How to escalate a complaint against the Council? Councillors? Money claim? (overcharged for parking permit)

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SouthLondonDaddy
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How to escalate a complaint against the Council? Councillors? Money claim? (overcharged for parking permit)

Postby SouthLondonDaddy » Wed Dec 05, 2018 9:58 am

Wandsworth has owed me £35 since August, because, when I applied for a parking permit, their system thought I had a second car, which I didn't.  The council sent me an email where they led me to believe it would have been quicker to proceed with the overpayment and get a refund, than to reapply :x . Well, 3 months and a half have gone by and I have still not seen a penny.

Do I have other options?

Does anyone know if I can sue a council through the online money claim process? https://www.moneyclaims.service.gov.uk/ ... ligibility You cannot sue government departments like HMRC or DVLA but I'm not sure about councils.

The only other thing I can think of is to contact local councillors. It might seem petty to bother a councilor over such a small amount, but:
  1. the council would chase me very aggressively if I owed them the same money, so I don't see why I should just write it off
  2. I think it's important the councilors know that the traffic/parking department is not working properly, and that the transition to the new IT parking system was a colossal cluster*

Thoughts? Thanks!
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dudette
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Re: How to escalate a complaint against the Council? Councillors? Money claim? (overcharged for parking permit)

Postby dudette » Mon Dec 10, 2018 6:36 am

Have you tried phoning them?
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dudette
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Re: How to escalate a complaint against the Council? Councillors? Money claim? (overcharged for parking permit)

Postby dudette » Mon Dec 10, 2018 6:38 am

Oh sorry I see you did. The parking department used to be quite helpful. You could try going to the Town Hall.
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Sarah McDermott
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Re: How to escalate a complaint against the Council? Councillors? Money claim? (overcharged for parking permit)

Postby Sarah McDermott » Mon Dec 10, 2018 7:51 am

Yes, contact your local councillors. You can find them on http://www.wandsworth.gov.uk/yourcouncillors
 
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michaeladanny
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Re: How to escalate a complaint against the Council? Councillors? Money claim? (overcharged for parking permit)

Postby michaeladanny » Mon Dec 10, 2018 9:43 am

I have also had similar problems with this.  I was charged 3 times for a change of vehicle parking permit back in July and have written and spoken to them so many times it's ridiculous.  It's £40, so not a huge sum of money but as I spent hours (and I do mean hours) sorting out the permit in the first place, to now be chasing them to be reimbursed money that was "fraudulently"? taken from my account is so frustrating.  I too have threatened legal action in an email, but that was a month ago, and no one ever responds.  I almost can't face continuing to chase them as it gets me so annoyed ...... but they've had so much money off me over the last 30 years that I feel I should.  Would be interested to see how you get on!!! 
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Wandsworth Council
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Re: How to escalate a complaint against the Council? Councillors? Money claim? (overcharged for parking permit)

Postby Wandsworth Council » Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:45 am

Very sorry to hear that both @SouthLondonDaddy and @Michaeladanny are experiencing these problems. If you could please email me some details - ie your address and car reg numbers - I will make sure that colleagues in our parking department address and resolve these issues asap. Please send the info to press@wandsworth.gov.uk Thanks  
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atbattersea
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Re: How to escalate a complaint against the Council? Councillors? Money claim? (overcharged for parking permit)

Postby atbattersea » Tue Dec 11, 2018 11:10 pm

Just sue them through money claims online. Don't feel bad about it, they wouldn't hesitate to sue you.

The alternative is to complain to the Local Government Ombudsman. The reality is that Wandsworth Council has cut staffing to the bone, to the extent that they more-or-less lack the competency to do anything (that isn't decided by a computer algorithm).
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SouthLondonDaddy
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Re: How to escalate a complaint against the Council? Councillors? Money claim? (overcharged for parking permit)

Postby SouthLondonDaddy » Wed Dec 12, 2018 1:00 pm

6 weeks after I filed the complaint with resolver.co.uk, I was told they have processed the refund to my account, but it might take about a week for to money to reach my account.

I filed the complaint with resolver after weeks of unanswered emails and phone calls. I'll post here when I actually get the money back.

One has to wonder if this obstructionism is intentional: make it hard enough to complain, ensure that a significant % of the people give up and therefore don't get the refund they are due, and how much more money is that?
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atbattersea
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Re: How to escalate a complaint against the Council? Councillors? Money claim? (overcharged for parking permit)

Postby atbattersea » Wed Dec 12, 2018 2:22 pm

I think it is a deliberate ploy, they seem to do the same thing with general complaints - ignore them long enough and they go away.
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Mum2Monkey
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Re: How to escalate a complaint against the Council? Councillors? Money claim? (overcharged for parking permit)

Postby Mum2Monkey » Mon Dec 17, 2018 6:31 am

Just to say - I have had the same. Lost money due to the switch over to the new parking system. Managed to eventually speak to two people on the phone, both told me to email and then silence despite repeated emails. I assume that parking has now been outsourced and that over charging is a way to make a bit extra profit?

I haven't heard of resolver and so will give that a go. Plus, thanks to Wandsworth Council for responding on this thread - I will send you my details too.
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SouthLondonDaddy
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Re: How to escalate a complaint against the Council? Councillors? Money claim? (overcharged for parking permit)

Postby SouthLondonDaddy » Tue Dec 18, 2018 11:14 am

I finally got refunded! I received the money about 6 weeks after filing my complaint through Resolver. The permit was issued in August; between August and November, I NEVER managed to speak to anyone on the phone, and all my emails to the parking department were ignored.

Had this happened at a different time in the year, I wouldn't have been able to waste so much time chasing £35; surely the council is counting on this!

I wonder: who decided the switch to this new IT parking system? How much did it cost? Why was it such a botched transition? Will anyone take responsibility and admitted they f***** up big time? Probably not...

Other people we know in the area, who have had similar problems, tell us that, if you're lucky enough to manage to speak to someone on the phone, the council will speak only to the person whose name is on the V5. So you can't call about a car which is in your spouse's name, even if your name is on the insurance documents as an authorised driver. Also, there is no procedure for someone to authorise his/her spouse/partner/whatever to deal with the council on parking matters.

I understand the need for privacy, but this is ridiculous - we are talking about paying a parking permit, not accessing private emails or phone calls or whatever sensitive data of your spouse!
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