Taking Stock - August 17, 2015

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Over that time I’ve had my fair share of stand-offs, most of them with people outside the newsroom.

Politicians, chief executives, football managers and donkeys have all been subjected to a grilling and all (with the possible exception of the donkey) tamed.

But I think this week I’ve finally met my match.

That’s because I’ve attempted to move my phone and broadband from one company to another.

According to Ofcom the process should be simple.

I presume their comparison is to gaining a North Korean visa or a glass of untainted tap water.

It all started when my broadband went on the fritz, so I rang them up to ask what kind of notice I’d need to give if I was going to leave.

Having insisted I didn’t want to hear the whole lecture on how my life could be enriched by all-new (and rather costly) fibreoptic wizadry, I was told a month was adequate. And so, having found myself a rather good deal involving on-demand Star Wars, I went ahead with the switch.

And that’s where the trouble began.

Apparently although the old firm wanted a month’s notice, the new firm needs just two weeks to take over the line.

And that’s big trouble for little old me – hit with a hefty bill for welching on my contract.

I’ve made endless phone calls, spoken to people from Bangalore to Belfast and nobody seems to be able to give me a straight answer.

Of course we can change that date, says one – just call us back in a couple of days.

And so I do, only to find it’s too late to change the dates, which I accept until a letter arrives telling me it’s not.

Back on the phone, to sit in a 20 minute queue only to find, at the end of it, the system is down and I’ve got Greensleeves rattling around my head for no reason.

I swear it’s all designed to make sure I give up, pay up and shut up.

It’s certainly designed to put me off ever wanting to switch again, no matter how many cuddly mongooses (yes I had to look that up) I get sent.

Make the switch, it’s easy, they say.

Maybe in another 12 years.