The importance of keeping ‘posted’ with life back home.
Anyone who lives a nomadic lifestyle knows the benefits. Delicious food, different cultures and exotic locales. But what about the frustrations? One Dorset businessman understands very well the aches and pains of an expat’s lifestyle and the constant struggle of building a bridge between two different lives.
The digital age has brought many opportunities, but nothing has been affected quite so profoundly as communication. Email has opened many doors for those who live away from their home countries. However, postal mail is also here to stay. But how do banks send out Credit Cards and PIN Numbers ? How can you shop online if goods can’t be sent via email?. Postal mail may seem like an annoyance now, but we’ve come across a system that allows you to continue enjoying your life in Turkey, whilst still benefiting from a UK mailing address and all the rewards that brings.
The man behind this innovation is Allan Chester, a UK Entrepreneur and Turkish homeowner. Allan runs a company called UK Postbox, and his unique system named iPostalMail is already a lifeline to many British expats.
Interestingly enough, it was whilst in Turkey that Allan had the idea for UK Postbox: “I was sitting in the sun with a few of my friends, who happened to be British expats. They mentioned that they were interested in still shopping on British websites, but that none of the websites would ship their purchases to Turkey. I suggested that they ship the goods to me, and I forward the packages on to them. A light bulb went off — it was a fantastic idea. And it grew from there.”
This idea soon became UK Postbox’s ‘UK Address and Send’ service, the first of a number of options available to make life for those living abroad a lot easier. Now, after rapid expansion, UK Postbox has developed iPostalMail (the mail digitization data management system) a concept of which Allan is extremely proud.
“My passion is technology — gadgets and services that make our businesses or personal lives simpler and easier to manage. I wanted to develop a system that really identified the issues surrounding postal mail — whether it’s that it’s too slow, or it gets lost easily, etcetera — and eliminated those problems. iPostalMail powers the concept of managing your UK postal mail online, from anywhere in the world with an Internet connection.”
As a newspaper that caters to expats, we were impressed with Allan’s commitment to making life less of a struggle for those who live away from the UK. But we wanted to know more. How complicated is the process? Is it too expensive for the average person? Allan answered these questions, and more.
“It’s free to sign up, so there really is no obligation. There are a number of pricing plans, for moderate or very heavy users — even pay-as-you-go — which really simplifies things for my clients. It’s then a case of selecting a UK Postbox address at one of our many locations across the UK, and either letting people know about this new address or setting up a Royal Mail Divert. Many businesses enjoy picking a swanky London postcode – it looks good on their business cards, and impresses their potential clients.”
“When mail arrives with us, our team scans in each envelope and uploads it to the user’s secure online account for them to view. They can then choose to read each piece of mail, shred it, recycle or forward it on to any address worldwide’.
We’ve seen the process first hand and we agree it is a very simple, modern and effective way of keeping on top of your UK Royal Mail. The ideal advantage, in our opinion, is that you can keep a constant presence in the UK – as either a businessperson or just for your personal life – without actually living or working there. Fantastic for expats, and crucial for Turkish businesses who want to do business in the UK, without having a base in the country.
iPostalMail also offers a service to send mail, by creating a document in Word, Excel or PowerPoint and uploading it to your account. It will then be printed, stamped and posted the same day, allowing you to send postal mail from the Turkey to the UK, and have it arrive overnight. Now you really can communicate with your UK bank without running up crazy phone bills to the dreaded “call centres”. With UK PostBox it’s possible to send them a letter, and even send it using Royal Mail special services such as ‘signed for’ upon delivery.
The original UK Address and Send service will also prove invaluable. Allan’s expats were onto something, as we all love to enjoy British treats without the hassle of trying to negotiate with standoffish websites. It’s now possible to order anything and have it shipped to UK Postbox; they will then forward them on to you the day that they are received. They will even repack various packages together saving you courier
Allan’s business also has another service that is a godsend to British Expats. “I hear only too often the frustration of expats when it comes to receiving and paying in UK cheques. With lost post, lengthy delays and high rates of commission. We’ve developed a system whereby your UK cheques can be sent to us, and we will submit them into your UK bank for you. You can then withdraw the money at any ATM, worldwide.”
With a plethora of services available to Expats, Allan Chester is something of a revolutionary in the communications industry. We would recommend his service to any and all who are interested in making their lives easier and less stressful. It would also be a boom to any businesses’ communications or marketing plan, and Allan offers a personal touch, often answering his customers’ questions directly.
“I love always being on the other end of the phone. I’m here for my clients, and the feedback I receive is great. We’re committed to safety, privacy and efficiency. Many expats tell me how the system makes living abroad more of a pleasure and improves their communication with home. Who could ask for more than that?”