Posts Tagged ‘Moving House’

Petlog rip-off charges

January 18th, 2007 11 comments

We have recently moved house, and obviously needed to inform several organisations about our new address. For the most part, you get no confirmation until the next bill or correspondence arrives. Some even send a nice letter saying:

Thank you for taking the time to inform us of your updated details

except one: Petlog.

For those who don’t know, when you have a cat or dog, you can have it ‘chipped’, i.e. a small device, the size of a grain of rice, is inserted under the skin at the nape of the animal’s neck. Each chip has a unique serial number. Petlog (part of the Kennel Club) hold a database of these chips, referencing the id to your address should your pet ever be lost.

Petlog Demand LetterWe informed Petlog of the new address and the reply was:

Thank you for your revised details. In order to action this request, we require a payment of £7.50

What?! No-one else has asked for payment. Cheeky *******!

I have sent a letter in reply:

4a Alton House Office Park
Gatehouse Way
HP19 8XU

18th January 2007

Dear Sirs

Re: Change of Address: chip number xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

We refer to your letter of 16th January.

We must point out that in moving house, we have informed more than fifty companies and organisations, both large and small, and Petlog is the only one to have the audacity to demand a payment for thirty seconds of keyboard work.

By the time you had written your letter, you could have changed the address on your database. In fact in writing your letter you have actually typed our new address. This time could have been far better spent typing it into the database.

The amount is not even nominal. Let’s be generous and say it takes two minutes to change the address: are you seriously suggesting it costs you £225 an hour to employ clerical staff, or are you employing high court barristers? Maybe your office processes are inefficient and require serious scrutiny.

My guess, however, is that it is really a ploy to sell your ‘petlog+’ package with ‘added extras’ which represent very little value to us:

‘Free’ changes of address Having just moved house, we are unlikely to move again before the cat dies, so no value there. Especially as everyone else does it for free.

Add holiday travel details When we go away, the cat is in the cattery, we give our details to them, again no value.

Lost Pet Posters I am perfectly capable of producing my own posters, probably to a much higher quality.

The extortionate charge of £7.50 cannot be justified in any way. You don’t even include a reply paid envelope. You are playing on the emotional relationship between a pet and its owner.

I guess being part of the kennel club, you are aiming your service at those with pedigree dogs and cats costing hundreds or even thousands of pounds, however, we are talking here about a non-pedigree domestic cat with a purchase value of zero.

As far as I’m concerned, I paid enough for your service when the chip was fitted.

Yours faithfully

UPDATE: 23rd April

Well, it’s over three months later and no reply from Petlog

Moving House with BT

December 28th, 2006 12 comments

Phone KeysWe’re moving house shortly, and one of the many things we need to take care of is the phone line.

We are currently with ntl for both telephone and broadband, but the new address, despite being in an ntl area with all surrounding streets having cable service, was never cabled up. That means switching to BT.

Even if the street did have ntl service, we were still going to go back to BT for the phone line, as we cannot get free itemised billing on ntl, and the phone line goes dead during a local power cut (in contravention of OFCOM regulations). We would however have preferred to stay with ntl for broadband.

No problem sir… or is it?

A few weeks ago, I called BT to see whether we could take our existing phone number with us (originally a BT number before being ported over to ntl). I was told that this would not be a problem as the new address was still within the same exchange area. “Just give us a week’s notice when you know you are moving”.

Having a firm moving date, I called yesterday to place the order, only to be told that the BT line at the new address had been ceased for a long time and that an engineer* would have to call to check the wiring was intact. Strange that, since the current owners have a fully functioning BT phone line. The CSA claimed that it must be another non-BT line. How, if there is no cable? She got very shirty:“There are lots of other companies, sir”. Yes, but it’s called wholesale line leasing – the line is still a BT line at the end of the day! “No sir, the BT line has been ceased for a long time”.

Not wanting to cause further damage to my head or the wall, I hung up and called back later.

It seems, however, after talking to someone who did understand wholesale line leasing, that the current owners have chosen to pay their line rental to a third party provider, and although the line still belongs to BT who have leased it to the third party, BT have no details about the line. I find that very hard to believe, as BT must have a record of the leasing arrangement and that they are receiving an income from the third party for the line. BT would also be responsible for maintenance on the line, so are they saying they have no records for that either?

Need more staff

It gets worse: the earliest appointment for an engineer is 23rd January! That’s almost a month away, to perform a task which will take a few minutes (and may even be done without a visit). Pathetic! This means that despite giving BT two weeks notice (one week more than requested), we will be without a phone line at the new address for almost two weeks at the very least. It also means that we will not be able to take our number with us, unless we left the ntl line live after we move out (allowing the new owners use of a free line for two weeks) Not bloody likely!

It also extends the period without broadband, as I cannot order broadband until the line is working. Now because of this debarcle, for the first two weeks, I won’t even have dial-up access.

I would not be surprised if it is BT policy to deliberately ‘forget’ about wholesale leased lines just to put a spanner in the works, as sour grapes for being forced to lease lines to third parties.

I have posted a complaint to:

Jillian G Lewis – Customer Service Director
BT plc
Correspondence Centre
DH98 1BT

I’ll see if I get any response.

Update: 3rd March

Over 9 weeks later and no response.

Update: 17th March

Over 11 weeks later, and I’ve just had a message on the answering machine saying “this is a courtesy call regarding your letter” and “you will be contacted within 10 days”

Question: why not just contact me? Sounds like an NHS style fudge, so they can say they responded within 12 weeks.

Update: 17th May

Well, it’s now two months since I got the message saying that someone would contact me within 10 days and almost five months since I originally wrote to BT. I’m still waiting.

*This use of the word engineer is very annoying and the reason that real engineers have lost their status in this country. The man who comes to fix your phone or television is not an engineer, he is a repairman, or a technician. He may be highly skilled in his job but he does not actually engineer anything. The person who actually designs the telephone systems or television is an engineer. You would not refer to a nurse as a doctor. In other European countries, you are not even allowed to call yourself an engineer without proper credentials.