Friday, October 07, 2005

I'm not paranoid, they ARE out to get me

They ARE out to get me. It's probably a global conspiracy... Here is my evidence:

The Bradford & Bingley balls-up
OK, so we're applying for a new mortgage to get a cheaper rate and these days you don't just go down to your local bank, everything is all through the Internet and post.

So we dutifully send out off a passport (his) and a driver's licence (hers) to the mortgage company as proof of ID, along with our last pay stubs, a utility bill and goodness knows what other kind of dross.

A day or two later we get back the useless bits of paper, plus an email saying we need some form of ID. What has happened.

Bradford and Bingley (the mortgage company) HAVE LOST OUR PASSPORT AND DRIVING LICENSE.

Several emails, phone calls, etc later, including one where I ask Nadia (our case manager) to send me the name of her manager and the complaints manager, we still have nothing. I still don't have the name of her manager.

I'm trying to deal with this while I'm away, but it's not easy. Nadia muttered something about an apology, but it was along the lines of If you're so crazy as to think that we've messed up, I'm sorry.

Well, we've now called the police about this. The police say it should be a criminal investigation and not just a complaints procedure, though we will be pursuing the matter of the cost of our replacement passport and driving license.

But I really just want my license back. And my reasons are a little silly I admit, but for once in my life I actually have a pretty good picture on that thing - and I know that I won't get a better one next time. You should see my current passport photo, it's so bad. It's so bad that when my mom looked at mine and my brother's together - as his is also bad - she said - it looks like I'm the mother of a hardened criminal and a retard. I'll let you guess which is which.

CASE STATUS: Unresolved

Hertz and Westminster City Council collude in their attempts to get me

This is a case of international intrigue, involving 4 separate countries thus far - an axis of out-to-get-me-ness, clearly.

OK, so I return home today and find a letter to me from France to Mr. ______ . Well, I guess that's me, even though I'm female. Turns out it's from a French Debt Collection agency: Hermes International Account Management, acting on behalf of Hertz Car Rentals saying I have an outstanding parking ticket to the value of 135 pounds - yeah, that's right about $200 bucks in real money. For parking in Inverness TCE. Well I was in Scotland on the day in question, so I assume it's a parking ticket in Inverness. But I've never been to Inverness or its local authority area in my life.

The wording in this letter is so bad that I'm half wondering if it's a scam. The first line reads.

Our organisation is collaborating [trust the French] with numerous Companies to help managing their commercial exposure.

OK, so first I phone the number on the letter which is in Dublin. That number is dead, so I go to the trusty old yellow pages and phone Hertz. I phone a UK number, but I'm clearly getting a young man in Dublin (who was actually very sweet). Turns out that ticket is actually for parking in Inverness Terrace, London. In the City of Westminster (the local authority).

Well, if you went to University of Tennessee and you thinking their parking ticket system was evil... Well, let's just say I think they probably went on a training course for evilness in parking tickets run by Westminster City Council. I'm not dissing Westminster, I actually like them, and I know people who work there with whom I'm on very friendly terms, but when it comes to parking they are stone cold.

Just to illustrate how mad this is - I have included a little map. Showing where I was parked at the time of the ticket and showing where the ticket was issued.

Map courtesy of CIA Factbook (I've paid my taxes)

The guy in Dublin (as I said was really nice) tries to get me through to the debt collection department, but guess what - they go home at 3pm on a Friday. Lucky sods.

I phone Westminster, just to confirm that it's one of their tickets. (Just to show how good that council is, their parking hotline is staffed 24 hrs/ 365 days a year). It is, but they can't give me any more information because their computer has crashed!

CASE STATUS: Unresolved.

1 comment:

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