12 January, 2006

Don't rile a Canuck, ay?

Many years ago now, the humourist and cartoonist Willie Rushton wrote a small book called something like "How To Annoy Bureaucrats". One of his suggestions that stuck with me was when paying a bank charge or tax bill, overpay by a footling amount of pence. Thinking about the time, paperwork and expense incurred getting it sorted out will be enough to give you a warm glow on the coldest of winter evening.

A Canadian credit card holder is obviously familiar with the spirit of Mr Rushton's suggestion. Unhappy when his Canadian bank began out-sourcing some of its credit card processing to the US, Don Rogers lodged his protest via it's online payment system, jamming its computers by making dozens of tiny payments a day.

Rogers said he was worried that anti-terrorism laws in the United States could allow the US Government to access his data without his consent. "I don't want the CIA or George Bush to know how many cases of viagra I bought last week, or what church or charities I donate to," he told Reuters. Mr Rogers said his card has since been cancelled by Vancouver-based Citizens Bank, but he will continue paying his remaining balance of C$1,000 (£485) one little bit at a time.

Arthur Cockfield, a law professor at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario: "More and more our personal information is being rendered into digital formats and zips around the world," he said, adding that any credit card data sent to the United States is subject to US law.

Roger's initial attempt at paying in pennies produced a statement over 32 feet long, according to media reports.

Don is an example to us all. Positive action doesn't have to mean putting a litter bin through MacDonalds window, or whining like a sixth former about fascist police. It can be done with humour and elan. Please, please, please share any similar techniques for getting back at "The Man" in style. What the writers of The Chap would call "agitfop".

6 Step to the white courtesy phone:

Blogger bigfootcookie shout your mess

I like the idea of putting all your junk mail into one Pre Paid envelope, and sending it on to one of the many financial institutions that send you endless credit card/loan applications.

I have also heard of people boxing up old car tyres, and any assorted junk, and posting it back to junk mailers, as the Pre Paid envelopes are billed as per their return weight.

Removing your own personal details, of course.

Just knowing that makes me sleep soundly at night.

January 12, 2006 6:09 pm

 
Blogger ass2006 shout your mess

Hi, a nice blog you have here. You will surely get an bookmark :) Forum

January 13, 2006 5:34 am

 
Blogger ass2006 shout your mess

Hi, a nice blog you have here. You will surely get an bookmark :) Forum

January 13, 2006 5:35 am

 
Blogger ass2006 shout your mess

Hi, a nice blog you have here. You will surely get an bookmark :) Forum

January 13, 2006 5:36 am

 
Blogger Chris shout your mess

Why, ass2006, you flatter me so.


Or you've spilt maple syrup onto your keyboard and the return key's sticky.

January 13, 2006 10:57 am

 
Blogger Ghone shout your mess

Man, that takes dedication. I wonder how many transactions it took to get a statement over 32 feet long!

And my local branch wont let me pay in more than three money bags at a time. Grrr...

January 13, 2006 9:54 pm

 

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