Stresses of Civvy Street

It’s hard work , not being at work.

Do you remember a song from the late 80`s  by a band called ‘Del Amitri – Nothing Ever Happens?’ – well, there is a line in that song that says ‘the traffic lights change to stop when there’s nothing to go’ – that line has stuck in my head for 20 years or so. Now, just last week while I was wandering through the delights of Rugby town centre, I noticed that when I pushed the button on the pedestrian crossing, nothing happened until there were no cars coming.  At that point, the traffic lights did indeed change to red – amazing.

I have also been recently miffed by so called ‘customer service’ of modern companies, namely Vodafone and Three.  Now Vodafone pissed me off by mis-selling me a product which in turn meant that they tried to bill me for more than 120 pounds for a month of mobile phone use instead of the 21 pounds it should have been.  So after a month of nonsense and 4 phone calls to different Vodafone Customer Service reps, I pulled the plug and asked for my ‘PAC’ code so that I could move to a competitor.  Now, as I remember it – it used to be a PUK code but then hey – fuck it, if it ‘aint broke – change it anyway!

So my friendship with Vodafone is no more – I doubt they care though, I am just 1 customer with a phone and internet dongle in the UK, a phone and internet dongle in Portugal and yep, you guessed it, a phone and internet dongle in Spain – but enough is enough.

So today I joined ‘Three’ but what a big bundle of cluster fuck that turned out to be.  I called the sales team who took my details and agreed a fee and then passed me over to the ‘customer service team’. Now, call me old fashioned but when I am talking to ‘Customer Service’ I expect them to speak the same language as me but alas no.  Of course, my temper was already frayed courtesy of Vodafone so I found it incredibly easy to tell the fool from ‘Three’ to fuck off within 2 minutes of trying to communicate with him.  If that wasn’t enough, I immediately called the sales team back and asked them to cancel the new SIM that would come to me – and surprise surprise – bugger all happened. My second call this afternoon also bore no fruit – the SIM is already on its way to me, I must not open or activate it but must call customer services as soon as i receive it to cancel it.  Imagine now, how joyful that will be – a non english speaking customer service rep dealing with me when I am in full flow – good luck to that poor fellow!

Now, telephone providers out of the way – lets talk about those wonderful roadside rescue companies out there.  As I travel a bit, I have special car insurance that lets me stay out of the UK all year round if I want to, so I need a recovery package that matches it.  I am not talking about the crap that LV insurance sell to unsuspecting fools, supported by Britania Rescue  who wriggled out of helping me when my car was stranded in Portugal – I talked to the RAC today. 145 pounds for european recovery – not bad I thought, about the same as the price quoted to me by my insurance broker, I never really expected my broker to be competitive but get this – the RAC cover, ‘Comprehensive Cover’ as they call it – excludes UK break downs!  Is that any use to you ??  I don’t think so.  Best bit – the girl in Euro Cover couldn’t help me with UK cover and ‘needed to transfer me’ – of course I told her not to bother. Tomorrow I will call my broker and put the rescue policy live.

So – grunt out of the way, it’s almost time to start travelling again.  Brussels on Friday with Steve and Nic, Portugal on Tuesday with Dean, then back to Brussels on Friday for Lana’s works Christmas party – for which, I promise to be on my best behaviour. After that, a few days peace before Costa Rica, and I have to say that I am looking forward to that.

Still waiting for my last two results – but I am sure they will be in soon






Have a moan - the beers are on me !!

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