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.

44 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 ❤

      Like

  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.
    Leslie

    Liked by 1 person

    • 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 1 person

  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 1 person

    • 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 1 person

  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 1 person

    • 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 ❤

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  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 1 person

    • 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 1 person

    • 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 1 person

  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,
    Linda

    Liked by 1 person

    • 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 1 person

    • 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 ❤

      Like

    • 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 ❤

      Like

  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 1 person

    • 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 ❤

      Like

  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 🙂 💗

    Like

    • 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 1 person

  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 1 person

    • 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 1 person

  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 1 person

    • 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 🙂

      Like

  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.

    Like

  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

    Like

  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

    Like

  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. 🙂

    Like

  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

    Like

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