«In the bathroom with an umbrella» – Corriere.it

from Giampiero Rossi

Municipal houses in the Isola district of Milan, the odyssey of a family having a house with rotten ceilings between call centers and endless correspondence: the procedure of “change of residence” ends in a bureaucratic maze

“Good morning, my name is Luca, what can I do for you?”. As polite and accommodating as it was, after the twentieth time, the Mm call center operator’s welcome formula also began to sound almost mocking. Lucia and Ugo, casual retirees who have lived in via Pepe for 38 years, had a serious problem: the second level of their railing apartment literally leaked. “When it rains, you need an umbrella to go to the toilet,” they say. And just look at the rotten ceilings to find confirmation. But their first request to correct this mistake has turned into a lengthy bureaucratic odyssey that leads to a “change of residence” procedure, which in turn has become a maze filled with dumbness. All this is documented by an extensive correspondence and a few pages on which Signora Lucia patiently wrote down all the communication (including tried and unanswered) with administration of Mm.

Water in the house

It all starts with the rain in the house. First burst of phone calls and letters, first sequence of missed answers, vague or generic reassuring, lost in a stalemate. “It would involve extraordinary maintenance work – is the explanation – and therefore they have to follow a more complex procedure ». And the same thing happens when an intervention is requested for a tree (“beautiful, much loved by those who live here”) that has become intrusive, to the point that some branches are wedged against the windows of the houses. So the only alternative to cohabitation with domestic rain (at a cost of 540 euros per month) would be a change of residence. “But we could not justify the request with water infiltrations – tell the two tenants, without ever putting the irony aside – for a certification of the structural problem would have been necessary, but there was no way to get it from Mm “. So here’s the “luck”: Ugos heart problems. “He was sick several times and rescuers were unable to take him away with the stretcher due to the inside ladder.”

Application for change of residence

In 2020, therefore, the request for a change of residence will be triggered for health reasons. Their practice is the twelfth in the rankings, and in June 2021, the proposal for accommodation via Borsieri arrives, also on the island. “We have written several times to report empty apartments in this condominium, we know it’s not automatic, but the point is, they never even answered this, it was like talking to yourself ». In fact, the whole story of Ugo and Lucia revolves around phone conversations that begin like this: “Hi, my name is Francesco, how can I be helpful?”. When they see the possible new home, for example, they find it without any furniture and want to talk about it with someone “in the flesh and with a responsibility”, but instead they find themselves on the phone with an employee (whose name we remember well) who premieres: “Tell me quickly why I have other calls in the queue”. But the problem is that the conditions for getting a change of residence are quite strict. “We had to sign immediately, otherwise, for lack of valid reasons, we would have lost the right to that housing,” Lucia explains. Other letters go and ask to meet a manager, but the weeks go by and they hear even blaming himself for the call center’s usual voice, describing itself as “a simple paper passer”, thus rejecting any question of merit.

The clauses, the deposit, the bills

The signing took place with difficulty and hardly in the spring of 2022: “About twenty sheets full of clauses – remember Ugo – including deposit of 800 euros to be paid immediately, the obligation to leave the old apartment as we found it, after 38 years and with the rain pouring inside ». And at the handing over of the keys other surprises: «A broken shutter slamming, the grass on the balcony, no washing because they say” everyone wants their own “, no gas pipes as we had already signed the contract for the connection. We were told that “everyone uses induction now”, but we pay the bill. But above all, why is it never possible to discuss these things with someone who is able to give answers and take responsibility? ”. The latest joke is the missing appointment on the day of the move. “At that point, an engineer shows up who apologizes for the ‘error’ but does not accept any of our observations, not even those about the lack of gas pipes as we already had the keys”. And to Lucia and Ugo’s bitter jokes about the month of life between the boxes and the obligation to buy an induction cooker in a hurry, the leader Mm does not hold: “But you two, how much sarcasm! However, I am not saying that you should show gratitude … ».

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11 May 2022 (change 11 May 2022 | 10:33)

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