7 outrageous money rip-offs, wrongs and injustices we have to right in 2017
Doesn’t it make your blood boil when you feel like you are getting conned by companies piling on extra fees and charges?
Do you think there must be better ways we can raise more money to help pay for things like a crumbling NHS and social care system?
Money Making Champion’s answer to both questions is an emphatic yes! So in the spirit of having a collective happier New Year here is our 2017 Money Manifesto designed to right some of the worst money wrongs.
It outlines how seven dodgy or downright annoying money issues can be solved in an instant with common sense legislation that would make us all that little bit financially happier this year. Would you support the manifesto?
1. Stop the ticket reselling con
From concerts to theatre tickets to sporting events, we are being ripped off left, right and centre.
Professional ticket sellers use technology to make a fast buck by buying up as many tickets as they can get their hands on and immediately placing them on second hand ticket sites for a massive mark-up.
Ordinary fans don’t stand a chance – and end up forking out a fortune for a night out.
The Money Making Champion Manifesto: Only allow reselling at face value plus a maximum and reasonable administration fee (e.g. no more than 5% of the ticket price plus delivery charges).
2. Introduce a tourist tax
Most major tourist cities and destinations around the world have a per night tourist tax.
This is normally a reasonable amount per person per night that has never stopped me visiting a destination I want to see or influenced my travel plans.
With the value of the pound tumbling it has become a lot cheaper to visit the UK and we could be set for a prolonged tourist boom.
The Money Making Champion Manifesto: Allow local councils to charge tourists a small amount per night for hotel, accommodation and even AirBnB rentals, providing vital resources for beleaguered budgets or to help limit future council tax rises.
3. Ban ludicrous credit card and transaction fees
There have been many attempts to make those extra fees that are added on to any purchase more transparent. You know the sort of thing. Just when you think you have found a good price for, say, an airline ticket or going to an event, along come the credit card fees, admin fees, handling fees, arrangement fees…
You name it, they will probably charge for it. And often these fees appear completely out of kilter with reasonable charges the company will incur. It feels like they hook you in – and then watch you squirm.
The Money Making Champion Manifesto: Force every retailer, travel company and event organizer to be completely transparent about fees upfront, showing both the total price and then a breakdown of each ‘extra’. What’s more, force companies to only be able to charge credit card fees at the actual rate it costs them and limit any other ‘admin fees’ to less than 5% of the total transaction fee, if that.
4. Tax foreign homeowners
Our small island is facing a big housing crisis, with huge shortages of houses to buy and rent – with the result that living costs are soaring for so many people.
At the same time there has been a surge in overseas buyers of British homes – especially with the fall in the value of the pound, which makes them relatively cheaper. But many of these homes are left unoccupied for large parts of the year.
Something is just not adding up in the housing market.
The Money Making Champion Manifesto: Increase stamp duty for overseas buyers of property and/or increase the council tax for unoccupied homes. Use this to provide rent or housing support for the most needy and for our hard-working and oh- so-needed public service employees.
5. Stop outrageous train ticket price rises
It’s the same New Year’s message every year. The announcement of above inflation rises in train ticket prices. Meanwhile the headlines scream about dire services and strikes.
The Money Making Champion Manifesto: Link price rises to inflation once and for all. And fine train companies at least double the revenues generated from this annual price rise if the services fall below required standards. Use this money and further capital expenditure from Central Government to invest in rail infrastructure to boost the economy and jobs – don’t rely on privatized train companies to do any real, long-lasting, investment.
6. Freeze cold calling, cold texting, cold e-mailing…and increase the fines
Despite supposed restrictions on cold calling, texting, emails et al – I get approached week in, week out with a seemingly unending array of unsolicited communications. Just as, if not more, annoyingly, I am now getting automated ‘customer service’ calls from services with no other point than to try and sell me more stuff…and get me more riled. As I write I have just been interrupted by an unsolicited call from website and domain provider Go Daddy – which has immediately prompted me to go somewhere else with my business. And don’t get me started on pre-ticked boxes on websites that automatically sign me up to marketing mayhem.
The Money Making Champion Manifesto: Every and any communication should be 100% and completely transparently opt-in with pro-active consent required. Not opt-out or hidden in endless T&Cs. Companies should get automatic per person fines for any proven cold communication reported to the Information Commissioner – with individual directors held financially accountable as necessary.
7. Loyalty should be rewarded
Loyalty is very rarely rewarded in this modern world of ours. I can’t understand why not. A simple rule of business is an existing customer is much easier and less expensive to look after properly than acquiring a new one. So why then, for example, do financial services firms offer ridiculous incentives to new customers whilst ignoring their existing ones?
The Money Making Champion Manifesto: Every business should be forced to treat existing customers in the same way as new customers. This means being required by law to automatically offer any deals used to attract new customers to their current customers – no ifs or buts – or get fined by their industry regulator.
We could go on. Banning up-selling at tills (especially for unhealthy arrays of confectionery), culling outrageous marketing claims based on pseudo science or nonsense surveys, stopping door-to-door sales people…we can feel ourselves getting hot under the collar just thinking about it…
What do you think? Do you agree with the manifesto and what other outrageous practices should we campaign to do away with in 2017?