The Lost Weekend


It had to happen eventually. This morning I woke up to no phone, no tv and no internet. You can imagine my mood.

An expensive phone call on my blackberry to those chaps at Virgin Media revealed that they, like me, hadn’t a clue what the problem is.

At 50p a minute (no freephone here, of course) I waded and through and waited on several automatic message machines.

“Press 1 for a fault with your phone; if you have a problem with your TV press
2; or if you want to report a fault with your broadband press 3.”

Not being given the option of being able to press all three, I pressed ‘3’ and waited. Melinda picked up the call.

“Could you confirm your, name, account number and the first line of your address for me, please ?”

Through some stroke of luck my answer tallied with the info she had. I wasn’t actually reporting a fault using someone elses ID.

“Ok Sir, could you turn the wireless modem off, wait for 30 seconds and then turn it on again? That will reset it”

“Did that this morning, Melinda. Still doesn’t work”

“Oh. Ok Mr Bealing, I shall just check to see if there’s been a fault reported in your area.”

75p went by.

“Mr. Bealing ?”
“Yes” (who else was it gonne be?)
“There doesn’t seem to be a problem in your area so I’m going to put you through to my colleague who will be able to book an engineer for you.”

Pause for about £2.25.

Gareth (wouldn’t you know it?) picked up the phone.

“Good morning sir. Could you just confirm your, name, account number and the first line of your address for me, please ?”

Hmmm….Ok, I stood for it and spouted off my details again, and confirmed I’d already performed the turnyoffandon routine, much to Gareth’s surprise.

“There doesn’t seem to have been a problem reported in your area”

“Well I’m reporting it now” I offered.

“Ok” said Gareth, ignoring my tetchiness “the earliest we can get someone out to you is Monday, between 12 and 4pm”

“Do you not come out at weekends?” I asked, already realising the futility of the question.

“We do, but we have so many bookings this weekend that there’s no engineer near you available .”

“Perhaps there’s a fault in my area?” I wondered aloud.

Gareth paused for about 17p.

“I tell you what, Mr Bealing” I think the penny had dropped “if it turns out that a general fault in the area is reported we’ll call you and either address it here remotely or I’ll try to get someone to you this weekend.”

“Ok, you have my mobile number?”

“Er, no…?” He said, wondering why he would have that on record.

“Well how are you going to call me then ? My landline’s down.”

We parted company, Gareth and I. He with my mobile number, me with the raving hump.

So here I sit. Texting a blog on my mobile. The house is silent. No telly, not tv, no phone. No contact with the outside world, no entertainment. Might as well be in Cardiff.

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7 thoughts on “The Lost Weekend

  1. Gareth was probably talking to you from Cardiff, where it is practically unknown to have problems with futuristic technology such as phones and tinternet. Unlike certain backward areas of Lundun, of course.

  2. I don’t know what you’re complaining about, your Virgin Media guy sounds like a very pleasant chap who would no doubt have got to the bottom of your problems …or at least sent a chubby aussie round to see you instead..

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