Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/08/08/letters_0808/
Southern pansies tool up with Harrier purchase
The better to get refunds from PayPal?
Letters Just a short tour of the letters bag today, to make sure we cover the important stuff. Like whether or not Southerners (in the UK - calm down Texas) are pansies . But first, we'll mention a few issues you have with PayPal's double dipping .
Your story is indeed correct - they are currently fixing the problem by refunding the money. Full marks to them for notifying those affected (I was notified via email of the problem). No marks to them for levying their standard charges on the refunds, leaving those affected out of pocket.
In the paypal double dipping story, you quote a contact number for people who have been affected by this...
The number, begins 0870, which is a kickback number. Paypal will be making money off of the people who are calling to complain!
Also some phone networks cannot make calls to 0845/0870 kickback numbers (some prepaid mobiles and ip phone networks etc).
I find it highly insulting when companies use numbers like this, especially for purposes of complaining. What's worse is the fact that most people don't even realise the company they're calling is making money at their expense.
Paypal have slightly compounded this issue. They didn't refund the monies directly back to people's bank accounts, they put the money into their Paypal account and then automatically triggered a normal Paypal bank transfer.
In my case, this incurred their 25p per transaction fee for amounts under 50 quid so I'm out of pocket due to their mistake. I've just entered into a fight with them to get the full amounts refunded. If they don't play ball then I'll get the bank involved as the monies were taken by Direct Debit in the first place so should be covered by the Direct Debit Guarantee.
Just a heads up that PayPal are still taking their fee for refunding transactions. Anyone affected might want to check their account.
They debited my account twice, refunded 1 of the payments back to my PayPal account and then transferred it back to my account - unfortunately they debited their usual fee off that transfer.
Getting charged for their mistake is a fresh new way of business that might catch on!
You also wrote to explain about the apparent solo bidding on the Harrier  up for sale on eBay.
Re the bidder who appears to be bidding against himself -- this is a common sight on eBay, and is part of the way it's supposed to work. It just means the bidder initially specified a high maximum bid in advance. You can put a million pounds down on an auction that's currently going for 1.99 and it'll just start you at the next increment - 2.50, say. Then if somebody tries to bid 3.00, your bid automatically raises to the next increment with no intervention on your part. The opposing bids don't show up on the history because they were never "official" bids, since they didn't beat your actual maximum bid. I'm not sure it's a good design but that's how it works.
This is probably the 200th, and dullest email you've gotten on the subject but that's the sort of thing you get for writing a tech column, I guess.
We can live with it.
I see a nit, I pick: `Astonishingly, this plane (minus weaponry and engines) is for sale on eBay.'
But it's a Harrier - it's only got the one engine. I'll get me coat.
I saw this "lot" being discussed on a bulletin board last week, someone there helpfully pointed out that in the US you can buy the engines to fit it :-)
Interesting read on the harrier, but it seems the navy is throwing them away like used microwaves, that  one is not only cheeper, but has a record of it's action in the falklands!!
Yay. Free microwaves...oh, wait...
And as promised, the good old North vs. South  debate resurfaces in a new, and slightly hazy, form:
Have we just found the true origin of the "Southern Shandy Drinking Fairies" jibe? Over the years the Northerners have simply presumed our more resilient Southern drinking abilities are due to us drinking weaker 'shandies' in a vain attempt to explain away this anomaly?
Either that or we just drink more coffee down south: Coffee defends liver against booze <http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/06/13/coffee_and_liver/> (13 June 2006) which could be attributed to the office habits of the larger number of IT sector workers resident in the South.
That said it could just be coz us Southerners are better!
I'd guess there's something to be said for the intelligence of those serving beer to Londoners:
"Or, it could be that at the average local in London, it costs £15 for a champagne flute of warm imported organic lager served by a barely-sentient frustrated Australian surfing instructor."
While you may think that the Aussies may be barely above the amoebic level, they typically have a well developed sense of humour. Personally, I'd be happy to pretend to be stupid, if I could enjoy watching London's sophisticates pay so much for so little of something so poor.
I can also certainly understand a surfer's frustration with being in England.
Rule Britannia indeed :)
Of course we drink more beer oop north. We've got so much water up here compared with you southerners, we've got to do something with the damned stuff.
It's either that or bath in it (shudder!)
All that talk of overpriced champagne has made us thirsty. We're off to the pub. More from you on Friday, so keep 'em coming. ®