Paying for privilege of new technology

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I REALISE that as I get older I often find myself thinking back to how things once were and I also know I become more cynical as a result of some of life’s experiences, but is there any wonder?

Last week I visited the Shirecliffe waste disposal site. I was greeted by a guy with a clipboard who asked me what was in my plastic bags and depending on what I said he directed me to the appropriate skip where I climbed up around 10 steps to dispose of my rubbish. At one time I just arrived and threw anything in a skip then drove off.

Now I spend much of my time sorting stuff out to dispose of and even wheel my own bins at home to the end of the drive. Despite all my work does my council tax ever go down ?

At the local supermarket after filling my basket I am now encouraged to scan my own items, fill the bags (which I have to bring with me) then pay a machine which fortunately gives me my change.

Despite all my input does my shopping bill ever go down?

If I go to the garage I fill my own car with petrol and walk to the kiosk to pay and if I wish to check my tyre pressure, guess what? I have to pay for the air. Does the price of petrol ever come down?

Technology allows me to buy a rail ticket online which I can collect on the day from a machine at the station yet when I come to pay at the end I’m charged a handling fee. Who’s handling the ticket apart from me?

I can buy my electricity and gas from numerous sources but there is no guarantee that the company I use or have used for years is giving me the best price. Indeed, it is more likely that the more loyal I have been to them the more they are charging me. Do my energy bills ever go down despite all this competition?

At least when I had no choice I knew I was not being charged more than the people next door.

Lastly, ever tried ringing a bank energy supplier or a Government department? Chances are you will be paying for the call to listen to a tape recording offering you lots of different options and after around eight minutes you find you will still be waiting to speak to someone.

Technology, eh?

Bob Hull S10