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Another telephone rip off

eBayNext year, the awful (and expensive) 0870 numbers will be outlawed - or severely curtailed  - thanks to Ofcom.  So it should come as no surprise that companies are looking for new ways to milk us through the telephone system.

The latest effort is from eBay - who have just announced a text messaging system that will let you know when you have been outbid.  It will cost you 12p to receive this text - most of which, I imagine, will go to eBay.

What a rip off.  If you are outbid you've still got to go online and up your bid, so you might as well check what's going on that way anyway.  Also, 12p is an outrageous price.  The cost of sending a text is almost to small to calculate for the Telecoms companies, and this is daylight robbery.

Naturally, they present it as an "improvement", which only invites one to recall Hutber's Law that "Improvement means deterioration".

I'm not really sure that this service is worth anything anyway, but if eBay want to appear customer friendly, they should be offering this service for nothing - or, at worst, a fixed annual fee.  It is my distinct impression that people are becoming more and more irritated by the way in which they try to ramp up their fees in endless small increments. 

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