WONDERING why the country has privatised energy companies when they are so terrible? Here is how they compare with a real business that does not screw over its customers.
Real business: We invest in R&D to create new products people want to buy.
Privatised utilities: We don’t invest in anything, including the basic things our business needs to operate, eg. water pipes and reservoirs. Who gives a shit if the public is surviving on a cup of water a day? They can still pay their bills if they’re not actually dead.
Real business: We increase profits by finding new markets and cutting unnecessary costs.
Privatised utilities: We just increase prices yet again. We can’t raise prices indefinitely, but we’re going to have a bloody good try. If you’re finding it difficult to pay your extremely high gas or electricity bill, we offer a service known as ‘bailiffs’.
Real business: We provide reasonable customer service to encourage customers to come back.
Privatised utilities: Customer what? Why should we be bothered if you’re in a phone queue for two hours that suddenly disconnects you? Who’s going to tell us off? Governments who are full of rabid free-market ideologues and all support privatisation? Hahaha. Yeah, right.
Real business: We are subject to various rules preventing monopolies.
Privatised utilities: There are only a few trains allowing you to get to your job at the required time, all run by the same company. So if we decide to charge £350 to go from Milton Keynes to Euston on a weekday morning, you can suck it up or get used to living on benefits and eating those weird, cheap hot dogs in a jar.
Real business: If we’re unsuccessful, we go bust.
Privatised utilities: If everyone resents our rip-off prices and flakey service, including regulators, the government will bail us out endlessly. We’d only be shut down if we were actually releasing anthrax onto trains or selling toxic water. Even then Tory MPs would be saying it was preferable to socialism, and the Sun would make its f**kwit readers agree.
Real business: These take years to set up, often by entrepreneurs working incredibly long hours and shouldering financial risk.
Privatised utilities: The business comes ready-made by the public sector, and is given to accountants. Their job is to work out baffling pricing structures with the government that make it look as if competition is occurring. Other responsibilities include cutting costs and deciding how to max out our bonus without major shareholders telling us to stop taking the piss.