Monday, 15 June 2009

Outrageous Profiteering from Pre-Pay Meter Users

by johnofgwent

A little something that caught my eye in the BBC News pages this morning. And as it is only supposed to effect people in "socio-economic groups C, D and E", the people once the "party faithful" of Old Labour but who abandoned first Blair and now Brown and came to us, I thought it might be of interest.

Customers who use pre-payment meters have overpaid the energy companies nearly half a billion pounds over the last three years.

Now GA and I both know a little about the "philosophy" of "utility" companies.

One of the really good examples of their way of thinking is the "water card". A pre-payment card water meter. It was hailed back in the late 90's as a revolution, because it let companies like Welsh Water flout the law.

In law, a "hereditament" (a posh word for a place in which people live upon which rates - now council tax - are payable) must have a supply of running water and if it does not, it ceases to be fit for human habitation. At that point the local authority must intervene and re-house the occupants and should they continue to charge rates upon such a property they can be prosecuted. But the water card is different. You sign up to it and the smallprint says you agree that if you don't keep putting money on it, your water suply "reduces" (to a trickle) and that is your fault. So you made yourself "intentionally homeless" and the local authority can leave you on the street.

You can see why the money grabbing bastards who wish to present a public face of caring and charitable works - but only in africa and asia - whilst bleeding their UK customers dry, love that technology.

But now comes news that the Energy Regulator OFGEM has calculated that although the European Union ruled FIVE YEARS AGO that the overcharging of per-payment meter customers just because they were pre-payment customers was unlawful, United Kingdom Energy Companies have continued to rake in excess profits hand over fist and have overcharged prepayment customers a cool five hundred million pounds.

Not a bad little scam, especially when you have to impress shareholders with your balance sheet. That bloody woman Thatcher has a lot to answer for.