We had an invoice to pay to the Local Authority(LA). Not a problem I thought. Wrong!! There were several ways to pay, the most obvious one being a BACS transfer. It is safe and so easy that an 87 year can do it without an issue.
Not so in this case. Usually, I would go onto my banking website, enter the payee bank details, the amount and a reference number. On this occasion, the payee account was a collection service (whatever that means) with an account number consisting of simply zeros. I would also be required to email a “remittance advice” to the Local Authority showing the payment details. Not the kind of thing that should be sent by email. Also, I don’t remember receiving any “remittance advice” when I made payments before.
The next option was “Telephone Banking“. This was a 24/7 payment line, which meant it was an automated payment system. I have worked in the Local Authority and know that these automated systems often “misplace” payments. So that was out.
Option three was to visit the LA’s website and pay online, following the “… simple on-screen instructions …”. Unfortunately these instructions did not exist in the same format as on the invoice. Option four was to pay by cash at the Post Office which was another non-starter.
So we are left with a Postal option. I have to write a cheque, write the invoice number on it and post it. No pre-addressed envelope and certainly no pre-payment on the envelope. Given that technology has moved on so far over the past few years it seems very strange that the oldest payment method (that I have ever used) is the prime method. Looking for to paying in groats and shackles in the not so distant future