“In order to access the Direct Debit service you will need to be enrolled for the VAT Online Return Service. You access Direct Debit via the ‘submit returns’ link on the ‘My Services’ home page. This will take you to the VAT Online Return home page where you will have the option to set up a Direct Debit Instruction (DDI) online.”
Yes, it’s vat return time again – and these are the instructions for setting up a direct debit. There’s two problems:
1 Why not just add a hyperlink to the relevant page?
2 Perhaps because, if you follow these instructions, they don’t take you to a page with a direct debit signup button.
Now, I’m all for preserving the values of civil service bureaucracy, and this is a fine example of transferring old working practices to new media. Please, Mr/Mrs/Ms Civil Servant, Don’t Make Me Think. (it’s a fine book, and an easy read.)
The interwebnetthingy is a transparent place: even banks have to bow down to its power. The Guardian got the HSBC: Facebook story first – and it was their technology team that covered it. When the rest of the press got to the story it seems their education staff covered the story. It’s not an education story: it’s about how online social communities make the web transparent, and change the balance of power between customer and company.
How long before we get a revolt over government services… oh yeah, we had one already 🙂