/ Money, Shopping

Your comments this week – profits, seats and aisles

UK flag and speech bubble

What would you tell your energy company about its profits? What do you think about supermarket ‘man aisles’? And who’s to blame for empty Olympic seats? Here’s what you’ve been saying this week.

Energy company profits

William replies to our virtual energy company CEO:

‘Hello Ms Virtual CEO, you could “win” me over by showing the wholesale price of gas and electricity in force over the time of my current bill.

‘And don’t tell me your buyers only buy in bulk just as prices drop and never before rises in the wholesale price. ‘Cos if you do, can I suggest you sack the lot of them as they’re clearly not doing your customers any favours.’

Dragilex thinks some company profits should be capped:

‘Essential service companies (gas, electric, water, etc) should have their profits capped, rising in line with interest rates (during hard times all should suffer), any profit above the cap should go back to the consumer.’

Calling your bank – do you miss the ‘human’ touch?

John Harvey had an idea for smartphone tech to support companies’ automated services:

‘As I experience intermittent deafness, something that could make [a smartphone] particularly attractive to me is a facility that converts any stressful “if… press 1″ etc spiel into a succession of instant touchscreen menus that I could tap through. I would want one with a “human contact” icon at any stage. Does such a thing exist? If not, from what has been said already in this conversation, it would seem to be of benefit to the banks to finance its development.

Tom Fiddian from Action on Hearing Loss replied:

‘I’m not aware of any apps that can be used to replace these audible telephone prompts with a human. Although more and more services, like paying bills, giving meter readings etc, can be accessed online or through the company’s own proprietary apps. I find these much easier to use than the “press 1 for…” telephone prompts.’

Which would you cut back on – food or the net?

For Molly, the internet is her lifeline:

‘I am housebound and I live alone, so the Internet is my lifeline – without the Internet as a tool for buying goods there would be no food. That’s an exaggeration, I suppose, as I have good neighbours who would shop for me but maintaining my independence is vital to me – so the Internet stays. Like the previous person to post, I rely on the Internet to keep my mind stimulated and in good working order – it has had 80 years of hard wear. It is possible to eat well by cutting down on the most expensive, luxury food items so that, in this time of rapidly rising prices, the Internet remains affordable.’

Who’s to blame for empty seats at the Games?

Olympian cloud had this to say about the empty seats at the Olympic Games:

‘The British taxpayers are big contributors to the Olympic games – and it is unacceptable that there is no accountability and no responsibility for the empty seats. For each empty seat there is a broken heart of someone refused that seat. I would suggest to everyone to check on the price of tickets for so-called returned “empty seats”, their prices are exorbitant and out of reach from most of the ordinary tax payers. I feel sad that the British public paid and will pay back debts for years to come, for what result?

‘We, the taxpayers, the ordinary public are just milking cash cows to provide the best seats to unknown people who do not even have the decency of giving back their tickets which often were freebies at our expenses.’

Men: know your shopping limits

Finally, Nikki Whiteman’s Conversation about ‘man aisles’ being introduced in a New York shop led to this cheeky comment from ‘A Real Man’, who gets our Comment of the Week:

‘Wow, this new aisle will be amazing for a real man like me. I sometimes spend hours walking around getting lost in the supermarket trying to find my way from the condoms to the dips whilst eating crisps on my way. How awesome that it’ll all be together now. I often wonder what all the other stuff in the supermarket is for but I assume it’s just for women to buy. Sauces and spices and tins of food? WTF? To be honest, as a man, I wouldn’t know what to do with that stuff.

‘I once embraced my inner feminism by venturing into a different isle at the supermarket in which I bought some mashed potato. Alas, when I got it home it was just a packet of weird cream-coloured powder. What was I supposed to do with that? I vowed there and then that I needed a male aisle and I washed my vow down with a beer and some peanuts and have been happily male ever since…’

Comments have been edited due to length, so make sure to read them in full on their relevant Convos (by clicking on the red title link).