I set up a payment arrangement over the phone with R&R regarding council tax arrears, last month I defaulted on the payment.
I first hear this upon receiving second notice in a letter delivered by post on the 22/11 and dated the 18/11 warning that my case may be passed to an enforcement agent, along with a missed call and voicemail from enforcement agent Catherine Lawton about my case having been passed to her that same day. She left a voicemail as a 'Miss Lawson' and responded as such when I contacted her, unfortunately the voicemail has been deleted and I have no leg to stand on there.
In my confusion, as I didn't recall seeing a first notice or "notice of enforcement", the following day 23/11 after The EA didn't answer their phone after several calls I contacted R&R for some clarification on when or what all this was.
oops, arsehole on the phone balks at me that I've missed the payment, tough, and that the notices are only sent out as a matter of course' and are 'not required' other times they simply forward me to the bailiffs phone.
So I complain to the council, here I find out that I must've been served this notice of enforcement when I agreed my payment arrangement, fair enough though that's where their usefulness ends when they tell me everything is with R&R and they can't possibly do anything about it, great.
Finally getting through to the EA on the 24th (since I'm able to pay) and I'm told that a charge for a visit made on the 22nd has been applied to my account as well?!? wtf!!
So I complain (admittedly poorly) to R&R in writing copied below spelling mistakes and all.
I paid the full amount to the council and they have confirmed this, however still today I receive in the post a letter with big bold letters across the top titled "Enforcement Notice" However it is not written in a legal style and the content is thus (bad grammar included).
At 13:16 22nd of November I received a voicemail from an agent Ms. Lawson regarding enforcement action to be taken as the result of a defaulted payment on my council tax arrears. On the same day (22nd) I received a letter of second notice delivered by the postman from Ross & Roberts dated the 18th of Nov stating an outstanding amount of £700.30 to be paid and that I am apparently at risk of having my case passed to the Enforcement Agent that had just left me a voicemail telling me my case has been passed to her. Useful.
On the 23rd around 17:00 I was left quite distressed after attempting to phone Ms. Lawson only for her to not answer. I mistakingly thought to contact Ross & Roberts for advice and I got to speak to a very obnoxious and defensive young man who informed me that Notice's of Enforcement are not a required document and are in fact only sent out "As a matter of course"! This a complete fallacy and as I am sure you are aware but I find it extremely disturbing that an employee of your Enforcement Agency is unaware of the details what a Notice of Enforcement is and is so misinformed that he has reached the point he feels the need to behave in such an obtuse manner to those in need of advice on the topic.
Notwithstanding this interaction I answered the phone to Ms. Lawson after she contacted me back on the 24th. She too is also acutely unaware of the details of what a Notice of Enforcement is and what it means, nor did she appear to be aware or made it clear to me in any way shape or form that the first contact with Ross & Roberts in September when I set up my payment arrangement would've been the first serving of this Notice of Enforcement (I understand this would be difficult seeing as she didn't seem aware of what one was in the first place) This information was left up to me and an advisor from the council to work out for ourselves when I went to file my complaint there also. Again, extremely disturbing and highly unprofessional.
Ms. Lawson then goes on to claim that an agent has visited my property on the 22nd, the same day I received my second notice and the very same day Ms. Lawson first attempted contact and left me a voicemail (with no details regarding an imminent home visit or one prior). Ms. Lawson also claimed in our phonecall that my initial direct debit defaulted on the 12th rather than her previous statement in the voicemail that is was the 10th, well of course, the 12th was a sunday and Direct debits are not taken on sundays nor are they marked in a statement as doing do so it is quite impossible for me to have defaulted my payment on a sunday.
So to summarise, in the space of a few hours I receive a warning that my case may be passed on to an enforcement agent, a voicemail from the agent Ms. Lawson informing me that my case has already been passed to her and days later I'm told I've also missed a supposed visit from an agent on the same day? who is or is not maybe should be Ms. Lawson? As I understand it Ms Lawson is the Enforcement agent assigned to my case, therefore should she not be the agent visiting the property? If that is the case I find it unusual that she had no recollection at all that she had been here or was about to be imminently so, in her message. She seemed very surprised that there had been a home visit when she went to look on my account further, odd if she's supposed to be managing my case? I also get charged £235 for missing this imaginary visit. Ms. Lawson also does not appear on the governments website of Certified enforcement agents https://certificatedbailiffs.justice.gov.uk/ (updated 4 days ago) Though not unusual in of itself in the light of the behaviour I have witnessed from your staff first hand this just adds suspicion to a pile of reckless and unprofessional conduct. I was in all day on the stated date (22/11) waiting for a parcel and I repeat myself, no such enforcement agent arrived, Ms Lawson or otherwise, I have also not received anything through my letterbox or under my door (barr the parcel I was waiting for) that details any attempted visit from an enforcement agent, the letter of second notice was delivered by the postman and no enforcement agent was there at the time and no other letter was posted. I question whether your organisation would be as confident about the legitimacy of this visit if the imaginary agent in question was aware of the signage pertaining to CCTV around the area? Maybe then they would've been more keen to check the fact of whether they were actually there or not with the reprecussions that might bring about? The address can be tricky to find for some so I understand (especially following these two interactions with your staff) if the agent struggled with finding it, however that is no excuse for them to pretend they have visited when they absolutely have not.
Needless to say I find it abhorrent that it is deemed acceptable to pass my case to an enforcement agent, then warn me my case might be passed to an enforcement agent, to then be treated with a pompous attitude by your staff over the phone when looking for help as the afformentioned Agent doesn't answer, To then talk to the Enforcement Agent in question to find she isn't aware of the supposed visit to my home that she claims has been made nor did she seem capable of understanding or explaining basic paperwork pertaining to her job and will knowingly or unknowingly tell an outright lie about a direct debit. I find Ross & Roberts conduct utterly disgraceful in this matter on absolutely all levels. I have been able to and have now paid off my council tax debt directly to wiltshire council for the sum total owed of £700.30. I respectfully request that you promptly provide me with proof beyond reasonable doubt for both of the legimitacy of Ms. Lawson as a currently Certificated Enforcement Agent and the supposed home visit on 22/11. This letter to you has been a matter of course as I will be taking my issue to the MP's office, the Financial Ombudsman and the Ministry of Justice if it is not resolved promptly.
It does not include an owed sum, nor 7 days notice, it's obviously an effort to look like a notice of enforcement without actually being one and judging by the grammar was typed up sharpish especially to use to try and intimidate me, how kind.
Addresses NOTICE OF ENFORCEMENT references
Dear Mr Man,
We refer to your Council Tax debt owed to Wiltshire Council
Our records show that despite our offer you have fail to enter into a short-term payment plan to assist you during the festive period. Your file has now been passed to our enforcement team with instructions to call with immediate effect.
If the enforcement team has not already called to your address, it may still be possible to prevent your goods being taking into our control. Please contact our call centre on 01458 550480 with immediate proposals to discharge a significant proportion of the outstanding amount.
if the enforcement agents have already called at your property, then you must conclude this matter with them directly.
Ross & Roberts Limited
So off I pop to the council again, they confirm that I owe them nothing and it is settled but again "can't-do-nuffin" though she says she will contact R&R herself to make sure they know...
Stupidly I phoned R&R again and oh my I have never been spoken to like that on the phone in my life, several times I had to raise my voice to tell the child to CALM DOWN as he was just shouting a torrent of illegitimate bollocks at me 2WE HAVE GPRS CO-ORDINATES TO PROVE THE VISIT" and so forth I ask What right he believes he has to speak to me this way? His response was "I don't but we deal with people like you every day..." You fucking what? He also stated to me how they 'Knew I went to the council' somehow extremely offended by this?
He closed out our conversation rather stroppily that if I didn't pay him over the phone now then his big brother, sorry 'Colleague' Mr agent blah blah who I have had zero contact with whatsoever, would be round banging on my door tomorrow.
All this was around 16:40 this afternoon, now it's the weekend and I have no one to contact, no one to help me and some wanker coming round to threaten me from 6am tomorrow.