The experience of being new boat owner has been interesting. The whole pace of life is slower, nothing happens very fast on the river.
And so it is with the EA it seems.
A boat needs to pay the equivalent of car tax in order to be legal. It depends on the length of the boat but can easily be over £444 a year. More expensive than my car. This money I am assured goes for the upkeep of the rivers and locks.
But that is where the similarity ends. I can pay for my car tax, over the Internet, in real time. If I sell the vehicle unused tax is returned.
Taxing the boat involves filling out a paper form which is sent off to the EA.nbut no payment is taken at this point. You can’t pay online. A number of weeks later you receive a phone call to take payment. Given I was driving on when called the first two occasions it took three calls from the EA before I could pay my money.
Not only that, it appears I have to pay for a full year starting in April even though it is now July. And no refunds of course if I sell the boat.
This is wasteful of EA time and an unfair system for the customers.
Old fashioned and poor service.