Friday, 24 August 2012

A Tale of Two Cop-Outs

In January 2010 we bought a television from Tesco.  It cost us £300 and, although it might not be a great deal of money for some, for us it was (is) huge.  I used the money given to me by my Mother and aunt for Christmas and we scraped together the rest, working on the principle that we don't get out much.  No, seriously.  We don't.   We pay our rent, pay our bills and with what is left over we buy food.  With a bit of fiddling I can occasionally stretch to buying Flavia school shoes (bottom end of market...apparently they aren't to be worn in the rain but that's another story) so we decided to treat ourselves since it is, apart from the computer, the only form of entertainment we have.

You can imagine our dismay when, 19 months after purchase, it died.  We contacted Tesco (who tried to wriggle but Yours Truly knows about the Sale of Goods Act - I'm awkward like that) and they sent us a form to fill in (second class, of course) and just over two weeks later we got a letter from them saying they'd refund us £180.  Which rather tells me that they didn't expect the television to last very long.  Now, I'm sorry to rain on their parade, but I do.  My Mother had to dispose of her television when digital came along but it was going fine and it had been doing so for forty years.  Forty years!  My God, it should be in a museum.  Or immortalised.  A monument to Ferguson.  I know they say manufacturers install a variant of the kill switch to ensure things don't last a long time but personally I think 19 months is too little.  I also think £180 is too little.  We certainly can't replace the television with that - or at least we can, but not the size screen and not a built in DVD player (although I don't mind too much about the latter...I wasn't sure at the time.  On the one hand it's a couple of wires less - thank heaven - on the other, well, if the DVD player part wants to play silly b's then we have a problem.  As it is both the television part AND the DVD part went into touch but there we go).

So it would appear I'll be going to the small claims court to try to sort this out.  Am I crazy?  Should one expect electrical items to give up the metaphorical ghost in just over 1 1/2 years?  Or am I too old fashioned?  Presumably a Judge will help me find out.

The other cop-out is the CSA.  The little darlings. Don't you just love them?  Personally I find they make me go all warm and fuzzy on the inside.

You see (and stop me if I've said this before...the Sarc does make me forget things - just not the things I want to forget), my ex-husband doesn't pay child support.  He has the CSA exactly where he wants them and they let him get away with it.   In the current instalment he's been working since 3 February but have we seen any child support?  It is, of course, everyone's fault except theirs.  His.  His employer.  The post.  I've - well, I won't say I nag them, that's wrong, but no-one could say I have been sitting back and letting them do whatever they want.  I have been on their case.  Oh boy, have I been on their case (they'd probably say, 'on and on and on,' but I won't).

After 26 weeks (yes, I said 26) I finally decided I'd had enough and filed a lawsuit against them.  It took the Court 3 weeks to process it (all money claims have to go to Stratford now so the back log is enormous...2,000 new cases a day apparently).  Then, miraculously, on Wednesday I had a telephone call from them.  Wow.  Shock.  Awe.  I don't hear from them for almost two months then suddenly, wallop, they call.  Not only that but they tell me they have FINALLY made the calculations.  Only took them seven months.  The elephant in the room, of course, was the litigation.  They didn't mention it.  I didn't mention it.  I found it amusing but I suspect Roger (the chap on the other end of the line) didn't.  No sense of humour some people.

Now, today, I receive a letter from the Court saying the CSA want to dismiss the case because I have no grounds.  Hmmmm.  Yeah.  Right. They dropped the ball, didn't fulfil their duty of care towards my daughter and let Daddy Darling get away with financial murder.  He goes on foreign holidays, the cinema every week, eats out...generally a rather nice life.  His daughter, meanwhile, gets her clothes from charity shops, doesn't see the inside of a cinema from one year to the next and is going without a sixteenth birthday party because we don't have any money.

I have no idea as to what is going to happen with either case.  Obviously (duh) I'd like us to win both but if I was in the business of getting what I wanted I'd be comfortably off, people would buy my books and I'd own a house that bore more than a passing resemblance to that occupied by the Addam's Family (but with an orchard rather than a cemetery in the back garden).  Instead I rent a house and hope like hell the landlord doesn't decide to change his mind/sell/demolish/whatever.  Oh, and no-one buys my books.  Which is very annoying because I've read far worse and they don't exactly cost an arm and a leg.  In fact, they don't even cost a fingernail.  Maybe, if I priced them for a vast sum people would buy them.  Rather like some art work that shall go un-named but which is tat yet sells for obscene amounts of 0s.  The world is a strange place.  And people are downright scary.

I had planned, if we'd won the £148,000,000 (I know I could have just written £48 million but then I wouldn't have had the satisfaction and awe of seeing all those 0s), to buy an island somewhere and hide from people.  Nothing too big or fancy.  Australia or somewhere like that.

Ah, well.  We didn't.  Didn't win a farthing (which would have been difficult anyway since they don't make them any more).  Back to Plan B.  Or are we on to Z yet?  I wouldn't be surprised.  Any suggestions on a postcard, please.  Or call the A Team.  Whichever is easier.

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