CSA mistakenly send me someone else’s bank details

A few weeks ago (January 20th) I asked the CSA to send me a breakdown of what I paid to date, and what I owed. I recorded the phone call, because I knew they’d either lie about my requesting it or just muck it up. Sure enough, when I phoned back some weeks later they had no recollection of my having called (even though I had) so I asked the same question again.

This time a chap named Barney said he’d send me the details, which to his credit, he did. I did tell him I was recording the call though, so he’d have struggled to worm his way out of it.

I received my details through the post in a timely fashion; however, I also received something else. I received something which highlights a level of incompetence and lack of organisation that only the Child Support Agency has the ability to display. They sent me a printout of internal email between one of their accountants, Natalie Walters, and Patricia Corris. In the email, Natalie asked Patricia to update the details on a PWC (parent with care), and printed the woman’s bank account number and sort code for her building society.

This email was printed out by Patricia Corris, left lying around on the printer at the CSA in Birkenhead, and then picked up and posted to my address! In doing so, Patricia Corris broke data protection laws.

Here’s a copy of the email, with the bank details removed (because I’m not incompetent like the CSA):

Patricia Corris email

Corris Patricia CSA Birkenhead
From: Walters Natalie CSA Birkenhead
Sent: 09 February 2009 19:42
To: Corris Patricia CSA Birkenhead
Subject: ******4210

Sorry trish am on training now and the phones have been mad im trying 2 do me 2 pieces of post b4 she has me ha.
Will you update iico please for pwc bank details sc 165521 acct num ******62 thanks don’t forget

OA3 Accounts
Ext 2463

You’ll notice by the mix of broken English and text speak that Natalie isn’t the sharpest tool in the box, and by the fact that Patricia printed an email containing someone’s bank details and left it lying around on the printer for some other bright spark to pick up and post to random people, it’s clear that the CSA isn’t really filled with geniuses.

So, if you’re a parent with care and your bank is the Cumberland Building Society, Cumberland House, Castle Street, Carlisle, CA3 8RX, with the sort code 16-52-21, your bank account details may have been printed out and posted to me. Perhaps they’ve been posted to other people as well? Who knows!

The real question is, what did the CSA have to say about this? Let’s ask them!

Here’s the recorded phone call of what happened when I phoned the CSA to tell them of their gross negligence.

As you can hear, they ‘claim’ they’ll contact the PWC to let her know about the screw up, and they ‘claim’ that a manager will be involved. I doubt either will happen, so I phoned the Daily Mirror and got a journalist on the case. He spoke to the CSA, and received a grovelling letter back from them admitting the mistake, but I have yet to hear back from them, either in writing or by phone call. I was promised that Patricia Corris would call me to apologise, but she hasn’t.

Hopefully she’s been sacked. Hopefully the whole of the Birkenhead office has been sacked, but sadly I doubt it. This type of cock up is hardly out of the ordinary, and I expect the CSA will continue to do this until the whole organisation is shut down amid mass public outcry. How many screw ups will this take though? How many CSA mistakes must we endure before something is done?

If I wasn’t laughing so hard I’d be crying right now.

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Darren Jamieson, aka MrDaz, is the Technical Director and co-founder of Engage Web and has been working online in a career spanning two decades. His first website was built in 1998 and is still live today.

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25 thoughts on “CSA mistakenly send me someone else’s bank details”

  1. Their incompetence is truly breathtaking.

    I can see a juicy fine on the way from the information commissioner…


    But then it will be tax payers fining themselves, plus administrative costs.

  2. Well done for standing up and publicising your very real and atrocious experiences with the CSA. It is all too easy for those who have not had to deal with the CSA to assume they are rightfully collecting money from irresponsible parents and fulfilling their image of reducing child poverty.

    The reality of their maladministration and abuse of power, purely to meet financial targets, with total disregard for the lives they ruin in the process or the real issue of child welfare, is never highlighted to the public.

    Keep up your fight and I hope you manage to make ripples in the right pond so the public get to find out what the CSA are really about.

  3. The CSA sent a court letter with a statement containing all my personal details eg. NI number, date of birth amount owed, daughters name date of birth my address etc to someone else what can I do they are a law unto themselves

  4. After reading the above I that you should bear in mind that everyone is human and people make mistakes.

    Your opinion is your opinion but to say you hope someone has been sacked is cruel. You dont know this person, they may be a lovely person and you dont know what was going on in their life at that time that may have caused a lapse in concentration that day.

    Fari enough if your not happy with the service that you have been provided, I just think that your post on her was far too targeted and equally as unprofessional as your are saying you believe them to be.

  5. Laura

    I don’t know what was going on in their lives? Yes I do, it was in the stupid woman’s email!

    “Sorry trish am on training now and the phones have been mad im trying 2 do me 2 pieces of post b4 she has me ha.”

    Doesn’t sound like she’s too stressed, just complaining about having to do her job – meanwhile between the two of them they managed to post some poor woman’s bank details out to me.

    How many other times has this happened? Yes she should be sacked – you don’t send bank details in an email, you don’t print them off and you don’t leave them laying around on a printer to be picked up by anybody.

  6. Thats not really about whats going on in their lives is it!

    Plus, I actually meant the person who left them at the printer, from what I can gather that this wasn’t the lady who put the bank details in the email.

    As I said my opinion is that your post was far too targeted!

  7. Laura, whatever is going on in your life is no excuse for gross negligence and breaching the Data Protection Act – which is a very serious offence by the way.

    Mistake 1 – putting bank details in an email
    Mistake 2 – printing said email
    Mistake 3 – leaving said email on the printer for anyone to find it
    Mistake 4 – picking up printed email and posting it to someone else

    That’s four monumental cock-ups that had to happen before someone’s bank details were posted to someone else. I suppose you’re suggesting all four instances (requiring at least 3 different people) were due to ‘life problems’.

  8. I’m finding your patronising nature unattractive so I dont wish to engage in conversation any further and please dont suppose anything on my behalf!

  9. You came back to tell me you don’t want to reply? Kind of an oxymoron isn’t it?

    I’m not supposing anything. You’re defending this string of errors, this bombardment of breaches to the Data Protection Act, by claiming the idiots responsible may have had things going on their lives.

    The irony is of course that everyone affected by these idiots definitely did have things going on in their lives – the constant harassment at the hands of the CSA. The people being hounded by these idiots would have ample reason for making mistakes in their workplace, but when your job consists of harassing people for money, threatening them with repossession and bailiffs, you have no such luxury.

    Here’s a presumption for you – your defending of these idiots seems a little too vigorous, and your refusal to explain your reasons in the face of a constructive argument is very familiar. Work for the CSA do we?

  10. If you read my comment properly you would see I didnt state that I didn’t want to reply, I stated I no longer wish to engage in conversation with you.

    You are quite obviously a prat!

    Conversation over!

  11. “I dont wish to engage in conversation any further” – that means you don’t want to reply. A reply to a statement is, by its very definition, a conversation.

    Your attempt at arguing over semantics merely shows to highlight the holes in your logic. Clearly the actions of a CSA case worker. I thought as much.

  12. Thought you’d left this conversation three times already – shouldn’t you be phoning non resident parents to demand money from, then making excuses to parents with care as to why they haven’t had any money?

  13. You are quite the debater – maybe a move into politics beckons? Perhaps this time you can manage to ‘exit the conversation’ without coming back to startle us with your dry wit and superior intellect?

  14. Hi The CSA! I’m paying £221 pm (attachment to earnings) for
    a 24 year old son I have not seen since he emigrated to Australia
    at the age of 5! Reason, the CSA tell me I have archived dept that
    needs repaying amounting to over £18000? They have never
    substantiated their claim in anyway, I have asked numerous times
    for a home visit, seeked legal advice and even tried to visit my
    nearest agency (Was denied entry) I am and will continue to pursue
    this matter (Probably) till the day I die. But I wish someone could
    tell me if or how it is possible for them to substantiate the
    claims against me? Theives face the law, the CSA seem immune to
    both the law and common decency.

  15. My wife took my 3 children to Liverpool I live in Ipswich this is going back 6 years and now she’s getting the c s a on to me.what after all this time why now.can I appeal against this..

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