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This week in comments – meat, pensions and scams

Man covered in post-it notes

It’s been a busy week on Conversation, with debates raging on lab-grown meat and doorstep selling. There have also been personal experiences of bonkers BT ‘no call’ charges and a cold calling scam.

Would you eat lab-grown meat?

Not everyone turned their nose up to this idea, like Wavechange:

‘Lab-produced meat is preferable to farming animals, killing them and hacking bits to eat. If artificially produced meat was normal, people would be horrified at the thought of what we do now.’

But Damien Clarke pointed out on Twitter, ‘Serve what you like, but don’t call it meat unless it’s carved off the bones of something that lived.’

Microsoft late to raise cold calling scam alarm

‘I had one of these calls about six months ago,’ George Knight told us. ‘After a long conversation I was very suspicious and told the caller I would phone my son first as it was going to cost me £200. They did not like it but agreed for me to call him. Of course, by the time I had been told by him that it was a scam they had vanished, but the damage had been done.’

It’s bad not to talk on BT’s line rental deal

When we reported on BT’s £1.50 charge for not making calls, we were shocked to read commenter Seat Pitch’s £5.15 monthly charge for failing to make enough calls:

‘Yes, we signed the contract. Yes, we read the small print. But it’s hardly encouraging loyalty is it?’

Pension changes – have women had enough warning?

Rose is furious at the increase in pension age:

‘Being 55 and having worked from 18 to 50 […] I just see that my “career” was a total waste of 37 years of my life. And I’m not a one-off case. I’ve seen other 50-something female friends go through this and more will no doubt follow as they’re still being “thrown on the scrap heap” at 50 despite the so-called anti-ageism legislation!’

You said no to doorstep selling – so does British Gas

British Gas this week said it may stop doorstep selling. In a recent Convo poll, 95% of you voted against door-to-door selling, but Ben Rose sees the benefits:

‘I’ll be honest, doorstep selling actually helped me out once. One day an E.on rep knocked the door trying to get me to transfer my utilities to them. I told him that if he could do the required paperwork, I’d happily swap. He came in the house, carefully noted ALL the details and said that it should all go through. It did. Without that knock at the door, I’d likely still be stuck with British Gas and I’m better off for it.’

Should your landlord pay for energy efficiency?

In response to these new governmental plans, Frugal Ways posted a word of warning:

‘If a landlord has to make changes before they can let a property they will, but then recoup their losses from future tenants. What safeguards are there to stop a landlord adding a bit extra on for more profit?’

Fed up with banks trying to push their products?

Dan Moore bemoaned bank branches selling products. Josephine Wilson, who’s on the front line, gets our Comment of the Week:

‘I work for a high street branch and it is true we all have targets, even the cashiers. Our targets are high and we are expected, as bank staff, to achieve at least four sales a day and refer at least two customers to our regulated consultants. We must do this as well as maintain service levels and deal with customer inquiries and complaints.

‘It’s very frustrating for all of us, we are all people, and mostly all the staff didn’t join the bank to sell products, they came to provide a service and now feel somewhat duped, negative and unenthusiastic about their jobs.’

Comments have been edited due to length, so make sure to read them in full on their relevant Convos (by clicking on the red title link).

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