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Victoria Halls Birmingham - Lose the Arrogance Guys
Member Name: grantvalentine
Date: 30/06/03, updated on 30/06/03 (4885 review reads)
Advantages: Location , Good size deluxe bedroom, Good size communal (living) area - great for parties (if only they were allowed)
Disadvantages: Arrogance , Cost, "Must follow procedure" attitude
Victoria Hall, providers of student accommodation in various cities around the UK, prides itself on the quality of service that it gives to its students. The flats and buildings are functional if uninspiring. The student population, in Birmingham at least, comprises of foreign, Asian, and lonesome soles. Conveniently located less than 30 seconds walk from Birmingham University (5 minutes from University Station) and the centre of Selly Oak. I lived in a four bedroom flat with three friends. I was lucky enough to have the Deluxe (Double) Room. It's only a few extra hundred pounds for the year but affords more wardrobe space, a double bed, and a larger room. The communal living area is spacious – easily big enough to have small parties (20 people-ish). The kitchen is small but comes with everything needed. There are two problems with Victoria Hall. First, Victoria Hall is not cheap and the management will try to extract as much money from you during the year (coercively). For example, the phone system is not cheap and the minimum call charge is 10pence (yes I know it is not a lot, but it builds up – especially with BT Call Minder). The washing machines and dryers too are not cheap: £1.50 a wash and £1.30 a dry. The drier does, to its credit, continue until the clothes are actually dry. According to Mr. Victoria Hall, however, one is not allowed to dry their clothes in their room: they must use the driers provided. I believe this is because a flatmate did dry his clothes in his room and caused damp throughout the Hall! Second, and this is an extension of the first, is the arrogance of Victoria Hall. There are a number of notable examples. First, my flat was fined £15 for cancellation of the cleaners after we cleaned our own flat (after a warning). The problem is, however, that it would have cost us £7.50 if we did nothing and the cleaners did the work. The reason: Procedures (must follow…). Second, I was going to be charged fo
r cleaning stubble out of my sink. I did clean it but not to Victoria Hall's "satisfactory" standard ("satisfactory" is not defined, it is indeed the discretion of the "examiner" – beware!). Honesty, the sink was perfectly clean – but what Victoria Hall's say, goes… Third was when I broke the bed. On my last day at the flat I was cleaning room, I stood on my bed to reach the ceiling and… a rung on the bed broke. Apparently the breaking of the bed is my fault and I will have to purchase a new bed. Surely, however, a bed should not break – it could've been dangerous. As per usual, however, Victoria Hall is always right and what they say goes.
In summary, Victoria Hall is functional if uninspiring place to live. The office and, to a lesser extent, the caretakers function only according to the rules laid out in the Victoria Hall's Doctrine. Do not expect any consideration of circumstance or reason. The Halls will try to take as much money from you. Any arguments or appeals against their divine judgements will be treated with contempt. My only advice is to get very angry, only then was the management prompted to see reason.
On the whole the staff (management and caretakers) are pleasant and helpful – if only the management could rid themselves their arrogance then Victoria Halls would be a great place to live. As it stands, you're likely to leave feeling bitter and resentful. Lighten up guys! We're students!
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