3 March 2011 (Thursday) - Cowboy Builders...?

I had a phone call last night from a very surly-sounding Geordie who told me that since my home insurance didn’t cover electrical and plumbing and the boiler, he’d got an insurance policy all set up for me. All that remained to be done was for me to pay for it.
I asked which company he was from: he pretended not to hear me, and went on to ask about how I wanted to make the payments. I wasn’t having any of that, mainly because only the other day I set up all that insurance. So I stopped him in his tracks, and asked him which company he was from. I made it clear that I would have nothing more to do with him until I knew who I was dealing with. He grudgingly admitted he was from a company called “HomeFix Contracts Limited”, and then tried to continue with his set patter. I stopped him again and demanded to know why he thought I was uninsured. He insisted that I was uninsured because it said so on his home owner database. When I asked for details of this “home owner database” he said he could not discuss it or where he’d got it from because that was confidential information. When I insisted he told me more, he hung up.
I phoned HomeFix Contracts Limited on the number they quote on their website. The phone rang and rang, eventually going to an answer-phone. So I tried again, and again. On the fourth attempt the same very surly-sounding Geordie answered with a disinterested “yes?” I asked if I was speaking to HomeFix Contracts Limited. He said “might be – who’s asking?
Obviously I was getting nowhere, so this morning I thought I’d ring this company during office hours and speak to someone who might be in a managerial position: after all, if they do have my details on some “home owner database” then according to the Data Protection Act they are obliged to tell me exactly what details they have on file. I tried them at various intervals during the day. Again the phone would ring, eventually going to an answer-phone. On the umpteenth attempt the phone was answered by the surly-sounding Geordie I’d had yesterday: “Hullo – what is it?”.
I’d suggest that anyone who finds themselves being contacted by HomeFix Contracts Limited considers themselves warned.

I also had several wasted phone calls to Ashford Borough Council. The word on the street is that the hairdresser’s shop up the road is to become a kebab shop, and that they have applied for permission to remain open until 4am on Saturday and Sunday mornings. I was not impressed when I heard this, and so I phoned the council to find out how one went about complaining.
The council were equally in the dark about the matter, so either the Kebab shop isn’t planning to be open all hours, or they aren’t going to ask permission to do so. I shall await developments.

And then to the astro club committee meeting. Whilst I’m not technically a committee member, I’m always at the club, very prominent and in the public’s eye, so I thought I’d trot along to the committee meeting this evening. After all, they could always tell me to shove off, or pretend they weren’t in.
We had a really productive evening, and whilst I’m not going to say what we decided (which would be wrong of me), let’s just say that I’m really enthusiastic for the next year of the astro club…

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