Saturday, January 20, 2007

Message in a Cell Phone

I wish I'd been better organised before I left the UK for Korea. In retrospect, a lot of things which needed doing were left too late, and filing the accounts for the employee-less limited company I owned was one of them. As it was, I posted them the weekend before I left via the normal postal system, virtually guaranteeing on previous history that Companies House would 'lose' them resulting in the imposition of a one-hundred pound fine for their profit-centred operation.

In fact, the deadline was January 1st 2007 so realising that the first accounts had been 'lost' I sent them again using the Korean postal service, but unfortunately despite the great respect I have already gained for ePost which always gets things to the UK much more quickly than equivalent items coming the opposite way - these also got 'lost'. So I missed the deadline and Companies House will get the money they worked so hard for. So, on my third attempt I sent them last week via registered post from Korea. Two days later we received a text message saying that the letter had left Incheon Airport, the day after that another text message telling us the letter had arrived in the UK, and then yesterday, another text message telling us the letter had arrived at its destination in Wales.

The text-message service culture still amazes me in Korea. Messages are received when ordering, when items are dispatched, when your bank debits or credits your account, when items are ready to collect, and it seems, when items are being tracked as well. It's surprising that while the UK is also text-obsessed, this hasn't extended beyond personal communication into the commercial world, and it's a great pity. While Companies House will do their best to prolong my agony, it gives me some comfort to know that my documents have officially been delivered and all I now have to worry about are the suspect motivations of British government bureaucrats.

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