There's what appears to be a leak in the pavement opposite my house on Wake Green Road in the Moseley suburb of Birmingham.

I spotted it a few weeks ago, did nothing about it initially and then decided I probably ought to be responsible and report it to Severn Trent.

It bubbles up gently and dribbles down the road.

Not a big leak but goodness knows how much water you can lose even from small ones.

So anyway I looked up Severn Trent's leak line and dialled the number.

It was one of those infuriating multi-choice jobs. You know the sort - press one for bananas, press two for crack cocaine and then eventually you get the one for leaks.

Why is it that all these organisations think it is alright to waste my time and everyone else's when they would be charging you money if it was their time?

It starts ringing, and ringing, and ringing.

And then we get the standard recorded message that everyone is busy and please would I stay on the line.

A voice no doubt specially selected to try and soothe. Probably chosen by a team of marketing bods and psychiatrists, charging an exorbitant fee for their so-called expertise.

Don't the fools realise that these messages do anything but soothe. Instead they make me more angry.

Another set of ringing, another message ... and by this time I was venting my frustration, swearing down the phone at the incompetence of Severn Trent even though there was not a hope of somebody hearing, more's the pity.

And then a message cut in telling me it would be nine minutes before anyone was available to take my call.

Nine minutes!

So naturally I gave up.

I thought I might write to them instead - including a cheeky bill for the stamp and my trouble - but never got round to it.

I've since been on holiday for two weeks, been back at work a week, and the stream down the road is gradually increasing.

Hardly a water fountain, still more of a puddle and a trickle.

Given Severn Trent's grim record on leakages I imagine it would barely make their radar, but then perhaps that is the point.

If it is not their responsibility, and I have utterly misjudged the situation, I apologise, but I can't think who else would be in the frame.

And it would not mitigate the inadequacy of their leak reporting system - one might actually suspect it could be designed to be offputting.

This is always assuming Severn Trent bothers to fix leaks any more.

How many other well-intentioned people just give up, like I did?

I mean, I can understand Severn Trent have been hard pressed in recent months by the dreadful flooding in parts of the West Midlands, and to that I am extremely sympathetic.

No doubt they have been run off their feet.

But nine minutes? I still can't get over it.

I think they must take us consumers for complete plonkers.