It was 3am and the phone was ringing. I woke from my slumber thinking all sorts of scenarios, expecting the worst.
I wasn’t disappointed.
A close relative had been awakened by an attempted break in at her home.
The offender didn’t care that his victim was a 71-year-old lady.
Had he known I doubt it would have changed his mind.
What follows is her story in her words: “It was approximately 2.30am when I was woken by a resounding crash.
“I was frightened, terrified, but somehow managed to force myself to explore the cause.
“Eventually I came to my kitchen, devastation surrounded me.
“My window had a huge hole in it and on my floor was a concrete block of considerable size, the tool of attempted entry.
“Glass was scattered throughout, the block had been hurled with some force as it had travelled beyond the window crashing into my table, smashing the leg and causing damage to my floor covering.
“I panicked but knew by then that entry had not been gained but I needed help. I called 999, in my panic I was unsure why I had called, I was disorientated.
“The police operator was amazing, she talked me down, made me feel calmer about the situation. Within a few minutes the police arrived and I cannot praise them enough.
“Their professionalism and kindness was well beyond what we have come to expect.
“His tally for the night apart from my damaged window and kitchen, was my handbag containing my purse and credit cards. And £300out of my bank.
“Whoever you are, remember one day you will be old like me but I hope you don’t get late-night visitors doing to you what you have done to me.”
Later that morning this dear lady contacted her insurance company.
She thought the person on the other end of the phone was most unhelpful. No mention of anyone making an effort to help, only a string of demands. Who trains these people to be so insensitive? If your plight is not in the script then it don’t exist.
Things did not improve when contact was made with a card company.
But there was a company that was helpful. When she spoke to Santander, on hearing her plight their first concern was her wellbeing above all else.
They arranged issue of new cards, repaid £300 to her account and all before lunch.
Sad to think that for real customer service in this instance it came from a foreign-based operator.
Shame on those companies who showed so little compassion for an elderly lady and shame on that contemptible scum who carried out this smash and grab.
How will you feel when it’s your turn?
* Bill Morrison, Chairman, Doncaster 50 plus group