Keith Arthur says it’s time to ditch the Post Office

Yet more online problems tell us we need a new vendor  Last year the Post Office had an excuse for letting thousands of people down when it had problems issuing licences. Allegedly, the problem was caused by anglers buying two licences consecutively under the same name, mostly due to the stupid rule meaning more than two rods need two separate licences. More of that in a moment.

Now this year over a weekend ¬ the weekend when the penny dropped that a new licence was required ¬ its website that takes online licence applications soiled its undergarments again, this time taking as many payments as customers were prepared to click the button. In one case, I heard a customer had his card charged 11 times.

Now, to be fair, the EA has been brilliant about it, or as brilliant as it could possibly be, by offering a full refund and reimbursement ¬ on provision of bank statement proof ¬ of bank charges incurred because of the Post Office’s persistent shortcomings.

Surely it is now time to ditch the PO as a licence vendor and give the job ¬ along with some much-needed funding in the form of the commission ¬ to the Angling Trust. Obviously, it would need some investment, but the guarantee of over £1m in fees would surely be worth it, especially as the required hardware and software would only need to be purchased once.

While on the subject of licences, I know I’m not the only person who thinks the entire system needs a boot up the rear end. First, a licence that runs until March 31 from whatever date it is purchased is crazy. It should run from the month of purchase to the end of that month 12 months hence, like every other licence I can think of.

Second, why is it necessary to buy two licences for more than two rods?

Surely the time has now come for a licence to be for one rod only, what most anglers use. Anyone wanting to use two or more rods should have an extra charge per rod. Although I have always failed to see how anyone can fish with more than one rod (trap yes, fish no) I understand why people want to use them.

That being the case, they should pay for rods used, so the basic licence covers one rod ¬ a £10 charge for every other rod is in no way inappropriate in my opinion. After all, every rod set up costs way more than £10 so affording it isn’t a problem. Let’s face it, a tenner probably doesn’t cover the cost of the line on the reel for a year in many cases.

If cost is an issue, then only fish with one rod! It’s how most day-ticket fisheries run with no problems.