As you probably know, we moved house recently.
As you may also know, I am an ambassador for Talk Talk, and as such have been using their TV, land line and broadband service for a few months now. I had previously been using another company for these services, and because I am incredibly lazy, had never quite gotten around to cancelling my service with them when I got Talk Talk. Moving house though, meant I should probably get on and do that!
I spoke to the lady I’ve been dealing with at Talk Talk, to let her know I was moving house and ask how I should go about transferring my service. When she told me to login to the website and just fill in a form, I will admit I was less then optimistic!
I booked the move in for the day before our actual move, and prayed it wouldn’t mean my going without internet for too long – it’s hard to work from home with no internet access!
When I arrived at the new flat on the morning of the appointment, I met the landlord outside and he informed me there was actually no phone line in the property… Panic! I was worried this would mean the Talk Talk engineer would turn up, take one look and tell me I needed to do something involving BT (who I detest) and a long delay. As it was, he turned up, drilled a hole in the wall and fitted a phone line. Then he tested it, told me my new phone number and went on his way.
I scratched my head.
Moving house is supposed to be more stressful than this.
Social media is full of people effing and jeffing – or their distinct absence – because they’ve not been able to get their internet connection moved across at the same time as they moved house.
I went back to the old flat to pack, silently panicking that there might still be a horrible delay in service. At this point, I finally got around to calling my old provider (who shall remain nameless – I afford them a courtesy they did not extend to me, as you will see). I told them I was leaving because I was moving to Talk Talk. They wanted to know which deal I had. I told them I was a Talk Talk ambassador and as such had been given a number of services for free. At this point the man put me on hold for a reason that was not immediately clear.
A few minutes later, he came back and told me he would need to transfer me to another department. I spoke to another person, to whom I relayed the same exact information, albeit in a slightly less friendly manor. Again I was put on hold, this time for several minutes. When he came back to me, he asked again what service I had with Talk Talk, as they could probably beat it. I told him no, unless you can offer me free service, you cannot beat what I have with Talk Talk. He whittered a bit, then put me on hold for several more minutes. When he came back on the line, it became clear why he had put me on hold: “well, I’ve looked at their website and I can’t see the deal you’re talking about…” At this point I lost my cool slightly. I told him I wasn’t wasting my precious time on hold to him so that he could ostensibly call me a liar. I wanted my contract terminated with immediate effect. Eventually he agreed to cancel my contract and advised me he would send me a pre-paid box in which to return my router and suchlike.
You would think that would be the end of the sorry story, but no. Over the next few days, I received several calls on my mobile from third party companies. They had been told by my previous supplier that I was leaving their service because I was moving house and couldn’t get their service in the area; they were calling up to see if they could help me find a new supplier. The first time, I told them politely to get lost… the second and third times, I wasn’t so polite.
Meanwhile, we moved house. The house move involved my sister at the old house, packing boxes into my mum’s car, and me at the other end unpacking them. My friend Fran helped out with her car, but she has a bad back and couldn’t lift anything, and my friend Sam did a couple of trips in her car. For the most part though, my sister loaded cars and I unloaded them. A friend came and moved the fridge and other heavy furniture. That evening, my sister’s boyfriend appeared as if by magic and put my bed together. I put S to bed and came back downstairs to absolute carnage – not least of which was a pile of cushions where my sofa should have been, because the thing itself didn’t fit through my door. I sat on an office chair in the middle of a pile of junk and thought, ooh, I’m starving… I wonder if I can get online to order a pizza… If I’m honest, I didn’t expect my Talk Talk service to have moved across within 24 hours of them putting the phone line in. I thought I would probably have to (ugh) make a phone call or use mobile data on my phone to order a pizza. I tentatively opened my laptop and… ordered a pizza. Online. Twenty-four hours after the hole had been drilled through the wall. Moving my Talk Talk service was the easiest part of my house move. Easier by far than waiting on hold for what seemed like forever to move my council tax account over to the new address; definitely easier than speaking to the water board to sort my account over (it seems I’m better off without having a meter fitted, according to their dubious calculations). It was definitely easier than getting my housing benefit moved over, which was by and large a Kafka-esque ordeal of worrying proportion and is still not resolved two months later. I would recommend Talk Talk for their home moving service alone. Moving house is one of the most stressful things you can do. Moving house under your own steam, with a toddler in tow and uncertainty as to the availability of CBeebies at the other end is definitely the most stressful thing I’ve done in a long while. These days, a week without an internet connection feels like a lifetime – more than that, any downtime would have affected my earning capability as I struggled to meet deadlines around unpacking boxes and moving furniture.