I bet you can tell from the title that today’s post isn’t going to be a happy and cheerful one, far from it. I started a new job towards the end of this month, and found out that I don’t get paid until the end of May – meaning I have to really watch my money until then. Luckily, I have my own great advice to follow, as well as a few other saving blogs that I like to read.
When you’re watching your money carefully, a couple of pounds here and there, something that didn’t used to matter, becomes quite important. So inexplicable, unnecessary charges from companies that should know better have really started to get on my nerves.
Let’s start with the Oyster Card. I understand that some of my readers aren’t from the UK. Following that, a lot of the readers from the UK aren’t from London, so many wont know what an Oyster Card is. Basically you can buy a card, put money on it and then use it to get around for cheap – either using the buses, trains or the tube. I understand that it’s a great idea and it really helps to save money, but the one pain in the ass about it is that you have to pay £5 deposit for the card. Deposit? Doesn’t a deposit mean you can get your money back when you’ve stopped using it? Or when you die, does the lovely Oyster company pay £5 towards your funeral costs? I highly doubt it.
However annoying the Oyster deposit is, it’s nothing compared to the next irritant. Gym admin fees really get my goat. So it’s the end of a month, you’ve finally decided to join a gym. So you get there, ready to sign up to one of the (probably) overpriced membership contracts. All’s going well until you’re told you have to pay an extra £30 as an administration fee… Why?
Does it really cost £30 to type someone’s name into the system, give them a look around the facilities and give them a plastic membership card? Absolutely not. Talk about taking the piss. Obviously people who go to the gym might argue that it’s worth it, but why don’t they just add the £30 to the yearly membership if that’s the case?
Luckily, I’ve heard that these charges are being looked into – as well as how difficult it is to actually leave a gym membership.
The next charge is another one that most people can’t really relate to as they’re on contract phones, but why in the hell to the big phone networks charge you for calls to voicemail? It’s not exactly like you’re calling Australia or even next door – you’re calling them!
For people on pay as you go (like me) who by some unfortunate occurrence have no credit, it’s the most annoying thing in the world to have that pathetic voicemail logo in your phone without being able to do anything about it.
This afternoon when I went to buy my lunch, I had no cash on me so decided to pay by card. Now I’m sure everyone can image the utter horror on my face when the shopkeeper explained that there’s a £1 charge for paying by card!! In the year 2012, how can this be allowed? The shop was in the middle of a large industrial estate, so I’m guessing this guy’s laughing his way to the bank.. Daylight robbery!
Among other things that shouldn’t be charged is the dentist. Someone who doesn’t earn that much money even though they hold down a job can’t afford to pay hundreds for dental work, so they’re either left in agony when toothache arrives or they can’t afford to fix little problems with they’re teeth, which leads to worse things. I know it would probably cost the NHS billions extra, but I’d much rather my tax went up slightly to help those with toothache than bailing out banks.
Bank charges another source of annoyance, but it’s kind of your fault if you go overdrawn or fail to make a direct debit payment – so we wont go there.
Hope you’ve enjoyed my little rant. If you have anything to add, or you have a valid reason as to why these charges happen, please leave a comment. The best thing about blogging is being able to show my opinions and interact with others (even if you disagree with me), so don’t be shy!