Friday 28 December 2018

Ebay refund.

On December 2, I bought five Google Homes from Currys (via eBay), to be Christmas presents for various people. On December 4, four of them arrived. I waited a couple of days, but the fifth one didn't turn up, so I used the eBay "communicate with seller" to ask what the situation was.

I got an automated reply; I had to phone them or email them. They didn't seem to use the eBay facility.

So I phoned them, which had the effect you'd expect. Long hold queues, shuttled from department to department, and eventually someone said they'd look into it.

And I also emailed, which had a similar effect.

By December 14, nothing had happened, so I raised it on eBay as an issue. In the past, that has led to rapid results - in this case, it led to nothing.

After 8 days of nothing, you can escalate it, and eBay steps in, so I did. But eBay told me that there had indeed been a delivery (yes, I know that, that's the four-not-five). So I explained again. And they repeated that the delivery had been made.

And they suggested that to take this further, I had to report it to the police as a crime and get a crime number, then eBay would take it further. Wait, what? I'm being told to waste police time on a £29 parcel that has gone astray?

So I left it a couple more days, and then I got an email from Currys, telling me they've done a refund of the £29. Hurrah.

But. So much for the eBay guarantee. Will I be so keen on eBay in future? I don't think so.

Vat change

HMRC send me a barrage of emails, offering webinars and other time-wasting useless advice. The one I got today, is typical.

It's December 28, 2018. This email is to warn me of a change that's happening to the way we pay VAT to EU countries, as of 1st January 2019. Thanks for the warning, guys. Three days to make the change.

The last time they did this, was when they decided that we have to pay VAT on EU sales, at the rate of VAT that each country charges, instead of the 20% that we have in the UK. This did almost nothing to the amount I paid, but added a considerable amount to me workload. And I had to make the change three days before the deadline, because they didn't bother to tell me about it, and I found out by accident.

This time, they are telling me that if my sales to EU countries are less than  £8,818 (per year, exclusive of VAT), then I can forget the new complicated system and just pay VAT on it as if it were sales in the UK.

I'm way above that threshold, and they know that because I send in a VAT return each quarter. So why did they send me that email? Because they can't be bothered to send their spam to only those who are affected by it.

But there is something I would like to know.

We leave the EU on March 29, 2019, that's three months away. When that happens, do I charge VAT on sales to EU countries? Currently, I don't charge VAT on sales to the USA, or any other non-EU country. So after we leave (if indeed we do leave), do I charge VAT on sales to, for example, Germany?

Has anyone even started to think about this?

My default position is that after we leave the EU, there's no reason why I would charge VAT on EU sales, because they become like the USA. But I really would like definitive guidance from HMRC on this.

Thursday 20 December 2018

Gatwick misery

If you really want to hurt the UK, buy a couple of large cheap drones and fly them near a UK airport. Get two people flying them, and keep relocating by car so they don't catch you.

We have absolutely no defence to this.   Gatwick has been closed for 24 hours now.

Friday 14 December 2018

Christmas presents

I am really difficult to buy presents for. My needs are simple, and can be supplied by Sports Direct and the takeaway round the corner. So what to get me for Xmas?

Mostly, books. During the year, I occasionally visit the Amazon web site, and when I see a book I like the look of, I add it to my Christmas list. So, by the end of the year, there's a good bunch of books, which I email to my daughters, and then haul away as gifts at Christmas time.

But ladysolly wanted to go for somethng better. After much thought, I decided that it would be nice to have another big monitor.

I have a Acer ET430K 43" LED 3840 by 2160 monitor, which I got last year. For Christmas. And I thought, it would be rather nice to have another one! So I went to Ebay, and found that the cheapest one was £503 (there were some nice 40 inch monitors for a bit less). Then I noticed that it was on sale from Scan, who I often buy things from. So I checked their web site, and, to my surprise, I could get it from there for somewhat less - £461, including delivery.

The one I've already used for a year, is really excellent, and I can recommend it, although you might need to upgrade your video card to get the full resolution. It means that I have a truly huge screen space, so have have a lot of windows open on any of the workspaces.

Merry Christmas!

The Walking Dead

Theresa May won the leadership challenge, 200 against 117. It's a pyrrhic victory.

So the situation now, is that we have  PM who doesn't have the full confidence of her party. And she's said that she won't lead the party into the next election. So she's a lame duck.

However, the rules of the party say that there can't be another leadership challenge for 12 months. So she's armour plated. An armour plated zombie lame duck.

And we still have the same Brexit problems that we had last week.

So May is kicking the can down the road a bit more; the parliamentary vote on the May Brexit plan, won't happen until after Christmas. And January is two months before March. Meanwhile she's touring Europe in the forlorn hope that the deal that has been laboriously agreed, can be renegotiated. No chance.

O Albion, what will become of thee?

Tuesday 4 December 2018

All change!

Parliament has ruled that they get to see the whole legal advice on Brexit, not just the summary. Why is this a big deal? Because the government has been fighting tooth and nail to stop that happening, so there must be something juicy there!

And in another news item, an EU legal bigwig has said that if we want, we can change our minds about Brexit, which certainly wasn't clear before.

So when parliament votes next week against the May plan (and it looks like it will) what then?

May plan B? Unlikely.
Crash out?  I doubt if there's a majority for that either.

So how now, can the government kick the can down the road?

Sharpen your pencil - I feel another referendum coming on.