A little temptation can be all it takes

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COMMENT: Schools do well to use imagination to raise cash

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If there is one thing that we can do well in this country, it’s queueing.

We’re well known for it across the globe and we spend a lot of time doing it.

It’s built into us to find the end of the queue and wait there until it is our turn.

Whether it is for a bus, in the bank, or at the supermarket.

The problem is, I’m not a lover of the queue. And I’m really not a happy shopper.

This is why anything that would normally require me to stand in a line, I try to do from the comfort of my own home via the internet instead.

If I do have to venture into the centre of Portsmouth, I like to get in and out as soon as possible with minimum fuss.

But as you’ll know, this is not easy when you’ve got young children.

So with a click of a mouse I can get everything I need delivered straight to my door.

The thing about internet shopping though is that once the online store has your e-mail address, they like to send you lots of e-mails recommending products they think you’ll like to buy.

Of course, they do this based on the products you have purchased previously.

So if I bought the latest Michael Mcintyre DVD, they assume that I will want to buy more comedy DVDs and a few weeks later I’ll get a recommendation for the latest Lee Evans DVD.

Most of the time these recommendations are spot on.

But I’ve now noticed that these e-mails no longer recommend things that I will like – just things my children will like.

And it’s all because I bought a Peppa Pig DVD at Christmas for Caitlin.

These days I get e-mails that say ‘Your child loves Peppa Pig so we think they’ll love this bedside lamp or colouring-in book.’

When the recommendations are for me I can shrug them off because I know it’s a marketing ploy designed to get me to spend more.

Now the children are involved though and the annoying thing is that these e-mails are right.

Caitlin will like that colouring-in book.

I can feel my finger getting ready to press the ‘add to basket’ button because I can picture my daughter’s happy face when I present her with this new Peppa Pig goodie.

But then I remember it’s not actually a person that sent me this e-mail, it was a computer system designed to make the company as much money as possible.

Luckily, I’ve now found a way to stop these recommendations arriving in my inbox.

No heartstrings pulled means less toys cluttering up the place – and a healthier bank balance.