BG Central Heating breakdown care

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wrote:

trained
tech
Yes they were when public owned. The odd screw up which the right wing press at the time would blow to high heaven.

nothing
privatised.
has
to
A few ex public sector employees are on this ng, and almost all will tell a similar story. I know a ex service manger at BG. When privatised the canteen manageress was made head of the service depts, having no experience whatsoever in this field, management and technical. He left.

BG was in area boards and that area arrangement was kept when made BG from the old gas board.

It resulted in having private rip-off merchants run the place for a fast buck.

No one was bigger than BG. No one.
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Not in my experience.

This was my point. In order to operate successfully, people who know the business sector *and* who know how to run a business are required. The public sector does not provide the correct environment to achieve the second of these, so sadly, those who are equipped with the knowledge of the sector do not make good business managers.

A renaming exercise is not enough. It is necesaary to break up the old structures completely and start again.

There is nothing wrong with making money quickly. A rip off only arises when a customer does not feel that he is getting value for money. He then shops elsewhere. The private sector gives him the opportunity to do that.

Therein lied and lies the problem, as with other megaliths such as the health service. All of these need to be broken up and totally restructured.

.andy
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Nor mine. And they don't get another go, so I'll never know if they're any better now.
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wrote:

a
experience
The people there were very bright and knew how to run their service depts with a service level from every level. You read the Daily Mail too much.

from
There was no need at all as it worked. They did change it now look what we have.,

BG was broken up and now look at the mess.
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It doesn't matter how well qualified and skilled the people are, if the customer is not getting the service required because the organisation is fundamentally broken then it all goes to naught.
I had occasion to attempt to use their service prior to privatisation and again more recently. In both cases a 3* or equivalent contract was in place. On both occasions I was told that they were not able to attend for 5 days because they "were busy" and that there were people (unspecified) with higher priority. When I protested that this was not acceptable, the person couldn't understand what my problem was.
That is the essence of it. A culture which believes that it is doing a great job but is falling way short. That is why I blame the middle management and marketing people. They have not provided the service that the customer is entitled to expect and have not recognised it. Worse still, they have not instilled the right ethic into their customer facing staff.
It's a sham.

It was broken and remains so in my experience. They won't be getting another opportunity to do business with me. The only saving grace, post privatisation, was that at least under threat of legal action they refunded my money.
.andy
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wrote:

The customer was getting the service levels and the system worked, although a computerised admin system would have helped (which were only being introduced as privatisation was cast upon them).

Can't speak for you.

we
It worked and now is appalling after 20 years.

That's because greed took over.
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Sorry, but I don't call a 5 day delay any kind of useful service level.

I can. I'm simply telling you what happened on two occasions.

Patently it didn't and doesn't.

No it's because there was and is very little business acumen.
Anyway, as I say, it's irrelevant as far as I am concerned.
I want to be able to get and pay for a good quality service. BG were not and it seems are not able to provide it. Therefore they don't get the business - it's as easy as that.

.andy
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I had a number of dealings with the old BG. They weren't too successful. 1) A gas water heater was installed, the water came out of the gas jets! 2) The boiler was serviced, it wasn't! The jets blocked with carbon. They lost the service contract to me. 3) The gas fire was changed over to natural gas, as a result, the gas fire over heated and was a fire hazard. The attitude was "If it ain't easy go away"! 4) A gas water heater required a new heat exchanger, they lost the original and the replacement! With a pedigree like that, privatising it was their only option. Their present success as a servicing operation is totally dependent on good advertising and lack of effective competitors. Hopefully some will appear in the future. Regards Capitol
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Hall wrote:

I last seriously studied economics about 30 years ago, but for a free market to exist a whole number of conditions have to be satisfied, one of which IIRC is that buyers and sellers have 'perfect' knowledge about what is being bought and sold. Patently in many cases the buyers haven't and the sellers aren't going to enlighten them. Instead you get BG adverts telling you that replacing your CH pump could cost 542 (or whatever) and so a 3-star contract makes sense or Currrys selling people extended warranties for products that have a <5% chance of breaking down in the guarantee period.

They coexist because of the lack of consumer knowledge, also because of supply shortages - if your CH breaks down you will be strongly tempted to go to the firm who can come round today, not the A1 guy who is booked for the next 2 months.
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Compared to the denigrations in service offered "after"... Come to think of it, i`m having problems thinking of a single "improvement" under private ownership - we used to just do our jobs and keep the network up and running.
Think about it - there`s talk of blackouts because the now-private companies are shutting down generation capacity because the profit margin isn`t high enough.
At least while state run there was, in theory, someone overseeing and making decisions about the industry. Now no-one does effectively.
Try explaining to private owners the benefits of a little over-capacity as a benefit to the whole country when they get no profit from it.
Is a "guaranteed standard" as proffered by ofgem really an improvement to a well (and regularly) maintained network, rather than one running on the bones of its ass ?
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wrote:

OK. So I think you are talking about an infrastructure organisation like the CEGB?
My view on the electricity industry is that some parts arguably should be run on a not-for-profit basis (distribution springs to mind). However, I do not believe that that means that it should be a state run setup in the same way as in the old days.
The standard principles and rules of business should be applied as though it is operating profitably in the private sector. This means paying the executives at the market rate, accountability for all employees, including having some income on risk based on achieving goals and targets. Individuals should be able to over-achieve on salary and conditions if they over-achieve on goals.
I see, no reason, however, to have the generating capacity under any form of state ownership or control.

That's a regulation issue. The operating license for a power generating company or facility should have certain technical provisions in it requiring certain availability and capacity criteria. I agree that it makes sense strategically to have that a little over and above what the market would suggest. However, it is simple enough for this all to be factored into the business model of the operating companies, and they should be required to take it into account. Given that this is made a requirement of the license, pricing should be allowed to be a little higher to account for it.

That depends on the definition of the guaranteed standard. That should account for what is required to maintain the network regularly and well, to be adequately fault tolerant and able to deliver the required capacity. Perhaps the issue is one of technical competence at Ofgem...
.andy
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Andy Hall wrote:

Free-marketeers don't believe in regulation.
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wrote:

Nonsense.
It's a matter of appropriateness and degree and the areas in which regulation is applied.
Even in the world of totally private companies there is regulation through all kinds of legislation.
For example, if I am the director of a limited company, I have certain statutory duties including to my shareholders and my suppliers. I have to abide by those rules or I may be committing a criminal offence. The regulation is there to set the rules for all involved. This does not mean that the Registrar of Companies, the Inland Revenue and HM Customs and Excise tell me how I run my business as long as I do so within the rules.
In Colin's example, it may well make sense for there to be a bit of overcapacity to safeguard the interests of the customer, even though it may come with some cost. It's reasonable to add that into the rules as long as everybody can take that into account in their business models.
It doesn't need a state operated system to achieve that.
.andy
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They do everything to get rid of any form of regulation. In the City they have "codes of conduct". Can you believe it? yes, "codes of conduct", while the rest of us conformed to laws.
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IMM wrote in message .. .

Speak for yourself? LOL Capitol
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Andy Hall wrote:

To be honest, if you could show your displeasure with the stupid bastards who have inadequate capacity by switching suppliers to those who have capacity, it would cease to be a "regulation" matter and just market forces.
Private owners offering secure generation capacity is good thing. Unfortunately, under the old state system, we made bigger and bigger electricity generation stations, which can then approach the theoretical maximum efficiency of (35% ???) for electrical generation from thermal sources. This ignored security of supply ( lose one station and 10% of national capacity) and the potential benefits of central energy schemes where the low-grade heat remaining could be profitably sold on for industrial or private heating. I think that was a result of a statutory obligation to generate electricity and not "generate energy" (I know, I know - you can't generate energy, but you might know what I mean)
If we had small generating plant, dotted around towns, a competitive service would have grown up. Possibly many of these small operations would have started to invest in renewables.
Steve
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All generators effectively piss into the same pot though. Just because one may theoretically may have more capacity than another means nothing when there is no means of switching customers from another supplier off because "their" supplier is low on capacity.
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What is the difference? One private and run not for profit, but the top people,can pay themselves millions , but still no profit, or a well run system like we had under public ownership with no top management rip-off artists hanging about.

They were when in the public sector. BG was never subsidised by the public. If you didn't pay your bill they cut you off.

Market rate? Is that what they call it. Pays off for failure of millions. I call it extortion.

BG has a bonus scheme going when public owned. A "private" company came in assessed their system and implemented it.

The bonus scheme

I do. To keep it away from private rip-off sharks. Power is essential, to the nation, it must be in firm reliable hands.
< snip Andy scraping the barrel to defend the indefensible. >
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You obviously have no notion of the way that successful businesses operate.
Pay in the private sector is determined by the market and the shareholders. In the public sector, the same accountability is not there.

There is a lot more to the principle of private sector business than that.

Call it what you like. The market very effectively determines compensation packages for executives and other employees. Ask the HR department of any significant company and you will find that they spend a lot of time looking at this issue, in order to attract the people that they want, while not paying more than is required. It's a simple matter of supply and demand.

I don't mean woolly group bonus schemes. I am talking about individual accountability with extra income and benefits for overachieving, a shortfall and ultimately the sack for underachieving.

Then it definitely needs to be kept away from the state.......
.andy
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wrote:

Successful to you mean make lots of money at any costs. To others it means make money and provide the service.

millions.
Extortion!
in
Who assesses? A bonus scheme meant reward for a good quality high work rate.

to
So you like the prospect of brown outs and black outs then.
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