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Time to purchase a small firearm

I recently moved into a new flat, which is boring and I won’t subject you to a hoover-based story, but even more boring is the pride-swallowing, time-gorging process that you are obliged to go through to the bitter end when you want your utilities/phone/general stuff connected.

First, my TV aerial doesn’t chuffing well work, which in this modern-day society is akin to not having a flushing toilet. Televisions and aerials have been around for a long time so I ask you, was I naive in thinking that a simple plugging-in of a wire into a wall socket was all that was required to get my daily dose of Jeremy Kyle horrificness? And what’s all that male-to-female questioning about when you go to an electrical shop? I want my outrageously sized Toshiba flatscreen to work correctly with the help of a decent cable not an inappropriate probing about gender differences, thank you very much.

So, in a bid to get Jezza up and running I bought a £35 ‘indoor’ aerial, which was a monumentally stupid idea in view of the quality of the reception. I might as well have purchased a Dalek.

So, it’s a bad state of affairs in London N4, but nevertheless the ongoing TV meltdown is nothing compared to the own-face-punching, hair-rending frustration experience I have endured when attempts were made to get so-called Broadband installed into my newly rented lovepad.

It’s not been easy but I should have expected all this. Past knowledge of doing business with BT suggests a familiar pattern that goes something like this:

You move in, and almost straightaway you’ll begin the process of getting a landline connected. Dutifully you have made arrangements to welcome the arrival of a BT engineer, who, like a badger on Springwatch, fails to show up. Then, as the system dictates, you make further arrangements, for another ‘technician’, who’s also notable for his absence.

So you’ll phone the helpline – an aural brick wall. Having negotiated the myriad options list from the woman who’s made a successful career leap from the talking clock, you get through to a real-live adviser who has just completed his or her Intensive Obduracy Course at BT HQ.

A typical conversation goes like this:

You: ‘Well now, I want a BT landline so I can enjoy the benefits of unlimited broadband, but I have waited in three times for your engineer to come to my home to get it fitted.’

BT advisor: ‘Okey dokey sir, we’ll get that sorted for you in a jiffy.’

Three weeks later, no landline, but a bill for £100 arrives.

You: ‘I want a refund for the £100 landline fitting bill because the BT engineer still hasn’t come around to fit my landline yet. I don’t want to pay for something I haven’t got yet.’

BT advisor: ‘Sorry sir, I can’t help you.’

You: ‘Why not? I’ve paid for a service that I haven’t received yet.’

BT advisor: ‘I’m sorry sir, that’s not how it works.’

You: ‘Yes, but…’

BT advisor: ‘We’ll arrange for someone else to come around and fit the landline in the next few days.’

Click, burrr.

Fast forward to the next few days. The landline is fitted but you’ve waited a total of three times for the BT engineer to fit the landline and have taken three more half-days off work to allow this to happen.

You phone BT again and, after another navigating your way through another laborious option labyrinth, you come through to another friendly ‘adviser’.

You: ‘I want my £100 landline fitting charge refunded because I waited in three times for a BT engineer and one never came. So, for my loss of earnings, I want my money back.

BT advisor, short pause, … ‘I’m sorry sir, that’s not how it works…’

Purchase firearm, load ammunition, aim at temple.

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