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Wednesday, August 24, 2005

See through Rucksacks - More than meets the eye

Have we seen through the see through rucksacks?

See through Freedom ruck sacksA company has launched some clear rucksacks for Tube users to help us combat our fear of rucksacks containing explosives said the
BBC. I'd originally I heard about the "Freedom" see through rucksacks on Heart FM on Monday morning but at the time couldn't find anything on the internet about them and just thought - "Oh well yet another company jumping on the fear bandwagon" (see the hideous commuter survival kits)

I didn't think too much more about it until I received an email from Martin Evans, who's done some research which certainly questions the altruistic ("It plans to donate any profits made to the London Bombings Relief Fund." says the BBC) aims of the bags.

Here's the website selling the bags and apart from the rough and ready design, it doesn't look too bad - although worryingly the Legal Information and Privacy Policy link doesn't go anywhere. We also learn that: "For every bag sold by The Assist Safety Project 10% will go to the London Bombings Relief Charitable Fund" - so already it's not the generous "any profits" we thought at the start.

Now over to Martin though on the people behind the project:

"I went on a little search about the people - the Assist Safety Project -promoting these "Freedom bags" (what a vomit-inducing name!) and found, unsurprisingly, that the company behind it is not quite the "private, non-profit organisation" quoted on the BBC." and quite a few other sources

"You'll find their site at www.assist.ltd.uk, where they advertise their two main products; the Assist Safety Project and their computer repair division focussing on the home computer user (but strangely, nothing about the bags being "sold on the Internet"). (Mmmm maybe they haven't had the chance to update it yet)

"It goes on to say that the free advice service it runs for schools helps parents with safety and education issues, such as "unsolicited e-mails, viruses and worms, Chat rooms and Instant messaging as well as controlling what websites their children are able to view".

"Now, call me an old cynic, but aren't these free advice sessions likely to be just a sales pitch to flog software for worried parents?

"Well, funnily enough, that's exactly what it is all about, as evidenced by the following bit on www.assist.ltd.uk/recruitment.html.

"Our Opportunity: Meeting people in the local community, through schools, local groups etc., we are able to discuss and meet the needs of parents with school age children, who have home PCs. As you will agree, Parents believe the safety of their
children is paramount.... our job is to let the parents know what we have to offer!

"As well as enjoying the flexibility of self employed part time work, it gives us the opportunity to meet new people and offer a worthwhile service."

"The link to their Terms & Conditions doesn't work - pretty indicative of their company, I'd say."

For what they are, I personally think the bags are quite pricey and like the Commuter Survival pack I personally don't like things that so obviously play on people's fear. Hopefully, if the guys behind the bags are reading this they'll get their terms and conditions, privacy policy and legal information links sorted out, as it just makes them look a bit dodgy. However, I'll leave you to make your own conclusions and, as usual, comments welcomed.

; Posted by Annie Mole Wednesday, August 24, 2005 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon