These are the special "Value for Money" awards you have been waiting for - Steddyeddy's dedication to those businesses/organisations who in turn are solidly dedicated to .......... ripping you, their public, off. Of course, the main people to blame for the high prices are people like YOU, people who pay silly prices for silly things, allowing companies and firms to overcharge and provide extremely bad value for money. The simple remedy to bring prices down is to stop buying!! If goods don't sell, the price will come down - don't buy things at motorway stopovers, stop buying perfumes, stop buying cd's - get my drift?
So without further ado, here goes......let's get miserable
The prize for ripping the consumer off has to go to BAA. Here, as you queue to check-in, wait to find a seat to wait for your 'plane, you can pay a mere 70p for a 240ml 25p carton of milk, 99p for a 45p bag of sweets, 50p for a 25p packet of Polo Mints or £1.95 for a 70p bottle of Florida Juice.
Well done BAA!
2. Toddington Services, junction 12-ish on the M1 (or any motorway stopover)
Not satisfied with winning BBC's Watchdog's award for the most expensive slice of toast (£1.10 no butter, no preservatives) on the motorway network some years ago, this operation is still professionally dedicated to completely ripping the public off. Unfortunately, as per usual, the lemming/sheep public don't vote with their feet and continue to patronise this (and all the other Motorway stopover) establishment/s.
The only items sold at recommended retail prices here are Newspapers, Magazines, Lottery Tickets, postage stamps and at a stretch, paperbacks, although most High Street retailers now discount popular books since the book agreement was done away with.
At this motorway stop over, you can buy a 40p can of pop for 85p, a 40p bag of Walkers crisps for 62p, £10.99 CD's and videos for £15.99, a £4.80 packet of smokes for nearly £6, your petrol at least 7.5%+ more than locally, and even your Burger King Whopper at a vastly inflated price over the High Street equivalent.
Should you write to complain at their extortionate prices, you will receive a letter back from the manager citing the fact that they are a 24-hour service facility and have to charge equivalent prices.
My local Tesco and Shell garage are 24-hours Mr Manager, yet I get petrol at a normal price and my 24-hour Tesco doesn't charge a premium on anything!
Well done! Keep up the rotten work. (PS - remember, you're not alone, so don't get too big-headed - all motorway service areas specialise in ripping-off their captive customers).
3. The Fashion Industry
Well done to the peddlers of exclusive designer fashions. While some poor half-blind adolescent in Jakarta works their fingers to the bone and their eyes to the retina under instruction to produce an ill-fitting, ridiculously-coloured piece of designer garbage at 40 pence an hour, the addition of an exclusive designer label means that this tat which leaves Jakarta having been sold for £2 or less, will end up on your rails at £430.
The price pretensions of Ralph Lauren/Polo, YSL, Versace, Vivienne Westwood, Levis, Jimmy Choo, Calvin Klein, RayBan and Nike, to name but a few, are unbelievable (although, as mentioned, they fool the Great British Public) and top marks to the supermarkets (who themselves aren't exactly squeaky clean when it comes to value for money for the consumer) for trying to break the stranglehold these purveyors of fashionable rubbish have on the market (on second thoughts, maybe the supermarkets should focus a little more clearly on bringing the cost of their core good down a further peg or two!).
Perhaps if the exclusive tat merchants were to reduce their prices to a more acceptable / reasonable / honest level, the fakers and forgers would no longer have an incentive to bother copying. [taking into account that 19% of the public haven't a clue whether they are buying brands or fakes] - then perhaps the European Brand Owners Association could change their tune about the 100,000 jobs they keep harping on about that are lost annually to counterfeiting. (counterfeit - yes, she defininitely had two - har har...........count her feet....geddit ..... oh please yourselves!).
And have you noticed the increasing number of "designer" labels there are. They seem to spring up daily, with nothing to differentiate between them jeans, jumpers, shirts - same rubbish, different name. Nearly all made in Vietnam - AND IT SAYS "MADE IN VIETNAM" ON THE LABEL, YOU FASHION VICTIMS AND DIMWITS
Equally well done to the wannabees and havetohaves who, because they can afford the rubbish, buy it.
4. The British Football Industry
Congratulations are in order for the good denizens of the Football industry in this country. We must thanks the Team Managers, who pay their players such overly vast sums of money for running around a football pitch once or twice a week, spitting on the grass and kissing one another each time the ball goes into the opponents penalty area (even full blown pro-creation when a goal is scored!).
We also have to thank the Clubs for charging such extortionate prices to their fans for the privilege of struggling in traffic for hours, standing (or admittedly sometimes sitting at times) in the rain for a couple of hours, eating sub-standard and over-priced food, and then struggling in traffic once more to return home.
Mention must also be made of the number of times (twice a year minimum) the Clubs change their football strip, which by pure co-incidence is also on sale, at extremely over-inflated prices, (£45 for a T-shirt, up to £100 for the whole kit which costs about £6 to make) in their football tat shops. Youngsters plague their families for a change of strip each time their team idols change theirs, which seems to be once a fortnight.
Well done FA - keep ripping the fans off. (Isn't it strange that stores in the USA sell official team (Baseball, Football) strip shirts for approximately $19.95 (about £13-£14) - and that's all over the USA!!!
However, the true blame really has to go to you the punter for paying these ridiculous prices in the first place!
Never fear tough - all this is eclipsed by the sheet-wearing towel-heads from the Middle East who back Manchester City and have paid over £34 Million for some spitting, swearing, tattooed, buffoon from abroad.
5. The Government
Into a highly respectable 5th place steams the Government, for the fiasco surrounding the privatisation of trains, and the various departments who continue to rely on outsourcing vital services (except HR, which is a pile of crap that should be scrapped) to useless firms such as Capita and EDS who know only how to fleece the Treasury.
Although the ultimate aim, which they succeeded in, of making the former management teams (and subsequent management buy-out teams) of the trains millionaires on the proceeds, they have successfully managed to ensure the fare-paying public get extreme bad value for money coupled with a vastly inferior-to-British-Rail service year on year.
The national train service providing companies appear not to talk to one another, wont give away timetable and price details which may affect their individual company's profitability and generally make it their prime objective to inconvenience the public as much as they possibly can. It is now possible to change trains at a station where a Jobsworth will come along and tell you that you are not allowed stand on a particular part of the platform as your ticket is only valid for a train which stops at a certain other part of the platform. He will be quite rude and offensive to you and certainly wont know, (or if he does now, certainly wont wish to impart) any train details.
And what's more, your train connections wont co-ordinate with one another, so you're bound to spend at least half an hour on a windy and less than user friendly platform in the middle of nowhere.
Great job, train people! Well done the government. Next waste of money, the Olympics.
6. MB Games
A special value-for-money award to MB Games for Ker-Plunk ("a nerve racking game of skill") consisting of a plastic beaker, a smaller plastic beaker with a hole in the top which fits on to the first beaker, 24 plastic skewers, two small plastic sieve-like thingys which slot together for the skewers to fit through, a plastic base which the assembled contraption sits on and a small packet of marbles which do the 'Ker-Plunking' (in a completely nerve-racking manner, of course).
All supplied in a nice cardboard box.
£18.95 to you guv. (costs maybe £1.50 to make, if that).
7. Children's ITV
A special nomination here for children's ITV and their ability to cram as many advertisements for over-expensive and wanna-have rubbish as they can into each advertisement break between and during programmes - Polly Pocket, Action Man, Barbie, Cindy, do-it-yourself Blockbusters, Power Rangers, Mutant Ninja Parliamentary Candidates, plastic Richard Whiteleys (oh! sorry, I believe he's actually wooden, and comes in a box), etc. These advertisements become particularly tacky around the approach of the mid-Winter Retail Festival, I mean, Christmas.
Oh! And you mustn't forget the ongoing plugs for failed soap-stars and their depressing CDs full of irrelevant pop tat, or keep fat videos extolling the virtue of a deep fried chocolate, programme-in programme-out.
8. Elida Faberge
The "Maximise Use and Wastage of Product" award for their 'new bigger more comfortable ball' now featured on their Sure roll-on deodorant, and the equally convenient "ready to use upside down design" which ensures that as you begin to use the product, it leaks into the cap between usages, thus speeding up the repurchase cycle. The 'all new 'more comfortable' ball ensured you used at least twice as much product as you used to use previously in the first place, so, as a result, you have to then buy twice to four-times as regular a supply as you used to!
The principle behind this relies heavily on the washing powder companies well-established principle where despite precise usage instructions on the packet/box, housewives will always use much more than they really need, thus ensuring that they buy far more washing powder than they need.
Just like fabric conditioner, a product of no use whatsoever, designed exclusively to part women from their money.
9. Theatre Tickets
A new entry - this for the booking fee theatres, concert promoters etc charge on top of their already expensive seat prices, often needing to be booked a year's interest to them in advance. Admittedly, some don't charge for cash or cheques at the booking office (oh how charitable of these crooks, they still have the use of your money for a year).
Again, it's your fault. If you voted with your feet and didn't buy, the prices would come down. Now there's an idea for the Rail Companies - a booking fee!