Just as an antidote to Zig's rant:
I finally got round to booking in some maintenance. First stop, British Gas.
Three rings, short recorded message about gas leaks, two options, press 1, prove I'm me, then: "I need to book my annual service." Quick availability check. "This afternoon?" "Yes please." Turned up at 2 o'clock.
Second stop, ADT Security, alarm checkup. Similar dialogue. Choice of four dates, elected for Friday afternoon. I'm confident they'll be here, probably for lunch.
I'm forming a theory that recession is good for us.