There are certain times in a man’s life when in looking around Wisbech we see something good. This time it is the façade of Constantine House, which after many years as the most expensive pigeon loft in the UK, has at last been blessed with windows and a roof – lovely.
It is such a shame that when you look over the road you can’t fail to see something completely different, which more accurately reflects, in my view,the shambolic and disrespectful attitude of the Town Council to just about everything.
This time it is the Union Flag flying from the mast on top of the Council Chamber at 1 North Brink. It is ragged all down the leading edge.
Below the flag the front aspect of the Council Chamber is looking a bit worse for wear; the notice boards are dilapidated; the door furniture has not been polished for three years; the guttering and downpipes are dangerous; and the front steps have not been renewed or even maintained properly.
This kind of disrespect for the national flag, above everything else though, is really unforgivable. Five years ago the Town Council raised its share of the council tax by 35%, accruing a surplus of £20,000 every year since then, which at that time was being put into an ‘acquisitions’ budget.
Since the precept has been maintained at the inflated rate, by my reckoning there is, therefore, a surplus of £100,000.
We also had £25,000 for improvements to the Market Place, and a further £18,000 towards improvements to the allotments – NONE OF WHICH HAS BEEN SPENT.
So why can’t Wisbech Town Council afford to buy a new union flag? Well! Your guess is as good as mine.
Check your refunds
I would advise you to keep a close eye on refunds when using Amazon’s Market Place.
Amazon act as an advocate – a middle person – to ensure both parties behave fairly and payments are transacted between the customer and the seller and vice versa. I must say Amazon does do a very good job in this role.
My experience was purchasing “The Rockford Files” box set as advertised by a third party on Amazon’s Market Place at £102.26, plus £1.26 postage and packaging. We failed to notice the term region 1 on the advert.
This means the original producers of the DVD’s did not produce them for the UK market and they will not play on any DVD player specifically made and sold for the UK.
After finding the DVD’s would not play on any UK electrical device, we requested a refund upon their return. There was no problem with this request despite my concern that we would be given the excuse it was our responsibility as they had given clear advice with the region 1 statement on the advert.
We printed off the free returns note via Amazon, parcelled it up and decided that we would send it Special Delivery so we could prove that we returned it.
Several days later we received a confirmation email that £80 would be refunded to our Debit Card. As the original purchase was £102.26 we questioned why we did not receive a full refund.
The Amazon Market Place A to Z guide clearly states that the seller may deduct return postage despite issuing a FREE RETURN postage label to attach to the parcel.
Obviously £1.26 postage to us and £22.26 for return postage led us to query why it didn’t cost £1.26 to return it? Moreover, despite using the free postage return label with the correct return address on it, we actually paid £11 Special Delivery at the Post Office.
Amazon have been contacted and so has the third party seller. Amazon have sent an email to the seller explaining a full refund is due under the circumstances.
We did point out to both parties that Trading Standards might otherwise be interested in this case as the DVD’s should not be for sale in the UK as the original film makers/copyright restricts their use in the UK. Selling a product that is not fit for purpose is covered under the Sale of Goods Act.
Hopefully no such measures will be necessary and a full refund will be received in due course. I would advise people to pay postage themselves as clearly it can work out cheaper in the long run and you have evidence/proof you have returned the item.
With printed copies of all emails and as the item is over £100 you can apply to your bank debit/credit card and demand your bank refund you. It is then their responsibility to chase the seller and get their money back.
Most banks will not advise you of this entitlement – I wonder why?