Council tax issue TheOne

#1
I noticed the other day that my council tax DD hadn't gone out of my bank account this month. I looked back previous month's and saw it hadn't been going out then either. I have been liable for the council tax in this property since September 2016. I contacted the council in the first few days of September and informed them. I contacted them via phone as well as a number of emails. I told them I normally pay by DD, they asked for my bank account details which I promptly gave. They finally sent me a bill in November for payments to start in December! They also sent me another email around this time as a repeat acknowledgement of my original email.

So instead of paying over say, 6 months (October - March) I now had to pay the same amount over 4 months!

Phoned the council last week, got put on hold for 1/2 an hour only to be cut off with no option of leaving a message (assumed they'd all gone home). Phoned them again today, finally got through to someone. Told them the situation, pretty much all they could do was say "well we'll let you pay it over the next 3 months". So the fact they took over 2 months to set it up in the first place increased what I should have been paying each month. And now they fact they have messed up by not taking the direct debit even though I had given them all the information they needed has increased it even more!

When I asked for an explanation as to why the DD hadn't been taken, they couldn't offer one.

So now things are going to be even tighter over the next 3-4 months.

Yes, perhaps I should have checked my bank statements more thoroughly, but as I said I gave them all the information they needed. I guess there's not much I can do now other than pay the higher amount each month.

Just frustrated. I told them it's a good thing they are not a utility supplier, because with such poor customer service I would have taken my business elsewhere by now. Unfortunately with council tax, I don't have such an option. Probably won't get a refund for crappy service either!



PS. Sorry if this in the wrong forum. It seemed the most suitable for the subject.

#2
There's not a lot you can do other than ask if they'll spread the payments over a longer period for you.



What was shown as the payment method and number of instalments on the demand notice you received in November ?



Craig

#3



So now things are going to be even tighter over the next 3-4 months.
Originally posted by TheOne


If they're tighter it's because you spent money in your account that should have been allocated for CT payments. While the council were slow setting the DD up in the first place then at fault for not taking it at all the main responsibility lies with you in not checking what was going on with your account. Perhaps you'll take it as a lesson to keep a closer eye on your money in the future.

#4
Things are tight because you spent the money.



Yes their admin looks slow but the money was and is still due.



Not sure what you want really - if they give you longer to pay then it will roll into your next year's payments and still be tight presumably.



Didn't you wonder why you were better off? Council tax is usually one of the chunkier regular bills and the amount quite noticeable.

#5
You can pay council tax by other methods other than direct debit. If a payment had not gone out, surely you could have looked at other ways to pay. I would be very surprised if your council for example did not allow card payments. Can I recommend that if possible next year you put aside enough to cover a portion or all of the council tax the following year. You can put it in a savings account to earn a bit of money on it. Then pay your bill in full the following year. You then put the money you would have paid that year into a savings accounts and again repay the following year. (If you can pay it using a reward/cash back card and you will effectively gain from making the payment)

#6
When we had a problem with Council Tax and Housing Benefit payments, it was admittedly some years ago. It was due to a combination of massively increased expenditure caused by a family problem and our Disability claims actually being successfull, meaning we had entitlement to CT and HB relief. We were absolutely broke. We became so sick and fed up with the insensitive inefficiency of the Council, that we went to our Council HQ and demanded an appointment. They had lost bank statements and receipts, utility bills and other documents. We made a loud protest at the front desk and were eventually seen by a manager. We had taken care to bring as many documents as possible and we stated that we would not move until the situation was sorted out. They threatened police action to remove us, and we stated that we would involve local and national media if they did that.



3½ hours later, we had everything that we came for. I never forgot this and a few years later, after we had put our financial affairs on a better footing, we managed without CT and HB benefits, giving up all entitlement. The loss of those benefits was absolutely worth it: we no longer had to suffer the mistakes, inefficient service and plain discourtesies of some council staff. We saw it as "getting out from under" their rule.



If we ever had to do anything like that again, we would immediately ask for an appointment with a relevant official, and go directly to Council HQ. It is our earnest hope that we never have to do that, but that is what I recommend.

#8



Council tax was not taken out of my account this month either .............as our council takes payments over 10 months.
Originally posted by jonesMUFCforever


That's why I was asking what the OP's demand notice showed but they seem not to have come back.



Craig

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