Have you ever wondered why you spend so long hanging on the telephone when you try and speak to companies and banks with big call centres?
The answer, apparently, is that they now screen incoming calls by postcode, so if you happen to live in Cliftonville West or Central Margate, your chances of being spoken to by a financial advisor at your bank or well, anyone, are rather less than if you had a Chelsea postcode.
I had a look at my own postcode details at http://www.checkmyfile.com/ - it's free - and this is what it says about me and my neighbours. No mention of any aircraft!
"Family Composition: Mature and retired single. Couples whose children have left home, and some elderly peopleSocial
Social Grade: C1-C2-D. Slightly higher proportion of social classification C1 than average.
Higher than average levels of Christians.
Average Age: Typically over 45 to 84.
Qualifications: Very few graduates, however most educated to GCSE standard. Slightly higher proportion of people with 5 or more GCSEs than average. "
There's more of course but when it comes to house prices and loans, the postcode is now the first hurdle to overcome and my last address gave a credit score of 842 out of 1000, whereas my present address only gives me a credit score of 806; the average being 750.
The sweeping nature of the classification should worry us all as it will also determine, for example, whether a bank will even bother to operate a branch in an area with a poor postcode score. However, the evidence that some organisations won't even bother to answer the phone to people who live in the wrong area, is deeply worrying.
I have saved www.checkmyfile.com as a link in the sidebar.