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  • Ernie Newman

"Because We're ACC"


I had a call from ACC. I suspect its because I haven't received my latest annual levy demand.

I was in my car when they called. They asked whether I was driving. I said yes but assured them I was on a hands free.

"Then we can't talk to you, they said.

"Why not - hands frees are perfectly legal", I responded.

"Maybe, but we won't talk to people on hands frees - if you hang up we'll ring back, just let the call go to voicemail," they said.

"So why won't you communicate with me in a perfectly legal way that will save us both a lot of inconvenience and time," I asked.

"Because we're ACC," they said.

Exactly. "Because we're ACC" we know better. Bugger Parliament which decided to allow hands free conversations while driving. Bugget the hapless levy payer who values the use of driving time to do a bit of business - why 3 calls and an interminable wait for an ACC call centre when one will do. We are above all that "because we're ACC."

ACC, I since discovered, sent my levy demand to an address that was 18 months out of date. Nobody else has written to me there for months. My company's registered address has been on my Web site forever and was updated on the Companies Office site a year ago.

Maybe they don't feel they have to take the trouble to look in these places "because we're ACC." Maybe unlike every other government agency they don't send bills by email because its too much trouble - "because we're ACC."

After all, I am not their customer. They have an act of Parliament behind them. They have no competition. They are cost-plus. Their shareholder, the government, treats them as a backdoor way of extracting tax. I have no choice.

They don't need to give a toss "because we're ACC."

I will, no doubt get around to paying my levy. I have to. But I don't intend to make it easy for them "because they're ACC" - New Zealand's most arrogant, self serving government department.


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