Friday, September 01, 2006

The DVLA - a cracking example of how to run a business

Or not me thinks.

Nearly two months ago I was tidying out my wallet when several bits of paper fluttered to the floor. I realised then that my old paper driving license was beyond even the help of sellotape and really should be replaced.

So Tamsyn and I decided we might as well apply for the new photo licenses, filled in an application form each, got our pictures signed, wrote a cheque, sent them off to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) and waited, waited some more, and eventually decided life was just too short and forgot all about them.

Yesterday my birth certificate arrived with a slip informing me my application was being processed. Quite why they don't just send the lot back once and save on the postage I don't know, especially as today my license turned up. Nice one.

However, in the same pile of post was a letter for my wife saying that her application could not be taken any further because she hadn't sent any money. Yet it was her who wrote the cheque for both the licenses.

When she eventually got through to somebody on the phone to find out what was going on it turns out that the payment had been allocated to my application, hence I had recieved my license.

She now has to write another cheque and send it off, while they also write a cheque and send it back. The funds they already have cannot be used as they were allocated to my application!

So a number of questions arise:
1. How stupid is a situation where one cheque cannot cover two aplications that arrive in the same envelope for a husband and wife?
2. And why in the case above does it take them 2 months to write a letter saying so?
3. Why was the cheque put towards my application when it was in my wifes name and from her bank account?
4. Why should she have to ask for the refund of the overpayment? - it should have been sent back with my license (or somebody with more than one brain cell realised that £38 is in fact £19 x 2 so the cheque was obviously for two people, especially as the envelope contained two filled in application forms!).
5. If we hadn't pointed out that they had cashed a cheque for double the amount of a single application would we ever have got a refund?

I've heard before that the DVLA are a shambles and this seems to prove it - anybody who can make BT seem efficient must have real problems...

On the plus side they might completely cock it up and send two refund cheques :)

1 comment:

Simon Sherlock said...

Well they were quite prompt with the refund which, very predictably, came back in my name. The missus is well chuffed....Not :)