Tuesday, December 19, 2006

NTL: Atomised Payments?

As reported in the Irish ElectricNews.net NTL have taken to charging customers a "handling fee" if they choose to not pay by direct debit. At a company level one understands that it costs more to bill those people that are not on direct debit, and it costs more to administer their accounts. The question I would have is what are the demographic or psychographic profiles of the customers that are not on direct debit? For instance, if I am a pensioner, with a post office account, and don't use a bank account, will this look well on the Joe Duffy radio show! "The paper also says that cable company NTL has defended its decision to impose a surcharge for late payments on customers and forcing them to use direct debit mandates. The company has been criticised by the chairwoman of the National Consumer Agency, Ann Fitzgerald, for deciding to charge customers an extra EUR2 per bill if they do not pay by direct debit. Customers who do not pay their bills on time will be charged an extra EUR7.68. A spokeswoman for UPC Broadband, the parent company of NTL and Chorus, said Chorus was already operating the late payment fee and it was being introduced to NTL to standardise both operations".

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1 comment:

Seamus McCauley said...

Is there really that much cross-over between people who don't have a bank account and broadband/cable adopters? People who "bank" with the post office presumably do so out of a fear of change since their rates and service levels are unexceptional. I'd expect them to still have a BT landline and be very surprised to find them cabling Teleport into their homes.

(Though I do enjoy the disingenuity of "it was being introduced to NTL to standardise both operations" - can't they just come out and say "introduced to make money, same as everything we do"?)

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