Monday, 23 February 2009


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?


Ganeida said...

Ha,ha,ha! I think my funny bone is super sensitive just now. I'm sorry as I'm sure you got all the running around & that's just a pain but terribly funny when it's not me. Sounds like our council.

MamaOlive said...

Oh, it's not too bad. All that running was spread out over a couple of weeks. I bet you'd even laugh about the neighbors playing paintball while we were out, and Ella found one and popped it in her hands.

Ganeida said...

Yep. Ella's a hoot.

AlanM said...


Sorry to hear about your fence saga. Come see us at for your Dial Before You Dig enquiry and we will get you in touch with everyone you need to. And its totally free if you want to do it yourself.

Anonymous said...

I'm feeling stupid! I just wasted my whole afternoon. I looked at my bank account, saw an ACH taking money out of my account, called the bank, she told me it was Paypal. Eeeks fraud! Called Paypal with all the recordings and transfers - they could find NOTHING. Called eBay - nothing -transferred back to Paypal - nothing. Drove to the bank - oh it is says Citi credit card - I don't have one of those - came home - called Paypal again - same thing - they have no record anywhere - called bank to refuse the draft, they said I would have to close the account too. Started looking up outstanding checks - I had just reconciled two days ago and knew there were 2 checks outstanding, found them, OH yes! there it is...the exact amount of the unauthorized draft from my account. Oh! looked at register - a check to AT&T credit card. Pulled credit card from purse - on the back very small in a corner is CITI in very pale letters. So, it was a check I wrote to ATT where they turn around and draft your account. Since it just happened today, there was no detail info available and by the girl telling me it was Paypal, it sent me into a tailspin to try to find out where it came from. (I did have a Paypal transaction on the account right above this one.) jc

MamaOlive said...

Oh, JC, I feel for you. I used to keep everything entered on Quicken, but now I just use the online banking. It's funny and frustrating to see how entries are labeled. I've noticed, for instance, that the commissary comes up as different names depending on if we use a check, a debit card, or our debit card as a credit card.