345: Doesn’t Time Fly ?

~Data Protection Is Really Data Collection~

To the day it has been a year that Natascha and I (plus 3 cats) have lived together in Graz, Austria.  We have been through a lot;  moving home, overcoming the official stupidity of paperwork when getting married and closing my Spanish bank account.  Finally,  time to relax,  but NO !  Oh no,  a UK government letter recently arrived asking me to contact a UK insurance company.  What ?  On phoning the company it seems I had a pension plan,  not with them,  but another insurance company whom they had taken over.

Then the stupidity began.

Security questions galore for MY protection.  “Where were you living in 1989 ?”  Heck, that was 10 house moves ago !  “Send us all your addresses from 1989 to today”  WHAT ?

I must have spoken to her 3 or 4 times on the phone,  sent a letter and a dozen emails.  We were becoming friends !  But the same stupid security questions every time AND pushing for me to put my pension plan into something better.  I wanted to cash it in. 

For days the same security questions and pushiness,  plus getting more information about me.  I stuck to my guns to cash the plan in.

Eventually she sent me a form to cash the pension plan.  She wanted my Austrian bank account details and told me that I would have to pay the UK tax on the amount. 

I expected the money to be sent electronically,  bank to bank,  which would take about 3 working days max.  But no,  a week later I received a UK cheque AND the company had deducted about 20% UK tax.  We immediately presented the cheque to my Austrian bank and off it went into the roller coaster of whatever banks do with cheques.  A month has passed,  no sign of the money in my account.  At least another 2 weeks we were told.

As soon as the money is in my account I will be writing a Ralphie email and a half to that insurance company.  Why ask for my bank details when sending a cheque and why say one thing and do another with the tax ?  But, hey, doesn’t time fly when faced with such bureaucrazy ?

~I Would Never Do This~

I love Natascha to bits and would never do what this boyfriend did when his girlfriend caught the bouquet (which means that she will be next to be married).

~I Wonder What The Cats Are Doing ?~

Cats !  Who’d have them ?

Has This Year Flown By For You ?

Ralph xox ❤

Cat photos taken by Natascha. This is the link to her blog.

64 Comments on “345: Doesn’t Time Fly ?

    • I really hoped that this pension plan is the end of data collection dear LouFox. Ooops ! I have my Spanish apartment to sell. I am dreading what’s to come. Oh well, kisses all around heals all 🙂 Hugs. Ralph xox ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  1. It still feels like summer here at the moment Ralph, but fall can’t be far behind. I agree the year is just flying by so fast.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Lucky you Leslie. It was about time that the UK had a decent summer, wasn’t it ? Not so good here though. Take care my friend. Ralph xox ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  2. With today everything connects to everything else, take a month to get the money into your account seems like they are still back in 80’s. What’s data they have to collect more?

    Liked by 2 people

    • That’s what I thought YC. The company is either in the 80s or wants to keep my money in their account for as long as possible. As far as collecting data I have no idea why they wanted so much information about me as they proved it was me very quickly. Have a great week my friend. Ralph 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  3. The year went fast, yes…. That is typical UK and bureaucracy, you really cannot believe those companies. Pension Companies are the worst….. at least I finally get a statement now to see where I am…. Hope you will get the money soon! Go for it and complain, you can always ask for 20% back as money you lost in the last 2 month on interest waiting for the sum. It is not on, send them a stern letter!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I can imagine how quickly the year went for you dear Ute as I know that you always fill your hours.
      I really do not understand why these companies go way over the top in collecting information, most of which is irrelevant to what is at hand. I am definitely going to write my thoughts to them.
      Happy Tuesday ! Ralph xox ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Funny how when we were kids, time moved like a snail. Christmas came slowly, birthdays too, but school seemed to last forever! The older we got, the faster it got. Now for me it’s like some space rocket taking off!!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • On reading your comment GP I had not realised how time during those periods of our lives fluctuate so much, but thinking about it you are spot on. Give the International Space Station a wave as you rocket past and don’t forget your parachute for re-entry 😉 Ralph 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    • Oh yes, more paperwork dear Magick Mermaid ! Sometimes it would be nice to be a cat, wouldn’t it ? Big hug. Ralph xox ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Unbelievable! Just when you thought you were safe from the several governments you have a “relationship” with and their insidious paperwork! I’m sure it will be nice to get your money (-20%), but did you notice in this scenario how they act like it is THEIR money and you need to put it where they have decided is best for you? Well, keep riding the merry-go-round into your second year with Natascha. Even a year under Big Brother’s watchful eye WITH your lovely bride will be better than any year without her.
    Love to you both!
    Your wifi,

    Liked by 2 people

    • You are spot on dear wifi. These companies do act as if it is their money, trying as much as possible to keep it. I was very adamant to cash it in, but they kept pushing for me to put it in another plan. I still have my apartment in Spain to sell which I hope will go very smoothly without bureaucrazy going mad. But it is Spain and anything could happen.
      I agree, living with Natascha was worth all the hassle attacking us.
      Have a lovely day dear Linda. Ralph xox ❤

      Liked by 2 people

    • It sounds like you have been through similar situations as myself with these companies dear Beth. I hope it has quietened down for you nowadays. Here’s hoping. ! Ralph xox ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    • I am with you all the way dear Jan. These companies are pain in the neck, aren’t they ?
      I hope that you are having a lovely week without snafus my friend. Ralph xox ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m stunned! that’s because I just drank 3 glasses of wine with dinner!
    However, if I had just gone through… what you still are going through with the banks to get YOUR MONEY, I would be corked.
    What a pain in the but, dear Ralph & Natascha!
    Anyway, congrats on the anniversary, and kisses to all of the cats.
    YES, the cats get kisses! You know how much I love cats…all cats .. your cats CATS
    Okay, I’m going to get more whine! xoxoxo

    Liked by 2 people

    • I wonder what a stunned hangover feels like dear Resa ? 😎😫 Corked is the right word for it, not the hangover, but these companies.
      Thank you so much for your congratulations and the cats have been kissed. We love cats too, as you know my friend.
      That’s enough of that ! Less whine and more wine ! 🙄🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷🙀🙀🙀 Hugs from all of us. Ralph xox ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Dear Ralph, time really does fly. Congratulations, Happy One Year Anniversary! Fight the fight once the money arrives! The kitties look lovely out on the balcony enjoying the sunshine. Wishing you, Natascha and the kitties a wonderful week ahead. ~ Mia 🙂 💗

    Liked by 1 person

    • You really did spread your wings and covered all aspects of this post dear Mia, didn’t you ? Thank you so much for your lovely words my friend. Hugs. Ralph xox ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Happy Anniversary! When you finally get your money, be sure to have a celebration.

    The UK seems to be particularly odious to deal with in governmental and bank matters. I have a friend there who is married to an American woman. When they went to renew her visa, the Home Office denied it. I won’t go into the whole story, but suffice it to say there was a long and costly battle – involving lots of documentation, form filing and a lawyer – but they finally got news last week that her visa was granted.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Wow, what a story ! Thank you so much for sharing it Barb. I am so pleased that she got her visa in the end. Have a lovely evening my friend. Ralph xox ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Ralph, I think there must be a conspiracy among the English, Spanish and Austrian bureaucrats to make your life miserable. This can’t be coincidence.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Definitely a conspiracy ! But, they will never win ! What with you Al and all my other readers on my side they don’t stand a chance, do they ? I hope you are having a good day my friend. Ralph 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Heavens to Murgatroid! It has been a year! Happy living-together anniversary. 😀

    As for yet another round of bureaucratic bull **it? … maybe think of it as material for writing a ‘revenge’ horror story!. 🙂 … I hope the cash comes through soon, and there’s enough left to at least go out to dinner with.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I am amazed how quickly the year has gone Widdershins and I was hoping all the paperwork was done with. But no ! At least I have some good news for my next post. Happy Sunday my friend. Ralph 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  11. Never a dull moment with you Ralphie. Holy moley, they helped themselves to 20% of your money, that sounds illegal! And you deposit the cheque after all that and it still isn’t in your account? That’s scary stuff. I sure hope it shows soon. And thank goodness for the kitties, they do offer up some great entertainment! 🙂 ❤ xx

    Liked by 3 people

    • Nope ! Never a dull moment, eh Debby ? UK companies do usually pay any tax owed directly to the tax people in my name which saves me a lot of paperwork. So I am not worried about the 20%. I have some good news for my next post my friend. The cats have it easy, don’t they ? I hope you are having a lovely weekend. Ralph xox ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  12. OMG, Ralph, what an insurance pension plan hassle! Hope you get your money soon. Love the new blog header with family portraits. Good to hear from you, even though some news is not so happy. Christine

    Liked by 2 people

    • It took a while, but I have some good news for my next post. I hope that it is the end of my paperwork problems Christine.
      There are many apps on the Internet where one can play around with photographs. Thank you for liking the header and taking time out to write such a lovely comment my friend. Ralph xox ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  13. You’re right this year has flown by for me too but I didn’t have all of the bureaucratic nightmares that you guys did. Whew, hopefully the next year will be more peaceful you guys and the kitties of course. Hugs to you both. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • I am so happy for you dear Amanda. Glad you did not have a year of paperwork hassle. It would be great to have a quiet year next year, wouldn’t it my friend ? Hugs back from both of us and the pussy cats. Ralph xox ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  14. Dang, Ralph. As you were telling the tale I was thinking how “scammy” it all sounded. I think I would have blocked their communications long before they gave me the payment. Nice of them to track you down and give you money … but who does that? Good luck anyway my friend!
    And “One Year?” already?

    Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so – Douglas Adams

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yep ! Lots of dangs indeed IR 🙂
      I knew it was not a scam as the contact came via my UK government pension people. It just took forever to wade through what they wanted so that I could cash in that pension plan.. They had to track me down as the UK government forced these companies by law to sort out old plans and stop them keeping it quiet, hoping that I had fogotten and keeping the money to themselves.
      Thank you for your interesting comment. Ralph 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

  15. Hi Ralph, I also thought this sounds like a scam, a very big scam indeed, which is why you haven’t got your money. I don’t think governments even do stuff like that – that is why they wanted your bank account details, so they can cash in on this. I have had companies trying to pretend they are Paypal and set up an identical site – just to scam me, luckily I realise the http address was not the exact Paypal address and Paypal said they will ALWAYS use my first name to contact me – never dear sir or madam. I have also had phone calls from people at ‘Google’ – which were scams – luckily I would not give them info over the phone as I knew they were scams. 2 different guys tried the same speech on me and I said fine, if you are Google – you have my home address so put it in writing in a letter to me. Of course they didn’t, as they are not really Google. I have had people phone me up about accidents I have never been in and to renew my car insurance – when I don’t ever drive – ha! I once got scammed by the real British Gas – now I hate that company – luckily the scam didn’t work as I rented, but they were sending me letters about trying to connect my gas that I never said I wanted in the first place, I just filled in a survey in the city – never again will I be doing that one!

    Congratulations on your year anniversary – really glad you have each other and the cats. I think it’s beautiful xxxxx

    Liked by 3 people

    • No, it wasn’t a scam Sandra as the contact was initiated by the DWP. Anyway, good news in my next post. Thanks for writing about all your shenanigans and I love the one about your non-existent car.
      Thank you so much for your lovely words in the last paragraph my friend.
      Have a great Sunday evening Sandra. Ralph xox ❤

      Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for the video clip Gallivanta. I have not watched TV for over a year. Internet YouTube, yes, I have watched. Have a lovely day. Ralph xox ❤

      Liked by 2 people

    • No Ortensia ! There is another one that just arrived. Oh boy ! Have a lovely evening my friend. Ralph xox ❤


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