‘I thought the app was a good idea,’ said Alan from Cowes. ‘I’m in my fifties, have mild hypertension and drink like a fish, so I thought anything that can help me remember who I’ve been in contact with, or where the hell I was last night has got to be a good thing, but every time I open it up I get adverts and in-app sales pitches.’
‘I mean, who wants to “reach out to Robert Jenrick”? I tried swiping left, right up and down, the bugger wouldn’t go away unless I paid for ad free choices,’ said Alan. ‘And the pop up that said “looks like you’re searching for legal help with your coronavirus claim – phone this number for a no win, no fee lawyer.” All I want is a Covid-19 test, which apparently the government will sell me for a premium, or give me for free if I sign up for private medical insurance.’
The government denied that putting in-app purchases was not ethical. ‘Everybody expects pop-ups and in-app purchases, and this pandemic isn’t going to pay for itself. We admit that giving everyone only one free life to start with might have been a bit mean, but we’re sure we can monetise extra lives as the app rolls out,’ said a government spokesman today.