I received this reply from the CSA a while back when I complained about how they were charging me arrears when I’d been paying my ex-wife’s mortgage the whole time. They’ve made a catalogue of errors and have summed them all up in this letter.
This took me some time to type up, so I hope you appreciate it?
Dear Mr Jamieson
Thank you for your letter dated 13th January 2008 which was passed to me for reply.
You raised the following issues:
- You say that your caseworker Steve Gibson failed to respond to your telephone calls throughout January and February and that you only managed to speak to Steve in March.
- You say you were misinformed by your caseworker as to what you were eligible to claim through a variations application.
- You raised concern that you were asked to complete a second variations form, despite being advised we had received the first one.
- You asked that we amend the amount on the deduction-from-earnings order to take into account the mortgage payments on your jointly owned property.
The following action was taken to resolve your complaint
- Firstly I must apologise unreservedly if you feel you have not received the service you have a right to expect when we failed to reserve your calls.
- I am unable to comment on what you say you were advised regarding the variations application as I am unable to retrieve the actual call from our records. I do assure you however, that our staff are fully trained in all elements of their casework. I apologise if there was any misunderstanding at the point of contact and understand that this has since been resolved in your telephone call to Nicky Taylor. I have also provided written clarification of the process you application followed below:
- Regarding the variations form, I see from the case papers that this already been discussed with you. Despite the apparent loss of the original form, it is clear that we did consider your request.
You may find it helpful to have an update of your case so far. We received your variation application on 13th April 2007. You applied for the variation on the following grounds; contact costs, car loan and entertainment costs. Under Child Support Regulations Mrs Jamieson was given the opportunity to comment on the information supplied by you. A letter was issued to you on 20th June 2007 advising you of the comments received from Mrs Jamieson. The outcome of this variation application was as follows:
– Contact costs – Mrs Jamieson did not dispute your mileage estimate and agreed that you did visit your children initially but Mrs Jamieson also stated that you made the journey for work related purposes and that you owned a property in the same area as Mrs Jamieson therefore the journey was not solely made to visit your children. You have also indicated that subsequently you have had no contact with your children since 16th June 2007 yet still choose to make the journey.
– Car Loan – Mrs Jamieson confirmed the loan amount and that she still owns and drives the Honda Civic but stated this was paid for outright from the sale of the jointly owned Land Cruiser. Mrs Jamieson stated that the Land Cruiser was sold for approximately £10,000. £4,000 of which was used to purchase the Honda Civic and the remainder being used to cover a few sundry expenses and debts. Mrs Jamieson went on to add there is no outstanding finance on the Honda Civic. Mrs Jamieson has an invoice confirming this transaction. Mrs Jamieson reiterated the car loan was for your BMW sports car which was stolen but then returned and hat you took out a further loan for a Hyundai Coupe which she believed you were still paying for.
– Entertainment Expenses – Mrs Jamieson agreed that you had paid an average of £15 per week entertainment costs when you did see your children, she also confirmed you had paid £36 per month into Savings Accounts for the children the last of these payments being made at the end of April 2007. Mrs Jamieson stated she was willing to accept these payments, which totalled £839, in lieu of maintenance. We adjusted your arrears balance accordingly on 12th October 2007.
We wrote out to you on 22nd November 2007, rejecting this application as above and enclosing a new application form to apply for a variation on housing costs.
– We received this Variations application on 28th November 2007. You applied for a variation in regard to mortgage payments you made on the property 190 Oaksford, Cwmbran. However included in the application was a letter in which you stated you were not prepared to forward any documents. Mrs Jamieson stated that the mortgage on this property had not been paid since 31st July 2007 and was subject to a repossession order due to be heard on 12th January 2008. Therefore this application was rejected as it failed contest stage due to insufficient evidence supplied by you and as per Child Support Variations Regulations 2000, Prior Debts regulation 12.
- We are unable to amend the amount being deducted from your salary. The amount is set for the amount of regular maintenance, based on the circumstances at the time your case was assessed plus an additional amount to recover arrears. Your case falls under new rules post 2003 legislation at a rate of 25% of your net income for your three children Casey, Kira and Robert. The net income figure that was used is £419.54. The assessment was calculated at £105 per week. An additional £58.74 each week is being deducted to recover the outstanding arrears balance which currently stands at £3,054.48. The total weekly amount falls just short of the 40% of net income we are able to deduct to recover arrears.
Your letter states that you have mentioned the names of our employees, Nicky Taylor, Steve Gibson and Ryan on your website www.mrsdaz.com. This has been done without their consent. I ask that you remove the details of our employees from this website and that you confirm that you will not mention their names on any other websites or any other kind of public communications. Please confirm within 14 days of the date of this letter that you have taken steps to remove the names of our employees. Should you fail to respond within 14 days we reserve the right to consider further action.
Your letter further states that you intend to place all of the telephone conversations you have had with members of staff on your website. The Governments Regulatory Body for Telecommunications (OFCOM) makes reference to the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000. This allows individuals to record telephone calls or emails, however it prohibits them be made available to a third party if consent has not been obtained. Please confirm within 14 days of the date of this letter that you will not be placing these calls on your website and that you have removed the call already logged on “u tube”. Should you fail to respond within 14 days we reserve the right to consider further action.
All action has now been taken to resolve your complaint, and the Agency now considers this matter closed.
If however you do not believe that this response satisfactorily deals with your complaint, you can, within the next 6 months write to Martin Connor, Client Service Director. He can be contacted at the Child Support Agency Centre, Post Handling Section, 2 Weston Road, Crewe, CW98 1BB.
Senior Complaints Resolution Manager
North West Area
Well Judi Cass, I’m pleased the child support agency considers the matter closed, however I do not. My reply will be here very shortly, and winging its way to your good self as well.