We have never been more aware of our consumer rights, and the fact that when we part with our cash we should expect a certain standard of service. However, one man has taken asserting his consumer rights to a bizarre level: calling 999 to complain that a prostitute wasn't as pretty as she had claimed to be.
So what happened, and is this the only man who thinks 999 is a customer service number?
RightsWest Midlands Police said that they were contacted by a man at 7.30pm on Tuesday night saying he wanted to report the prostitute for breaching the Sale of Goods Act, by misrepresenting herself in a newspaper advert. The act in question specifies that goods must match the seller's description.
Sergeant Jerome Moran at Solihull police station called the man back. He said: "It was unbelievable; he genuinely believed he had done nothing wrong and that the woman should have been investigated by police for misrepresentation. I told him that she'd not committed any offences and that it was his actions, in soliciting for sex, that were in fact illegal. Unhappy with the response, he then insisted on coming down to the police station to debate the matter! Although he refused to give me his details following our conversation, I was able to identify him and have since sent him a letter warning him about his actions."
Crazy complaintsIt's clearly a very strange 999 call, but the police are no stranger to these. The West Midlands Police recently released a list of bizarre calls received over 24 hours in a bid to put other time-wasters off. It said at the time that half of all calls to the number were inappropriate.
In among them there were plenty of 'customer service' complaints. One woman wanted to complain about British Gas, while another wanted to complain about being refused entry to a nightclub. Meanwhile one man called to say that staff at a McDonalds drive-thru were refusing to serve him, and another to ask for a refund for an expensive car wash.
It seems we know our rights. However, we don't know the difference between an emergency and a gripe, and one man at least doesn't know when the Sale of Goods Act can be reasonably applied.
Of course, inappropriate 999 calls don't stop here. The same West Midlands report highlighted calls from a woman who rang to say she had forgotten the password to her laptop, a mother who wanted to report her child who was refusing to walk home, a man who wanted to report being in love with a woman he didn't know, and another who called to find out how to dial 101.