Yeah, I know I rant a lot. But the whole of England is awash in red tape - it's like the military every where I go! SO I just wanted to walk you step by step through the fence saga.
1.We went by the fence/shed building place.
a. There were two or three buildings about; no signs; no people. We randomly picked a door to knock on and found a person who looked surprised to see a customer.
b. We asked for prices, she took our number.
c. they called to schedule an appointment for the fence guy to come measure and give an estimate.
d. The guy came, measured.
e. They called back with a price.
2. I went to the housing office for paper work to get permission.
a.I was given a sheet to fill out and a sheet of instructions, which included going to two places and getting signatures and then bring it back.
b. I found the first place and it wasn't too bad.
c. I found the second place after scrounging a base map. Once in the door, no one had ever heard of the person I needed, but one took me down the hall to someone else who knew. He took me up stairs and through a maze to a guy who looked very surprised to see me. He signed off, but said I needed to call somebody else first about phone lines. He wrote the number on the paper that I had to turn in to the housing office.
d. I went back to the housing office.
e. They said I had to go somewhere else, too.
f. Obtaining directions from a fellow customer, I went there. The front door was locked so I went around back, walked down the hall until I found somebody, and he took me to the guy. He signed the paper.
g.I went back to the housing office.
h. They signed the paper and I was good to go.
3.I looked up another fence company online and called them for a quote. They made an appt over the phone.
a. The guy came out.
b. They mailed me a quote.
4. We've been waiting for Bob to get to the VAT office online to see if the mailed quote will do for getting the fence VAT free.
5. (this the reason for my intro rant) I got to thinking about the phone lines.
a. I looked at BT's website, but they had nothing.
b. I called their main number. There were no options for what I wanted, so I just picked something.
c. I told the lady I wanted to find out about buried lines so I could dig in the garden for a fence.
d. She transferred me to tech support in India.
e. The man thought I wanted to have a line put in. No, I want to know where the line is. Oh, he said, I have to call another number.
f. I called the other number. It was for reporting faults. I clicked through the menu a couple of times and got a recording telling me to call a third number, or email.
g. I called that number, clicked through the menu, got a recording telling me to email.
h. I emailed. They answered! and said, Oh, you need to call Dial Before You Dig. (duh!) and gave me that number.
i. I called that number. clicked on the "dial before you dig" option. The lady answered the phone and said, "can I help you?" I said I wanted to put up a fence. She said, "a sign?" No a FENCE. Oh, she says, what do you want from me? Um, well, I thought you knew where the lines were; I need to know where the lines are. Oh, certainly, she can do that. (Why did she think I was calling?) So she took my details and said a guy will come mark it next Monday.
Why was that harder than pulling teeth? I bet they'd have found me in two minutes if I'd dug first and cut a line. grrr. I don't know about here (since our military TV is from Germany) but they say in Germany if you interrupt the phone service, you are liable for all expenses (implied that you have to pay the customers for loss of service, as well as repair to the line). But people act like you are an idiot for trying to do things right. How else would it get done?