Tuesday, 15 November 2011

The answer my friend is blowing in the wind!

Jamie the dog heard them first . . . the footsteps coming up the drive and towards the house!
Sharp as a razor blade his furious barking cut through the silence of the house which, apart from him and me, was deserted this lunchtime.
Door-to-door salesman? Charity collector? Parcelforce? . . Who could it be, Jamie??
I opened the door just a crack so Jamie could not accidentally slip out and unleash his terrifying fury of  . . well . . more barking and tail wagging on the unsuspecting intruder.
At the door was a neighbour from way up the road with a letter in his hand.
"Found this blowing in the wind up the street! It's addressed to you!" he said, handing over the brown envelope.
I thanked him warmly and added the words: "I heard of spending cuts but to just throw the letters into the street to safe time and manpower takes the biscuit, doesn't it?!!"

The letter was from the DVLA and was entitled: 'Tax - the easy way!"
'Yeah', I thought, 'easy for whom?'!
It went on to say that I could pay my car tax for the next 12 months by visiting their website or by phone.
Flaming arrows of doom!!! How much??? £210?????
Oh well . . the Lord giveth (see previous anecdote) and the tax man taketh away!
So the Firefly duly went onto the website to 'get it done'!
The first page goes through the usual 'Yes/No' questions of:
'Are you real? Do you live at home? Have you got MOT, Insurance, credit cards, a nice garden,your Christmas presents yet, a sense of humour, a shotgun license and ice cubes in your freezer?
Press NEXT to continue.
So I answer all the dross and click the button!
. . . .
. . . .
So I tried again from the start - and again - AND AGAIN!!
Still no good, even though I managed to advance to page 4 before I was frozen out.
The answer obviously lies in phoning the place.
Needless to say that all is automated and no human being (or even voice) has ever been near that service.
A robotic voice now proceeds to  v e e e r y   s l o w l y  talk you word for word through the entire pages and explanations of the web pages! Every time the voice has finished a sentence (never mind how banal or unimportant) it asks: 'If you understood this, press 1 on your telephone keypad now!' or 'If this is correct, press 1 on your telephone keypad now!' 
After what seems like an eternity and pressing 1 on my telephone keypad sufficiently to wear away the number on it I am told "We have successfully robbed you blind once more and have stolen £210 from your account before anyone has noticed!" Only the voice puts it slightly different by saying: "You have successfully renewed your road tax license! Congratulations!"
The Firefly would like to transmit a message to this utterly useless government of grasping little fagins but since nice people read these pages, the answer my friend is blowing in the wind!

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