Wireless Wonders

No news, just comment about mobile phones and services, from a veteran practitioner...3G, GPRS, WAP, Bluetooth, WiFi, etc...

Monday, March 07, 2005

Very taxing indeed...

I joined the queue as "number 280", waiting for my number to be called so that I could license my vehicle. Like all government offices, the DVLA services queues at its own slow pace.

The sense of frustration was in the air. Posters on the booths saying "we don't tolerate abuse of our staff" only heightened the tension. Frankly, I was waiting for the guy next to me to break. He kept uttering things under his breath, trying to get a reaction by glancing my way. I maintained my gaze forward and started to sweat. I confess that it took great patience not to get agitated by yet another person who hadn't filled their form in properly.

The only cool breeze came from an unlikely source: from a leaflet on the fill-your-form-here-or-don't-queue counter. It said that licenses can now be renewed online. Wow! This is the promise of e-government.

Now, can they go one step further and involve mobile? Please offer me a service to remind me via text message so that I don't ever have to go back to that office.....please....

And let me renew via my mobile too...

Send me a reminder - "Car reg. XX XXX. Your tax is due. Reply "r" if you want to renew now." I reply and get redirected to a secure WAP page and asked for my card details. Next day I get the tax disk in the post. The government saves oodles on costs.

Of course, this is a great idea, but full of holes.
Easy to defraud...and that's because WAP is "Web-lite", so we haven't thought how e-commerce in the mobile context might need to be different from Web, hence it doesn't work. Doesn't matter, I can still call them from my mobile or go online...

Whoops! I just tried it and read this:

Temporary
Suspension of
Electronic Vehicle
Licensing


Click it and see what happens...

[Note: the spell checker for this article suggested "devil" for "DVLA".]

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