Friday, January 30, 2009

Today’s good news is that it will soon be possible to download 120 or so of the best books in Spanish for only 5 quid each. Or about an equal number of euros this week. Perhaps fewer next week.

On the other side of the ledger, here’s a report on the what some see as widespread fraud on the part of Spain’s electricity companies. Having now looked in detail at my own January bill, I can confirm that, firstly, there is an estimated reading and that, secondly, this is at least 50% above the pro rata number of units of last year’s Dec-Feb bill. So, is this really fraud or just incompetence? This is a question that’s often asked here and, for the majority of my sceptical Spanish friends, there’s only one answer when considering the activities of “thieves in white gloves”. As it happens, I recently read that electricity companies are among the most profitable here. So I guess, like the banks, they can employ the country’s best brains and dedicate them to the core business challenge of devising sharp schemes to screw captive customers. Of course, it probably helps your bottom line not to need to have Marketing, Public Relations or Customer Service departments. And I don’t suppose it costs that much to have an Obfuscation department to construct the multi-element bills that make it hard for customers to fathom out what’s going on. I must buy some shares.

But perhaps the best news of the day is that we can now dismiss all the negative reports about the British pound as hysteria. Or so says this chap. Let’s hope he’s right. But, even if he isn’t, it puts me in a better mood to face this weekend’s forecasted rain, after ten days of the stuff already.

Finally, it’s reported that Spain’s annual inflation has now fallen to 0.8%, from something like 4.5% only a few months ago. But I’m not sure whether this ranks as good news or bad news, as some now see the spectre of deflation stalking the land. And this may be worse than inflation.


trevor said...

The minister wouldn't let the electrics raise tariffs enough to cover their anticipated rise in costs, so I suspect a quiet deal was done to let them raise cash via this route.

mike the trike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mike the trike said...

have just received my estimated electric bill and it is 50% more than what I would have paid last year. Guess it is just too difficult to check my last year's bill to see what I used and work out what one month would cost.

Colin said...

Fenosa? Strangely, exactly the same as my own over-estimate. Surely no coincidence. Cynical. Stuff the customers. Or they can't do maths.

mike the trike said...

Yes I have my supply from Fenosa. I wonder what will happen next month when they have to try and work out how much I have overpaid and subtract that from the reading which will be for two months. I doubt that it could be done on a calculator or a computer because it is so complex. I get a headache just thinking about it and the thousands of bills that have to be adjusted.

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