As you know, I’ve recently moved house.
The actual physical moving went well (I highly recommend Aussie Man & Van), but since then there has been some rather annoying hiccups. The first thing I discovered was that my electricity is on a pay meter, something that I was unaware of when signing the contract (and it doesn’t mention it in the contract); this is the last thing I wanted to be on, fortunately as I’ve been a customer with my electricity supplier (eon) for three years and have such a good payment record with them (despite the whole getting energy watch involved when they screwed up) it’s only going to cost me £50 to move to a credit meter. So far so good.
I then tried to sign up with the Post Office for my broadband, as they offered a pretty good package for £24 a month and would install a phone line for £102. I spent at least twenty minutes on the phone trying to sign up (they read out all their terms and conditions *headdesk*) and was pretty pleased to hear that they would be able to supply a 6.5 whatsits connection (my old flat was 7). I get to the part where you pay and fail their credit check, no biggie I think it’s probably just because my bank hasn’t updated their records just yet but since I didn’t want to go through all the small print again I contact BT about the phone line, pass their credit check and a few days later I have a lovely new phone line. That night at work I sign up with PlusNet and everything is all working, which is why you’re able to read this.
Next thing I decided to do was move to a contract phone, I get shit T-Mobile reception in my flat so it seemed like the perfect time to take advantage of those various deals other providers were doing (I’ve been PAYG with T-Mobile since 2002). Decided to go with either o2 or Vodaphone, I was told they have best coverage. I selected the Nokia 5800 handset and got on with the signing up… except I fail the credit check. Thinking it’s still to do with my address I pop in the bank who update my records as I sit there and even switch me onto a higher savings account because they noticed I have a lot of money sitting in my current account. Twenty-four hours later I try again, and fail… so I tried signing up with Vodaphone… and fail. Now I’m a bit concerned so I contact Experian and request a copy of my credit rating, they need more information as they can’t confirm my identity so I need to get some documents photocopied.
By this point I was a bit ticked off with what was happening, and I wondered what would happen if I used the emergency credit card on my dads account to sign up (I asked him of course), so off I pop to Phones 4 U. I hand over the credit card and they use that as my proof of identity and use my debit card for the rest of the sign up, as I expected I fail the Vodaphone credit check but strangely this time I pass the o2 one, the only different thing being was that this time they put “Credit Card = 1” in the application form, rather than “0”. Puzzled but somewhat relieved, I head home with my Nokia 5800 with a nice shiny o2 contract giving me unlimited texts and Internet.
During this I’ve learned a bit of a lesson, I can’t avoid it anymore and I’m going to have to apply for a credit card in order to start building a credit history as I think the reason it’s all not quite going so well is that I have no credit history. At the end of the year (or in six months, not convinced that the woman who owns my flat is going to remain on her barge) I want to enter the world of home ownership via the shared ownership scheme (part rent, part buy), I’ve got all the bases covered (minimum earnings, minimum deposit) but I think I’m going to need a credit history in order to get the mortgage.
Who was it who decided that in order to get credit you need to be in debt?