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I am surprised that Ben’s automatic assumption on the issue of reporting noise is that we lack the ability to talk to our neighbors.
I would like to point out a few things: first of all, we are all informed that to call the porters is a last resort, and that we should talk to our flatmates first… which we do. The subsequent calls constitute a lack of response on the noisemaker’s part, and not a lack of communicative ability on the complainer’s part.
Second, in some circumstances it may be impossible to talk to the noisemakers. For example, if the person living in the flat under you or the flat next door has a subwoofer which goes up to eleven, are you really prepared to go through the hassle of finding out which flat it is, and which room, and talking to a total stranger? In such instances it is best to call the porters, who deal with noise with a lot more diplomacy than I’m capable of at 2am before an exam.