back to article A tale of two dishwashers: Buy one, buy it again, and again

Sorry about the noise: two of my dishwashers are going through their rinse cycle. Pass me your plate and I'll set off the third. It's just my little fantasy. I have not really purchased three dishwashers. But a certain national retail chain of electrical goods wants me to. In fact, it is so insistent that I should keep buying …

  1. Real Ale is Best

    Adverts

    Adverts are worse. Search for a product, and then everywhere you look is an advert for said product.

    I've not experienced the phone eavesdropping on conversation yet, but I guess it's just a matter of time.

    1. b0llchit Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Adverts

      ...the phone eavesdropping...

      Siri, please get me my coat.

      Here you are, would you like a scarf with that, only £9.99 at ThatGoodStorePayingMeToTellYouThis

    2. Roland6 Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Adverts

      >I've not experienced the phone eavesdropping on conversation yet, but I guess it's just a matter of time.

      Well remember there are two forms of phone eavesdropping, only one will result in your frontdoor being knock down in the small hours...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Adverts

        Have you had a visit from the drug dealers are us syndicate?

        1. KBeee Silver badge

          Re: Adverts

          yes

    3. Flightmode

      Re: Adverts

      A couple of Christmases ago, my wife had pointed out a number of pieces of clothing she wanted from a particular catalogue she'd received in the mail. I very discretely ordered several of said garments from the company's website.

      Next day, I was showing her an article on a news site when the ads started. "Hey look, there's the jacket I like!" Yeah, hah, cool coincidence! (click to another page) "And there's the skirt, and the shoes. And there's the top. What's going on?" I honestly have no idea...

      That afternoon I got Ublock (or one of its predecessors).

      1. NightFox

        Re: Adverts

        I've long found a disturbing trend whereby my wife's Facebook/Google ads are frequently based on my own browsing. For example, I was recently doing a lot of research into buying a 3D printer. When I told my wife, she said she'd recently been bombarded with ads for them. We don't share computers or accounts, I'm not even connected to her on FB, but the dots are still being joined.

        1. stiine Silver badge

          Re: Adverts

          I can always tell what my GF has been watching on her tablet because my youtube ads start to show crap that I'd never buy, lease, rent or even steal.

          FYI, Mr Dabbs, C&W isn't bad if you go back to pre-1970 albums.

          1. Joseba4242

            Re: Adverts

            What kind of albums did Cable & Wirelsss produce?

            1. Fred Dibnah
              Coat

              Re: Adverts

              Drum albums.

        2. Manolo
          Big Brother

          Re: Adverts

          That is disturbing.

          I recently got adverts for burkinis (Islamic swimwear).

          I'll have to ask my wife if she's about to convert.

        3. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: Adverts

          Suspect they are using the network address of your router: Two different users attached to the same WiFi SSID and MAC with the same external IP address (all visible to browser scripts), good chance they are related...

        4. veti Silver badge

          Re: Adverts

          That's what private browsing is for.

          Well, I mean, that's the official reason for private mode in browsers. Of course it's not the most commonly used reason, but we can't talk about that.

    4. CuChulainn Silver badge

      Re: Adverts

      I got stung a few months ago.

      Being self-employed, I take card payments from my customers. Once upon a time I used iZettle (when it was independent). They screwed up one time and almost bankrupted me, so I switched to Paypal Here and have been happy ever since - with a few ripples visible on the horizon due to the fact they are now iZettle, or iZettle is Paypal Here, or some combination thereof.

      So I had a quick Google to see if there were any better deals to be had. No real intention of jumping ship unless something grabbed me.

      I found a comparison website, completed it with my details, and clicked 'submit', fully expecting to see a list of alternatives for me to browse. However, a split second later I realised what I'd done. The message said We have forwarded your details and someone will contact you... Shit!

      Less than ten minutes later I got a phone call from a woman who represented a company. I told her I was expecting a written list and she said 'You're going to be inundated now'. However, she went through everything and concluded that I couldn't get a better deal than I had with Paypal due to my turnover being several hundreds of thousands below whatever was needed to get the transaction fee break, so it was best to stay with them. Questions answered, main problem solved. But another problem only just starting.

      Fortunately, I have good anti-spam software, because I have received in excess of three hundred emails from a handful of companies since November.

      And after at least a dozen phone calls in the first few days, my number blacklist also came in handy.

    5. GBE

      Re: Adverts

      Search for a product, and then everywhere you look is an advert for said product.

      At least that makes some sense. A few years ago, the NYTimes Android app suddenly decided to show me ads for women's clothing and little else. I never did figure out why, and it's still rather determined that I should buy women's clothes.

      It's embarrassing enough when somebody notices you've spent the last 20 minutes of a staff meeting catching up on the news, but when there are ads for lingerie every couple column inches it's bordering on NSFW.

      1. H in The Hague Silver badge

        Re: Adverts

        "I never did figure out why, and it's still rather determined that I should buy women's clothes"

        Yup, happened here a few years ago. For some reason some advertising system thought I was a German-speaking lady, plus-sized, looking to buy swimwear in drab colours (I'm not). Very specific targeting, and very specially way off the mark on each of those factors.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Adverts

          An online supplier of garden plants seems to believe my wife is doing the ordering - even though I don't have one.

          There was no honorific used for the original order. Someone (or SomeAI) possibly decided my common shortened first name was gender-neutral - and weighted it by the order content. That it chose the married "Mrs" rather than the more general "Ms" is another question about the data training.

  2. b0llchit Silver badge
    Pint

    You do not know what is good for you

    You have to understand, the algorithms have been tuned for your convenience. They are anticipating your every liking and thought. Your spending and taste is predicted and it will happen, even if you do not yet know.

    Please do not resist the inevitable. You know you want to sit down and relax. Please let the algorithm help you put your feet up. Here, buy this nice kitchen installable CDishWasher for your entire homogeneous CD collection of this one very likable song. You know you want it. You know you need it.

    1. Schultz
      Go

      It's the AI takeover

      Don't worry, this is just the first step of AI initiating their takeover of the world. You will soon be able to circumvent all interactions with those intelligent Ads by installing your personal AI, which will competently handle all advertisements thrown your way and, conveniently, take care of all your shopping needs.

      A few years later, after that tragic accident of your neighbor asphyxiating underneath his auto-delivered appliances, the last human will succumb to an overdose of twinkles. That was after the AI overheard you saying that 'you could actually live on that stuff'.

  3. JassMan Silver badge

    All part of gullability testing

    "The first one is always Were you satisfied with your buying experience? Then comes Would you like to write a review? If you are foolish enough to comply with this request, you get another asking Were you satisfied with your review-writing experience? This is rapidly followed by Were you satisfied by our previous email asking about your review-writing experience? and Were you satisfied by our previous email asking about our previous email asking about your experience of receiving emails asking about your satisfaction with the emails you are receiving?"

    I don't know how effective it really is, but I always do my shopping in a private window with all the usual protections. It seems to reduce the requests to make a repeat purchase. I presume that eventually advertisers will eventually work out how to make private windows non-private (as far as cross-site cookies etc. are concerned) and there will no longer be any reason to use private windows.

    As far as reviews are concerned I always put that I am disappointed and put "I am pissed off with surveys" as the reason for being disappointed. I don't have much hope that they will get the message but it is somehow cathartic.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: All part of gullability testing

      I've given up on those 'Net Promoter Score' surveys ('rate X from 0-10') after I discovered my 'I haven't had a chance to form an opinion'/'I've never used it'/'I will never ever use it' score of '5' actually has me down as a 'detractor'

      0-6 is a 'detractor', 7-8 is 'passive' and only 9-10 are 'promotors'

      Why is your opinion compulsory? What ever happened to the 'I have no opinion' option?)

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: All part of gullability testing

        But as JassMan points out, once the survey arrives you do have an opinion. It's negative, because spam is negative customer service.

      2. Tom Wood

        "Are you liking our app?"

        My pet hate is popups in apps asking if I "am liking" the app. The only options are "yes" or "no" rather than "just f*ck off out of the way so I can get on with using the app, which is fine apart from this irritating interruption".

        "Yes" takes you to the page to leave the app a review on the app store, and "No" takes you to some feedback form.

        1. Gene Cash Silver badge

          Re: "Are you liking our app?"

          takes you to the page to leave the app a review on the app store

          I still don't understand why they haven't realized this nets them an instant 1-star review...

          1. Terry 6 Silver badge

            Re: "Are you liking our app?"

            This is El reg. Out in the Real World (tm) people feel a terrible compulsion to complete these surveys and unless the product is truly grim, to err on the side of a positive review..

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: All part of gullability testing

        At $dayjob we have a variant of the new fad of 360° reviews. When review time comes up, you choose a set of coworkers to ask for feedback. The feedback portal emails those people a request to visit the portal and answer questions like "does AC show characteristic 'X'?"

        Saying "I don't know" is not an option, the closest is to rate them a 1 on a scale of 1-5, 1 meaning "I haven't observed this".

        I steadfastly refuse to complete any of the requested surveys. If I have an issue with someone's job performance I take the radical step of talking to them, their supervisor, ir my supervisor, as appropriate.

        1. Terry 6 Silver badge

          Re: All part of gullability testing

          Sadly, not a new fad. Some 15 years ago it was built into the (then) National Professional Qualification for Headteachers and equivalent for Advisory teachers. And underlying it is a degree of management consultant pseudo-science that would take an entire industrial sized compost bin just to store the surface layers.

          1. Ian Johnston Silver badge

            Re: All part of gullability testing

            I work for a university. Some years ago a colleague of mine in the maths department got a management survey asking, amongst other things, if he used "360 degree" feedback. No, he replied, he used the more up-to-date "four pi" feedback.

            Within days very, very senior management called to ask him for more information about four pi feedback.

        2. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: All part of gullability testing

          At my former job, the HR department was fixated on metrics. Everything needed to be rated on a scale of 1-5 or 1-10. Semiannual "employee experience" surveys (with variants of the same inane questions), 360 degree feedback (again, semiannual) and so on. The latest exciting trend was that you were supposed to come up with at least 3 near-term and one long term "goals", the progress towards which would be tracked and rated at your next review. I always thought doing your job to the best of your ability was sufficient, and that anything else was something your manager would suggest, but apparently, this has been pushed down and is now your responsibility.

          The final straw, when I retired last December, was the online exit interview - "how likely would you be to recommend $EMPLOYER as a place to work (1-10)?" I declined to answer, claiming insufficient information.

          // happily retired.

          // loved the job & the people, couldn't handle the company

          // told my boss to wait 6 months then call me if they had contract work.

    2. Alistair Dabbs Silver badge

      Re: All part of gullability testing

      Demands for you to complete surveys and write reviews will soon increase exponentially. Once the world's serious governments insist on banning third-party cookies rather than relying on browser developers to do it, 'first-person' data will be king. The only way to get first-person data is to ask you for it in a survey or trick you into writing a review.

    3. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Re: All part of gullability testing

      I recently ordered something for my wife from an online retailer (I say recently, it was for V Day, and ordered 10 days earlier). It hasn't been delivered, and as far as I can tell, hasn't even been dispatched, so I used the retailer's online form to complain.

      So far, I've had an automated email saying "we'll get back to you in x working days", followed two days later with another email asking me to review their delivery. For some reason they're getting rated zero on that one...

  4. My-Handle Silver badge

    Internal advert filters

    I long ago realised that there was absolutely no point in clicking on any online ads. Even the ads that actually look interesting (rare though they are) end up taking me either to some virus-riddled hell-hole or to something completely different from what was advertised.

    Instead, my brain has long since learned to blank out those ads that ad-blocker hasn't already dealt with. I swear, if a banner along the top or down the right-hand side of a web page flickers in a fraction of a second after the rest of the page, it might as well be plain white for all that I notice it. The "ads" tag in Google search results might as well be an invisibility cloak, for all I engage with the corresponding result.

    That's the one uncomfortable truth that ad-slingers can't quite get their heads around. No matter how attention-grabbing or obnoxious you make an ad, no power in the world can force a viewer to pay attention if they don't want to.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Internal advert filters

      The ad-slingers know this perfectly well and they don't care. Read that again.

      They don't care. They have no interest in selling you anything.

      They are actually very good at selling but they're not even trying to sell anything to you.

      They sell advertising to advertisers.

      You might wonder why they succeed when that uncomfortable truth is so obvious. It's easy. In a big business they have allies in marketing departments. Some of those may well realise that but also realise that their entire careers depend on pushing business to the advertising industry. And in any case even if the advertisers realise that all the adverts they see are obnoxious spam they themselves are very special and their adverts aren't spam, they're valuable marketing messages.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Internal advert filters

        The ad-slingers also get to sell the data they hoover up back to the marketers to prove just how good they are at getting 'eye balls' on those ads... presumably hiding the fact that a fair size chunk are actually hidden from those eye balls by ad-blockers

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Internal advert filters

          They will sell back some data. I doubt very much they'll sell back any statistics as to how many pairs of eyeballs they've show the same ad to, let alone how many of those were owned by someone who'd already bought the same consumer durable item.

          Quite possibly they might multiply the figures by two on the basis that one showing is to two eyeballs or, if they're being honest, by a factor slightly smaller than two as some people only have one good eye.

          1. .stu

            Re: Internal advert filters

            You just reminded me of the guy on the Apprentice UK recently. They had a focus group for their kids toothbrush which consisted of 1 boy and 4 girls. When asked who liked it, only the boy put his hand up. Nick then presented this to the other contestants as 100% of the boys liked it. That then became "50% of their demographic", then eventually 100% of their demographic somehow.

            Lying bastard.

            1. Ian Johnston Silver badge

              Re: Internal advert filters

              Face it: The Apprentice is a bunch of bullshitting losers sucking up to a man who hasn't had an innovative business since he stopped selling cheap computers thirty years ago.

              1. Richard 12 Silver badge

                The production team are well aware of this

                It's the only reason it keeps getting made. They know that their audience is entirely people who want to yell cathartic abuse at idiots on the tellybox.

      2. My-Handle Silver badge

        Re: Internal advert filters

        By and large I agree, but a lot of ad-slingers are paid on a pay-per-click business model. I would say it's more accurate that they don't care whether I, specifically, click the ad. Because they know that a more pliable viewer will be along shortly.

    2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Re: Internal advert filters

      Ad-slingers sell ad space, they don't care if the ads get clicked on.

      At least a portion of those buying that ad space are using it either to scam people (by putting an ad that looks like something else the user meant to click on), or directly maliciously by injecting scripts into the site's page.

      If just 0.1% of ads are malicious, then you need to block them all, for your own safety and security.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Handle - Re: Internal advert filters

      Problem is Google and all the digital advertising food-chain have cashed in the money irrespective of you clicking on the ad or not. Heck, even if you don't look at that ad at all, everybody is happily counting their money. The only thing that matters is that ad to make its way to your computer. You as an end-user are not a part of this deal and nobody expects any involvement from you at all.

    4. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: Internal advert filters

      I saw an ad on TV while I was at lunch. I thought it was really funny and wanted to look it up on YouTube to see the whole thing with sound.

      I made a special effort to remember the company/subject/theme.

      An hour later: No idea except "it was really funny"

      I guess all those ad dollars pay off.

  5. MJI Silver badge

    Twatter - I had similar

    I wanted nothing from them, just notice if anyone had replied. Cancelled all contact emails.

    "Complete nobodies off some realitiy TV crap you may be interested in"

    Delete account, no more emails.

    And I was chatting with a well known TV person before about a friend of mine she knew. Did that register with twatter? No.

    I had contacted a couple of authors, some games people and one TV person. Absolutely NOTHING to do with reality crap.

    Not saying who it is as both my friend and I could be IDed from it. The TV person borrowed his car!

    1. sabroni Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: Twatter - I had similar

      Can one of the up-voters translate that into English? I can read all the words but I have no fucking idea how to connect them up.

  6. imanidiot Silver badge

    It's all about the money

    Those twitter recommendations for rappers are all about who's paying who and who's been determined to be "important". They don't care these people are way outside your circle of interest and that these are vapid idiots no-one should pay any attention to in the first place, let alone make them "a celebrity". It's one of the reasons I stay far far away from Twitter (and Facebook)

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Re: It's all about the money

      I only got peace after deleting my account I used 5 or 6 times, over a couple of years.

  7. MJI Silver badge

    Dishwashers. No Engine washers

    Unless you do a lot of vehicle rebuilds are they worth it?

    I could get my last car cylinder heads in one, but this current car no.*

    But if you are rebuilding bike engines useful bits of kit.

    But here a washing up bowl and fairy liquid deals with dishes in less time than it takes to load and unload a motor vehicle engine component washer.

    * I did know of people chucking a couple of V6 heads in them.

  8. Dr_N Silver badge
    Go

    FFSStpSndgEmlsAbtDshwshrs-r

    A potential instant hit.

    French version needed?

    NonLaVsel-r ?

  9. Annihilator Silver badge

    Bought a shed

    Bought a garden shed once - company decided this was clearly me dipping a toe in the water of shed collecting, so bombarded me for about a year with emails suggesting I buy more of the same shed. Eventually, crestfallen, they must have come to the conclusion that shed hoarding wasn't for me.

    Either that, or they weren't confident in the quality of the shed, and figured I'd need to replace it soon.

    1. tiggity Silver badge

      Re: Bought a shed

      At least multiple sheds is a thing quite a few people do (unlike dishwashers).

      I don't have lots of sheds, but when I walk around the local area I see plenty of large properties that do (not unusual to see 5+ in some of them!)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Bought a shed

        Those are not 'sheds', those are 'bijou apartments'

      2. Annihilator Silver badge

        Re: Bought a shed

        True, but I'm fairly certain that a multiple shed property is in the minority.

        Now - if I had the space (and arguably just involves giving up a cupboard), I would bloody love 2 dishwashers. There's more scenarios than you'd expect where a single one doesn't cover everything and there's stuff left on the side waiting for the next run.

        1. cookieMonster
          Joke

          Re: Bought a shed

          Re: 2 dishwashers

          I have two, the first was born 13 years ago and the second 11 yrs ago.

          I generally do the washing up, but if need be I’ve two “backups”

          1. Annihilator Silver badge

            Re: Bought a shed

            Mine are 4 and 1, so just going through the alpha phase of dishwasher development.

            1. cookieMonster

              Re: Bought a shed

              There is a real sense of accomplishment when you see your first trained dishwasher do a full cycle, without breaking anything. :-)

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Bought a shed

            Shouldn't you be the backup?

          3. Jan 0

            Re: Bought a shed

            Doesn't every body need at least 2 dishwashers? Otherwise you're going to need to move the clean dishes to storage before you use them again!

            1. Yet Another Hierachial Anonynmous Coward

              Re: Bought a shed

              No - once clean, keep the dishes in the dishwasher until you need them. As you use them and they get dirty, just pile them up on the worktop. Once the pile on the worktop is spilling over and taking up all available space, you will notice the dishwasher is now almost empty. That's the correct time to move from the worktop back into the dishwasher to run the washing cycle again.

              1. wjake
                Pint

                Re: Bought a shed

                Washing the dishes 10-15 minutes

                Loading the dishwasher 5-10 minutes

                unloading the dishwasher 3-5 business days

              2. Chris 239

                Re: Bought a shed

                I agree that is good scheme, In fact I used it when I was single.

                However I think CookieMonster's 2 dishwashers both have zero storage capacity for crockery or cutlery. They are those old fashioned one at a time dishwashers.

                I expect his/her dishwashers both have instead a good capacity for sweets and junk food.

      3. Robert Moore
        Coat

        Re: Bought a shed

        I have an absolute shed load of sheds.

    2. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Bought a shed

      suggesting I buy more of the same shed.

      A clear marketing failure. They should suggest you buy a bigger shed to store your current shed in.

      1. Kevin Johnston

        Re: Bought a shed

        and of course a small shed to store all the stuff in that had been going into the large shed until you put the other shed into it

        This one is small...the other one is faaaar away

    3. Ken Shabby

      Re: Bought a shed

      You are Arthur Jackson and I claim my £5

  10. Warm Braw Silver badge

    Why would anyone…?

    They won't of course - but it's not about effectiveness, it's about cost. This type of "marketing" is essentially free, so quantity displaces quality. It's the same as the customer "service" chatbot: they're essentially just a teleprinter with a loop of paper tape repeating "if it isn't on our website you're wasting your time", but they relentlessly deter contact with more costly minimum-wage phone-drones. That they're both touted as successful applications of AI tells you a lot about that subject, too.

    And besides, who knows what marketing is effective anyway? It's always described as "crucial" and "scientific" when sales are booming but when they're falling there always seems to be some other explanation.

    Mind you, having two dishwashers isn't unknown. An acquaintance of mine did that and stored the clean crockery in one, moving it to the other as it became dirty. When the second dishwasher was full, it ran a cleaning cycle and the process was repeated in reverse. Though I might foresee a rice-and-chessboard escalation in the marketing if you go down this route.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why would anyone…?

      "who knows what marketing is effective anyway?"

      There's the famous quote about knowing that 50% of advertising budget is wasted, but not knowing which 50% it is

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Why would anyone…?

        If it wasn't for the way the advertising industry works (see my other post on that subject) you'd think advertisers would welcome ad-blockers. After all they allow the 50% (surely an optimistic figure) that won't work to be automatically excluded.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why would anyone…?

      "having two dishwashers isn't unknown"

      I do something similar, but my 2nd dishwasher requires no water, detergent or salt and is called a cupboard

      1. Warm Braw Silver badge

        Re: Why would anyone…?

        Personally, I just leave everything in the sink. It's much greener. Considerably greener than it was a couple of years back, certainly.

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Why would anyone…?

      This type of "marketing" is essentially free

      Providing you don't take into account the business lost because potential customers have been pissed off. When I bought my car within weeks I started to get text marketing from the dealer. It stopped when I discovered the MD's email address and let him know that far from doing him any good it would lose him business. As long as it was in warranty they'd get to do the servicing but afterwards it would go elsewhere and there would be no other sales opportunities going there way. SWMBO's subsequent purchase went elsewhere.

      The total lack of understanding was demonstrated by the fact that they were then convinced they couldn't use the mobile number to tell me the car was ready to pick up after servicing.

      1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

        Re: Why would anyone…?

        The total lack of understanding was demonstrated by the fact that they were then convinced they couldn't use the mobile number to tell me the car was ready to pick up after servicing.

        That wasn't lack of understanding but a feeble attempt at payback.

  11. Franco Silver badge

    I've mentioned this many times on these pages, I never get recommendations for consumable items again. For example, if I buy coffee beans I never get a recomendation for other coffee beans I might like unless the original ones are out of stock. However if I buy a paint roller and tray set I get bombarded with recommendations for professional grade decorating tools.

    Sticking with the coffee theme, for a few years I've been using a Zyliss cafetiere mug as it's a convenient all in one way to make decent coffee at the office, particularly when you're a contractor and get shoved in a corner next to the loos designated as the "hot desking area". Said mug is starting to leak so I've been looking for a replacement and settled on an Aeropress Go, which I've purchased. And of course the recommendations for it keep coming, despite the fact that I have purchased it.`

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      I see that you like the Aeropress Go. Would you like to buy one?

      1. Jay 2

        I'm starting to get Talkie Toaster vibes...

    2. Alistair Dabbs Silver badge

      I always pack an Aeropress when I'm travelling but never looked at the Aeropress Go. Does it work well for you? It looks a bit pricey but would take up half the space in my backpack. Besides, I'll need the spare space for all the books I am going to cart back from Angoulême.

      1. Franco Silver badge

        Just ordered it this week so don't have it yet, but the appeal was that it's an all-in-one unit including the cup, and has the little holder for the filters rather than bending them to fit in the plunger. Plus it's easy to clean so I can use it camping and hiking.

        Don't know about shipping to France but they can be purchased for less than retail price including shipping on a certain auction site that has been telling me all week that I "frequently search" for something I just bought, the bundle I bought also included some Black Bag coffee.

      2. GlenP Silver badge

        i use an Aeropress Go in the campervan, can't beat a cup of decent coffee first thing while looking at the scenery.

    3. Dr_N Silver badge

      No Barista at work? Unacceptable! EVERYBODY OUT!

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Kudos!

    "Whoa, we have a newbie in the audience!" chuckles the team leader before putting on their serious face again to address the kid directly. "We follow standard retail data practice: get the system to auto-generate daily emails telling the customer to buy another dishwasher."

    This is John Cleese level shit!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Kudos!

      O M Effing G. Can you imagine a TV series - let's call it Fawlty Advertising - with Mr Cleese as the embattled and volcanic CEO, Manuel as Creative Director and Sibyl as his PA.

      Roll that on with some subplots based on their IT dept, along the lines of Simon and the PFY. Who would be best to portray the calculating vindictiveness of Simon and the cunning of the PFY?

      It'd be like The Office but with more lift shafts and unsecured windows, not to mention the occasional burning BMW, roll of carpet and empty sacks of quicklime.

      How soon could that be screened?

      Pretty please.

      1. Franco Silver badge

        Re: Kudos!

        The Argument Clinic from Monty Python would be the perfect complaints department for that series.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Kudos!

        "Who sold You This, Then" (1975)

        https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0331081/

        He did a few more training films

        1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

          Re: Kudos!

          ...quite a few more.

          And it all started with a very famous comedian getting very bored.

          https://www.videoarts.com/our-story/

      3. Stoneshop Silver badge
        Holmes

        Re: Kudos!

        O M Effing G. Can you imagine a TV series - let's call it Fawlty Advertising - with Mr Cleese as the embattled and volcanic CEO, Manuel as Creative Director and Sibyl as his PA.

        You have clearly not seen his instructional videos on various subjects sch as customer service and marketing.

      4. J.G.Harston Silver badge

        Re: Kudos!

        It's been done: Reluctant Persuaders, Radio 4 and Four Extra.

    2. CuChulainn Silver badge

      Re: Kudos!

      This is John Cleese level shit!

      It's also a scarily accurate general depiction of what happens in meetings (if not the actual content).

      When I was in the Rat Race my manager loved the sound of his own voice, and took over any meeting. If you'd have done a word count by name of all attendees, he'd have been top every time.

      When he called a meeting of his own - a departmental meeting - we'd all remind each other not to ask any questions within 20 minutes of the scheduled end, and to avoid off-topic or 'AOB', otherwise it would overrun by >30 minutes. It even got to the point where we'd check to see if anyone else had the meeting room booked after us just so we could be extra careful (and it was an absolute b*tch if someone had, but then cancelled without us knowing and the room really was now free for at least another hour).

      One time, I called a meeting for a project I was on. Once everyone (including my manager) had sat down, I took a deep breath ready to start... and my manager cut in and talked for the next 20 minutes, covering fragments of what was on the agenda.

      1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

        Re: Kudos!

        One time, I called a meeting for a project I was on. Once everyone (including my manager) had sat down, I took a deep breath ready to start... and my manager cut in and talked for the next 20 minutes, covering fragments of what was on the agenda.

        Next time call the meeting for the end of the day and once that manager is done, inform him everyone now is on overtime for the rest of the meeting due to him wasting time on unrelated BS.

  13. Potemkine! Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    And Now For Something Completely Similar

    I still go from time to time to Google News. There's a nice functionality: you can say you aren't interested in a news. The funny thing is that you can say it two, three, five times, because Google News keeps showing you the same news, again and again.

    I may have told 4,294 times to Google News I'm not interested in news about car crashes (yeah, I know, I'm stubborn). That's probably why I get two articles about car crashes each time I visit.

    So two possibilities:

    - AI, my arse.

    - it's intentional as Mr. Dabbs says.

    Or maybe a combination of the two....

    1. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

      Re: And Now For Something Completely Similar

      AI = Automated Intentionality.

      Arse!

      1. Stoneshop Silver badge
        Headmaster

        AI

        Arseholish Insistence

    2. Filippo Silver badge

      Re: And Now For Something Completely Similar

      I like the principle of Google News - something that gives me news about topics I'm interested about. Compared to the feeds model, where you subscribe to selected sources, it could have the advantage of showing me interesting articles from sources I wouldn't usually follow, and hide things like the sports section of sources I usually follow.

      The actual execution, unfortunately, sucks so hard that I eventually gave up and tossed it. For about one month, I diligently clicked "I want less news about this" on every single horoscope and every single article about celebrity gossip. It made zero difference.

      The weird thing is, it's not like Google is bad at identifying the topic of articles - it provides a "show me less news about Paris Hilton" button, so it definitely knows it's about Paris Hilton. It should be easy to not show me any more articles about Paris Hilton. And yet.

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: And Now For Something Completely Similar

      "So two possibilities:"

      It's a third. You responded to something. Ours is not to wonder why*. It's simply to record that you responded to it so we'll send you more of it.

      * Wondering why would far more complicated, error-prone and hard work.

    4. chivo243 Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: And Now For Something Completely Similar

      I had to stop looking at google news... I stopped on December 14th... I know the world can be a depressing place, but I didn't need to be reminded of it in every category! A few years back I could control the flow of shit google streamed at me, but they changed the layout(what a surprise!) and now I can't be bothered...

    5. Claverhouse Silver badge

      Re: And Now For Something Completely Similar

      I still go from time to time to Google News. There's a nice functionality: you can say you aren't interested in a news. The funny thing is that you can say it two, three, five times, because Google News keeps showing you the same news, again and again.

      .

      One third of my version of Google News ( Britain ) whenever I bother to go there is related to Association Football. *

      Since my incuriosity regarding Soccer borders on the pathological, the whole experience makes me less likely to return. Turning off sports would be charming.

      .

      [ And yes, they shall claim most people are mad about sports, just as they are about Eastenders etc., but the more they pump out on these subjects, the more they can claim they are beloved, and so they more they will pump out to fill the gaping voids. ]

      .

      * Most other items are regarding the BBC.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: And Now For Something Completely Similar

        "* Most other items are regarding the BBC"

        Maybe I should turn to Google News. BBC regional news has far more football than that and I'll see your incuriosity and raise you outright hatred.

    6. cmdrklarg

      Re: And Now For Something Completely Similar

      110% this... I'd be looking at the Google feed and see something that grabbed my curiosity about something or other. Google would then start showing article after article about said thing. Most of the time the feed would respect my topic setting after picking "not interested" but every so often I'd get said topic featured in the feed even after telling it "not interested" a dozen times.

      That stopped completely after the phone nagged me to turn on Google Assistant one too many times (after I specifically disabled it) and I ended up disabling the entire Google app. No more Feed, but also no more Assistant nag. Ahhh bliss...

  14. oiseau Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Marvel?

    One can only marvel at what must be going on at Customer Data Central.

    Marvel?

    I beg to differ Mr. Dabbs.

    We're in 2022 and everyone knows that they (along with the marketing droids) are nothing but brain-dead AHs.

    What could possibly be going on that would marvel anyone?

    But them, of course.

    Have a great week-end.

    Best,

    O.

    1. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: Marvel?

      Sure.

      One can marvel at the amount of effort that was said to have gone into these AI's, the cost of implementing it, putting in the hardware to run it on, etcetera, while the actual output is no better than a ZX81 with a wonky RAM expansion running

      10 PRINT "Whoever reads this is an idiot"

      20 GOTO 10

  15. big_D Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Personalised Ads

    I've been saying this for nearly a decade. Personalised ads are totally useless.

    Why do I have to put up with all the thousands of tracking cookies to keep getting adverts that are totally irrelevant to me?

    YouTube at the moment, seems to think I am a game playing retiree with rheumatism, in danger of shingles, that I play Call of Duty and that my newborn baby should be vaccinated against meningococcal infection...

    Only, I'm not retired, I don't have rheumatism, shingles isn't an issue, I don't play CoD and I don't have a newborn baby, so personalised advertising is... 100% inaccurate!

    Just profile the page I'm looking at and leave me alone, you probably have a better chance of getting the advertising right, if you look at the page I'm reading, about big iron routers, than by some crazy broken AI looking at the data it has collected about, throwing it out and making things up at random... It at least can't be any less accurate than the personalised advertising.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Personalised Ads

      "you probably have a better chance of getting the advertising right, if you look at the page I'm reading"

      Do you want to take the bread from the mouths of the advertising industry's children? The publishers could do that and cut the entire advertising industry out the supply chain.

      1. Totally not a Cylon

        Re: Personalised Ads

        Just like they used to, when the advert was permanently printed alongside the article.....

        It ain't Rocket Science.

        Example: reading a Register article about useless ad execs? then show adverts for cruise missiles!!!

      2. big_D Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Personalised Ads

        And that would be bad, because?

      3. dajames Silver badge

        Re: Personalised Ads

        Do you want to take the bread from the mouths of the advertising industry's children?

        You ask that like it would be a bad thing?

        Any of them worth the Oxygen they breathe will find other ways to feed their brood.

    2. brotherelf

      Re: Personalised Ads

      Country identified. I suspect the meningococcal vax ads are an effect of the MiniHealth just throwing money into the ad slot machine and not specifying target audiences, so you get it if you're otherwise boring enough that sports clothes manufacturers won't bid high enough for the ad spot.

      Weirdest ads I've seen were: the candidate for mayor from the next town over, "find a vax near you" ads for a country that's not even on the right continent, and a one-hour DJ set. Seriously.

      1. big_D Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Personalised Ads

        I had some oddball US guy who runs some sort of charity, the advert lasted 45 minutes (yes, minutes!!!!). It was rolled 4 times in a 10 minute YouTube video!

        1. stiine Silver badge

          Re: Personalised Ads

          On my tv, i just play a game on my tablet for 15-120 seconds and let the ads run because I want to cost those companies money. When the bastard 45m ad in the middle of the 6 minute video come on, i let them play for a minute and then skip them.

      2. Claverhouse Silver badge

        Re: Personalised Ads

        Weirdest ads I've seen were: the candidate for mayor from the next town over, "find a vax near you" ads for a country that's not even on the right continent, and a one-hour DJ set. Seriously.

        .

        But whatever will those intriguing housewives in Milton Keynes dying to meet you, do not able to advertise in Penzance ?

      3. J.G.Harston Silver badge

        Re: Personalised Ads

        I block most ads, but what really causes me problems is videos on web pages that start playing without my permission. I've managed to get YouTube to stop doing it, but I'll try reading the local paper and all my connection credit goes flooding down the drain as loads of videos start stealing all my money.

        Firefox claims to have a global "don't autoplay videos" setting which I've set, but they somehow bypass that.

    3. MJI Silver badge

      Re: Personalised Ads

      You see ads?

      Where are they?

  16. Joe W Silver badge

    Sorry...

    And you'r rushing headlong - with the adverts

    and you're rushing headlong - out of control

    and you think the ads are - so strong

    and they ain't be stopping

    and there's nothing you can, nothing you can, nothing you can do about it!

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Sorry...

      Oh, yes there is. Install an ad-blocker.

      1. Claverhouse Silver badge

        Re: Sorry...

        And a good upgradable hosts file...

    2. Evil Scot
      Devil

      Re: Sorry...

      I am guessing this has been sitting in the car for over two weeks.

      1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Sorry...

        Well played sir!

        GNU TP.

  17. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    SaaS

    I've often made the point here that the advertising industry only sells advertising. "Do you want to show an advert to someone who's interested in buying buying a dishwasher? We know who's interested in buying dishwashers. [soto voce We know because most of them have just bought one.] Just give us your copy and lots of money and we'll make sure they see your copy every time they go online."

    It's hard to believe that the customers, the advertisers, aren't kept in the dark as to just what they're getting for their money. The operators of this sort of scam don't need to confine it to the web. They can offer a spam as a service in the same way.

    At the lower end of the market the delivery is to every address that's been scraped of Usenet or anywhere else more than a decade ago*. A lot of these offer some sort of business service such as SEO, website development or more recently mobile app development. The alleged senders have obviously been sold leads generation as a business opportunity, not realising they themselves were the actual business opportunity for whoever sold them the service.

    To get into that sort of business you don't even need a great command of your email software. For instance I've had a string of spams all with "Re: " in front of the subject so it looks like one email being sent to a script that responds as a reply to a BCC list. However the first version had a bug: all the emails had the greeting "Hello wilfosula gmail,". Today, however, I find the script's been improved. It now has my name in there. However it's exactly the same text as the last of the wilfosula emails and what's more two arrived together but with different reply addresses.

    They usually get a variation of my potential supplier questionnaire. That starts off by asking business-like questions they won't be able to answer such as their registered business name, domain name and, for SEO, their web address so that I can test their ability by finding them on the first page in Google when I Google for "First page in Google". It works round gradually to asking them if they think they can get their money back from whoever sold them this shit. Given the nature of today's pair I CCed the questionnaire to both of them.

    * These emails all arrived at an address that I haven't used on Usenet for well over a decade but it's one I still use for some purposes. If a more recent Usenet address were to be used I'd set it to bounce with a "because of spam" message for a while & then just kill it.

  18. chivo243 Silver badge
    Pint

    Quoting Zeppelin to dissing Rappers!

    I quite like this chap! Have a nice weekend Dabsy!

    1. Kubla Cant Silver badge

      Re: Quoting Zeppelin to dissing Rappers!

      He would like to stress that he does not dislike contemporary rap music for the usual fogeyish reasons.

      Does the fact that it's turgid drivel produced by people who seem to have no musical or literary talent count as fogeyish or discriminating?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Quoting Zeppelin to dissing Rappers!

        That's what's sad - a lot of them actually have really good singing voices when they sing music. It's wasted because they're annoy - I mean rapping instead of singing.

  19. BenDwire Silver badge
    Go

    Dabbsy, You've just made me late!

    Oddly enough, I'm meant to be heading off around the M25 to install a replacement dishwasher for my son. Thanks to that rather excellent video*, and the compulsion to apportion blame in your direction, I'm now running late!

    * Which reminds me of "One Giant Leap" - No rap there either!

  20. Howard Sway Silver badge
    1. My-Handle Silver badge

      Re: Thank you for clicking on this article

      Well, I completely bought that...

    2. volsano

      Re: Thank you for clicking on this article

      Alistair - please write and publish the article again, only this time exactly the same as before.

      That will give the bots double the chance to recommend it to me again.

      Can't wait to read what you wrote before again, but this time newer.

  21. Alan Ferris

    Another dishwasher, Sir

    I've always assumed that if someone tries to sell mea second version of what I've already got, then they must think that their product is crap and will fall to bits within 24 hours of installation.

    1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Another dishwasher, Sir

      When I'm forced to buy something from holes like PC World and they inevitably try to upsell the extended warranty etc, that's more or less what I always reply with. And if they persist, I just thank them for confirming it and walk away from the sale.

      The look of confusion on their faces sometimes is priceless...

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Another dishwasher, Sir

        The last time I bought some small object there - a long time ago - the sales droid started, looked at my face and the words dried up.

  22. Evil Scot

    It is a brave new world.

    As you have shown an interest in rappers you may like this...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cIRk4qqCQJg

  23. Kubla Cant Silver badge

    I've always been charmed by the idea that repeat-purchase ads might reflect the world-view of the marketing droid. Everyone is primarily categorised by the things they buy. Buy a dishwasher and you are enrolled in the set of people who buy dishwashers. And what do they want? More dishwashers. When do they want them? Now!

    Life for these marketeers must be a constant stream of disappointment and disillusion. When a colleague buys a house, they keenly anticipate the purchase of more houses. When somebody flies in from Los Angeles for a meeting, they greet him with "Hello, nice to meet you. I see you like long flights. Would you like to fly to Tokyo now?"

  24. DJV Silver badge

    "Lots of people enjoy listening to rap"

    Please no.... just no....

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: "Lots of people enjoy listening to rap"

      I don't listen to it but I don't like hearing it.

    2. spold Silver badge

      Re: "Lots of people enjoy listening to rap"

      The "c" is silent

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Lots of people enjoy listening to rap"

        I see you've never been introduced to the latest "innovation" in drivel - country rap. That's right, now rednecks are standing in front of jacked up 4x4s talking about how big their herd of cattle is. And, they never clarify if the cattle are bovine or sapien. C-rap now has a separate meaning all its own.

  25. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

    Now, Twitter has taken the next step. Ignoring my actual follows and interests, it has spontaneously decided that I want to see tweets from rap artists.

    Facebook is worse. No matter how many times I select "don't show me posts like this" I get people's bloody daily Wordle scores. It's like those annoying Farmville requests you used to get, except you can't block the fucking things.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "except you can't block the fucking things"

      Yes you can. The means to do that should be pretty obvious.

    2. cmdrklarg

      As the good Dr. said, yes you can.

      https://www.fbpurity.com/

      It cleans; it freshens; it juliennes fries!

      1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

        Ironically, I couldn't see the information video on the linked page, because there was an advert stuck on top of it. With no close button, no movement furniture, just stuck there.

      2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        Yes, I know FB purity can block them in the browser. Now explain how it can do so on the app on my phone, smartarse.

        My point is that FB has an option to not show you "things like this", yet, despite every single one of these things being in the exact same format, it fails to do so. Occasionally, I might actually be interested in the other things my friends post, so I don't want to "unfollow" them, and I'm also not the sort of dick you replies to people's posts telling them not to post that.

  26. ske1fr

    Broken glass, everywhere

    He would like to stress that he does not dislike contemporary rap music for the usual fogeyish reasons.

    In this genre anything released after 1st of July 1982 is superfluous.

    1. stiine Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Broken glass, everywhere

      I was going to ask if this was referring to Blondie, but them i read your subject and realized I was an idiot.

  27. lglethal Silver badge
    Go

    One thing explained...

    I think I can take a guess at the reasoning behind one of the complaints of Senor Dabbs. You buy a ton of electronic bits and just a single kids toy, and then get bombarded with ads for kids toys? The reasoning there is simple, Kids Toys have a HUGE Markup. I.e. they are massively more profitable then selling you some electronics bibs and bobs. So even though they probably would have more chance of selling you electronics, the profit they make on selling just one more kids toy would probably be worth more than if they sold you a dozen electronic items.

    Whilst I was at School I worked part time in retail, and the mark-up on some items was truly staggering, whilst on others it was minimal. Guess which ones received better visibility?

  28. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    wait , what??

    Hang on ..

    you can play CD's more than once?

    Boy do i feel silly now

    1. ClockworkOwl
      Joke

      Re: wait , what??

      Everybody knows you SHOULD only listen once to each disc, I mean how could it possibly sound as good the second time?

      Maybe if you used £30k+ rig you could recapture the first play experience, but a TRUE audiophile wouldn't even contemplate it!!!

      You'll be telling me you use ordinary 'room' air for listening next!

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: wait , what??

        "You'll be telling me you use ordinary 'room' air for listening next!"

        WHAT!?!?!?!?!? Fuck Noooooooo. Only oxygen-free for meee!!!

    2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: wait , what??

      you can play CD's more than once?

      As long as your name isn't Ethan Hunt.

      1. TheProf Silver badge

        Ethan Hunt

        Rhyming slang?

        Yer actual Proper TV IMF man is Jim Phelps.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: wait , what??

        Play it once, then convert it to mp3?

  29. noisy_typist

    Two Dishwashers

    I have always wanted to have two dishwashers.

    I am very lazy with housework. With two dishwashers I would never need to empty one, just take the stuff out of one, use it and put it in the other one. When one is clean and the other part clean, leave things out on the side for a bit, and then once one is empty, start to fill it.

    It would save literally minutes of housework per week.

    1. Sam not the Viking Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Two Dishwashers

      And if you have a mob/intellectual group around to eat, drink and be merry, you have two dishwashers to clean up! Bit awkward when both contain cleanware though; where do you put the dirty stuff? (Solution: One, or the other, becomes the 'dirty' one. Or not.)

      Anyway you deserve --->

    2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Two Dishwashers

      Robin's Nest had one dishwasher - and he managed with just one arm.

      "The one-armed Irish kitchen hand Albert Riddle (David Kelly), who always broke more crockery than he cleaned"

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robin%27s_Nest_(TV_series)

      icon -> coat with 1 pinned arm.

  30. NightFox

    I love all those solicited Amazon reviews by people clearly thinking that they're legally obliged to respond to Amazon's review requests within 24 hours:

    5-star: I've not opened this yet but I think it'll be great

    5-star: Bought as a present for my grandson, I'm sure he'll love it

    1. Blofeld's Cat
      Facepalm

      I also like the answers to "Customer Questions & Answers":

      "I don't know"

      "Sorry I cant help you"

      "Ours worked until we buried it in a rhubarb patch and then the stripes fell off."

    2. TheProf Silver badge

      Kettle lead length 1m.

      1st reviewer: 1* The kettle lead is too short

      2nd reviewer 1* The kettle lead is too long.

      1. Precordial thump

        Re: Kettle lead length 1m.

        3rd reviewer: 1* the thing under the base that lets you adjust the length of the kettle lead is too confusing.

  31. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "Crying won't help you, praying won't do any good. We're going down, I tell you."

    One thing that might save us is some beancounter saying ""Why are we spending so much money on this?".

    Saved by the beancounters. How surreal is that?

  32. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

    We all know where this is heading.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRq_SAuQDec

    Searched for bike tyres the other day....... even with ad blocking the bastards still get through...

    Wheres the head banging against a wall icon?

  33. CuChulainn Silver badge

    No One Has Mentioned It...

    But that's a cool version of When The Levee Breaks. Hadn't heard/seen it before.

    1. Alistair Dabbs Silver badge

      Re: No One Has Mentioned It...

      It *is* isn't it?

  34. Zarno

    Can confirm...

    "Then one day you made the mistake of ordering a present for a cousin's newborn. Just the one, mind. Still, from that moment onwards, Amazon immediately stopped offering deals on three-phase isolation transformers and instead, for literally years afterwards, obsessively stuffed your recommendations with every conceivable edition of The Very Hungry Caterpillar."

    For me, it was an overnight shipment (Prime) for a friends wife of some support underclothing needed for a wedding she was attending that weekend.

    Amazon still think I need corsets, sports bras, and lipstick...

    1. Sam not the Viking Silver badge

      Re: Can confirm...

      Amazon might be spot on. We have no way of verifying your need of corsets etc......

      1. Zarno
        Pint

        Re: Can confirm...

        If I keep eating triple bacon cheeseburgers and downing pints, I might need a girdle.

        Sadly the days of weighing 10 stone and not being able to put any more mass on are behind me.

        1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
          Alert

          Re: Can confirm...

          You think you have weight problems? Spare a thought for Hank...

          https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-60532151

    2. Marco van Beek

      Re: Can confirm...

      Not only am I somewhat gobsmacked that Anazon actually sell three phase isolation transformers, but that there are people on El Reg who might be tempted buy them.

  35. 4d3fect

    Strangely, haven't got that yet. Although now when I order something for my wife on Amazon, I tick the "is this a gift?" box. That seems to help.

    1. CuChulainn Silver badge
      Pint

      Eureka Time!

      All the lights just came on at once in my head!

      Have one on me for that.

      (Of course, if it doesn't work you can buy me one back :-D)

    2. dajames Silver badge

      I tick the "is this a gift?" box.

      Strangely, whenever I see such a box I think "No, it's a bloody rip-off" -- but, sadly, ticking the box never seems to result in a reduced price.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        IIRC in Swedish the word "gift" has meanings of "marriage" and "poison".

  36. DS999 Silver badge

    You laugh

    But I know more than a few people who have more than one dishwasher in their house. The one in their kitchen, yes, but another one in the bar (usually located downstairs in a walk out basement) Sometimes it is smaller and less fancy since it is mostly washing glassware, other times it is full sized.

    This is a pretty normal thing for anyone building a custom home where I live, and I'm talking people who make maybe $100-$150K a year building a house in the $500-$700K range, reasonably well off but not wildly rich people by any means.

    1. Irony Deficient Silver badge

      Re: You laugh

      Obervant Jews sometimes have two dishwashers (and two refrigerators, and two stoves/cookers, and three sinks) in a kitchen as a way to keep kosher by strictly separating meat and dairy. Occasionally there is even a second kitchen that is used only at Passover (so that the primary kitchen doesn’t need to be ritually cleaned of leavened food).

    2. Manolo
      Joke

      Re: You laugh

      Or you buy two dishwashers so you don't need kitchen cabinets. Just cycle all your stuff between the two dishwashers as you use it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: You laugh

        I seriously considered that arrangement when fitting my first kitchen. It seemed sensible.

    3. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: You laugh

      I guess if you live in a part of a country where decent sized houses can be built for that kind of figure you can have enough spare space to fit two dishwashers. Sadly this is not a universal option.

  37. Sub 20 Pilot

    Best start to my weekend Mr D.

    Having suffered the same shit for years, I am surprised that nobody has seen fit to tackle this.

    I have never used Amazon or Twitter but have seen the same with other entities.

    I had a dispute with British Gas over an overestimated bill for a rental property ( in the thousands ) so called them up. Got no sensible advice after 1.5 hrs of 'your call is imporant to us.. followed by a non native English speaker which took ages to understand the issue.) Not having a pop at foreigners here - I speak 2 languages fluently, get by pretty well in another two and can understand quite a lot in another 3 or 4 languages so not one of these people that thinks the world should only speak in English.)

    It was not resolved but they kept sending emails asking me for feedback, which I ignored at least twice. In the end I responded, politely but accuately berating them for being so fucking incompetent. I have not heard a word since. No follow up emails, no calls. Fucking idiocy. I assume that email will be removed from their metric in case it messes up their happiness rating or whatever..

    On the small number of times I have bought thinbs for a house refurbishment and reluctantly given my address as I needed the bloody stuff delivered, I get mail shots at least once a month. I bought £3000 of blinds for my house and every 2 weeks they post me a big envelope full of marketing shite for blinds. They don't sell anything else. Just blinds. Who is the twat in charge that thinks this is worth the expense of sending me a few pounds worth of glossy brochures every few weeks.

    Anyway, have a drink on me. Hope France has nicer weather than us. I hope to get to the alps for fun and games, covid permitting, before long.

    1. Terry 6 Silver badge

      At least if it comes in the post you can put it back in the post without a stamp...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I received a letter addressed to someone with the same street name in a totally different town and post code. Put it back in the postbox with annotation pointing out the misdirection. A few days later it plopped back through my letterbox.

        The same thing happened in reverse. Someone kindly hand-delivered a small package for me that had been delivered by Royal Mail to a different town and postcode - to a street with a similar name. Apparently that street didn't even have a house matching my number.

  38. Manolo
    Joke

    Rap "music"

    Rapping is a lot like burping: anyone can do it, but polite people don't do it in public or on radio.

    1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

      Re: Rap "music"

      That reminds me of the definition of a gentleman as someone who can play a ukulele, but doesn't.

  39. s. pam
    FAIL

    it's not just retailers, i'm being spammed by the local NHS

    in trying to navigate the morass of the idiot SW many local surgeries are ramming down our throats so we never speak to a human, our NHS surgery in South Bucks has been doing this to me for weeks! it all comes from being instructed to use their app after a SMS to get a blood test. not being able to book one until SEVEN weeks out, it also had a.n.other link. upon checking that link, the chemist wants to charge me £89 for the same test. i clicked no and now the computer is reminding me i have a pending transaction daily.

    1. Martin an gof Silver badge

      Re: it's not just retailers, i'm being spammed by the local NHS

      That's in the same vein as Outlook's insistence that "You may have outstanding tasks for <$colleague>."

      Like heck I do... and he gets the same reminders about me, too!

      M.

  40. David Roberts

    Two dishwashers?

    I recall an apartment in NZ which had a dual dishwasher installed.

    Two pull out drawers one above the other.

    Haven't seen them in the UK but perhaps I shop as the wrong demographic

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This might be a good thing.

    Consider this - the targeted advertising algorithms these companies use (probably all from Google) are failing to properly identify anything other than the most recent product you bought from this company, and thus can only recommend the same thing. They're not even smart enough to recommend related accessories or consumables that go with the appliance you've purchased.

    Most likely reason? Your advert, cookie, fingerprinting, and tracking blocking software are working properly. Congratulations. :-)

  42. a pressbutton

    I thought everyone had at least 2 dishwashers

    All the clean stuff in one and as you eat, put all the dirty stuff in the other.

    When you run out of something in the clean one, move everything clean into to dirty one and set it off.

    Repeat until warranty expires.

    Also, a dishwasher is not much more than the price of a kitchen unit with drawers

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You need a larger than usual UK kitchen size to fit two standard dishwashers.

  43. William Towle
    Holmes

    Maplin ... a while ago?

    > For months you could be happily using Amazon to search for and obtain various tech components to avoid having to go down to your local Maplin (yes, this is a while ago) and suffer the indignity of taking advice from an acne-riddled 16-year-old shop assistant.

    That *was* a while ago! I used to think a trip to town was wasted without a walk round Maplin -good for the exercise if nothing else- but liked it more once they'd decided two staff in the shop was one too many to be paying wages to...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Maplin ... a while ago?

      Eventually they couldn't afford either of the two.

  44. 080

    I get so many adverts my PiHole is throbbing, but very effective.

  45. potatohead

    Ladders

    I bought an extension ladder last year, and since they they keep bloody offering me more ladders. How many ladders do they think I need? I even got a valentines day offer on a ladder, 14% off. Now the missus does her fair share of DIY and stuff, but i'm pretty sure she wouldn't have been totally pleased with a discount ladder for valentines day.

    1. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Ladders

      I even got a valentines day offer on a ladder, 14% off.

      If I wanted a shorter ladder I would bloody well order a shorter ladder.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I thought for a second that I had misunderstood how "streaming" of music is implemented. Had someone implemented a Readers Digest approach by sending the same CD at regular intervals?

    Reminded me of an elderly neighbour who had a Xmas decoration that used several bulbs in series. They were hard to source in the UK - so a friend in Sweden sent me a few packs. Later I discovered that when the light failed - the neighbour threw away all its bulbs - and replaced them with a full new set.

    Another neighbour had a new wireless keyboard that wouldn't work. Yes - she had put th ertwo AA batteries in it - nose to nose.

    For a reason I can't remember - I opened up another neighbour's 13amp plug on a heater. It worked - but the earth and neutral wires were swapped connections.

  47. frabbledeklatter

    You Might Like Prostate Cancer

    Back when I was diagnosed with prostate cancer, Alta Vista was the search giant. Wanting to know more about the condition, treatments, and long term outlook, I searched "prostate cancer". "Alta Vista found about 13.1 million search results for you." I was not certain I had time to read through all that, but there were two helpful ad links on the side:

    "Click here to see what savvy inverstors are saying about prostate cancer."

    "Click here to shop for prostate cancer."

    I clicked neither, read zero of the 13.1 million results, and restarted my research by other means.

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Based on the same logic, the currency conversion site xe.com is currently convinced that people are really interested in knowing how much the US dollar is worth in US dollars:

    "USD - US Dollar

    Our currency rankings show that the most popular US Dollar exchange rate is the USD to USD rate. The currency code for US Dollars is USD. The currency symbol is $."

    https://www.xe.com/currencyconverter/convert/?Amount=1&From=USD&To=EUR

    1. Ghostman

      I just did that for Rubles. $0.75 will get you 100 rubles. I wouldn't mind buying them at that rate, as long as they send me the actual coins.

  49. The Rope

    Am I weird? I don't see any of these adverts. Oh ... I do use Ad Block and Brave.

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