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“Welcome to England. Out of your left window and also your right one, you can see that it is raining. This is because it is now July, the traditional season for such weather. Flash flooding will be reported on tonight’s local news programmes. In the event of no flash flooding occurring, a report on the flash flooding a year ago will be hastily compiled, featuring worried-looking inhabitants of a flood-plain based housing estate waiting for the end of the world.”

Today I have been at home. Furniture was delivered (on time, I might add, and surprisingly easy it was to put together too. Although as it didn’t come from a Swedish furniture superstore, there was no chance of parts being the wrong colour (see yesterday’s post for details)).

I have also been writing. Emails, mostly. The content of one being excerpted below as a teaser for the main event, so to speak:

The wireless router arrived.

It is rubbish.

It will not talk to a Mac from the installation CD.

Some fiddling around online later, and it would, bypassing the
installation CD.

Then wanted a password I didn’t have, and hadn’t been given (the one on
the ‘welcome to Virgin’ letter didn’t work).

Swore quietly.

Plugged my little Apple router in behind the TV. Attached it to the wire
coming from the outside world.

Signal strength in the study at full. Four bars.

Should have done this last week and not waited for Virgin.

Virgin have been the subject of some debate and discussion in our household these last two weeks. Largely the discussion has centred around just how rubbish their customer service has been since we moved. I attach the following for your entertainment, as the full version will be winging it’s way to Trevor Elliot, MD for Customer Service, in a short while:

Dear Trevor

On the 27th June this year, we moved house. Our previous Virgin installation, we were advised, would be easily transferred to our new property by means of a self-installation, carried out with a simple phone call to Virgin 24 hours after our service was disconnected at our old address. This seemed a plausible notion.

However, nearly two weeks later, our patience with your service is, shall we say, at breaking point.

We’re presently on the wrong Broadband tariff, have had no On Demand services since we completed the self installation, have wasted upward of two hours on the phone to Virgin, had our phone number changed without notice or regard to the house-moving service you advertise, been promised call-backs that have failed to materialise, and been treated like simpletons by your telephone support staff.

I went on:

On taking out a new contract for services at this address, we were offered a time-limited variation on your 3 for £30 deal, which provided an upgrade of our broadband connection to L which, would also provide a wireless router as part of the package. A week and a half after arriving at our new property no router had arrived. On telephoning customer services again, it transpired our broadband service was still M, hence no router. What the status of this service is at present, we can only make a blind guess, leaving us to wait until our first bill arrives in order to ascertain that you have, in fact, charged us correctly for the services we ordered.

I enjoyed this bit:

…our set-top box still believes it resides at our old address, hence the problem. That it has taken this amount of time to advise us of the nature of the issue speaks volumes as to the reliability of your service, and additionally to the efficacy of the ‘self-installation’ service. Had we been advised at the start of this process that the very nature of your self-installation service was irrevocably flawed (moving a set-top box to a new address apparently cannot provide a service, if that box cannot be informed that the IP address it resides at has changed), then basic reasoning would have prevented us from opting for this installation route.

At the outset of this process, we weighed up the services offered by Virgin, Sky and a number of your smaller rivals. In all honesty, we believed we were making the right choice by sticking to the service provider we had used for the last few years. After this experience, we can cheerfully advise that in no way would we recommend Virgin to friends, colleagues, family or mortal enemies.

As you might guess, our installation has been something short of ‘trouble-free’. Rachel removed some of my more colourful turns of phrase (I didn’t swear, I just carried metaphors a little too far. I was proud of the plausible one though), and it will go tomorrow.

In the meantime, go and watch Channel 4’s Kubrick Season trailer. It’s rather wonderful.


2 comments for “Excerpts”

  1. And all without using the phrase “braindead c&nts”. I am impressed sir!

    Posted by mongo | July 9, 2008, 5:04 pm
  2. I just have to applaud you Tom, the first blog of yours I have read, of the many I am going to read.

    Absolutely wonderful. I particularly enjoyed the mortal enemies sentence at the end, and also that you attached your rant for good measure and entertainment.

    This post may well be moving on into it’s fourth year of age, but if all the blogs are this entertaining, you have just found yourself a follower.

    Posted by Daniel Minty | November 15, 2011, 3:24 pm

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