Monday, 24 March 2014

A quick reply

I have replied to "Mrs Williams".  I saw little point in giving them both barrels since that wastes only my time.  I'd rather speak with the organ-grinder than the monkey.

Dear Mrs Williams,

Thank you for your letter.

You have been misinformed by Bristow & Sutor.  No such visits took place and no letters were left.  Hence why I was so surprised to learn that Bristow & Sutor were handling the account.  This is typical of the industry, as I discovered with Rundles last year, who also charged for visits not made.  You will note that the CAB says in a survey of 500 people who had bailiffs chasing them between 10 July and 10 December 2013 for council tax debts, 38% were charged fees for visits bailiffs never made.

This is a large enough number for you to treat any assertions from your contractors with suspicion, and as a public servant, you would be negligent if you did not mount a more thorough investigation.  Rogue bailiffs tarnish the reputation of South Gloucestershire Council.  Your refusal to engage in this issue indicates an improper relationship with your contractors.

You will also note that confirming residency from a neighbour I have never met is insufficient proof of a visit.  That would not meet proper evidential standards for a BT or British Gas visitor and it is insufficient for bailiffs.  You also seem to be under the misapprehension that merely attending the property constitutes a visit.  The purpose of the visit allowances is to give the debtor the opportunity to pay.  Since Bristow & Sutor never made any visit, and if they did, they did not leave a letter, there is no basis on which to charge £42.50.  Also, given that I have not met an employee of Bristow & Sutor before, I would not be able to verify that their visitors, (whoever they may be) are certified bailiffs either. You don't know for a fact the alleged visits were made by a certified bailiff, and nor do I.  You are asking me to pay unlawful fees entirely on the basis of hearsay.

Since you have been unable to demonstrate that any visits were made and have refused to investigate properly, you can either drop the charges or see me in court.  An LGO complaint has been lodged.

Peter North.

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