1 EAGLETON NOTES: An Antidote to HSBC

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Tuesday, 10 February 2015

An Antidote to HSBC

I received an email from a friend today. It seemed to epitomise all that is wrong with the way that Government and big business communicate with people. Perhaps this is why people turn to HSBC for help.
No wonder folk don't pay tax.

I've been trying to register on-line for Self-assessment for weeks. I used to be quite clever and moderately computer literate. I've done it ?3 times, still no success. Sooooooooooooooo, I thought (despite my inclinations otherwise) I'll phone the SA Helpline. Well, there's a misnomer if ever there was one. After listening to interminable lift music and giving all but my blood group, I was told to phone another number.

Phoned and eventually (after listening to interminable lift music and giving all but my blood group - there's a theme here) spoke to Desh. Explained..............given another number to phone........................(after etc - you get the drift) spoke to Steve. Explained everything. He said he couldn't help, but at least he had a personality, and he gave me a number to phone. He sounded a mite crestfallen, when I told him that was the number I had phoned when he answered. So, instead of getting me to go through the whole malarkey again, he transferred me to the department I needed to speak to. Why Desh couldn't have done that, I have no idea.............or maybe they make money out of these phone calls. 
I got through to someone with no sense of humour or obvious personality. She told me I'd phoned too soon and to try next week...these things take time, you know.

What astonished me was, each asked me why I wanted to register, and seemed bemused when I replied, well, I thought I should pay tax on the income I've earned.

Deficit? No wonder there's a deficit.

19 comments:

  1. George Orwell warned us that this is how it would be. Not in exact words but he certainly conveyed the general gist of things. "And so it was with every class of recorded fact, great or small. Everything faded away into a shadow-world in which, finally, even the date of the year had become uncertain."

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    1. It's taking a little longer than Orwell's 1984 but we are, as you say, on the way YP.

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  2. These things would be funny if they weren't so exasperating. My mom had a monitored burglar alarm system. She moved to a different house. We filed a change of address, and the company came out and installed a new system at the new address. However, we kept getting bills, listing the service address as the old house. I tried and tried to get this sorted, without any success.

    Finally we decided to call a different company and start over. The new company came out and cut the wires for the old system and installed a new one. All was well. We thought. We were wrong. We started getting bills and nasty phone calls from the first system demanding that we pay them for the non-existent service we'd received.

    I called and was told, "Your call is important to us. Today's average wait for service is 45 minutes." It was an 800 number so it didn't cost me anything, and I was retired so I decided to just sit and work on the computer with the phone line open until someone got on the line.

    The woman who finally did, still didn't understand and wanted us to pay for the back charges for the service we'd never received. I told her that we'd disonnected their service months ago, and they hadn't even noticed! It ended with my telling her she could sue us for the money if she liked, and I was sure the second company would be happy to verify that they'd disconnected the first service. I hung up on her and we never heard from the first company again. xoxo DeeDee

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    1. DeeDee as you say it would be funny if it were told as a joke but, in reality, it's far from it.

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  3. We experience this run around about once a week. This will never improve until regulations chance and repercussions occur when there's idiotic service.

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  4. When RJ first employed me, he had to work out how all the tax stuff works for him as the employer and me as the employee. There wasn't much help coming from any official side, but thankfully, he is very good at sussing things out and so it all went smoothly for me from Day 1 of my working for him. Still, it makes you wonder why such things are not made easier, especially since "they" are always whining about how we need more people who take the plunge and create jobs etc.
    When RJ employed our friend (now there's three of us to his company), he already knew what to do from the first time. I said to him he should write a guidebook for new employers.

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    1. Meike, I know from the time when I employed people that it's not easy when you start off.

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  5. Have to confess I read this whole post without having a clue what it was about until I came to the very end. Abbreviations etc unknown to me. Could have been any authority about anything whatsoever... And still not surprising...

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    1. Yes Monica I concede that if I'd been writing this for my audience I'd have been more explicit but this was a direct quote of an email from what a friend had experienced yesterday.

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  6. Poor you. I long for the days of music free phone calls and a well informed human being on the other end. Who know what he or she is talking about. Oh, happy days....

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    1. I glad to say, Frances, that it wasn't a conversation that I had but one that a friend had.

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  7. I wouldn't have had your patience.

    It may be worth getting one of those messages warning them that you are recording the call for security and training purposes....Your security and their training.

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    1. Actually Adrian it wasn't my patience that was being tried. I like your idea though.

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  8. Happens over here all the time. At least daily, I or my husband - after waiting minutes or hours on hold - speak to someone on the phone who either cannot speak English well enough so that we understand them or who speak well but have no idea what the hell they or I am talking about! Very, very frustrating!

    But the angriest I ever got was when I was on hold for a very, very long time and had the speaker on so that I might be employed doing other things whilst I waited and then when someone answered, I meant to take them off speaker so I could understand them better.......and I hung up the phone instead!! Grrrrrrr

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    1. Oh dear, Peace, I really feel for you hanging up the phone like that.

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  9. So many instances I could highlight.....so little time....
    Here on the island it is TOTAL "who you know" bureaucracy....any problem can be solved but not always by the book.
    I have several networks that work together which makes my life simpler.
    If I had to go through the regular protocols for some issues, I would have pulled all my hair out ages ago.

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    1. Virginia it's the same in the UK if you are fortunate enough to know the right way to go about things and have the right contacts. The problem is that it's a much larger country and the chances of being so connected are much smaller.

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