So I started yesterday off well. Moving from Monday mourning to Tuesday morning with a skip in my step and bright and sunny disposition to match the promise of a warm day (enough so to warrant skipping the ‘reach for the sky’ jersey exercise with the dogs, which always leaves Mally so sheepish in her garish orange harlequin number and Moose so comical in his red Sponge Bob ensemble) and ready to head off to earn the daily bread (no striking for me – no collective to do the “give US this day OUR daily bread” thing with!).
… And so, with an “I owe, I owe, it’s off to work I…” went.
A good day, making solid progress on a project that am working on with a great friend and intermittent colleague.
Headed for home to rest my weary as(s)hes. Only to have my house alarm set off on my re-entry to Blue House. Starting a whole new mission.
The procedure is supposed to be: activation –> ADT call centre calls –> give password to deactivate; wrong or no password and they send patrol to you. I hadn’t been using the alarm until recently because I wasn’t living at the house and there were repeated false alarms (now believed to be a spider making a nest of one of the passive sensors eeeuuw), and I had never been allocated a password so every false alarm was a palava. So much so that the Home Owners Ass(ociation) of the complex are trying to pass a resolution that all personal house alarms must be with silent sirens. Fat chance of that! The alarm is there to protect my person over my possessions and I place no importance in having The Baddies arrested for GBH (or worse) over them scarpering and spreading the Open Sesame to the other 40 thieves about not trying The Noisy House. (You’d think the same HOA who is budgeting Half A Million Rand for security in the next financial year would get this!)
So, the alarm goes off… And nothing…
No call. No complex guard. No ADT patroller.
This irks me. I have just had the system upgraded to secure the extensions and alterations, spent a great deal of time describing my needs, comings and goings and entry, exit and at home requirements to the technician setting the keypad. Now I can’t come in via the garage interleading door – likely the 99% of the time primary access – without having the alarm scream at me?! I think not.
Incensed at the call centre not calling me (when I had a shiny new password all ready to show off), I called them.
I hung up after FIVE MINUTES.
What if it was an intruder?
Tried again, same story.
Have now posted a ‘please call me on their website’. And still nothing.
This from a company that vigorously communicates at me, sending me smses at 7 on a Saturday morning urging me to call them and test my alarm… Monday to Thursday 9 – 3 preferably (and they send it crack o’ dawn Saturday?!), sending me helpful notices that there is a suspicious car in the neighbourhood (‘A white golf with a driver of dark complexion’) and the a regular bland ‘ADT claims victory in Northriding’ self-promotion message.
I get the feeling that somewhere, sometime at ADT Head Office there was a meeting where they decided they needed a CRM programme. “Let’s make our customers feel safe!”… with smses and newsletters. I don’t want a blogwatch! I want a good old fashioned blockwatch! With branding emblazoned on the wall advising baddies that I’m secured (haven’t managed to get these despite several requests – clearly ‘branding’ was their strategy until they discovered ‘communications’), a presence of patrol cars so that the ‘suspicious’ resident knows better than to lurk on my road… and yes, call when you’re supposed to and answer when I call.
The gloves are off – literally, as am ranting this on BB in the daily grind(ing halt) – and am ready to (g)rumble. Woe betide, they’d better call me today or me and my reference number are going to buck the system and call at 3.05 and see how they like that!
PS: the bright side in all of this is that same interleading door houses a dog flap for The Sausages, which they use with great aplomb, under the radar of the pet sensors and blissfully unaware of the ADT debacle. Perhaps, seeing as I did get the obscenely large one to accommodate all creatures great and small, I should side-step the complications of attempting to sort this out with the humans and rather try the tricks of the old dogs?