I opened my copy of HF Radio for Travellers at page 29 as instructed. The first word to jump off the page was, ‘Capabilities’. So, here we go with the reasons I penned my letter, to whom it was directed, and the final outcome.

I live in a small town called Woop Woop. Trades people here are few on the ground and work out of town on contract, making it impossible to get skilled help when you needs it. I found myself in the situation where I needed a plumber, and fast.

I thought I was lucky when I saw an add on TV for a company calling itself Capabilities Unlimited. Their add advised they had plumbers, carpenters, mechanics and every type of tradesman any householder could need. The add also said that one phone call was all that was required and help to anywhere, to fix any problem, would be on the way, ASAP. All work guaranteed.

I called their emergency helpline, outlined the urgent need for a plumber and the switch girl said one would be with me by 7am the next day, Wednesday.

The ensuing disaster is fully covered in the letter I wrote to Capabilities Unlimited and this is what I wrote, minus my full address, title and other personal details I know you are not interested in.

                                     TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN.


I refer to my previous seven letters concerning the matters referred to above. To refresh the brain of the dim wit to whom my previous correspondence has been directed, here is a precise of the reasons for my original call to your ‘organisation:

1          Clogged sewage lines.

2         Clogged drains.

3          Domestic Water pipes not running.

Only one positive arose from my contact with your ‘mob’ and that is the first tradesman arrived, as promised, AM, on the Wednesday after my call. I stress  AM  as he arrived 1 minute prior to noon.

After a very quick inspection he agreed that the three problems required immediate attention. He explained to me that excavation of the problem pipes would be required and assistance was needed for that task. He left in his truck saying he would be back forthwith.

Forthwith turned out to be just after noon the following day, Thursday. With no apology to me, he, accompanied by a crew of two others unloaded what appeared to be a bob cat with a hoe attached, kn locked down my front fence and immediately started digging up the front yard. I rushed out to stop them as the electricity cables are underground in this area, as are all of the utilities.

My entreaties were ignored, the hoe was dropped and trenching down to what appeared to be about 6 feet started.

Work didn’t go on for long. First, a fifty foot high water spout sprung into the air, followed by a flash and a large bang resulting in the bob cat immediately stopping and catching fire.

I couldn’t ring the fire brigade because the telephone cables had been severed as well.

As a result, your bob cat was destroyed,  two of your staff were conveyed to hospital with burns and the other individual was in such a state of shock that he was incapable of speech or movement.

Fortunately, my neighbour who had called the fire brigade and the ambulance, also called the utility companies and they arrived in quick time and took control of the situation.

By 7pm that night, the utility companies had rectified the three problems I’ve set out about and also reconnected my telephone. All at no charge to me as they will be billing your company direct.

I’m writing to tell you again that I will not be paying the accounts you have sent to me on seven different occasions. I have paid you the courtesy of outlining my reasons in the seven previous letters I have sent you.

You will be aware that I have not lodged a claim against Capabilities Unlimited for nervous stress, damage to my property and for compensation for the total inconvenience your so called tradesmen caused me.

However, my brother has suggested I do so, based upon your total disregard for my circumstances, your neglect to reply to my correspondence and the provision of incompetent personnel to carry out the tasks for which I had contacted your organisation.

He informed me that I have excellent grounds to receive a significant settlement.

As he is a Judge of the High Court, I think he has given me the correct advice. He has also referred me to an excellent attorney who will be handling my matter, pro bono, and will no doubt seek costs when the matter is settled in our favour.

By the way, everyone living in Woop Woop is doing their very best to make all their families and acquaintances aware of the lack of capabilities offered by Capabilities Unlimited.

I signed the letter in the usual business like manner and posted it.

So there we are, that was my eighth letter to the company and on this occasion they replied. I’m not at liberty to reveal the terms of their confidential settlement, suffice to say I’ll be going on a world trip next month and upon my return, leasing out my cottage and moving into my new condo overlooking Grand Central Park, NYC.