/ Travel & Leisure

Your comments this week – signs, salmon & accessories

Are baby on board signs more trouble than they’re worth? Does your pack of smoked salmon contain as much fish as it claims? Can you get away with buying cheap tech accessories? Here are your best comments this week.

Checking in on chequebooks

Is it too tough to get a chequebook from your bank? Nfh thinks banks need to start charging for them:

‘Banks should charge for chequebooks. It’s wrong that customers who don’t use costly paper-based payments are subsidising those who do. Cheques are archaic, costly to administer and no longer necessary given the number of less costly alternatives.’

However, Nicky Heppenstall ‏(@Not2earlyNicky) on Twitter still uses them:

‘Still use cheques for kid’s weekly riding lesson, school trips, neices/nephews’ birthday money… #needchequebook’

Why pay extra when rental cars break down abroad?

Keith shares his bumpy experience of car hire abroad:

‘I hired a car in the US a few years ago which did get damaged. Whilst driving on a coastal road I hit some debris that fell from the cliffs and damaged the underside of the car and put slow punctures in two of the tyres. Luckily I managed to get the tyres pumped up shortly after which gave enough time to get into the nearest major town and find a branch of the rental company. They were totally fine with what happened and changed the car over for one of a similar class within about 30 mins and at no extra charge.’

‘I didn’t check the policy for breakdown cover as I assumed it would have been included, although I wouldn’t have been surprised if a charge had been made. It’s certainly something I’d check for next time.’

Some packs of salmon are punching below their weight

Malcolm R shared his hypothesis about foods that weigh less than is said on the pack:

‘One cause of this issue may be the way a lot of pre-packed food is marketed. Packs seem to be sold at set weights – 100g, 200g etc – when there is bound to be a variation in content weight. You can’t get exactly that amount from sliced smoked salmon, ham, etc – there is bound to be variation. So either put on the exact weight and charge each pack accordingly, or make the declared weight the minimum.’

Power cut – the problems with power of attorney

We’ve had lots of reports of power of attorney problems. The Building Societies Association shared its promise to fix the issue:

‘Some people have an excellent experience as an acting attorney, however, this is not consistent across all banks and building societies all of the time. We accept that this isn’t good enough and recognise that utilising a power of attorney tends to happen at a time of particular family stress.

‘To improve the situation, the BSA has been working with a number of others for some time. These include the Office of the Public Guardian, Law Society, BBA and charities such as Age UK and The Alzheimer’s society. The end result will be a new and comprehensive guidance framework for firms covering the consistent application of the law and management best practice in providing services to these customers. This work is almost complete and will be sent to all banks and building societies shortly.’

There’s nothing wrong with buying cheap tech accessories

Rod extols the virtues of cheap HDMI cables:

‘When I read this I thought that the £10 HDMI cable was going to be an example of an expensive one, not the cheap one. I bought a few 3m HDMI cables off Amazon and they cost around £3 delivered. All work perfectly. Unlike analogue cables, there is little to be gained by buying expensive digital cables – they either work or they don’t and if they don’t you are entitled to your money back.’

Do you think you could beat our tariff test?

BrianS thinks energy companies deliberately want their tariffs to be complex:

‘As many commentators have observed – energy prices (like a lot of other services – telephones, train fares, to name just two) are INTENTIONALLY confusing. The intention? To confuse customers into paying more than they need to.

‘Such companies don’t have to confuse all their customers all the time. They only have to confuse enough of their customers for long enough to net a nice fat profit for their directors.’

Baby on board signs – are they obstructing your view?

Driving instructor Passwithcbs ADI, who gets our Comment of the Week, doesn’t think baby on board signs are a great idea:

‘I spend a lot of time teaching individuals the importance of looking correctly, taking in their environment and keeping themselves and others safe. Putting a huge obstruction in the window and restricting the drivers view in the interest of keeping your child safe sounds about as sensible as giving them a firearm in case a bear attacks! The same goes for air fresheners and other objects hanging from the rear views mirror.

‘Please find me the drivers that change their style, habits and approach after seeing these baby on board signs. The safe ones don’t need to, and the others don’t! The only benefit is to emergency responders if a collision or incident occurs, and this is negated if the sign is left in when not in use.’

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).

Terence Bowen says:
23 October 2012

This is in response to the article in the December edition of Which regarding being charged for the privilege of printed out one’s own tickets to venues.

I went on line to book tickets for a gig at the Islington O2 arena. I opted to download the tickets and print them out myself. The ticket price was £22, but in addition I was asked to pay £2.50 postage (what postage?) and £5.50 service fee! What service? I have done all the work myself. I think that this is outrageous and just blatant profiteering, but I imagine that if such additional charges were outlawed the venues would simply raise the price of the tickets and recoup the money that way. Either way I doubt that the poor punter will ever win on this one.