CUNNING WHEEZES

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Re: CUNNING WHEEZES

Post by Tizer » 05 Apr 2015, 10:28

Stanley wrote:This trend towards trying to lock clients in by contract is spreading and I resist it every time.
Well here's an example of `You heard it first on the One Guy From Barlick web site':
Companies intend to trap us all in long-term contracts and subscriptions in the future but it will apply to far more than just broadband, insurance and the like. We will no longer buy a washing machine and own it. Instead we will pay monthly for the machine and at the end of its life (a lifetime as defined by the company) it will be taken away and recycled by the company and replaced by a new machine. If the machine breaks down it will be repaired by the company. This business model will be common for all kinds of products which at present we buy as and when we need them, choosing a retailer and manufacturer. Imagine how difficult it will become to switch to a different retailer/manufacturer. Of course, the business model will be promoted as being beneficial for the consumer - maintenance provided under the contract, disposal of the old machine, no worries, an easy life. But it's a great way for the company to lock in customers.

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Re: CUNNING WHEEZES

Post by Stanley » 06 Apr 2015, 04:50

I think you describe the company's aspirations accurately but I for one will never buy on those terms. Two examples, My fridge freezer goes AWOL. A quick call to my local supplier and within a few hours the old one is taken away, the new one installed and the food happily sitting in sub-zero temperatures. My vacuum cleaner fails. Another quick call and in twenty minutes Garry is at my door with a brand new Hoover at a very reasonable price (£90) money changes hands and he disposes of the old one. That is where the efficient local supplier will always score and I can't see it changing.
Mind you, the white goods manufacturers already operate a scheme very similar to the one you describe, the dreaded 'Extended Warranty'. I wouldn't touch one with a barge pole......
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Re: CUNNING WHEEZES

Post by PanBiker » 06 Apr 2015, 08:54

You have to remember that buying domestic electronic appliances and white goods is fine if you have the cash to do it. When I was in the TV trade, rental of TV's and Videos was the norm, we never rented white goods but some did and still do. There are many people and families that simply cannot afford to but a new appliance outright. In the 70's and 80's the split between rental and outright purchase was something around 75% rental to 25% private sales. If you were on a low wage the option to rent a TV or Video was welcomed by many with no worries regarding breakdown. From the retailers point of view most tariffs were set to recover costs within about 2 years, after that ongoing rentals started to generate profit. The rental market thrived when the reliability of the product was not as good as it is now. Another factor of course is that as the technology progressed you still tended to pay the same for a much more reliable product so in effect this in itself led to a demise in the rental trade.

As a service engineer I got out of the TV trade when the reliability became so great, there was in effect nothing left to mend. Something on the bench with the back off became a highlight rather than your daily work. The emerging technology of course starting in the 80's and onwards was computer based and that is what I migrated to as it had more challenge and new horizons to explore.
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Re: CUNNING WHEEZES

Post by Tizer » 06 Apr 2015, 15:58

Tizer wrote:I always take care to avoid it when buying from Amazon but they make it easy to tick by mistake and there must be many who join inadvertently. Mind you, Ebay are much more devious at trying to get me to sign up for Paypal.

EDIT at 17.00: I'd mentioned in my original message earlier today about the Amazon order that I'd had "five messages, and they tell me that one item will arrive today, two on Tuesday, one on Friday and one next Saturday." Well I've had two today, in separate packages, and both delivered by Royal Mail, and I've had more messages. The delivery dates so far are:
Estimated delivery date: Saturday, April 04, 2015
Estimated delivery date: Tuesday, April 07, 2015
Estimated delivery date: Tuesday, April 07, 2015
Estimated delivery date: Thursday, April 09, 2015
Estimated delivery date: Saturday, April 11, 2015
Estimated delivery date: Tuesday, April 21, 2015
Estimated delivery date: Monday, April 20, 2015
In addition to the above Amazon items they've now sent me a sixth message telling me that 3 items will be delivered on Friday, April 10, 2015, so that's a total of 7 different days they expect me to be in to receive 10 items altogether, all of which were described on the Amazon web pages as "in stock". Regardless of them being in stock, every message says: "The remainder of your order will follow as soon as those items become available." What a shambles! I wonder what happened to Amazon's much vaunted `picking' system'?

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Re: CUNNING WHEEZES

Post by plaques » 06 Apr 2015, 16:55

To be honest I have always found that if Amazon are delivering from their own warehouse then the standard delivery is usually within 3 days. If it is coming from another supplier then add another couple of days. The next day Prime offer proved to be a complete waste of time. The delivery from an external supplier was 7 days, no better than if I had just gone along as normal but without all the attendant problems of cancelling etc:.

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Re: CUNNING WHEEZES

Post by Stanley » 07 Apr 2015, 03:21

I understand that P and in the old days Vera and I used the Drip System for a washing machine and a fridge. Very handy if you have a regular but low wage. I think the premium on the HP was about 25% but then you had the use of the item. We never used rental but again I can see the attractions. The latest version of HP, I forget the name of the firm, is in hot water because their premium on what is essentially the old system is enormous, on a par with the Pay Day Loan market.
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Re: CUNNING WHEEZES

Post by Tizer » 07 Apr 2015, 09:22

plaques wrote:To be honest I have always found that if Amazon are delivering from their own warehouse then the standard delivery is usually within 3 days. If it is coming from another supplier then add another couple of days. The next day Prime offer proved to be a complete waste of time. The delivery from an external supplier was 7 days, no better than if I had just gone along as normal but without all the attendant problems of cancelling etc:.
All those orders I've quoted were on Amazon's `Free Super Saver' delivery and all were described as`delivered direct from Amazon' and the items were all in stock so it surprised me that they weren't all just shoved in a box and sent together. Yes, I too usually get quick delivery - a few days - when I choose these options. Even the items that are being sent on the same day and arrive in the same courier's van are in separate parcels. One of the items the other day was a simple £1.50 plastic craft knife in the usual plastic blister pack but it was in an A4 size cardboard package. It came in the same delivery as a larger package and could have been wrapped in that. Usually they just put all the items in one box and send them together. This is why I think it's a cunning wheeze to inconvenience me in the hope that I'll fall for the Prime option.

Later in the day...this box arrived from Amazon via Royal Mail with just the 45cm steel ruler in it and a bundle of paper at one end. I'll be well off for boxes by the time I've received all 10 items! Another item that should have arrived today is now shown as Thursday. What fun!
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Re: CUNNING WHEEZES

Post by Stanley » 08 Apr 2015, 04:04

Seems like overkill to me! I always choose the cheapest option whatever it is and refuse all bells and whistles. At it's root, this is all a product of the modern trend of customers wanting everything yesterday (no crit of you Tiz.) and the project whereby Amazon want to be your supplier for everything hence Prime. Royal Mail delivery is usually fine, in most cases two days after dispatch.
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Re: CUNNING WHEEZES

Post by Tizer » 09 Apr 2015, 09:59

Strangely, Mrs Tiz ordered some matching sets of napkins and placemats online from John Lewis and she received a delivery yesterday...one set of napkins! Perhaps there's a new business model emerging. I wonder whether these retailers no longer pay couriers by the number of deliveries but instead pay them like we pay our landline phone bill - a monthly payment regardless of how much you use the service? The big retailers have the clout to force this on the courier companies, especially when ones like Yodel have been letting them down with poor service as reported in the newspapers.

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Re: CUNNING WHEEZES

Post by Stanley » 10 Apr 2015, 05:03

You could be right Tiz. My mind goes back to my old employer, Richard Drinkall who was a cattle dealer. He once told me that the idea was not to squeeze the most profit, even when it was available. His definition of a good deal was one where both parties made a profit, the customer was satisfied and came back again later for another deal. Now that's a Cunning Wheeze if fully endorse. Would that the big operators worked on this premise today instead of using their financial clout to batter down prices. In the end, under their system, it's the end customer that suffers as producers and suppliers of services lose out.....
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Re: CUNNING WHEEZES

Post by Tripps » 07 May 2015, 11:31

There's a new yoghurt being marketed on TV recently. It's called 'Skyr' and throughout the advert, its Icelandic origin is the main selling point.

However read the small print - it's made in Germany. :smile:
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Re: CUNNING WHEEZES

Post by Tizer » 07 May 2015, 14:18

Skyr is a type of yoghurt fermented with the skyr microbial culture which is claimed to have been used in Iceland for a thousand years or so and brought there by the Vikings. So you can take the culture anywhere in the world and make skyr yoghurt. `Skyr' is the name of the culture rather than the yoghurt, but people will naturally refer to the yoghurt as skyr. On the other hand, if skyr had `protected status' then perhaps it couldn't be made outside Iceland. The Icelanders have been trying to get this status but it's a bit complicated because you have to decide whether it's for the culture or the yoghurt made from it. I don't know what the situation is now. Perhaps the culture's name is protected but you can call any yoghurt made with it `Skyr' no matter where it is manufactured. If you sell a sandwich made with Parma ham in the UK you can call it a Parma ham sandwich, I suppose. :smile:

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Re: CUNNING WHEEZES

Post by Stanley » 08 May 2015, 03:14

On a dairy note, I watched the programme on the Arla milk processing plant at Aylsbury last night and marvelled at the scale of it. We were in the stone age at West Marton fifty years ago..... That's a cunning wheeze, get so big that you have a virtual monopoly.....
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Re: CUNNING WHEEZES

Post by Stanley » 09 May 2015, 04:24

Watching some of the unavoidable footage on TV of pundits explaining how they got it right in the end reminded me that the politicians aren't the only ones with a vested interest in employing cunning wheezes.....
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Re: CUNNING WHEEZES

Post by Pluggy » 09 May 2015, 10:42

Stanley wrote:On a dairy note, I watched the programme on the Arla milk processing plant at Aylsbury last night and marvelled at the scale of it. We were in the stone age at West Marton fifty years ago..... That's a cunning wheeze, get so big that you have a virtual monopoly.....
I just watched it on iplayer, i was struck by the cows on the Blackburn farm that decided themselves it was milking time and looked around for the milking robot with the shortest queues....
Now I know why the cream doesn't separate out on modern milk. And they make a standardised product by separating all the milk and recombining it with a standardised amount of fat further down the line.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0 ... ade-3-milk

I remember my dad doing it the old fashioned way, and he had the equivalent of the milk factory in a room next to the milking shed.
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Re: CUNNING WHEEZES

Post by Stanley » 10 May 2015, 04:34

Ah, the cream line. In the olden days milk used to be sold on the depth of the cream line. With Channel Island milk it could extend a third of the way down the bottle. Homogenisation allowed the introduction of the paper carton instead of the transparent milk bottle. One thing not mentioned was the superior taste of raw milk straight from the cow. Cynics say that this is because it is cleaner but I don't agree.... And so much depended on the farm. The milk from Marton Scar farm just above West Marton on the Bank Newton road. It had the highest Solids Not Fat ratio of all the farms we picked up from, due to a combination of young cattle, good farming and the fact that the land was close to the limestone rock beneath. SNF was the supreme test of milk quality and of course included fat.
The cunning wheeze was to separate the fat off to sell separately but charge almost as much for the reduced fat milk.
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Re: CUNNING WHEEZES

Post by Pluggy » 10 May 2015, 08:54

When my dad was a dairy farmer, he kept a few devon cattle with the friesans because his customers liked a good cream line. They produced a much richer milk, but they produced a lot less of it. He always said the friesan milk was too thin on its own. The surplus milk he didn't sell on the milk round went to West Marton.
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Re: CUNNING WHEEZES

Post by Tizer » 10 May 2015, 10:46

Stanley wrote:The cunning wheeze was to separate the fat off to sell separately but charge almost as much for the reduced fat milk.
...and at the same time tell the customer that it was better for him because `dairy fat was bad for his health'.

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Re: CUNNING WHEEZES

Post by Stanley » 11 May 2015, 03:35

Quite......
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Re: CUNNING WHEEZES

Post by Stanley » 12 May 2015, 05:57

Have you noticed that the Tory Party is now 'the party of the workers'? A cunning wheeze because it excludes those not working, that is the majority of people dependent on welfare benefits.
But if it is true, will we see a move to raise the income of those in work? Many of whom depend on benefits to top up their low wages.... A subsidy for the employers of course. Why shouldn't they be paying it. Could it be to support the good news of the fall in unemployment? Truly a cunning wheeze.....
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Re: CUNNING WHEEZES

Post by Stanley » 05 Jul 2015, 06:55

My attention was drawn to 'Smart Water'.
From their website.....
Glaceau smartwater is made from British spring water which is vapour-distilled before electrolytes are added. It has a distinctive, crisp, clean taste and is produced and bottled in Morpeth, Northumberland.
To make glaceau smartwater, we evaporate spring water, condense the vapour and then add just the right amount of electrolytes before bottling.
Below you'll find some important information about glaceau smartwater - ingredients, nutritional values and reference intake (RI) information - to help you make informed choices.

Ingredients: Spring Water, Electrolytes: Calcium Chloride, Magnesium Chloride, Potassium Bicarbonate.

Priced at about £1 a litre, is this one of the most cunning wheezes of all time?
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Re: CUNNING WHEEZES

Post by Tripps » 05 Jul 2015, 10:10

I thought smart water was what you sprayed the lead on church roofs and suchlike, so it was traceable, to deter thieves. Perhaps they didn't register the name?
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Re: CUNNING WHEEZES

Post by Tizer » 05 Jul 2015, 10:31

Good memory Tripps! We discussed it two years ago when Coca Cola announced a new factory to produce their smartwater, and the smartwater security product was also mentioned. As was Dsani, the Cocoa Cola product that I seem to recall turned out to be tap water. Here's the 2013 OG post and the replies: LINK

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Re: CUNNING WHEEZES

Post by Pluggy » 05 Jul 2015, 12:13

The biggest cunning wheeze was to convince people they needed to buy water in bottles rather than get it out of the tap.

Evian is naive backwards.
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Re: CUNNING WHEEZES

Post by Stanley » 06 Jul 2015, 03:47

For naive read stupid!
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