A basic summary (factually there was a lot more contact between Now TV and me than this, almost all of it happening in one direction...):
Broadband inexplicably stops working. Call in for technical support. "There is an external fault in the area and an engineer has been sent to fix it".
Days later: still no broadband, and no contact from Now TV. Call in again to follow up. "Actually the fault is internal with your line, not external. We'll need to book an engineer to visit". [Not sure what changed between 1 and 2, but hey, here we are.]
Wife is absent from her own work to stay at home meet engineer. She specifically phones Now TV to confirm that she is at home and waiting and gives her own mobile number if the engineer has any trouble finding the flat. Engineer does not arrive, and she is not contacted by either Now TV or the engineer.
Follow up again. Book new appointment for Friday which forces me to be absent from work. Try desperately to reach Now TV to coordinate exact time of engineer's arrival so that I can plan my own professional day. Zero luck. Wait 3 hours 30 minutes for engineer until my own client's emergency forces me to attend office. Try desperately again to reach Now TV to explain absence to engineer to save his time and make a plan B. Zero luck.
Book new appointment for Saturday PM. Now TV confirms to me in writing that everything is sorted and my internet line will be restored today. Wait a few hours, no one arrives. Decide to follow up and confirm with call center again. Transpires that the engineer will in fact NOT arrive today. No one at Now TV thought it might be useful to share this information with me and save me sitting around waiting.
Trying to book a further appointment now, and will need to somehow explain my absence from my own office again (the "internet man is coming" excuse is, understandably, wearing a bit thin). Now TV disclaim all responsibility and say this is all Openreach's fault.
Surely this is not how customer service technical support is supposed to work. The call center guys are great: willing, polite and understanding. But they are powerless. As am I. An internet connection is pretty much my professional lifeline and personal lifeline with family abroad. We pay good money for it. If anyone at Now TV reads this, please can you step in. It is not sufficient to say you rely on a third party and this is out of your control - these are exactly the kinds of situations where an "above and beyond" effort is required. Let's hope we see it.