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my local CAB bad practise and duff advice, what should i do?


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Ok, not sure if this is in the right section, so sorry if it is, I’m feeling quite fed up about my local CAB and wondering if there’s any suggestion as to what I could do etc. Firstly many months ago, I received a letter out of the blue for a debt that I had no idea about, cos I was already a member on here, I checked the ins and outs and it seemed this company had never contacted me for over 6 years, so it was statute barred, they harassed me, I reported them to OFT and trading standards and they sent me a letter saying they would “close their files” fab, all sorted, just as I knew it would be, but cos trading standards told me to speak to CAB to see if there was any other info, I did, and they gave me such crap advice, they told me “just pay it as they are really nasty people” even tho I told them it was statute barred about 5 times, they told me to go away fill in income and expenditure, come back and they would make an offer??? I took no notice and had it all sorted within a week….anyway, my mother in law went to CAB the other week (spoke to a different person) about repaying her loan or something like that, on the way out she asked if there was some kind of form about bank charges the lady threw her hands in the air and said “stop, I’m not even going there, just yesterday someone took the bank to court and lost so just forget it” so off she went home…few days later she gets a letter from CAB, saying “I’ve phoned and spoken to Mr X at your bank about your bank charges and he says he refunded you twice the last few months etc” hold on a min!!!! who gave CAB permission to do this?? She didn’t even say this was about HER bank charges, it could have been for a friend. We are completely gobsmacked, what is the best way to deal with this? I put my advice down to staff being ill informed, but after this last incedent i really feel i should look into this to stop this happening to others etc, any suggestion?

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yeah my mother had the same problem with the cab being as bluntly as i can put it- crap!

needless to say now i am sorting out all her bills instead with the knowledge from this great site.

i know ppl say even on this site to go to the cab for advice but i'd say to take everything they say with a huge piece of salt because they dont know very much from my my point of view.

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i refer anyone i know/meet to this site rather than anywhere else! i just wonder how many people are misinformed? i really want to let them know how wrong they were to do this (especially phone the bank re bank charges when all she did was aske if there's some kind of form about it) I needn't bother complaing to the particular branch, as they seem to be on another planet, i will maybe put something in writing to some kind of CAB head office (i presume there is one) in saying that i;m sure there's hundreds of 'on the ball' CAB workers who are fab help to people! just not the 2 old dears at my local branch:???:

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Ask then what their complaints procedure is (they have to have one). They will probably give you a Head Office address to write to.

HAVE YOU BEEN TREATED UNFAIRLY BY CREDITORS OR DCA's?

 

BEWARE OF CLAIMS MANAGEMENT COMPANIES OFFERING TO WRITE OFF YOUR DEBTS.

 

 

Please note opinions given by rory32 are offered informally as a lay-person in good faith based on personal experience. For legal advice, you must always consult a registered and insured lawyer.

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Guest strangewayofsavin

About 5 years ago, my partner & I used CAB with our debt issues, and they were very good, however whilst using their services, we had to sign a piece of paper giving CAB permisssion to contact each and every Creditor etc. did your mother sign any permission notes for the bank, if not the CAB person dealing with your mother has acted incorrectly, and I would urge your Mother to complain.

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I think the CAB may have broken the Data Protection Act by contacting the back about your details. This is a serious offence and needs looking into unless your Mom agreed to them contacting the bank.

As for the bank charges total hogwash and the CAB need to be put in their place for telling porkies after all you are paying them for that service via your taxes etc.

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Guest weegirl

check out the complaints procedures and factsheets on:

 

Complaints procedure for clients of the Citizens Advice service

 

This will tell you how to proceed, unfortunately you have to complain to the manager of the CAB in question first, but if you don't get a satisfactory outcome, you can then take it further. CAB is funded by various organisations that have their own policies as well as to how things are run. You could check out if your particular office has a SLA (service level agreement) with the local council, or other body. If this is the case, they will have another set of standards that they have to meet, otherwise they risk losing their funding.

 

Forgot to say, CAB's are always looking for funding, unlike government they have to secure money every so often, a lot of groups in the voluntary sector have to apply yearly now. They may well crap themselves if they thought their funding was under threat. Seriously, I work for a charity and we are panicking sometimes over funding as it's our wages on the line! The manager of the project will be one of the paid staff and won't like any threats about that.

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I don't think it is a case of the CAB breaking the Data Protection Act - it's the bank! They should not have discussed any aspect of the account without the account holder's permission - even the police or a solicitor shouldn't be able to access or talk about it without the prior consent!!

 

I would get in touch with the bank manager and take it further with them - not meaning to say that people at the CAB are dodgy but in the world we live in a world where MP's and senior Police officials are involved in scams, bribes and payoffs - whose to say someone at the CAB, who has access to your personal details, couldn't ring your bank and start transferring this here and there???

Lived through bankruptcy to tell the tale! Worked in various industries and studied law at university. All advice is given in good faith only :)

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thanks for all your comments and advice, i will speak to mother in law later on tonight or tomorrow, yes i think she did sign something, but the thing with her bank etc was actually about her loan repayment, i am gonna read the link thing/complaints procedure thoroughly and take it from there etc, the main points we're looking at are;

 

1. CAB saying they're "not gonna go there!, the bank won" when asked for info/leaflet on reclaiming bank charges

 

2. then writing a letter to mother in law saying they had phoned and spoken to "man" at her branch about getting charges refunded. (like i said earlier she never even said she wanted the info for herself, could have been for her friend etc)

 

3. Bank telling CAB details of recent charge refund (not sure if her signing something has given them the right to discuss her private bank details, esp as she was not present during the phone call etc)

 

4. I might as well throw in the duff advice they gave me about paying a statute barred debt because "they are nasty people and they'll get it somehow etc"

 

thankyou once again, CAG members:p

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Forgot to say, CAB's are always looking for funding, unlike government they have to secure money every so often, a lot of groups in the voluntary sector have to apply yearly now. They may well crap themselves if they thought their funding was under threat. Seriously, I work for a charity and we are panicking sometimes over funding as it's our wages on the line! The manager of the project will be one of the paid staff and won't like any threats about that.

 

ooh i didn;t know that, thanks for that info.

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Bear in mind too that staff are volunteers (usually) and some only receive basic training in limited areas.

 

I just find it ironic that one of the main banks (think it's RBSG) actually provides a large amount of money to CAB, yet they are one of the companies that most people complain about!

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  • 9 months later...

I sympathise with the volunteer aspect but I have found the CAB worse than useless. Years ago I looked into going bankrupt and went to the CAB. A woman basically read from a factsheet for me. She knew nothing.

 

Recently I have been struggling with a nightmare of maladministration and corporate dishonesty which I couldn't deal with. I was in need of medical help but nothing was being done. I spent 45 minutes writing out a list of my problems for them, making sure that it was legible because I'm left handed and a bit flighty with a pen. They gave me a timescale for being contacted which turned out to be utter rubbish. After me going in a number of times I was eventually telephoned by a grumpy woman who claimed that she couldn't read my writing to get out of doing anything for me. I was utterly desperate and my letter explained why and it was definitely legible but she just didn't want to know.

 

CAG seem much better.

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last year i went to cab for some housing advise they were crap. just told me that i would have to accept what council offered me no matter waht and their was no chance of winning if i took them to court. i went home did some research and found a recent case where the judge had sided against the council when they tried to put her somewhere unsuitable so i went back to cab and showed them.... they then wrote me a letter to take into council saying basically what i had found and they housed me properly!

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