It is unfortunate but true that, for about two years between the ages of 21 and 23, I was an absolutely insufferable tool who would send snotty, condescending letters of complaint at the slightest provocation. This fact was recently brought to light when I raided my correspondence folder for material for a Virtual Winston Pub Quiz and found that almost everything in there was a shameful tirade to one company or another dating from the years 2005 to 2007.
Due to popular demand, I will now open up this archive of horrendous antisocial behaviour to the public for your enjoyment.
I would like to add the caveat, right here before you even read the first one, that I haven’t written a letter like this since 2007 and reading them back makes me seriously question just how much of a knob I had the capacity to be in those days. I also feel very sorry for the innocent people who had to read and reply to these letters.
Still, you live and learn.
We’ll make a start with this one. I had complained to Virgin Trains a few weeks before, Christ knows what about, and having exchanged letters back and forth, this was a response to one of their letters that had displeased me even further.
29 October 2005
Your ref: 4-1508901
Dear Mr. S_____,
Thank you for your letter dated 26 October.
It saddens me that the incompetence that seems rife in your company even extends to the processing of complaints. I can only assume that, as your colleague M___ T_____ wrote the first response to my letter, you did not actually take the time to read my original correspondence when you took up the handling of my complaint. Had you done so, you might have noted that I requested a refund of an additional £22. This comprises £5 for the cost of “next day delivery” on the original ticket, which arrived some three days after ordering and about 14 hours after the outbound departure time, and £17 for the costs I incurred in several calls to your infuriating after-sales helpline, all of which came to nothing. Even if you have no intention of refunding me for these costs, I would hope that you might at least acknowledge them.
Given the money I have paid you over the last three years (in return for which I have, at various times, sat for an hour in a freezing car park in Stoke, given directions to a rail replacement coach driver who didn’t know where Runcorn is, several times sat on the floor for the entire journey between Euston and Manchester, and on every journey been alternately frozen, roasted and assaulted by foul odours from your faulty heating systems and toilets), I would expect that refunding £22 would not exactly be breaking the bank.
I would like to be able to conclude that I will be boycotting your services from now on, but your monopoly on West Coast express services means I am forced to continue travelling with you. In any case, I do not expect your company would care either way, as I am simply one of thousands of “customers” to be shoehorned into the cattle class compartment.
God, what an absolute dick.
10 comments on “Travels with the Pernickety Dickhead”
Were you a sitcom character in 2007? Do real people actually send letters like that?
I don’t think I ever met this Chris. Did he come through some kind of dickhead wormhole?
Maybe this was “University Chris”™? You know, when people go away to re-invent themselves. Chris re-invented himself as a pernickety dickhead.
That sounds plausible. Did he then re-invent himself back to being normal or has he left his days of pernickety dickheadery behind him?
Both. I reinvented myself back to normal which caused me to leave my days of dickety pernickheadery in the past.
Your name is going to be a list, a lot of lists judging by the content of this epistle.
I expect there are a lot more pernickety dickheads who are much more pernickety and certainly higher in the dickheadness scales. You’re on there somewhere though.
Yes, I’m definitely there. The best I can do is casually drape a handkerchief over that part of the list so my name isn’t easily visible, and hope that nobody notices.
It was almost fifteen years ago, mate. Nobody remembers that long in the past. You’ll be fine; keep your handkerchiefs safe.
Just as well. I don’t have any handkerchiefs. I’d have had to borrow one of Kev’s.
Kev has so many handkerchiefs that I’m almost convinced that he’s several sheep masquerading as a man.
Don’t ask me why.