It’s Nice To Come Out Ahead!

, , , , | Working | August 24, 2020

I manage to end up with two different accounts with the district council for council tax — an annual charge made by the local council to pay for things like garbage collection and such — for about eighteen months due to an error when recording my change of address with the council. One account includes my middle name and one doesn’t.

I am initially unaware of this and am only made aware when I receive a letter stating that I owe some amount under £150 for council tax at a property I no longer live in.

I ring the council to try and sort this out. As far as I know, I am up to date and have made all payments.

After getting through to the correct team, we spend about two hours going over the payments and charges on the account for the period I lived in the property in question.

Rep: “I can see that there are some admin charges relating to letters on the account, but I can’t talk to you about them. I can only talk about monthly payments and charges.”

Me: “Fine, let’s go through those, then, and work this all out.”

Two hours later, including it being explained to me about the second account…

Rep: “Once you got so deep into arrears, we did an electoral roll search and found that you’d been paying us under this other account since [date], so the charges from that point were zeroed.”

Me: “So, we’re in agreement that I haven’t missed any payments, you’ve billed me appropriately for where I was living and when I lived there, and there’s still [amount] outstanding? I don’t understand.”

Rep: “Yep, we’ve billed you [amount #1] between [date #1] and [date #2] for [address #1] and [amount #2] between [date #3] and [date #4] for [address #2]. You’ve paid [amount #3], leaving this balance outstanding.”

Me: “But we’ve just agreed that I haven’t missed any payments, so how can there be a balance? I think we need to talk about these admin fees, as that’s the only thing we’ve not covered.”

Rep: “I cannot discuss those with you.”

Me: “Then put me through to someone who can.”

I am then connected to one of the managers and thankfully don’t have to explain the situation again as often happens.

Manager: “So, we’re talking about admin fees on your account from when you lived at [address #1]. Okay, I can see that we charged you £75 because we sent a letter demanding payment to [address #1] on [date].”

Me: “We’ve already established that I wasn’t living there on [date] and was paying at [address #2].”

Manager: “Yep, that’s right. So we’ll take that charge off. This other admin fee was for a letter we sent demanding payment on [later date].”

Me: “I still wasn’t living there on [later date], so that one can come off, too.”

Manager: “Yep, okay. That’s fair. Well, taking those off takes your outstanding balance to… Oh, we owe you [amount]. How would you like to receive this?”

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