Google analytics

Thursday, 14 February 2013


Bloody con artists.

My mum in law fell over on Tuesday evening, then Wednesday morning, and in the middle of the night last night. (The old dear is 91 after all, and suffering arthritic hips and hands).

Anyway that’s just the background.

Anyway Mrs FE and myself brought her home from the hospital at midday, and I picked her mail off the mat in the process. A quick look through it was enough to ascertain that 85% of it was begging letters from just about every charity in the known world.

Once we had got her settled in her chair she started opening up her mail and asked me to open the big envelope she was struggling with.

Inside was a glitzy (Word most favoured by the Tobacco control industry when referring to cigarette packs) magazine extolling holidays with “ You will have access to a personal travel concierge” and a card that will enable her to dine out “as a full member in partnership with the Gourmet Society”.

Enclosed was a letter. In it, they have charged her the postage and have given her 14 days to decline their Bi-monthly yearly subscription of £79.99. (WTF)

It infers that she has willingly signed up to this deal. Knowing MIL better than them, I doubt it.

A bit of digging around on the net gave me some idea of how they achieve this:

1. Engage their target with “they are carrying out a survey”. “Do you like to eat horse meat  or beef? (Topical), do you prefer row boats or luxury liners, do you prefer to travel by bus or limousine, etc,etc”.

2. We support a charity, and would you like to donate a £1. (It looks like the £1 was for their postage).

3. We’ll need your bank details.

4. We’ll send you a magazine every two months.

Easy isn’t it.

The trouble with people of mum in laws age is that the moment they hear the word charity they roll over and believe the person on the other end of the line is some sort of saint. MIL lives in an age when a man’s word was his bond.

I’m not against these organisations per se. But when they screw the vulnerable, oh yes I am.

I shall phone and E-mail them tomorrow.

*I might be a bit rude*


  1. "*I might be a bit rude*"

    But hopefully, only if they resist the pleading charms of "Mr Nice Guy"?

    BTW - is the "cooling-off" period (applicable in all 'Distant Selling' scams) still valid??

  2. (IANAL) but BTW - check whether your MIL had registered her phone number with the Telephone Preference Service to bar "Cold Calls". If she had, then if the company is UK based, their subsequent correspondence to her would seem to be evidence that they'd broken the Law by phoning her.

    Fall-back position:- Inform the seller that that number was pre-registered with the TPS, and unless they cancel the subscription immediately, you'll arrange for the TPS to prosecute them.

  3. *I might be a bit rude*

    I would be very polite lead them on for a while, well as long as you can. And then be as rude as possible, tell the f*****s what you think but be quick before they cut you off.


  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. Oh, the irony of getting a spam comment for a different species of unwanted shark..GTFO pondlife!

  6. Thirty years ago, in the U.K, I had a bank account, even in a different name. I always give them ALL the details, 'cus I is charitable I am!.... :-)))))

  7. Mother gets all kinds of stuff, from begging charities to mail order outfits. Great Ormond Street Hospital are regulars - whilst they may have good aims, after studying their accounts, and finding the links between the hospital funded by me and you), and the charity itself, they won't be getting any more. A worse offender are Mouth & Foot Painting Artists who sent a thick envelope before Christmas full of cards, with a "suggested" donation of £5. That IS pushing it, as we have not asked for any of their work...

    The mail order companies are clearly harvesting personal details, and exchanging mailing lists. I've tried to explain to her that once she's known to fit a particular profile (age, spending habits, etc) they will all start bombarding her with similar products and services. But, as you've observed, it is difficult for people in their 80's to grasp how business operates these days.


Say what you like. I try to reply. Comments are not moderated. The author of this blog is not liable for any defamatory or illegal comments.