Well, enough is enough. Last week our agent at Mann Countrywide promised us that this week our flat would be in the Surrey Advertiser, and it wasn't. They also promised us at the beginning of our agreement that we'd get a weekly report on a Friday as to how things have been going and what their marketing plans are. We haven't received any of these, except for the one time I phoned up and chased them, and then it was an informal chat rather than an official report. Moreover, we are now just about to enter the 5th week of our 10 week agreement and not a single viewer have we seen. So on Friday night, we sent an official complaint to them, and gave notice of our intent not to renew with them at the end of our 10 weeks. We also said that we wished to terminate them as soon as possible, bearing in mind the appalling and deceitful way we've been treated.
First thing Saturday morning, the Godalming branch manager is on the phone. He left a message, but we decided there was no obligation to ring him back until later, so we left it till 4.30pm. Hell, why should we jump when they tell us to, eh? They don't bother much with us. When K finally spoke to him, said branch manager was grovelling with apologies once K, in no uncertain terms, told him we'd been lied to and misled from day one, so we still wished to terminate our agreement asap. Good. He should be even more grovelling with apologies, and compensation, as far as we're concerned. It also appears that our original agent, Kimberley, is mysteriously no longer working at the Godalming office, plus another agent from there is also no more, and this branch manager is apparently new in this week, so it looks as if something is definitely rotten in the state of Denmark as far as Mann Countrywide Godalming are concerned.
Still, that is none of our concern, to be honest. I, frankly, don't much care for their problems. Out of the kindness of our hearts, we have agreed that the branch manager will visit us on Wednesday evening with a full explanation of what's going on, and we shall consider his report at that time. Our preferred option is to sack them immediately, unless he comes up with a hugely good reason why we shouldn't, and to appoint another agent. The fact of the matter is, however, that this tale of woe and estate agent inadequacy has cost us a month of buying time and I am very inclined to make them pay for it. Especially as the new agent we may (and probably will) appoint will be fighting with the approaching Christmas lull. Suffice it to say we are not at all happy, and I absolutely hate our time being wasted.
In the meantime, we are now seriously considering new-build home options, and part-exchange facilities. We saw a perfectly lovely new estate in Chobham on Saturday and are keeping that under close consideration - they have our details and we'll see what offer they can come up with. In addition I have today enquired about another new-build estate in Merrow, Guildford which is due for completion in Spring 2011. If those come up trumps first, then that is what we will do. Let Mann Countrywide put that in their pipe and smoke it ...
It's not all house doom and gloom though, thank God. Earlier in the week, the gas man visited for our annual boiler service - which they do always love as our boiler here is apparently a collectible and, even though it doesn't entirely conform to current boiler regulations, it's all perfectly safe and will probably outlast us, and the two generations that come after. Ah, they don't make 'em like that now, you know ...
I've been delighted with the royalties this quarter from Untreed Reads Publishing, where sales of The Girl in the Painting have been particularly buoyant, so that's a nice boost amidst all the angst of life etc. I was also happy to receive the fully signed contract for Rosie by Name back from Bluewood Publishing, so that's something to look forward to next year.
Only one meditation this week:
Travelling to pay
your last respects
to the dead
can, on occasion,
be fraught with difficulty,
danger and dread.
And the Sunday haiku is:
The creamy-cloud foam
in my coffee and my bath
is my secret bliss.