/ Money

This week in comments – binning paper and card surcharges

Man with paper thought bubble

Due to last week’s New Year round-up, we’ve got a special bumper edition to cover the last two weeks. Here’s what you’ve been saying about binning paper, superfast broadband and our surcharges success.

Payday loan ads

Most of you agree with Martyn Saville’s view that payday loan companies are too pushy, but Richard thinks that some personal responsibility is needed:

‘Obviously the interest rates are high – but too high? I’m fairly sure it is simply because they are very high risk – they have a high risk of not being paid back. Quite frankly if a payday loan company charged 20% all the poverty stricken would queue up to borrow from that company.’

Steve Perry soon jumped in with his response:

‘So these poor people below the poverty line should be offered a form of credit they are not likely to be able to repay, but then charge them a higher rate for their troubles too? Paying a tonne of interest to a payday loan company is NOT a solution for someone on the poverty line. There is nothing good about present payday loans, nothing at all.’

Superfast broadband – is speed your priority?

Gyre wants faster broadband for two reasons:

‘As a gamer, I require that my gaming packets are prioritised over bulk data transfer. As a media consumer, I want enough bandwidth for HD video streaming without pausing.’

David Ramsay says it is nothing to do with whether we want superfast broadband:

‘It’s whether the BT infrastructure can handle the necessary throughput. Let’s face it, if everyone was on superfast in the country and all watching the Olympics how would they be able to cope with Full HD to everyone?’

What bells and whistles do you want on kitchen appliances?

Do you want a frost-free feature on your fridge freezer or a time delay on your washing machine? David doesn’t:

‘Most useful feature of a washer is the time remaining display? You’ve got to be joking! Neither mine nor anyone else’s I know gives a time that’s anything like accurate! On mine it sits at 1h 37m until the rinses start (about 40 minutes) then jumps to 49m and sticks on that until the spin starts.’

But John Ward has an idea for a new fridge gimmick:

‘I can see why ovens have clocks, so why don’t fridges have calendars so I can check what is going out of date?’

Train fares rise again – can you afford our ‘rip-off’ rail?

Another January, another rail price rise, and many commenters – like tpoots – are suffering:

‘I currently travel into London from an Oxfordshire town and the cost of living there and commuting are the same as it would cost to live in an overpriced flat in London. That was before any increases.’

Nigel Whitfield can just about afford it, but spares a thought for those who can’t:

‘Many people working on the minimum wage in London will now be spending one hour of their working day – possibly even more – just earning back the cost of getting to and from work in the first place.’

We did it! Unfair card surcharges are being banned

We had to include our recent success where the government announced that it is banning excessive debit and credit card surcharges. John H is particularly happy about this:

‘On the face of it this is good news and I would stand to save about £500 a year as a regular flyer with Flybe who charge me for the privilege of booking with their Mastercard.’

Sapphire’s also pleased, although questions how it will pan out:

‘Brilliant news, especially the ridiculous debit card charge, this was so unfair, unjust and extortion at it’s best. I do hope the likes of Ryanair especially don’t just add these costs to their other charges or flight prices.’

Which?’s Charlotte Slayford responds:

‘Any additional charges will have to be in the headline price – so even if Ryanair choose to call this an ‘admin fee’, they’ll still have to include it up front. This will help you work out if you’re getting the cheapest flight without having to wait until you get to the checkout.’

Will 2012 be the year we bin paper?

Will technology wave off the last of the paper sheets this year? Chris doesn’t think so:

‘Not only does electronic storage lack the tactile appeal of paper but old format electronic storage is next to useless. Anyone still got a computer that can read floppy disks? Even the software your old document was written in probably isn’t around anymore.’

Our own Angus Farquhar is a strong believer in turning our backs on paper:

‘It is far safer to have your media in digital form, especially with the advent in the last year or so of all the cloud services that now exist. I use the Amazon Kindle service for all of my books and Zinio for my magazines, which both allow you to sync all of your purchases to any device you log in to.

‘I also use the Evernote service for keeping notes, bookmarks and files and this again syncs everything to the cloud and all of the devices I own, completely doing away with the worry of a single device failure.’

This week’s Comment of the Week goes to Prentonboy who’s moving in the opposite direction:

‘Having had mobile phones, electronic personal organisers, online calendars, cloud computers etc, I have just bought a Filofax. Somehow it seems more reassuring and I don’t have to pack a charger when I take it on holiday.’

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).