back to article National Identity Card holding chumps have buyer's remorse

The horror that was the National Identity scheme may be dead - its end pronounced yesterday – but it is not altogether gone and now, zombie-like, supporters of the ID card are returning to haunt the Coalition. And while el Reg has not been known for its support of the scheme – or the NI register that under-pinned it – it is …

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FAIL

good....

that people are not getting refunds, the dumb-ass stupid scheme cost us money as it was and the tories said they would kill it when they came to power. It was obvious that Labour would not win, so more fool them.

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Anonymous Coward

Easy answer..

New Labour wanted it, I think the refunds should be paid out of their party's funds..

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Starting to wish I'd got one now...

...then I could have taken a wad of cash off the Government for compensation as well. Hey ho.

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How about

They paid the state for a service (convenience of the card vs. other methods of identification), so shouldn't they get their money's worth? People complain about how inefficient public services are vs. private ones, shouldn't we hold them up to the same standard in this regard?

"Sorry, Microsoft has a new CEO so you understand why we've stopped supporting Windows 7 in December 2010. Please use Windows 2011 instead."

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@foo_bar_baz

I think your example would be more like "Because of a change of management, we are stopping supporting Vista, but reverting back to the previously existing, and perfectly adequate, Windows XP. There was no need to change, so you will get no refunds".

In principle, there is nothing nothing wrong with a plain ID card, without all the registers etc behind them (though I would be very reluctant to carry one). However, since so few have been produced, it makes no sense to allow them to have validity. Indeed, having an ID with a short production run would encourage people to try to fake them, working on the basis that they will not be easily recognised by people looking at them, and may cause confusion sufficient to allow them to e.g. travel without proper documentation.

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Boffin

£30 x 30,000 people

only £900,000 by my calculation. A drop in the ocean compared to what has already been sprayed up the wall on this already.

Though maybe knock off 1 years worth (£3) of use already had and maybe a 50% stupidity tax for getting one in the first place... I mean refund processing administration fee. Only pay back less than half a million.

Give them a refund!

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No refunds!

If you bought one of these in the first place, you were either a journalist writing about them or an idiot.

The journalists have made a good return on their investment and the idiots will only spend the refund on drugs or a subscription to Hello magazine.

I must admit that I kindle a hope that the list of tw*ts who got one of these appears on Wikileaks.

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Joke

£30 x 30,000 people = £900,000

£30 x 30,000 people = £900,000 is true but the cards were so easy to forge, they've allowed for paying an additional 600,000 'people'. :-)

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Anonymous Coward

meh

If you buy into a failed format you don't get your investment back. Live with it.

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But whilst we're trying this approach

Will the government compensate me for buying an HD-DVD player?

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Alert

What?

You mean I can't get a refund for my Betamax VCR or my DAB radio or my DAT player or my Mini Disc player or...

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re: HD-DVD

No, because you can still use it. When you bought your player, there was no promise that unrelated third party movie studios would produce appropriate media for it in the future. If the manufacturer remotely disabled your player, then you would have a case.

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Sorry

I have no sympathy for the people who paid out money for a card that was never wanted, changed its purpose many times and was widely known to be doomed.

The actual cost of preparing the cards far exceeded the heavily subsidised charge the early adopters paid anyway.

Can I politely suggest that if you have an ID card you wish to cash in, you try flogging it on eBay. Failing that you could have it framed and hang it in a prominent place to remind you not to be so stupid again.

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Ha ha ha ha ha ...

Frankly I think that anyone stupid enough to sign up for a card voluntarily deserves to lose the money - think of it as a tax on the stupid for being stupid.

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MJI
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A fool and his money are easily parted.

The writing was on the wall before they were implemented so no refunds.

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Not much sympathy for Ms Epstein

I have a fair bit of sympathy for the average Joe who paid for a card in good faith that it would be useful to them personally & last 10 years, I suppose.

Ms Epstein, though, doesn't deserve a refund any more than anyone else who bets on a lame horse. She was first in the queue to hand over her rights so she could be the public face of ID cards, and can't pretend that she didn't know the cards were politically unpopular and destined to be scrapped following a reasonably likely change of government.

See it as a £30 donation to our financially troubled government, Ms Epstein.

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Anonymous Coward

Am I a bastard

for thinking that they should claim the £30 was simply paying for the card itself? I.e. you haven't had to surrender the card, so consider it a £30 tool for scraping your windscreen, grouting or whatever!

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Coat

I used my discount card for scraping my car windscreen...

...I only got 20% off.

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Anonymous Coward

Just pay up and get it over with.

The people that paid will be moaning on about this forever unless they get their money back.

Saying that a refund will come out of taxes is a bit silly anyway as they've already taken the money off these chumps, so if they pay up it will all be behind us like a bad movie.

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Let them moan

It's better entertainment than anything on telly.

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NFH

Refunds

It's likely that the Government will be taken to court for the lack of refunds. The Identity Documents Act 2010 removes a property right without any compensation, in breach of Article 1 of the First Protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights. See Lord Pannick's comments in the House of Lords at http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201011/ldhansrd/text/101221-0001.htm#10122142000802

The Government said that a £30 refund would come out of taxpayers' money. However, it would come out of card holders' money. Card holders paid the original £30, not the taxpayer. The decision to scrap the infrastructure before recouping the costs through selling enough cards was by the Government, not by card holders. Therefore card holders should not be expected to foot the bill for the premature cancellation of the scheme.

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pay up

Either let the silly things run for the duration of their advertised life or give back the money. It's only fair.

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Unhappy

Ahem-

To use the rhetoric of the twats they gave the cash to-

"Lessons will be learned..."

If they don't get a refund.

( I hate that phrase......grrrr.)

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Legal arithmetic

If it goes to court, may I be the first to point out that 30000 times £30 is probably less than the cost of the legal team that the government will use in its defence.

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Government Laywers

Wouldn't they be Government laywers?

I.e. they get paid the same if they are sitting in an office making paper airplanes or if they are preparing the defence for a court case.

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FAIL

No doubt

More tax payers money will be wasted discussing the refund and defending the lack of a refund etc than the cost of actually making a refund which would be £900K + admin costs.

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And surely...

...the admin costs cannot be too great? I mean, they've got the database of verified names and addresses sitting right there, by definition.

I'm not a fan of refunds in this case due to the principles involved; the "it's too expensive" argument doesn't strike me as a particularly good one.

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Coat

@IglooDude

"they've got the database of verified names and addresses sitting right there, by definition"

Nah, it's probably on a USB pen drive somewhere...

Mine's the one with the hole in the pockets...

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A cheap lesson

There's a saying that if you lend a "friend" £10 and they don't pay you back that tenner was an investment, not a loss.

So be it with ID cards, maybe now people will be less enthusiastic about splashing money on silly, government sponsored, ideas. Maybe the present government should offer all these gullible ID card holder a frame to put them in and hang somewhere prominent. It could be tastefully inscribed with something like:

The cost of trusting your government

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emptor caveat, probably

I'm not sure what anyone thinks they will be refunded for - the £30 is an enrolment fee, and they have the card to prove that they were indeed in receipt of said service.

As with passports, you do not *own* them, you are the keeper and they remain the property of the government (or issuing office or secretary of state, whatever).

It will all be in the small print somewhere...

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NFH

Not an enrolment fee

Doctor Wibble, the £30 was not an enrolment fee. £30 was payable for the card, not for enrolling into the scheme. If the card was lost or stolen, a further £30 fee was payable for a replacement. The £30 was for a travel document with a 10-year validity.

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Joke

Refund?

Just classify the £30 as a one-time tax on stupidity and/or ignorance. No need to give a refund.

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WTF?

£20m!!!

Surely all those 30000 people are on the database and so their name and address have been verified. Just post a cheque for £30 to each one. job done for less than £1m

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FAIL

Idiots

Basically, if you were stupid enough to stump up £30 in support of a totalitarian regime then you dont deserve to live in the uk. Tell you what. Lets offer them all free refunds available for collection from your nearest RAF base and when these leftie idiots turn up at the gate, Stick them on a military transport for rendition to some banana republic. The less labour voters the better

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Anonymous Coward

@ Anonymous re: Idiots

Did you stop to think that your solution would befit a totalitarian regime?

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Anonymous Coward

Or even better...

Let's do that, but broaden it to include those who anonymously post stupid, inflammatory comments on web forums. Oh, hang on...

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Rubbish

The only people who got an id card were the die hard enthusiasts who knew all the arguments and also knew the positions of all the political parties.

They got the card in the knowledge that they would be scrapped and when there was no assurance that they would get their money back. More fool them.

It was the very few people like that who lumbered the rest of us with the enormous cost of the whole project so as far as I'm concerned it's only fair that they should pay more.

No sympathy here.

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... to each according to their needs

Quite. And if these freelance journalists and "investment banking consultants" are likely to starve for want of thirty quid, then just maybe they shouldn't have spent it in the first place.

Seriously, could you imagine any *less* sympathetic plaintiffs?

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Caveat Emptor

Most of us realised that the scheme was doomed to failure - those that didn't should suck it up (unless they had to purchase it for a mandatory reason - were there any of those?)

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Anonymous Coward

Dear 30,000 morons.

Tough titty, it's called living in a democracy.

I did not vote for going to war, nor umpteen tax rises, new stealth taxes, massive intrusions on my privacy or the utter ruin of the UK economy. Yet as a UK citizen I endured these things and did what I could about it, I tried to vote the grinning twunt and his sidekick out. It took three attempts to get rid but while they ran things I paid my ballooning taxes, supported our troops and despairingly watched UK Ltd circle the fiscal drain. In other words, I lived in a democracy.

Sheesh, 2 people feel inconvenienced and it gets air time? What a waste.

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WTF?

I admire someones balls......

....they they can say with a straight face that the cost to refund £900000 to members of the public will cost £20 million.

Of that actual 30000 maybe 40% at best would ask for a refund, lets say 50%, thats £1333 cost to send out a cheque for £30.

Gotta love big business.

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RE: Jason 7

Wait til it gets reported in the Daily Mail, nobody will put 2+2 together to notice that and i bet the majority of their sites commentors actually own these cards.

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Anonymous Coward

If the cards were useful then what are they complaining about?

Both the people cited admit that they used their ID cards, which means that value has been received. Presumably, therefore, their case would be that HM Gov broke an implied contract by terminating the service earlier than expected, which doesn't entitle anyone to a full refund.

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FAIL

Seriously ?

"Lord Phillips of Sudbury reckoned that few ordinary members of the public would have read the manifestoes"

And even if they HAD read the manifestoes, would anyine base their voting decision on the refund or not of a £30 fee???

Which just goes to prove two things:

The political system is so up it's own behind in the spin that it is no longer relevant to Joe Public; and

The voting public are stupid.

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Waste of money

Why is it that governments love to waste hundreds of millions of pounds on useless junk? All the money that is being wasted would have been useful for repairing schools.

I am in two minds about those who bought an ID card. At one point I think, it's their fault, they wanted the ID cards, so tough luck. On the other side, there are some who seem very easily hoodwinked by Tony Blair's grin that ID cards are the saviours of the world.

The government has very happily been brainwashing people to accept all that the police and the government says about things. Now the gullible majority just accept what the government and the media says. The people in power had free university education and are now raising prices of tuition fees. Students demonstrate and the police put Charles and Camilla within angry student protests and now everyone hates students. Instead of debating the issue, all people see are violent students. Job done, brainwashing completed.

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FAIL

sob sob sob

My heart bleeds...

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FAIL

Terribly sorry, but....

.....if you are stupid enough to have not spotted that these things had "white elephant" written all over them, you should be bloody glad you're only out 30 quid.

Most badly run scams would take you for rather more than that.

I must say though, I find the fact quite cheering that with the British economy the way it is an "Investment Banking Consultant" finds it necessary to get his 30 quid back. No new Porsche this year then I take it?

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NFH

I preferred cards to remain valid

TeeCee, I didn't advocate my £30 to be refunded. I asked for the cards to remain valid as travel documents until their promised expiry dates. This was a cheaper option for the Government and better all round.

However, now that the Government intends to invalidate the cards unnecessarily, I shall instead ask for my £30 back out of principle. It makes no difference whether it is £30 or 30p. It's a principle of consumer rights and contract law that is much more significant than my own £30.

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