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A Paperless World

I applaud the move to a paperless world (except where novels are concerned and much as I love my e-reader, there’s nothing quite like holding a book in my hands) but …

We’re at the part of the process of becoming expats where we have to notify everyone of our change of address and/or cancellation of whatever service we previously bought from them.  Having enjoyed the benefits of being able to conduct my own transactions and manage my accounts on line, I’m now paying the price as I try to make changes remotely too.  Nearly everyone wants confirmation in writing, fair enough it is no doubt as they claim ‘for my additional security’ but boy oh boy, I’ve spent hours trying to find exactly who to write to and where and running off letters with all the correct references and account numbers on.  And these are just the accounts, services and utilities.  Direct mail is a whole other category.

Despite starting months ago and dutifully notifying Saga (I know, I know, I’m way too young but their stuff automatically kicks in on your 50th birthday), Pia Jewellery, Charles Tyrwhitt shirts and a zillion a.n.others I still get mail from 90% of them.  Once you’re on their database there is no place to hide.

Which leads me to my next gripe.  Health Insurance/Medical Cover.  Having been cossetted by the National Health Service in the UK, not perfect I know but has always done me very well, I now find myself needing private health cover as an expat. Trying to compare the Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum levels (or whatever equivalent title they’re given) with USA cover or without, with evacuation or without, with or without dental …  I don’t even know how to begin to decide.  But that’s not my real issue.  My real issue is with the brilliance on the part of all these environmentally friendly companies who no longer need to send a brochure.  Simply email the pdf and some poor sucker at the other end has to either print the whole thing out or spend half a day sifting through the pages that are actually needed in order to make an informed decision.

I’m exhausted and my head’s spinning.  Maybe it will all become clearer after a glass of wine?  Will I have to declare it on my medical application form?