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Snugglybear

Privatised Utilities Suppliers

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This thread will probably get moved, but what the hell.

Had a letter from our* gas and electricity supplier saying they'd reviewed our account and would be raising our direct debit by £11 per month (making it £132 per year).

So I reviewed our account and found that our consumption is currently exactly the same as it was last year. Given that we're on a fix, there is no reason at all to increase our direct debit. Phoned the number on the letter and said so to the drone on the other end. Drone checked / pretended to check the account and said he couldn't see any reason to increase the DD either and that the system was saying the DD could be kept at its current level. I'm so-o-o-o grateful to the system, BTW.

I'm guessing they're sending the same letters out to all their customers who pay by DD and hoping that most of them won't bother looking at their bills and / or phoning the supplier, so the company will get loads more money than it should. Eventually when the customers realise or switch to another provider - and in this case eventually could be months or years - and the company will have to repay the balance. In the meantime, they'll have hundreds of pounds x thousands of customers = large amounts of dosh to play with.

Shysters.

* We referring to us in the household, not the royal 'we'.

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Meanwhile over in France with their publicly owned electric utility they are enjoying the lowest electric rates in western europe, and the utility pays a 10 billion Euro annual dividend to the French government.

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Meanwhile over in France with their publicly owned electric utility they are enjoying the lowest electric rates in western europe, and the utility pays a 10 billion Euro annual dividend to the French government.

Because they are using the UK to subsidise the French people. EDF is pretty much the French government!

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Privatisation to introduce 'competition' worked really well didn't it?

Those doom sayers, who hate the free market and who said that it would just lead to cartels and monopolies were

completely wrong.

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Meanwhile over in France with their publicly owned electric utility they are enjoying the lowest electric rates in western europe, and the utility pays a 10 billion Euro annual dividend to the French government.

Let me guess ...

France has invested over many years in capacity and infrastructure that's fit-for-purpose.

UK has spent the time living on old capacity, putting hurdles in the way of new investment (not just nimbyism, but things like the hoops a wind farm has to jump through to get connected to the grid), and regulating prices to consumers to the point where there's inadequate money for it anyway.

Edited by porca misèria

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Privatisation to introduce 'competition' worked really well didn't it?

Those doom sayers, who hate the free market and who said that it would just lead to cartels and monopolies were

completely wrong.

Yep, and now the party of the rich are going to save us from house price falls by getting the poor to pay for the mistakes of the global financial elite, cutting public spending so there is wriggle room to print cash to give to the banks. But ,hey, we musn't politicise the terrible and entirely unavoidable situation we are in.

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Because they are using the UK to subsidise the French people. EDF is pretty much the French government!

You're free to choose a different supplier if your blind xenophobia prejudices you against a French company.

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Privatisation to introduce 'competition' worked really well didn't it?

Those doom sayers, who hate the free market and who said that it would just lead to cartels and monopolies were

completely wrong.

A free market would work fine, but it has to be free. Hybrid systems are no more representative of that than anything else.

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Privatisation to introduce 'competition' worked really well didn't it?

Those doom sayers, who hate the free market and who said that it would just lead to cartels and monopolies were

completely wrong.

The central myth of the free market is that is free of price fixing. How many times do we need to see it to be convinced? Why risk losing when you can go for a draw?

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Let me guess ...

France has invested over many years in capacity and infrastructure that's fit-for-purpose.

UK has spent the time living on old capacity, putting hurdles in the way of new investment (not just nimbyism, but things like the hoops a wind farm has to jump through to get connected to the grid), and regulating prices to consumers to the point where there's inadequate money for it anyway.

Good points. I wonder why foreign companies have no interest in investing in UK infrastructure?

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It's the attitude that annoys me - we're gonna screw the customers by telling lies, because we can.

This is the actual wording of the letter

"We regularly review your payments to make sure that you're not paying too much or too little for your electricity and gas.

This time, we've worked out that we need to increase your fixed monthly Direct Debit to £xx.xx. "We'll start taking this new amount on xx October 2010."

Note the phrase "..we've worked out that we need to increase your fixed monthly Direct Debit.."

No you haven't, you lying toads. Our consumption remains the same, our rates remain the same, therefore you do not need to increase them. As your drone and your computer admitted when I got on the phone to you.

So I have to pay to contact you to stop you taking money off me without it being needed to pay my bills and without my permission.

You lying, thieving, dishonest, conniving scumbags.

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Everybody lies. Are you expecting paragons?

Commercial organisations are held in check only by competition. Or maybe you think the State departments never send out sh1t like that either?

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Everybody lies. 1. Are you expecting paragons?

Commercial organisations are held in check only by competition. Or maybe you think the State departments never send out sh1t like that either?

If State departments lied in order to get money out of customers, I'd expect everybody, on this forum, in the media and in society in general, to be in up in arms about it.

Apparently it's alright with you for commercial organisations to do that.

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A free market would work fine, but it has to be free. Hybrid systems are no more representative of that than anything else.

Oh, ho, ho ho ho, yes indeedy Bogbrush! And what really cracks me up is that the folk that believe that kind of sub o level economic piffle are ironically the very same people that say socialism can never work in the "real world".

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A mysterious third layer of commerce, which we didn't need before! I suppose it keeps people employed! :blink:

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The central myth of the free market is that is free of price fixing. How many times do we need to see it to be convinced? Why risk losing when you can go for a draw?

You can only get price fixing in a free market when you can keep new competitors out of that market. Imagine if, say, you controlled all the electric power stations in the country and the government put huge roadblocks in the way of anyone who wanted to build a new power station, requiring a decade or more of bureaucracy if you wanted to build a nuclear plant, and stealing money from taxpayers to subsidise unprofitable 'green' generators like 'wind farms'; then you could push prices up and service down in the full knowledge that no-one could compete with you on cost.

In any case, surely high energy prices are GOOD, because they help reduce EVIL BABY-KILLING GLOBAL WARMING?

Edited by MarkG

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It's the attitude that annoys me - we're gonna screw the customers by telling lies, because we can.

This is the actual wording of the letter

"We regularly review your payments to make sure that you're not paying too much or too little for your electricity and gas.

This time, we've worked out that we need to increase your fixed monthly Direct Debit to £xx.xx. "We'll start taking this new amount on xx October 2010."

Note the phrase "..we've worked out that we need to increase your fixed monthly Direct Debit.."

No you haven't, you lying toads. Our consumption remains the same, our rates remain the same, therefore you do not need to increase them. As your drone and your computer admitted when I got on the phone to you.

So I have to pay to contact you to stop you taking money off me without it being needed to pay my bills and without my permission.

You lying, thieving, dishonest, conniving scumbags.

The problem is that the utility suppliers have been forced into 'fixed monthly payment' schemes by the regulator, which aren't particularly great for utilities, which by their nature can have wildly fluctuating bills. This was well intentioned enough as it was supposed to make budgeting easier for people who can't cope with a bill every 3 months, and find the smaller monthly payments more manageable. However, it does cause a disconnect between the amount being paid and the amount being used. As a result, a lot of bills become discrepant - even with the best methods of estimation available.

Something like 80% of complaints against utilities providers are about billing - and it's almost always, because someone gets a bill that is higher than expected and doesn't want to pay it. A particularly large proportion of those complaints are fixed monthly payments where the householder can't understand how they've underpaid when they'd agreed a fixed monthly bill. Hence, many suppliers now try to ensure people overpay, and then get a periodic refund. This tends not to generate complaints, which carry a £1000 fee for each and every time a customer contacts the ombudsman.

Unfortunately, as you've noticed, it penalises the prudent who can manage their money, by forcing them to overpay (or waste time arguing) in order to avoid answering incessant baseless complaints from the feckless.

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Meanwhile over in France with their publicly owned electric utility they are enjoying the lowest electric rates in western europe, and the utility pays a 10 billion Euro annual dividend to the French government.

What no crony welfare capitalism in France? How on earth do they function? :lol: Hang on a minute EDF are over here too!? :huh:

Edited by Sir John Steed

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It's the attitude that annoys me - we're gonna screw the customers by telling lies, because we can.

This is the actual wording of the letter

"We regularly review your payments to make sure that you're not paying too much or too little for your electricity and gas.

This time, we've worked out that we need to increase your fixed monthly Direct Debit to £xx.xx. "We'll start taking this new amount on xx October 2010."

Note the phrase "..we've worked out that we need to increase your fixed monthly Direct Debit.."

No you haven't, you lying toads. Our consumption remains the same, our rates remain the same, therefore you do not need to increase them. As your drone and your computer admitted when I got on the phone to you.

So I have to pay to contact you to stop you taking money off me without it being needed to pay my bills and without my permission.

You lying, thieving, dishonest, conniving scumbags.

They are building up the cash coz of the coming defaulters/non payers.

Wasn't Gordon Brown's brother in charge of EDF-UK?

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EDF, Centrica, RWE, E-on are all foreign owned with a majority shareholding by national governments (France and Germany). Therefore we're subsidizing their customers.

Working in the industry, it is fairer than people assume. The main problem is that our main energy sources (gas, oil) all come from the same places. France is 80% nuclear.

Gordons brother, worked as head of PR for EDF. Useful as they were pushing to get a big slice of the new nuclear power stations.

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You can only get price fixing in a free market when you can keep new competitors out of that market. Imagine if, say, you controlled all the electric power stations in the country and the government put huge roadblocks in the way of anyone who wanted to build a new power station, requiring a decade or more of bureaucracy if you wanted to build a nuclear plant, and stealing money from taxpayers to subsidise unprofitable 'green' generators like 'wind farms'; then you could push prices up and service down in the full knowledge that no-one could compete with you on cost.

In any case, surely high energy prices are GOOD, because they help reduce EVIL BABY-KILLING GLOBAL WARMING?

Its like water, once it was privatized came the big push that using water was somehow wrong.. and the way to get people to stop was to massively increase the price of water. Great if you happened to own a water company.. bad for everyone else.

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  • 259 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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