I am not a fan of paperwork. It isn’t that I fear it, it just reminds me of a loathsome job I had a for a few years back in the UK.
“Fill out form FG6, to ascertain if the buyers will be getting this product in.” Couldn’t I just ask in person? Wouldn’t that be easier? Such was the discord between the departments that all communication had to be logged so someone could be blamed when it came to crunch time. (This company was one of the first to go to the wall, when the recession bit. I didn’t shed a tear.)
So knowing that mounds of paperwork would be required to change the amenities over filled me with despondency, dread and soupçon of steely jawed determination.
Thankfully we had the angels (yes angels) at Chesterton’s in our corner at every turn, so our journey wasn’t as stressful, enraging or frustrating as I know it can be. (I have it on good authority that there are THREE hour queues sometimes. THREE! And whilst the estate agent can’t do anything about the queues, at least you will go armed with all the information you require. So you don’t need to spend more than one day changing details over.)
So electricity was our first port of call.
You will require; your new fully signed lease, ID card(s), £60, a Gib Elec form with the details of the property, a letter of permission from the landlord, and a copy of their ID card(s). Thankfully Chesterton’s had done most of the legwork here. All we needed to do was collect the paperwork from their office, and take ourselves and £60 down to the office on Rosia Road. (I am guessing that if you are doing this all yourself, you will need to call in at Rosia Road to get the disconnection forms beforehand, or maybe fill them out there and then.)
There were no queues and to be very honest the young lady that helped us was just amazing. She showed us on the ‘new account’ form where we need to sign or fill out details to save us trawling through loads of unnecessary stuff. We were in and out in half and hour. All the paperwork assembled by Chestertons was perfect and accepted no questions asked. Our appointment for the meter reading was made for the following week and we floated out of there feeling extemely smug.
The water was next on the list. Armed with exactly the same paperwork, we found our way to the fifth floor of an office building on Town Range.
Rejected because our names had been ‘written’ in on the permission letter instead of printed. I know that Aqua Gib is a separate company but seriously I felt like crying. When the very pleasant young lady made her way to the back office armed with our papers I just knew our good luck had run its course.
“We can’t accept hand written details” she told us. We mentioned that, a) the electricity had no issue with it, and b) the estate agent had sent us here with everything all present and correct. Her eyes glazed over and she said that we would need a new letter. I was put in mind of this. What annoyed me most was the argument that she / the water company couldn’t be sure we had permission. Even though we had the copies of the landlords ID card, we were happy to surrender all of our ID to be copied and for them the call the estate agents to check. But no, we needed a printed letter. Who opens accounts for water falsely? Who?
So I called Chesterton’s and after they had stopped spitting feathers at the ridiculousness of the request, they drew up a new letter with our names printed on it. As they are based right down the other end of Main Street in Ocean Village, we called in at Gibtelecom and swapped our address and services over there.
The process at Gibtel was so easy it restored our faith that this might all work out. (At Gibtel you just need your new lease and a bit of patience if you go there close to lunch time, as the queues can be looong. Also if you’re a new customer, you’ll need proof of ID, like a passport.) So I said cheerio to Mr BOTR and said I would message him when I got to the water office, so he could join me there to open the account, but in the meantime I would walk down to Chesterton’s and he would go to work.
So I ducked in at our old landlords on the way down to Chesterton’s as they had prepared a reference for us, and then I went over to Ocean Village and the Chesterton office.
We swapped paperwork. I gave them a reference letter from our old landlord and they gave me a new fully printed permission letter (and I said if I had any further issues I would give them a call) and then I was off again back up Main Street (via the post office to send a scarf to my mum in the cold UK) and I met Mr BOTR in the water office. This time it went as smoothly as the electricity. So as a tip, make sure all your permission letters are fully printed. That you have copies of the landlords ID card(s) and that you take £25 for the fees. Also as the (different from our earlier visit) lady who sorted out our account said, when it comes to the meter reading visit, make sure you’re there at the stated time otherwise you will get cut off for real. Scary.
So altogether that wasn’t actually that bad.
But if you are gathering all of the paperwork together yourself, good luck. This is where dealing with a professional and super helpful team really is the key to a smooth move! (Or get a landlord that keeps it all in his/her name, which is what we had previously.) Whilst we have the time (me, housewife, no office to clock into) not everyone has that luxury, this is where any of you thinking of moving here might be interested to learn that Chesterton’s can do this all for you. For a fee. Ask them for details. I tell you, if you move here during the summer, I would take them up on it.
Now to start packing…
Still to do:
Redirect mail for a few months
Change ID card details
Change medical card details.
Wish us luck!