Spend your Spare Time Wasting Time

just not yours…

You’re about to retire or you’ve retired this year. You’re aware that staying busy throughout the day is a highly necessary way of preventing illness, depression and, well, boredom. If you’re reading this then you’ve probably tried golf and all the rest of those ‘classic activities for retirement,’ and found them wanting. This is for the person who isn’t content with the usual and wants to wind people up a little on the way. It can even save you some money if you do it in the right way.

We realise this is quite an extreme hobby, so if you’re looking for something fun, yet not quite as severe, then check out some retirement villages for the over 55s.

Bad correspondence

This activity basically involved sending letters to large companies or service providers and making sure you do it in the most long-winded and fun way possible. There are a few reasons you might want to do this that have good and bad consequences for different people depending on why you’re doing it, you can typically wind someone up for these reasons:
  • Someone sells you a faulty product, making you want some form of compensation. 
  • Someone provides you a bad service, so you either want compensation, or just to let them know. 
  • You want to find something out in a convoluted and amusing way. 
  • Someone has provided really good products or services, so you wish to compliment them and give them a laugh on the way. 
Why do this?

You may be wondering why you’d bother spending some time on a company you’re unhappy about, but by doing it in a funny way you’re more likely to keep your own spirits high, rather than bogging yourself down with sadness at all the bad service that’s been around recently.

It also actually gets results, especially when shared via email and social media. Here’s an example of a customer who wasn’t impressed with the service they received on an airline:

Dear LIAT,

May I say how considerate it is of you to enable your passengers such an in-depth and thorough tour of the Caribbean.

Most other airlines I have travelled on would simply wish to take me from point A to B in rather a hurry. I was intrigued that we were allowed to stop at not a lowly one or two but a magnificent six airports yesterday. And who wants to fly on the same airplane the entire time? We got to change and refuel every step of the way!

I particularly enjoyed sampling the security scanners at each and every airport. I find it preposterous that people imagine them all to be the same. And as for being patted down by a variety of islanders, well, I feel as if I’ve been hugged by most of the Caribbean already. I also found it unique that this was all done on “island time,” because I do like to have time to absorb the atmosphere of the various departure lounges. As for our arrival, well, who wants to have to take a ferry at the end of all that flying anyway? I’m glad the boat was long gone by the time we arrived into Tortola last night — and that all those noisy bars and restaurants were closed.

So thank you,  LIAT.  I now truly understand why you are “The Caribbean Airline.”


Arthur Hicks

P.S. Keep the bag. I never liked it anyway.

Arthur Hicks ended up unknowingly starting a viral internet campaign with a little help from Richard Branson, who shared the open letter via twitter.

Trying it yourself can see returns from a £5 voucher to a full-scale public apology, depending on how bad the service was.

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