Thursday, May 5th, 2016

miss_s_b: (Britishness: Tea)
Just over a week ago I decided I would plump for the two month's free trial. Two months is loads of time to evaluate it, right? And free is my favourite price. OK, so you have to put your card details in so they can charge you after the 2 months is up, but that's normal... And I do genuinely believe that quality journalism is worth paying for, so I would have happily spudded up my £12.99 a month after my free trial if I thought that the content was worth it and I got on OK with the app.

Here follows a list of the problems I have had:
  1. The first major problem: they charged me. Instantly. £12.99. This does not fit my definition of 2 months free. And when I checked my account on the "manage your account" page it said right there it was going to charge me again on the 27th of May. Nope nope nope.

  2. Speaking of managing your account... You can't do this within the app. You can't actually do much within the app. Want to send a letter? Nope. Comment on an article? Ha! Nope. Flip back and forth between sections? Not for you, my friend. There is a menu structure, but it's not user friendly at all.

  3. On top of the UI problems the crossword section is buggy. It will type words across for me, but for down clues the only letter it will input is S. Obviously not all the answers to all the down clues are SSSSSSS. I mentioned this to support, having had to search to find a support email address, because, of course, you can't actually contact Support from within the app. Exactly a week later I got what looked suspiciously like an autoreply from someone called Daniel who said they were looking into it. A week! And even then, no proper actual answer, not even a request for more information, just "we'll look into it".

  4. I have some issues with the content. Don't get me wrong, the news coverage is pretty good, for a London-centric Westminster-bubble-gossip paper, and so is the comment. Everything else seems pretty light. And the Sport section is AWFUL. There are very very few non-football articles - a maximum of one or two per day out of ten or twelve total articles in the sport section. Every last one of the football articles are men's football. No women's at all. Women are occasionally mentioned in the one-or-two-per-day non-football articles, but not very often. This does not fit my definition of sport. Why not just rename the section "overpaid fitba men" and have done with it?

  5. Even in a paid for app, halfway through each section and between the sections there are adverts. So you have to wait for a painful 2 or 3 seconds while the sodding advert loads before you can move on to the next article. Every single advert this week has been one with that purple muppet on for 3. Every single advert. But it's not cached, so you still have to wait for it to load every time you come across it.

  6. Sharing. A digital app should allow you to share the articles, right? Free advertising for the paper and informedness for you and your friends. Except if you share an article from the digital Indy it shares the link to the subscription version. The actual text of this article is the same as the one on the Indy website, but it has the word "edition" in the url so non-subscribers will not be able to read it. So if you want to share a version people can actually read, you have to open your browser, search for "Independent" + the headline of the article, and hope that it's not one of the many, many articles which they changed the headline for on the main website - presumably to frustrate subscribers who want to share with non-subscribers
So I have today gone and pressed the "cancel autorenew" button on the "manage my account" page, which appears to be the nearest you can get to cancelling your sub. And if they charge me again on the 27th I shall be furious. I'm actually, at this point, tempted by The Grauniad, despite Moonbat and Toynbee. Damn you, Indy, for making me be tempted by the Grauniad. But at least they cover cricket. Sometimes even women's cricket!

(This ranty post was brought to you while I sit festering on hold to some godforsaken company at work. Have you all in the UK who are registered been and voted yet? If not, why not? GO VOTE. Do it now before you forget!)
miss_s_b: (Politics: Liberal)
Look, you know and I know that I want you all to go out and vote Lib Dem, despite (or maybe even because of) any misgivings you might have. But I also know some of you don't want to do that. I equally know that there are a lot of you who are of the "You're all a bunch of bastards; I wouldn't trust any of you; a pox on all your houses" stripe, and that sometimes people who think that way don't vote.

If you're of that mindset, please please please go and spoil your ballot. I have two major reasons for saying this:
  1. If you don't vote at all, politicians call it voter apathy. They think you're lazy, that you can't be arsed, and that you don't care, and that they can therefore shaft you as hard as they like and you won't do anything about it. Spoilt ballots are counted. Show your dissatisfaction with the system.

  2. As a politician I regularly attend election verifications and counts. One of the best bits is when you get to see all the spoilt ballots. You see, the thing about a spoilt ballot is that all the candidates/agents in attendance have to agree whether or not it's a spoilt ballot - that no clear voting intention can be discerned from the paper. So if you write something on it, everyone from all the parties will see it. Labour and Tories tend to tut about such things, but as a Liberal I am fully in favour of voters expressing themselves however they choose, and also at the end of a long night some entertainment is always welcome.
So how do you go about spoiling your ballot?
  • It's important that no clear voting intention can be discerned. One way to achieve this is to put something in every box on the paper. A little drawing of some kind, perhaps, or make the ballot into an acrostic if there's enough boxes.

  • Draw another name and box on the bottom of the paper and vote for RON or "none of the above" or even "leave position vacant". In police and crime commissioner elections it has become traditional to vote for Officer Crabtree, Judge Dredd, or Commissioner Gordon.

  • If you have a postal vote you can tear it up; this doesn't work in ballot boxes on the day, though

  • Be creative! We get lots with variants of "You're all wankers" or little penises drawn in all the tickyboxes. Do something more fun.
You've still got almost 4 hours, if you've not been to a polling station already, to go and vote. It's not a lot of effort, and even if you spoil your ballot you'll still be making a valuable contribution, if only to the entertainment of tired politicians at the end of polling day. So please do.

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Hello! I'm Jennie (known to many as SB, due to my handle, or The Yorksher Gob because of my old blog's name). This blog is my public face; click here for a list of all the other places you can find me on t'interwebs.







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