Letter from the Editor: Paying the price for technology

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I’m a big fan of gadgets so when I took delivery of a new car a couple of years ago, I was delighted to discover one of the features was a keyless fob which meant I could turn on the iginition at the push of a button.

Fast forward to last weekend and I was not so delighted when my nine-year-old son went walkabouts with the fob - and returned without it.

If the prize at the end is to have the best part of £500 staying in my bank account I’ll be looking for a bit longer yet

Warned by family and friends that a replacement wouldn’t come cheap, I braced myself for a shock when I phoned the garage on Monday.

‘‘Best check if you can find the spare before we order a new one,’’ was the helpful reply. ‘‘It wouldn’t be the first time someone’s spent a fortune only for it to turn up the next day.’’

A fortune? What were we talking about? £100? £200?

‘‘I’ll call you back with the price,’’ said the salesman.

A few hours later the phone rang. ‘‘We’ve managed to get you a knockdown price,’’ he said. ‘‘It should have been £480 but we can do it for £420.’’

£420 for a key that isn’t acually a key! What has happened to the world? Timpsons used to be able to knock them out for a fiver a time.

Needless to say the order hasn’t been placed yet.

I’ve resolved not to be one of those people who finds the fob the day after buying a replacement so the house is curently in a state of chaos as I empty drawers, turn out cupboards and rifle through pockets of long-forgotten coats in a desparate bid to locate the spare.

No joy so far, but if the prize at the end is to have the best part of £500 staying in my bank account I’ll be looking for a bit longer yet!