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What is the world coming to?

I've never bought a news paper and I'm 77 yo. Have I missed much?

Don't have a mobile phone either let alone a smart one.
You're missing bugger all Frank.
I relented and got a smart phone purely for having google traffic permanently on during my working day, that has saved me countless times from being stuck in traffic.
Well after catching up with this thread about BT,Sky, TV licences etc it’s good to know I’m not alone doing battle too, I’m surprised nobody has mentioned British Gas - until now!
So there I was acting as executor for a relative’s estate and dealing with their property which became empty in Feb 2022, this involved dealing with all the usual suspects, local council, utility companies,banks etc and to be fair all of them were really helpful, so much so that they made my job a whole lot easier, except of course British Gas!
After emailing them that the property was empty the bill’s started to arrive, anything from £5 to £500! A couple of emails didn’t get any response then months later a credit note arrived with no explanation followed by a cheque in the next post.
Great I thought someone has finally got to grips with this - nope! The threatening letters started soon after, demanding payment of exactly the same amount as the effing credit (you couldn’t make it up!)
Five minutes on Google gave me the chief exec’s email address, so I fired one off mid afternoon and lunchtime the following day I got a call from one of his minions, got the usual excuse about the account being “migrated” to a different system and getting lost somewhere but the bottom line was he cleared the account and suggested I cash the cheque as compensation!
So the moral of the story is forget the call centre in India, go straight to the top!
Don't remind me about BG, i'd quite forgotten that saga.

We live at 2B, our bungalow was built probably 20 years after the rest of the bungalows here, built on what was previously an orchard at the end of a cul-de-sac hence why it isn't numbered like the rest and why it never had cable laid for the service NTL therefore couldn't possibly provide but put debt collectors onto us anyway because we didn't pay for a non we don't drink is a mystery.

Somehow BG got it into their heads that we had two meters, maybe they'd got the meters of number 2 confused with and added to ours.

You won't believe how difficult that was to sort out, the old lady next door was really quite distressed over it because she wasn't getting bills and was worried a huge backlog of bills would arrive, until that is my Mrs (remarkably short fuse) got started, she had all sorts of arguments with people on the phone who seemed convinced we had a second meter on our property and were trying to scam free gas.

Eventually she got hold of a female supervisor who did get things sorted out but this went on for several months.
Ah yes, good old BG.
The battery in the digital meter is only supposed to last 10 years, so they wrote and told me to book an appointment for meter changeover (free).
Engineer turned up on day, after 10 minutes told Mrs he had shut the job down for 'technical' reasons.
No meter change !
I phoned next day to be told the 'technical' reason was the new meter wouldn't fit in their outside box, which they supplied 10 years earlier as no gas in the property when we moved in.
They wanted £300 to change the box !!
After lots of dialogue with my gas supplier, they agreed I should not have to pay, so booked the job in themselveswith BG as new customer meter install.
Different engineer turned up and fitted new meter in old box, although he said it was a struggle.
Why the fuck would BG make/supply a box, then further down the line, make/supply a meter that is bigger than original ??
I wonder how many people paid for their scam ?
Whenever I'm not in the mood I can write good stuff bad stuff truthful stuff bunt stuff sharp stuff even stuff stuff about stuff and will occasionally have to get out and get the stuff to do stuff so I can do stuff with the stuff anyway enough of this writing stuff I have got to go and do stuff
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Changed energy supplier and I had to agree to have a smart meter. A letter arrived asking me to ring them for an appt but I was then told I'm not in an area where they fit smart meters.
Everywhere you turn there are examples like this - idiots running companies with idiot employees who are clueless in the day to day running of a proper buisness and don't care.