You don’t do that any more. You go online now and spend fifteen minutes registering your right to report a fault, which involves answering a whole load of impertinent questions ranging from your shoe size to the time you last bathed, and eventually get told ‘you may now tell us what your problem is.’ (Unfortunately, you don’t get the chance to say ‘you are the problem, British Telecom; the system is the problem; the fact that I can’t discuss the issue and put questions to you is the problem because there is no longer any human contact.)
So then you start jumping through automated hoops of their creation. You follow prompts and press buttons, and at the end of it all you come down to the bottom line when the automated voice tells you:
‘We can book an engineer’s visit, but if the problem lies with your equipment, or anything within the bounds of your property (even if it’s their equipment, note), we will charge you £129.99. Do you want to book an engineer?’
I decided to use the mobile phone and call their old Faults number, just in case there was some poor soul of an engineer languishing in a crumbling office somewhere who they’d forgotten to make redundant and who desperately wanted to be of service to the public. There wasn’t. There was a recorded voice which functioned in online mode and eventually said:
‘We can book an engineer’s visit, but if the problem lies with your equipment, or anything within the bounds of your property, we will charge you £129.99. Do you want to book an engineer?’
At that point I became somewhat glum (and the rain began to fall copiously from a deeply leaden sky at the same time) because this sort of thing is becoming all too common these days. It’s happening to me a lot, and I seriously began to wonder (seriously) how much longer I want to drag myself through the sludge of a frustrating, impersonal, dysfunctional bloody system created for and on behalf of a soulless, selfish, manipulative, and occasionally dishonest corporate world whose only reason to exist is to get fat on the backs of those who have to rely on them (and create an extra half dozen or so billionaires in the process.)
Tomorrow I will reconsider the problem. In the meantime, since I’m hardly in the mood for making chirpy blog posts, have a picture I took once. It can serve as my homage to one of the two things which keep me dragging myself through the sludge.
Isn’t she lovely?