Friday, November 02, 2007

Jumping Through The Hoops

Although I still have many hoops to jump through for the Jobcentre, it's all on hold until such time as my medical notes arrive from Lowestoft and I see my new GP.

I swear Waveney District Council must have heard that I was getting a week or so grace from performing for government departments, because they have kindly provided me with more Big Brother tasks.

I was liable for part of the Council Tax on the flat, because while the Jobcentre Incapacity Benefit letters all said "this is the amount the government says you need to live on", the Waveney District Council letters all said "(you must give us money and pay part of your rent yourself because)...your income is more than the amount you need to live on". Which seemed like a bit of a local/national kind of discrepancy to me, but, whatever, I had not got the time, energy, inclination or resources to fight with them over a tenner a week or whatever it was.

Anyway, I made a lump-sum payment to cover the whole year just so that they would leave me alone, which worked beautifully. Unfortunately it meant that, as I moved out before the end of the financial year, they ended up owing me money.

Currently we're on letter number 3. Number 1 said "we will stop your payment." Number 2, the other day, said "we have stopped your payment". Number 3, which arrived in the same post as Number 2, was the one which made me do a double-take. It amounts to "we owe you about £65. We're not sure if you actually want that money. So if you do want it, you can write to us and ask nicely for it."

I am trying, I swear, I am trying to write a concise, polite letter to the effect of "actually yes, I would rather like you to pay me the money you owe me, if you could be so kind" but so far I haven't come up with anything sendable. I fear that a request for payment that is too snarky or sarcastic or critical, may well end up in my file being 'lost' or something. They're that kind of organisation. So I'm blogging my frustration instead.

Your suggestions, sensible or snarky, are more than welcome.

(In other news, there are now only 728 people ahead of me in the queue to get on Ravelry. I'm getting quite excited.)


Carie @ Space for the Butterflies said...

Come and say hello when you get to Ravelry! not long now...

Pandora Caitiff said...

I cant think of any funny, snarky replies. I know, I'm shocked too!

So, you could just go with:

Re: your letter of (date)

Dear Sir/Madam

I would like to claim back the £65 owed to me by Waveney Council Tax Section. I enclose a photocopy of your confirmation of this amount, reference (number).

Please make the cheque payable to Mary/Please pay the amount into account 00-00-00 00000000.

Yours faithfully etc

Mary said...

ooh, there's a thought, enclosing a photocopy of *their* letter. That probably explains many of the problems I have encountered with them - I've always had multiple copies of stuff I have given them, but stuff they have given me, I've just stated the date and reference number(s) and made the assumption it's all on my file... silly chicken that I am.

Appalled at the sensible reply though :(

(only 412 people ahead of me in the Ravelry list...)

Anonymous said...

*cancels Ravelry application*


(not really. I don't want to wake up with a 4mm DPN through each eyelid)

I'd go with phoning them up and asking why they are wasting your council tax asking silly questions, and how many people they have actually contacted in this way who *haven't* said "yup, stump up the cash, muppets" or similar...

Chelsea A. Morrish said...

Dear So and So,

Of course I want my !@#$%^&* money back! I didn't want to give it to you in the first place! Give me back my money (screw the nice letter) or I'll take you to court because it's my !@#$%^& money in the first place, and not yours! =P

Warm Regards,

I think that would do. I'm not bitter at all, lol. Good luck on your letter. =)

Mary said...

Evilstevie - the problem is that if I do get critical, they won't send me my money without a fight. And I don't think I'd quite manage to squeeze £65-worth of satisfaction from it.

Phoning them doesn't work. It eventually gets picked up by an answering maching (so you get charged by your provider for the call, to discourage you from making repeated calls) but no one gets back to you (so that, if it's not important enough to you that you will make your way to their offices and be prepared for a couple of hours waiting, they don't have to deal with you at all).

Alexis - I think it's the "Warm Regards" that makes that beautiful :)

98 people ahead of me on the Ravelry list!

Maggie said...

Hi Mary, you will have fun on Ravelry. Expect you'll have your invite by now?

I'm afraid I haven't put much up there yet (Life just keeps happening :-( ) but you can find me as LiverpoolMaggie. Sadly LiverpoolLeftovers was too long a user name.

Just got IB50 last Tuesday and then computer crashed and I thought it was dead so read 3 books across 2 days before trying it again to find it had got its knickers in a twist over some file on the BBCi beta testing so once it was reset to settings when it last worked it was OK...

Have to confess to (coincidentally) spilling some liquid on it - must have kicked my glass over while having a nightmare about the IB50. So I really did think it was dead. But hopefully only a couple of drips landed on the keyboard and a splatter on the screen so am praying it lasts out until I can find the leads to backup to external hard drive. Eeeek! ;-)

Hugs from foggy Liverpool

Mary said...

Hi Maggie

Yeah, I got my invite last night. I shall look you up.

An IB50 *and* a buggered computer? Ouch.