How not to deliver and electronic forms service. #HMRC #fail

When someone dies you are obliged by UK to complete a number of forms for the HM Revenue and Customs.
Intelligently they have created the forms as interactive PDF’s so that you enter the details, and if there are figures to be calculated it does them for you.  However I think their testing was somewhat limited.  I was using Foxit 3 on Windows 7 64bit and it was an imperfect experience…
When you first open IHT206-2 you get this
OK, it sort of makes sense, but what am I supposed to do if either a) or b)?
Then when you click on your first field, up comes this beauty – 8 times
What’s more it does not even say where the input value is on the form (it’s before I typed anything in!).  When I look through the document it looks like random text has been inserted into the numeric fields.
So at this point I thought a call to the helpline might be worth it (the clue being in the name of the service).  Getting through fairly quickly I spoke to a helpline operator.  However… …when I describe the problem, I was offered
a)      A paper form in the post
b)      A call back from someone who could help me fill in the form
I wanted neither – I wanted to report a failed document.  Someone might be ringing me back…
Some hours later they did call.  It seems they regard the 32bit Adobe Reader world as the only thing in town and other options have not been considered, let alone tested.  In the meantime I’ve discovered and installed Foxit 4 and it works a treat.

By P J Bryant

Ramblings of a freelance IT Consultant working for some nice SME's, large organisations, resellers and the usual friends and family! Bit of

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