The matter with the Singaporean Telecommunications Company that-I-shall-not-name has reared its ugly head again. I received another call today and this time it was from Solicitors. To protect the innocent I shall name them Allan, Brown and Cock and then I will then abbreviate this to ABC.
There should be an emphasis on the Cock.
They called me whilst I was taking my lunch. I was eating a chicken and mayonnaise sandwich at the time under the shade of a Banyan tree that is near my office. I was drinking a freshly squeezed orange juice that was pulp free.
I was in need of some respite after a busy morning.
I had been on calls with architects and consulting Engineers who are based in India since 8.00 am. Continuously. All morning. We are doing some very large construction projects in a city called Chennai. Architects and Engineers think in very different ways. One are creative and the other are practical. They are often at odds and both parties in India are just plain odd.
It has been a very difficult morning.
I discovered this shady recluse where I am taking my lunch a while back. It is in a cosy little nook and I think of it as my enclave.
It is far from the madding crowd.
The matter with the Singaporean Telecommunications Company that-I-shall-not-name has being going on for a while now. It has being going on for more than 12 months. It is a case of mistaken identity and it has become a debacle that it is driving me mad.
The matter first arose through written correspondence. I received a letter – it was a letter of demand in fact. The letter was from the Singaporean Telecommunications Company that-I-shall-not-name. They were demanding that I pay them one thousand one hundred and twenty three dollars and thirty seven cents.
The Singaporean Telecommunications Company that-I-shall-not-name claim that the money is owed for an outstanding mobile telephone bill. This Company that-I-shall-not-name are one of two such companies operating here in Singapore. It is a duopoly. My Internet and Cable television services are provided through the Singaporean Telecommunications Company that-I-shall-not-name however I have never had a telephone account with them.
Neither mobile nor landline.
When I received this initial letter of demand from the Singaporean Telecommunications Company that-I-shall-not-name I rang them immediately. I spoke to a Customer Services Officer and I politely expressed my surprise at the letter of demand. I explained that I had never had a telephone account with them. The Customer Service Officer appeared sympathetic. He asked for my EP number and I gave it to him.
An EP is an Employment Pass. It is required for all foreign workers and by law I am required to carry this card at all times. My name and photograph is recorded on one side of this card and my thumb print is embedded on the reverse. I am issued with a unique number which has a prefix of the letter "G" which is then followed by a nine digit number. I have no idea what the "G" stands for.
None at all.
My EP is required for everything in Singapore. It must be provided to open a bank account and it is necessary to sign a lease and to purchase a car and to connect utilities. I am required to present this card whenever I leave or enter the Country together with my passport. The Singaporean Government have my number.
They created it in fact.
When the Customer Services Officer input my EP into the system he verified that I did indeed have an account for internet Services and for cable television subscription. He confirmed too that I was not in arrears. I told him that I already knew this and that I always pay my accounts on time. I told him that I am a stickler for such details.
When I enquired then what this letter of demand was about he put me on hold. He informed me that he had to make some off line enquiries. I waited patiently for ten minutes or so. I was listening to appalling musak. When the Customer Services Officer returned to the call he advised that there appeared to have been a mix up. He told me that the debt was in fact owed by someone named Charles Peters.
My first name is Peter.
My middle name is Charles.
The Singaporean Telecommunications Company that-I-shall-not-name seemed to have disregarded my surname in this matter. I can only assume that there was a glitch in the system. These things happen. The Customer Services Officer assured me the matter would be remedied and I assumed that the matter was done. I expected it was dusted.
How wrong I was.
I received another letter about a month later from the Singaporean Telecommunications Company that-I-shall-not-name. Then a barrage of telephone calls. They were still demanding the money. One thousand one hundred and twenty three dollars and thirty seven cents. I rang and explained the situation to them again and I also wrote them a letter. This was all to no avail.
The calls stopped for a little while then they were taken up again. This time by a debt collection company. I then explained the situation to them and I also wrote them a letter. Again to no avail. Then today I received the call from Allan, Brown and Cock. ABC. The lawyers.
Whilst I was taking my lunch.
The matter has now gone legal. The lady I spoke to advised that they are intending to take me to court. She was very polite in informing me about the situation. I simply confirmed the address where the legal papers should be served.
Then I told her to bring it on.
I couldn’t be bothered trying to explain it all once again.
I know that I am innocent and I will correct this injustice in person. I shall clear the smirch that is upon my name. Of Peter Charles - or Charles Peters. I shall clear the smirch before the Singaporean Courts and I am actually looking forward to having my day in court.
It will be fun.
It will be entertaining.
I plan on representing myself.