Saturday 27 October 2012

Apple of My iTunes

I still have a number of irons in the fire of poor customer service. O2 haven’t yet got around to not charging me for things they never should have charged me for; Manchester Council/Manchester City still have no interest in acknowledging my existence – let alone acknowledging that they owe me money, or at least an apology.

One iron has been removed. iTunes has refunded me the money after they charged me twice for the same album. I pre-ordered the Jake Bugg album a couple of weeks before it came out a couple of weeks ago. For those of us who struggle with basic time addition this means I ordered it about four weeks ago. Two weeks ago – when the album came out – no automatic download of the album occurred at midnight on the Sunday/Monday when it came out¹.

If you have previously bought something from iTunes and try to buy it again you get a message telling you that you already own the song(s) and that you can get them again from your iCloud etc.

So here’s where I was two weeks ago:

  • I had paid for the Jake Bugg album on pre-order;
  • If you have paid for an iTunes album once you get told that if you try and buy it again;
  • The album hadn’t automatically downloaded: more plainly speaking it had not downloaded;
  • I am impatient.

So I pressed on the purchase button by the album and it downloaded it – NO MESSAGE – and then charged me for it. But – at this stage – I only had one copy of the album and had been charged twice.

A week or two of email later and I have been refunded for one of the two times I was charged. They were quick to tell me: “Please note that this is a one-time exception, as the iTunes Store Terms and Conditions state that all sales are final.” So, if their system fails again I will get charged. You’ve got to love Apple.

¹I was up just out of being up OK? I wasn’t staying awake just to listen to the Jake Bugg album.


I went to watch The Mousetrap¹ today. I don’t know if it’s going watching an Agatha Christie play; going to the Opera House; going to the theatre on a Saturday afternoon or a failure to acknowledge that I am just starting to mix with people my own age. Whatever the reason, it was full of old people. More women than men truth be told. The air was heavy with the scent of old perfumes and scented talc. There was also a lot of that big hair that seems so popular with women of a certain age – like Rita in Coronation Street, big big hair. It wouldn’t normally be an issue but there was the slight imposition of a woman’s hair obscuring my view a little bit. It wasn’t to the degree where it ruined anything – it was just that she was only about 3ft five without the hair but still managed to have hair in my eye-line.

There’s something reassuring about watching a parlour mystery where all the characters are posh. You know where you are. A bit like Downton’. When the class system was slowly being eroded in the last century I don’ think people considered the implications it might have on contemporary drama; set design is a much more taxing thing now whereas back then it was just a case of mocking up a wood panelled drawing room. Of course The Mousetrap was pretty much contemporary when it was written/started. It is only its ridiculously long life² as a going concern that means it is now a period piece.

Being set in winter with a bit of snow and that didn’t hurt. I love winter I do. Snow and that is the balls. I really enjoyed it actually. I do love a murder mystery but Agatha Christie stuff is not usually my bag. After the first few minutes of being annoyed by people’s hair and identifying which of the holy triumvirate I recognised the actor from (Eastenders, Emmerdale or Corry³) I settled into really enjoying it.I did guess whodunnit but it was one of four or five ideas I had so I aint claiming I’m Morse or anything.

As much as I said I got past recognising people from anywhere else – the footman who died in Downton’ was in it: the one who wanted that kitchen girl to marry him but she didn’t like him but married him anyway because he was dying – I can’t leave this short report without mentioning Karl Howman. Yes, Jacko from Brush Strokes was in it as an Italian. I used to fucking love Brush Strokes. It was the less-middle-class Just Good Friends about a painter who had a way with the ladies, a tyrant for a boss and a will-they-wont-they thing with a geordie receptionist. It was as good as it sounds.

¹Interestingly enough that Wikipedia article refers to the tradition of the audience being asked not to reveal the twist ending, reveals the twist ending and recounts how this Wikipedia article is the cause for dismay to the Christie family for revealing the twist.
²It’s been running over nine weeks.
³Really this should read quadrumvirate as there was someone in it from the sadly departed – and perhaps best ever British soap opera – Eldorado.

Satchel Lot

My new satchel arrived today. I like it.

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