Wouldn’t it be lovely if 2017 was the year it all tilted in our favour? I am all for personal responsibility when it comes to matters financial but really, sometimes it all seems skewed in the wrong way. Take, for example, my gas and electricity bill. I did get a massive refund from the last bill – for the six months to March – and my payments reduced. On the latest bill I’m a little ahead on one and a little behind on another. That’s fair enough: one to me, indeed.
But then the bill points out that I would be better off if I switched to a fixed rate tariff – adding gas and electricity together, I would be more than £100 to the good. So of course, I ring them up. The lady on the phone says she’ll put me through. I hang on for a few minutes and she says she’ll have them call me back. Well, it’s nearly 24 hours now – and no call. I have tried to go online but it gets stuck and won’t progress. So, while it’s great to tell me that I could save money it is frustrating when you can’t actually do it.
However my main annoyance is chasing payments. I’m a freelance and am registered for VAT – which has to be paid quarterly. I’ve paid up for the three months to October. But I’m still owed money for invoices from October: so I’ve paid VAT on money I’ve yet to get. What chance, do you think, I have of getting that money this side of Christmas? I can’t even get the company which owes me money to reply to my emails. But if you owed a company money, they’d soon chase you for it.
On the radio the other day there was an interview with a small business owner who was being made to wait more than 100 days for payment for the goods she’d supplied – and that was by major retailers. She had to borrow money from her family and friends to keep her business afloat. Had she told her bank to wait for her mortgage, loan or card repayments she’d be racking up extra interest. That’s not an option for her – or me. Wouldn’t it be great if companies resolved to make 2017 the year when the customer was the winner?