The title of this post may be a little confusing. You will/may have heard of the acronym BOGOF which is used in retail as “Buy One Get One Free”, although I dispute the “Free” part, but that’s another discussion. This refers to “Buy Two Throw One Away”. And it’s partly to do with lettuce!
This morning Mrs Me was going through my shopping list and thought it would be a nice idea to buy a ‘nice’ lettuce for a change. We usually have these pre-washed salad leaves that come prepared in a bag ready to eat. She like rocket, spinach, watercress, those type of salad leaves and after while, they just get to taste the same. So she wanted to try something a bit different, but not the classic ‘Iceberg Lettuce’.
So, back to the point. Off I trot to our nearest supermarket to buy said lettuce. I had decided on either Little Gem or Romaine Heart so I headed off to the salad isle. They had both. However, both were prepacked in twin packs. Now, I’m not the biggest fan of salad these days so faced with packs of two left me a little disappointed even a little angry. I asked one of the assistants if they sold either lettuce separately and was told “… not really. It’s cheaper if you buy two …”
Now that brings me back to my original paragraph. Imagine you are a single person, living alone. Maybe a pensioner maybe a business person, but the point being you are on your own. Buying a twin pack of anything fresh will probably mean that some of the food will be out of date before you can eat it. I know my neighbour would not be able to get through two Romaine Heart lettuce before the ‘Use By’ date, which means that some will get thrown away. To my thinking, it would make more sense if there was only one lettuce and the pack price was halved. Is that just me that thinks that way?
You may be aware that I work part-time in a local café. One of the many features of this café, is their free Wi-Fi. The access code is displayed for anyone to use if you know where to look. Most customers will use the Wi-Fi for what it is there for i.e. so they can check their emails or show someone pictures on their phone, that kind of thing. However, there is an increasing number of customers that seem to visit the café with the sole purpose of accessing the the free internet.
On Tuesday this week, I arrived at work around 10:20, which is my usual time and noticed a customer sat at a 4 seater table. He had his laptop open and was also using his phone. I also noticed he was wearing a pair of headphones and one of those ‘cheek mikes’ that seem to be the norm these days. I hovered around his table for a few seconds before entering the kitchen and realised that he was conducting some kind of interview with somebody. Over the course of the next couple of hours, he still seemed to be talking to someone and on a couple of occasions, he got quite animated. He eventually left at around 12:45, or at least that’s when I noticed he had gone. From what I could see, he had drunk one cup of coffee and who knows how many glasses of free water. I mentioned to the chef that he had gone and he explained that he had been sat at the table since about 09:00. Just one cup of coffee!! The table staff have been told not to move people on, but to keep asking if they require anything else. They call it ‘good customer service’. But what about the ‘good customer service’ for the customers who cannot get a seat?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for getting free Wi-Fi in places I visit, but come on … lets not abuse it.
I am referring to those ‘Special Offers’ and ‘Freebies’ that seem to be on every type of food these days. You know the kind of thing ‘Collect 5 special tokens for your free …..’ and other such amazing offers. Tried one Friday. An offer from a frozen food company for an attractive ‘free’ bowl. According to the blurb on the packet all I had to do was go to website, click on the offer and enter two codes and the bowl would be on its’ way to me in 21 days. Three ‘easy steps’ I was told. Simple! Nope! First, when you get to the website, you have to find the offer, which was in this case (in)conveniently on page 2. Then once you click on the button, you are whisked off to another page where you have to ‘register’. Usual thing: first name; second name; email, phone number; mobile number; full address; password and confirm password. You are then told that your email needs ‘authenticating’ and you need to look for a confirmation email with a link. Of course, that ends up in your spam-box. You click on the link and hey presto you are taken to another welcome page telling you all the benefits of being a registered user. But no link to the offer. So it’s back to the Home page and of course, now you need to login. Once logged in and navigated to page 2, I enter the first of the codes and click the enter button. Tap tap tap ……..tap, enter! I get a message “Sorry, that code is invalid or has been used“. I double check the code and enter again and get the same message. Now the code cannot have been used before as the pack was still in the freezer until that morning.
A quick email to the website results in an automated response telling me that my complaint will be dealt with within 12 hours. Still waiting!
So, what does this mean? It means that the company, now have all my details, phone address and I have no ‘free’ bowl. Another email is going off today to demand that my details be removed from their database. Do you think that will happen? I’m not going to hold my breath!
When I say packaging, I mean excess packaging. Let me give you an example. Two weeks ago, Mrs H needed to buy some baked beans. We have to get a branded type, as R*** will only eat a certain brand. As this is his mainstay food source, we tend to go through a lots of baked beans. So we usually look for multi-packs or special offers. The ‘Buy 2 – Get 1 Free’ type of offers. Now where I have a problem, is the multi-pack system. Why is there a need to wrap the four/six tins in a sheet of polythene? Can the store not say something like “Six tins for the price of 4”, instead of wrapping six tins and making ‘2 Free"’ on the packaging? Or just mark it up on the shelf, say One tin = 51p, Four tins £1.94? I’m sure the customers are not so stupid as not to able to work out which is cheapest! It would save on the need for the polythene wrapper, which in my experience is not usually recyclable. I did ask the manager at one store why they wrapped multi-packs, and was told “It is to make it easier for the customer pick up!” i will leave you to your own opinions on that statement
I recently had a problem with Twitter. For the past three months I have been using an app, on my smartphone to send multiple tweets using the extremely popular #FF or #FollowFriday hash tags. The app quite simply pulls up a list of all the people that follow you, and the app then tweets a message followed by #FF, to all in that list. Well, as I mentioned, I have been doing this regularly for the past three months, without any problems at all. Then on this Friday past, I used the app as usual. When I came to login at home, I found that my account had been suspended! I quickly emailed Twitter support, and was told that “I had abused the @reply system, by sending large amounts of unsolicited messages.” The account was then ‘unsuspended’ and, after a few hours, I could carry on as normal. They really annoying thing was that the support call was closed, and I was unable to explain what had happened. I am now considering my options with Twitter. I enjoy using it, and enjoy the connections I have made using it, but if it is starting to get more restrictive, then it may have to go.
I am old before my time I think. I downloaded a free music album by (what I’m reliably told) a ‘Grime’ artist call Chipmunk. It seems to be a free sampler album of Rap music. The singer ‘tweeted’ yesterday, that he would post a link to the album (called Chipmunk – For The Fun Of It) Of what I’ve heard, it’s very good. He is a talented singer.
I bought an FM Transmitter for my MP3 player last week. I gave it a try today, in the car, and it seems to work quite well. It means that I can play the music on my phone or MP3 without having to use one of those cassette converters. They did not work too well, and you could hear the noise of the cassette motor, when it was playing. Now everything is sorted.