No Mole No Fee

There’s a mole catcher who’s well known around these parts of Somerset and he has the most amazing advert printed on the back of his van. I’d never managed to get a photo of it before, but the other day he happened to be in front of us and so I summoned up all of my steady-handedness in order to take a clear picture:

No Mole No Fee.

Surely it has to be one of the best slogans of any business in the UK? I mean it’s just so…niche. There’s something so casually presumptive about it – as though having a no-show mole is an everyday occurrence. Or, indeed, that having a mole at all is just a mundane everyday occurrence.

What fascinates me the most is the criteria for this particular offer. No Mole No Fee. What are the T&Cs at play here? Is it like with lawyers, with no win no fee, and there are certain caveats and exclusions? Do you get charged, for example, if the mole is caught and then escapes again? And what constitutes “no mole”?  Can someone call out Mole Catcher knowing full well that there’s no mole to be seen? Just for japes? I suppose that you’d be a strange person if you actually did that, but it would make for a terrible business plan for the Catcher if they were constantly popping in at people’s houses for absolutely no reason.

“Morning! Got a mole needs catching then?”


“OK no worries: no mole no fee! You have a good day now.”

Obviously after a few minutes (sixty) of pondering this I realised that it simply meant there’d be no fee if Mole Catcher failed to catch the mole. Which made me then ponder something else: does a Mole Catcher promising no mole no fee work harder to catch a mole than a Mole Catcher who charges regardless? In my mind, the No Mole No Fee catcher would try absolutely anything to catch that sharp-nailed little creature – I have no idea how mole catchers catch moles (I’m hesitant to open that particular Pandora’s Box of potentially upsetting information) but I envisage an Acme Studios kind of set-up, with sticks of cartoon dynamite and a man running around in army fatigues playing the Benny Hill theme tune on a small bugle.

I can only imagine the Mole Catcher’s look of solemn disappointment when, after blowing up half an acre of garden, he comes away empty handed, with no new mole addition for his re-homed mole sanctuary.

“Drat that pesky mole!”

Would he one day knock on the back door and scare the life out of you, after three weeks of hiding out in the undergrowth in full camo, twigs in his hair, gaunt from lack of food and sleep?

“No mole I’m afraid, Mrs Cardigan-Wolsley. I’ve tried my damndest, we’ve even become quite good friends, Moley and I, but I simply can’t coax him out.”

Dedication to the cause.

I wonder which other businesses might have a “No [Insert Random Thing] No Fee” policy. It’s really rather a good deal for the customer isn’t it? Imagine if Yodel had it – they’d go bust within a week. No Parcel, No Fee. Maybe it would stop them throwing packages into wheely bins and other frankly absurd outdoor spots.

Your parcel isunder the clapped-out red Fiat Panda on Church Street SW3

Sorry you weren’t home, although you most probably were: we have thrown your fragile package on top of the flat-roof garages in the next town. You know, the ones next to the cinema. It seemed easier than ringing your doorbell.”

No Answer No Fee. Now that would be a good one wouldn’t it? For the appalling customer services that seem to front every sector from luxury memberships to carpet sales, from telephone companies to insurance firms. Imagine if you got some money back every time you had to wait for more than twenty minutes in a telephone queue? Or, if you waited for more than twenty minutes and then got cut off, you got some money back and a month’s free whatever service it was. OR, if you waited for more than twenty minutes and then had to tell the operator all of the details you’d given twenty minutes ago, including full address and postcode, mother’s maiden name, first and ninth digit of your twenty digit PIN and answer to your “memorable question”, you got back all of the money you’d ever paid the useless sods in your whole lifetime and a fifty quid M&S voucher.

I’ve had my fill of terrible customer service in the past fortnight: real hive-inducing stuff that has made me crunch my back teeth together so hard I thought they’d crumble. So No Service, No Fee is presenting itself as a particularly good idea – even Shit Service, No Fee sounds pretty fair!

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  1. October 18, 2020 / 8:51 am

    Still laughing at the thought of a molecatcher so dedicated to his (or her- wouldn’t like to assume,
    although definitely does seem more like a blokey thing) job that they emerge gaunt from a stakeout!


  2. Gillian
    October 8, 2020 / 12:12 pm

    Having just lived the night mare Yodel thing this had me roaring Ruth!! Only thing is I’m now left feeling awfully sad for moles.

  3. September 23, 2020 / 12:12 pm

    I reckon it would be more like: “Shitty service, shitty fee”, in my experience the worse the experience with customer service, the higher the fee…

    Anne from Doctor Anne

  4. Helen
    September 23, 2020 / 9:57 am

    I absolutely loved reading this !! I once saw a bakery van that bore the strap line ‘ Everyone enjoys a good muffin ‘ it had me giggling for days!!

  5. September 23, 2020 / 2:19 am

    In the area where I’m living now, there are a lot of shit services with ridiculously expensive fee…

  6. Oana
    September 22, 2020 / 8:38 am

    Ruth, I really hope you will publish a novel eventually because I’m sure it will be so witty and fun and you write such engaging stories! Also I would really like to read a dark story from you, I’m sure that would be amazing as well.

    • September 22, 2020 / 9:07 am

      I think that the problem is that the novel I wrote IS a bit too dark! : )

      • Oana
        September 22, 2020 / 9:44 am

        There is no such thing as too dark! ;)

    • October 2, 2020 / 4:48 pm

      here here, or is it hear hear, either way I agree!

  7. Anon by another name
    September 22, 2020 / 8:19 am

    Having had a mole set up home within a week of a lawn being newly laid. I watched mole hills appearing with astonishing speed and an emergency visit from the molecatcher I can tell you that once they’re caught there is absolutely no chance of escape.

    • September 22, 2020 / 9:07 am

      Oh. Eek. You’ve shattered my dreams there!

        September 22, 2020 / 9:43 am

        Shattered mine too.

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