Here’s my complaint letter for the CSA. I don’t imagine it will do any good, but what the hell, it’s good content for the website if nothing else.
Child Support Agency Birkenhead
Post Handling Section
2 Weston Road
I write this letter more in hope than in expectation but it is with some regret that I must complain about the actions, or rather inactions of the child support agency.
I don’t actually expect any coherent response, but I felt I should go through what passes for the ‘proper channels’ before escalating the situation to the public domain in a viral capacity.
I first telephoned the CSA and spoke to Shelly d’Coeur on January 9th 2007. I raised my concerns over the amount you had calculated that I should pay, with regards to the extra money I was already paying out because of my ex-wife. She assured me that my caseworker, Steve Gibson, would telephone me the next day.
He did not. Despite numerous efforts by myself to contact Steve Gibson throughout January and February he never answered his phone or returned any of my messages. Eventually, in March, Steve actually telephoned.
This was the one and only time I spoke to Steve Gibson.
Steve advised me that I should fill in a variations form and claim for travel expenses to see my children and for my rent in Manchester as it was work related. My house in Wales, which was jointly owned by my ex-wife and myself was still having its mortgage paid by myself. It was vacant at the time, and is still vacant today.
I filled in the form and returned it to Steve Gibson. I received a reply about the form, and then some weeks later in June I received a letter from Steve Gibson requesting my variations form, as he hadn’t received it. He had not only received it, but he had replied. This has been commented about on my website here: http://www.mrdaz.com/csa-given-more-power/
In fact you can read everything that has happened to date on the website here: http://www.mrdaz.com/category/csa/ – it chronicles the whole escapade, but doesn’t have all of the phone conversations yet…
The comments made on the reply stated that according to my ex-wife I returned home to work rather than to see my children, which wasn’t true, and that I couldn’t claim for rent on the flat where I work.
I have since learned from Nicky Tyler that the rules governing claiming for rental accommodation were changed in 2003, so when Steve Gibson advised me to claim for this rather than for my mortgage payments on our jointly owned property he was lying to me. Either that or he was incompetent in his job. Whichever the reason for his deceit, Nicky Tyler now advises me that as I have now only returned a completed variations form in November 2007 I cannot claim for any mortgage payments prior to November.
This again flies in the face of the lies Steve Gibson told me back in March. He said any payments made by me would be taken into consideration and would be backdated from my variations form.
In addition to this, my communication with the CSA has been hindered because of your refusal to speak to me over the phone. You have refused to do this because I record ALL of my phone calls. It is because I do this that you should be advised that I can prove everything I have said. Every phone conversation I have had with the CSA has been recorded. All of the broken promises, factual inaccuracies and lies you have told me have been recorded.
I imagine at this point that you’re feverishly routing around in your nostrils for that ‘hard-to-find’ bogie and wondering whether you can just toss this letter in the bin and make out that it never arrived. You can’t. It too has been posted on the website.
The last cock up from you was in October when you sent my correspondence to the wrong address, despite having the correct address on the system. I telephoned you to find out what was going on as you were supposed to be communicating with me via post but hadn’t contacted me. The compulsory deduction of earnings order you sent to my place of work was for too much, so I was forced to telephone you. I spoke to a chap named Ryan who admitted the most awful of incompetence on your part.
This phone call was the last straw and forced me to animate a video for it and upload it to YouTube. It has now received over 1,000 views: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=g6vqCGhJBK4
As you have lied to me about what I can claim for and have ignored the fact that I have been paying a mortgage on a jointly owned property from the date of your claim through to and including July you are over charging me for child maintenance.
You were 2 months late in replying to me through Steve Gibson’s incompetence when I originally telephoned you on January 9th, and then Steve Gibson lied to me about what I could claim for.
The CSA are wholly responsible for the mistake. Had you returned my call and advised me correctly when I first contacted you this would have been dealt with in January 2007, rather than still be ongoing in January 2008.
I demand a written apology from you and for you to correctly alter my deduction of earnings order to take into consideration the mortgage payments I have made on our jointly owned property.
I had requested from my ex-wife that I rent out the vacant property to cover the mortgage so I could pay her what my children required, but she refused. She instead insisted that I continue paying for the vacant property. It was for this reason that I was forced to cease the mortgage payments, for which there is a repossession hearing scheduled for January 21st.
Please take note of my address when replying to this, it’s the one at the top of the page.
Yours very nearly bankrupt due to the CSA’s unrivalled incompetence,
Darren Craig Jamieson