Once upon a time, a Christmas time in fact, I got a parking ticket. I don’t like getting them. I caught the parking warden writing the ticket. I told him that I had had to queue for a ticket and look it was in my hand (along with rather a large bag of shopping it has to be said!) The warden took a photo and told me that he would make a note of it and I should appeal. So I did.
I appealed. I got no response. Now, if you have been following this blog for a bit you know I don’t like that. I don’t like it all. So… I…. complained!
I emailed Waltham Forest and said “Oi, I’ve appealed why haven’t I heard from you? It’s past the time you should have responded by.” Might not have used those quite those words…
Three days later I received a letter telling me that because I hadn’t paid the fine it was going up to £60. Oh no it wasn’t! (Well it is pantomime time!) So, I wrote again telling them to have the courtesy of responding and to look through the correspondence!
Got an auto response. Sigh. So emailed again and started to pull out some new weaponry. Emailed the CEO. Always a good one – speeds things up somewhat! Threatened to tell portfolio holders in the council. Might actually have just done that… Guess what happened? Immediate right off payment.
Now the lesson for you here is this. Even if it is possible that it has been issued correctly, it is quite possible that the powers that be won’t process your appeal properly, which is what happened here. The appeal may or may not have been upheld, but they were out of time for responding to my appeal and therefore in breach of process so they had no option but to throw out the charge.
So incompetence. It’s everywhere. Fight, fight, fight it! Anyone else got a good parking ticket story?
Joe Lycett's Parking Ticket Story | 8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown
Blimey. I was on the telly! I got a ‘phone call on the morning of the 16th November. By that evening I was in a Holiday Inn in MediaCity Salford.
BBC Breakfast television contacted me. I’m on the BBC database from appearing on radio 5. Hope it wasn’t the BBC Crimewatch database! Maybe they saw this post! Apparently some survey was out saying that when people receive poor service they walk out. I hope public money didn’t pay for that survey! BBC sent a cab to get me to Euston. I have no sense of direction but even I knew he was going round a car park at one point! 4 u turns and a car park later I got to Euston, picked up the ticket, ran to the train, train chappie let me get on shut the door behind me and the train moved. That was lucky! Train was full of drunks, the rugby had been on or something. The cab driver wasn’t there to pick me up at Manchester and I had to telephone the BBC. Incidentally, it was very cold you know.
Going back was nearly as bad. Tell me, if you stayed at a Holiday Inn and there were taxis coming and going outside you would think your taxi would come to the doors too wouldn’t you? Apparently not, after 15 minutes of waiting I telephoned the BBC and said my cab had not arrived. Apparently the cab firm had ‘phoned me twice (they hadn’t). But get this, the cabs wait two minutes round the corner behind the building not even next to it! Give the cabbie his due, he put his foot down and I ran for the train, and again, just got it.
Now, think I should be letting the BBC know that Under the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 they are not getting services of a reasonable standard and should get some money back? Well it’s ours after all!
So after not sleeping at all, not being able to open the fridge (was very technical!) and not bringing shampoo, (fool) I was in the BBC make up room. Fabulous darling. Then chatted to Phil Barton the Keep Britain Tidy Campaign CEO. Interesting experiment – “Which Side of the Fence nationwide social experiments” not cleaning one side of the street for 24 hours. Quite disgusting have a look at the Facebook page. Glad I had someone to talk to inbetween slots who was interesting! Maconalds and other burger chains, clean up your act!
Helen Dewdney, The Complaining Cow BBC Breakfast TV Discusses How We Complain in the UK
So after telling the lovely make up lady that she had performed miracles in such a short time I was on with Tim Muffett and Naga Munchetty. Nice good looking couple. He told me he loved the title of my blog so we really like him don’t we?!
It was all over in a few minutes. Then out of the studio for a cuppa (clearly not awake had to get up 3 times to look for the milk which was right in front of me!) and more chatting with Phil. Then Professor of Strategy at the Manchester Business School Manchester University, Gary Davies joined us. What a lovely man he is. Coincidentally he went to the same school as the other half! Small world. Agreed on everything customer service wise and then we were on.
This begs a caption around “It was this big”. However, what the Prof. was talking about was the Americans shouting and being in your face too much. “I know Helen’s quite keen on the way things are done in America” he said. Hmmm, need to find where I’ve said that and delete it! I think expectations are higher and they complain more/better but I am agreeing with the Prof. here about when he was in a deserted store in America when a sales assistant shouted “How are we today”. Go away I’m British.
Helen Dewdney, The Complaining Cow & Professor Gary Davies BBC Breakfast TV Discuss Complaining
Well we were smiley! And no, I don’t know why these two videos are different sizes. They were cut from the same piece of film and I have tried different ratio thingies and gave up, so deal with it.
Now, personally I thought it was an enjoyable experience, the best part being hair and make up frankly. So many people who know me and those who don’t told me they
were surprised by how articulate I was and how well I presented! I’ve presented many many times (albeit not on telly!) been a key note speaker at conferences etc., So I don’t whether to take these comments as compliments or not! 🙂 Compliments about how I looked and how some people didn’t recognise me were certainly understandable! Mind you, a friend said “Nice make-up, hair and clothes!” The clothes were all mine! All mine I tell you!
However, the best comments came from a friend’s 4 year old. “How did Helen get in our telly?” and my 5 year old “Mummy was the best thing on television” Me “Even better than Power Rangers?” “No”.
So there you have it. One of the worst programmes on TV is better than me. I thank you and good night!