My garden shed has been gently dissolving into the ground for some time now. In every cost there is an opportunity.

Having sat down with the Right Hand Neighbour to consider our shed options, I settled on a modest affair just right to stuff old ironing boards in.

Yvonne (not her real name) adjusted her head set because she was having a bit of trouble hearing what I was saying but we got there in the end. It was time to part with the long number on the front of my credit card. Yvonne instructed me to punch the number into my keypad. I said I’d rather tell her the number as I would find it tricky blah blah because blah blah.  The previously composed Yvonne exploded. “You cannot speak the number. It’s GDPR. It’s the law.” She was incandescent.

“If you can’t see an exception…”

“It’s the law’, she bellowed. “It’s illegal for you to tell me your card number.” She was very loud.

“I am absolutely certain it’s not…”

“And I’m telling you it is. You have to punch it in to your keypad,” she barked.

I thought I did rather well in not rising to the fray. Blind or not blind, there was no negotiating with Yvonne.

You get three attempts to punch your details in correctly, I got mine right on the third attempt. If you get it wrong #Argos don’t want your money any more.  If you are at a lose end, you could waste a lot of time, and theirs, playing this game.  

I expected the flying squad would burst through my front door at any moment. #Argos could keep the police busy with all my illegal tendencies around paying for sheds.

We got to the end of the call and I agreed a day far into the future when I would be available to wait in for twelve hours in the hope that the shed might turn up.  I hope it’s a whole shed this time, not a shed that comes in three parts over three days, necessitating the sacrifice of an entire working week, like last time. Then I pushed the envelope and asked to speak to a supervisor about the illegal speaking of credit card numbers.

After a bit of mood music, Fiona (not her real name) came on the line. If #M&S and #John Lewis routinely got people to speak their card numbers, I couldn’t understand why #Argos thought it illegal. Fiona agreed. She said that this was the first time anyone had raised this since the introduction of #GDPR.  She could see that this was unworkable if you can’t see. She would call me back later. She didn’t. She didn’t email me either. Two weeks elapsed and so I followed up. I emailed again. She didn’t reply. I emailed again. She replied to say that if it’s too tricky to punch in your credit card number on your telephone keypad, you can take a trip to your local #Argos store or go on line.  Now why didn’t I think of making my life easier by popping into town rather than picking up the phone? I said so. I never heard back. How rude is that?

If only the silence of #Argos had been replicated in my garden as the shed went up. “You’re an idiot,” and “I’ll finish that later,” and “I know what I’m doing so shut up,” were the precursors to lunch. I just hung around and watched the entertainment while the lunch went past its best.

You’d think they’d make it easier to part with your cash than your temper. No, that shed has left me smarting. Let’s hope Yvonne has calmed down.