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‘Go To Our Website’ it says.

I want to get rid of some disused furniture. A bed which we no longer need. After trying to advertise the bed, complete with photo on the wall outside my house to no avail, I decide to ask the Council to take it.

It is a completely re-usable bed that would serve someone with young children, as it served us, but I need it out of the way to allow the new ‘grown-up’ bed into my son’s room.

I go to the Camden Council Website. You can find it here http://bit.ly/camdencollection

It suggests I can arrange an rubbish collection for which there will be a charge of £25 – or for free if the item is re-usable. I spend the next thirty minutes filling in details of the bed, my address, my proof of identity, and press ENTER.

They say they will send me a pick up date. Three days later I have heard nothing. So I search the site again for a contact telephone. Within 3 minutes I am connected to a man who only asks for my postcode and name.
Then he explains that all I have done is to ‘Register’ on the Council’s website and that I need to go through the procedure again if I want a rubbish collection. I say, “Isn’t there a simpler way?”

He says, “Oh yes, I can book it for you now. When would you like it?” He offers me a date three days in the future. I say, “that’s fine, but you do know it’s re-usable don’t you?” He says, “Oh, that’s a different collection and after a short silence gives me a new date more than a month away!”

This is not good. So I say, please let me have the earlier date, and how much will that be?”

He: “Are you a pensioner?”

Me: “Yes”

He: “then its free”

They’re coming on Wednesday, unless…

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As a psychologist, psychotherapist and research practitioner of 40 years, I've had the benefit of the experiences of more than 100,000 people around the world. They've talked about their daily lives, hopes, fears, ambitions and needs. These experiences have helped me to contribute to innovations from Beds in Business and the Fast Track for airlines to television drama and online communities. Specialties:Large groups, facilitation, application of psychological theories to commercial issues