It seems I was wrong about the estate agents of London town having no houses, after all. I have started the near year inhabiting an actual real life house that isn’t my mother’s. Success! I am free to eat pizza in the lounge at last.
Brilliant right? Things have finally gone well…
No of course not. Things never go well. If they did I’d have nothing to complain about.
Upon moving into brand new flat I faced the following insurmountable problems:
- New flat was without gas. Heating of said flat is made from gas. Flat was not flat, flat was ice house. Gas was supposed to be being switched on before I began inhabiting flat. Obviously this did not happen, for two well known reasons:Reason A) Estate agents are lying bastards.Reason B) Utility companies are lying bastards.
- New flat’s fridge didn’t work. If you don’t have a fridge you can’t buy milk, so you can’t make tea, meaning life becomes approximately five times more depressing.
- New flat’s toilet doubles as indoor water feature. This added little to the feng shui.
The second two points were fixed quickly enough, so that’s alright(ish). The first point, however, was not fixed, which is absolutely not alright, at all. In the end it took me three weeks to force someone to get me some gas.
During the three weeks I learnt the following things:
1. I hate utility companies.
2. I am not too keen on estate agents
3. I definitely do not like not having gas.
4. If you have no gas you can’t even use the oven to heat the house (probably for the best), so you have you use a hairdryer instead (not a practical resolution.)
5. If you have no gas you can’t use the oven for its usual function, the cooking of food, so are left with no option but to order countless takeaways. This is a delicious, yet not nutritious option.
6. Takeaways, when ordered often, amount to vast expenditure, akin to dining on caviar and oysters three times a week, whilst sat in a bath of Moet. This is not advisable.
The gas took a long time to arrive due to brand new flat being serviced by some ridiculous crackpot of a gas company which calls itself ‘Utility Warehouse’. If you are thinking of getting some gas from these folks, don’t.
This is the story of my fruitless pursuit of gas:
- In the beginning:I call Utility Warehouse in order to kindly advise them that I would like some gas. I wait on hold for 8-10 weeks. At some point after this time and shortly before nauseating warbling of hold music starts to burn actual hole into earlobe a muppet answers my call.(Calls to this company are invariably answered by muppets. Said muppet will know little, and will almost certainly be a student who is largely uninterested in your predicament and probably either drunk, hungover or sleepy. (This is how the student lives its life.))
- Once muppet finishes its unhelpful muttering it arranges for an engineer to come and give me some gas. If you are not in during the daytime because you have a job/life, but live in flats such as I do, you may think you can just give them the number of the porter who will allow engineers access to the property. This is what I did. You can’t do this, but they won’t tell you that. They prefer to wait and let you find out for yourself.
- I wait for appointed gas arrival day expectantly, all the while dreaming of the inconceivable luxury of a radiator/functioning oven.
- Gas arrival day comes, arrival of gas does not come.
- I ring Utility Warehouse. I wait for muppet to answer call. It does. I ask it why gas didn’t come. It puts me on hold for another six months.
It comes back and says this: “The engineers couldn’t gain access”.
I say “Why not? Did they not call the porter?”
It says…”Sometimes they don’t follow the instructions we give them. The engineers work for the National Grid. They don’t work for us.
*I put on disbelieving face now*
Muppet: “Yes. I can rearrange the appointment, but I can’t guarantee that they’ll call the porter if they come again.”
“So what should I do?”
“I suggest if you want to get gas quickly you go to another company.” (Dope).(It was at this point that I discovered, to my horror, that the letting agents had already paid a reconnection fee and deposit to these monkeys, leaving me no option but to continue this charade for almost a whole month of my life.)
- I repeat above procedure 3 times. I get progressively colder, hungrier and more poverty stricken with every passing day.
- I go ballistic.
- I get some gas. I rejoice wholeheartedly, and in celebration write long letter of complaint in pursuit of mammoth compensation payout to spend on shoes to make self feel better.
- I receive a £60 bill for a ‘missed engineer appointment’. No actually, I really have.