The first thing I would do is ban the mobile network three.co.uk
These ever so decent chaps have just hiked the cost of international calling by more than double. Naturally I had to call them. My suggestion was simple – as they had changed the cost of my contract mid term, the should release me from it without penalty.
Pretty straight forward I thought but the guy on the other end of the phone was having none of it. He gave me two options. I could leave without penalty but couldn’t take my number with me, you know, that number I have had for more than 10 years? Or, I could pay the early termination penalty and keep my number.
I desperately explained how unfair that was as they had changed my tariff mid contract but he stood his ground. Eventually I lost my cool and called him a bully. That made him scuttle off to talk to someone else.
On his return he was somewhat apologetic. He was just beginning to realise how much my calls had gone up. He explained that there was nothing they could do as it was a company policy but as a gesture of goodwill (apparently I am a good customer) the offered a £30 credit on my bill. I took it, naturally.
Then this month I wanted to check to see if the credit had been applied to the bill. In this modern, environmentally leaning society that we live in, I have paperless billing and instead use their app to see my bills. Of course, their app wasn’t working. I contacted them and after 20 minutes and 3 different operators, I hung up. Some stroppy bitch on the other end of the phone really did get my goat. They tried calling me back but I blocked their number.
Other things I would change revolve around motoring. See last week I got a speeding ticket. 1st one of this millennium I might add but nonetheless it is still a ticket. What happened? Heading north on the M1 in South Yorkshire, 4 lanes of motorway at probably 20% capacity, one lane completely free, lane 3 very light, lanes 1 and 2 not even moderately occupied.
The little matrix at the side of the road said 60mph, so like most people, I dropped my speed and prepared to see a reason ahead as to why we needed to slow a little. After a short while of seeing nothing out of the ordinary I hit ‘resume’ on the cruise control. I carried on for a while when suddenly I saw the double flash on a car in front of me – oh shit I thought, then it flashed again, this time on me.
My crime – 69mph when the gantry said 60mph. No workforce in the road, no obstructions in the road, clear sunny weather (heat wave actually) and nothing between me and the end of the 60 zone that warranted a reduction in speed. I got my ticket 2 days ago.
It got me thinking a little bit. See to me, it was completely unneccessary to reduce the speed, there was no reason to. Then I thought – I could drive past a school at kicking out time at 30mph and not get flashed by a camera – that would be more risky in my book.
Then of course there are the phone users – wedged to their ear as they negotiate roundabouts and corners or the people that have a beer or two and drive.
So I would change a few things.
Motorways – 80mph in the dry – 60mph in the rain – works for the French and it is very easy to cross France in a car. At 85mph (65mph) in the wet – you get your points and a fine.
Schools at kicking out time – 20mph max for half a mile either side of the school gates – no tolerance here, 21mph gets you a ticket.
Caught on a phone? 6 points and £500 fine – no exceptions. Come on, a bluetooth kit is as little as £15!!
Alcohol when driving – ZERO. I say this based on my own beautiful experience. See I am one of those cheap dates that can actually get a little shit faced from one bottle of beer.
Dodgy number plates and front windows with illegal tints – prohibition on car at roadside, cannot be driven away with said defects.
Uninsured drivers – cars confiscated. Instead of crushing them, they are sold at public auction, the proceeds of which are returned to the police to assist with funding. In fact this should be extended to all items that can be sold if they have been purchased with the proceeds of crime
Mobile speed detection vans (don’t give me that safety partnership bullshit) – could only work at sites where either there had been an accident in the last couple of years OR residents had requested its presence. Any fines to go to the local council who use the funds directly to improve the accident black spots to make them safer. And no more camera vans at the bottom of steep hills unless one or both of the criteria above are met. See, I have a real issue when they say safety camera team. The issue is that they are nearly always positioned in spots that provide them with the best results.
After all of that, I also had a killer thought.
If the money, time and effort that local authorities have invested in camera vans, smart motorways with gantry cameras, average speed cameras, road humps, chicanes etc etc had been spent on combating knife crime – they would probably save more lives pound for pound.
But that’s just me trash talking because I just got a speeding ticket.
Anything else in the news?