Complete and utter dispair caused by the Child Support Agency

August 20, 2011

I split with my partner around 6 years ago, we had a child of 2 years old when we went our separate ways. We had an agreement between us that i would pay her what i could afford each month which until recently was going fine. She then told me to expect a call from the CSA. This was the start of a nightmare! The CSA are a total joke and waste of government money and time. My reason to think of them in this way is below:

The CSA called me and asked for my details, ie income, address, NI number etc etc. I asked if they could give me an idea of how much i would need to pay based on my salary. ‘Yes no problem’ they said. To be fair the woman on the phone was quite helpful, but i am positive that they make you feel this when they make initial contact with you. Then the stress and frustration followed. I was sent so many forms and letters in the post giving me all sorts of different information. I also filled out a variation form for travelling costs that i incurr to see my child, as i was told that this would make a difference in what i would need to pay.

I was unsure how to complete the forms so i decided to give them a call. The person i got on the call was of no help whatsoever, the first thing i was asked as soon as i went through all the security questions was, ‘are you calling to make a payment’? To me it seems that this is all that they are interested in. They are not interested in helping you with any query’s you may have. ‘No’ i said. ‘I am calling to get some help on filling out some forms that have been sent to me’. To be honest the person was as much use as a chocolate tea pot. So i decided to fill out the forms as best as i could. I sent the forms off and waited.

I had no contact from them for around 2 weeks so i decided to call them again. I got a very unhelpful person who had no interest in dealing with my call. I asked what they payments would be based on my salary, i was told a much higher amount than i was first told. The reason for this is that they have calculated what i have earned to date, so therfor they have taken into account bonuses that i have had in the past that are not garanteed and i may not get in the future. The last bonus i had was 6 months ago, the amount i have been told to pay is far more than i can afford with just my basic salary. So in a nutshell, i am being punished for having a bonus scheme at work that isn’t garanteed. When i tried to explain this to them, they were not interested at all. I stated that they were just looking at numbers from a computer screen and not thinking outside the box, the reply back was very unprofessional to say the least. ‘we are not paid to think outside the box’ she said.

I said ‘you dont care about the non resident parent and their circumstances’, ‘We are not paid to care’ she said. I said ‘ an agreement was in place between myself and my ex partner, and now all of a sudden you are robbing me of money that i dont have or can’t afford to pay’. I also said ‘I sent in a variation form and that hasn’t been taken into account either’. The reply was ‘that is a separate issue’. At this point i just hung up as i was boiling with frustration at the lack of service and help. Then the next thing i knew was that they sent in a deduction of earnings order to my employer!! I called them again and asked why this was and they said that they hadn’t received any of my details. I was very angry that they had done this and getting my employer involved. Unbeknown to me they had already been in contact with my employer to get all my earnings and salary details!!

That just made me feel that my employer was thinking that i was a bad egg because i ”wasn’t” paying for my child. So i gave them my bank details over the phone and they said they would cancel the deduction of earnings order, in the next breath they said that because i was setting up a direct debit for the 1st day of each month and, because it was on the 1st day of a new month, the first payment added an extra week taking it to an even higher amount of what i need to pay. So all in all, the amount has gone up and up and up of what i was first told Then i received another letter to inform me of a payment schedule and what i should pay each month. I also had another letter saying that arrears of £150 was not due but would not be written off. This i didn’t understand as i had no idea what the arrears were for.

To me, the CSA are a total joke and have no respect in how they talk to people who have genuine query’s. I have had enough of delaing with them and will not be contacting them until they contact me. I am screwed at the end of August as i will have more than half my monthly salary taken away by some fool who has sat down and worked out what i should be paying, and by the system that clearly doesdn’t work. If it did work, there wouldn’t be all these complaints, stress, anxiaty, anger and frustration vented against the CSA.

At the end of the day, i am willing to pay child maintanence, but not to the extent of where you are paying out money that you dont actually have.


One Response to “Complete and utter dispair caused by the Child Support Agency”

  1. joanne shier on October 11th, 2011 11:55 am

    Get ur mp involved and ICE and complain to high heaven with the way your treated, never diverse with them over the phone, always writing and send it in recorded. And cancel your dd, been known to take payments twice, always offer something as they can’t refute it if they take you to court. If you have Facebook, join the guys on the forum, would only be too happy to help.
    Good luck..p.s what is,wrong with some ex’s?

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