Saturday, 8 February 2014

Seeing Through the Gift.

The power company from whom I get my electricity is trying to persuade me to have a smart meter fitted. In case you don’t know, that’s one which sends usage information direct to their computer rather than having to be read in situ.

They’ve sent me two letters inviting me to call a freephone (toll free) number, and the letters are written – as you’d expect – in such a way as to manipulate me into thinking that the change would be for my benefit. It begins:

We are offering you a free upgrade.

Note the three words:

Offer – interesting.
Upgrade – desirable.
Free – even more desirable.

They go on to tell me that the new meter will help me keep better track of my usage, and therefore enable me to save money. This is bullshit. I already economise as much as I can on my electricity usage. Even my poor little brain is perfectly capable of working out all the tricks, and anybody with an even poorer brain is unlikely to do so just because they can see how much electricity they’re using.

The fact of the matter is that switching to a smart meter is entirely for the benefit of the power company. It facilitates the easier collection of data and enables them to make a few more meter readers redundant. And that’s why I continue to decline their offer to make my life better. I object to being treated like an imbecile.

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