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The Backbencher and I Jun 09

I’ve made it into this week’s Guardian Backbencher column, and not for the first time.

Meanwhile, today’s paper tells a lovely story (warning: it includes “offsensive”, although not “grossly offensive”, language) that will prompt sympathy from anyone – including myself – who has spent hours on call waiting when phoning NTL.

When taxi driver Ashley Gibbins called the helpline of NTL hoping to have broadband installed, he was told that all its operators were busy right now, but if he cared to hold the line his call would be dealt with as soon as possible.

So Mr Gibbins held. And held. Then held some more. Eventually, after an hour, Mr Gibbins decided he had had enough. He put the phone down and decided to wreak his revenge.

By chance, Mr Gibbins discovered he could alter NTL’s recorded message, and after he’d tinkered with it people seeking help were met with something altogether more blunt.

“Hello, you are through to NTL customer services,” they were told. “We don’t give a f** about you, basically, and we are not going to handle any of your complaints. Just f*** off and leave us alone. Get a life.”

What it doesn’t explain (understandably) is how Mr Gibbons managed the reprogramming.

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