September 15, 2004
Another reason to dislike TXU
Want a reason to dislike TXU beyond their desire to charge poor people extra? According to this Texas Observer article, they may have committed securities fraud in the wake of the Enron collapse. There are two lawsuits pending against them, one a class action and the other a whistleblower claim, which make those allegations. Check it out. Via Tom.
Posted by Charles Kuffner on September 15, 2004 to Bidness
It seems like whenever watchdog groups go after selective pricing based on what legitimately should be irrelevant criteria, they only go after the ones that would possibly benefit me.
I think this practice should be outlawed too, but I also think practices like basing auto insurance rates on gender and marital status should be banned as well. Two drivers with similar experience and records shouldn't pay different prices because one's a married woman and the other is a single man. This is no different in principle, I think, but because what TXU is doing would be considered as disproportionately affecting the disenfranchised, this is seen as horrific and the other price discriminations are okay?
Unfortunately, that's a losing argument, because the insurers have shown (in court, more than once) that they can correllate increased risk to being male. They don't have to show cause, just that they pay out at a higher rate for their single male customers than their married female customers.
TXU may have difficulty proving that they have increased generation and delivery costs for electricity sold to single males.
Do you really think that if the insurers could prove that blacks or Hispanics had worse driving records, that any attempt to surcharge them would fly? I'm not saying they do -- I just don't think they'd get away with that if it were true.