Infamy, They’ve All Got It Infamy*

The last 36 hours have convinced me they’ve all got it in for me

There is no mention of Virgin Media in this rant – yes that’s correct, a rant without a mention of Virgin Media


I have a t-mobile broadband dongle. It is pay as you go. So, how do you pay as you go? Answers please on a postcard.

1. Connect the dongle up up and go to the T-mobile setting on the internet and click on top up? That takes you to my old t-mobile account that  I add this dongle to. It then tells me I can’t top up. It refuses to allow me to add money no matter what card I use.

2. Register a new account and it tells me my home address is invalid!

If your address has changed since you previously registered your phone, please call our team on 150 from your T-Mobile phone or 0845 412 5000 from a landline to have your details updated.

Now, I have lived at this address for the last 6+ years since I got back from the Isle of Man. I have had the t-mobile dongle for 1 month. Also, I have not registered this dongle other than on my purchase of the same when I had to top it up with £10. I had to provide in the t-mobile shop proof of my address which I did. So, unless my address has changed without my knowledge in the last month, it is the same address as when I bought the dongle.

3. Ring the T-mobile help line, whilst paying a fortune for the call from a mobile phone on another network. I want to top the dongle up by £10, but the phone calls cost me more than £10. They are helpful though– firstly they tell me I cannot use my mobile broadband even if I do top up via the phone – the alternative is to connect to the internet- which of course I cannot do without topping up my dongle.

So, if anyone can tell me how to top up, I’d be grateful. I can’t do it online, I can’t do it via the telephone. The idea behind mobile broadband is surely that you can use it when mobile. Apparently not according to T-mobile!

Perhaps someone could suggest a reason for my having a mobile broadband dongle if I cannot use it when I am mobile.



For the last seven or more years, I have had a subscription to a cycling magazine, “CYCLING PLUS”. The cost is paid for by my mother as part of my Christmas present. The subscription is supposed to run from January to December. It consists of 13 issues.

Now as every year, in November, Future publications took the direct debit for the renewal from my mother’s account ( on 13th November). All good? Well strangely a couple of weeks later Future rang my mother to ask why she had not renewed the subscription. She explained she had, provided them with details of the payment. Future confirmed the payment had been received and that the subscription had now been renewed. [I only learned of this after  I raised the matter with my mother in January ]

January came and no issue was received by me. A phone call to Future brought the response that the subscription had lapsed. This left me having to raise with my mother the delicate issue of her none payment of my Christmas Present.

My mother spoke to  Future who apologised, confirmed they would send out the back issues and the next issue. I spoke to Future the same day and told them I did not want the old publications as they were out of date. I wanted the subscription to start from the next issue and be 13 issues from then. It was confirmed that the first issue I would receive would be the issue published at the end of January. As a gesture of good will they agreed to extend the subscription by 3 issues to 16 issues.

The end of January came, but the subscription didn’t. Future did manage to send to my mother ( who lives 300 miles from me) the 2 back issues that we had told them we did not want! Why they sent them and why to my mother, they can not explain.

February the 11th, I rang them and asked why I had not received my subscription. I was told a supervisor would call me back. I waited two hours but no call was forthcoming. I then called them back and was given the impression they were not suited that I dared to complain that they wouldn’t send me my Christmas Present. I was told I would have to wait until the next issue published in March before I could start my subscription. They could not explain why I had not received the issue at the end of January, nor why I would not get an issue in February, not could they explain why they had sent the back issues to my mother and not to me. I am suspecting that when my parents get back from Switzerland (assuming they did not go to Dignitas) the last issue of the magazine is at their address.

The moral for customers seems to be subscribe to Future Publications at your peril. I had seen numerous posts on Bike Radar Forum from other disgruntled subscribers who had either not received their subscriptions or had not received the introductory offer gifts. I did not expect a renewal with no changes would be the cause of a series of phone calls and a failure of Future to be able to send out a magazine each month.

I have emailed the CEO of Future Publishing setting out my complaints in this matter and the sorry state of affairs in this matter. I did of course name in that email the staff members who had promised actions but failed to deliver on them. Me, a grass? ABSOLUTELY I am, and proud of it.

I’ll happily grass anyone who fails to provide any customer service.


On Thursday, I had the journey from hell back home from York. It took me 8 hours from the end of my meeting in York to get home! Why?

Well, my train from York was terminated at Stevenage and we were told to get on the FCC train on the adjacent platform as there were signal problems at Finsbury Park. The FCC train was a semi fast one stopping only at Finsbury Park and Kings Cross, so the delay could be minimal – hopefully. Instead we stopped at Potters Bar where after waiting for a while we were told that train had been terminated and we should “make alternative travel arrangements”.

Various announcements were made at Potters Bar saying the trains were delayed, but no indication of how we were expected to get to London. There were no station staff to provide assistance or guidance.

Then FCC announced that alternative arrangements were being made for buses to be put on. Great news, except the buses were from St Albans to Sandy station only. How do we get to Sandy? Well not by train that is for sure.

Eventually, I spotted a member of staff with a disabled person, I accosted him and was told I could get the 298 bus from outside the station to Cockfosters Tube Station. The only problem here was the 298 bus ran once every 20-30 minutes and there were already several hundred people waiting for it.

Why EC/FCC/NR? Well they managed to leave us stranded at potters Bar, with no alternative travel arrangements made, no staff around to help people get to their destinations and no assistance even to know where to go to get other forms of public transport. NR? Well there had been several faults earlier in the week in the Finsbury Park area – you would have thought NR might have fixed them properly the first time.

On a different note, I drove to work today as I was going to Harrow Magistrates Court. I would have had to travel by bus/train/tube/train/bus to get to the court. I drove the 25 miles instead round the infamous North Circular Road (A406) at rush hour and got there faster than I expected and with no major hold ups, even through the road works at Bowes Road. Coming back didn’t take much longer, despite more of a delay at the road works. The future is the motor car?

Never mind all that matters is that Michelle is going to be waiting to Newcastle Central for me tonight (Friday).

I know you won’t read this tonight as I can’t get online owing to those nice people at T-mobile.

Sat Am – Update

1. Those nice people at Future Publishing have already responded to my email. Its amazing how contacting the CEO of a company gets results

2. Michelle’s curry was well worth the trip to the north East. That lady can cook rather well.  She is a real diamond in every respect.

*Apologies to the late Frankie Howard – titter ye not.

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