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"Go Paperless" Nagging

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Lucan, 9 Jan 2019.

  1. Nighthawke

    Nighthawke Member

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    Well the obvious way to get an answer is to ask the TV people direct how they know instead of asking us - we're not mind readers:!:

    Personally I do thinks the way I want, which has no impact on anyone else and get on with my life, my way and no moaning to others:)
     
  2. underbank

    underbank Member

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    Agree, but for a different reason. I'm an accountant. Tax return & accounts preparation are now an absolute nightmare and formal tax enquiries/investigations are the devil's work. When everything was paper, people tended to keep things - it may not have been filed perfectly, lots of people handed in carrier bags or boxes of random screwed up invoices or unopened envelopes containing bank statements, but at least it was there and it was just a matter of time spent on sorting it all out. Nowadays, people are getting everything via email or viewable online - fair enough, but they're generally not organising/saving it properly. In the normal course of things, it's a pain for us, as we're having to constantly ask clients for missing documents which they then finally email (after countless reminders) slowing down the job. But, inevitably, their computer crashes, their phone gets stolen, or they just buy new and scrap the old, and those emails/documents are lost. Some websites don't give you access to transactional history going back more than a year or two - worse, if you change suppliers, i.e. move between electric suppliers, or you change jobs, you generally lose access and can't access any historical documents such as bills, payslips, etc. As for emails, people often change ISP provider and again, lose access to old email accounts, again meaning content is lost.

    With tax returns and tax enquiries, I am now regularly seeing clients end up paying more tax because they're not able to produce acceptable evidence of allowable expenses. That's simply because they never got a paper invoice and have lost their e-documents.

    Technology is a double edged sword. Fine if it works and people do what they're expected to do, i.e. keep backups and organise stuff properly. But, in reality, most people can't be bothered with all that, so just wing it. At least with paper, it would probably be in their house somewhere - in a drawer, a box in the loft, or wherever, but on computers/phones, documents are far too easy to lose.
     
    Last edited: 10 Jan 2019
  3. underbank

    underbank Member

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    That's unnecessarily extreme, but if you have the space to store it, why not?

    But in reality, what I always tell my clients is to "weed" rather than destroy. There are some documents which are wise to keep. I have kept every single P45 for the last 35 years, along with every single employer reference letter I've been given, all my exam/qualification certificates, etc. That little stack is about an inch thick - no one is so short of space they can't find space to store it! Working daily with HMRC, I don't trust them as far as I can throw them, hence keeping everything re my full employment history! I also keep all bills/invoices for big purchases for as long as I keep the item, such as my house, home improvements, cars, computers, phones, kitchen appliances, TVs, furniture etc. I tend to keep invoices for house repairs, such as decorating, replacement windows/doors, appliance repairs, roof repairs, etc - very handy for historic reference to look back to check exactly what's been done, by whom and when. I also keep receipts for anything with a manufacturer's warranty for as long as the warranty lasts, and most other things bought which would be covered by statutory protection in case of faults within a reasonable period of purchase. I often enjoy free replacement or repairs of even small stuff like kettles or vacuum cleaners which I would have forgotten had 2 or 5 year guarantees had I not kept the paperwork readily available! I also once struck gold when my 12 year old cooker failed but because I had the original purchase paperwork to prove when and how I bought it, and because I found the specific model had a manufacturers fault, I could claim a full refund - result!

    All that are filed in folders/plastic wallets and fit into a couple of A4 box files. When I buy a replacement, I remove and shred the paperwork for the item I've just disposed of and every year or two I flick through and remove anything else I don't think I need anymore.

    Obviously, most of that is now electronic these days, either by emailed PDFs or I now scan all paper documents. I store these in the cloud in a directory based system with separate directories for >work>home>cars>repairs>years and with each PDF given a proper name and date so that I don't have to randomly open multiple files to find what I'm looking for. I also have local copies of the same directory structure and files on my main computer and a backup computer. As each year passes, my paper files get less as I'm not putting anything new in, but still taking stuff out. When I get the time and inclination, I'll probably scan everything and then ditch all remaining paper. But that's all based on a proper, secure and backed up e-filing system.
     
    Last edited: 10 Jan 2019
  4. whhistle

    whhistle Established Member

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    Good point, although perhaps your computer is more secure than post though.
    Was listening on the radio just a few moments ago about how routers and computers are generally more secure than ever. Most people don't bother with additional virus detection as the latest version of Windows is pretty good at keeping itself clean.


    That is becoming a problem for those companies that need some sort of proof of address.
    As more and more bills come online, these companies who want an old fashioned printed document from the company like that need to update their method.

    In this digital age, things are changing - it's called progress, for better or for worse.
    An extreme example but USB ports in cars have been forced upon people. You'll struggle to buy a brand new car with a cassette player, or even a CD player these days.


    But again, for many (most?) people, it is easier.
    1) I don't have to have large filing cabinets for loads of paperwork.
    2) Windows 10 has changed the way I use computers. Instead of clicking through folders and such, I just use the search bar next to START. It took a while to get used to it but now it's quicker to find what I want instead of manually searching for that setting or document.
     
    Last edited: 10 Jan 2019
  5. whhistle

    whhistle Established Member

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    Which is barmy in itself.
    I'd like to see how many people they turn away as they don't live within the required postcodes.
    I wonder if that'll change as the government starts putting pressure on local councils to operate in similar ways - such as bins and recycling. All our local district councils now allow all recycling in the one bin. Before, some districts had red boxes, others had bags, one district had nothing!
    Plus, why in one district can they recycle black plastic but no more than 10 miles into another, they cannot!
     
  6. whhistle

    whhistle Established Member

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    Those things are important, but in a different league than some old bill, surely?
    Instruction booklets go back in the box of the item and in the loft. Some are kept where the box isn't kept. Others (for the kettle for example) are thrown.

    When was that?
    Before they did online versions?
    I suggest you tell the TV LIcence people to go away. Unless they have a warrant (which is hard to get), you don't have to talk to them, sign anything, do anything. Check out bbctvlicence.com.

    I do find you strange, but acceptable :P
     
    Last edited: 10 Jan 2019
  7. Lucan

    Lucan Member

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    Two occasions :-

    1) 1990 : Moved into rented house on a Friday. On the Monday I went to work, then, incredibly, at 1000 hrs a TV licence enforcer knocked on the door claiming to my wife that we had no TV licence (it was still licensed at previous house). Wife said we had only just moved. Enforcer replied "That's what they all say, think I was born yesterday?". She let him in (shouldn't have), saw TV not yet plugged in to mains or aerial ("You just unplugged that, didn't you?"). Insisted on switching on but no aerial socket nearby " ("You just moved that, didn't you?"). Departed looking pleased with himself, but we heard no more about it. I believe the previous tenants had been trouble.

    2) 2010 : Another move, transferred licence to new house. Previous house left empty for a year, but I called in weekly to collect post. Every month there would be a letter accusing me of having no TV licence, getting increasingly hysterical, final demands, final final demands, red ink, ("We will call with bailiffs to search!") and prosecution threatened. After each 3 months the letters would revert to the start of the hysterical ramping sequence again. I tried phoning to explain situation, but after 20 minutes (at my expense) of selecting from option menus, a robot told me to do it on-line. So I tried doing it on-line but after 20 minutes of selecting from option menus it told me to phone. I gave up.
     
  8. gswindale

    gswindale Member

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    Only times I've had an issue with the TV licensing people was when purchasing a TV.

    Licence was in my partner's name, however the purchases from Currys/Comet were in mine.

    Therefore despite us having a valid licence, we always received a letter reminding me to purchase a licence. A short letter back with details of the valid license always worked, along with a suggestion that they validated the address rather than the name.

    No issues with the last TV purchased from John Lewis 3 years ago - although we are now married, so surname on license would have matched that on purchase.
     
  9. headshot119

    headshot119 Established Member

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    Best advice I can give you with TV licensing is to ignore the letters, in the event they turn up politely turn them away if they haven't got a warrant.
     
  10. shredder1

    shredder1 Established Member

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    After my demise, I`m going to get someone to post periodically on my facebook page to freak people out, unless of course I can access it from the other side :)
     
  11. robert7111a

    robert7111a Established Member

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    Strangely, I've never had the TV licence people around. Perhaps they only target those in rented accommodation?
     
  12. PeterC

    PeterC Established Member

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    I have had them at my house but it was previously rented.

    They tried it on by phone once. A call centre drone gave me the pre-written spiel. I replied that there was no legal requirement for me to have a TV licence. He kept repeating his script and I kept repeating the answer until he burst into tears and put me through to his supervisor. I gave him the same answer. He thought for a second and then send "do you mean that you don't have a television" to which I replied "yes".

    It was cruel of me but I was fed up with being bullied by them for the crime of not owning a TV.
     
  13. Busaholic

    Busaholic Established Member

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    True story.
    Twenty or so years ago my self-employed sister received a letter from the National Insurance people informing her that her N.I. number was being changed because she shared not only the same full name and birth date with another person but that person had also been allocated her original N.I. number!! She sought my advice on what to do/ how to respond and I only remember advising her to safeguard that letter, in case in later life it came back to bite her with a vengeance.

    Scroll on twelve or so years and my sister is seeking a state pension forecast from the authorities, including many years of employment by local authorities, etc. None of the pre- number change information is there at all!! What's more, the N.I. people have no record of a change of number, although accept 'it might have happened': they express no interest in trying to help her. When I ask her the inevitable question 'you did keep that letter, didn't you?' I receive the equally inevitable response 'no, I chucked it years ago'. Then I remembered that we had shared a very old-fashioned accountant, who was probably the very last to enter the computer age, and then only with extreme reluctance. As luck had it, I still used him, and I knew he had paper records going back to when he started his business in the 1970s. He agreed to get his staff (in reality, his large family!) to go back through paperwork to try to find her old N.I. number somewhere. About three days later, he phoned triumphant. Armed with that information, my sister got in touch with old employers and at least one, L.B. of Lewisham, had luckily kept their records and were able to give her chapter and verse. Armed with this, she then re-approached N.I. and they began to be more helpful, such that she felt she got credit for almost (but not quite) all of her contributions. Sounds Kafkaesque, I know, but without that old paperwork she'd have been hundreds, if not thousands, of pound a year worse off.
     
  14. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    very sensible advice - however many seem to get themselves very worked up over TV licensing.
     
  15. DynamicSpirit

    DynamicSpirit Established Member

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    Nagging? It's one sentence on the back of a letter that they had to send you anyway: A sentence which it would take most people about 2 seconds to read and then choose to ignore if they so wish. If the TV License people were phoning you up 5 times a day to remind you you that you can change to paperless if you want, then you'd have reasonable grounds to complain about them pestering and nagging you, but I don't think there's anything objectionable to having a quick note on the back of a letter once a year. I would agree though that saying it's more secure by email is pretty dubious. You could reasonably challenge them about that, seeing as email is itself normally not encrypted and therefore by definition not secure.
     
  16. tom73

    tom73 Member

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    It is rather hard not to get worked up if a total stranger comes to your door and bangs on it very hard, and when you open it, he flashes a card at you and puts his foot in the door to try and stop you closing it on him,
     
  17. EssexGonzo

    EssexGonzo Member

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    This is a way over-inflated whinge. Just ignore the so-called "nagging". Or suggestion, as someone rational would call it.

    And anyway - it's "their" (TVL, TOC, whoever) service and they can choose to deliver it to you in any reasonable way. If "they" did make it compulsory then you can choose not to use the service. And not watch TV, ride on trains etc. But they won't force you just yet.
     
  18. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    You say - please get your foot out of my door and go away. Thank you.

    Trust me I have had proper bailiffs after me. TV license people are nothing!
     
  19. whhistle

    whhistle Established Member

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    You should have given your partners postcode :P As far as I can remember, that's all they asked for (and house number of course!).
    But I think that changed some time ago where shops don't/have no right to ask any more.
     
  20. Clip

    Clip On Moderation

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    Probably not just for your TV license but the whole lot including all your historical documents that you also mentioned and then when they go through it all and find out its worthless to them it will all go in the nearest bin and the years of hoarding will end up being for nothing.

    All my electronic stuff is either kept in a password protected file on my laptop or in a Gmail folder. Cant be bothered with tat cluttering up my house
     
  21. underbank

    underbank Member

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    Sadly, the GDPR introduced a year ago has stopped that kind of usefulness. We're not allowed to keep records for ex-clients (paper or electronically) except for prescribed reasons/time scales. Even for ongoing/current clients, we have to destroy documents that we have no permissible reason to keep. So, basically, anything more than a few years old will get destroyed these days.

    I, likewise, would have been regarded as "a very old fashioned accountant" but in reality, it was actually the "norm" to keep files (paper and electronic) going back to the year dot. In fact, most accountants, solicitors and other professionals did the same. I remember looking to rent office premises and at most, there were basements literally full of ancient boxes of files. In my first job, it was a three generation accountancy practice, and as I was the trainee, it was my job to go digging in the basement to find old records. There were some files down there dating back to the 1930s when the practice first started, and being tasked to find old files from a decade or two ago was pretty common (maybe weekly).

    Only last month, I got a phone call from an ex client from 2004, asking (pleading) if I had copies of any of his records as he was in dispute with a government body. Ironically, it was a file I'd shredded last Summer during my post GDPR clear out of my back room. If he'd asked a year earlier or if GDPR hadn't been imposed, I would probably have been able to give him what he needed.
     
  22. Lucan

    Lucan Member

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    Burglars don't take boring paperwork unless they are industrial spies in a design office. They go for obviously valuable things, especially small ones, like phones and tablets, credit cards, cash, jewellery, laptops. If they have transport then TVs. In fact paperwork is more likely to be lost in a fire (as would tablets etc).

    Anyway, we seem to have lost the plot here. My OP was about utilities nagging me to go paperless. If I lost all the paperwork related to utilities in eg a house fire I would then be no worse off than you are because, you know, it is still there on-line. Despite the misleading hype that the nagging utilities imply (eg "An advantage of going paperless is that you can see it on-line!"), it is not an either-or choice. I have paper copies and I can see it on-line. The paper copies are just a lot more convenient and quicker to fish out of the filing cabinet (right behind me now) than logging in on-line. I don't live in a basement and I am not strapped for space.

    As for the historical documents, for example my grand-parents' marriage certificates and their parents' studio photos, they are naturally all on paper originally. Do you have the time to scan that lot or do you just throw them away anyway? I hope the original Magna Carta and Doomsday Book never get into your hands. You may have missed that the digitising of data has become something of a problem in that much from the present time period will be a blank in even the near future because digital storage formats change, disk drives fail, things like CDs with people's wedding photos deteriorate, people don't make back-ups, and cloud storage companies fail or go bust. Much is unreadable already.
     
  23. Clip

    Clip On Moderation

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    Yes but you could have bank details in amongst your files which make them an attractive proposition in a quick grab.

    It really shold be an either or choice though and that choice should be an effort to go more digital with everything and make sure that those servers its all held on are powered by natural sources - paper costs and recycling paper costs a lot in energy terms and thats the main reason you should be getting your modern day stuff digitally.

    Id use a company to do that all for me as I have neither the time nor can i be bothered to do so - any photos are just in a box and my parents seem to enjoy putting them online so ill have that to have happy memories with.

    Sadly im not the high class criminal you may think I am to ever actually get my hands on either of them however both are readily available online should I ever wish to view them

    Anyone who doesnt back up their happy memories to a couple of places really is being a bit silly as they should know things can and will fail and should act accordingly and if they dont then tough.

    No idea why you get the thought that much is already unreadable but hey ho
     
  24. Busaholic

    Busaholic Established Member

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    There might be many reasons why a TV series like 'Who Do You Think You Are?' wouldn't be made in fifty years time, but it probably couldn't be made by that time because the more recent records might no longer exist, or be inaccessible for all practical purposes to the layperson.
     

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