THE LAST DITCH An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about liberty in Britain
Taking the Chequ(ck)ered Flag
The future

It's back to life in Britain's #disservice culture. My home phone has developed a fault and - once I fixed my broadband - I registered it with BT and booked an engineer. The earliest appointment is a week from now and of course requires me to be home for half a day.

Meanwhile my EE mobile phone was blocked because of "excessive" roaming fees of - wait for it - £43. OK, their computerised systems produced a stupid result, but the lady at EE made it much worse by telling me arrogantly that, 'as a new customer' my credit line was limited.

I have been with Orange for years. They *forced* me to move to a sister company in order to have 4G. They are new, not me!

She then told me this was "for my own protection" in case I didn't know I was incurring roaming charges (idiotic infant that I am, implied). I pointed out that I bought four £50 data roaming packages from them while I was in the States, so of course I knew. She had no answer to that but to repeat that it was for my protection. Nothing in her head but her script, of course. Half-educated, half-trained and with an inflated sense of her own importance in the Universe.

When I asked if I could speak, not to her manager, but to someone with actual responsibility for implementing this stupid system this "customer service specialist" replied sneeringly 'That's not going to happen.' Is this entire country staffed by customer-hating morons?

I waited while she tried to connect me to her manager, to be told he was busy with another customer and would call me back.Two hours later I have of course had no call. As no-one in any mass market organisation I deal with in Britain has ever called back as promised, I am not holding my breath.

If you are thinking of switching to EE in order to have 4G data, I recommend you wait. It's coming to the other networks soon and being an early adopter will just get you this kind of nonsense. I was going to get a 4G SIM from them for my iPad once I came back to Britain, but they can whistle for my business now.

Oh to be in a humble Hampton Inn, in the American sticks, being told convincingly how much my custom is valued.