On my way to heaven

I was planning to write about experience with rental cars but… I need to get this out of my chest: I hate my future gas company; which is quite interesting as I don’t have a contractual relationship with them and the only reason why I am mildly looking forward to having it is because that would mean I will have hot water on daily basis. Consistently. Having said that, I hate them and hate them with passion. With a lot of passion indeed.

The story is as follows: the previous tenant of my new house decides it makes sense to ask the company to cut the supply as he is moving out. If you are not impressed, please, bear with me. As opposed to the UK, where it looks like having electricity, water and gas is part of your human rights, together with getting a ride in the morning on a cramped train carriage at extortionate rates, in Spain, they do actually cut the supply and take the meter away. Very unsure about why you would do that as surely the next occupier will need it in the future. Anyway, I called the company to let them know that the process should be stopped and the meter should stay (if common sense is missing, let’s try with a kindly reminder). Big problem: I need a CUPS number (which is your gas supply identifier). Apparently, an address is not enough to identify the location. Alternatively I can provide the previous tenant’s details (data protection gone out of the window as no one should give me those details?). So, I tried by foot: drove to the office, get them to do it (magically, there were no weird requirements once they saw me face to face). And then they threw at me a request: they are the sales division, could I kindly call the distribution division which owns the network to remind them? Oh dear…

So I obediently called the company the next day: surprise surprise, I needed CUPS and the previous tenants’ details. At some point after a lot of frustration and calling a couple of times, I managed to get them to check the property supply on the computer. No, there wasn’t any request to stop the cut of the supply. And there and then I realised that I was underestimating them: in their TV ads, they promise to keep your house warm and make it homely. The ads include a couple of kids, not sure if they are delivered with the meter or they come at an extra cost. The thing is this company doesn’t keep your house warm. They do so much more: they feed your soul. They make sure you develop patience and persistence, you learn to love the rest of the human beings no matter how imperfect they are (and I promise there is quite a lot of imperfection here to deal with), they make you wiser (you have to learn so much about their different divisions, the ID numbers, their processes, their bill (?)…) and they also set you on your way to heaven. Because, hey, you have won your place up there after all this martyrdom for something as simple as hot water. Anyway, with my hopes high to go to heaven I called the sales division and they could see my request.

That is, they could see it and it would take 15 days to change the status of the account (isn’t it just one field in the system?) so that I can give them my bank account details and sleep tight at night knowing I can have a hot shower the next morning without going to the gym.

So to sum up, I am exhausted and unimpressed. I  may or may not have gas by now (who knows, if they cannot figure it out between divisions…) but it doesn’t matter because I don’t have electricity either. But I have good news: I am winning my nice place for eternity in heaven and my company, aware of all these efficient processes around them, allowed me to stay in the flat they have for visitors near the office for any amount of time (close to centuries by now).

Lara Jones

PS. I wrote this post more than a month ago. 7 weeks into the process, I do not have hot water but I have an antisabotage device which not only prevents me from sabotaging the pipes, it also prevents the gas engineer from installing the meter. The worst is that the device looks to me like the wiring on a champagne bottle… So welcome to my world. And then they wonder why I hate monopolies…