Archive for September, 2010

Whenever I’ve checked my family electric bill, I have never known exactly what’s going on because the calculations are so very complicated. I have kept all my electric bills since 1998 and found that costs have risen very much during this period. I had pre-figured, fixed payments, and never checked the price structure. As a result, the illegal price increases on the part of the electric distribution companies, which are all virtual monopolies, escaped me. The Slovenian electric distribution companies increased prices 6% without any justification in 2008/2009. The High Court decreed that the companies had to pay back that 6 % to each customer. However, to date they haven’t done this.

In terms of Business Models Combining, this situation inspired an interesting initiative from the newly-formed Society for the Return of Overpaid Electricity, which was established by Rado Pezdir. Members of the Society demand the return of over-paid electricity fees and all customers were invited to join the society and to empower executives to request the return in their names. All services are free for the society members and, to date, over 73,000 customers have joined the Society for the Return of Overpaid Electricity, which has attracted the participation of a well-known law firm that has initiated the judicial process.

When the law firm filed the first action against the electric distribution companies, they responded and began to return some over-billings. This presents a classic model for Business Models Combining of individuals / households with a consumer protection society and a law firm. The society has managed to break monopolistic complacency and arrogance. Households have had the cost of electricity reduced, and the law firm has reaped a lot of priceless goodwill and very favorable public relations by forcing the electric distribution companies to return the money that was unlawfully obtained.

Combining customers against monopolistic companies is the most effective tool to achieve justice. It can give consumers an equivalent position in the negotiations for the correction of unfair performance of a value proposition which does not treat them fairly because of their position in the market. Having successfully taken on the electric companies, Rado Pezdir therefore has now announced a new consumer action to be taken against the monopolistic behavior of Slovenia banks.

Business Model Canvas, Osterwalder, Pigneur & al. 2010, CC BY-SA 3.0.

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