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How Embarrassing is this!


Bill
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I always pay my tax, insurance, and MOT good and early so you can imagine my shock to find this last week. The last time I broke the law it was for not parking straight enough on a completely empty car park so initially I thought I’d done it again. Turns out that due to a paperwork issue (my mistake), I didn’t receive a renewal notice last October and with lockdown and the wife being very poorly it must have completely passed me by.

NoTax.jpg

 It's all sorted now but it cost me £100 to get the clamp off and now just I’m just waiting for the DVLA to make their minds up whether to fine me £1000 or not, along with the eight months tax that I missed out on. Think I could claim it'd put me in financial hardship?  :)

 

Bill 😊

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Again, that’s very true Sid. Sometimes the old ways had some good points like that. The last time I tried to pay for the tax on my Alfa, rather than send a security check by text, it said I had to use the banks “app” which I’d never used before. When I tried the app, there was an issue with the mobile number it was showing so I couldn’t open it. A popup appeared telling me if the number isn’t right then no problem as it’s simple to change within the app. 🤬 Who writes this stuff!!!!!!!!!!

With my arm still in full plaster I needed to use the bus but just missed it and  ended up having to walk all the way to town. When I got to the bank (all nice and sweaty), it took four of their experts nearly an hour to work out how to get past the issue. Turns out their software had somehow inserted the international 44 code which then didn’t leave enough room for the full telephone number to fit in. What a faff!

 

Bill 😊

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5 hours ago, Bill said:

Again, that’s very true Sid. Sometimes the old ways had some good points like that. The last time I tried to pay for the tax on my Alfa, rather than send a security check by text, it said I had to use the banks “app” which I’d never used before. When I tried the app, there was an issue with the mobile number it was showing so I couldn’t open it. A popup appeared telling me if the number isn’t right then no problem as it’s simple to change within the app. 🤬 Who writes this stuff!!!!!!!!!!

With my arm still in full plaster I needed to use the bus but just missed it and  ended up having to walk all the way to town. When I got to the bank (all nice and sweaty), it took four of their experts nearly an hour to work out how to get past the issue. Turns out their software had somehow inserted the international 44 code which then didn’t leave enough room for the full telephone number to fit in. What a faff!

 

Bill 😊

Very poor design, in telephony terms a schoolboy error, as it is normal to put +44 on phonebook entries so they work abroad and for software to strip them off when not needed if the country code corresponds to the current network. Not rocket science.

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No it certainly isn't rocket science but I did feel a bit stupid that I didn’t clock that the numbers I could see were mine, just not how I would normally read them. The screen only showed the first and last parts of the number with the rest all stared out.

So, my number should have looked like 079*****723 but what was shown was 447*****872

How the international code got in there in the first place remains a mystery but given that completely stops you from using the app, only schoolboy logic would suggest using the app to change it. I’ve spent a huge amount of my working life designing human interfaces from scratch that don’t suffer issues like this and it leads me to believe that most apps these days are simply glued together with little thought from a standard set of modules.

Even though I’ve spent most of my life working at the sharp end of technology, I’m rapidly losing all faith in the automated systems that don’t perform as well as a human being. It seems most are focused on reducing their own time and staffing levels with little or no regard to how long it takes the person at the other end to get what they need.

I think I’ll go back to letter writing, it’s a lot less frustrating and probably quicker.

 

Bill 😊

P.S. for Obs. Yes they do send out reminders unless you pay early enough online. In my case though, the reminders were being sent to the previous owner. 🥴

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