Meanwhile, just to make things interesting I decided to drag my feet on this years council tax too. I received the usual bog standard letters in the post from Rundles, but it seems they have chickened out and passed the job on to Bristow & Sutor. Fresh meat for the grinder. Naturally, their frst shot across my bow was about as corrupt as you would expect it to be. So I have complained to the council...
(Submitted by form to SGC)
I have been sent two letters in the mail from Rundle & Co bailiffs over the last year regarding outstanding council tax (neglecting to specify the amount owed). However, today, a company unknown to me, Bristow and Sutor, hand delivered a "final warning". It was my understanding that Rundles were handling the "debt".
I checked with SGC to see how much was owed. The actual amount outstanding is £700. The law that sets statutory bailiffs fees for collecting unpaid council tax is Regulation 5 of The Council Tax and Non-Domestic Rating (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2006 which provides for £24.50 for the first visit.
Given than I was not in this morning, the bailiffs have not yet confirmed residency and thus cannot charge, as this is known as a "phantom visit." Only a certified bailiff can charge fees and the bailiff signing the letter, if indeed the individual who delivered it was a certified bailiff (of which there is no evidence), neglected to state his full name, as the form letter specifies he should.
He also states that no charges were added for todays visit and has included his fees in the outstanding amount. This is a photo I took of the letter...
|Click for full scale|
This is essentially false representation and advance fee fraud. I will be reporting it to the police on Monday. This is not the first time bailiffs working for South Glos Council have attempted to extort fees not owed and charge for phantom visits. Now that I have supplied you with evidence, you must now terminate their contract. They are in breach of even your own guidelines as well as the law.
I will spare you my predictions, but it will be amusing to see what weasel words they come up with this time to justify their complicity in a fraud epidemic. This helpfully demonstrates that it is not just Rundles who are crooks, but the whole industry is acting outside the law with the tacit approval of the councils and the police. The police reaction on Monday will be interesting. I very much expect them to stick to their "civil matter" mantra. But I know what I'm doing this time around. And I am going to create some noise.