It is finally working. Thank you to all the monks that replied and showed a great deal of patience. Couple of things causing the problems...
The server was not set up correctly. Took a while for the administrator to accept this, but when he did, things started to work. It's frustrating when you are running round in circles, trying to tell these guys why it should be working and they're telling you something is wrong with your code, only to find out later that it was a server side issue.
JSON was not allowed installed on the server as it was shared...dunno why. Had to use JSON::PP.
I really do appreciate, the help and especially the code examples. This is an excellent forum and my faith has well and truly been restored.