CSA Complaints CSA Mistakes

How long have you got? – My story so far.

Man this is long. Long, long, long! But it has to be, for two reasons. 1 – To explain in great detail my story and 2 – so people using this site will know exactly why I have such little respect for the CSA. I pay people as much respect as they afford me, it really is that simple.

Well, my CSA hell began two years ago. I separated from my ex partner, we had two children together. I love our children dearly, I wouldn’t change having them but just to clarify a point; it was him who wanted the family, him who insisted we settle down and commence the baby making. Yet it was also him who decided to spurn them whenever he realised that kids cost cash. During a short time in one of the rare periods in which we were being civil toward each other, I asked my ex if he would be willing to support the two children by private arrangement of either £15 – £20 per week, or by supplying the children with what they needed when they needed it, for example, purchasing nappies or clothing. This way, he would see exactly where his money was going as he would be buying the goods rather than providing me with a steady flow of cash. He agreed. However, I soon grew accustomed to the phrase of “I’ll get the nappies next week, I’m too short this week” Next week never came, nor the next week, nor the next. Yet he had plenty of cash flow to spend on himself.

Having had enough of our children going without, I completed a paper application, downloaded from the CSA website in order to extract cold hard cash from a cold hard man to support the children that HE insisted we have. Within a month, I had a letter drop ever so delicately though my letterbox telling me that my claim was invalid. Why? Because my ex partner at this time had not moved out of the home that was once a family home but had become like a prison cell. But that’s not it, oh no. The CSA were aware of this prior to my application. I know this because I telephoned them and asked them if I could make the claim under those circumstances. After all why would I waste ink on my printer, time in completion and the cost of a stamp if I could not claim? They said I could claim. I also put that information on my application form. A week before I received that letter I received a telephone call at my place of work, from a CSA officer who was calling with a long list of personal questions to “establish the relationship you have with your ex partner, we do this when non resident parents and parents with care are still living within the same household.” Oh, ok fire away then…..and so she did.

Personal questions. My God that’s an understatement. After labouring with two children, you’d think that I’d be an old hand at my privacy being invaded and dignity being left at the door. Not so. If a man in the street had asked me the sort of questions that CSA officer did that day, he’d have earned a slap in th puss for his trouble. Cut to the point, I answered the questions, every last embarrassing one of them, and every one leaving the officer in no doubt that my ex partner were living in the same household but leading very separate lives.

So now you understand my frustration at receiving the letter. What do I do? Simple, I get on the dog and bone to the good ol’ CSA and ask for a full and frank explanation. And I get….a repetition of what’s written in the letter. I reply that is not an explanation, I want to know why I was rung at my workplace and hounded with personal questions if my claim held no purpose from the beginning. I get the same repetition. I ask again. And alas, I get the same answer. Just when I’m beginning to lose patience at hearing what appears to be either a broken record or a repeated automated message, I muster enough words to ask to speak to this woman’s supervisor. “Why?” is the response. “Because you refuse to answer a simple question, that’s why. I am entitled to an explanation and if you can’t give it, then I expect your superior might, that’s why” So off she toddles for approximately 15 minutes while I’m on hold. Eventually another officer comes on the phone, and I repeat my request for an explanation of why my private life was invaded if I had no right to claim. Wanna know what her response was? Do ya, do ya, really???????

The phonecall never took place. That’s right. Never happened. I imagined the whole thing. Hallucinations? Er, nope. “Bollocks”, says I. “It bloody well did happen and I can prove it happened.” She responds “And how is that?” I respond: “Because at my place of work, all calls are automatically recorded for security and training purposes. This call was recorded and I also have several colleagues who witnessed that very call, of whom I will have no hesitation in calling upon. Would you like me to supply you with a copy of the tape? I’m sure my employer would be agreeable to this” By now, I can almost hear the panic in her voice, she mumbles “That won’t be necessary, I’ll look into it and I will personally call you back” End of piece.

Surprisingly for the CSA, she did call me back. And she stated that the officer who had rung me was a trainee who was not fully aware of the protocol and whom had been reprimanded. She apologised, insisted that I never should have recieved that call. Was I dumb enough to accept this? Sadly, yes, yes I was. CASE CLOSED.

After the ex eventually did leave the house, I applied to the CSA again. This time, I didn’t receive a response as swiftly. Despite their own guidelines of a call back within 5 working days to “gather information”, I waited approximately three months for them to respond, and only then because I raised the issue with their complaints department and was close to asking my MP for assistance. They took the information they wanted, everything. They had the non resident parent’s full name, address, contact telephone number, employer, date of birth and the most important tracing tool that exists….his national insurance number. Yep, they know everything there is to know, yet to this day….they cannot trace him. He’s not changed names or anything of the sort. I’ve seen him, I know he’s still around but nope they cannot find him.

Funny, that kinda rings a bell with me. See, I have a friend who also has two children. Like me this friend works full time so any money she would get via this incompetent excuse for an enforcement agency, would all go toward her children, the CSA get to keep not a penny for themselves. Isn’t it funny how like me, her ex also cannot be traced. Not like the parents with care who are claiming income support, whose non resident parent pays the full amount but whom the parent with care only receives £10 per week. The rest of the money most probably goes toward the massive debt the CSA themselves have. Bottom line is, in my opinion the CSA will not bother with any case where there is no recourse to line their own pockets. By stark comparison I also have a friend who does receive income support.

Ironically, I also have a friend who does recieve income support. She also has two children. Her ex in in reciept of benefits, always has been. Now, for that he would have £5 per week deducted from his benefit which would go directly to my friend. She has had a claim with the CSA for 6 long years. Again no money for the CSA. Again they can’t trace him. That’s right, he is in reciept of benefit from the same government body (DWP) that the CSA is a part of, yet they cannot trace him. They tripped themselves up there, didn’t they? They actually told my friend that her ex in is reciept of benefit because “it says so on the computer” Well, I would have thought if it “says so on the computer”, then it will also “say so on the computer” what benefit, where he lives and which office he recieves his benefit from. Shit computer system, they have, eh? Or maybe the CSA have such imbosiles working there that they don’t know how to check the records. Just an educated guess.

The CSA are famous for stealing money from children. They are famous for issuing DEO’s on fathers who have been making regular payments. They are famous for accusing infertile men of fathering children: guilt by name association. And now, they are famous for their screw up on my case. Not as scandal filled as some of the bigger screw ups they make, but another CSA screw up nonetheless.

Anyway, in the infamous words of Mr Piggy “Th- th- th- th- that’s all folks!” For now. At least.

6 thoughts on “How long have you got? – My story so far.

  1. If you would like some advice on what to ask that may be helpful just reply. I may be able to give you some questions you can ask the CSA that may help you finally get some support!

  2. If you would like some advice that may be helpful if your having trouble finding out why they cannot trace this person please reply.

  3. Hey Jeff, if you’ve got advice we could all benefit from why don’t you login to this website and write a post? You’d be helping everyone then!

  4. With the amount of different problematic scenarios that the CSA can throw up, i don’t know how much advice i could cover in one post. I think i could help though (have a very “intimate working” knowledge of the CSA…lets leave it at that!) so what kind of post should i write?

  5. People have been putting up their stories so far, what has happened and if they’ve managed to resolve it. If you’ve had a lot of experience with them, you could write about what happened.

    People get frustrated with them and don’t know how to resolve it. Anyone who’s had success with them could inspire others with their tale.

    I know I’d like to know!

  6. Ok James, i will try and put some kind of post together over the weekend that will hopefully help out people. Thanks.

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