Apparently energy companies are getting into trouble for inaccurate estimates. To me this is missing the point. If the customer fails to check the estimated bill against the meter, that is their own look-out and any consequence is their just deserts for being lazy or ill informed. No the real problem is not estimates, but direct debits getting mangled, bills not being sent for months or even years, meter readers not keeping appointments, and customer readings not being used to recalculate bills.

I really do think that laws on consumer protection should have a clause that exempt people from compensation or protection where a person of reasonable intelligence (allowing for natural degredation due to age) would not fall foul of making the same mistake. So for example a person biting straight into a pop-tart straight out of the toaster and full of hot jam, or who poured boiling coffee all over themselves, would have a ruling that the burns were just punishment for their innate stupidity.

There are cases where corporations do not take sufficient care in their dealings with customers, and in such cases they should be held responsible. However we should not be rewarding or compensating people for their own stupidity.

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