Day 118, the end of Week 17 of Lock-down, writes Patient.I, I’m not feeling the slightest urge to run hog-wild down the street just because others are. I’ve got myself back on the ‘priority’ list for supermarket deliveries, at the cost of accepting a box of weekly groceries from Rishi Sunak. The quality of potatoes has seriously deteriorated; they’re rotten and horribly smelly, but free of charge. Thank you.
These groceries come from a wholesaler who in a pre-Covid world would have supplied caterers, but most are inedible to me, for as a result of my illness and treatment, I eat a strictly vegan diet. Please don’t ask; just accept that some things I do, not merely because I’m being bloody minded, but because I need to beat the thing that is trying to eat me from the inside out. I live in hope that it gives up and leaves me alone for a good while longer. Vegan eating helps me, I believe. We’d been doing our weekly shopping online, and having a dedicated app on my phone seemed to stop the infernal ‘silly password game’ that websites increasingly play with us. Our phones are about four years old and the phone makers and writers of software have decided we need new ones. So I began a search using my phone that had begun to malfunction on a regular basis. My wife’s phone required charging many times per day so was unusable for this. I chose a Samsung A51 and searched for someone who would sell me one. Samsung couldn’t (!) but Tesco phone shop said that they could. I ordered a nice white one and got to the checkout. I was told I’d entered the wrong password so I was forced to ask for a reset. After the usual 15 minutes I eventually got the email that enabled me to choose a new password. I chose the one I thought I already had (but had been assured I hadn’t) only to be told I couldn’t have that password because it was my current one. I call this the password game. On entering all sorts of personal data, including my credit card details, the website merely said to me “Oops.” Their link was broken; they didn’t have any A51s; I needed to go back to the start. I chose an A41, slightly smaller, slightly cheaper, but still quite a nice model. We went through the stages until we got to the point at which I repeated all my secrets. In went the card details, and I was told yet again, “Oops.” “Oops?” Eventually and reluctantly I bought from Amazon. We played the password game but I got my phone and have been so pleased with it that I tried a fortnight later to buy one for my wife; that was my big mistake. Another round of the password game and we negotiated a phone, a new password (same as the old password) and then got into a haggle. Did I want free delivery with Amazon Prime? “No,” I replied. It kept asking. Evidently I could have Amazon Prime just for this delivery, and then cancel it before August 5th; it wouldn’t cost me a bean. We then had a series of daft rounds of the game where I was constantly being offered Tik-tok (Eh?) I paid for the phone and nothing else. Soon two phones arrived; close inspection of ‘my’ account (once we’d re-played the password game and got another new password) showed they’d billed me twice; on separate cards! And do I want Amazon Prime? Or Tik-tok?
To be continued …
“The quality of potatoes has seriously deteriorated; they’re rotten and horribly smelly, but free of charge.”
I chose the password I thought I already had (but had been assured I hadn’t) only to be told I couldn’t have it because it was my current one.
On entering all sorts of personal data, including my credit card details, the website merely said to me “Oops.”
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