We've recently moved house and I had a list of organisations, institutions, businesses etc who needed advising of the new address. Most were very straightforward i.e. phone them, send them an E-Mail or log in to their website with my usual secure log-in password and edit the address. Piece of cake.
Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs? Not a bit of it.
First off it's impossible to find a telephone number for them which will be answered within your life-span. Conventional units of time are just not big enough to measure the interval before their next agent is available... Somewhere, in an empty building on a deserted planet in a galaxy way beyond the furthest one yet discovered, a single phone is ringing....
E-Mail? Nope - there is no contact E-Mail for this purpose, but there is a web page. Ah-HA!
After twenty minutes of scrabbling round for ancient personal ID's from when we ran ACTion (sold in 2012) and mind-boggling dialog boxes which seemed to send me round in circles I finally found the right place. By now this system already had my full name, address, NI number, date of birth and unique taxpayer reference number but no - apparently I also needed a six-digit security number which they would send me IN THE POST if I completed an on-line form.
Have you guessed it yet?
The information I had to provide on this on-line form included my new address so that they could send me a paper form for me to complete and return so that they could then post me a six-digit security number which I could then use on-line to access their website to notify them of my new address..........
I kid you not, gentle folk - every word of this is true. What are these people trying to protect me from? Paying income tax?? If you ever wondered what the term "efficiency savings" meant then I would cite this as a perfect example of what, where and why. Mind you, a certain Spanish-owned bank much advertised by sporting folk on TV was even worse!
Dave M - a sadder and wiser man.