I've bought about twenty mobile phones in my life, I kind of know how the process goes. So buying a new phone earlier today from Carphone Warehouse, it went normally and unproblematically until we came to the part of the sale where the sales guy tries to sell me insurance I don't need and I stop him as quickly as I am politely able. It's not a big deal; he's been told to sell it to me, there's no chance of me buying it, we just need to get through a few seconds of it so he can tell his boss he tried.
Today though, a new and exciting twist. As he started the usual pitch and I stopped him, he said "FSA regulations require me to tell you this".
Now, here's a thing. That simply isn't true. There's no FSA regulation that requires a mobile phone customer to hear a pitch for insurance.
I pointed this out twice and he continued to claim it, until finally I told him I wanted to record him saying that FSA regulations required me to hear an insurance sales pitch and got my (old) phone out ready to do just that. At this point, of course, it turned out that FSA regulations didn't actually require anything of the sort - the company just happens to be regulated by the FSA and it's the company that requires him to tell me about the insurance. Perhaps it's not a big deal, and perhaps I should be older and more cynical by now, but really... claiming that the financial services regulator is making you flog your customers financial products they've clearly and distinctly said they don't want is a new one on me.
Yes, it is very shiny. Thanks for asking.
(Photo from Mac Morrison on Flickr)