just thought I would share the joys of dealing with getting a refund for overpayment from Southwark Council tax section. This is the email of complaint I have just sent them. Don't ever move from SE1, you still won't be able to escape dealing with Southwark council for some time after!!
Dear Sir / Madam
I am writing with regard to the appalling level of
customer service I have had the misfortune of dealing
with relating to my council tax in recent months.
In November 2004, I sold my flat in Southwark and
moved to the United States. Prior to completion of
sale my partner and I wrote to Southwark
Council Tax section advising them of this, the date of
completion and the fact that we would be seeking a
refund for overpayment, asking for a cheque to be sent
to our forwarding address. In December, no action had
been taken, I received a further council tax bill at
our forwarding address so I called to find out what
On the telephone to my distress I had to deal with an
extremely rude, dismissive and unhelpful member of
staff. She refused to acknowledge receipt of my
original letter, refused to update the system to the
effect that I had now moved and there was a new
resident, saying she could not take my word for it and
that I would have to send another letter in. I was
exasperated and upset at this point because of her
manner and the fact that my letter had been ignored
and no-one was even trying to help. I insisted on
speaking to a supervisor which eventually this
individual reluctantly forwarded me to.
Conversely when I spoke to the supervisor, she was
extremely apologetic, found the copy of my letter and
apologised profusely for the actions of the person I
had previously spoken to. She also said that my letter
had not been dealt with as it should have been, and
she apologised for that to, and arranged to send out a
reclaim form. Why a simple cheque or bank transfer
cannot be made without this rigmarole is another
issue, but accepting this, eventually the document
However, despite this more positive reaction from the
supervisor, I was sent a document which was so badly
copied as to be unreadable -- it requests that I sign
it and return to address on the letter -- which is
completely illegible. I had to go to Southwark website
to find the address out.
I have now sent my request back to the General manager
and await my refund cheque in the vain hope that it
will ever arrive. If it were the other way around I'm
sure court action would be taken against me by now.
Please do something about this appalling level of
service to prevent other residents in the community
from experiencing such difficulties and distress when
trying to rightfully claim back their money.