What's a VAT?


  • mod

    Disclaimer: Before anyone goes explaining a VAT, I've seen discussions of them here before. I know what they are. The title just seems appropriate for this topic.

    As I have mentioned before, one of my projects right now is working on a system to manage warehouse inventory. Recently, I was given a mobile device with laser bar code scanner for testing purposes. Only one problem: it won't boot. I went through troubleshooting over the phone with the manufacturer today, and they couldn't figure it out, so I had to complete an online form to start a repair order. First things first, select a region and country:

    Good so far. Now it's time to actually complete the form.

    Given the title of this thread, you may think you can spot the error here. But no, asking for a VAT at this point is just a minor :wtf:. The bigger one comes next:

    I told you I'm in the USA! We don't have belgium VAT numbers! Go away!


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    So make something up. 0, THX-1138, NCC-1864


  • area_deu

    VAT_NOT_FOUND?

    <!-- go to belgium, toaster -->

  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    Just write them a lovely message in the field.

    "I'm from America, we don't have no stinkin VAT, GET OFF MY LAWN! FIX YOUR SHIT"



  • @abarker said:

    I told you I'm in the USA! We don't have ■■■■■■■ VAT numbers! Go away!

    Ha! Finally! After all those years filling in dummy US states, wrong area codes and postal codes the EU fights back with ridicule requirements.

    No really. VAT-numbers shouldn't be required there are a lot of companies/entities exempt from having a VAT number.



  • @Luhmann said:

    required

    What part of "Do you want to continue anyway?" makes you think a field is required?



  • @ben_lubar said:

    required

    Who ever reads those pop-ups? Certainly not normal users



  • That's what you get for living in the USA. You should move to OEM, it's so much better.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @Luhmann said:

    Ha! Finally! After all those years filling in dummy US states, wrong area codes and postal codes the EU fights back with ridicule requirements.

    +∞

    That is not a valid ZIP code

    Fuck off, it's a valid postal code! Ok, I'm leaving it blank!

    ZIP code is a required field

    Next time I see this, I'm going to email them asking for their VAT number. Thanks for the inspiration.



  • And in all that, we won't even discuss the American sites that have heard of France, but don't realise that not all the world formats its addresses like the Americans do. My address is (anonymised version):

    Steve The Cynic
    123 rue des Avenues
    62100 Ville-en-France
    FRANCE
    

    where 34100 is my Code Postale, and not:

    Steve The Cynic
    123 rue des Avenues
    Ville-en-France
    Pas-de-Calais
    34100
    FRANCE
    

    which is how many American web sites insist on it being done. (Some British sites seem to think that postal codes go on a line of their own after the town, but thankfully don't insist on a "region" name.)

    That is, the French put the postal code on the same line as the name of the town, but before the name of the town, and don't put the name of the state at all (because they don't have states(1), duh). When the site insists on a state name, I usually put the name of my département (which is NOT Pas-de-Calais), but I still find it annoying. La Poste seems to have its head around delivering stuff, thankfully.

    (1) The levels of administration in France, from largest to smallest, are: France, the régions, the départements, (in some very large towns) the communauté urbaine or equivalent, and the individual "commune". This last word has nothing to do with hippies living in fields - in small-town areas, it is the town or village, while in big cities, it refers to something like London boroughs. Within France, packages are addressed with postal code and commune or big city name.


  • area_deu

    @Steve_The_Cynic said:

    That is, the French put the postal code on the same line as the name of the town, but before the name of the town, and don't put the name of the state at all

    Just like in Germany!



  • Do their non-North-American country pages understand international dialling conventions for phone numbers? (i.e. can I just type in +33612345678 for a French mobile number?)



  • @aliceif said:

    Just like in Germany!

    I thought I remembered that the Germans did it like that, but couldn't be bothered to look for it, partly because I never order stuff on line and have it shipped to addresses in Germany...



  • @FrostCat said:

    So make something up. 0, THX-1138, NCC-1864

    Oh my goodness. I knew that was USS Reliant straight away.

    I have problems.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @Steve_The_Cynic said:

    ```text
    Steve The Cynic
    123 rue des Avenues
    62100 Ville-en-France
    FRANCE

    where 34100 is my Code Postale, and not:</blockquote>
    
    I see no `34100` in the above text... &lt;/missing the obvious&gt;
    
    @aliceif <a href="/t/via-quote/48038/11">said</a>:<blockquote>Just like in Germany!</blockquote>
    
    Confirming rest of Europe is sane as well and follows this pattern.
    
    @thegoryone <a href="/t/via-quote/48038/14">said</a>:<blockquote>I have problems.</blockquote>
    
    I can quote almost all of Red Dwarf verbatim. You're fine.
    
    ---
    Filed under: [No, USians, your formats arent' sane](#), [[Citation]](http://stuff.dasprids.de/slides/zendcon2012/internationalization-in-zend-framework-2/date-formats.png)

  • sockdevs

    @Onyx said:

    Confirming rest of Europe is sane as well and follows this pattern.

    We put the postcode on its own line, right at the bottom. But then we have funky alphanumeric postcodes.

    Example:

    Microsoft Campus
    Thames Valley Park
    Reading
    RG6 1WG


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @RaceProUK said:

    But then we have funky alphanumeric postcodes.

    I guess you can be forgiven, then.



  • @Steve_The_Cynic said:

    France

    Streets and numbers are non-existing in many rural area's:

    Name
    62100 Petit-Village

    Sometimes the name of the house or lieu-dit (even smaller part of that village) can be added.

    edit Discourse! Why do you save while I was still typing?



  • @RaceProUK said:

    funky alphanumeric postcodes

    The Dutch use a saner version. And they don't put theirs in front of the city like all other sane people.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @RaceProUK said:

    RG6 1WG

    RG identifies a major sorting office (out of a set chosen when the system was created, not as exist now) and RG6 is a postal area. They vary wildly in size, according to population density. The 1WG identifies a street, street segment (for longer streets) or business. Domestic properties are often identified here by house number and post code only. Large businesses that receive a lot of mail may have multiple post codes (or might not; it's up to them).



  • @Steve_The_Cynic said:

    >Steve The Cynic

    123 rue des Avenues
    62100 Ville-en-France
    FRANCE

    where 34100 is my Code Postale

    So on a French address you have to double the first digit of the postcode and halve the second?What do you do if the second digit is odd?

    In the UK we put the postcode on its own line after everything except country, if it's being sent internationally. Internationally meaning 'from outside the UK': you do not need to specify 'England' when posting a letter from Scotland. For the forseeable future, anyway. The nearest equivalent we have to US states is the regions (England, NI, Scotland, Wales) but they never get put on intranational addresses, and I'd probably put county for that.

    @Steve_The_Cynic said:

    Some British sites seem to think that postal codes go on a line of their own after the town, but thankfully don't insist on a "region" name.

    These days it's only street number and name, and postcode that's required (strictly speaking, house number and postcode should be sufficient information, but it's generally expected that you include the street name), and I haven't seen a form requiring county for a long time. Most commonly they have 2-4 optional fields in between street address and postcode to fill in as many as you like, including optional subdivisions of the town. I tend to put the town but not the county.

    Back when there was the 'Occupy XXX' stuff, I posted a Christmas card to the 'Occupy Newcastle' guys. IIRC I addressed it to 'The Occupiers, Grey's Monument, Newcastle upon Tyne, [the postcode of the nearest addresses]'. I don't know if it got to them.


    Edit - PJH: Pendantry.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @CarrieVS said:

    So on a French address you have to double the first digit of the postcode and halve the second?What do you do if the second digit is odd?

    We have a pendantic winner. :checkered_flag:


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @CarrieVS said:

    In the UK we put the postcode on its own line after everything except country, if it's being sent internationally.

    You sometimes see the postcode written on the same line as the town (usually after it). It's not very common, but we could adapt to it rapidly.



  • @Onyx said:

    I can quote almost all of Red Dwarf verbatim. You're fine.

    Gordon Bennett, yes Chen, everybody, everybody's dead dave.
    Rimmer?
    He's dead Dave, everybody's dead, everybody is dead Dave.
    Wait, are you trying to tell me everybody's dead?



  • I got a flag! I wasn't even trying. Had I been trying I'd have pointed out that VAT number is not redundant like 'PIN number', and that VAT by itself not only isn't what is meant here but is a mass noun so 'a VAT' is always incorrect.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @CarrieVS said:

    I got a flag! I wasn't even trying.

    It's not merely that you were pendantic about it, but that you were also a dickweed. That's a rarer combination that is more usually attained when not trying for it. :)



  • @dkf said:

    you were also a dickweed

    It was a perfectly friendly joke, and had anyone said something similar to me I'd have interpreted it as such.

    @dkf said:

    more usually attained when not trying for it.

    So.. actually being a dickweed doesn't get you a flag, someone misunderstanding you does?


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    Quick badge this time...

    <!-- 87c69ccc-3c6f-47d3-8c66-4f3fdb9def26 -->

  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    Who all all these circular people? What is happening?

    Have you been seeing other stylesheets behind our backs? :worried:


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Onyx said:

    Who all all these circular people? What is happening?

    Discourse Default tends to get used with pages under /admin unless I can be arsed to be very careful with how I end up there. Bane of my life and a known issue over on meta.d.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Steve_The_Cynic said:

    [b]62100[/b] Ville-en-France

    @Steve_The_Cynic said:

    Ville-en-France
    Pas-de-Calais
    [b]34100[/b]

    I found the problem.

    Edit: multiply- :hanzo:'d. You damn Europeans and people on the other part of the world shouldn't get up so early in the morning.



  • Filling in Japan addresses on US sites suck as well.
    If they aren't dicks about the postal code, then that can narrow it down to a district level. So a number and one additio line is all that is needed. The rest of the lines are for redundancy. I guess the extended zip in the U.S. is similar, but I'm never sure enough to trust not filling in the 3-4 lines.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @PJH said:

    known issue over on meta.d

    CLOSED NOTABUG YOUSHOULDLIKEWHATJEFFLIKES


  • sockdevs

    @FrostCat said:

    NCC-1864

    the Reliant?

    i've always been a fan of NX-74205 myself.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    Bah! What doesn't make any sense about this?


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @lolwhat said:

    What doesn't make any sense about this?

    Those colours, that's what!



  • I actually searched in my national post office's website to see if they had any information about how to format addresses. They didn't (and still don't). So I just write everything in approximate little-endian order (street and number first, country last) however I feel like and let them figure it out.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @dkf said:

    Those colours, that's what!

    Blame Wikipedia. :stuck_out_tongue:



  • If I had to implement a postal service myself, I'd just place a computer in each office, assign an IP range to each village, and run BGP. The protocol will figure out the rest.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @anonymous234 said:

    The protocol will figure out the rest.

    You'll still need some way to actually deliver packets. And letters too. (Fortunately, reliable delivery is now seen as unnecessary.)



  • Well naturally, each office will be responsible for delivering the letters to the next office.

    Another alternative would be to let each office operate as an independent, unregulated entity, charging whatever they want to take and deliver other other post offices' letters. Then the Free Market will figure out the most efficient routes and cheapest prices. Actual results may vary.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @anonymous234 said:

    assign an IP range to each village, and run BGP

    And, of course, it would be IPv4. Because who'll ever need more?


    Filed under: The Postman: Behind the NAT — Coming this summer to a theatre near you



  • Let's just assign a GUID to each square inch on the Earth and use that for addressing.


    Filed Under: Terrible ideas thread



  • I miss living in APAC. Also, from looking at Google, not only have I forgotten what Intel calls where I am now, but they used a different abbreviation from everyone else.



  • @mott555 said:

    Let's just assign a GUID to each square inch on the Earth and use that for addressing.

    Anyone want to reinvent ISO-6709?

    How do we accommodate continental drift?



  • Let's write 56,000 words on exactly how to build a bit for dinosaur riding now!

    Postal codes SO FUN!!!!



  • @mott555 said:

    Let's just assign a GUID to each square inch on the Earth and use that for addressing.

    The original definition of the metre was 1/10,000,000 of the distance from pole to equator on a line passing through Paris. It's still pretty close to that, which makes the circumference of the Earth about 4e10 metres.

    Surface area of a sphere A = 4πr2, and circumference c = 2πr, which makes A = c2/π so the surface area of the Earth is roughly (4e10)2/π = 5e20m2.

    ±10km strikes me as a reasonably conservative limit for the range of distances above and below ground level where terrestrial deliveries are ever going to need to occur. This is small compared to the diameter of the Earth, so a good approximation for the volume of a spherical shell that thick is just the surface area times the thickness, or 1e25 cubic metres.

    A GUID is 128 bits, so there are roughly 3.4e38 possible GUIDs. If we used them all to label voxels of roughly uniform size within such a shell, each such voxel would occupy 1e25 ÷ 3.4e38 cubic metres or roughly 0.00003 cubic millimetres.

    That should be precise enough for addressing purposes.



  • @flabdablet said:

    A GUID is 128 bits, so there are roughly 3.4e38 possible GUIDs. If we used them all to label voxels of roughly uniform size within such a shell, each such voxel would occupy 1e25 ÷ 3.4e38 cubic metres or roughly 0.00003 cubic millimetres.

    That is very Minecrafty.



  • @mott555 said:

    very Minecrafty

    A cubic millimetre is a microlitre, so 0.00003 cubic millimetres is 30 picolitres - roughly the droplet size for a wide-format industrial inkjet printer.

    This is Minecraft Retina Edition.



  • Each cell in my body can have its own postal address!


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