Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Let me wash my dishes in peace!

I was a shameful anti-feminist today.

A door-to-door electricity salesman came by while I was washing the dishes (God, can you get more domesticated? I was barefoot too) and tried to persuade me to change my electricity company to the wonderful company that he represented.

In order to get rid of him speedily, I told him that my partner pays the bill, that I don't even know which company we use, or how much we pay (me just the woman, me just do the dishes. Speak to the man).

He was having none of it. He wanted to explain to me how he could save us money, and then I could explain to my partner. IT would just take a few minutes of my time. I just was not in the mood for humouring this guy, so I told him again, no, it is no use, I don't know anything about our bill, you need to speak to my partner. Still he did not give up.

Eventually I managed to persuade him that I was too stupid to understand his little sales pitch and he left me alone. The things I do for a bit of quiet.

That is one good thing about SA. A lack of door to door salespeople. People aren't keen on opening their doors to anyone in case they have removal company tendencies. And you definitely don't get telephone and electricity companies trying to steal each other's customers like you do in the UK, because there is only one of each company.

I used to think that having many companies would be a good thing, and in some ways it must be. At least there is competition for good service.

But I am not convinced that having multiple companies to choose from drives down prices. There are so many companies and they all use subtle price tricks so that one company is the cheapest after 12pm, another is the cheapest if you are over 65, under 12, or a monkey, and the other is cheapest not at all but tells you that it is anyway.

There are so many companies with so many price plans and schemes that the consumer is completely bewildered and ends up using the first company to come along. And in the end they are all expensive, and can get away with crap service because it is such a pain to keep switching companies. I should know. G once switched electricity companies 3 times in 3 months. Which is one of the main reasons why I now avoid electricity sales people like the plague.

And there are too many door-to-door and phone sales people who refuse to give up and let a girl wipe her plates in peace.

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