Our moving back experience

Old Jun 11th 2012, 6:56 pm
  #1  
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Default Our moving back experience

Moved back to Britain after 7 years in Vancouver. I'd like to reflect on the experience so far...

Arrived at Manchester Airport about lunchtime early May on a bright but blustery day with 11 cases. The airport is still in a terrible state with posters saying "we know we're not perfect but we're doing our best" everywhere. What a stupid thing to say. To my surprise at the carousel, Manchester has now adopted the detestable practice of renting luggage carts, albeit at a quid each but it's not that airport tax in Britain is all that cheap to start with. The car rental companies are on the roof of one of the carparks - classy. All of the agents dressed in ill-fitting budget suits; very friendly and helpful. The car I got was much smaller than expected (a Nissan Qashqai), although I grew to like it so much I plan to buy one.

Stayed in Wilmslow for a few nights, I was surprised by how small the roads felt. I never remembered it to be so packed everywhere on the road, and dire lack of parking. Overtaking parked vehicles and missing oncoming vehicles by an inch or so is a shock to the system. Cost of fuel as well - yes I was expecting this to be a unpleasant but it at least to be £ for $. Now it's quite a bit more in pounds than dollars (against canadian dollars this is). However, what matters is how much it costs you not how much the fuel costs. To my surprise is the vast numbers of hyper economical cars. Even the qashqai which is Petrol was delivering me about 40+ MPG. In fact I swear I have saved money even at ludicrous fuel prices compared with my vehicle in Canada (Infiniti).

My first trip to a supermarket, was pleasant. Finally I can stop being treated as a naughty infant and bloody well buy some booze at the same time as my food, instead of resorting to specialist outlets for a drink, as if fuelling some kind of secret peverted fetish. Supermarket prices have gone done from what I see. I was in Sainsburys, not typically renowned for being the best value, yet had a good choice of excellently priced basics. The cost of such basics are outrageous in Canada, a country you would expect to do whatever it can to protect the base cost of living, yet all it ever did was hike up the prices of fundamental foods. So incredibly glad to be out of there!

I quickly got into driving manuals having done so for years before I left but not at all in 7 years. Even when I made my only trip home in that period the rental car company said they'd give me an auto at no extra charge, which I gladly accepted. The road system is quite busy around major motorways and of course the cursing speed cameras seem to be every few yards. What I have noticed is that people do seem to drive the speed limit around such obscenities rather than slowing down especially. Driver discipline seems to be very high in other ways. For example the keep to the left rule strictly enforced by a vast majority of drivers. Almost to an extreme level. With full indicating right to overtake and then left to go in between two lorries, then right again to overtake the second lorry. It's almost too much but welcome compared with the lazy as ass driving I witnessed in Canada with zero road sense, zero courtesy and and utter contempt for other drives (and no signalling, well no signalling the way they actually go).

One thing I was looking forward to was having reasonably priced mobile phones again as I found the charges in Vancouver excessive and almost criminal. "Pay as you go" however has gone sky high in price in britain. Typically everyone seems to be on 25p/minute which is more than Canada. That would be outgoing calls only though and I don't think credits expire at all or as quickly in UK. Also places like Tesco give you 3 times the money you topup right now so the effective cost can be quite a bit lower. But I didn't waste much time before choosing a Blackberry on an 18 month contract for the princely sum of £15/month with as many minutes as I could possibly use, loads of data and effectively unlimited texts. This was with Tesco mobile but on contract not PAYG. The phone itself is quite nice albeit far more user hostile than any Apple device but then you don't look like a bloody sheep using one.

In the month I have been back I have been staying with family and my daughter is in at the local school and settled in very quickly. I was desperately worried about the damage the sub-par canadian education system would bestow on her but I figure my concerns were unjustified. She has quadrupled the friends she made in Canada in 7 years, in the few weeks we've been here. I also found and bought a home and will likely be in there before the end of June. The price was excellent and the agents a dream to deal with, who cannot do enough to assist me. Sure you're probably thinking that this is a buyers market and across most of Britain this would be correct. But where I bought they've had a mass influx of people with a major UK employer having relocated there, causing a tidal wave of home searchers and effectively a sellers market LOL. But I still managed to swing a bit of a deal and don't feel that this market blip has gone to the heads of developers who are grateful for your business and have done a stellar job making sure my move in is smooth and easy.

One major setback in my limited time back here was car insurance. I heard that the prices had gone up but realised that they couldn't have ever reached the criminal rates that the ICBC insurance cartel in Vancouver charged. And I'm right in this regard. However when I'd read on here about people not getting their no claims discount honoured, I underestimated how bad the problem is. I just assumed that these were isolated cases where perhaps the insurer had misheard, and was not anticipating any issue myself. THe fact is that almost EVERY insurer will not honour your no claims discount, which for a country as well tied to Britain as Canada is, is disgusting. I feel like asking them whether I can disregard my 10 DUI offences, and I'm sure when it benefits them they'd be all ears to push my policy rates through the universe. I'm kidding about the DUI but I can just imagine they'd want you to declare your negative history but won't give you any credit for your positive. A scam in other words. I have searched this site and glad that some companies do honour NCD. But to be honest if you search the lowest cost insurers based on a 0 NCD and those where you have 6 years NCD but a recorded accident (someone I'd leant my car to in my case), there is not an appreciable difference in cost. Makes me wonder whether I just start my NCD from scratch. Going with a company that gives me credit for it will only work if I stick by them. Any other company will expect all NCD I'm claiming to be UK earned. So getting an insurance company to honour my 6 years and then at renewal make this up to 7, will still only effectively gain me one year NCD in UK according to most of the insurers. Saying all of this, even with ZERO NCD it's still way cheaper in UK than Canada and the insurance cover even with the cheapest and nastiest insurer is infinitely superior to the best cover through the ICBC mafia.

Some irritations of Britain include every company seemingly getting a premium rate number which means you have to pay to call them even if you get inclusive minutes on your home or mobile phone. What a bloody cheek! Almost everybody has one now, not the odd call centre as it was in the mid 2000s. Also what really hacked me off big style was charging for using credit cards. And it's not a matter of covering the percentage the vendor has to pay but another way of extorting money from people. My solicitor for example charges £4+VAT for credit cards. Hang on a minute, PLUS VAT????? Where did that come from? I can understand it if you're buying a 99p lollipop but a bloody solicitor; you'd be lucky if you aren't raising a small mortgage to pay their bills. Other gripes are Costco chucking me out about 2 minutes before their close. In North America this is when they roll down the shutters on the entrance but let most people finish their shopping before steering them out.

My final gripe is with DFS when I went in their to take advantage of their clear pricing on furniture. I've never in my life met such a shark of a salesman. He just wasn't hearing that I just want the f-ing sofa. Then when I had the audacity of saying I wanted the IFC he said I could take 6 months if I paid a massive deposit. Hang on a tick sunshine, what are all these 4 years IFC no downpayment posters you have everywhere? In the end he attempted to turn it around to suggest that I was being dishonest with him as clearly I had something to hide or some kind of rocky past to have the nerve to ask for what they're clearly advertising without voluntarily paying a massive down payment and going for a few months IFC instead of years. It must have been a bad day as I didn't storm out of the store but largely because at the end of the day I like their sofas and I need one for my new place. HOwever there will be a follow up as soon as I have confirmation that they haven't screwed up the order. I'm simply amazed that an ass hole like this can exist in the modern day where companies reputations have never been under such scrutiny through social media, although sadly my business that day probably meant he had food on the table that night and will live another day to rope in another sucker to rip off.

Overall I cannot express how delighted I am to be back in Britain. Having the recent Jubilee celebrations makes me very proud to be back and to be British. I loathed Graham Norton's suggestion on the Eurovision Song Contest, that all the union jack flags around the UK entry made it look like a BNP rally. It's a great shame that we feel awkward and apologetic as a nation about waving our flag. The Jubilee has done wonders for our national identity in my opinion and I feel lucky to have returned to soak up some of the celebrations and in time for the summer olympics.

Now to get a job and on with the rest of my life. I wish everyone here the best of luck and leave you with this thought. I have taken many risks in life, but all calculated. I cannot recall too many that I regretted to the extent that I felt they destroyed my life or even had a major impact. Moving to Canada was a bit like this and it worked out despite a string of unanticipated disasters. Moving back has been far smoother and restores my faith in our ability to weather whatever storm is brewing and just get on with it (or "Stay calm and carry on" as countless posters which have swept across the nation will now assure you)
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Old Jun 11th 2012, 7:42 pm
  #2  
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Default Re: Our moving back experience

Very informative.

Thankyou for your post.

I was dreaming about moving to Canada about 3 years ago.

It never worked out, but I live the dream thru other peoples posts on here.

Its about as close to the dream I can get.

Since I first applied to immigrate to Canada my wife and I had triplets, so it all got put on hold.
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Old Jun 12th 2012, 12:01 am
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Default Re: Our moving back experience

Wow! Thanks for such a detailed post. I know that I am definitely going to have problems driving in the UK as I have never driven there before. Other than that, I look forward to the day I can move in..in the meantime I live vicariously through posts such as yours of others who have made the move before me
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Old Jun 12th 2012, 2:47 am
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Default Re: Our moving back experience

Originally Posted by b2b View Post
Moved back to Britain after 7 years in Vancouver. I'd like to reflect on the experience so far...

Arrived at Manchester Airport about lunchtime early May on a bright but blustery day with 11 cases. The airport is still in a terrible state with posters saying "we know we're not perfect but we're doing our best" everywhere. What a stupid thing to say. To my surprise at the carousel, Manchester has now adopted the detestable practice of renting luggage carts, albeit at a quid each but it's not that airport tax in Britain is all that cheap to start with. The car rental companies are on the roof of one of the carparks - classy. All of the agents dressed in ill-fitting budget suits; very friendly and helpful. The car I got was much smaller than expected (a Nissan Qashqai), although I grew to like it so much I plan to buy one.

Stayed in Wilmslow for a few nights, I was surprised by how small the roads felt. I never remembered it to be so packed everywhere on the road, and dire lack of parking. Overtaking parked vehicles and missing oncoming vehicles by an inch or so is a shock to the system. Cost of fuel as well - yes I was expecting this to be a unpleasant but it at least to be £ for $. Now it's quite a bit more in pounds than dollars (against canadian dollars this is). However, what matters is how much it costs you not how much the fuel costs. To my surprise is the vast numbers of hyper economical cars. Even the qashqai which is Petrol was delivering me about 40+ MPG. In fact I swear I have saved money even at ludicrous fuel prices compared with my vehicle in Canada (Infiniti).

My first trip to a supermarket, was pleasant. Finally I can stop being treated as a naughty infant and bloody well buy some booze at the same time as my food, instead of resorting to specialist outlets for a drink, as if fuelling some kind of secret peverted fetish. Supermarket prices have gone done from what I see. I was in Sainsburys, not typically renowned for being the best value, yet had a good choice of excellently priced basics. The cost of such basics are outrageous in Canada, a country you would expect to do whatever it can to protect the base cost of living, yet all it ever did was hike up the prices of fundamental foods. So incredibly glad to be out of there!

I quickly got into driving manuals having done so for years before I left but not at all in 7 years. Even when I made my only trip home in that period the rental car company said they'd give me an auto at no extra charge, which I gladly accepted. The road system is quite busy around major motorways and of course the cursing speed cameras seem to be every few yards. What I have noticed is that people do seem to drive the speed limit around such obscenities rather than slowing down especially. Driver discipline seems to be very high in other ways. For example the keep to the left rule strictly enforced by a vast majority of drivers. Almost to an extreme level. With full indicating right to overtake and then left to go in between two lorries, then right again to overtake the second lorry. It's almost too much but welcome compared with the lazy as ass driving I witnessed in Canada with zero road sense, zero courtesy and and utter contempt for other drives (and no signalling, well no signalling the way they actually go).

One thing I was looking forward to was having reasonably priced mobile phones again as I found the charges in Vancouver excessive and almost criminal. "Pay as you go" however has gone sky high in price in britain. Typically everyone seems to be on 25p/minute which is more than Canada. That would be outgoing calls only though and I don't think credits expire at all or as quickly in UK. Also places like Tesco give you 3 times the money you topup right now so the effective cost can be quite a bit lower. But I didn't waste much time before choosing a Blackberry on an 18 month contract for the princely sum of £15/month with as many minutes as I could possibly use, loads of data and effectively unlimited texts. This was with Tesco mobile but on contract not PAYG. The phone itself is quite nice albeit far more user hostile than any Apple device but then you don't look like a bloody sheep using one.

In the month I have been back I have been staying with family and my daughter is in at the local school and settled in very quickly. I was desperately worried about the damage the sub-par canadian education system would bestow on her but I figure my concerns were unjustified. She has quadrupled the friends she made in Canada in 7 years, in the few weeks we've been here. I also found and bought a home and will likely be in there before the end of June. The price was excellent and the agents a dream to deal with, who cannot do enough to assist me. Sure you're probably thinking that this is a buyers market and across most of Britain this would be correct. But where I bought they've had a mass influx of people with a major UK employer having relocated there, causing a tidal wave of home searchers and effectively a sellers market LOL. But I still managed to swing a bit of a deal and don't feel that this market blip has gone to the heads of developers who are grateful for your business and have done a stellar job making sure my move in is smooth and easy.

One major setback in my limited time back here was car insurance. I heard that the prices had gone up but realised that they couldn't have ever reached the criminal rates that the ICBC insurance cartel in Vancouver charged. And I'm right in this regard. However when I'd read on here about people not getting their no claims discount honoured, I underestimated how bad the problem is. I just assumed that these were isolated cases where perhaps the insurer had misheard, and was not anticipating any issue myself. THe fact is that almost EVERY insurer will not honour your no claims discount, which for a country as well tied to Britain as Canada is, is disgusting. I feel like asking them whether I can disregard my 10 DUI offences, and I'm sure when it benefits them they'd be all ears to push my policy rates through the universe. I'm kidding about the DUI but I can just imagine they'd want you to declare your negative history but won't give you any credit for your positive. A scam in other words. I have searched this site and glad that some companies do honour NCD. But to be honest if you search the lowest cost insurers based on a 0 NCD and those where you have 6 years NCD but a recorded accident (someone I'd leant my car to in my case), there is not an appreciable difference in cost. Makes me wonder whether I just start my NCD from scratch. Going with a company that gives me credit for it will only work if I stick by them. Any other company will expect all NCD I'm claiming to be UK earned. So getting an insurance company to honour my 6 years and then at renewal make this up to 7, will still only effectively gain me one year NCD in UK according to most of the insurers. Saying all of this, even with ZERO NCD it's still way cheaper in UK than Canada and the insurance cover even with the cheapest and nastiest insurer is infinitely superior to the best cover through the ICBC mafia.

Some irritations of Britain include every company seemingly getting a premium rate number which means you have to pay to call them even if you get inclusive minutes on your home or mobile phone. What a bloody cheek! Almost everybody has one now, not the odd call centre as it was in the mid 2000s. Also what really hacked me off big style was charging for using credit cards. And it's not a matter of covering the percentage the vendor has to pay but another way of extorting money from people. My solicitor for example charges £4+VAT for credit cards. Hang on a minute, PLUS VAT????? Where did that come from? I can understand it if you're buying a 99p lollipop but a bloody solicitor; you'd be lucky if you aren't raising a small mortgage to pay their bills. Other gripes are Costco chucking me out about 2 minutes before their close. In North America this is when they roll down the shutters on the entrance but let most people finish their shopping before steering them out.

My final gripe is with DFS when I went in their to take advantage of their clear pricing on furniture. I've never in my life met such a shark of a salesman. He just wasn't hearing that I just want the f-ing sofa. Then when I had the audacity of saying I wanted the IFC he said I could take 6 months if I paid a massive deposit. Hang on a tick sunshine, what are all these 4 years IFC no downpayment posters you have everywhere? In the end he attempted to turn it around to suggest that I was being dishonest with him as clearly I had something to hide or some kind of rocky past to have the nerve to ask for what they're clearly advertising without voluntarily paying a massive down payment and going for a few months IFC instead of years. It must have been a bad day as I didn't storm out of the store but largely because at the end of the day I like their sofas and I need one for my new place. HOwever there will be a follow up as soon as I have confirmation that they haven't screwed up the order. I'm simply amazed that an ass hole like this can exist in the modern day where companies reputations have never been under such scrutiny through social media, although sadly my business that day probably meant he had food on the table that night and will live another day to rope in another sucker to rip off.

Overall I cannot express how delighted I am to be back in Britain. Having the recent Jubilee celebrations makes me very proud to be back and to be British. I loathed Graham Norton's suggestion on the Eurovision Song Contest, that all the union jack flags around the UK entry made it look like a BNP rally. It's a great shame that we feel awkward and apologetic as a nation about waving our flag. The Jubilee has done wonders for our national identity in my opinion and I feel lucky to have returned to soak up some of the celebrations and in time for the summer olympics.

Now to get a job and on with the rest of my life. I wish everyone here the best of luck and leave you with this thought. I have taken many risks in life, but all calculated. I cannot recall too many that I regretted to the extent that I felt they destroyed my life or even had a major impact. Moving to Canada was a bit like this and it worked out despite a string of unanticipated disasters. Moving back has been far smoother and restores my faith in our ability to weather whatever storm is brewing and just get on with it (or "Stay calm and carry on" as countless posters which have swept across the nation will now assure you)
What an awesome and productive review. Good luck with your new future in the UK. It will be interesting to hear how pricing in Canada BC vs UK will compare in the long run.
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Old Jun 12th 2012, 9:24 pm
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Default Re: Our moving back experience

Originally Posted by b2b View Post
Moved back to Britain after 7 years in Vancouver. I'd like to reflect on the experience so far...

Arrived at Manchester Airport about lunchtime early May on a bright but blustery day with 11 cases. The airport is still in a terrible state with posters saying "we know we're not perfect but we're doing our best" everywhere. What a stupid thing to say. To my surprise at the carousel, Manchester has now adopted the detestable practice of renting luggage carts, albeit at a quid each but it's not that airport tax in Britain is all that cheap to start with. The car rental companies are on the roof of one of the carparks - classy. All of the agents dressed in ill-fitting budget suits; very friendly and helpful. The car I got was much smaller than expected (a Nissan Qashqai), although I grew to like it so much I plan to buy one.

Stayed in Wilmslow for a few nights, I was surprised by how small the roads felt. I never remembered it to be so packed everywhere on the road, and dire lack of parking. Overtaking parked vehicles and missing oncoming vehicles by an inch or so is a shock to the system. Cost of fuel as well - yes I was expecting this to be a unpleasant but it at least to be £ for $. Now it's quite a bit more in pounds than dollars (against canadian dollars this is). However, what matters is how much it costs you not how much the fuel costs. To my surprise is the vast numbers of hyper economical cars. Even the qashqai which is Petrol was delivering me about 40+ MPG. In fact I swear I have saved money even at ludicrous fuel prices compared with my vehicle in Canada (Infiniti).

My first trip to a supermarket, was pleasant. Finally I can stop being treated as a naughty infant and bloody well buy some booze at the same time as my food, instead of resorting to specialist outlets for a drink, as if fuelling some kind of secret peverted fetish. Supermarket prices have gone done from what I see. I was in Sainsburys, not typically renowned for being the best value, yet had a good choice of excellently priced basics. The cost of such basics are outrageous in Canada, a country you would expect to do whatever it can to protect the base cost of living, yet all it ever did was hike up the prices of fundamental foods. So incredibly glad to be out of there!

I quickly got into driving manuals having done so for years before I left but not at all in 7 years. Even when I made my only trip home in that period the rental car company said they'd give me an auto at no extra charge, which I gladly accepted. The road system is quite busy around major motorways and of course the cursing speed cameras seem to be every few yards. What I have noticed is that people do seem to drive the speed limit around such obscenities rather than slowing down especially. Driver discipline seems to be very high in other ways. For example the keep to the left rule strictly enforced by a vast majority of drivers. Almost to an extreme level. With full indicating right to overtake and then left to go in between two lorries, then right again to overtake the second lorry. It's almost too much but welcome compared with the lazy as ass driving I witnessed in Canada with zero road sense, zero courtesy and and utter contempt for other drives (and no signalling, well no signalling the way they actually go).

One thing I was looking forward to was having reasonably priced mobile phones again as I found the charges in Vancouver excessive and almost criminal. "Pay as you go" however has gone sky high in price in britain. Typically everyone seems to be on 25p/minute which is more than Canada. That would be outgoing calls only though and I don't think credits expire at all or as quickly in UK. Also places like Tesco give you 3 times the money you topup right now so the effective cost can be quite a bit lower. But I didn't waste much time before choosing a Blackberry on an 18 month contract for the princely sum of £15/month with as many minutes as I could possibly use, loads of data and effectively unlimited texts. This was with Tesco mobile but on contract not PAYG. The phone itself is quite nice albeit far more user hostile than any Apple device but then you don't look like a bloody sheep using one.

In the month I have been back I have been staying with family and my daughter is in at the local school and settled in very quickly. I was desperately worried about the damage the sub-par canadian education system would bestow on her but I figure my concerns were unjustified. She has quadrupled the friends she made in Canada in 7 years, in the few weeks we've been here. I also found and bought a home and will likely be in there before the end of June. The price was excellent and the agents a dream to deal with, who cannot do enough to assist me. Sure you're probably thinking that this is a buyers market and across most of Britain this would be correct. But where I bought they've had a mass influx of people with a major UK employer having relocated there, causing a tidal wave of home searchers and effectively a sellers market LOL. But I still managed to swing a bit of a deal and don't feel that this market blip has gone to the heads of developers who are grateful for your business and have done a stellar job making sure my move in is smooth and easy.

One major setback in my limited time back here was car insurance. I heard that the prices had gone up but realised that they couldn't have ever reached the criminal rates that the ICBC insurance cartel in Vancouver charged. And I'm right in this regard. However when I'd read on here about people not getting their no claims discount honoured, I underestimated how bad the problem is. I just assumed that these were isolated cases where perhaps the insurer had misheard, and was not anticipating any issue myself. THe fact is that almost EVERY insurer will not honour your no claims discount, which for a country as well tied to Britain as Canada is, is disgusting. I feel like asking them whether I can disregard my 10 DUI offences, and I'm sure when it benefits them they'd be all ears to push my policy rates through the universe. I'm kidding about the DUI but I can just imagine they'd want you to declare your negative history but won't give you any credit for your positive. A scam in other words. I have searched this site and glad that some companies do honour NCD. But to be honest if you search the lowest cost insurers based on a 0 NCD and those where you have 6 years NCD but a recorded accident (someone I'd leant my car to in my case), there is not an appreciable difference in cost. Makes me wonder whether I just start my NCD from scratch. Going with a company that gives me credit for it will only work if I stick by them. Any other company will expect all NCD I'm claiming to be UK earned. So getting an insurance company to honour my 6 years and then at renewal make this up to 7, will still only effectively gain me one year NCD in UK according to most of the insurers. Saying all of this, even with ZERO NCD it's still way cheaper in UK than Canada and the insurance cover even with the cheapest and nastiest insurer is infinitely superior to the best cover through the ICBC mafia.

Some irritations of Britain include every company seemingly getting a premium rate number which means you have to pay to call them even if you get inclusive minutes on your home or mobile phone. What a bloody cheek! Almost everybody has one now, not the odd call centre as it was in the mid 2000s. Also what really hacked me off big style was charging for using credit cards. And it's not a matter of covering the percentage the vendor has to pay but another way of extorting money from people. My solicitor for example charges £4+VAT for credit cards. Hang on a minute, PLUS VAT????? Where did that come from? I can understand it if you're buying a 99p lollipop but a bloody solicitor; you'd be lucky if you aren't raising a small mortgage to pay their bills. Other gripes are Costco chucking me out about 2 minutes before their close. In North America this is when they roll down the shutters on the entrance but let most people finish their shopping before steering them out.

My final gripe is with DFS when I went in their to take advantage of their clear pricing on furniture. I've never in my life met such a shark of a salesman. He just wasn't hearing that I just want the f-ing sofa. Then when I had the audacity of saying I wanted the IFC he said I could take 6 months if I paid a massive deposit. Hang on a tick sunshine, what are all these 4 years IFC no downpayment posters you have everywhere? In the end he attempted to turn it around to suggest that I was being dishonest with him as clearly I had something to hide or some kind of rocky past to have the nerve to ask for what they're clearly advertising without voluntarily paying a massive down payment and going for a few months IFC instead of years. It must have been a bad day as I didn't storm out of the store but largely because at the end of the day I like their sofas and I need one for my new place. HOwever there will be a follow up as soon as I have confirmation that they haven't screwed up the order. I'm simply amazed that an ass hole like this can exist in the modern day where companies reputations have never been under such scrutiny through social media, although sadly my business that day probably meant he had food on the table that night and will live another day to rope in another sucker to rip off.

Overall I cannot express how delighted I am to be back in Britain. Having the recent Jubilee celebrations makes me very proud to be back and to be British. I loathed Graham Norton's suggestion on the Eurovision Song Contest, that all the union jack flags around the UK entry made it look like a BNP rally. It's a great shame that we feel awkward and apologetic as a nation about waving our flag. The Jubilee has done wonders for our national identity in my opinion and I feel lucky to have returned to soak up some of the celebrations and in time for the summer olympics.

Now to get a job and on with the rest of my life. I wish everyone here the best of luck and leave you with this thought. I have taken many risks in life, but all calculated. I cannot recall too many that I regretted to the extent that I felt they destroyed my life or even had a major impact. Moving to Canada was a bit like this and it worked out despite a string of unanticipated disasters. Moving back has been far smoother and restores my faith in our ability to weather whatever storm is brewing and just get on with it (or "Stay calm and carry on" as countless posters which have swept across the nation will now assure you)
Very informative. I can't wait to get back to the UK from Canada, it is always great to other people experiences when they return.
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Old Jun 13th 2012, 8:29 am
  #6  
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Default Re: Our moving back experience

Great update -thanks! I'm also thrilled to be back and don't have any gripes at all except the one you mentioned about call centers - pretty amazing that they charge you to call in and get help when their products don't work!

Do you really buy phones that you don't like using just so people don't think you're a 'sheep'?
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Old Jun 13th 2012, 9:03 am
  #7  
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Default Re: Our moving back experience

Excellent UK review- cheers and good luck
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Old Jun 13th 2012, 1:27 pm
  #8  
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Default Re: Our moving back experience

Very helpful info, thanks for posting. We'll be arriving on August 10th and I can't wait, although I must admit I'm currently feeling daunted by the amount of "stuff' we have to sort out. One step at a time...... I think it will be better once school gets out on Friday.
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Old Jun 13th 2012, 1:50 pm
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Default Re: Our moving back experience

Just for those that don't like paying for phonecalls to companies, this may be useful - http://www.saynoto0870.com/

HTH.
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Old Jun 13th 2012, 3:40 pm
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Default Re: Our moving back experience

Originally Posted by Pombat View Post
Very helpful info, thanks for posting. We'll be arriving on August 10th and I can't wait, although I must admit I'm currently feeling daunted by the amount of "stuff' we have to sort out. One step at a time...... I think it will be better once school gets out on Friday.
Don't worry - feeling daunted is normal, really!
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Old Jun 15th 2012, 1:21 pm
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Default Re: Our moving back experience

Welcome back
We got in at about the same time as you did.
as someone else has already said www.saynoto0870.com is great. As for your NCB comparethemarket.com have an option 'earned in another country' and my bonus got accepted no problem by elephant who came up top on that site.

Good luck with the job and the move
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Old Jun 17th 2012, 5:05 pm
  #12  
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Default Re: Our moving back experience

Great review.

Re car insurance, not all insurers accept letters of experience, as I was told by Swinton but the guy I dealt with at Swinton was superb and got me a deal with Aviva. I am paying £367 a year ... he wanted me to take it monthly but I balked at paying the credit ... so he gave me a cash back which covered the credit costs. I was paying around £900 a year in Canada before I came back and that was in my fourth year of insurance!!!

I wanted an automatic but settled for manual as I had driven manual most of my life ... the narrow roads are a little nervewracking and living in a rural area, I had forgotten about the tractors on the road!

Regarding 0845 numbers, if you go on a lot of the websites, they will have a number for international callers which is a regular number. I have a friend who always finds that number and calls it from the UK and he says he avoids paying the premium charges.

One thing I have noticed is the amount of delivery vans and couriers around and about due to online shopping. I must confess that I have found online shopping a real plus as I live in a small town. Amazon in particular has come up trumps for many things, including .... believe it or not .... bread flour! They are in partnershp with a mill and offer free delivery and, if you subscribe to a regular order (you decide how often you want an autodelivery) you get an extra 10% off!! Great range and best prices I could find anywhere.

I do agree it does feel great to be in Great Britain in 2012. I am loving being back home and after 3 1/2 years away, I have just slipped back into my previous life as if I have been away for a 2 week holiday! Was it all just a dream? ....
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Old Jun 21st 2012, 12:17 am
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Default Re: Our moving back experience

fantastic post, thanks for all the info. We move back in 76 days, not that i am counting lol
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Old Jun 21st 2012, 12:23 am
  #14  
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Default Re: Our moving back experience

Originally Posted by jenny heading home View Post
fantastic post, thanks for all the info. We move back in 76 days, not that i am counting lol
That will make 3 of us in the Calgary area who are moving back shortly. Me, you and Back2UK.
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Old Jun 21st 2012, 2:36 am
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Default Re: Our moving back experience

Originally Posted by lf1 View Post
That will make 3 of us in the Calgary area who are moving back shortly. Me, you and Back2UK.
I have spoke to another 2 this week who are preparing to move back. Poor Canada
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