A New Way Of Doing Business

Have you bought anything online? Well, good for you. No Covid risk, no engagement, no chat, no ‘how does it feel in your hand?’ But hey, that’s all so like last century, daddio.

We don’t do business like that now.

Who we seem to do business isn’t governed by the Consumer Credit Act or the Consumer Rights Act. In case you’re unfamilair with it, (and as someone who buys stuff you shouldn’t be, it’s easy enough to find out about it. Here, for example: on the UK government’s own quite helpful website. It isn’t difficult to understand. If you want the actual text of what these Acts say, that’s pretty easy too, if for example, you want to see what your rights as a consumer are.

Yes, ok, there are no pictures of tits in it and it isn’t presented by Davina McCall or Nigel Farage, (which seems to be the baseline of UK medai and attention now) but despite that, it’s worth reading, whatever your reading ability, because it tells you, without any argument or what this bloke down the pub whose mate used to do all the servicing on a judge’s car said, exactly what your rights are.

As a model, ww.legislation.gov.uk does exactly and precisely what a government website ought to do for its citizens. It’s an index of un-engagement on both sides how few people know about it. In essence, the Consumer Rights Act, introduced, you’ll be absolutely un-astonished to learn not by a Conservative nor by a Labour MP, much less either Party itself, but by Liberal-Democrat Jo Swinson.

So you have rights when you buy something. You have right to get what you ordered. If you didn’t actually see the thing then you have the right to cancel when it turns up on your doorstep and it’s not what you thought it was.

This week this has happened twice, both times with an English company although one of them, registered in England, has a Chinese director and wants to pretend it’s Chinese.

?“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”
?“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
?“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”

Lewis Carrol: Through The Looking Glass

The easy one to deal with was a T shirt. 100% merino wool was what it said on the description. That was what I wanted. What turned up said on the label 100% cotton. In many languages, English being the first. One of the laws of internet commerce seems to be that words mean anything you want them to mean, just as Lewis Carrol had one of his characters say. Cotton, wool, issa T-shirt, innit. Made of sunnink, mate. Merino. I like the sound of that.

Which seems to be the way internet copywriting works now.

The other way internet commerce seems to work depends on whether you pretend your company is Chinese or not, and depends on pretending when you’re sitting in your chair in England, ordering goods from a website displaying a company registered in England with an address in England, the goods being dispatched to, delivered to, and paid from an address in England, that actually, this is a contract made in China and Chinese law applies.

Which, to use a legal term, is utter bollocks. And I’m utterly fed up with it.

I don’t know if they know it is and I do not care. More on Friday if they haven’t paid up.

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Carl Bennett

Not born in a cross-fire hurricane because there is no such thing. Actually Stratford on Avon general hospital, since when Dorset, Wiltshire, compulsory London and currently Suffolk.

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