Black lists and Bad Credit Rating

Many firms and organizations check out new customers with credit-rating agencies who keep computerized black lists of people considered to be bad risks.
Why, you may well wonder, aren’t there similar black lists of firms, shops, restaurants, etc, who are equally bad risks to the unsuspecting customers who support them? It would make a great website.
For a small annual subscription you would be able to find out whether an electrician is likely to turn up when he says he will, or whether an HP company is run by financiers or a gang of extortionists.
In the absence of any such public service I have compiled over the years my own black list of ‘offenders’. New names are added to it daily, with the result that I will soon either have to revise it drastically or go and live in another country.
It’s not easy to get on my black list, but a surprising number of people and places have managed. Once they are on it there is no appeal and the boycott is operated ruthlessly.
I suppose there are more restaurants than anything else on the list. Generally speaking poisonous food is not sufficient reason to bring in a total boycott. But if the food is bad, the service poor and the head waiter follows me to my car with an empty plate in his hand complaining that I haven’t left a tip, then on the list it goes.
One quick way for a firm to get on my black list is to refuse to take a cheque when they know I’ve done business with them before.
Anyone I suspect has taken me for a ride gets on the black list pretty fast, too. A year or two ago I had to call in a plumber to unblock the bath waste pipe. It took him twenty minutes and he charged me eight quid.
When I queried the bill he found eight good reasons why it should, in fact, have cost ten quid. I paid him, but he will never unblock another plughole for me, even if it means I never bathe again.
Depriving errant firms of your money is a satisfying business, but at times it takes a lot of self-discipline to observe it. There is a distinct possibility, for instance, that there will soon be nowhere I can eat out in central London.
Keep a black list, observe it ruthlessly, and exchange names with friends who keep one, too. No firm can afford to be on too many people’s black lists.
WHAT WE SAY: – Ban the bum