Am I just a cockeyed optimist??

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Am I just a cockeyed optimist??

Post by Dutto on Tue Apr 21, 2015 11:04 pm

Hi there,

Mitzi Gaynor sang the "cockeyed optimist" song in South Pacific and whenever life sets out to disappoint me I wonder if I took the message on board when I heard it back in the 1950's.

About fifteen months ago my power provider for gas and electricity removed the "No Daily Standing Charge" from their services; and a check with the other main companies showed a similar pattern.  i.e. ALL of the main providers removed the "No Standing Charge" tariff from their menu.

As a frugal man who was absent from the house for many months of the year this means that I was expected to pay a Standing Charge even when I wasn't at home and, as a result, my Electricity and Gas bills soared by about £50 a year.

I complained to my power provider and was told that Ofgen had ordered them to remove the "No Standing Charge" tariff in order to "simplify their tariffs"; so I complained to Ofgen.

Ofgen told me "Yes." they had asked the power companies to "simplify their tariffs" but that retaining a "No Standing Charge" was still an option.  They commiserated with me that NONE of the main power providers actually offered such a service but with a "What could they do?" shrugg shrugg

Want to guess what happened last week after Ofwat ordered my water provider (Anglian Water) to "simplify their tariffs"??

Yep!! You got it in one.  They immediately withdrew their SoLow system whereby people using meters were on a "No Daily Standing Charge" system as long as they used less than 75 cubic metres of water a year.

Apparently, the people on SoLow were being subsidised by people who are profligate users of water and the fact that we are frugal with our use of water and thereby protect the environment is meaningless.  I complained to Ofwat and got the same "We can't do anything?" reply given by Ofgen.

I am now expected to pay yet another "Daily Standing Charge" of about £50 a year.  This will pay for the meter to my home which costs (on average) about £25 and lasts (on average) about 30 years.  Not bad business for Anglian Water eh?  I get to pay £750 for a £25 meter as well as paying for the water that goes through it; and Ofwat can't do anything about it?!?!?! shrugg

Why the "cockeyed optimist"?  I'm still optimistic that someone in government will curb the naked greed of the privatised service industries and start to listen to the needs of ordinary people.

The organisations Ofgen and Ofwat are supposed to be there to monitor and curtail the greed of the privatised companies but, as shown by these examples, they are actually ensuring that already greedy and overpriced utility companies are able to increase their profits at will.

I am someone who remembers a time when ALL of these service industries turned over ALL of their profits to the UK treasury; and in the process provided economical services to the general public instead of profits to their shareholders.

So "Yep!!"  I'm definitely a "cockeyed optimist" hoping that I will see a change in policy before I die!!

Best regards,
drinksallround

PS

Announced today is yet another situation where we can buy what we already own! allthumbz

We already own Lloyds Bank and yet again the government is promising to sell it to us "at a discounted price".

If this is like the other privatisation sales, the "general public" will be allowed to purchase about 15% of the shares whereas the government's "friends in the City" will get the chance to buy the other 85%; which will also be "at a discounted price" to ensure that they make a huge and immediate profit.

Or is it me just being cynical again? Whistle1 Whistle1

Reference - go on have a treat ....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p0DusO6ipLw

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Re: Am I just a cockeyed optimist??

Post by m8form8 on Wed Apr 22, 2015 8:41 am

Umm I sympathize with your cynicism it all annoys me too. In regards to energy suppliers have you looked at Cooperative energy who try to give best prices to shareholding members? Not always cheaper than the big players but overall they do not trick you into save it schemes that run out and the give a huge price hike! Just a thought, as we are also often away we find them much better as you don't have to keep changing tarifs to get the fairest deals.. confused3
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Re: Am I just a cockeyed optimist??

Post by Dutto on Thu Apr 23, 2015 1:34 am

Hi there,

Thanks for that.

I've just tried the Cooperative site for a comparison but it froze up an me.

Will try again later.

Best regards,
drinksallround

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Re: Am I just a cockeyed optimist??

Post by m8form8 on Thu Apr 23, 2015 8:05 am

Just had a letter from Cooperative, they are upgrading their computer system as the old one is not big enough.. Keep trying.  wave
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Re: Am I just a cockeyed optimist??

Post by mr standfast on Thu Apr 23, 2015 10:40 pm

We are with Co-op energy,you used to get points towards the Co-op divvy but the regulator stopped them doing it 'cos it isn't fair apparently scratch head So in effect the body which has my interests at heart has put my price up !!!! so angry
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Re: Am I just a cockeyed optimist??

Post by Dutto on Fri Apr 24, 2015 11:42 pm

Hi there,

Just changed over to Ebico for Gas and Electricity.

Some of their charges are higher and others lower than my current provider (SSE) but they offer a "NO STANDING CHARGE" system which we find appealing for two reasons:

1.  We hate paying out money when we are not at home; and that can be up to six months in any year!

2.  We try to be away as much as possible during the UK winter when we need to use more gas and electricity!

So, all in all a double saving for us.

I gave SSE a full set of meter readings ten days ago.  They obviously didn't believe me as they have sent me a Bill on "estimated" readings that are way higher than reality.

No change there then!! tap_fingers tap_fingers tap_fingers

When I took over my Mum's finances I discovered that between the gas, electricity and water providers they had about £1,200 of my Mum's money in their accounts and they were still increasing her monthly Direct Debit when they increased their prices. tap_fingers tap_fingers tap_fingers

At least Dick Turpin wore a mask when he robbed people!! up!

Best regards,
drinksallround

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Re: Am I just a cockeyed optimist??

Post by TrickyWoo on Fri Aug 14, 2015 6:21 pm

Is it better to be a cockeyed optimist than a cockeyed optometrist?

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Re: Am I just a cockeyed optimist??

Post by Dutto on Sat Aug 15, 2015 1:04 am

Hi there,

Liked the last comment!! allthumbz allthumbz 

As promised, Anglian Water have now removed their "No Standing Charge" system on the advice of Ofwat!

Yet again:

1.  The frugal are subsidising the profligate!

2.  A privatised industry is maximising its profits.

3.  The body put in place to monitor and control a privatised industry is working against the interests of the consumer.

I take it we are all looking forward to buying shares in RBS aren't we? tap_fingers tap_fingers tap_fingers

You get what you vote for folks!!  Enjoy! allthumbz

Best regards,
drinksallround

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Re: Am I just a cockeyed optimist??

Post by groundhog on Sat Aug 15, 2015 10:57 pm

TrickyWoo wrote:Is it better to be a cockeyed optimist than a cockeyed optometrist?
Depends on your perspective..... allthumbz
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