Alice-Azania Jarvis: 'Stuck with a couple of incompetent locksmiths – I sure do pick 'em'

In The Red

British Telecom have upped their game. Since last week – when I blurted about my ex-flatmate's ongoing tussle with the company over shifting his internet connection to his new flat – they have been nothing but helpful. Notwithstanding a minor confusion over whether or not they would be sending around a team on Monday morning, they have done everything they could have. Several different representatives have been in touch and, I'm assured, my former flatmate is soon to be online.

Still, it shouldn't have taken a column in a national newspaper to accomplish this. The number of people who have written in with similar complaints – not just about BT, but about everyone – is astonishing. And really, decent customer service shouldn't be that hard. A case in point has been the experience I have had with T-Mobile over the last few days.

Last week I had pretty much everything of value that I own stolen: my wallet, my phone, my house keys. It was a nightmare. And while bank cards are always relatively easy to sort out, I was dreading the palava of getting a new phone. But, so far, it has gone brilliantly. The day after it was nicked, I called up and cancelled my Sim card. Then I rang the insurance company and ordered a new phone. It's on its way as we speak. Every T-Mobile customer service representative I've encountered has been delightful.

Much less convenient, however, has been the process of getting my locks changed. I called an emergency locksmith near my home, who promised to arrive at around three. Of course, I didn't for a moment suspect they would be on time – though I was a little alarmed that an hour and 20 minutes later they were still "stuck in traffic". Things got worse when, four hours later, I was still stuck outside.

The locksmith appeared unable to actually pick a lock. "I just wish I had more experience with these things ..." he muttered. Two hours (and lots of drilling) later, he was joined by a colleague who proved equally inept. Another hour and a half later, they finally managed to force their way in – by which time it was 11.30. I had been sitting outside my flat with no money, phone, or food for over eight hours – and my door had so many drill-holes it looked like was imported straight from Sierra Leone.

The two incompetents have said I won't be charged – though we'll see. Their parent company have my card details, so I'm keeping a watchful eye on my bank balance. If they so much as remove 20p, you can be sure you'll be hearing about it.

Independent Partners; Do you need financial advice on your investments, pension or insurance? Book a free consultation with an independent Financial Adviser at VouchedFor.co.uk

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Recruitment Genius: Tax Assistant

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Tax Assistant is required to join a leading ...

    Recruitment Genius: Outbound Sales Executive - OTE £25,000

    £16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Ashdown Group: Java Developer / J2EE Developer - Watford - £45,000 - £47,000

    £45000 - £47000 per annum + bonus + benefits: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / ...

    Ashdown Group: Marketing Product Manager - (Financial Services) - SW London

    £35000 - £38000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - Marke...

    Day In a Page

    Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

    What the six wise men told Tony Blair

    Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
    25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

    25 years of The Independent on Sunday

    The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
    Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

    Smash hit go under the hammer

    It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
    Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

    The geeks who rocked the world

    A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
    Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

    Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

    Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
    Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

    Growing mussels

    Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
    Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

    Diana Krall interview

    The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
    Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

    Pinstriped for action

    A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
    Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

    Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

    'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

    Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

    Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
    Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us