Constituents are good enough to share their problems with the local MP, and many of these relate to goods or services they have purchased; or, to be more accurate, goods and services they have been sold. Internet scams, mobile phone tones, time-share offers, fictional lottery prizes, offers from keep-fit clubs – all these are meat and drink to MP’s who will go into battle on behalf of those who have been ripped off. (One lady brought her electric kettle to my Advice Bureau in the hope that I might repair it.) With 34 years experience, you would have thought that, when the family was confronted with a challenge, I would be well placed to sort it out. But I have to report slow progress on the mobile phone front.
A few days ago, an unsolicited SIM card arrived through the post from a well-known service provider with a presence in Andover, anxious for the Young mobile phone account.
I had been thinking about this, as the need for prudence in personal expenditure becomes more imperative. One of the phones is on a monthly tariff, but the volume of use has never justified the monthly charge as we are not fully paid up mmbrs of the txtng grnrtn. So we terminated the account, gave the mobile telephone a general anaesthetic, and performed a SIM transplant. The new organ has not exactly been rejected, but the patient is unable to communicate.
Before we performed this operation, we took a precaution. The village is full of people walking up and down the road, trying to get a signal on their mobile. We tapped in our postcode on the service providers website and were re-assured to be told that reception was “good.” So we loaded some funds into the Pay as You Go” account – (a misnomer, as you have to pay before you can go) – and switched it on.
There was no signal. Not only was there no signal in our postcode, but you had to drive through a swathe of SP11 until contact was made. A conversation with the representative in Andover established that the Young household was not unique in the village in having a reception problem.
I got back on to the service provider’s website and left a message in the “Contact Us” box and I got a reply from some one I will call Brian. I will call him Brian, because that is his name and he is in Customer Relations.
He has replied “Thank you for your email about the poor signal that you're receiving. I appreciate you contacting me about this as it gives me the opportunity to look into this for you.” “Unfortunately” he went on “ I'm unable to access your account at the moment as you haven't included your mobile number and account password on your email. If you could reply with this information I'll be happy to look into your complaint for you.”
Brian has had this information for several days – but we haven’t heard from him. I fear he has been trying to reach us on the mobile number.