Archive for the ‘society’ Category

As I am no longer employed and my reserves are fast disappearing, I naturally look to make savings but without giving up to many principals. If you consider principals a luxury then I am guilty of holding on to some luxuries.

March this year was the first significant point it marked a full year unemployed. I had my first attempt at changing a utility company it was the electricity supplier Eon. They had sent out a letter in February saying I should increase my monthly payment and backed it up with e-mail then a phone call. The phone call had been a bad idea on their part. Sat with my laptop in front of me delving into my online account with the company. While the salesman did his thing, I was well armed with questions for the invitation when it came at the end of his speech for any questions.

I was fairly well aware he would not be able to give me any concrete answers after all he was a salesman not a negotiator. However, I let him have it anyway first I pay you £50:00 per month up front by Direct Debit (DD). My highest usage months the winter I rarely go over £59:00 per month. My summer month’s lowest usage the costs are £35:00 per month. The excess sitting in your company’s bank account earning your company interest and not sitting in my bank account earning me interest. Currently you want me to increase my DD by £10:00 per month to £60:00 per month yet after the latest bill my account shows a credit of £19:64 sat earning interest for your company. Admitting to being lost for words, he apologised for calling and wished me a nice day.

I went to a comparison web site to check out the rates of other electricity providers. It seemed once initial deals came off and the extent of contract there was little difference. Also I knew there was another round to energy pricing to come over the summer for a change this one had been flagged up early thanks to the call from the salesman. Sure enough further increases were added over the summer months by all the utility companies.

It seemed before I knew it I had been unemployed for eighteen months.  Obviously, that was August this year and the electricity company tried again no phone call though this time, just an e-mail and a letter telling how the increases would affect me. Oddly enough a £10:00 per month increase. I returned to the comparison websites, found a deal, and contract term that suited me £50:00 per month DD annual renewal. Therefore, I think I may have won that round.

I am still struggling with the description of these companies as utility companies I would much rather call them energy companies. We all understand useful, of use and these large companies seem to be at odds with these descriptions. Then going through a final summer clear out before entering hibernation for the winter. I came across an old economics paper with the economic theory description of utility I had written down but omitted to remember as may path lay elsewhere. In economic theory, utility is the amount of satisfaction or pleasure that somebody gains from consuming a commodity, product, or service.  Not the product or services’ actual usefulness.


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