How to waste thousands of pounds a year (A Personal Rant)
So I settle down to the TV at night. I am bombarded by the usual irritating adverts - why are they all about cars? I am bored rigid by manic meercats pushing cheap car insurance (since when was car insurance 'cheap'?), car salesmen screaming out about their warehouse, strange people urging me to sell my car. But now there is a new subject. Food delivery companies trying to get me to spend many times more to feed myself and my family than I really need to! it started with -
Fast food Deliveries
OK, I can appreciate it that many people are addicted to fast food. Pizzas can be very tasty, I like the odd Kentucky Fried Chicken myself, an Indian curry is great after a few lagers. But to not only pay for someone to cook it, but also have it delivered by a courier who works not for the Indian or Chinese takeaway, but for a multi billion pound international food delivery company who charge a fortune not only to the customer, but also the guy who actually prepares the food? Now that is really taking the p**s.
Millions of people in Britain are paying several times more for their food than they need to. And why?
Hire and Reward Insurance
Would you believe that a major expense for these guys who make deliveries to your door is insurance? Some of them are paying HUNDREDS OF POUNDS every month for something called Hire and Reward Insurance! Why? Because the insurance companies have a captive clientelle, that's why!
Use your car for driving to and from the shops or to work is something we have to insure for. OK we have no choice. Drop a pizza off on the way though and the cost of that insurance goes up stratospherically! You don't believe me? Get a hire and reward insurance quote and see for yourself!
So, when you get your pizza delivered to your door you're not only paying for the ingredients (which cost next to nothing) but also the wages of the guy who prepared it, the profits of his boss, the overheads of the boss' shop, the maintenance of the delivery driver's car, the driver's fee, petrol (have you seen the price of it??), and the driver's outrageous hire and reward insurance premium too! Oh, as well as the tip you're expected to give!!
Ready to cook meals in a box?????
OK so maybe it's a convenience thing. The breadwinners get home, cold tired and hungry after sitting for hours in a traffic jam, and they want food. They are perfectly prepared to eat a meal that was cooked about an hour ago using the cheapest possible and which by the time they got it was lukewarm at best. No problem. But ready to cook meals?
So I'm a busy man. A hot meal (well, one that was hot once) delivered to my door is something I can understand. But to sit for ages waiting for someone to bring a box of ingredients so that I can then cook them myself, rather than go to the fridge and pop a ready meal into the microwave for a few minutes? Where on earth is the sense in that? And yet companies expecting us to do this spend a fortune on TV ads showing dumb families wearing plastic grins looking like they are enjoying their unappetising-looking meals (have you seen that horrible piece of meat being fried in a certain ad? Disgusting)!
Pity the fast food courier
We live in a gig economy. Millions of people are now doing routine work for little pay despite the fact that we have a minimum wage law; but the employers get away with this by classing their workers as self-employed. They don't then have to guarantee them minimum earnings, give them sick pay, contribute towards their national insurance payments.
In the case of food delivery drivers, they not only have to provide their own transport, but they also have to pay huge premiums to insure their cars, vans and (very often) scooters. This is because their accident rate is awful; the biggest demand for their services is in the evenings, particularly when the weather is bad, and they are under pressure to get their deliveries done as quickly as possible to earn their pittance and stop their customers complaining. All for earnings which are probably way below the minimum wage by the time their costs for petrol, insurance, vehicle maintenance and depreciation has been deducted.
So the next time a frozen and bedraggled delivery person knocks on the dood offering a bag of rapidly cooling junk food, offer a tip rather than a moan about how long you've had to wait - it's not his or her fault that you have been conned by a TV advert.