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11th September 2013: The world's gone mad and I'm the only one who knows
30th August 2013: Isn't sarcasm a wonderful thing?
25th August 2013: Operation Yewtree has turned British justice on its head
13th August 2013: Black is white. Fact. End of.
11th August 2013: Why 'human rights' is nothing of the sort ...
11th August 2013: Electric cars, not as green as they're painted?
6th August 2013: How the British nation treats its friends ...
8th July 2013: The BBC biased? How can that be? They're so NICE!
26th June 2013: Think this country is a bastion of freedom and justice and a shining model for the world? Think again.
18th June 2013: Wrinklies unite, you have nothing to lose but your walking frames!
17th June 2013: is the end finally approaching for this evil woman?
31st May 2013: Now it's official - the BBC really is a left-wing propaganda machine
31st May 2013: Those evil bastards are at it again. Yes, you've guessed it - social services!
27th May 2013: Well-known TV presenter talks sense. No good will come of it.
24th May 2013: British justice is best? Only for the very poor, apparently ...
17th May 2013: Some actual FACTS about climate change (for a change) from actual scientists ...
10th May 2013: An article about that poison gas, carbon dioxide, and other scientific facts (not) ...
10th May 2013: We need to see past the sex and look at the crimes: is justice being served?
8th May 2013: So, who would you trust to treat your haemorrhoids, Theresa May?
8th May 2013: Why should citizens in the 21st Century fear the law so much?
30th April 2013: What the GOS says today, the rest of the world realises tomorrow ...
30th April 2013: You couldn't make it up, could you? Luckily you don't need to ...
29th April 2013: a vote for NONE OF THE ABOVE, because THE ABOVE are crap ...
28th April 2013: what goes around, comes around?
19th April 2013: everyone's a victim these days ...
10th April 2013: Thatcher is dead; long live Thatcher!
8th April 2013: Poor people are such a nuisance. Just give them loads of money and they'll go away ...
26th March 2013: Censorship is alive and well and coming for you ...
25th March 2013: Just do your job properly, is that too much to ask?
25th March 2013: So, what do you think caused your heterosexuality?
20th March 2013: Feminists - puritans, hypocrites or just plain stupid?
18th March 2013: How Nazi Germany paved the way for modern governance?
13th March 2013: Time we all grew up and lived in the real world ...
12th March 2013: Hindenburg crash mystery solved? - don't you believe it!
6th March 2013: Is this the real GOS?
5th March 2013: All that's wrong with taxes
25th February 2013: The self-seeking MP who is trying to bring Britain down ...
24th February 2013: Why can't newspapers just tell the truth?
22nd February 2013: Trial by jury - a radical proposal
13th February 2013: A little verse for two very old people ...
6th February 2013: It's not us after all, it's worms
6th February 2013: Now here's a powerful argument FOR gay marriage ...
4th February 2013: There's no such thing as equality because we're not all the same ...
28th January 2013: Global Warming isn't over - IT'S HIDING!
25th January 2013: Global Warmers: mad, bad and dangerous to know ...
25th January 2013: Bullying ego-trippers, not animal lovers ...
19th January 2013: We STILL haven't got our heads straight about gays ...
16th January 2013: Bullying ego-trippers, not animal lovers ...
11th January 2013: What it's like being English ...
7th January 2013: Bleat, bleat, if it saves the life of just one child ...
7th January 2013: How best to put it? 'Up yours, Argentina'?
7th January 2013: Chucking even more of other people's money around ...
6th January 2013: Chucking other people's money around ...
30th December 2012: The BBC is just crap, basically ...
30th December 2012: We mourn the passing of a genuine Grumpy Old Sod ...
30th December 2012: How an official body sets out to ruin Christmas ...
16th December 2012: Why should we pardon Alan Turing when he did nothing wrong?
15th December 2012: When will social workers face up to their REAL responsibility?
15th December 2012: Unfair trading by a firm in Bognor Regis ...
14th December 2012: Now the company that sells your data is pretending to act as watchdog ...
7th December 2012: There's a war between cars and bikes, apparently, and  most of us never noticed!
26th November 2012: The bottom line - social workers are just plain stupid ...
20th November 2012: So, David Eyke was right all along, then?
15th November 2012: MPs don't mind dishing it out, but when it's them in the firing line ...
14th November 2012: The BBC has a policy, it seems, about which truths it wants to tell ...
12th November 2012: Big Brother, coming to a school near you ...
9th November 2012: Yet another celebrity who thinks, like Jimmy Saville, that he can behave just as he likes because he's famous ...
5th November 2012: Whose roads are they, anyway? After all, we paid for them ...
7th May 2012: How politicians could end droughts at a stroke if they chose ...
6th May 2012: The BBC, still determined to keep us in a fog of ignorance ...
2nd May 2012: A sense of proportion lacking?
24th April 2012: Told you so, told you so, told you so ...
15th April 2012: Aah, sweet ickle polar bears in danger, aah ...
15th April 2012: An open letter to Anglian Water ...
30th March 2012: Now they want to cure us if we don't believe their lies ...
28th February 2012: Just how useful is a degree? Not very.
27th February 2012: ... so many ways to die ...
15th February 2012: DO go to Jamaica because you definitely WON'T get murdered with a machete. Ms Fox says so ...
31st January 2012: We don't make anything any more
27th January 2012: There's always a word for it, they say, and if there isn't we'll invent one
26th January 2012: Literary criticism on GOS? How posh!
12th December 2011: Plain speaking by a scientist about the global warming fraud
9th December 2011: Who trusts scientists? Apart from the BBC, of course?
7th December 2011: All in all, not a good week for British justice ...
9th November 2011: Well what d'you know, the law really IS a bit of an ass ...

 

 
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Sometimes we come across people so wrong, so sad and stupid that they can't even qualify for our Wanker of the Week award. After all, you do need a certain amount of hand-eye coordination to be a wanker. Or so we're told.
 
Kevin Waldrum from Loughborough is about three steps on the evolutionary ladder below your common-or-garden wanker, and frankly to pillory him by giving him the award would be cruelty to the dumb. So, very kindly and with immense sympathy and compassion, here is Kev's story ...
 
45 year old Kevin, a former security guard (so, presumably, unemployed) lost his girlfriend of two years and was lonely and upset. He saw on telly an advert for a premium-rate daytime chat line, so called up to find what it was like. “You ring up and there's all these options, they ask your name and sympathise with you”, he said.
 
Soon he was calling regularly, and throughout September, October and November last year felt able to speak to the girls about his heartache. He felt he had a special bond with one girl. “I was telling this girl Hannah about my previous relationship and how it had ended 18 months before and she told me that she was having problems with her boyfriend and it was all going wrong,” he explains. “Her and the other girls had a nickname for me, I was so well-known there. When I called up they used to say 'Loughborough Kev is on the phone'.”
 
Strangely he did not stop even when he received a Vodaphone bill for £19,333.63. He says “I was back calling them pretty much right away. They used to warn you when a call was coming to the end of the 20 minutes you were allowed, and then I'd just phone straight back”.
 
Reality finally struck when he received a second bill for £71,850.67. He complained to Vodafone. “Vodafone need shutting down because they're ripping people off left, right and centre,” he said. “I'm not putting all the blame on them but not even multi-millionaires would want to spend this much on a phone bill, surely, so why I have been allowed to go up to £91,000? I admit I rang these numbers and it's partly my own fault but the line should have gone dead before I started to incur such high charges. They must be taking millions from poor people like me. It has absolutely screwed my head up. I am so down, depressed, desperate and anxious over the whole situation. All I can think about from the moment I wake up to the moment I go to bed is, how am I going to pay these bills?”
 
God, your heart aches, doesn't it, for the poor man? What an ordeal, and all because of these heartless profiteering bastards at Vodaphone. Nothing to do with the chat line itself, of course, because no doubt they were offering this splendid shoulder-to-cry-on service purely in the spirit of compassion. Just like the Samaritans, really.
 
Waldrum says the stress of the bill forced him to visit his doctor, who put him on medication to control his stress. He now takes Diazepam for anxiety and Nitrazepam to help him sleep. But he said he will not be able to move on with his life until the situation is settled. He said: “I called Vodafone and they said they were going to investigate but I haven't heard anything since. It's been about six months of pure worry since then. I've been totally traumatised by it. I have realised now, I just think 'Why did I ever do that?' I have deep regrets over it now. Every time I see a Vodafone shop I start to feel physically sick and get a migraine and it makes me shake. I want people to be aware how it can destroy lives. They have ruined my life.”
 

Victim

 
Needless to say, Vodafone's version of the story is a little different. They say they barred Mr.Waldrum’s mobile phone for high charges, but he ordered a replacement SIM from a shop to allow him to carry on calling the premium lines. They do admit that they missed an opportunity to alert Mr.Waldrum to the higher costs at an earlier stage and following an investigation have cut his bill to £29,083.
 
A spokesman said: “By his own admission, Mr.Waldrum made calls to premium rate adult entertainment services more or less continuously over a period of two months until we suspended the services on October 21 when the total debt was £91,000. We had previously barred a phone used by Mr Waldrum on September 11 for high usage, but he got round this by requesting a replacement SIM card from a retail store, saying he had lost the original. He was then able to continue to build up debt.
 
“We cannot manage our customers' spending for them, but we will try to alert them to it if we are aware of an unusual high spending pattern. Looking back at the records, we can see that we could have alerted Mr.Waldrum on September 18. It can sometimes take several days for billing to register on our system, and by this time, his extreme use of premium rate services meant his bill was already £29,083. Since we missed the opportunity to alert him at this stage, we will waive the charges of around £61,000 incurred after this point as a gesture of goodwill. Mr Waldrum remains liable for charges of £29,083.”
 
But this isn't good enough for victim Kev. He says he will continue to fight against being held liable for the remaining amount, calling the offer 'rubbish'. “They should drop the whole lot,” he says. “They have to think about my health. This is not about money any more, it is about respecting people.”
 
It's odd, isn't it, how most of the poor victims you read about in the Daily Wail have some sort of ailment in addition to their victimhood? Mugged in the street? We ought to feel especially sorry for them because they have a bad leg and walk with crutches. Their little pussy cat's been stolen? They suffer from emphysema and varicose veins so someone ought to take pity and buy them a new kitty. Do crimes, accidents and misfortunes not happen to healthy people, then? When did you ever see a story about “Totally healthy man knocked off bike”?
 
So for sad old Loughborough Kev to be taking medications for his “condition” is just par for the course. It's a pity the doctor can't prescribe anything for terminal stupidity. Or maybe not ... maybe Kev's being just a tiny bit cunning here. He didn't have an ailment that would prevent him from working before, did he? And now he has ... so that's the benefits secured for years to come, then.
 

 
The GOS says: That's our society in a nutshell, really. Everything has to be someone's fault and that someone has to be brought to book. On the other hand, nothing's ever OUR fault, and allowances should always be made. No prizes for spotting the inconsistency.
 
Here's a little story from my own past. About 12 years ago, before I became quite as tech-savvy as I am now and was able to guard against it, my computer got infected with a piece of malware that began dialling premium-rate lines during the night without my knowledge. Which, if one might be permitted to say so, is bloody clever. Evil, but clever.
 
The first I knew of this was when I received a phone call from BT. The lady asked if I'd been calling premium-rate lines, and when I told her I hadn't, was able to explain what had been going on. She blocked my phone line so it couldn't happen again, and expunged all the charges from my account. I have never uttered a harsh word about BT since.
 
I've had similar experiences with credit cards, and have been particularly impressed by the way Halifax have taken the initiative in spotting possible fraud with my credit card number, contacting me and checking that it was indeed fraud, and then wiping off any debts. On one occasion they did all this when someone hacked my card and began using it for small amounts just to see if it worked. Halifax spotted that in short order, and spent a lot of time investigating and tracking the fraudster even though the amounts of money were tiny.
 
Large organisations like Vodaphone, BT, Amazon, credit card suppliers etc. get a pretty bad press, and this isn't always deserved. They are large organisations. They can't, with the best will in the world, offer each of us the kind of personal service we'd like and which we used to receive years ago. They have to design large, complex systems that work, and into which we have to fit, simply because there is no other way for certain aspects of our society and our economy to work – there are just too many of us.
 
All that said, for every case in which we hear that some individual has got across a large organisation and is kicking off about it, I feel there are probably four or five cases that never make the headlines, because the customer has been dealt with fairly, humanely and sensibly, and the organisation has managed to give as much personal service as we have any right to expect.
 
Several of you will now write in and tell me how you were ripped off by British Gas or Virgin Money or something so I am completely wrong. My answer will be that no, I am not wrong. I am right. Of course there are times when the interface between organisation and customer does not work as it should. There are certainly times when you have to scream and shout and make a fuss until things get put right. But there are lots of times – probably a vast percentage of the total transactions - when things work sweetly. And it's only right to acknowledge this.
 
What we also have to acknowledge is that poor old victim Kev didn't work sweetly, and never will. Maybe we ought to give him the title Wanker of the Week after all? It's probably the only thing he ever will win.

 

 
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