Payment methods ? . . .

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

Welcome to another year

     Well 2013 arrived, and the expected, and dreaded firework trauma did not happen. We had given R***  1mg of his PRN medication at around 23:15, as a precaution. But we had none of the usual ‘incidents’ that we have had over that past four or five years. To be honest, there was not as many fireworks going off around here, as we normally get. In fact, there were more on Christmas Day than last night. So the question is: why was he better last night than before? The “psych’s” will tell us that it was the drugs that settled him and they will try and use it to give credence to solutions. I rather think, that it was just the lack of the fireworks that did it. Whatever it was, it was 1000% better than previous years.

     I find it rather disturbing, that for a country that is in such a dire financial situation, we still have money to waste on the New Year Celebrations. The London fireworks lasted for 15 minutes. How much must that have cost ? There would be the actual cost of the fireworks (22,000 in total). Then the cost of the organisation and planning. Where did all this money come from ? And the scenes were repeated, albeit on a smaller scale, throughout the country. If we are a country with such a large deficit that we are cutting welfare payments to the most needy, do we really need to ‘burn’ so much money just because the number of the year changed ?