Category Archives: rant

Cutting the crap

Still no sign of this letter my solicitors supposedly posted last Friday, so I dropped them an e-mail this morning to let them know, and also to say that if it was just confirming that the consent order had been agreed by the court I could make the payment before I can make the required payment this afternoon if they get back to me by 12:30 (both my building society and the other solicitors are on my route home).

Cue a phone call from a lovely, but confused, girl. Apparently they had sent me the sealed consent order (huzzah, I think this means the courts have agreed it) on Friday, hadn’t I received it? Er, no, that’s why I e-mailed you. Oh. Was is sent registered mail? It is an important legal contract. Er, she’ll have to check.

Oh and we can’t apply for the decree absolute until the outstanding amount had been paid, had I received their correspondence about that? I’d received the correspondence showing that my account with the solicitors is in credit. Oh. She’ll have to check on all of that and get back to me.

Yes, yes she will, and she’ll have to do it quickly if I’m going to get any of it done before I leave. Incompetents.

Normally it’s me rushing around to get something for a client, it’s nice that it’s happening to someone else for a change (and I’m damn well not going to be charged for them applying for a replacement consent order and having it sent registered mail to me when I get back).

Meanwhile I have finally sent of thank you cards from my birthday (better late than never, right?), completely failed to finish the knitting I wanted to get done (the remaining 5 hours work will just have to be done when I get back), and packed for EJC.

Frustration Sunday

Came home on Sunday after a lovely half a weekend spent mostly listening to cricket expecting to find a package from my solicitor. There was a package, but it was the SIPs I had been waiting for and finally bought more sock yarn to replace (they’ll just have to wait until Karlsruhe, I’m on a deadline here).

Spent a fruitless 45 minutes swearing at my new internet connection not working despite using every combination of every password I’ve ever used (it took half an hour of re-entering the double-checked correct password this evening and several reboots of everything before it finally took), then an hour and a half checking the shops for something which just wasn’t being stocked any more and ended up getting the closest thing from the first shop I’d walked in to. Grr. Not helped by not having any contacts to wear with shades as the most recent month’s worth hasn’t been delivered to me yet and I need all the pairs I have left for Germany.

Still, I managed to do the majority of my packing for EJC (just a few things left that can’t be done before departure day), and today I managed to order some currency and get on with some knitting. Still nothing from my solicitors (other than an e-mailed bill, sneaky when they don’t think e-mail works), so I get to spend another day worrying that it’ll be bad news. Gives me longer to prepare myself for the possibility that the judge has made their own order or is dragging us to court. Meh.

Sodding FGW

There were things I needed to do before work today, so I got up early, skipped breakfast, raced out of the house and got to the station in plenty of time to catch the early train. Then my 25 minute journey ends up taking more than twice that and instead of getting into the office early and achieving stuff, I get there late and have to spend the rest of the day playing catch up.

Worst train operator ever.

BT are muppets, it’s official

I had a lovely lady from Plusnet phone me up today to say they were having problems activating my broadband and phone service because BT had de-activated the number. I gave her a give rundown of what had happened so far and she said that for a fee they could get BT to reactivate the number today – restoring my ability to make and receive calls by this evening and getting broadband within a week.

Being utterly digusted by BT’s inability to do anything, I took her up on the offer and submitted an official complaint to BT for being rubbish.  A few minutes after submitting the complaint I got a call from a lovely man at BT saying that the way the change in the account had been done was completely wrong: it should have taken about a minute to change the names on the account and get a final bill issued immediately. The service should never have been disconnected and was there anything else they could help me with. Funny, if they’d told me this when I had started complaining on the phone I may have stayed with them, but since I had several conversations with a number of different people, none of whom had an alternative for me, or an apology, that ship has sailed.

Moral of the story: always put your complaints in writing (even an online contact us form), it seems to get things to the people who know how to resolve problems.

BT, please can I have my life back?

You’d think it would be easy to change the name on a phone account, but not with BT. To change back to my name (which the account was originally in) requires the account to be completely closed and a new one set up, as if I had just moved in to the property.


A request for the account to be closed was made, and I stopped being able to make or receive phone calls on June 30th (my broadband continued until that account ran its course on July 10th).

I obviously want to be able to make and receive phone calls and also arrange to get broadband again, so I put a call into BT last week. After about 15 minutes of being shunted around departments I am told that I cannot be reconnected until the final bill is issued and paid, and they put a rush on issuing the final bill.


The final bill was issued on 13th July. I spend 20 minutes on the phone today trying to pay this bill before the direct debit date of 28th July. Apparently I can only pay this bill early by paying by cheque. WTF?

I’ve decided to switch my phone calls to my desired broadband provider, but of course they can’t hook me up with telephone or broadband until BT releases the line, which they won’t do until their bill is paid. Meanwhile I remain unable to call in or out of my house, with no internet access, all because they couldn’t revert an account to its original holder.

Really, BT in this day and age is it OK for you to leave your “customers” without service because they want to change the name on their account? My mobile phone provider has to provide information within 2 working days when I switch companies, so why don’t you?

Squeaky wheel time

It’s arsey letter writing time.

Last August my father bought me a 12-month voucher from Delta Aviation for a Tiger Moth flight, using some Clubcard vouchers. I didn’t get a chance to use them in 2007, and got in touch with them recently to try and book now that their 2008 season is open (runs from April to October).

The bastards are refusing to honour the voucher because I didn’t book within 6 months of the voucher being printed. Well sorry, but when I checked the website in Octoberish time it said that the 2007 season was closed and they weren’t taking bookings. It turns out that they started taking bookings again in January (nice for them, but why would I book in January when the season doesn’t start until April?).

Apparently somewhere in the documentation it says all this, but I’ll be damned if I can find it anywhere (this was a gift, after all). They did offer to reactivate the voucher – for the original cost. But bugger that, I’m writing arsey letters to both Delta and Tesco, and maybe Trading Standards/Watchdog too.

After the Red Letter Days fiasco (my flight was postponed 3 times because of bad weather, Red Letter Days then folded and I wasn’t entitled because my voucher had expired at this point) I don’t think I’ll bother trying to book any kind of flying experience in the future, which is a shame as I once wanted to get my flying licence.

The Great Unwashed

Glastonbury is this weekend (the festival anyway, the village is always there) so the great unwashed have descended on Paddington station. Luckily the station managers are prepared for the onslaught and herd them away into pens like the sheep they are.

A large number of them have been seen carrying the easy pitch pop-up tents. Three seconds to put up (as long as you don’t include pegging them out), half an hour and two broken arms to take them down and put them back in their carrycases. I predict many of these being abandoned as being too much of a faff to deal with after a weekend of no sleep.

Also spotted this morning: chav dad yelling “wanker” at a bus driver, having scurried across the road (against the lights) with his spawn and its mother and been beeped at. Er, you just pushed your child in front of a bus going 30mph and the bus driver is a wanker. Riiiiight.

Prince Caspian Premiere

Last night was the UK premiere of Prince Caspian, the latest installment from the Disney Chronicles of Narnia franchise. It’s quite a good film: quality performances from the young stars; a couple of cheesy moments I’ll let them get away with; Eddie Izzard as a mouse; and David Walliams being mostly cut as the worst bear in history (huzzah).

One thing I will take away from the premiere, is the unsuitability of the O2 as a venue for cinema screenings (our seats were set at 90 degrees to the screen leading to much straining of the back and neck. I’d also like a word with whoever said the film was due to start at 19:00 when nothing happened until 20:00. Personally I dashed there straight from work with no dinner in order to make the deadline, skipping walking the red (green) carpet, only to sit in a mostly empty auditorium for an hour.

The other thing I will take away is the fact that the British public apparently doesn’t know how to behave itself in, er, public. I could accept if it was children who were screaming, shouting things out, and applauding every time their favourite character came on screen (though blame their parents for not teaching them not to), but when it’s fully grown adults (with the worst kind of “memememememe” haircuts, it’s just not acceptable.

Would they whoop and holler whilst watching the film in their own homes? I doubt it. So why do it in a room full of 10,000 other people, who have all paid to watch and hear the film (and not your pathetic cries for attention)? Is it because they think the cast and crew will be impressed (hate to break it to you, but they’ll have left straight after the introduction), or do you just want to spoil the effort put in by the films creators and drown out their hard work?

Laugh at the funny bits, cry at the sad bits, but what is with the mass hysteria of one person clapping (I hope it was a child) only for everyone else to jump on the bandwagon and ripples of applause to break out? This is not sing-along-a-Sound-of-Music. Please do not interrupt my film experience with your childish behaviour.

Oh, and taking photos in a cinema, in the middle of the film, whilst using the flash….how stupid and inconsiderate can people be?

Dripping water

No, not a post about my new washing machine (which has a bigger load capacity than the old one, a time delay, and is generally just marvellous), but about delays with the divorce once more.

I signed the consent order (the last thing now required for the divorce to be granted and me being allowed to get on with my life) on 16 May and sent it back to my solicitor (along with yet another cheque). They call me on 21st May to confirm receipt and that it was sent on for the other signature the same day.

That was four weeks ago, so I e-mailed my solicitors to say “WTF?”. Apparently the other solicitors sent it on for signature 6th June. What did they do with it for the two weeks since they received it? Still no sign of it back with my solicitor, but they did at least chase yesterday (according to them).

How can it take 3 days for me to send socks to the US (in the time this has taken I have killed one person and received SIPs back, all via international mail), yet a piece of paper sent to a location 40 miles away takes over 4 weeks to get back to its starting point (Reading, London, Reading, Reading…….). Once received it still needs to be filed with the courts and agreed with the judge, which could take another 4 weeks. For an uncontested divorce it’s now been 10 months from separation and 8 months since proceedings were started. All of which I’ve spent living in my own spare room.

Warning, vent ahead

Just got another e-mail asking for a status update (from someone who sits behind me). Being incredibly busy I replied with a brief summary and advised them to check the software that tracks the status of everything for more info.

Cue snotty e-mail back about h0w I should be actively managing the process and apparently need to spoonfeed people the information because they are too damn lazy to look it up for themselves.

Fine, I’ll spend the next hour providing a full update for them. This means that I won’t be able to do any actual work, but hey, who needs sleep anyway?