in for a fraction of the price of the one with at the time. I wouldn't be surprised, though, if somebody brings to market a device that allows it to be plugged into older model TVs. Before long, it'll make more sense for the kids to buy a CDU and plug in a firestick, or a screen that will be effectively a giant tablet with it built in.... Radio will I believe survive, but linear television broadcasting I firmly believe will be naught but a memory within the next decade.

I’m left supposing you have neither voicemail nor caller ID.

I get so many phone solicitations that I rarely answer calls if I don’t recognize the caller’s name and/or number. My voicemail “greeting” tells the caller exactly that, along with my assurance that if they have business with me and leave a message I will return their call in a timely manner.

It makes it all less convenient for me and the legit callers. And I resent being put in this position.

Interesting idea. Voicemail is something I opted out of years ago on the basis that if it's important enough, they'll call back. Partly born of an era when it was so damn expensive to make mobile calls in the UK (especially during the daytime), though in truth I simply wouldn't trust myself to ever remember to check messages.
I am still deeply unsettled when I hear somebody come up behind me on the street talking a loud conversation into one of those idiotic Bluetooth earpieces, or whatever they are. Catching three or four second snatches of somebody's one-sided conversation about their proctologist is an experience I wish I could never have.

I wish those were still common in London... instead we get people holding braying conversations on speakerphone, so you have to hear both sides....
 

Turnip

My Mail is Forwarded Here
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3,266
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Europe
I am still deeply unsettled when I hear somebody come up behind me on the street talking a loud conversation into one of those idiotic Bluetooth earpieces, or whatever they are. Catching three or four second snatches of somebody's one-sided conversation about their proctologist is an experience I wish I could never have.

Back then, everybody would have thought „Ah, see, the village idiot does his daily round again, entertaining the town with his soliloquies “.
Nowadays…
 

GHT

I'll Lock Up
Messages
9,504
Location
New Forest
The phone thing gives me the heebie jeebies in the way that I'm sure another generation struggled with debit cards or maybe, at a time, cheques. (Remember cheques? I last wrote one - I think - about 2005. When I switched to my current bank in 2011, I was asked if I wanted a cheque book. I did take one 'just in case' - it's still somewhere in my flat, never used.)
Interesting and fascinating post Edward, thank you. How your heebie-jeebies comment resonated. What an awful sci-fi scenario.
It's been quite a while since I wrote a cheque, except for one occasion at the end of March. Tina has been attending hospital outpatients regularly, she's going to have surgery towards the end of the year. I have been her cab driver come cook and bottle washer. Somehow, with all the to-ing & fro-ing, I overlooked one of the utility bills, no matter, they still give you payment by cheque, as an option. I did just that and mailed it.

In the post two days ago is a letter from that utility company telling me that I have overlooked a payment. Looking at the cheque stub and it's the same bill. Now, after tomorrow's holiday, I need to go to the bank and sort that out.

Why don't I just do it online, I have never really got into all things internet, it just goes over my head. Such is life.
 

Edward

Bartender
Messages
24,880
Location
London, UK
Interesting and fascinating post Edward, thank you. How your heebie-jeebies comment resonated. What an awful sci-fi scenario.
It's been quite a while since I wrote a cheque, except for one occasion at the end of March. Tina has been attending hospital outpatients regularly, she's going to have surgery towards the end of the year. I have been her cab driver come cook and bottle washer. Somehow, with all the to-ing & fro-ing, I overlooked one of the utility bills, no matter, they still give you payment by cheque, as an option. I did just that and mailed it.

In the post two days ago is a letter from that utility company telling me that I have overlooked a payment. Looking at the cheque stub and it's the same bill. Now, after tomorrow's holiday, I need to go to the bank and sort that out.

Why don't I just do it online, I have never really got into all things internet, it just goes over my head. Such is life.



I think a lot of decisions to push to online payments, direct debits and all sorts are typically driven by people who aren't acting out of any ill intent, but simply assume norms that aren't such for everyone. About a decade ago TFL announced plans to phase out the Oyster card in favour of contactless cards. I suspect this would have been an economising measure for them - if everyone uses contactless bank cards, phone apps and w.h.y., then they would have no need to sell tickets, no need for ticket machines (or the staff to maintain them), and money could be saved. The plan has been quietly dropped in recent years. Probably because they realised there are a lot of people who don't have a contactless card (I've opted out so far, but will soon get one because so many places now it's problematic to use chip and pin, and the chips wear out so quickly nowadays) - not all of them by choice. Folks on certain debt reduction plans aren't allowed one for a start. Tourists might not have one, depending where they are from. I'm sure the realisation just how much they make from £3 deposits on Oyster cards from tourists who keep the card as a souvenir rather than cash it in when they leave played a part.

I'm a big fan of paying by direct debit, though. Definitely for things like insurance. My wife used to work in that industry, and the number of people she used to see getting turned down in their claims for the pettiest of reasons... typically elderly people who were in the habit of paying their bills at the post office in person, who got in and were late with a single payment, then losing the entire value of their coverage... it's a nasty racket that business.
 

LizzieMaine

Bartender
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33,251
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Where The Tourists Meet The Sea
I don't do automatic payments for anything for a simple reason. My paydays don't fall on the same days each month and since I'm part of Desperate Paycheck to Paycheck America, "automatic payments" can easily push me into a negative balance. There are some accounts where I simply have no choice to send the check when I have the money available to back it and not until. And there a some where I have to skip a month in order to pay off the other account I had to skip the month before. Skip the electric bill this month to pay the hospital bill from last month, and back again, all based on a game of Due Date Roulette. They don't like it, I'm sure, but I don't like them either, so it works out even.
 

Edward

Bartender
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24,880
Location
London, UK
I don't do automatic payments for anything for a simple reason. My paydays don't fall on the same days each month and since I'm part of Desperate Paycheck to Paycheck America, "automatic payments" can easily push me into a negative balance. There are some accounts where I simply have no choice to send the check when I have the money available to back it and not until. And there a some where I have to skip a month in order to pay off the other account I had to skip the month before. Skip the electric bill this month to pay the hospital bill from last month, and back again, all based on a game of Due Date Roulette. They don't like it, I'm sure, but I don't like them either, so it works out even.


I hear you on that. We currently have a storage unit we need to clear out. It's billed every four weeks, which occasionally hits us twice in one Paycheck, and that is brutal.
 
Messages
11,937
Location
Southern California
I am still deeply unsettled when I hear somebody come up behind me on the street talking a loud conversation into one of those idiotic Bluetooth earpieces, or whatever they are. Catching three or four second snatches of somebody's one-sided conversation about their proctologist is an experience I wish I could never have.
I'm aware that a lot of people these days like to be "the center of attention" for whatever reason, and I'm convinced that's why they behave this way, but on those rare occasions when I receive a phone call anywhere but in my car (while it's parked) or at home, I refuse to answer it and will call the person back. First, because I don't want to be that obnoxious loudmouth shouting like an idiot in public and disrupting everyone else's day. Second, because my business is MY business, and I don't need to have everyone within earshot knowing what is happening in my life.
 
Messages
11,937
Location
Southern California
The kids have a phrase for it: "Main Character Syndrome," the idea that any one individual lives their life as the "main character" in their own personal video game, and all the rest of us are the generic Non-Playable Characters filling out the background.
"Main Character Syndrome". I like that, and it seems appropriate based on some of the behaviors I've observed. Thank you!
 

Benny Holiday

My Mail is Forwarded Here
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3,765
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Sydney Australia
The 'cashless society' is being pushed by the banks here, as they make a fortune from all those little merchant fees adding up every time someone pays electronically. I trust the Australian government to do right by me about as much as I'd trust I could swim through a pack of great white sharks and come out in one piece too - they're not pushing the idea to help anyone but themselves and their cronies in the banking sector.

I try to pay in cash as much as possible, but if I come across a place that simply won't accept coin of the realm, I walk away after explaining that I'm not here to make the banks richer than they already are.
 

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