Several Goliath’s, in fact. The telecommunications companies, the utilities companies, the businesses that offer their services on a month-by-month basis – you rent the service, in fact. And pay and pay and pay.
Phone companies started this thing where there are now more than 12 months in a year – how can this be? Apparently, if there are more than 28 days (ie 4 weeks, which consist of 7 days in each week) in a month, then the bill is calculated on the basis of 28 days of usage, and the other days become part of the ‘next’ month.
Shonky. Severely so.
If I use the same logic and go to the phone company and say: “I have $## credit on this number mobile – pls transfer $## [not the full credit amount] to that number mobile [both mine].” What do you think would happen?
“Of course, you have this much credit, and we’ll transfer this much to your other phone.”
“Oh, for crying out loud – credit applies to one service only and if you’re late paying by even one day, you lose the lot.”
Well, which one would you expect of a company dedicated to the principles of service to the customer, in order to keep them long-term? Yeah – the second response is the only response. They can transfer your costs and bills into any parcel they like, but you have no say – you are a slave to their product. So, go somewhere else. And what do you think I’d find? Something different? Something fair?
There’s an Australianism out now that goes “Tell him he’s dreamin’.” Yep. ‘Cos they’re all the same. If the biggest guys do it, then we can get away with it – so they do! Whichever way you turn – you get shot in the arse or the face and they don’t give a damn.
PR – that’s Profit Reliability, not Public Relations.
And the other companies? Let’s try utilities. You sign up to a contract for 2 years (because basically, you have no choice in the matter) thinking it’s the best deal. And the rub – they can change the prices any time within that period, but you can’t leave. Locked in unless you pay exit fees.
If I wrote out a contract with a customer, I need to meet those contracted elements to the letter. I can’t change things part way through because I didn’t have enough nous to run my business effectively. Apparently, it’s not the same for utilities (you know, things like electricity, water, gas). I wait for the time when our Councils jump on the bandwagon and up the ante on their fees and costs at each quarter – ie, you rent your right to squat on their land even if you own the house.
These practices are great for big business; they’re great for giants of the world; they are profit reliability measures. But as for the customer who keeps getting the raw deal – watch out, because sooner or later, big can go boom, especially when small or medium decides to offer a reality check to consumers, or consumers decide that ‘enough is enough’ and go into the mode of on-line top-ups of internet and phone (first) and then go for off-grid battery systems (where the battery is used first and only when the batteries are full is the excess off-loaded to the grid), roof-top collection and plumbing and black-water systems that supply street trees and grey-water systems that water their produce garden.
Big, snotty, ‘stuff-you’ businesses will get their come-uppance – and it will be right soon.
Opinion of the author only (currently anonymous, but not for long) – but if you want to join the ground-swell, look for others, come together, bring down the Goliaths to the level playing field [ours, that is, not theirs].