Friday, March 19, 2010

The modern world

Quite funny, the types of things that happen in the age of computers and the internet. So, today I get three bills. One from a company in Germany. They ask me to pay 93 Euro plus a 9 Euro late fee for access to its internet site. No, not one of those sites ... - I must have used the site when I downloaded Open Office (an open source suite of office programs that's available free of charge from gazillions of outlets on the web). So, when I downloaded the software I duly filled in their forms, not at all realizing that I was subscribing to anything. Well, now they want money - that they won't be getting obviously. Instead, I notified German police, their bankers and for good measure the German Revenue service about their activities. While searching for them on the web (all German language, unfortunately!) I noticed to my horror, that people actually paid up (for access to open source software!). Sad sad sad.

Well, the other bill I received was from the CAA, a Canadian motoring club (they help you when your car breaks down etc). The letter says outside: Annual Membership Notice. Inside a bill and stuff explaining to me the benefits of my membership. It goes without saying that I am not actually a member of the CAA, I don't owe a car, indeed, I can't even drive. What made them write to me? I have no idea.

Another bill I got today (yep, one of those days) is for the renewal of a subscription I actually hold. Turns out, if I subscribe on the renewal form I pay more than if I end the subscription and start a new one immediately.

Gotta watch out folks. They're out there to get you, reputable organisations and outright scam artists.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Sokal on steroids: Why hoax papers submitted successfully to academic journals proves nothing (ok, little)

A trio of authors has, during a 12 months period, submitted - by their own account - 20 manuscripts to academic journals they broadly identi...