An excerpt from Wind in the Willows

Nice? It's the ONLY thing, said the Water Rat solemnly, as he leant forward for his stroke. Believe me, my young friend, there is NOTHING - absolute nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Simply messing, he went on dreamily: messing - about - in - boats; messing----'
From 'Wind in the Willows' by Kenneth Grahame.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Why does nothing in this country work as it should?

I am moving house at the moment and temporarily living on my boat.  I have to change a number of things none of which seem to work.
  • I couldn't change the address on my driving licence because ideally the DVLA would like me to use Internet Explorer - I don't use Windows at all so why are they being so prescriptive and why isn't the EU prosecuting them for promoting one operating system over another?
  • I wanted to change the address for my mobile phone contract; we don't need to know your address they said.  OK I thought I'll see if I am due an upgrade for my phone.  Please enter your account the web site said but that kind of stuff is in storage.  The web site suggested to text the word 'account' to 12345 so I did that and the system responded with please text 'account plus your postcode' to 12345 - oh so they don't need my address but they need my postcode.  After much fumbling around their awful website I managed to change my address but it left one word (the name of the village) from my old address as part of my new address.  Expensive phone call to the provider to get them to change the address because they do need it.
  • Phone call from the window company this afternoon asking where their payment was - I sent it a week ago - it's not been received but then they only did half the job they were contracted to do! I now have to rush around dealing with the bank (the cheque has not been presented).  And where's  the cheque - probably some lowlife as stolen it.  Updated at 18:45 - it turns out that the window company procedure is to do the bit they haven't done (secondary glazing) after the builders have finished but, as with everything I have experienced in this world, the issue is lack of communication.  Now I know what's happening I am happy but all it would have taken is a quick phone call or E-Mail and I would not have been concerned about it.
  • And who got it right - Network Rail with my Senior Railcard - 30 seconds on line to change my address.
  • And don't start me on the complete inadequacies of the Conservation Department of my new Local Authority - hopeless doesn't even start to describe them - my experiences of local authorities has worn very thin of late - too much pay and not enough delivery of that which the individual pays for and no idea of customer service - I suppose they get paid if they deliver or not.
  • And as for my bank - well they wanted to send the bank statements for two clubs I am a cheque signatory to to my new address but failed to change my personal address - something to do with the processes they follow but they continually tell me they are the 'Helpful' bank - not sure I agree with them.
There's lots more that's not gone according to plan most of which is due to poorly developed web sites and lack of staff who do give a damn about customer service.  They all seem to know the cost of everything and the value of nothing.  This country is not alone in going to the dogs but it is up there with the leaders.  Mr Cameron and Mr Clegg please get a grip and allow Great Britain to once again use the word Great with pride and don't contract everything offshore where they might understand how to code stuff but don't understand the business.

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