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This letter was sent to ASKE and is reproduced here with the writer's permission in the hope that it will help others avoid wasting their money. We have removed anything that might identify either the writer or the psychic. ASKE would like to thank the writer for generously allowing us to reproduce it on our website.

13 August 2002

Dear Sirs

I read with interest details of your organisation in the August edition of "Eve" magazine and thought I would swallow my pride and embarrassment and drop you note to tell you about the recent experience I had contacting a "psychic".

I am not normally prone to seeking advice from fee-charging 3 parties but have been under a huge amount of emotional stress lately due to losing both my father and my much-loved job through redundancy within a period of a few months, and so I suppose in a moment of utter despair/desperation/not knowing where to turn/clutching at straws etc, I decided to contact a "clairvoyant" who had placed an advert in the back of the "Marie Claire" magazine. I chose to call this particular one as there was a private telephone number stated rather than a 60p per minute one, and I foolishly assumed that this meant that the person would be more "genuine" than the others.

The person I called was [name removed] who pronounces herself a "psychic astrologer and tarot clairvoyant" - she also has a website called [removed] where there is a whole spiel about her being the "[removed] ... Astrologer" and having karmic powers from her Indian roots etc. Having checked out the website first I foolishly called and paid £35.00 for a "reading" that lasted about 15 minutes. I can't remember the whole conversation but it went mainly along these lines and not a lot more:-

  1. - Hello, I would like to have a telephone reading with you.
  2. - OK, what area of your life is bothering you at the moment?
  3. - Mainly my career being in tatters and causing me a lot of worry.
  4. - OK, er um - I 'm not an expert at this or anything (sic) but let me put my headset on and see what the cards say - are you familiar with tarot cards?
  5. - Yes, I read cards for my friends when asked.
  6. - Oh, er um - I'm just looking at your cards, er, um - I see a sort of catastrophe in your work area - something catastrophic has happened - are you actually still working in this job at the moment?
  7. - No - I was made redundant at New Year and am still desperately looking for work.
  8. - Ah, er, um - well, I see the number 6 on the cards so that means you will find a job in June (it was May when I called) and I see the 10 of cups which is a lovely card so everything will be fine and you'll find a job in June so you just need to keep looking and trying, don't give up. Now, is everything OK in your relationship?
  9. - Yes.
  10. - Er, um, well as I say just keep looking and you'll find a new job in June.
  11. - OK thanks.
  12. - Goodbye and thanks for calling.

When I read this now, I cringe with embarrassment that I ever called this person. Needless to say, I didn't come near to finding a job in June indeed nor do I have one on the horizon yet.

I suppose I am angry at my own stupidity and also that people can be exploited like this when at their most vulnerable - £35.00 is a lot of money to throw away when you have no income.

I would be desperately embarrassed if my partner, friends or family knew about this episode so for this reason I am asking that you keep my details private, however, I thought you might be interested in checking this "psychic" out for your own research purposes. I haven't bothered to complain to the magazine, trading standards etc mainly because the embarrassment/cringe factor makes me wish to maintain a low profile as you can imagine!

Yours faithfully

[Name withheld]

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