Hold please…


Want to know how I spent some of my weekend?  I complained….to three different companies and feel much better about it – it’s very therapeutic (and sometimes beneficial).

I complained to Barclays because someone has opened an account at their bank using our address and a name that sounds very similar to mine but isn’t.  They have so far received a series of statements, a pin sentry machine (some stupid calculator looking thing that you need to log on to bank online at Barclays), and a bank card.  I am convinced that our address is being used to con pensioners out of their benefits or kids of their pocket money (probably not but that’s just what I think) so I want it to come to an end.  Anyway I have called the ‘fraud’ department who promised they would freeze the account, I then received 4 more pieces of post and another bank card – which I physically took to a branch and was assured their account would be frozen….3 weeks later I received another bunch of letters addressed to my evil doppelganger.  So I phoned and complained….well tried to.

I picked up the phone to complain and realised that our phone line wasn’t working.  We had received three strange messages on our machine this week that sounded like static so I presume it hasn’t been working for a while so I had to complain to Virgin.  My issue at this point was that I had to pay to call them from my mobile as complaints from my landline are free but since it wasn’t working I had to call from my mobile – 15 mins later I was still on hold (although with Virgin you can choose your hold music so I chose Pop and was dancing around a bit) so I hung up and send a nasty email (to which they have finally responded to and are sending out a ‘technician to fix later this week).

Finally I opened my Electricity bill from British Gas and realised we were over £900 in credit on our account – knowing that this has to be one of their many screw ups (they screwed up our Gas bill so badly that we stopped paying for an entire year and they didn’t notice however they had overbilled us so much that when we did re-activate the account we still didn’t owe money).  I rang them and the woman hummed and hawded then put me on hold for 9 mind (FYI, I was paying for this call myself) when she finally came back she apologised and said for some reason they had gone back and reconciled the account recently and the credit was actually just an accumulation of what we have paid over the years and that we actually owed  £60 – that is hardly as exciting.

That is all I can complain about for the minute but the most astounding bit about complaining in the UK is that most of the time you have to call 0800 numbers which are chargeable to YOU, the complainer….you’d think that would discourage me but I think I enjoy acting put out and annoyed too much.

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