May 2006

I’ve had some stupid support requests recently, but we have a new champion, I think:

Customer: [translated from German] “Can you please tell me if a full hard disk is heavier than an empty one?”

.. any particle physicists out there want to shed some light on this? 😉

Yes, there is more to the key story (see previous entry..) You’d think things were already annoying enough but no… the saga gets better:

Car Keys:
Called Linnane Fiat dealership in Rathnew. They quoted me 200Euro (yes, you read it right) for two keys – and you have to buy them in twos, the word was. Convinced something was amiss, I called around to a few different places, and sussed that the keys cost 63.50eur apiece, incl VAT. I called Linnane again (theyre the closest) and asked them again, updating them with what I’d found out. Yes, they said, the price is correct, but the balance is labour for coding the keys, and no, we can’t do a better price than that. Again I hung up and did some further research, this time a la google. I couldnt get exact details, but it was becoming apparent that coding the keys was a relatively simple matter (I had the ‘only-use-in-absolute-emergency’ Red Master Key, which unlocks the ECU and apparently can do damage if you use it long enough. Thankfully I had this key left, otherwise a new ECU would have set me back more than the car cost me…). To be extra sure, I called a dealership in the UK (with no vested interest in my custom, for obvious reasons) and they confirmed how to code the keys. So, you wanna know what 75eur in labour will get you these days? ->

Put the Red key in, turn, put blue keys in consecutively, turning each, and put the red key in a the end and turn to finish the sequence. That’ll be 75 squids please.

So I took my 125eur worth of blank keys (still ouch), had them cut myself, and coded them in the carpark.
Moving on…

Postbox Keys
Aren’t absentee landlords and letting agents who don’t give a shite wonderful? We have been waiting 3 weeks now to get a replacement postbox key. As I explained previously, we cannot contact our landlord directly, because of the wonderful protection he currently gets from his duties by having the letting agency “handle” relations between us. Last week I was informed he is ‘out of the country’ (after badgering them for two weeks to get it sorted), and that his brother (who was left in charge, they say) ‘couldnt find’ the original key. On Saturday the agency texts us and tells us that they have the key, and when we call this morning they say not to call until ‘as late as possible’ today because they havent cut a copy yet.

I am… *cough* …more than annoyed….

The last two weeks have been great, and a massive test of patience, at the same time.
Monday 24th April was the day Sol arrived back from Argentina, and before going to the airport to collect her, I went to the Postoffice in Greystones.

There somebody walked off (accidentally, I sincerely hope) with my keys while I was filling out a form. And so it began. The bunch had: car keys, bike keys, house keys (Offaly and Greystones), post box key and bike lock keys. Two days later neither the Garda Station or the Postoffice had anything to report. Incidentally, I had a flat tyre on the way to the airport; first day on the road with the car and all. Wonderful. It seems to have been caused by a dreadfully pot-holey road I’m forced to use in the mornings. Potholes and lowish-profile tyres don’t mix.

Events then followed thus:

1. Called number on housemate’s key, and I’m told by the locksmith that if I’m not the owner of the property, the owner has to call the property developer, who authorises the locksmith contract holders to cut the security key.

2. The letting agents (O’Gorman Property in Greystones) insist on being middlemen between us and the landlord for a number of months, so I have to call them. They tell me its not themselves but Wyse that I have to call. So I call Wyse and I’m told that the landlord has to request the keys, not me, so BACK I go to O’Gorman to request that they contact the landlord, so that he will call Wyse, so that they can call Keyhole Ltd, so that they can cut a key, so that I can go and collect it (in the city centre – which is wonderfully convenient if you work normal business hours outside of Dublin).

3. Waited 4 days, no word, so I call Wyse and I’m told the landlord hasn’t contacted them yet. I contact O’Gorman, who contact the landlord and call me back, and tell me the landlord HAS called Wyse. Somebody somewhere is either incompetent, lazy, untruthful or some combination of these. I’m unable to determine who is at fault, but I’m stuck in the middle, I’m being told that security is the reason things have to be done a certain way (which is fine, who doesn’t want to be secure?) However nobody seemed interested in taking a proactive approach to help me either. Disappointing.

4. I explained all of the above to O’Gorman, who at first try again to deflect to the landlord, insisting that it’s not their business. However after 5 days without a key, I insist that one way or the other, Wyse must be contacted directly to verify my tenancy, so that Wyse can call Keyhole. Eventually this is done.

5. It’s now Friday, I call Keyhole to know when I can call to collect. It’s a bankholiday weekend, so theyre not going to be working on the Saturday, they explain. I dash away at 16:00 to catch a Luas, so as to collect the keys from Pleasants Street before Keyhole close for the long weekend. When I called them earlier that day and explained that it was unlikely I’d be able to make it, they had offered to send me the keys if I sent them a stamped, addressed envelope by post. After all the fuss made regarding security and ‘who calls who’, is THAT secure? Plus I have no postbox key yet, anyway; so out goes any postal option, security notwithstanding.

6. When I get home, they prove as useless as windscreen wipers on a submarine – keys fit in hole, but don’t turn. They’re the wrong keys. In despair I call the guy from Keyhole again, whose mobile number is on our housemate’s key. He blames Wyse for sending the wrong key code to them (Keyhole), that they just cut what Wyse tells them to, and offers to cut me a key outside of working hours in Tallaght, but that it’ll cost me, and cost is an issue to sort out with Wyse, he says. I suggest cutting them for me and invoicing Wyse, he won’t have it; despite the fact that its clear to him that I’m the victim here.

7. Yesterday I called the Wyse guys, who kinda-sorta-but-not-really admit fault (I’m a ‘victim of circumstance’ [i.e somebody else’s shonky handwriting] apparently, but the company doesn’t want the expense of having the keys couriered out to Bray – they are being couriered to Wyse; so I’m compelled to dash off at 17:00 to meet them ‘half way’ at Cornellscourt./

8. The courier still hasnt arrived when I get there (after all the rush), despite the fact that the order went in at 2:30. I wait over half an hour.

9. The courier arrives. I compare the keys to Liam’s one. They do not match. At this point I am straining to contain myself.

10. Wyse are closing, I drive home, test new keys, indeed they do not work.

11. This morning, I call Wyse, they apologise for the problems, assure me that they’ll stop using Keyhole Ltd., and are having the right keys cut; these arrived with me by courier about 10 minutes ago, and appear to be the correct ones this time. [Update: yes, they work. Thank goodness for that]

Sum total – more than 5 hours of my time, some litres petrol and money on luas fares, all totally wasted, and not a cent of compensation offered. And an almost two-week wait to get working keys to my own appartment.

As far as I’m concerned, Keyhole are Wyse’s service provider, not mine. I did not choose them, I’ve been forced to use them; culpability for consequences of this (questionable) choice lies squarely with Wyse, who can deal with Keyhole however they see fit themselves – that is not my job.

I am singularly unimpressed with several parties >:(

[Update] : I was promised an apology call from Keyhole yesterday morning. Thus far, none has been received. Hardly surprising though.