Energy ombudsman commission: anti-Valentine poem

The Poetry Society teamed up with the energy ombudsman to send an anti-Valentine message to the energy companies.


Matt Harvey
It’s not me, it’s you

I admit that it appalled me
that day you first cold-called me
 
but you charmed me, won me over
told me I would be in clover
 
and I succumbed to your advances
thought: what the heck, I’ll take my chances
 
I told the Doubting Thomases
that you would keep your promises
 
you’d said that you would care for me
that you’d always be there for me
 
oh how very wrong of me
I should have thought more carefully
 
all that warmth and bonhomie
now seems like such hot air to me
 
for when I called to clarify
the startlingly high tariff I
 
was on, you proved elusive
and remarkably reclusive
for one so formerly effusive
 
in breach of all known etiquette
you started playing hard-to-get
 
left me feeling so much smaller
as if I’m the nuisance caller
 
with designs on your affection
which is vexing and perplexing
 
I don’t think it would hurt to see
a bit of old world courtesy
 
so I’m parting from your company
who’s dumping who? You’re dumping me
 
constructively dismissing me
I trust you’ll soon be missing me
 
and then you’ll once again change tack
predictably you’ll call me back
 
and find you’re waiting in a queue
to hear, when you at last get through
 
Goodbye. It isn’t me. It’s you.

Chief Ombudsman, Lewis Shand Smith says ‘Each year we handle thousands of complaints from the customers of energy companies and in most of these something has gone wrong with the customer service provided. We’re grateful to Matt and the Poetry Society for helping us to get our message across that companies need to do more to woo their customers’. www.ombudsman-services.org

About Matt Harvey: Writer, poet, enemy of all that’s difficult and upsetting, Matt’s way with words has taken him from Totnes to the Wimbledon Tennis Championships via Saturday Live, the Edinburgh Festival and the Work section of the Guardian. He is host of Wondermentalist – Radio 4’s comedy-infused, musically enhanced interactive poetry cabaret – and author of The Hole in the Sum of my Parts (Poetry Trust) and Where Earwigs Dare (Green Books).


Artwork credit: Paul Bommer/The Poetry Society/energy ombudsman