Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Lord all-effing Mitie!

I just got a council response to my stage 2 complaint about Mitie, in which I learned that my post – I'd had a letter removed from my living room and dumped on the balcony - had been moved from the floor to the top of a meter cupboard. The odd thing about this is that I don't have a meter cupboard. Does anybody living on the south side of the railway line have a meter cupboard?

When, in stage one I complained that my fridge freezer installed in my living room and wired up, along with my phone base unit had been unplugged while I was out because the worker had needed power, Mitie claimed via Mike Gabell, LH Project Manager responsible for dealing with the complaint: ''Mitie have refuted your assertion that one of their operatives used your extension lead. The operatives generally use battery powered tools, and as such, do not require leads.''

Now, how true does this ring to anyone who's had the work done? How did the guys get their heavy duty power tools to get the plaster off the walls in the kitchen? What powered the tools drilling through hard core? How did the plasterers mix their plaster - by hand or a mains powered mixer? Yes, extensive use of the tenant's mains, I know. They even left their transformers in my flat overnight on more than one occasion.

(I wasn't even complaining about using my electricity – I'm actually quite pragmatic about these things - I was complaining about someone unplugging my appliances in another room for their convenience and setting my freezer on defrost and unplugging my phone base  without  permission.)

Now, Mike Gabell is the project coordinator for the works and I'm sure his job would be a lot easier if the job went smoothly. But this is not a reason to pass obviously untrue comments and, in any case a competent, honest manager, would clearly know that he was passing on untruths.

But once he's passed on the lie, uncritically, his job is done. That's the end of that stage of the complaint. Likewise the Stage 2 complaint. When I replied to Diane Kerry, Construction Delivery Team Leader about the obvious lie about my fictitious meter cupboard, her reply was – yes, you've guessed it – ''My job is done.''

Whilst I understand your concerns, I regret that I am unable to respond further. If you wish to follow up this complaint further, please contact our Customer Relations Team on 0208 613 7680 or by e mail 9 as shown above )  who will be pleased to assist you.

Except, of course, that as soon as they've completed their hand washing, the customer relations team are unable to help. The only available option, beyond Councillors, MPs, press and publicity, is the independent adjudicator.

So, as I gather myself up for my 3rd attempt to get an honest, impartial judgement, I'm left with a saddening observation. Lewisham Homes simply rubber stamp Mitie's words, even when they're clearly untrue. This leaves tenants with no protection whatsoever from Mitie. 

Remember, tenants, they're unanswerable. Be careful. Be Mitie careful. 

p.s. Because my boiler and thermostat has been wired up in a way that electricity doesn't understand - it's only been about  3 floods, and 6 visits so I'll need to give it time - I have to let them in again because the Lewisham Homes contractor couldn't figure out  how it had been wired either and had to ''hot-wire''  the boiler to bypass the  thermostat and timer. 

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