I now pay monthly by standing order, set up on line via my internet banking. However, I still received a red notice like you Tanya. I've ignored it and thrown it in the bin. The money has gone from my account. It really is pathetic service.
Tanya I have their direct email address if you want it. In the past I have simply sent an email stating my intentions. If you can't get through to a real person then just send an email telling them you are paying. Then take your time.
I rang at 8.35 in the morning (lines supposed to be open from 8.30) and tried several times for about 15 mins, no answer. I eventually just let it ring and ring and after another 10 mins of the ringing tone I got through ! hurrah ! Worryingly though, it appeared that the assistant could not confirm my name and address, ie it just works on the basis of an account number and a payment, so if you read out the incorrect account number you're stuffed, as you've probably paid somebody elses bill !
I reply on behalf of Southwark Council in relation to the problems many of you have been experiencing in contacting the service.
Firstly I would like to offer an apology and appreciate that this does not necessarily diffuse anger as a result of inefficient service provision.
However, I would like to offer an explanation and give some hope that we are committed to resolving these issues.
The Call Centre receives on average 25,000 calls per month this can be exceeded during particularly busy periods. A significant amount of mail was issued last week which resulted in an increase in demand for personal contact, ie. phone calls, visits to One Stop Shops. Although the Call Centre was staffed at maximum capacity this still resulted in a high percentage of abandoned calls, for which I unreservedly apologise.
I am working with our contractor to ensure that where possible recovery notices are staggered to prevent this surge in calls over an intense period. Please note that demand has now reduced since the initial problems were identified.
The other issue is the Payment hotline, as a Council we are undertaking a review of our cashiers service and confirm that problems in relation to payment by credit card over the phone will be resolved.