Category Archives: Cull

Tiscali and BT

As I may have mentioned I recently moved house to le château de grenouille.  Part of the harrowing experience that is moving house involves sorting out all the utilities and services that we, as consumers, have bought into.  Most companies have excellent and efficient procedures in place to ensure that the process of moving house is straightforward and efficient.

For example:

  • The Hung Council credited my Council Tax to the new address and sent me a bill that arrived the day after I moved in;
  • Gritish Bas sorted out my bills, transferred credits and sent me a lovely “Welcome to your new home” pack..which was dull so I threw it away..but that’s beside the point;
  • Both water companies just changed the address on the bill and reissued it to the new address.

Why then can’t BT and Tiscali be as efficient.

Tiscali cut my broadband connection off on 6th September when they should have cut it off on the 17th.  This was irritating but I figure that you’re allowed one mistake as long as you say sorry.  The call centre didn’t say sorry, in fact I’m not certain what they said as the call centre staff had such thick accents that I had trouble understanding them. 

Worse than cutting me off early they have so far failed utterly to reconnect me.  I’ve had to endure six long weeks without a broadband connection at home.  I’m reminded of poor Drunken Spaniel and how she endured a similar issue.

BT have also failed to live up to their part of the contract to supply me with a telephone service.  On Monday 8th my phone mysteriously stopped working.  I rang the free phone number from my mobile (which I’m now told isn’t actually free) for an hour in order to report the fault.  They told me that it would be fixed within 24 hours.  Fair enough, thought I, sometimes things break.  24 hours later I rang them back, the phone is still as dead as a dodo.  Every day for the past week has had me calling back to query why my phone still isn’t working.  Apparently it’ll only take another 24 hours.

Well I’ve watched 24 and if Jack Bauer can do all the things he does in that show then BT can certainly fix one little fault.  It’s hardly too much to ask is it?

Anyway, I lost my rag at them both on Friday and cancelled them both.  I’m going with Virgin and a cable service for my phone and broadband and I’m getting some TV chucked in for the same price.

If you have my Tiscali email address please delete it.  I’ll get a new one next week and will probably let you know what it is eventually.


Filed under Cull, le château de grenouille, Shitbiscuits

I have a theory…

….it could be bunnies.

Having taken the decision to buy le château de grenouille (my 5 bedroom house that I shall be moving into on Monday) and sell l’étang de grenouille (the current home of the EU surplus box mountain) I have come to appreciate the benefits of good and efficient customer service….or rather I would have appreciated it if I’d had any.  I’ve been having trouble trying to understand how such diverse groups of people as estate agents, solicitors, and Internet service providers can all be so utterly crap.

It isn’t like they all work for the post office or anything.  I can understand how a monopoly can degenerate in service level to the lowest possible point.  Lack of competition breeds apathy.  If you don’t have a choice but to use a service then it really doesn’t matter how well or how poorly they treat you.

However for a company that operates in a normal competitive environment an upset customer will likely take their custom to a competitor and slag off the poor company to anyone who will listen.  Why then do they all seem to be so rubbish?

hoverFrog’s First Law of Customer Service Apathy

A company will naturally gravitate to the same level of service as it’s competitors.

hoverFrog’s Second Law of Customer Service Apathy

A company with sufficient customers to meet it’s payroll needs will cease to value them.

hoverFrog’s Third Law of Customer Service Apathy

The motivation of an employee is inversely proportional to the number of departments in the office where they work.


Filed under Cull, le château de grenouille, Shitbiscuits, You decide

Human Cull III

OK in addition to estate agents and solicitors I now have to add Internet service provider admin staff to my human cull list.

I’m not sure if I have mentioned this in the past 😉 but I am moving house shortly.  My completion date is now 17th September.  In preparation for my move I have contacted several utility companies and asked to transfer service to the new address.

Tiscali (my ISP) cut off my broadband yesterday.  Presumably this is because the 6th looked similar to the 17th.  Honestly though, everyone makes mistakes.  A quick phone call should have sorted this out, wouldn’t you think?


No apology, no admittance of error, no fix.  I am now looking for a new ISP and have to come to the library for my blogging fix.

Still, we exchanged contracts today and I’m on a promise so it’s all worked out OK. 😉


Filed under Cull, le château de grenouille, Reasons to be cheerful

Jelly Brained Solicitors

I was planning on moving house on Friday.  I mean my house does look like an explosion at a box factory.  We’re even using the stronger boxes as furniture.

Unfortunately my solicitor has forgotten to deal with one or two vital points including a Deed of Covenant and the signature of a witness on a document that they have had for two months.  The buyers of my humble abode have a solicitor even less competent than mine because they have forgotten to order the Drainage and Water searches that they should have ordered as soon as they were instructed. 

Everyone is angry.  The people we are buying from are angry because they want to move and no one is telling them what the delay is.  We’re angry because everyone we deal with seems to have lime jelly for brains.  The buyer of my house are angry because he is in London and needs to drive back one night to sign a piece of paper that he could have had ages ago.  His mum is angry, I’m not sure why, maybe she’s clingy but that’s beside the point.  The only people who aren’t angry are the estate agents who will soon be paid a vast sum of money for doing very little.  This is making me angry.  Even the kids are angry.  OK, we took their beds down and they have to sleep on the floor but I’m sure that is some jelly brained solicitors fault somehow.

I may hulk out tomorrow.

Plus I now have to buy some food….and some alcohol.

I apologise in advance for rude and/or cutting comments that I may come out with in the next ten days.  I may just stick to egg related blogs to be on the safe side.

I’m going to bed now to stew in my own suppressed rage.


Filed under Cull, le château de grenouille, Shitbiscuits

Laziness Test

Yesterday at approximately the same time I left messages with the solicitor and with the estate agents who are dealing with my house sale and purchase of le château de grenouille.  I asked them both to call me urgently.  This is basically because I’m fed up with being treated like a mushroom* all the time.

What odds would you give me for the following:

  1. The estate agent calls first;
  2. The solicitor calls first;
  3. Neither one calls me today;
  4. Neither one calls me at all.

Estate agents and solicitors are already on the Human Cull list but I’m sort of wishing that I could punish them in some way.  Some way involving sharp, pointy objects and screaming. 

*Kept in the dark and fed on shit.


Filed under Cull, You decide

Lazy buggers

You know what pisses me off about people more than anything else:


Yes, the very deadly sin that I find so laudable in myself* is the one that I despise in others.  For instance:  I am currently trying to recruit a Lotus Notes programmer with XML and web services experience.  Why do I get CVs for C++ programmers or Network Infrastructure Gurus (seriously)?  It is because the lazy arsed recruitment tosspot can’t be bothered to read the CV before he sends me a copy.  He just blanket emails everyone on his list with a copy of a totally unsuitable CV.  It wouldn’t take that much effort and would be ultimately more efficient to create a simple database (even a spreadsheet) of potential clients and their requirements and then only email them with suitable candidates.  Surely this isn’t a radical suggestion?

Recruitment consultants are going on the Human Cull list.  Sorry Michelle.

Thanks for listening to my rant.

*Sloth is a virtue because it reduces the amount of work that is repeated for no good reason and makes everything more efficient.  If you disagree then go back to washing clothes by hand in the nearest river or chopping firewood to cook dinner with.

What’s your favourite Deadly Sin?  They are Pride | Greed | Lust | Sloth | Envy | Wrath | Gluttony in case you’ve forgotten. 

Why do I even ask?  You’re all going to choose lust aren’t you?  Can you name the seven virtues without googling them?  Any of them?


Filed under Cull, Shitbiscuits

The story of the Agelast and the Cachinnator

The people who I work with are very strange.

Two of the cast in this little soap opera are total opposites.

The Agelast is actually incapable of smiling or of taking anything as a joke.  I know that sometimes we all get like that a little when we’re in a grump but the Agelast takes this to extremes.  I’ve actually seen him huff when he was told that he could leave early. 

The Cachinnator, as you would expect, is his complete opposite.  She laughs constantly at everything even (or perhaps because) when she doesn’t understand what she is laughing at.  As a consequence of her insane giggling she often stops people in their steps so that they can stare at her in disbelief.  She is also prone to going off in odd directions during conversations.

There’s nothing wrong with that.  I’ve been known to ride a horse called Tangent from time to time.  Not all the time you understand but just for a change.

The Agelast and the Cachinnator could do with a change. Maybe a full mind swap like you sometimes see in the movies.  Although seeing the two of them talk to one another is an amazing experience.

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Filed under Cull, You decide

A general email to all my kindly work colleagues regarding the old dog and bone.

Firstly I would like to thank you for the diligence with which you answer the phone.  I don’t think I’ve ever worked for a company that routes calls so quickly to me.  Even when they aren’t for me.  I do have one small quibble that is hardly worth mentioning really except that it does tend to consume quite a large chunk of my day to resolve.  It’s my own fault really.  I just don’t know how to say no. 

When taking a call for another person it would be simply smashing if you could glean the following information from the caller before putting the call through to me. 

  1. The name of the caller.
  2. The company that they are calling from.
  3. The reason that they are calling.

I know that it seems petty but I like to be able to greet my callers by name rather than merely saying “Hello, who is this?”.  You can see how this may appear more professional to some people and thereby give the company a better reputation in the long run. 

I receive a large amount of sales calls from various companies.  The vast majority of these are simply a waste of time for me and for the caller and I’d much rather do some work that tell someone why I don’t want to talk to them.  Also I’ve already used up my monthly allocation of sales call patience. I’d be ever so grateful if you could either take a message which I will ignore or simply hang up on them. 

For future reference you may wish to inform cold callers that I have a policy of never buying from companies that harass me.  I work on the basis of using only companies with a unique selling point that I am after, that have been personally recommended to me by my peers, or that I actively seek out.  If they got my name from a list that they bought then I’m just not interested. 

I also don’t ever want to speak to BT again in my entire life.

If the caller is one of our field agents with a problem it would be wonderful if you could first determine if the problem is a technical one or one where your own area of expertise is sufficient to resolve the problem.  This will save the embarrassment of my putting the call back through to you when I have discerned the reason for the call.

Thank you in advance

The Magnificent Frog


Filed under Cull, van de graaf

An Open Letter to The Lady of the Big Bones

Dearest Lady of the Big Bones,

It was so good to see you this morning at the train station.  It has been some time and I had thought that you’d given up your protest.  Even though you carried no placards and displayed no notice I knew about your protest at the removal of the benches from the platform.  Why else would you place your ample derriere upon the cold and unlovely steps of the footbridge?  Why else would you deliberately place your sack (for how else could I describe your discrete luggage) on the gap next to you? And why else would you balance your over sized and over sweetened Coffee Kiosk ™ coffee on the remaining small gap? 

The protest was a success and I thank you heartily for it.  The complaining commuters harsh words to the guards and station staff had the desired effect.  Benches have now been placed on the platform for customers’ use.  It is poor planning on their part that made them order benches with segregated compartments unsuited to your fuller figure.  You could do as I do when I have a backpack that I don’t want to put down on the floor and simply perch on the end of a bench.  They are secured to the platform with concrete.

Obviously you are aware of the success of your protest and have moved on to set right another great wrong.  Sadly I am at a loss to determine what you are protesting against this time.  Your actions seem to indicate that you protest against the length of time that it takes for a carriage door to open.  I can see no other reason for you to stand squarely in front of the doors rather than to one side.  You must know that you strike an imposing figure for any commuter that seeks to exit from the carriage.  I saw one man today break down in tears as he very nearly fell against you.  He had to be calmed by station staff and I fear that he may never recover not even with the tender administrations of tea and comfort.

May I be so bold as to suggest writing to the train companies rather than bludgeoning commuters as a first effort in changing train policy.  If that fails then writing to your MP may be a worthwhile effort.  Rather than trying to force the train doors open with your pudgy fingers you could take a moment to allow your fellow travellers to exit the carriage.  I mean it isn’t as if the seats are contoured to fit you or the tables spacious enough for you so you are unlikely to move much beyond the door anyway.

Yours supportively

The Magnificent Frog.


Filed under Bad things happen, Cull


Every day at 12 o’clock Mrs Stressed in Finance reads the horoscopes out.

Not only do I find this interruption to my work irritating in the extreme but pandering to such superstitious nonsense really bugs me.  It really isn’t the case that Uranus is controlling me, no matter what you read on the walls of public toilets.

Anyway, I’m irritable today because I had to finish my TMA last night by 11 but didn’t have enough time to get those last 3 or 4 marks on the final question.  This has put me out of sorts as I have had plenty of time.

Anyway, I hope that everyone has a lovely, calming day with plenty of good luck.  If the moon is shining on Uranus that may well be the case.


Filed under Bad things happen, Cull, MT262, You decide