The Grumpy Old Man

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Money is the root of all evil, unfortunately it is what makes the world go round, how we handle it is what counts



Money 10....Huge Problems with Personal Data Collection, Storage and Illicit Use....

I know that in money7 click here to read it and other linked grumps I have been quite vociferous in decrying the habits of many mail order companies. Recently, there was a new data protection law enacted, but like many of these legislative documents it is not really clear what it does or even if it does a complete job. Grumpy has his doubts believing that big business has influenced not only the structure, but also content of the document. As usual like many terms and conditions that one comes across on web purchase sites, the document is terribly wordy and if one is looking to see if it protects the consumer on a particular topic, it is not always easy to find. But then, what's new? (click here bigbro 3 to read more)

Grumpy has become increasingly concerned at the high-handed way in which many mail order companies, (Amazon being a good example) ride roughshod over the legal position storing whatever data they like, for as long as they like. In an ideal world this data would be rocksolid secure, Grumpy may be able to live with that, however he believes that is not the case. Time and time again we keep hearing of ‘data breaches’ and it is now becoming more and more prevalent for it to be some months after the event..........read more.....




Money; 9....An Apple a Day Keeps 13 billion at Bay....

I can't resist having yet another go at the Civil Servants and politicians who are supposed to be running this country for the people. (As Abe Lincoln prescribed for a democracy).

Unless you haven't guessed, I'm talking about the recent European Commission ruling that the level of tax charged, or should I say not charged, by the Irish state on Apple profits constituted state aid by virtue of preferential tax treatment. The commission has calculated a tax bill of 13 billion (plus interest of course) covering some 10 years. The sum is enormous because Apple routed all their profits through a Dublin subsidiary. In this way, the profits appeared to be "generated" in Ireland. This was done solely to avail of the already low rate of Corporation Tax in Ireland......read more.....




Money; 8....The Panama Papers....

....A new (Grumpy) view of Tax affairs through 'the panama papers'....

There's been a lot on the news and in the popular press on the "Panama Papers". What a fart in a colander that all seems to be!

Since the story broke, it seems to have produced a lot of self-righteous pontificating and publishing of so-called tax affairs. I find it absolutely fascinating that both the Scottish National Party leader and the Labour Party leader both published theirs in a great hurry and then very self righteously stirred the pot. Grumpy believes, only so they could score political points when .....read more.....




Money; 7.... Online Vendors Storage of Data

Are you fully aware of what "online shops" do with the payment details you submit with your order?

Do you use a computer? Of course you do, you're using one to read this.

Do you use your computer for online shopping? Of course you do, after all it is one of the fastest-growing marketplaces around.

Do you use online banking? Of course you do, most of us do nowadays.

Are you concerned about computer hacking? Grumpy believes you'd have to be an idiot not to be!

Are you concerned about the security of your payment details used for purchases from various institutions?

In Grumpy's opinion, you damn well should be.

I won't give a full list of all the data breaches involving financial information, but here are a few examples;.....read more.....




Money; 6...."Irish" shopping experiences....

....Odd Business practises found when shopping in Ireland....

At the moment I am in the throes of our car's annual health check. Here in Ireland it's called the NCT (National Car Test) and my experiences of securing the proper documentation to get the car through the test has reminded me of a couple of other experiences with the Irish retail industry.

With the NCT, the car passed with a minor piece of mechanical work to be done. Essentially, for its age, the car was not in too bad nick. However, one of the checks that .....read more.....




Money 5;....Politicians Continue to Show Complete Ineptitude....

...Will Politicians Ever Learn?....

To followers of Grumpy who don't live in the Republic of Ireland I make no apology for continuing to bang on about our new water charges. If one takes a step back from the fact that this is a particularly Irish problem, one can see huge parallels across the political landscape irrespective of the country within which one lives.

To re-cap, water charges have recently been introduced in Ireland and .....read more.....




Money 4;....Somebody Else Can Pay; the View of Many?....

....when many people have a problem they are quick to blame somebody else, frequently the government of the day....

The view of a huge number of people these days seems to be 'whatever the problem, someone else is to blame'. A subset of this approach seems to be, when a bill requires settlement it is someone else's responsibility.

As an example of this approach I think the current situation regarding water charges in Ireland can be used to demonstrate both of these approaches. I might add that the parliamentarians and the public .....read more.....

Since writing this relatively earlier grump, the water charges topic has developed a life of its own and has produced two other grumps dealing solely with the topic of water charges and Irish Water. If you wish to go to these directly click this link .....read more.....

Or should you wish to go directly to the most recent (mid-June 2016) grump which looks at the intervention of the EU and a couple of responses received on Twitter regarding the whole sorry saga then you should click this link .....read more.....




Money 3;....Whatever Happened to Standing Orders and Should We Trust Direct Debits?

Standing Orders seem to be out of favour and replaced by Direct Debits, but who is in control of them?

Years ago one of the facilities that was available with your bank account was the standing order. I suspect that these are still available but are only used in a very small number of situations. One of the nice things about the standing order was that you, the customer, were in total control of the situation. You initiated the process, you fixed the amount payable, you fixed .....read more.....




Money 2;....Web site purchases

Grumpy finds that many websites selling stuff very frustrating

Mrs Grumpy and I have just come back from a short trip overseas and, would you believe, one of the most annoying and frustrating parts of that trip was the on-line purchase of air tickets. We were fairly flexible in our travel arrangements particularly as to the day of travel. I found that the website would only show the cost on a particular day,.....read more.....




Money 1;....Grumpy goes on about Banks

Don't We Just Love Our Banks?

I went to the bank this morning to deposit some money. As I left, the teller gave me the usual quick printout of how much was in the account. I was horrified to find significantly less than I had expected. Fortunately, in this branch of the bank, there is a machine that will give me a statement of my last few transactions. On trying this, Gordon Bennett, I was gobsmacked to see that all transactions made the previous Friday, two working days previous had been debited twice. As you can imagine, I was not .....read more.....