Sunday, 21 October 2012


One of the problems to contend with when living on a canal boat is how to receive the post. If you have a home mooring this is easily resolved but if you travel continually as we do it takes a little more planning.  When we moved onto Gecko we considered using poste restante but this seemed unworkable except for individual communications. So we settled for a Royal Mail PO box . This opened a whole new can of worms as some companies refuse to accept a PO Box as a legitimate address. It was no problem for our bank but we had to relinquish our John Lewis credit card as they insisted on sending our statement to the address they knew we had moved from because "a PO box is not safe"  When I asked them where I should send the settlement cheque as I had stopped the direct debit they replied "PO Box 99, Southend" On informing them that I could not send money to an address they considered insecure they had to dig around to find me a street address. Even more bizarre was the conversation I had when trying to update a driving license.  DVLA could not accept a PO Box because "you have to prove residence."  (I thought one had to prove an ability to drive).  In response to my information that the PO box was our only address Miss DVLA suggested I use the address of a relative, or friend.  She was surprised at my indignance at her suggestion that I give a false address and tried  to back pedal, unsuccessfully.  She then confirmed that I could use any valid street address but to my surprise would not accept 10 Downing Street, London. I finally acceded to her request to give an address that we did not live at, thus, presumably, proving residence to her satisfaction.
We have now decided to abandon the PO box as the cost has increased from £49/year to over £200 in six years which is too much to pay NOT to have our post delivered.
So if you have received a change of address from us it does not signify anything more than that.

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