When crime is legalised

LEGAL ROBBERY: Banks and utilities that steal.

Why are service providers, in particular banks and utility companies, so bad at doing the simplest of tasks.


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Let’s face it, with computerisation it has never been simpler to collect and manage data on water, electricity, financial transactions, telephone and internet usage. Can they get it right? Does a rocking horse have a wooden willie?

Newspapers publish topics of public interest. One of these is crime which includes institutionalised theft. How else do you describe the deliberate complexity and lack of accountability in direct debit bank raids carried out by water, electricity, banking and telecommunications companies.

As Woody Guthrie surmised: “As through this world I’ve wandered, I’ve seen lots of funny men, Some rob you with a six gun, and some with a fountain pen.”

Unscrupulous and arrogant, the anti-customer attitudes displayed by service suppliers are a constant bone of contention. Yes, mistakes are part of the human condition as are coincidences. However, we notice that when these hapless quasi-criminal institutions make mistakes they are invariably made to favour their bank accounts not ours.

Have a nice day! If I hear that idiotic remark one more time from a utility, bank or telecommunications company I swear I will swing for the consequences. I do not know if I have ever met anyone out of a military uniform more intent on making certain I have a bad day. 

I was recently billed three times for two months internet use. Between supplier and bank visits there was a maze of obscurity that would try the patience of a saint. Buck passing. They invented it, they live by it.

How about a computer error that puts money into my account. Then I too can set up an impenetrable wall of confusion to stop them reclaiming it. No, for them it is a case of ‘heads I win, tails you lose.’

They cut off your internet, your water, gas or electricity, they freeze your bank account. You sort it. How did they end up controlling our lives as they do? Who allowed them to? 

My poor wife spent unproductive days working her way through a confusing system of money transfer. Earlier, she lost an hour’s work sorting out a Bill Gates Microsoft scam. 

Perhaps the newspapers would be better employed scrutinising the shareholder lists of these thieving magpies. I am sure they will find the state’s legislators and the otherwise elite have their scummy fingers predominantly in these institutions too. 

The only thing that changes over the years is that bandits also move with the times. “When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living in society, they create for themselves, in the course of time, a legal system that authorises it and a moral code that glorifies it.” – Frederic Bastiat, (1801-1850) French economist, statesman, and author.


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