Well, we are packing up our bags, and leaving the UK this Sunday!! I need to get a T-shirt made... "I Survived London, and All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt."
It was kind of sad to leave Ealing studios, be it only for the fact that we met some really good people there. The management sucked balls, but the artists were awesome, and we actually made quite a few friends, and plan on staying in contact. On our last day, they asked Tim to give a small speech, and everyone there applauded for us! I was surprised that even I made an impression there... Tim is usually the one who stars in the show, but even some of the tougher, bad-ass guys came up to me, all stiff-lipped and weepy-eyed, and gave me a hug!
I'm glad that I actually did something good there, after all. I honestly felt completely worthless at that place, and by the last 2 months I completely gave up any care for the job, since I wasn't allowed to even do my job in the first place. But we got some very touching words from the other artists there, saying that both Tim and I really brought the love and caring to the studio, and even if the management felt that their work was crap, we told them that they had talent, and to hang on to that, no matter what the management said.
Everyone at the studio signed a farewell card for us too, and they also held a little good-bye party for us at the pub across the street from the studio. It felt like the last day of school, when you have to say good-bye to all of your friends, but it was still very happy/sad/touching. By the time we left a week ago, 9 other people either quit, or got fired. That place is just taking a huge nose-dive, but at least a lot of the artists are getting out, and moving on to bigger and better things.
But YAY! I survived my first big game/film studio gig! Hopefully from here on it will get much easier, now that we are going to Michigan to settle and work on our own film. We will be going to Germany first for 10 days, to visit friends, and then after that we have to fly to Vancouver on May 15th to pick up our car, and also arrange to have a trucking company pick up our belongings from storage, and ship it to Michigan. After that, we'll be driving across, (hopefully I will get across the U.S. border with little trouble...) and then from there we will start the application process to get me a K3 Visa (thank you for the Visa info, Cass and Garr!!). So much to do, in such a short amount of time!
Also, I had to fight with BT (again) today. No big surprise. I wrote them a final letter today, and will be dropping it in the mail within the next day or two. BT can kiss my ass. Here's my last letter to them,
To whom it may concern,
Regarding Management and billing for BT Total Broadband, I have been running into problems with BT' time and time again, after only living here in London for 6 months. BT's customer service has been absolutely atrocious, and I've found myself quite literally on the phone fighting with the Broadband and Billing departments nearly every 2 weeks.
I recently received a bill for BT's Total Broadband services, for 124.62 GBP, for charges in advance for the Option 3 Broadband (charges for 1 April to 30 June). My problem – we are moving back to Canada this Sunday, May 4, and I had already called BT's cancellation department nearly a month ago to have both our landline and broadband services terminated, for the 5th and 6th of May. Since we are no longer going to be living here after that point, I should not have to pay for a service that I won't be here to use. I have always had a record credit history. I am an honest person, and I have always paid my bills on time. I cannot, in good faith, pay for the mistakes made by others at BT, especially when it has been a constant reoccurring number of mistakes being made, on BT's end.
I will have to backtrack just a bit, and explain all that has happened in the last 5-6 months. This is going to be extremely long and confusing, so please bare with me, as this needs to be put on some kind of paper trail.
I first ordered BT' s landline telephone service for Flat #5 in late November, since I was told that we lived in a non-cable area. That alone was an absolute nightmare... I must have called BT seven times, getting halfway through an order only to be cut off... tried calling back, only to get someone new and have to place my order again... get put on hold for half an hour... get bounced from department to department, because the left hand doesn't seem to know what the right hand is doing... being put on hold some more... etc, etc. I must have tried placing an order for a landline service at least 2 or 3 times.
Well, when a guy finally came over to set up our line (like 3 weeks later...) I waited, looking out the window just to make sure that I didn't miss him. And it's a good thing I caught him too, because he had been given instructions to go to Flat #1. He confirmed that the mobile contact number was indeed mine, and I told him that the order was for Flat #5, and not for Flat #1. So he shrugged his shoulders, said, “Why isn't that silly... I wonder why they put down Flat #1... oh well!” And so he hooked our landline connection up for flat #5.
I thought that was the end of that, but apparently I was wrong. After our line was set up, I phoned BT's Broadband services, to have our Internet hooked up, which took a week, as is standard for BT. We got our equipment in the mail, and then the day we were supposed to have Internet connection... it didn't work. Well, I called BT back up to ask what happened, and apparently our Broadband had been canceled before it had even started! They didn't give any clear reason as to why... so we just re-ordered our broadband (again, we have always ordered this for Flat #5). This took another week. So in total it took 5 weeks to get our phone line and Internet connection in working order!
Well, for the first little while things went fine. We received our first landline and Broadband bills, which we paid promptly, and in full. With this letter I have included the first bill that I received from BT, which was for the Charges in Advance, dating 1 Jan to the 31 March. This was paid in full, using Direct Debit!
Very soon after we received our first bill however, a second bill appeared. I phoned BT up asking why we were being presented with an additional bill, seeing as how we had already paid for our Broadband Advance Charges. They looked at their files and said, “Yes, this is your bill for Flat #1.”
At that point I remembered how the guy who came to hook up our phone line almost went to Flat #1 by mistake. So I explained to the woman over the phone that we did not live in Flat #1. We lived in Flat #5, and we had never placed an order for Flat #1. That was a mistake that someone at BT made, and I was not about to pay for a bill for Flat #1 when I never ordered Broadband service for Flat #1.
The woman on the phone was very nice about it, and she said that wasn't a problem, and to disregard the new bill, (so I threw it out) and that she would cancel that bill, and also cancel the order for Flat #1.
Here's where things get rather confusing.
I didn't think any more of it... figured that the Flat #1 nonsense had been taken care of, and that there was no longer anything to worry about. And then our Internet stopped working again, sometime in February. I once again phoned BT up and asked them what happened. They told me that our Broadband had been disconnected because I had asked for it to be!! I said, what?? What do you mean I asked to disconnect it?? I never did such a thing! Well, they said, looking at their files, that a request of termination for Flat #1 had been put through. I said to them, we're NOT Flat #1, we're Flat #5!!! Apparently someone at BT had screwed up big time and canceled our connection, instead of canceling Flat #1 like they were supposed to. This was now the second time that BT canceled our Broadband connection by mistake!
So there I was, once again phoning BT, to order our Broadband AGAIN. Once again, we had to wait another week for our Internet connection, and during the time I ordered, I had someone speak with a manager in the Broadband department, asking them if they would waive BT's standard 12-month contract, since it was absolutely asinine that we be held to a 12-month contract when we would be moving back to Canada approximately 2 more months from that point. Broadband management agreed that since it was BT's mistake for canceling our Broadband connection to begin with, that we would not be held to the standard contract, and we would not have to pay for the standard cancellation fee.
It was also agreed that if I spoke with the Billing department, I would only have to pay my Broadband bill for the month of April, since I had already paid for the months of January to March, and we were moving at the beginning of May. As I mentioned at the beginning of this letter, I had already called the cancellation department, and our landline and Broadband connection is set to terminate on May 5th and 6th.
I had a conversation with the Billing department maybe three weeks ago, explaining all of this to them, sorting out any outstanding balances, and I have paid for my Broadband service for the month of April. I don't remember who I spoke with in Billing, and in hindsight I should have asked for a name, but I was told that I would get a receipt in the mail confirming my payment for April, however I have not received anything on paper stating this yet (how convenient...). But I was told that was that... and that I would not be getting any further bills from BT, period. In fact, if anything, BT still owes me a refund, and I haven't received that either.
So imagine my shock when I received this new bill, on April 14th, for 124.62 GBP, asking for another 3 month's Advance Charges for 1 April to 30 June? I phoned BT once again earlier today, trying to speak with someone in Billing once again, asking why have I received this new bill? I don't owe BT anything else. Well, the man on the other end seemed confused, and I don't blame him – it's a very confusing situation indeed! All he knows is that I recently ordered Broadband service again, and as far as he knows, this is my first bill. Trying to explain this big huge matter of unfortunate events didn't help... he doesn't know about all that has happened, and all of the screw-ups I've had to deal with from BT, leading up to this point.
So I'm writing to you now, in the hopes that SOMEONE in upper management will get this letter, and sort this out, and make it right.
I have paid my due diligence. I have gone far above and beyond to make sure that all of my bills were paid on time and in full. It is NOT my fault that BT can't get their act together, and I am NOT going to pay for someone else's mistake. I paid my original 3 months Advance Charge, and I paid for April when I spoke with Billing over the phone just a few weeks ago. I am NOT to be held under the standard 12-month contract for Broadband, and I absolutely refuse to pay for another 3 month's of Advance Charges on this new bill, when I won't even be living in this country anymore after the 4th of May! Never mind that my Broadband services will be canceled by next week anyway... BT seriously expects me to pay up until the 30th of June??
As far as I am concerned, I do not owe BT a single penny more.
I am just utterly shocked and surprised that anyone manages to get anything done at all, at your company... this has been the worst service that I have ever had, or could ever imagine having. I sincerely hope that the people working at BT will start pulling their heads out of their arses, and start taking responsibility for such poor behavior, and stop expecting other people to take the flack for their bad choices.
5 Oakhanger House
Cecil Manning Close
Perivale, UB6 7FF