The Environment Agency has come under fire from anglers this week, following the latest ‘fiasco’ in what has become a series of annual difficulties with buying a rod licence over the internet.
Thousands of anglers applying for their new 2011/12 season permits through the Post Office website have fallen foul of the problem which has seen individuals issued with twice the number of licences they have applied for.
In many cases anglers have received a total of FOUR permits – twice the number legally required to fish the maximum of four rods in the UK – leaving individuals confused about which, if any, of these are valid.
This latest anomaly – which follows last year’s problems with multiple charges for online licences purchased, and issues surrounding anglers having to wait weeks to receive licences through the post in 2009 – has left many now questioning the ability of the EA to offer a sufficient facility for purchasing licences online.
“There’s some kind of cock-up involved with buying licences online every year, to the point where anglers are now beginning to actually expect it,” Midlands angler Rob Amey, who is one of the many to experience problems, told Angling Times.
“How difficult can it be to get these things right? And how much money has it cost sending out all these extra licences that could have been spent on looking after our waterways? That’s what I’d like to know!”
Speaking to AT about the issue, an Environment Agency spokesperson said: “We issue more than 1.3 million rod licences every year. Unfortunately, a processing error meant that a batch of duplicate licences was issued for some online transactions between April 4 and 5.
“If you have received a duplicate licence please destroy it (any of the licences issued can be destroyed to leave you with the number originally ordered). Your correct number of licences will be registered on our system.
“You won’t be charged extra and we apologise for any confusion caused.”
When asked about the annual problems experienced with buying rod licences online, the EA responded: “We continually strive to improve customer service and work closely with our contractors to maintain the highest possible standard of service to anglers.”