'Erm... don't you think you're missing out on something?' I ask
'Huh? really? I'm pretty sure I've covered everything- the gas, the electricity, banks...' ' There's the matter of the land line, the telly, the broadband...' I interject.
'Do we really need those? You have a mobile, and you can surf on the phone, and what's with the addiction to the telly... or maybe I should get right on the phone and get cracking' says the baa-lamb hastily spotting the homicidal glint in my eye.
So a quick check on the internet (from the phone, of course) and we'd zero-ed in on a service provider who was pretty much promising us the earth. We placed a call to the sales team, and they wanted our land lord's go ahead to come and tinker about in the house, so they could pretty much get off the hook if they left desolation and destruction in their wake.
The Landlord, the gentleman that he is, agreed, but was pretty nonplussed that the service provided agreed to come out to our house in the first place. Apparently a decade ago, the entire street had been up in arms about anybody digging up the road for them new- fangled fibre optic cables. I'm guessing they didn't want this 'internet' and 'electronic mail' business to get in the way of them growing their daffodils and tulips. Hmm... interesting. So we though we'd call up the service provider again, just to confirm.
SP: Welcome to SP. We're the best money can buy, and your money definitely needs to buy us.
(or something to that effect)
Moi: Hi, I'm at ---------- (edited in the interest of our health and safety) and I've subscribed to your service, but I was just wondering if you provide services in my area.
SP(without missing a beat): Yes we do.
Moi: At my address? I was just informed that there was no cabling...
SP(Bored): yes, yes, yes, ok.
MOi: SO that's a yes, then?
SP (mindful she was talking to a customer, but really wanting to throttle said customer): I just said that dinnae?
Moi: Oh good. So you'll be coming around in a week then?
SP: No, that'll be three weeks from now.
Moi: But... but... the earlier confirmations was for a week.
SP: that was before this call. It'll be three weeks now.
Three weeks later...
I bounced up on waking. 'Today's the day!' I cry joyfully! I bounced into the bath and bounced down to breakfast and bounced to the trash can and bounced on my way to open to door for the installation team from the service providers.
They came, they saw, and they laughed at the though that we could ever receive service from this provider. To make matters worse, they tell me that if I moved house just 50 meters down, to the end of the road, I'd receive service, no problems. Thanks, guys, that really helps. Suddenly I wasn't bouncing. The world had lost it's sunshine and I was ready to crawl back into bed.
The baa-lamb, sensing I was close to breaking point rapidly called up a rival service provider who gleefully agreed to provide service in ten days at twice to cost. oh well, at least they didn't say 3 weeks (frankly if they had, I was seriously contemplating moving into a service apartment until the whole street wises up to the arrival of the 21st century)
Ten days later...
'Is it here yet?' this was the fifth annoying phone call from the baa lamb to check up on the arrival for the broadband equipment. Each time, my heart sunk a bit more as a said 'no.'
In desperation the baa-lamb called the rival service provider again.
RSP: welcome to RSP. We're actually better than SP, which is why we cost more money.
(or something to that effect)
BL: Right, I'm calling about the equipment that was supposed to arrive today...
RSP: OK, just let me check that for you... yes, it hasn't arrived.
BL: Yes, I know that. That's why I'm calling. What I need to know is, why.
RSP: ah, yes, here it is... we didn't send it.
BL(in exasperation): Why? Why would you do such a cruel thing?
RSP: well, the department who was to mail it to you didn't. I'll ask them to do that now, shall I?
BL: What were you waiting for? An invite? maybe with gold leaf on it? You didn't seem to want all this confirmation and re-affirmation when you were taking money form my bank account!
RSP: I'm sorry Sir, would that be a yes?
I think the baa lamb has now recovered sufficiently after a quiet lie down, but he's definitely rethinking ease of services in this country now.