Welcome to the digital age now attach a postage stamp

Posted by DBS
Born in England when black and white TV was a novelty in most homes, I have grow
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on Wednesday, 18 July 2012
in Digital Blogs

Some time ago I wrote on this site looking for some Digital Pioneers and true to form some of them read the post and contacted me. Thank you to all who knew an affected pioneer.

It was to do with the Datakor/Unidata pension fund that had been robbed of its surplus in a pensioner unfriendly manner.

Finalising the surplus distribution agreement has taken over a year longer than the curator expected it to but it has now been finally passed by the FSB.

On the 3rd July I was informed by email of the amount that I was to receive and I was requested to forward to them my details including the usual proof of who I am and verification of my bank account. I did this on the 4th of July sending the information by fax (it was just easier than scanning it and sending via email).

I expected to receive a response (an sms would have done) that the documentation had been received but when I had heard nothing by the 13th I decided to contact The Data Factory to verify if they had received my information.

16:00 I spoke to an agent who said that they had been very busy capturing invoice information and that my details would likely be captured next week but she could not see that they had received it. She suggested that I fax it straight to her on her fax to email which I did. 16:20 I called again to get a recorded message that their working hours are 8:30 to 4:30 Monday to Friday. Maybe they were let off early as it was Friday the 13th.

Over the weekend I decided to also send the informatin via email which I duly did.

Yesterday not having had a response I called them again and the abbreviated conversation went something like this.


"Yes DBS (Name changed to protect me the innocent) we have received all your documentation"

"What happens now?"

"Well at the end of the month all the information is collected together and posted to the fund (Old Mutual) for final processing"


"Well it might go by a courier"

"Courier? Your offices are in Newlands Cape Town and Old Mutual is in Pinelands a 10 minute drive away"

"Well that is the way it is Sir"

So here we are in the second decade of the 21st century, the Internet is over 20 years old and an organisation that has just received thousands of pages of documentation in electronic format via fax to email or directly to email is planning on printing it all out, putting it in an envelope and afixing a postage stamp?

And then when it gets there (if it gets there) Old Mutual is going to pay for it to be stored after they have scanned it in?

I don't think so.

For those who have to deal with The Data Factory I wish you good luck, they were selected by POA as the Tracing Agent of the Year whatever that means. Right now I have to wait until 30 days have passed (that was in the letter) before contacting Old Mutual regarding Payment. Roll on 2nd August I will be getting on the phone pretty smartly.

Or maybe Old Mutual likes it like this. Maybe they have shares in The Data Factory and any delay means they can hold on to the cash for longer because from the 3rd of May, the date the apportionment scheme was approved, it has not attracted any additional interest on the over R700milion that they are holding on to. At a meagre 10% simple interest that represents over R23 million.

But ponder this. Within yor organisation how much is printed only to be re-captured digitally. Are you being as efficient as possible?


Born in England when black and white TV was a novelty in most homes, I have grown up and dedicated my life to technology.

Came to South Africa in 1970 and completed formal education here.

I have used computer technology all my working life and still am learning more about using it everyday. The speed with which we can now share ideas and information is proof that the dreams and visions I heard in the late 1960's can come true


I am a 40-something computer geek who years ago decided that technology would ei
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Muscadecipio Thursday, 19 July 2012


This is something that frustrates the hell out of me as well. While I have a postbox strapped to my wall it hardly gets used, all my statements and whatnots come to me by email.

Recently I has to do that FICA nonsense again and the Bank wanted proof of residence. As I said, problem is that the bank statements, municipal statements, Vodacom statements etc are all emails. Its great because I have set up Thunderbird to sort them into folders so I can find them between all the junk that hits my inbox.

I tried my luck and printed out all the various statements and went down to the bank. Not a chance, they wanted original statements. I went up to the Municipal offices and talked to a girly there who frowned and then banged a big official stamp down on my printout of the municipal account. Back at the bank the consultant broke a big smile when I handed it to her, and proceeded to photocopy it for her files.

Go figure.

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justen Thursday, 19 July 2012

Let's take a stand for digital!


This really is something that I believe frustrates a lot of people. FNB, for example, advertises digital solutions and online applications. It's all hanky dory until you realize that you still need to file all the originals with the bank and sign dozens of contracts on paper, before they completely activate anything. I've always been an early adopter, and I use an iPad to digitally sign most contracts and documents that pass through me. But many people still freak out when I refuse to send post, fax or use any other outdated transmission method. We live in a digital world and so often brag about our technological advances, but we still cling to outdated methods, we can't manage to implement truly paperless offices and we use up kilometers of warehouse space for document storage that could fit on a couple of servers. Is corporate red tape to blame for archaic systems, or are we too comfortable with (not so) "good 'ol pen and paper"? Thanks for this post!

Shiraz has not set their biography yet
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Shiraz Friday, 20 July 2012

how many envelopes, how many stamps and how much saliva!

Mandela Day was yesterday and whilst hundreds of trees were being planted all over SA , thousands more were being chopped down in the world. Justen I have had the same horrific experience with FNB- this after they adopted the "no paper contracts " in their Wesbank division. Muscadescipio - LOL - thats a very funny story, frustrating but funny, make sure you hang on to the "original". DBS - im still trying to work out how many envelopes, how many stamps and how much saliva will be needed per 1000.LOL!

Born in England when black and white TV was a novelty in most homes, I have grow
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DBS Sunday, 29 July 2012

Life at my Green bank

Thanks for all the comments. I agree with all very frustrating at times. My bank is also a great one to demolish trees. It hass green colours in its branding and claims to be green but go in to change anything on your profile or collect a new card and the photostat machine makes a copy of the ID, a copy of your application and a few other pages that you have to sign. What do they do with all the paper from FICA?

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