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England Travel Tips 
Discover the Real England   



  By Mike Valeriani
Regions: N West N East Yorkshire W Midlands E Midlands East S West S East

Common English Scams


Mobile phone english scams.There are many common English scams that go around in this country and most people don’t even realize it. They try to get as much money as possible from you, by taking advantage of the fact that most often life cannot be planned.

The general idea for these English scams is to charge you for an estimate of what you will use or consume, instead of the real figure. This way they will make more money more often than not, at your expense.

For instance, when you park your car you have to guess (and pay) for the time you think you will stay. If you end up staying less, you obviously can’t get a refund from the machine that issued you the ticket to stick on your windshield.

You are also not allowed to pass on your parking ticket to another vehicle... but why not? The very same parking space is still being paid for... just they want it to be paid more than once at the same time, so instead of cashing up on a 24 hours day, each parking spot produces a revenue based on a 30 hours day or more! As far as I see it, they should be happy to rent a public road parking space for 24 hour per day.

Parking metre sign in London EnglandAnd don’t let them catch you pass your ticket to someone else or you’ll pay dearly for it. Also if you need to stay longer, you cannot put more money in the machine and get another ticket... there is a “one ticket - no return” policy, which obviously not many people respect. If they catch them though, it’s very expensive. By the way, most street parking have a three hours limit... one more chance to get you!

We also have another big English scam: the “Congestion Charge” zone in central London. At every entry point there are very sophisticated cameras, connected to very sophisticated computers, that automatically records the license plate of every vehicle that enters the area. So there is no running away; they know who gets in, from where and when, other than their home addresses.

The trick is that you must remember to call an unadvertised number and give them your credit card details to pay the £8 charge. If you forget to call, but you remember the next day, they will punish you by charging £10 instead (as if that made a difference to their system or bank interests). If you forget at all to call, or cannot find the number, they will then send you a penalty charge of £100 in the mail.

Congestion charge zone sign on a pole with cctv camerasNow, since we have the technology, wouldn’t it be more honest (and much more convenient) to just send people an £8 or even £10 invoice in the mail when you enter the Congestion Charge zone? But they wouldn’t be making as much money, would they!

Another popular British scam involves mobile telephones. To call the USA costs £0.01 per minute, but to call London to London they will extort you £0.35 per minute... what is the logic there? Also they offer you seemingly attractive monthly plans, where you agree to pay a certain amount and they will offer you a certain number of minutes... and charge you skyrocket high fees if you dare to go over the limit you set.

I still cannot understand why they don’t let you roll over to the following month the minutes you have actually paid for... they are paid for, so why can’t you use them at your own convenience? No! You must use them when and where they tell you to. What about the unlimited local calls deal? Some companies woke up and are offering local and international calls at very low prices by accessing a LOCAL telephone number. That number, even though it is a local one, is charged very heavily. They take advantage of the fact that nobody will sue them after pennies.

Congestion charge zone sign in London EnglandWouldn’t it be easier and more honest to sensibly charge people for what they actually use? Yes, and yes, but the telephone companies wouldn’t be making as much money... crime does pay well, and extortion is a form of crime.

Sorry, I let myself go. I just get very upset with this new fashion of legally stealing money from honest people. I refuse to contribute to mobile telephone companies and I am strictly on pay as you go plans, using Skype whenever possible. £10 will last me in excess of three months and the telephone company really doesn’t like it. They keep calling me asking me to sign up for a silly monthly plan, but they won’t have me. No way! Sadly 80% of the population happily pays on average £30 per month to telephone companies.




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