I received a letter this morning from the CSA asking me to attend an interview next week at the local job centre. This could be a problem, because I work and can’t attend at such short notice. I called the number on the letter and spoke to a woman, in Chester. When I gave my name she immediately knew who I was and told me she couldn’t speak to me, as I was to be contacted by letter only, and then she hung up on me.
What should I do now? I can’t attend the interview next Thursday as I’ll be in work, unless I manage to move some days around at very short notice. Even if I send a letter back to the CSA (as the woman said I should do) I can’t print one and send it until Monday when I’m next in the office, so they won’t get that until Wednesday, and the interview is Thursday!
Anyhow – listen to the call and see what you think.
Last week I appeared on local radio here in the North West talking about the website CSAhell.com, and how it has helped people dealing with the Child Support Agency. I was approached for the radio talk show because the researchers found the website in Google when they searched for phrases such as ‘CSA Advice’, ‘CSA Mistakes’ and even ‘Child Support Agency’ – proving how SEO can not only benefit your website’s rankings and traffic, but how it can also lead to offsite promotion such as local radio.
I recorded the segment and have uploaded it as a podcast, but must apologise in advance for the poor sound quality and additional commentary because the program I used to record it also recorded ambient sound from within the room.
Anyhow, have a listen and do let me know what you think.
I phoned the CSA again today, chasing up my request from January 20th where I asked for a complete breakdown of what I had paid so far, and for a recalculation of what I am due to pay.
As you may remember from my phonecall on January 20th, I was told that I had paid £58.75 for 23 weeks, totalling £900. Of course, as I pointed out at the time, £58.75 x 23 isn’t £900, it’s £1,351.25. The woman on the phone knew it was wrong (as you can hear in the phonecall) and she said she’d get it resolved and I’d get a new payment schedule sent to me in a few weeks.
It’s been 3 weeks now, so I phoned up just to check where they were up to.
That’s right, not only have they NOT done it, they have NO RECORD of my ever phoning up!
You honestly cannot make this shit up. The CSA may not have any record of my phonecall, but I have. Plus, I have a record of this one too, so you can listen to it here.
I’ve had a staggering £160+ deducted from my earnings each WEEK for the last 6 months or so, and slightly less than that since December 2007. They claim I’m in arrears, which I have disputed, but as the CSA is regulated by itself and governed by itself, any complaints get dealt with internally, all with the same conclusion.
Anyhow, the last notice I had from the CSA said that my DEO would change in November 2008 to something like £90 per month… which I knew was also way off the mark. It’s more like £105 per week. But hey, at least the CSA are consistent with their incompetence.
So as it’s now late January 2009, and I’m still having £160+ per week deducted from my pay, I thought it prudent to phone them and find out just how much they think my arrears are, and what they think I still owe them, and have paid so far.
What they told me was unbelievable.
They said I had been paying off arrears for the last 23 weeks (it has been more than that) at £58.75 arrears per week, totalling £900.
Um… 23 x £58.75 isn’t £900, it’s £1,351.25.
So what’s happened to the extra cash I’ve had taken from me? Even their own records don’t tally, and that’s what they admit to taking, they’ve actually taken a lot more than that!
Apparently I now have to wait a few weeks to find out what they’ve done while they ‘recalculate’ the arrears. I can’t wait to see what they come up with.
If you think this all sounds too unreal to be true (then you’ve obviously never dealt with the CSA) you can listen to the phone call here.
Yesterday I posted how Paul Gratton from the child support agency said they had no record of my sending a complaint letter to them. This was despite my having the letter from them confirming the receipt of my complaint letter in my hand while talking to him.
Needless to say they never phoned me back today, and I’ve still had no resolution or contact from them since they promised they’d resolve the issue.
In January Deb Smith from Torfaen Council successfully sorted out my council tax problem when I had received a summons and demand for money for unpaid council tax on a property I couldn’t even enter. That was good, well done Deb.
However, I have just received my bill for the next year April ’08 – April ’09. The bill is for something close to £1,000 as I’ve been charged the full amount, on a house that I’ve barely seen since August.
Now, surely I should able to get some sort of discount as I don’t live there? Well, yes. If there was no furniture at all in the house I could claim a 50% discount for several months, however there is a bed, a dining room table and the odd other piece… meaning I’m not eligible for that discount.
What about single occupancy? Surely I can at least claim that? I’m not living with my ex-wife anymore am I. Well, have a listen to this phone call I just made to someone who was extremely rude, suggesting I look in a dictionary for a definition of ‘living in a house’.
If the house was empty of furniture and no one was living in there I’d get a 50% discount. If I lived in the house on my own I’d get a 25% discount. If the house stands empty but has a table in it, I get charged the full amount… even though I’m not using any of the council’s services. No waste collection, no street lighting, no police force… nothing. The full amount.
I despair at this. I really do. Looks like I may have to move back into my house, using up the resources of Torfaen Council, just to claim a 25% discount on their council tax? How messed up is that?
I was stunned (though considering past experiences maybe I shouldn’t have been) to receive a bill from the Inland Revenue last week for the princely sum of £4.17 for interest on late payment. Obviously, I don’t actually owe this because as we’ve established already the Inland Revenue made the mistake of sending my completed Self Assessment Tax Form to someone else, at a completely different address.
Something that seems to be a theme with me.
So… I phoned the Inland Revenue today to sort the problem out and, well, as you can probably guess it didn’t go according to plan. It seems that after over a year trying to sort this out I will need to submit, in writing, an appeal over the £4.17 that they have incorrectly demanded from me.
You remember the podcast I put up a while back where some cock sucker phoned me up and demanded I tell him how to make money online. He withheld his number, lied about what he was doing and then started abusing me. He then phoned back the same night and received a massive amount of abuse from my pissed up flat mate.
Well the dipshit phoned back again recently. Have a listen to this.