flaviomatani: (guitar)
( Feb. 21st, 2013 07:39 am)
Hmm... what did I buy into? Krisztina pointed me to this blog:

http://londonwoodshouse.blogspot.co.uk

where shared-ownership flat leaseholders have something to say (and it is not good) about A2Dominion, the housing association I bought half of my flat from and whose service charges keep creeping up and up disproportionately -one more little thing about this place, on top of the upstairs-downstairs segregation built into it between housing association leaseholders and full owners, their arrangements with the most incompetent electricity/gas supplier in the market, the security issues that led to five burglaries in three weeks last summer.

And, checking my contract of lease, once you strip out the legalese jargon, etc, what is left boils down to: rights of the landlord: pretty much anything they want. Rights of the leaseholder: not much at all. Still a better situation than what I had before buying this flat but not fantastic.
flaviomatani: (Default)
( Sep. 5th, 2012 11:54 am)
Spent a good chunk of the afternoon yesterday on the phone to First Utility, who for the last three years supply me with electricity, gas and inflated estimate bills that they send to me in duplicate as they have me with two different customer account numbers. To try and make that simpler, they have issued a third account number and decided that I have never paid electricity or gas and I therefore owe them 2.393 pounds and pence. I'm getting final notices of payment on that last, third account number, mentioning legal department, etc. Yesterday I phoned them for the third time -the two previous calls had fallen through exactly twenty minutes into them, after being put on hold while the person at the other end 'was sorting things out'. This is on an 0845 number. Every time you speak to someone different so you have to go over the same story again. They have 'smart' meters that don't work and I have been sending them emails with the readings (including photographs of the meters..). Long history of email and phone correspondence which goes from the surreal to the Kafkian.

Haven't moved away as there is that ghost second (third?!) account that would still be hanging over my head, as is happening to a neighbour in the building right now (First Utility was already set up as the provider in this new build). I'm also finding that they have the very worst reviews of all gas/electricity providers..

I put a small personal recommendation on Twitter ('never ever consider using these people as gas/leccy providers') and they came back to me asking whether they could help. Can they?

Sorry about the lengthy post!
flaviomatani: (flav has  left the chat)
( Aug. 14th, 2011 09:23 pm)
Relatively quiet week-end. Went to Departure at the Elixir on Friday, where I met a few people I hadn't seen for a while, including [livejournal.com profile] digitalangel who unfortunately wasn't feeling very well.

Yesterday, after just a couple of lessons, it was Cavey Nik and Consuelo's Zombie BBQ. Had a good time there, there'll be photos at some point through the usual channels. Was planning on going to Reptile but once I found myself home I found it impossible to get up again and leave the house...

Today has been a quiet affair; one lesson away, some reading, some guitar practice. Now about to have dinner; just grilled German bratwurst from Borough Market and boiled cassava (yuca, as we know it back in Vz). Multicultural flavio? Whatever, it works.

Yes, Borough Market, hmm.... there lies my ruin, undoubtedly... that, and having discovered (through a pupil) an excellent Italian online deli with creepy name.
flaviomatani: (ungoliantina)
( Apr. 20th, 2011 11:05 am)
The gas bill saga continues.

The company, First Utility, was supposed to have sorted out the second 'ghost' account, with different number, according to which I would never have paid electricity or gas in the time I've been here (about a year and a half by now). I'm still getting those bills.

I also received the 'normal' bill for this month. They'd installed a device that allegedly sends meter data via 3G to them. The bill, according to which I spent £80 on gas last month (during which, as an experiment, I was cooking on an electric range instead of the gas hob, there was no central heating use, etc) is an _estimate_, which is supposed not to happen. I'll happily move supplier when this is over but I suspect that wouldn't be the end of it if I did it now. This is turning into something like a Kafka story, or a zombie movie, where when you've think you've killed the monster the hand pops again out of the ground...
Made another version of my mushroom and potato bake thingy, as mentioned here, only with more garlic (sorry, [livejournal.com profile] spangle_kitten:D) and herbs and olive oil. And lo, it was yummy.
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 Took many months to get First Utility, who provide most flats in this building with electricity and gas, to acknowledge that there might be a problem with my gas meter, its readings or its billing. I pay more for gas in this tiny 36 m2 studio flat than we used to at the old, five times larger, four bedroom flat I used to live at before, with two or three other people in it. Eventually after over a year or so of this they issued a £400 credit, which is still running, as they might have been billing from the wrong meter. There had been another issue, a bill addressed to me, right property, wrong post-code, different account number (but it would seem to be the same meters)  according to which I had never paid my bill and owed them £1300 and pence. I called them, alarmed as you would be, and they said 'sorry sir, mistake; will be rectified'.  Today I have just received another bill for that second account number. It would seem that I have never paid my bill and I better pay them now those £1400 and pence or else.

If you were thinking of switching suppliers and were considering First Utility.... what can I say, I can't recommend them enough. Er, meaning really that I cannot recommend them at all!  So much hassle over this! Over a year of this saga and still going...
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Just spent three quarters of an hour on the phone to my gas and electricity supplier, First Utility.

Today, after a year protesting to them that I'm paying way too much for gas and there seems to be a meter swap in the building, I received two electricity and gas bills. One, where they acknowledge the mess and credit me for £400 for the overcharge. The second one (same name and address, different account number) claims I've never paid for my gas and leccy and I owe them £1304.84 and to pay them NOW.

Grr....  if you need to change your gas/electric supplier, I strongly recommend you not to consider these people!
flaviomatani: (ubik)
( May. 4th, 2010 08:55 am)
 These guys supply me with gas and electricity. I have complained several times that I pay too much for what is a tiny flat, perhaps an eighth of the size of the previous, 4-bedroomed flat. Now I get a letter from some debt collectors threatening with disconnection and legal and reconnection fees in the thousands of pounds, etc. Right address, different customer number. Grrr. Just spent half an hour on the phone trying to sort that out.

Ok, granted that perhaps the way to get best customer service is not, when they reply with a dopey 'Huh?' to your attempt at explaining your problem, with a 'Sorry to wake you up, mate...'
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flaviomatani: (Default)
( Nov. 18th, 2009 11:01 pm)
Oh, I like the new flat.

I'm not happy about the stupid parking situation (no car allowed, basically) but that issue aside, it is good to live in an almost civilised way. Or at least to be in my own space, small as it is 'n all but comfortable, warm and with everything working. I likes.
flaviomatani: (lowflyingowls)
( Oct. 4th, 2009 08:40 pm)
first of all, Happy Birthday, [livejournal.com profile] monted!! Hope it's a very good one!

At this end of things, this was a second week-end of moving house. I had moved most of my stuff last week-end but there was a lot left behind -and a horrendous mess which I had to try and clear. With a lot of help with [livejournal.com profile] redd_foxx and several trips to the dump recycling centre.

Haven't been out much this week-end, apart from a brief excursion to Blacklist at the Elixir and then Inferno, but I left early (around 2:00 am) -maybe a bit tired after the whole moving thing, shifting stuff, or maybe I'm just getting old... or maybe I'm just enjoying the being in my own space just now, even if I'm surrounded by a million cardboard boxes at the moment..
Just finished breakfast, looking out the window onto the Forum and the church who offer 'prophetic counselling', maybe I should look into the latter.. Was a bit concerned about making arepas in the new kitchen ([livejournal.com profile] redd_foxx used to describe my cooking as 'yes, Flavio is very fond of cooking in an open fire -shame this is on an electric cooker') and set off the fire alarm. Didn't happen, luckily.

Waiting for the man from British Telecommunications, Plc to activate phone line. Then I have a few million phone calls to make to arrange various things in relation to the flat. Then go to the old flat and try to work on tidying up the horrendous mess I left behind and also bring a few more things here.

I'm enjoying new flat. It's almost like civilised life... still sort of tip-toeing around, I haven't taken in yet that this is home now, this is where I live.


ION, Happy Birthday, [livejournal.com profile] harold_chasen!!
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flaviomatani: (ungoliantina)
( Sep. 28th, 2009 07:21 pm)
I'm liking the new flat a lot. Apart from the looming parking nightmare (have I mentioned this?). Now I only have to pay for it...

Left the old flat in an unbelievably chaotic mess. Have to sort that out (and sort what I want to keep and what is rubbish) in the next week or so. No fixed telephone or internet at home just yet, just a 3G dongle. BT screwed up my order and this will cost me one week's wait more for the internet. Maybe their little revenge for me having broadband with somebody else.

So, some things have to go. Anyone wants a mini-fridge in perfect working condition? Perhaps £20 or so... also the sofa-bed in the new flat has to go, I hate it with a passion. But you might like it..

ION, Happy Birthday, [livejournal.com profile] miss_kat!! Have a good one!
flaviomatani: (thinking?)
( Sep. 27th, 2009 09:29 am)
Ok, installed in new flat, surrounded by a million cardboard boxes. A pile of stuff still at the old flat, which ended up left in an incredible mess which I'll have to wade through, sort and tidy up before I leave.

No solution to the parking problem yet. People keep coming with Street-Car clubs, the 'get a bicycle, you'll be healthier' (I won't; never been on a bike, would be dead in minutes and in any case it is not practical in my particular circumstance). Someone said 'get a motorbike, then'. Err..

If you didn't see me at any of the clubs in the last couple of days, it's because I wasn't there. I was completely knackered after all that box shifting, drinking hectolitres of fruit juice and having long hot baths. Clearly, exercise is bad for you:P

I have to say tenkewtenkewtenkew to [livejournal.com profile] redd_foxx, [livejournal.com profile] atr0pine, [livejournal.com profile] ninja_badger and [livejournal.com profile] bellajonez (well, some of these are not using their journals so might not read this, but nonetheless), as well as Ozzy of the Slimelight for amazing help.

Flat is lovely, apart from the parking nightmare, and I like it.
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I'm moving house in a couple of stages. Friday afternoon and Saturday morning. If you think you could give me a hand at either end of things -both in Kentish Town, a few blocks away- it would be very, very helpful. If you think you can, gimme a ring on 07958527692 and I would really, really appreciate it, as it would seem I'm not getting younger except in my mind and I do need help carrying stuff.
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flaviomatani: (dreamscape sepia)
( Sep. 21st, 2009 09:42 am)
After all the hassle to get the flat, when everything seems to be sorted out and cannot really back-off as have put all my money and a whole lot more into this, turns out the flat I'm buying is in a Camden council declared 'car-free zone' and they will not issue me with a resident's parking permit. This is major major hassle and apparently there is no appeal. The only thing I seem to be able to do is to rent somebody's drive -[livejournal.com profile] combat_kitten graciously sent me link to some people who do this locally, but they're a mile or so away from my flat, so I need to try and find something closer before going to these. It is also an expensive solution for a problem that shouldn't be there in the first place, I already live in the same parking 'zone' as the new flat. Any ideas, anybody? I'm afraid I'm not in a spirit for jokes today with this, be warned. Also waiting to see what next hassle or insurmountable obstacle turns up in this story...
flaviomatani: (galaxy)
( Sep. 20th, 2009 01:05 am)
So I didn't make it to Black Plastic, Invocation or any of the other options. Instead, I've been sorting out what CDs, records, DVDs and books I can keep and which I can not, when I move.

Also reading 'The Singularity is Near' by Ray Kurtzweil. Fascinating exercise, but I wish I could be so optimistic.
flaviomatani: (flavnoeseso)
( Sep. 7th, 2009 10:16 pm)
Finished my last lesson for today. I'd had a late lunch with that (rather garlicky) pesto I'd made earlier, maybe I should wonder whether those pupils are going to come back now:P

Tomorrow may be a somewhat intense day. Have to deal with the flat lawyers, also go to the letting agents and try and unravel the complication with the flat I'm living in 'at the moment' (quote marks, because I've been here for nearly seven years. It's beginning to feel like I'm detaching myself from it, though -maybe prematurely so, we'll see).

I'm beginning to dread the moving house thing. Just the thought of unpick and pack my life (and I've got so much stuff, a lot of which I do not want to part with), sort out the mess of this flat in the process, carry it all to the new place and sort it there, leave this place in a state vaguely resembling habitability, etc etc, fills me with dread...
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flaviomatani: (flavnoeseso)
( Sep. 7th, 2009 10:15 pm)
Finished my last lesson for today. I'd had a late lunch with that (rather garlicky) pesto I'd made earlier, maybe I should wonder whether those pupils are going to come back now:P

Tomorrow may be a somewhat intense day. Have to deal with the flat lawyers, also go to the letting agents and try and unravel the complication with the flat I'm living in 'at the moment' (quote marks, because I've been here for nearly seven years. It's beginning to feel like I'm detaching myself from it, though -maybe prematurely so, we'll see).

I'm beginning to dread the moving house thing. Just the thought of unpick and pack my life (and I've got so much stuff, a lot of which I do not want to part with), sort out the mess of this flat in the process, carry it all to the new place and sort it there, leave this place in a state vaguely resembling habitability, etc etc, fills me with dread...

Ah, yes, one more thing today: Happy Birthday, [livejournal.com profile] gemlins!! Have a good one!:)
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flaviomatani: (lowflyingowls)
( Aug. 25th, 2009 07:24 pm)
Right, this flat buying lark is getting from the impossible to the absurd and surreal. I'll spare you the details, but when you think it cannot get more impossibly complicated or, at any rate, keep going any longer without a conclusion, something else happens that mires me in a sea of stress for another few days. That's where I am at the moment.

Only a couple of lessons today, plus briefly meeting [livejournal.com profile] combat_kitten for coffee and catch-up, sadly interrupted by constant phone calls from the estate agents through whom I let the flat I currently live in, to give me another major source of stress for the next month or so, and a very awkward conversation to come with flatmate -no, not that one although I will have to speak to him as well.

In a while, going to a BBQ at which I'm expected to play. Haven't practised the sort of stuff that I could play at a light gig like that for ages, but will do it nonetheless.
Excellent night last night, celebrating [livejournal.com profile] deathboy and Kirsten's new status at the Last Days of Decadence. Later today, going to Future Gardens with Heidi. Need to be back and do housey stuff like vacum-cleaning before the flat is buried under dust. And practise guitar, I'm a little bit behind with my self-assigned goals for the week. I really only seem to practise hard when I have a gig coming...

Will have to mull over the whole flat thing over the week-end, see whether I want and whether it is in my interest to go ahead with plan A-1, or A-4 rather, this far, or whether I should cut my losses (a pile of money, so far) and call it a day.

[ Edit ] While I was away at the Gardens (and it is well worth a visit, although finding a discount first as they want to charge you £12 admission), got a number of obviously bot-generated weird anonymous comments on this entry, with nonsensical words about 'ornaments' and lots of what looks to me like Chinese ideograms. Strange world.

.

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