Friday, 3 October 2014

Fall from a great height

There can be few less pleasurable experiences these days than being shot down by an American.  And I've just been blown out of the sky.  

I'm in the final stages of building what, for a little while anyway, will pass for the Vanbar Associates website.  (I'll then let one or two people who actually know what they're doing loose on it and a transformation is guaranteed).   What I now need is the domain name but, to get that, I need to pay for the site to go live and the domain name comes with it.  If you follow me.  I'd understand if not.   

Anyway, I was in the process of entering my credit card details when my heart sank (again.  It's been an up and down week). 

I wanted to pay for a year up front (the minimum period to get a free domain name) and all was going well.  The price came up, I entered my extra 10% discount code (been doing my homework) and was all set to hit the magic "pay" button.  (Magic in the sense that you press it and your money suddenly vanishes).  

But then I noticed a message which ended with "your next bill date will be 10/03/15."

What?!  March?  What happened to my 12 months up front, nothing more to worry about?  I knew thing were progressing too smoothly (apart from the current state of the "webshite" itself, obviously).   

So I got onto to them, emailing the Customer Service desk in New York.  I mean, how dare they?  The cheek of it.  Con merchants the lot of them.  I signed off my rant with: "Not impressed."  That would show them.    

Barely half an hour later, I received the following reply from "Antonia H."  And I think it only fair that you be allowed to read it in full:  

"Hey Barry,

Happy to help!

10/03/2015 is the American way of writing dates, sorry about that. You know they do everything a bit... improper ;)

In real English it means you will be billed again on the 3rd of October 2015, which is in exactly one year from today.

Hope that helps!

Please get back in touch if you have any other questions, we're here for you 24/7! :)" 

I would love to say I've never felt so humiliated but, sadly, I have - many, many times.  But at least I wasn't being diddled.


As I was primed to put this up, Vanessa tapped me on the shoulder to ask why I'd emptied the grass cuttings into the recycling bin as opposed to the garden waste bin.  My answer?  I didn't realise I had. 

This working from home lark is all well and good but, next week, I really need to get out more.