This time it's the "delightful" people at the Student Loans Company who are the objects of my wrath.
They sent me a letter a while back wanting to arrange repayment of my loan. I filled in the forms, enclosed proof that I was continuing in Further Education, and popped it in the post.
However, it was returned to me today with an 'incomplete' stamp and an extra information sheet covered in yellow highlighter. The original form asked for a letter from the Funding Body (in my case the EPSRC) but I do not possess such a thing because although they pay my fees it's all been organised through the University. Neither do I have any formal evidence of my 'subsistence'.
For the jobsworths at the Student Loans Company in Glasgow however this is evidently not a good enough excuse.
I tried to rectify the situation by ringing them this morning - on an 0870 number, of course - and having worked my way through the confusing and not particularly relevant menu system I had the misfortune of speaking to one of the least helpful people in the world.
I had to go through the various security hoops (Customer Number, Full Name, DoB etc) but I failed at the last hurdle when he wanted my "Secret Answer". I told him that I hadn't got a clue what he was talking about*, but he assured me that as I would have been sent this in the post there was nothing he could to do access the specific details of my account. No matter, I figured that I could go under the guise of 'General Enquiry'.
I was offered an alternative to the two Funding Bodies mentioned on the original form, but in all honesty it amounts to beauractic paperwork serving no useful purpose other than to give our socialist friends in Glasgow something to read.
I then suggested that the original form should be updated to make it a bit clearer and include such options, but I was told that this would be impossible to please everybody "without about seven lines of text". I failed to see what the problem was, but was told that if there was nothing else he could help me with that we were going to get nowhere.
If you're the sort of person who enjoys making prank and abusive phone calls (regretably I feel that I should be seen as too mature for this) then please do give the Student Loans Company a call.