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Why Private is Always Better Than Public.

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A friend has just moved house, she informed Barclay's Bank that she had changed her address.

 

They sent a thank you letter stating "Thank you for informing of us of your change of address" to her old address.

 

More efficient my arris.

 

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BT. Don't ever have a problem that means their lowest-cost helldesk has to deviate from their narrow scripts because they can't.

Water. Privatised yet it is a monopoly. Can I change water provider like I do gas and electricity? No. Can I do anything about their persistent increases in charges? No.

That's not even touching the abysmal service we get but cannot change in the other private sector industries because of the nice oligopoly status.

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That's not even touching the abysmal service we get but cannot change in the other private sector industries because of the nice oligopoly status.

No different to when they were public sector monopolies.

 

I remember British Rail.  Oh yes I do, and their limp sandwiches (when they could be bothered offering them), their dirty trains and the timetables made up on the hoof (which would generally have been a faster and more efficient way of getting from A to B than British Rail).

 

I've never had a problem with BT, either as a public or private monopoly.  But maybe I've just been lucky.

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No different to when they were public sector monopolies.

 

I remember British Rail.  Oh yes I do, and their limp sandwiches (when they could be bothered offering them), their dirty trains and the timetables made up on the hoof (which would generally have been a faster and more efficient way of getting from A to B than British Rail).

 

I've never had a problem with BT, either as a public or private monopoly.  But maybe I've just been lucky.

I travelled from Bristol to Leeds last summer, the food ran out after Birmingham.  The train was half an hour late into Leeds, but not to worry the "train manager" told us, they'd make it up between Leeds and Newcastle (the train was travelling from Penzance to Aberdeen)  I could recount several other "advenures" on the privatised railway.  British Rail may have been bad but the private companies are worse.

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Generally either pure privatisation or pure public ownership would be better than the current model. The former would see companies having to actually compete for business and the latter remove the need to make ever increasing profits for shareholders. As it is they have free rein to do as they please and rip people off

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I travelled from Bristol to Leeds last summer, the food ran out after Birmingham.  The train was half an hour late into Leeds, but not to worry the "train manager" told us, they'd make it up between Leeds and Newcastle (the train was travelling from Penzance to Aberdeen)  I could recount several other "advenures" on the privatised railway.  British Rail may have been bad but the private companies are worse.

I must have been lucky with post privatisation train travel too then!  I've never stopped in the middle of nowhere like I did with BR over and over again.  The food has never run out on my trains and very few are late and when they are either it's due to some actual occurrence (like a fallen tree or the tracks have been stolen) rather than the wrong leaves on the line or it's only by a few minutes.  There is still very much an overcrowding problem though on long distance trains but at least they tend to be cleaner these days so sitting on the floor isn't quite as bad.  Not that our train service is the best or anything, just relatively better, in my own experience anyway.

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And of course the publicly run East Coast trains are more efficient and make more profit (for the taxpayer) than either of their predecessor private companies did.  So of course this government is going to privatise  them as soon as possible, using bogus statistics to justify their actions.

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I must have been lucky with post privatisation train travel too then!  I've never stopped in the middle of nowhere like I did with BR over and over again.  The food has never run out on my trains and very few are late and when they are either it's due to some actual occurrence (like a fallen tree or the tracks have been stolen) rather than the wrong leaves on the line or it's only by a few minutes.  There is still very much an overcrowding problem though on long distance trains but at least they tend to be cleaner these days so sitting on the floor isn't quite as bad.  Not that our train service is the best or anything, just relatively better, in my own experience anyway.

Right let's give you a few examples. Having taken £180 off me at Wakefield station the train doors were closed in my face and I was told they couldn't be opened again because it cost £1000 per minute to delay the train. I caught the next train, which was delayed 20 minutes at Doncaster while they sourced more bacon butties.

I was supposed to get off a train at Wakefield and it didn't stop - (it was supposed to) it carried on to Leeds

We were going to London, a train broke down at the platform (not a GNER train) and couldn't be moved in time for our train to come in. When it finally was moved our train came through but didn't stop.  The GNER platform staff said there was no one on this train, we could see them!  When we asked for compensation we were told to contact Midland Main Line trains because it was their train that caused the delay - a lie.  I could recount several more incidents but I don't want to bore people.  You need to take off your blue tinted glasses and see the world as it really is in the post Thatcher era.  And it's not just the railways.  

Edited by Trojan

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I've switched from BT  today. Not because I'm saving any money but because, when my phone line stopped working, I was diverted fro pillar to post to get someone to come and fix it. I was given about six different numbers, each one an automated answering service. Then no-one was able to come and check it out for another few days.

 

The new firm say I just have to ring them in Manchester and they sort it all out.

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Oh the bad old days of BR, I remember them well. Back then I could get a direct train from Liverpool to Glasgow. To Edinburgh. To Newcastle. To Reading. To Southampton. I could get a train to Mancheter in just over half the time it takes now. Terrible, terrible service it was back then.

Since privatisation far more public money has gone into the railways and fares rocketed, but apart form some shiny new trains the overall service has improved little considering. Especially when you consider the decades of neglect our rail system suffered. People always critics BR for the way it was run but they did a hell of a job keeping running at all with the budget they were on and all the false promises made by successive governments.

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Oh the bad old days of BR, I remember them well. Back then I could get a direct train from Liverpool to Glasgow. To Edinburgh. To Newcastle. To Reading. To Southampton. I could get a train to Mancheter in just over half the time it takes now. Terrible, terrible service it was back then.

Since privatisation far more public money has gone into the railways and fares rocketed, but apart form some shiny new trains the overall service has improved little considering. Especially when you consider the decades of neglect our rail system suffered. People always critics BR for the way it was run but they did a hell of a job keeping running at all with the budget they were on and all the false promises made by successive governments.

Shiny new trains?  Out this way we've still got the ancient old InterCity trains because they keep changing the franchisee so often that no-one wants to spend the money on new trains.  Apparently, we'll have to wait at least 4-5 years before the first newer trains MAY come online, even then that's not guaranteed by any means and all depends on government attitudes towards cutting subsidies.

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Shiny new trains? Out this way we've still got the ancient old InterCity trains because they keep changing the franchisee so often that no-one wants to spend the money on new trains. Apparently, we'll have to wait at least 4-5 years before the first newer trains MAY come online, even then that's not guaranteed by any means and all depends on government attitudes towards cutting subsidies.

I did say some :rolleyes:

Can't be any worse than round here. Northern Fail who are still running 'Sprinters' (and whoever came up with that name for them obviously had a sense of humour) which are literally busses on rails and introduced in around 1980 as a temporary measure until something better came along. And on Merseyrail all the stock dates back to 1977!

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Oh the bad old days of BR, I remember them well. Back then I could get a direct train from Liverpool to Glasgow. To Edinburgh. To Newcastle. To Reading. To Southampton. I could get a train to Mancheter in just over half the time it takes now. Terrible, terrible service it was back then.

Since privatisation far more public money has gone into the railways and fares rocketed, but apart form some shiny new trains the overall service has improved little considering. Especially when you consider the decades of neglect our rail system suffered. People always critics BR for the way it was run but they did a hell of a job keeping running at all with the budget they were on and all the false promises made by successive governments.

If I didn't have friends who commutted every day, my perception would be the train service was superb, but that would be based on the 6 or so journeys I make, on a shiney (ish) new(ish) train from Wigan to London in next to no time at all for what I consider a reasonable price.  However, I see enough #northernfail comments to conclude the every day service leaves a little to be desired to put it mildly! 

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Oh the bad old days of BR, I remember them well. Back then I could get a direct train from Liverpool to Glasgow. To Edinburgh. To Newcastle. To Reading. To Southampton. I could get a train to Mancheter in just over half the time it takes now. Terrible, terrible service it was back then.

Since privatisation far more public money has gone into the railways and fares rocketed, but apart form some shiny new trains the overall service has improved little considering. Especially when you consider the decades of neglect our rail system suffered. People always critics BR for the way it was run but they did a hell of a job keeping running at all with the budget they were on and all the false promises made by successive governments.

In 1945 the railways which hard borne the brunt of transport during the war, were run down, worn out and the government owed them billions (in today's figures) Instead of paying up, the new Labour government nationalised them.  Promises of investment were made, by governments of both colours, but never carried out. Instead transport minister Marples (whose family owned Marples-Ridgeway - contractors for the new motorways) gave Dr Richard Beeching the task of making the railways pay. Dr. Beeching's solution was to close vast swathes of railways.  The statistics on which these closures were based were to say the least dodgy. Most of the surveys of lines to be closed were taken at off-peak periods.  The classic where I come from is the two lines from Wakefield to Bradford - which at the time gave Bradford a direct link to London - it doesn't have one now - the route that ran via Dewsbury was always packed at peak time, and including two stops could do Wakey to Dewsbury in 12 minutes - you couldn't do that today in a car even though part of the route is dual carriageway. (BTW they closed both direct lines to Bradford) In other words the Beeching plan was a stitch up to a. place emphasis on road transport and b. get the government off the hook regarding investment.  Again governments of both colours went along with it. Possibly the biggest mistake in transport planning our country has ever made.  The railways have never really recovered from the bashing they took in WWII.  When they were privatised in 1995 the rail companies saw it as a licence to print money. Not least Railtrack which made huge profits, but it turned out weren't actually maintaining the track, as several serious accidents proved.  So when we talk about public v private, let's just consider Railtrack's record compared to East Coast Trains.

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Right let's give you a few examples. Having taken £180 off me at Wakefield station the train doors were closed in my face and I was told they couldn't be opened again because it cost £1000 per minute to delay the train. I caught the next train, which was delayed 20 minutes at Doncaster while they sourced more bacon butties.

I was supposed to get off a train at Wakefield and it didn't stop - (it was supposed to) it carried on to Leeds

We were going to London, a train broke down at the platform (not a GNER train) and couldn't be moved in time for our train to come in. When it finally was moved our train came through but didn't stop.  The GNER platform staff said there was no one on this train, we could see them!  When we asked for compensation we were told to contact Midland Main Line trains because it was their train that caused the delay - a lie.  I could recount several more incidents but I don't want to bore people.  You need to take off your blue tinted glasses and see the world as it really is in the post Thatcher era.  And it's not just the railways.  

Nothing to do with blinkers.  I'm just speaking from my own experience.  Yours is not mine so from my perspective the rail service today is heaps better than in the BR days.

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 When they were privatised in 1995 the rail companies saw it as a licence to print money.

The rail services weren't privatised in 1995.  The process began in 1993 with an act of parliament and was completed by the Labour government after they took office in 1997.

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I did say some :rolleyes:

Can't be any worse than round here. Northern Fail who are still running 'Sprinters' (and whoever came up with that name for them obviously had a sense of humour) which are literally busses on rails and introduced in around 1980 as a temporary measure until something better came along. And on Merseyrail all the stock dates back to 1977!

Merseyrail trains had a massive overhaul about three years ago, although that may well have been just the inside, rather than changing the carriages themselves,.

 

Edit:* quick check and you're pretty much right, Merseryrail trains are from 1980 according to the fountain of all knowledge (Wikipedia)

Edited by MikeW

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I did say some :rolleyes:

Can't be any worse than round here. Northern Fail who are still running 'Sprinters' (and whoever came up with that name for them obviously had a sense of humour) which are literally busses on rails and introduced in around 1980 as a temporary measure until something better came along. And on Merseyrail all the stock dates back to 1977!

 

Sprinters and Pacers from memory.  The latter being genuinely just bus interiors stuck onto an awful one or two car unit.  Still used all over the Valley Lines and Aviva trains in Wales.  Never pleasant.

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Privatisation and Public companies both have their upsides and downsides. Privatisation doesn't seem to have many of the benefits that it is heralded for and regardless of what they say is inevitably almost never customer focussed. However, I find that dealing with some sections of the public sector can be infuriating especially customer service. Too often there are people that unhelpful and just unfriendly and they are able to stay in their job without the checks and balances that the private sector might have. I'm not saying that the Private sector is perfect but I worked in customer service for a while and know that there is only so long that somebody would get away with talking to customers the way they might do at the doctors, the clinic or the council. Yet you know that in the Public sector they've often been there for 25 years and see the general public as a nuisance.

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A friend has just moved house, she informed Barclay's Bank that she had changed her address.

 

They sent a thank you letter stating "Thank you for informing of us of your change of address" to her old address.

 

More efficient my arris.

 

That's class. :tongue:

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Privatisation and Public companies both have their upsides and downsides. Privatisation doesn't seem to have many of the benefits that it is heralded for and regardless of what they say is inevitably almost never customer focussed. However, I find that dealing with some sections of the public sector can be infuriating especially customer service. Too often there are people that unhelpful and just unfriendly and they are able to stay in their job without the checks and balances that the private sector might have. I'm not saying that the Private sector is perfect but I worked in customer service for a while and know that there is only so long that somebody would get away with talking to customers the way they might do at the doctors, the clinic or the council. Yet you know that in the Public sector they've often been there for 25 years and see the general public as a nuisance.

Indeed, ultimately they are all just companies and will have similar people running them no matter what.

 

I have had wonderful experiences with private companies and awful experiences too.

 

Some of my worst levels of service in the last few years has been through the NHS, although I should probably be grateful to them for my treatment when I had clots on my lungs, although without me taking charge, it could have ended up much worse as they were simply horrendous at follow up treatment once they allowed me to go home.

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A friend has just moved house, she informed Barclay's Bank that she had changed her address.

 

They sent a thank you letter stating "Thank you for informing of us of your change of address" to her old address.

 

More efficient my arris.

Is that a true story? I'm really not sure why a bank would write a letter just to say thanks for telling us something.

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Is that a true story? I'm really not sure why a bank would write a letter just to say thanks for telling us something.

I asked a friend this over coffee about 10 minutes ago, she works for a bank's customer services.  She said that's perfectly acceptable practice sending it to the old address as it then catches out fraudsters who've intercepted enough information to get an account address changed, they've caught out a good few in the past just with this and people calling up saying "I've not changed anything!"  Their assumption is that if you've moved genuinely then you'll have a redirection service in place or they'll get it back as undeliverable.

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The rail services weren't privatised in 1995.  The process began in 1993 with an act of parliament and was completed by the Labour government after they took office in 1997.

, You are wrong the privatisation happened in 1995, I went to Edinburgh in August 1995 on GNER.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Privatisation_of_British_Rail

"The Labour government (elected in 1997 once almost all of the privatisation process had been completed)"

Edited by Trojan

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