And a good evening to you from across the Pond. Today, the Taylor family were WARRIORS, and like Jason Bourne, left nothing but a trail of collateral damage from Zurich to Paris. The target? Not a British empire with their red coats. Not a government fond of taxation without representation. No, no – today¸ the Taylor family waged war against the British Utility companies.
Okay, so long story short – I rolled home last night to 3 pieces of mail:
1. A bill from our power company
2. A bill from the telephone company
3. A bill for cleaning from the property management company
Why did all three of these bills set me off? Let’s address them in turn, shall we?
1. Power Bill – Okay, historically, power bills in the UK are low, and we’re talking around 20 GBP a month. So imagine my surprise when I open a bill that spans 2 months (2 weeks of which we were on vacation) and requests 391 GBP! The reason? Oh, they had “estimated” my bill since they didn’t read my meter. They had “estimated” my usage to be 3000 units for two months. As fate would have it, I checked my meter to reveal that I’d use 150 units in THREE months. So basically, we’d been overcharged by more than 300 pounds. However, to their credit, their customer service was very polite, and upon calling them today, they are issuing me a new bill for the correct amount. It didn’t help me sleep last night, but it made for a better morning today!
2. Telephone Bill – So, when we moved in, we were told that telephone was included. Oh, no – that was a BOLD FACED LIE. And since we didn’t sign our own contract and only received a copy of it, we didn’t realize that we’d been lied to until we received this invoice. The cost of the service was a mere 15 GBP a month – nothing major. However, due to a CALCULATION ERROR (HITMAN, RAY RAY – WHAT HAVE I TOLD YOU ABOUT FORMULAS!?!?!?), instead of a service charge of 6.75 GBP, they wanted 67.50 GBP (yep – you misplaced a decimal – This isn’t a mundane detail, Michael!). So, after VAT, they wanted a total of 80 GBP more than the actual invoice. Again, we’ve since sorted this (knock on wood), but it was another hassle that set me off last night and made me a bull in a china shop.
3. Cleaning Bill – This was the kicker. They sent us a bill for 883 GBP for cleaning that was contractually agreed to (and stipulated in the contract!). After speaking with them about this, they agreed to remove the cleaning charge, but they still wanted us to pay the 500 GBP for the linen change and towel change (if that number sounds ridiculous, it's because it is - are you SERIOUS?). When we politely told them that we never asked for those items and that we assumed that was part of the “cleaning,” they replied simply that it wasn’t. Property and relocation companies were then involved, and it was more than a slight mess. I think we’ve come to an arrangement on this now, but the missus and I are still out several hundred pounds that we were not expecting to pay (and quite frankly don’t believe we should). Steam was rolling out of my ears, and I’m not happy about it. More to come on this one as we try and put it to bed. It’s really just a good thing I can’t get my hands on any kerosene over here…
So, long story short – whilst we managed to shave over 1,000 GBP off our bills, we’re still out of pocket substantially more than expected. Given that, I regret to say that I could not complete my normal first sentence with “after an AWESOME day in the Smoke.” However, I take comfort in the following:
1. We did claw back quite a bit of cash.
2. My wife is smokin’ hot.
3. I didn’t die lifting weights today (welcome to the guuuuuuuuuuuun show).
4. I had a super productive day at work.
5. My wife is really, really, smokin’ hot.
I will say that I ended on a good note, drinking a Kronie and Guinness (way better than I remembered!) at the Cat & Canary with Liz and Lord G. Then I came home to my beautiful baby pie, who whipped up a tasty dinner.
Okay, that’s all the news that’s fit to print. Chat tomorrow!
A very hot & bothered Sam and Jenny