Last year I posted “Britain’s Got Cool Stuff” where I listed 10 things that are very different from what we’re used to in South Africa

Just for fun, another 10:

  1. You can pretty much buy anything online (you name it, they have it). With literally thousands of local retailers available at your fingertips, you never have to leave your house again. Most of them also offer free ‘next day’ delivery.
  2. Payments made between banks are instant and free. If, for example, I pay someone from my Lloyds account to their Barclays account, the funds clear immediately with no fees involved for the client.
  3. You buy groceries on an app. With Tesco’s app you order your food on your smart phone and they’ll deliver the next day during a timeslot that suits you. Cool thing is, if they are more than 5 minutes late they will refund you £5 to say sorry. They also carry your groceries to your kitchen to help unpack.
  4. Redirect your mail. Unlike the SA Post Office that will probably ‘displace’ your letters and parcels, the UK post office, a.k.a Royal Mail, is insanely good. Not only do they deliver on time, they also offer a service that allows you to redirect your mail to a different physical address. Like an email forwarding system, where a server automatically forwards your email to a different address, the actual letter or parcel gets scanned in at the Royal Mail handling centre and then gets re-rooted to your new physical address. When we moved from Colchester to London, we simply asked Royal Mail to redirect our letters and parcels to the London address.
    So far, Royal Mail hasn’t missed a single item. Impressive.
  5. The Government pays you to save. That’s right, if you are saving money for retirement / deposit for your first home, the Government will give you a 25% bonus each year. This means, if you save £4000 per year (in a Lifetime ISA account), the Government gives you an extra £1000 per year, tax free!
  6. If you buy a TV, you don’t always need a license. Unlike SA where you need a license to buy a TV (regardless of what you use it for) the UK only requires a TV license if you watch or record LIVE television. This means you can buy a TV without a license and stream Netflix, Amazon Prime or Apple TV for free, no annual charges or renewals needed.
  7. Newspapers are FREE. The morning and evening newspapers are handed out at the tube stations. When you’re done reading it, you leave it on your seat for the next guy.
  8. Unlimited mileage for car rentals. In SA you rent a car with 200kms included per day – additional kms are extra per km. Over here you rent a car for a daily rate that includes unlimited mileage. Whether you drive 10km or a  1000km, same daily rate, no additional charges.
  9. Loyalty schemes that actually work. Maybe it was just me, but in SA I got ‘points’ each time I swiped my card but it took ages just to claim anything. I mean Elaine spent 3 years’ worth of ebucks  just to buy a hair straightener.
    In the UK, loyalty schemes actually rewards you very well. Through AMEX we got a FREE return ticket on British Airways from London to Vegas, saving us £1500 on the airfare – we got rewarded for using AMEX instead of Visa, it was that simple.
  10. Flights to Europe are (sometimes) insanely cheap. You can buy a coffee in London for £2 OR fly to Switzerland for £2. No jokes!

As we discover more cool stuff, we’ll post them here on the blog.

chat soon