Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Direct debit

At the football, every substitution (and remember, there can be six in a game) is followed by the legend '...sponsored by Debt Doctor, prescribing a life without debt'. Personally, I'm scared of debt, credit cards in particular. I don't know why, but they seem more sinister than debit cards, like they have hypnotic powers that can seduce you into spending huge amounts of money. I've always steered clear, I don't even know what a 0% balance transfer is.

As a result, aside from a mortgage and car loan, I'm debt free. I suppose I can't really comprehend what a luxurious position that might be, not like the folks featured in the Picture adverts. Pictures, of course, are friendly inviting things, they gently entertain, add mood, invoke deep emotions. Generally, they're positive, which is probably why a it's so odd that its the name of a debt management company.

There are two Picture adverts with the same formula. A family, evidently very happy living in a big beautiful house, call the company. In one it's a man, who has a chat about football with the call centre person whilst his wife, er, follows him around with a video camera. In the second it's the woman on the phone whilst her husband and child shout out asking where things are. 'It's always like this round here' she says with a laugh.

Both families have clearly spent a lot of money on their houses, video cameras etc. and seem so happy with life they must be deluding themselves. Sure enough both are looking for £25,000 loans. Curiously in both the caller cups their hand over the phone to double check with their spouse '25,000?' they mouth silently as though they haven't actually talked about how much they need before the call is made. In both the spouse gives a big smile and a thumbs up, like they're getting free money... which probably explains why the fucking imbeciles are so deep in the shit.

'Woh, that's much less than we're paying at the moment' is the response to the quote. They get off the phone, talk about how friendly and easy it all was, and continue with their blissful carefree lives. A white box then appears on the screen explaining a £25,000 consolidated loan will have total repayments of £42,000. Which is about the equivalent of buying a Vauxhall Astra for the price of a top of the range Mercedes Benz R Class.


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