'Ethical' business practice now includes overcharging pensioners to ring the bank...

16 July 2012

ethical adj 1 relating to or concerning morals, justice or duty. 2 morally right

Oh dear Co-op. First your supermarkets get a slating and now your ‘ethical’ financial services turn out to be less co-operative than billed. Billed being the operative word.

Co-op‘Ethical’ bank the co-op recently changed the telephone numbers across their financial services range from 0845 numbers to 0844. You are probably thinking these numbers are only a digit different, surely they are the same thing, more or less? Well, the new numbers are very definitely more, not less.

An internal memo leaked to The Guardian has shown that far from being in customers’ interests, this change was very definitely aimed at bringing in an extra £2.4m by adding an extra amount of up to 4p per minute (ex VAT) on every call. Not really in line with what Co-op would have us believe “since The Co-operative Movement was created in 1844 it has been based on doing what's right for members and the wider community.” All the pensioner members, would beg to disagree.

Outraged customers have already been complaining, with Co-op allegedly saying the change was sanctioned by Oftel and that the calls should now be cheaper. Neither of these things are accurate. A spokesman is reported to have said that “following feedback and further analysis, we are reviewing the decision,” although the higher-rate numbers are still in force at the moment.

But given that the co-operative is, well, a co-operative, and therefore owned by its members, does charging them more make sense? It shows just how far society has come when even a co-operative is a victim of corporate greed…

TOPICS:   Banking

13 comments

  • Kevin
    Ethical is about their investments, not about their business dealings. Well that's what I got from their adverts anyway :P
  • roge
    all banks should offer a normal phone no# as well as any other types phoning a normal phone no# from a mobile is free but phoning a 0800, 0845 etc no# from a mobile costs money no-one uses a landline anymore and it would work out cheaper for both the bank and the punter
  • PlatinumPlatypus
    Telephone service providers still manage to spin out to a surprising number of companies that 0844 etc will be cheaper for the customers than their existing number AND they'll get revenue sharing (which is forbidden with 0845 and 0870). Surely these companies shouldn't be swallowing that at face value.
  • Alex B.
    'Ethical' is a subjective term; given that the Co-Op donates to the Labour Party, and Triodos is proud of its association with homeopathic product vendor Neal's Yard, I don't see any reason to switch from my high street bank, who never seriously claim to be 'ethical'.
  • Chewbacca
    If only the pensioners weren't so goddamn stupid. It takes like, ten seconds to find a "calling from outside of the UK" bit on their website or wherever. Saynoto0870 works as well. Stupid people deserve to be charged.
  • Sicknote
    My local Co-op always smells of piss and biscuits.
  • bitterwallet r.
    Stupid decision - but then again why don't all banks offer their 'calling from outside the UK' numbers as their detault one, rather than an 0845/0870 etc? It's all about greed in the UK and how much we can fleece the punter.
  • Inspector G.
    Since online banking I never call or visit my bank. Why should I dictate my wishes to some lazy mouth breather who's only employment prospects are 'customer support agent' and is only concerned about their 'wrap time' and when their next break is? I can input my request directly into the bank's systems without any chance of human error other than my own. As they say in Russa, simplez.
  • Donkeyboy
    Co-op are no more ethical than any other bank. If you saw the C4 program about their undertaker business and you realise they are just another bunch of money grabbing b'stards.
  • dumb c.
    saynoto0870 does the job to get a landline number for any business that thinks we are fucking mugs. BARCLAYS/;LLOYDS are all piss taking cunts. For them also to take the piss, you need a bigger mug to take the piss out of.
  • The M.
    There's a website out there somewhere which gives you the normal phone numbers for these kinds of places, look for it yourself tho, lazy bastards
  • JGB
    Have you noticed how doctors surgeries are also making the switch to 0844 numbers? GRRRREEEEED! Good luck in finding your local doctors surgeries on saynotto0870
  • julianhburchill
    bitterwallet, you should be kicked to death.

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