It’s become a multi-million pound industry – testament to the fact that an army of people are using these services.
I’m talking about internet psychic hotlines. You’ll find the little adverts popping up online with the headline: “Ask our psychics anything – for free.”
Ask anything? And for free, eh? That sounds like it could have comedy potential.
The advert for each psychic usually runs along the lines of: “I’m Monica. I’ve been working with tarot and angels since my early teens.” The site invites you to type in a question, and the psychic will type an answer… Well, half an answer, and an intriguing one at that.
It’s a teaser designed to intrigue you about the stranger they tell you is about to come into your life. Or the life-threatening danger you face in the coming week. Or the money you could miss out on.
It’s at that point you are invited to “please click to go private”.
Clicking private means giving your credit card details. Don’t worry, though. They accept all credit and debit cards. And it’s only £1.50 a minute to type in your question and get your answers.
Unfortunately, I’m not sure some of these psychics are terribly accurate. One psychic told me that I will be giving birth within two years. (They obviously thought that it was the female version of my name.) That’s one of the problems when you’re corresponding by keyboard, rather than voice.
And when I really tested their abilities, they were left wanting. Not one of them could tell me with any certainty whether or not my car would start in the morning. And most of them were completely wrong in their answer to my query about whether or not it was going to rain next Tuesday.
Not one of them was able to tell me where I’d left the remote control for the TV, or where I could buy a monkey. You know, I’m beginning to suspect that some of these psychics aren’t very good.
Just because they say they can see the future and talk to angels doesn’t mean they really can. Which is a shame for the many thousands of individuals, many vulnerable, who – perhaps in desperation – turn to these psychics. They pay vast sums of money for an answer to their problems.
Typing messages back and forth for an hour is going to cost you £90. And I’m not sure there’s much to be gained from that.
But what would I know? I’m not psychic.