A conversation I had with a nice call-centre person from my bank, edited for brevity:

Me: I’d like to extend my overdraft, please.

CCP: Okay, Miss [lastname], and how much would you like to increase it by?

Me: Frankly, as much as you can give me.

CCP: So… £10,000?! [clearly messing around, as I’m never allowed to have more than £3,000.]

Me: *laughs* If you can persuade them…

CCP: Well, I’ll just go and check that with our other department


CCP: I’m sorry, but they’ve declined your request. They also say that they’ve seen no sign of any student loan coming into your account*, and that you won’t be able to apply again for another six months.

Me: [deadpan] Damn. Back to begging on the street for me, then.

CCP: [also deadpan] Oh, I’m sorry to hear that, Miss [lastname].

I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry. Whoever that person was, they did very well at amusing me, whilst telling me that no, I couldn’t have any money. Well done to my bank for hiring staff with a sense of humour. Although, not so well done for hiring staff who don’t know the difference between “Miss” and “Ms”. The bank have no excuse, because I registered with them as “Ms”.

*The bank wouldn’t have seen any sign of the loan, because the student loans company refuse to acknowledge that my student account exists.

I Write Letters

After Peter commented on yesterday’s irate post about the TV licensing people, I ambled over to his blog to check it out. And then had a bit of a think, and I got a bit more angry. If they were only trying to intimidate me, that wouldn’t be so bad. But they’re not. It’s a form letter they’ve set me – it doesn’t even have my name on, for goodness’ sake – and I discovered this morning that one of my flatmates had thrown an identical letter straight into the bin. So they’ve sent this abusive pile of crap to every student they can get hold of, is my guess. So I’m writing a letter. And it looks a litte bit like this:

“To whom it may concern,

Today I recieved my third unsolicited letter from your company. I would like to register my anger at being contacted in this way from a company with whom I have no intention of doing business, and my displeasure at feeling pressured into contacting you.
Allow me to state clearly here: I do not own any form of “television receiving equipment”.

I have found all correspondence from you to be unnecessarily intimidating in both language and format, and also misleading. I refer primarily to the top page of my most recent letter, which prominently displays figures in such a manner as to suggest that I owe the sum of £139.50 in unpaid fees. Clearly, this is not true, and I resent the implication.

On recipt of this letter, I called the telephone number provided in the hopes of ceasing all further correspondence. However, I was informed that I may receive not only another unsolicited letter, but also a visit from your employees. I was also addressed in that conversation as “Miss”, despite requesting otherwise. While I have no complaint to make against the woman who handled my call, who was courteous and helpful, I would like to recommend that your database be updated to provide at least the option of using the title “Ms”. I can understand a need to have a title to address me by, but feel that there can be no reason for my marital status to be any concern of yours.

Your letter informs me that I can stop the investigation into my address by letting you know that I do not need a television license. This being the case, I do not expect to be disturbed by any visits from your staff, and, other than a confirmation of recipt of this letter, I do not wish to receive any further mail.”

I was very angry last night.

In other, slightly more pleasant news, I will also be writing a thank-you letter to the bus company. Earlier this week, my bus was delayed to the extent that despite leaving plenty of time, I was 10 minutes late to my exam. I asked the bus driver if I could take his name, in case the university asked me to prove why I was late, and he gave me not only his full name, but the number of the bus, the timetable it was meant to run to, and a statement to the effect that the bus was 20 minutes late and there was no way that I could have done anything about it.

So I’m going to write a nice letter to his company, and hope he gets a bonus for being lovely!