Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Do you pay too much?

Last week three clients overcharged by their utility providers hit the news. The first was a North London woman whose water bill for her one bedroom flat was £6,600; the second was a pub owner who was charged £37,000 for his water use; and the unbeatable record belongs to a Cambridge woman who was charged £90m for her electricity bill.

Nobody takes such huge numbers seriously. We all know that errors do happen and cannot be avoided completely. However, if utility billing systems cannot detect such errors, it is very likely that they don’t detect smaller errors as well. That is, all of us are likely to be overcharged regularly.

Will you know if your electricity bill, water charge, or bank fees are off by 20 pounds? I would not even be surprised to discover that some companies deliberately add a few pounds to every bill they send. How would we be able to tell?

These huge errors, as ridiculous as they may be, highlight a fundamental problem we all have. Utility companies and service providers can charge whatever they want, and we, customers, at their mercy, will never know.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

My dear cucumber

One good thing that came out of the hike in food prices is that the EU has agreed to ditch the law controlling the curvature of cucumbers. If you were not aware, until now it was illegal to sell bent cucumbers.

My xxx imagination is working overtime. How did such a law come into being? Who suggested the law in the first place, and what was going through his or her mind? So the good news is that now we can all choose our cucumbers the shape we like them.

Let’s not let the EU take away our most fundamental liberties. Well done Irish voters.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

The Dragon Den

At last! Giraffe milk has been pronounced Kosher by orthodox Jews. If you are not familiar with the term, Kosher is to the Jews what Halal is to the Muslims, that is, a set of arbitrary biblical rules that define what a Jewish person can or cannot eat.

So now I am planning to establish the first dairy giraffe farm in the UK. Investors are welcome. Please subscribe below.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Trust the news: crime and savings

"Automated phone system should be brought in to report crimes. This would save money and ease pressure on the police."
In a time when violent crime sores, the question should be how to prevent and fight crime effectively, not how to cut cost. After all, if cutting cost was our objective, we could get the police off our streets and let citizens defend themselves. Then to justify the money that goes to the legal system, we can arrest those citizens who harm criminals while trying to protect themselves. Alternatively, we can get rid of the legal system too. After all, if we can’t put in jails those sent there by the legal system, why bother at all?

Another option may be to privatise the police force. This seems to work very well in many third world countries. Pay your own policemen policy will clearly improve our GDP and create new business opportunities, especially if we make it tax deductible. If we save the government a great deal of money, don't we deserve some back?

On the other hand, why don’t we get rid of the government and use the money wasted on politician to pay the police. At least I know what the role of the police should be, something I can’t confidently say about the government.