Nearly a year ago, my beloved son caused me a small financial loss, when he used Amazon’s one-click service to order a book – about quilting.
It was the subject of the book, when it arrived unexpectedly, that alerted me to the possibility that someone had been clicking where they shouldn’t have.
He fessed up, I sent it back and was refunded the cash – minus postage and packing.
I disabled one-click to avoid future mishaps.
Now though, with the wisdom of age, his wanton clicking has managed to sign us up for a service which installed insidiously misleading software on my computer.
A menacing little mole now pops up all the time telling me I owe them £29.99.
Nearly thirty quid for a few ill-advised clicks of the mouse by a nine year old who is too young to have legally signed up for the service in the first place.
When I first noticed the nasty little unremovable icon, I asked him if he’d signed up for something.
“No,” he said, looking a little too innocent for comfort.
As the days passed and the uninstall progamme didn’t work, I asked again.
In the end I made my way, via Platte’s indestructible icon, to a website, and found a phone number.
Before calling what I assumed would be a premium rate service, I asked him again to just tell me if he’d signed up for a film service.
He denied it and denied it and then left the room and shut himself away upstairs while I argued with a man in the British Virgin Islands about his insistent pop-ups.
After I’d spent 12 minutes on the phone – at a cost described by the unflappable Abdul as national rates, although whose national rates he omitted to mention – Ben came into the room crying…
“I did sign up for something Mummy. I just wanted to watch some DVDs. I didn’t say yes to any downloads.”
We’d already had the download discussion. Unfortunately I hadn’t broached the no signing up for things rule.
“And anyway,” he continued, “I couldn’t watch any films. It wouldn’t let me.”
So now he’s said he’s very sorry and I should take the money out of his bank account, which is far healthier than mine.
I’m not techno-savvy enough to remove the bloody thing, so if my computer is destroyed by the Trojan Horse, I may be away some time…