Friday, October 2, 2009

The Saga continuethetheth...

So this morning, Happy Dave gets an e-mail from Qantas to say 'credit card declined' -- and this after 3 prior calls, insuring that everything was in order. That sufficient funds were available, and that would not require further clearance. Spectacular fail, First National Bank. I'm glad I wasn't on the other end of Barbs's call. Mind you. They could have been worse off. It could have been me. Isn't funny (not ha ha funny) how the problems, the hassle and expense fixing of their cock-ups are always yours, and the profits are theirs? I'd love to find a bank that actually met me half way and let me take responsibility for my mess-ups and the cost thereof, and did the same for theirs, but unless they're very different in Australia, not going to happen. Anyway... this time it all ended happily bar some raised blood pressure. Qantas tried again, and the bank called and cleared the transaction. So now we all have tickets. Just need to book a few more things owing to my stupidity about the time of year (hire car, somewhere to stay etc.) We're hoping that the Hobart part of the saga won't take too long. Of course we have absolutely no idea about realities, or even a complete list of to-do (At the moment it's get a bank account, get new Tas drivers licences (and not sure how much of an epic this will be), Register with govt. depts, Tax, I think the medicare and Centrelink. Grin. I imagine happy-I-love-beaurocracy-Dave will emerge and have to be hastily stood on. The paperwork so far has deforested Borneo twice. At least - so far - it's all made more sense than SA paperwork. (you want the ultimate in silly hugely expensive, totally purposeless beaurocracy? Ask me about FICA someday. Peter Mayle wrote about the daftness of it in the French beaurocratic system and we all laughed like hades... and then they introduced it here.)

And then comes the part I really dread - buying a vehicle. It will live and die on Flinders (at $500+ one way you don't take it shopping in Bridport). But it has to get there. And I have heard that you aren't supposed to put people in the bin of a Ute in Oz? Right?


  1. I doubt the Tas people will be like the french and demand an electricity bill as proof of your existence...

    I assume that Jan 1 will be a holiday, and its just after christmas anyway, so I doubt you'll be getting much done bureaucracywise until the slackers stagger into the office on Jan 4th.

  2. Ah. You've met FICA or it's French equivalent then? I wonder when it will occur to beaurocrats and and their masters that to any criminal worth worrying about a utility bill would be child's play to forge in about 2 minutes given modern scanners and compter equipment. Ergo, yet another law totally without purpose, which merely adds another layer of expensive, pointless paper shuffling inconvenience to the law-abiding and less than no effect on the criminal.

  3. This is one thing that Peter Mayle's book warned us about that was absolutely true. In France you do not exist wthout an EDF bill. With your 'leccy bill in paw you can get water, phone, internet, car and pretty much everything else. Without it you don't exist, not even for ready money. And yes forging one would be pretty trivial.

    [ Mind you, I wish some criminal would forge my electricity bill... Perhaps he'd like to pay it at the same time. EDF haven't been to read the meter for a couple of years and they've been estimating our consumption. Last time they did this we got a huge negative bill because they over-estimated. This time they under-estimated and I have a €1500 bill to pay (gulp) ]

  4. Gulp! Ours only does about 6 months. I just keep paying a more or less standard amount in. It's also resulted in some vile bills.

  5. The last time I checked they used a points system - and had a list of documents that could be used and how many points they gave. If you have the right documents, you can get an account with two - passport and driver's license.

    Take a look at - apparently if you open the account within 6 weeks to 3 months of arriving, all you need is your passport.