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