I work for the CSA and they have no idea what they are doing

October 10, 2012

Hello everyone

Well I have worked for the CSA for about three months and I can safely say they don’t have a clue what is going on and I really mean that… I don’t have a clue what I am doing, I blag my way through every shift… I don’t do this because I am lazy or arrogant but because I just don’t know what I am doing. This seems to be the norm nobody knows what to do.

Some examples are as follows

The CSA has three payment systems and payments always get lost or stuck for no reason… I have discussed this with my manager and nobody knows why or what to do when it happens. We all secretly think most of it is done on purpose and it is a way to make money from interest even though they say they are a non for Profit Company… However I can’t prove this

People call asking for the schedule to be explained or for guidance on how it has been worked out… Nobody knows how this is done so don’t bother calling to ask it is a waste of your phone bill. The only person who knows this will be your case worker and we are never allowed to pass calls trough to them, we just have to sound confident and tell you it’s correct and ask you to write in to dispute it which has to be done in 28days and it is probably passed that by the time you receive the schedule.

The computer systems are so slow and out dated it is unbelievable they still use Outlook 2000 I had a PWC on hold for 20mins the other day because my computer didn’t work and this is a regular thing.

Oh and who here has been promised a call back within 5 working days well, I am sorry but it is a red herring just to get you of the phone. I get so many complaints about that you would not believe it…

I cannot wait to leave but one thing is for sure I really feel sorry for all the people who have to use the service.


  • j says:

    Its really difficult for those of us who have suffered at the hands of the csa to find any kind of empathy for those that work for this disgusting and discredited organisation that has ruined so many lives. I have been a PWC and an NRP and have nothing good to report about my dealings with this horrid branch of the DWP. You do sound genuine in your posted article though and are in a unique position to help so many. Please please do what you can to uncover the truth, make it public, BLOW THE WHISTLE! I know this sounds a bit scary but believe me you will become a hero to the people overnight. There MUST be a way to expose the truth and protect your identity. Look at the cases on here, NRP’s are paying, PWC’s dont get the money and NRP’s are hounded again until their lives are destroyed. Who suffers? Put it like this, if you saw a child drowning in a canal would you worry about what happens to you or would you do something to help? There really isnt much difference, the children suffer so that the government make a few quid and the DWP employ a few more staff. Please help, do something, we will all be grateful and your place in history will be confirmed.

  • Tony Lass says:

    You are right I would save the child; I have children myself and understand just how expensive it can be to bring them up. The CSA is a good idea if it is run correctly I do believe that all children should be looked after correctly. Unfortunately I see many families being torn apart because they don’t do things correctly. I listened to the video on this site from Mr Daz showing how they sent his post to the wrong address.. This is happening a lot the reason for it is that they work of three computer systems that aren’t linked correctly so someone could update something however the person in the next office at the other side of the country will not see that.

    I have also noticed over the time I have been at the CSA that they only hound NRP who want to pay. I have seen so many NRP who say they are self employed and cook their books showing that they don’t earn anything thus leaving the PWC with nothing. This is not looked into as much as you would expect.

    They have a call system that shows how many calls came into the office and how many hung up because they were sick of waiting or ran out of credit.. That number is in the hundreds every day and that is just one office. It is so under staffed and the tools we use are useless. They also employ low standards of staff I don’t like putting people into categories but when you pay someone min wage you will get min wage service. I will be leaving soon as I have another job got offered it today, when I leave I will be willing to say publicly what I have seen.

    If I can offer anyone a small bit of advice it is go to court yourselves and arrange a payment plan as the courts will allow you to include your household expenses. Just like the old rules use to.

    Also if the agency is trying to get a Liability order against you go to the court on the same day and take all your records with you showing any mistakes they have made. If you don’t go you cannot defend yourself and once they have that order you are kind of stuffed because they don’t listen to anything once they have it.

    If anyone has any questions put them on here and I will try and help however I CANNOT go into your case as it would be against DPA as you probably know and I cant break the law got my own kids to worry about.

  • KMcQ80 says:

    Well done Tony, you are brave to make such a honest post..
    You are not alone

    I hope you are not using your real name as this will cause problems.

    Have you thought of talking to your MP and or the media?

    Can someone on this forum forward this post to a friendly media contact?

  • KMcQ80 says:

    Tony, I understand you can’t answer individual questions but one common question that constantly appears on this forum are fictitious arrears.
    People, like myself, receive a letter in April informing us how much we should pay per month for the forthcoming 12 months..
    We pay like clockwork.
    We then receive a computer generated letter informing us we are in arrears!
    In the past I have replied to these letters but never received one reply.
    Now I just ignore them.

    Where do these fictitious arrears come from?

  • We’re actually putting together a documentary about the CSA and would be interested in speaking to any current/former CSA employees about them. We could do this via phone or, preferably, video interview. Would this be of interest to you Tony?

  • j says:

    “KMcQ80 on October 11th, 2012 10:07 am

    Tony, I understand you can’t answer individual questions but one common question that constantly appears on this forum are fictitious arrears.”

    I can relate to this. When I gave up my job due to excessive deductions I informed the csa, which they claim not to have received, despite this my Data prints show that the csa were advised by my local jobcentre, and formally by my employer but they carried on charging me (as arrears) as though I still worked for the same employer. The deo had failed which should have triggered a review of my case, the known change of circumstances should have the same effect. I also informed the csa verbally (not in dispute and previously acceptable on two occasions) but they have subsequently relied on the fact that I did not send them a particular document to ‘confirm’ my position. Examination of my Data prints show that they had never asked for this document in any event. In short these people make it up as they go along, I have a house and they collect money for the government, its a scam. My own view is that the csa, a branch of the DWP is a ‘criminal’ entity collecting ‘stealth’ taxes for the government. With all due respect to the original contributor of this post, at some point the truth will come out and those politicians and senior civil servants who supported this scam will be outed.

  • Sally says:

    Hi Michael

    It might be worth your while speaking with a lady called ‘Alice’ who posts on this website as she also works for CSA, although she doesn’t criticise the organisation, she will know all the training the staff don’t get as well as the level of knowledge the have before being expected to give advice to parents.

    I think Tony is very brave to come on here :-), I wish you all the best for your documentory and look forward to hearing more about it… please keep us all posted!


  • Sally says:

    p.s. @ j – I hope with all my heart the truth comes out!! the CSA should be sued for maladministration and the victims should recieve complenstation as well as ALL the money they have been ‘conned’ out of by the CSA!!

  • j says:

    Hi Sally, thanks for your comments. My solicitor thinks I have a good case (I’m still fighting) so I’m seeing a barrister tomorrow. Looking through my Data prints I found a ‘discussion’ between the csa (DWP) and my local jobcentre (DWP) from a few years ago, soon after my divorce and just before I was a PWC. (I could only take one of my children at that time) I started to claim jobsekers allowance, the csa gave me a NIL assessment but my jobcentre took £5.50pw from me. They claimed the csa instructed them to do this. My Data prints show an ‘argument’ between the csa and my jobcentre, it seems the csa did NOT order the deduction, the nil assessment was valid, the deduction was at the discretion of the jobcentre. (more likely at the behest of the secretary of state, a FOI request could prove this) Point is my ex who had both children at the time did not get any of the money, so where did it go? Anyone who has read my other posts may have empathy with me here. I’m not (just) having a moan at the csa. I really believe it has little to do with child welfare and is just a ‘front’ for the DWP, acting on behalf of the secretary of state to – A. create jibs for low grade civil servants in areas of high unemployment, hence the siting of the offices, and B. a stealth tax collection scam for the government, hence the ‘disappearing’ payments. The evidence is there, it just needs unpicking. So PLEASE Alice/Tony and all you others, PLEASE blow the whistle, lives are being destroyed so yours bosses can get a bonus while some politician gets a pat on the back. Is that worth even one destroyed family or one ruined life? Its the kids that suffer in the end. If I lose my house its unlikely that my child will get the money anyway, and what about my other two kids, they get nothing. Is that what you are working for?

  • Sally says:

    @ j – sorry, I probably wrote my post wrong… Tony is the one who has come forward to let us all know just how bad the CSA are managed internally…. Alice is the person who comes on here to promote the CSA!! She actually advised a NRP to stop paying the PWCs privately ‘immediately’ and to start pay them through the agency!!!! I think she should be interviewed for different reasons!!! 🙂

    I thought we had a rough time with the CSA but your case is terrible and I honestly don’t blame you for giving up your job… you can’t be expected to live on fresh air!!! My partner was the same… our problems started with the CSA when one of the idiots who work there told my partners ex that they would take my income into account when calculating the amount she should get (this was in 2010, the rules changed in 2003)… the CSA staff member also told her that she would get more money if she reduced the amoung of overnight stays the children had with their Dad….. the mother did everything she could to get more money and cause trouble between the kid/dad just because we wouldn’t give her more money…. if the CSA had not given her the wrong information we would never have been put through the heartache we have.

    My partners ex was happy (for almost 3 years) with the amount he was giving her for the kids (which was more than the CSA calculator advised) but the greedy Moo thought she’d get more because of my income!!

    Anywhoo, please keep posting as I like to see how people are progressing and looking for that ray of hope!! I wish you all the best for your court case!!

  • Tony Lass says:

    Hi all

    I have left now, I have never hated a job so much in my life.. I hope before I left I managed to help only a few people. Can you believe I even had one parent ask me “Are you sure you work for the CSA” I asked whey and she said I was treating her with respect and she has never had this. I have read some of your reply’s sorry I have took some time to respond but been busy I hope things do get better for some of you. The CSA is messed up I have not seen every office but the one I was at was bad.. I have noticed that someone said go to my MP trust me this doesn’t work as much as you would hope and it no longer has a big effect on your case if you complain. If I can offer any advice It is take things to court before the CSA does keep them out of your life.. I have tried on countless occasions whilst working for them to try and help family’s that are being ripped apart by DEOs and nobody cares. The amount of times I have had Dads speaking to me telling me they cannot afford DEO payments and Its true because what the CSA don’t understand is that (in most cases) they have a different partner and have other children so they end up leaving work and both children suffer…..

    I suppose we could all poke holes in the CSA on each case and that’s not what we should do, we need to get this to parliament.

    I would go on a documentary no problem about that this system stinks , however I think they made me sign some secrets act before I started (I know it sounds crazy)


  • K says:

    I am a PWC and after a year of constantly being on the phone to the CSA I managed to start getting regular payments off my child’s father,he still owes me over £2000! And i was only getting £5! A payment system was set up at normal weekly payments with he’s debt on top and now he is now not happy with the amount that is being taken off him.So the CSA have now reduced the money paid to me by nearly £20 per week because this woman at the CSA has made HER decision to do this! My question is can the CSA reduce someone payments just like that?


  • Alice says:

    @K – yes the CSA can re-negotiate with the NRP the amount that will be collected for arrears, they have a debt steer and work within that. A lot of factors are considered when setting the amount to be collected, not least being the risk factor of an NRP leaving his job if the debt recovery is set too high and it means they are unable to cover travel costs etc to get to work.

  • rach says:

    @ tony even if you did sign secrets act, whistleblowers are supposed to be protected by law if it is in the publics interests xx

  • Mark Walsall says:

    These ass holes need to be brought to justice, they told me i was in arrears by £1065, when i questioned this and got the CAB to ring them they soon backed down and told the CAB worker that they made a mistake and i only owe £600!!
    what if i had just lied back and let them walk over me, where would that £400 of gone? im still contesting the £600, i have requested all my files and data they have on my cases but am still yet to hear anything!!!
    We really need to do somrthing!!

  • nicola says:

    Hi Tony, what does it really mean when payments get ‘stuck on the system’, also recently I was told that my payment was ‘allocated’ to someone else. Is there policies in place that ensures PWC is paid monies owed as soon as a mistake is noticed and it was due to CSA? Would that be classed as ‘maladministration’? Any information on this would be much appreciated as my kids are missing out and I need to do something about it quick. Just one more thing, my battery was almost flat (after 45 mins on a call to CSA) so I asked the caseworker could he call me back on my mobile if we got disconnected – apparently they are not able to call back but would leave a note on my file?


  • Tony Lass says:

    Payments get stuck because they have come in with a wrong ref number or with no ref at all. I see that as an excuse not to employ enough people to deal with the problem. If you think about it add up all the stuck payments the CSA has in its bank account they take nearly a month to get the money to the PWC so look at how much interest they make…

    If they say that your payment has been allocated to someone else it really means they have screwed up and paid your share of the money to another PWC does he have another ex partner who uses the CSA if so it has gone to her, I must stress it is not her fault so don’t go mad at the other PWC,If you know each other I would see if she would pay you the money she got.

    The CSA will not try and get it back you just need to forget about it, I know this is harsh but they wont pay you out of there pockets.

  • Alice says:

    Tony -the account that the CSA use for money coming in for maintenance is a non-interest paying account

    True that payments go unallocated if they come into the agency with no reference number (National insurance No of the NRP) or the wrong NI No – there are thousands of payments like this every week – these are logged by the banking team and are identified using details such as cheque nos etc once a PWC or NRP enquires about a missing payment – they will be allocated to the correct case and paid out asap – I’ve seen an enquiry passed to the banking team and it be paid out the same day.

  • j says:

    “Alice on December 9th, 2012 7:21 pm

    Tony -the account that the CSA use for money coming in for maintenance is a non-interest paying account

    True that payments go unallocated if they come into the agency with no reference number (National insurance No of the NRP) or the wrong NI No – there are thousands of payments like this every week – these are logged by the banking team and are identified using details such as cheque nos etc once a PWC or NRP enquires about a missing payment”

    When the csa collect money from an nrp and fail to pass it on to a pwc (for whatever reason) where is it kept? In a little draw marked ‘boo boos’?

    Chances are it goes into a bank account, chances are that account is interest bearing (at least that what I was told by someone) so if the csa didnt earn the interest on ‘delayed’ money they are missing a trick. Banks lend ‘overnight’ money to other banks using your savings, its how the system works, I’d be pretty surprised if a government department didnt do the same thing (earn interest) as its common practice.

  • Craig says:

    Alice I thought you said that your staff did not have to sign the official secrets act…??? You know very well the CSA are corrupt if the CSA were doing the right thing then why do they have a media blackout? It is not about lifting children out of poverty it is all about a stealth tax for the government. People are wising up to the lies and deceipt. It is only a matter of time before you game is up.

  • Lisa says:

    Well said craig, i titally agree, the CSA is a company not for profit so i heard, funny that the money thats collected is left in an account gaining interest, and now they are starting to charge both parties for the “pleasure” of using the dreaded CSA, laughable but true, Alice is a troll who doesnt even know the truth, she has been bogwashed by her managers (muppets) if you can call them that, and the payments that go in unallocated are spent on boozy nights out, chocolates and flowers for staff, there you PWC thats where your money is really going,

  • kim wilbraham says:

    I would like to ask Alice the CSA advisor who writes on this website is it normal for the CSA to send letters signed pp on behalf of personel who have left the employment of the CSA?

  • lisa says:

    @ Kim, alice never answers questions that are hard, only ones that are simple enough to find answers to on the internet, 🙂

  • stuart says:

    Alice only mentions the law when it suits her, she ignores all the illegal actions of the company she works for. yet she claims moral high ground in every post she makes.

  • Ranj Egan says:

    Can’t believe such a useless incompetent bunch of idiots are in charge of our finances. I was happy to pay for my son regularly but they made so many mistakes I asked my ex if I could just set up a standing order via my bank and pay regularly that way! They made so so many cock ups with my payments it is beyond belief…really. This organisation needs to be disbanded and someone with an ounce of common sense should inherit this useless “organisation” and give it a major shakeup! I was happy to pay!

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