The Government Have Built Another Website To Annoy Me

If you have ever had to fill out an online tax return you know how painful it is with the government’s hideous online experience.

So it was with much excitement that I heard about a new beta service!


OK Cool! Looks like GOV.UK.Verify is the new trial for self assessment. I’m super excited!

What’s the first page say?


Well, OK, I suppose this makes sense and it is my first time with the service so let’s complete what I expect is a super easy and intuitive registration process:


Well, uh, thanks for that. Can you just take me to where I can start filling out some stuff?


Apparently not.

Let’s continue…gov5

Can’t I just complete my registration?


It’s been 7 hours and fifteen days since you took your….sorry. Right, where were we? I’m going to get the right company to verify me? Why am I being told this? Just, you know, verify my identity already!

Sod it. Rivers of blood and all that (that’s a Macbeth reference FYI).


Lucky for you that I just got back from California and I just so happen to have a passport with me eh!

OK, what’s next?


Hmmm, I suppose you’re going to send me a verification code over the phone. I’m OK with this. So yes:gov11

Eh uh WHAT? You’re not seriously going to ask me to install a mobile app? I don’t want your fucking app.

Anyway, after selecting a few more options on a couple other pages I get to this baffling screen:


Right, why the fuckety fuck am I being asked to choose a company? How can I possibly make this call? I know NOTHING about the veracity of any of these guys and all this verification stuff should be done on the website, behind the scenes, by the government!!

And why are you giving me an option to select a company that can ‘not verify’ me? Good job guys!

Oh whatever, let’s click the Post Office because I have no idea already:gov13

Yeah, I know. You promised me Self Assessment and gave me a capitalist’s wet dream.

Well FINE!


I hate you.


OK, I get that verification is super important and an online system has to be robust. But the this new Verify thingy is a pain because of:

  • The bonkers number of steps to get anywhere
  • The fact I’m forced to choose a company to verify me. This shouldn’t be my call to make!



If GOV.UK had not made the crappy decision to privatise everything on Earth  all you would need to verify your identity would be a few forms asking you to provide IDs such as phone number, passport number, bank details etc. Instead one is forced through a bizarre number of steps to choose a verification company before you can even begin the verification process (15 steps or thereabouts). So let me be clear:

Choosing a verification company is not a call I should ever have to make

But what do you think? I have the attention span of a gnat? Trufax. You agree? Disagree? Think I should listen to less Jrock?

Tell me in the comments or on Twitter.


4 thoughts on “The Government Have Built Another Website To Annoy Me

  1. Hehe. You just made me glad to have declined to try this new service, even if my reasons were completely unrelated to your little tale.

    Slightly concerning to go round so many loops without ever going through a really secure step (you don’t need to be a forger just to photograph or copy a passport). But it’s still a lot better than “Verified by Visa” outsourcing verification behind your back and forcing its users through all the same steps a fraudster would need to capture their card details.

  2. I haven’t tried this particular service, but I don’t understand your beef with self-assessment. It’s a joy to work through and I found it crystal clear. Self-assessment in the 90s used to take two evenings. I’ve got it down to seven minutes. It’s a good service.

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