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I Hate Bureaucracy, Part 1 - dorsetgirl
April 9th, 2013
05:00 pm
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I Hate Bureaucracy, Part 1
So I’m starting to put together the application for my son’s Student Finance. This involves both him and me setting up accounts. I’m doing mine now.

I do all the name, address, security stuff, etc. Then I have to sign that I accept the Terms and Conditions, so off I go to read them.

They go on about something called SLC without telling me what that stands for, although I do learn further down that it belongs to the Government.

Then I learn that the Terms and Conditions "are governed and will be interpreted in accordance with the Scottish Courts". WTF? I’m in England, half of Scotland wants to become totally separate from England, and I have to sign an agreement submitting to Scottish law?

If I don’t sign, I can’t use the website, and my son doesn’t get his student finance. So in reality I have no choice. Thanks. Or have I got it all wrong and I’m looking at the Scottish version? I think I just googled Student Finance *headdesk*. I’d better go and have another go and see where I end up.

Hmm, I can’t find my way back using google to any page that offers a parent’s account. So I’ll phone them. Great, the HQ appears to be in Scotland. That’s not going to cause any problems at all if they decide to go independent.

The person answering the phone at the Scottish headquarters had such a strong Northern English (Manchester or something) accent that it took me several seconds to work out that she’d said "Student Loan Company". I explained the problem - that I thought I was dealing with Student Finance England and the terms and conditions were governed by Scottish law so I’d obviously gone wrong somewhere - and she said she’d put me through to Student Finance England.

Predictably enough, the phone was answered at Student Finance England by a menu system with a very strong Scottish accent, which informed me that they are "currently experiencing high call volumes" and that the waiting time would be ten minutes. No thanks, I’ll try again tomorrow.

The only reason I want to set up an account at the moment is so that I can find out in detail what information they actually need. OH is self-employed and his income varies wildly from one year to another, so it’s important that I understand which year’s income they want to know about, and what their definition of income actually covers.

Now I understand why I’ve been advised to start early because it takes several weeks.

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(2 comments | Leave a comment)

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Date:April 9th, 2013 04:04 pm (UTC)
Ugh. My #1 is just 12, but it looks as though I'll have to start prepping the bureaucracy right now.
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Date:April 9th, 2013 04:15 pm (UTC)
I have deliberately paid very little attention to all of this until a couple of weeks ago, because I knew it would all change time and time again before it was our turn and I frankly couldn't be bothered wasting my time on it.

The downside is that now I have to find my way through the system with zero background knowledge, and as usual these things require a PhD in form-filling.
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