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    • Hi there, sorry to hear of your situation but I have some excellent help for you, as unfortunately I have been in the same place at one point, owing more than £6000 in back council tax.   None of this is your fault, we are in the most serious public health and economic crisis for 100 years, councils are desperate to shore up their finances, unfortunately this means they are taking a rather blunt sledgehammer approach.  Right now, speaking to the call centre or recovery team is utterly pointless, I remember them sneering at me on the phone when I had no money to pay my rent. All it will do is get you nowhere and stress you out.   If you listen to me this can all be sorted out by tea time tomorrow, but before I explain, I need to make one thing clear.  You will not go to prison, end of.   So here is your course of action for Monday AM   1. Google your local Councillor and Elected head of council. Their mobile numbers and Emails should be on Google.  2. Ring your local councillor and explain everything, just as you did here. 3. If you don't get through to the councillor, leave a Voicemail and send an email explaining everything. 4. Ring up your GP / Consultant and ask for a medical note explaining what your illness is and all of the treatments with Side effects.   5. Google or ask for a copy of your local council's code of practice for collections.   Your councillor will likely be very concerned about poverty levels, and they have complete power to override  anyone in collections at the local council. Unlike the Finance team or call centre who probably don't care a fig.   Email to local councillor along the lines of   Dear XYZ   I am in a situation where I am unable to work because of my illness, and am now on Universal Credit, as I result I have fallen behind with my Council Tax. Unfortunately the demands I am receiving to pay up or receive a liability order I simply can't afford .  I understand the importance of Council Tax and know that finances are tight but paying this amount would mean not being able to pay my rent.  I hope you can understand the dire situation that I am in and would accept an offer of £x per month, to be reviewed after 6 months.  I am happy to send in any medical information from my consultant if needed. I look forward to your reply,   Kind Regards              
    • Thank you so much. I'll submit this tomorrow. I also visited the location yesterday, its 100 miles from my home. They've changed the signage, there's now a lot more small signs. There is an erected sign on entrance, damaged and the ANPR is actually fixed to the side of the burger king building.
    • Hello, I'm reading this as I have a similar problem - booking.com are refusing a refund and the accommodation are not replying to my emails. I have found the details for the CEO of booking.com but not the UK director of customer services. Please could you share this with me? Thanks. 
    • Did you send the note giving them the extension of time? When does the extension expire/date for issue of claim? I see that this thread started on 25 October. I have to say that when it started I thought it was going to be a quick fix and hadn't bargained for virgin's ineptitude which has certainly made it a lot more interesting but I'm hoping that March is going to be the month that it will finally all get sorted out. Surely someone responsible within Virgin has got to start taking a look and understanding the extraordinary mess that they have built for themselves and want to sort it out.  
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    • I sent in the bailiffs to the BBC. They collected £350. It made me smile.
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    • Hi @BankFodder
      Sorry for only updating you now, but after your guidance with submitting the claim it was pretty straight forward and I didn't want to unnecessarily waste your time. Especially with this guide you wrote here, so many thanks for that
      So I issued the claim on day 15 and they requested more time to respond.
      They took until the last day to respond and denied the claim, unsurprisingly saying my contract was with Packlink and not with them.
       
      I opted for mediation, and it played out very similarly to other people's experiences.
       
      In the first call I outlined my case, and I referred to the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 as the reason to why I do in fact have a contract with them. 
       
      In the second call the mediator came back with an offer of the full amount of the phone and postage £146.93, but not the court costs. I said I was not willing to accept this and the mediator came across as a bit irritated that I would not accept this and said I should be flexible. I insisted that the law was on my side and I was willing to take them to court. The mediator went back to Hermes with what I said.
       
      In the third call the mediator said that they would offer the full amount. However, he said that Hermes still thought that I should have taken the case against Packlink instead, and that they would try to recover the court costs themselves from Packlink.
       
      To be fair to them, if Packlink wasn't based in Spain I would've made the claim against them instead. But since they are overseas and the law lets me take action against Hermes directly, it's the best way of trying to recover the money.
       
      So this is a great win. Thank you so much for your help and all of the resources available on this site. It has helped me so much especially as someone who does not know anything about making money claims.
       
      Many thanks, stay safe and have a good Christmas!
       
       
        • Thanks
    • Hermes and mediation hints. https://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/topic/428981-hermes-and-mediation-hints/&do=findComment&comment=5080003
      • 1 reply
    • Natwest Bank Transfer Fraud Call HMRC Please help. https://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/topic/428951-natwest-bank-transfer-fraud-call-hmrc-please-help/&do=findComment&comment=5079786
      • 33 replies

Universal credit a different side


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On the 05/12/2015

 

 

Government considers adding council tax support to Universal Credit! Full story here

>>http://www.publicsectorexecutive.com/Public-Sector-News/government-considers-adding-council-tax-support-to-universal-credit

 

 

 

 

"Former MP and council leader Eric Ollerenshaw will chair a review on behalf of the DCLG to assess if local council tax support (LCTS) schemes are acting as a fair and effective system countrywide, and whether it should become part of Universal Credit payments in the future.

 

The review will also examine how the reform of council tax benefit has been implemented and how it affects those reliant on this support".

 

 

 

 

Although this is just a review at present it could become fact. I am just opening up a discussion in to this new matter and hopefully let the wider claimant know now just in case they make it part of UC...

 

 

 

 

I can for see several issues with this in as much as follows:

 

 

1. If the Government do act on this and make the claimants responsible for paying their own CT, then giving them the money to pay it.

 

 

2. Since it often takes up to 7 weeks to get your first payment then you may already be in arrears by this amount.

 

 

3. If in arrears you could face the fact you could be taken to Court and a Liability Order (LO) issued against you.

 

 

4. If they do take you to Court and get an LO issued you may face a letter fee of about £75-00

 

 

5. Then if you fail to set up an agreement to pay they may add a further £235-00 to your bill.

 

 

6. I can see that in some cases where this can cause even more of a hopeless situation for some claimants.

 

 

7. There could be further debt issues and then all of this spiralling out of control!

 

 

 

 

What can claimants do to stop this? Their only option could be is to save the amount and keep it safe. This just so when you go on to Universal Credit (UC) then you can pay your bill on time (CT) therefore not falling in to this horrible trap.

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another issue will be that to simplify calculations for DWP - it is highly likely that the level of assistance will be standard rate - and not take into account CT banding or charges

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I cannot see this happening any time soon due to the complexity involved with CT banding. There will also be other issues yet to be uncovered where people are rubbish at money management.

 

On to some of the points raised above.

 

1. If the Government do act on this and make the claimants responsible for paying their own CT, then giving them the money to pay it.

 

For this to be effective, the money needs to be in place ready for the financial new hear (April). I can't see this happening as it would just confuse issues even if that years CT has already been agreed.

 

 

2. Since it often takes up to 7 weeks to get your first payment then you may already be in arrears by this amount.

 

If this does come in, councils will be told to exercise forbearance whilst the assessment is ongoing.

 

3. If in arrears you could face the fact you could be taken to Court and a Liability Order (LO) issued against you.

 

Not necessarily. By keeping the council updated, they should act as above.

 

 

4. If they do take you to Court and get an LO issued you may face a letter fee of about £75-00

 

Not forgetting the costs of getting the LO in the first place. This can range from £75 up to £125 depending on where you live. You can also challenge the issuing of a LO when communications have been maintained.

 

 

5. Then if you fail to set up an agreement to pay they may add a further £235-00 to your bill.

 

If you have kept up communication with the council, there would be no need for EAs to get involved

 

6. I can see that in some cases where this can cause even more of a hopeless situation for some claimants.

 

Very true. The complexity involved in the benefits system confuses many people who would consider themselves reasonably intelligent. What about the people with mental health problems, the partially sighted or even the illiterate.

 

 

7. There could be further debt issues and then all of this spiralling out of control!

 

Quite! As UC is paid in arrears there is the possibility of people resorting to usury just to get money for heating, lighting, cooking and food etc. There may be loans available via DWP but you still have to pay this back.

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