Ed Parsons provides an interesting example of just how crazy the world UK of geodata can be - when a digital copy (with essentially zero marginal cost) of an Ordnance Survey map costs more than twice the equivalent paper map, with all it’s associated costs of production and distribution, something is very, very wrong somewhere.

They probably think they’re going to rake it in - lower costs + higher price = more profit, right? Well except for this small piece of economic theory called supply and demand guys - if your higher price kills the demand then you won’t sell any and high profit x low sales may well be less than low profit x high sales.

Apparently my gas meter needs to be replaced, and OnStream have been contracted to do the work.

Needing to arrange a time to do the work they wrote to me, in a letter dated 14th July, proposing to do the work on 23rd July and asking me to confirm the appointment. Allowing for the time for he letter to reach me that is basically one week’s notice.

In fact that letter did not arrive until at least the 17th July (which suggests it wasn’t posted very promptly) by which time they had already written me a second letter, dated 16th July, complaining that I hadn’t responded to their first letter (which I hadn’t even received yet!) and once again asking me to confirm their proposed appointment.

On 20th July I returned from a weekend away to find both letters on my doormat. As their proposed appointment – an all day slot on a weekday – was not convenient I immediately went to their website and requested an alternative appointment giving a number of suitable evening slots for the following week.

I heard nothing more until I got home on 23rd July, their proposed appointment date, to find a card on my doormat saying they had called and found that I was not in.

OnStream – You FAIL.