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To make a formal complaint

(56 Posts)
Anne58 Fri 28-Feb-14 15:56:49

This is very unlike me, but I have just phoned the council to make a formal complaint about the behaviour and attitude of a member of staff in the council tax department! shock

A phone call today was the third time that I have had the misfortune to have to deal with the rude, arrogant obnoxious apology for a human being, and she just went too far.

Smileless2012 Sun 02-Mar-14 17:18:21

Oh phoenix you are a hoot, I think all local council workers must come from that warehouse in Milton Keynes and undergo the same training. Thanks for making me laugh smile.

Deedaa Sat 01-Mar-14 21:10:40

The last time DH went for an ATOS assessment (thank goodness he is now retired and doesn't have to) he was passed as fit to work, in spite of their own doctor being quite definite about the level of his illness. When I rang to complain I spoke to a delightful young man who said that it didn't seem right at all. He went off to speak to his manager and eventually came back with it all sorted out, the ESA reinstated and profuse apologies. What a pity they can't all be as helpful.

Soutra Sat 01-Mar-14 20:50:18

Guess who can't spell always !!!

Soutra Sat 01-Mar-14 20:49:35

Oh dear - while I do not condone rudeness or poor customer relations in any shape or form my experience has not alwasy been negative
1) 3 years ago DH had (again) left his Tax Return until the last minute and in mid January was rushed into the Heart Hospital in London for major surgery. I rang HMRC, flung myself on their mercy so to speak and was immediately sent his online code thingy and was then told that when I was ready to complete the online return on his behalf, to ring them and they would talk me through it. Couldn't have been nicer or more helpful.
2) Please don't blame Milton Keynes!!! I know the Amazon warehouse is only a few miles down the M1, but living down the reputation for architecture/roundabouts/the shopping centre is quite enough without adding un civil servnts to the list! smile

annodomini Sat 01-Mar-14 20:16:58

When I was a local councillor, it was my practice to make allies of the officers whose services I needed the most - mainly housing officers - and got excellent results. Another councillor used to meet them head on and lay down the law. They hated him! There were some I learnt to avoid though as they really enjoyed being obstructive. When I worked in FE, far too many of the admin staff liked the small power they had and exercised it to the max.

rosequartz Sat 01-Mar-14 20:10:34

I despair, reading some of these posts. I used to work in Local Government, then the Civil Service when DC were older.

When I worked in LG we were always polite and tried to be helpful as some of the people we dealt with were very vulnerable . They could sometimes be aggressive too, but we still remained polite to try not escalate the situation.

What some of these people fail to realise is that they are public servants and we pay their salary.

absent Sat 01-Mar-14 19:13:49

Just for the record, the private sector has its fair share of rude, unhelpful, self-important and frankly stupid people.

libra10 Sat 01-Mar-14 18:11:42

Councils can be very difficult to deal with, phoenix's description is very apt, lots of 'jobsworth's'.

The worst experience we had with the council was when we paid our council tax one year in full.

I phoned and gave the assistant all the details, including credit card number, etc.

When I checked the transaction online next day, my credit balance was showing as -£12500! The assistant had somehow added a zero to the end. I'm amazed that the transaction went through as our credit limit is only about £2000.

As it was weekend I couldn't get through to the council to amend the amount until Monday. I sat all weekend fuming about their stupid error. The following week my bank sent out letters about overspending, etc, It was eventually sorted, but what a mistake for them to make.

I hope your issue is soon successfully resolved, phoenix

Anne58 Sat 01-Mar-14 18:04:42

I always give praise where it is due, and I this instance whilst I was complaining about the horrid one, I made it clear to the chap on the phone that the person I had seen from the Benefits Dept. couldn't have been nicer or more helpful, which in a way made the contrast with the horrible Ms Ho*m%s so much more apparent.

I have also recently sent emails to a couple of companies where I felt that members of staff had gone "above and beyond" to be helpful given our current circumstances.

There are some people out there who I have had to deal with recently who have given excellent service, and with a real human touch, and I tell them so, thank them and report it to a higher level where appropriate.

Then there is the other side of the coin! As said, I am definitely NOT in the habit of complaining, but after 3 encounters (2 by telephone, 1 face to face) with this bloody awful bitch, sorry, I felt it had to be done.

So I did it.

So there.

jinglbellsfrocks Sat 01-Mar-14 17:22:26

Glamma that is terrible! They have to sort that out for you. Everyone needs to go outside sometimes! hmm

petallus Sat 01-Mar-14 16:09:39

Agree with MiceElf.

A lot of people who work for the council do excellent work. A friend is in housing. Soul destroying work with a lot of desperation and aggression born of hopelessness coming his way.

We all have to vent now and then but some of the posts on this thread were over the top IMO.

MiceElf Sat 01-Mar-14 15:22:24

Of course it's infuriating when service is rude or inefficient and it's sensible to try to sort out the matter as soon as possible. But I'm not persuaded that the problem lies solely with HMRC or Council employees. They vary as much as anyone else. The worst service and worst rudeness I've encountered recently was from, inevitably, a travel company who wanted a significant sum of money to alter my name on a travel document. The mistake was theirs.

Poor service occurs in institutions where morale is low and staff training inadequate or non existent. So, while I always complain about poor service, I make a point of writing to commend good practice and good service. Everybody needs affirmation and it isn't often forthcoming.

annsixty Sat 01-Mar-14 11:09:07

I said POSTS not POST and have used the term general twice now. Please do not infer anything personal.

Anne58 Sat 01-Mar-14 10:51:43

I expect you are referring to mine annsixty with regard to the production methods relating to LA employees.

annsixty Sat 01-Mar-14 10:42:43

gillybob there was nothing personal in my remark,so apologies. It was a general observation on posts on this thread.

Nonnie Sat 01-Mar-14 10:19:30

I always find it hard to understand why such people are employed when there are others who really deserve a job. If I find it difficult how much harder must it be for you Phoenix? sad

Whenever I am on the phone to someone who is not behaving in the way I think they should I always ask for their name, even if they have already given it to me. Sometimes that makes them think twice but it doesn't always work.

I hope the complaint works but you might have to escalate it. Where we lived before we had an issue over the person who had collected a car for scrap and damaged our property. The person we spoke to told us to take it up with the contractor but we said it was the Council we had our contract with. She then told us something she wouldn't have known if she hadn't spoken to the guy concerned and we felt she knew him personally. After getting nowhere I escalated it to the Chief Executive and got a cheque from him and one from the contractor! I did of course wait for the contractor's cheque to clear before returning the Council's.

rosequartz Sat 01-Mar-14 09:48:57

I once asked someone (very nicely) who was very rude and arrogant in the PO if she'd failed the course? When she asked which course I said 'the being pleasant to customers course at the charm school'. I heard a lot of sniggering behind me as the queue was by that time quite lengthy.
Of course, this was about 45 years ago and I would probably handle things differently now, but no, you are not being unreasonable.

gillybob Sat 01-Mar-14 09:36:32

My mum and dad had very similar problems with our local council housing team glammanana . Briefly my mum and dad owned their council house (it was worth around £65,000) and my mum was unable to get upstairs to use the bathroom. They did not have anywhere near enough money to buy a bungalow which were selling at around £90,000 at the time. Try explaining that to a miserable sour faced housing officer. My mum had letters from doctors, consultants and Mc Millan nurses to back her up but the council still said they could afford to buy a bungalow based on the proceeds of the sale of their house when clearly they couldn't. It took over a year to finally convince the council to give them a council bungalow and several years later the council have virtually had the entire proceeds of the sale anyway in rent money which is over £100 per week .

glammanana Sat 01-Mar-14 09:22:38

Phoenix just don't mention Council Employee's to me at the moment I feel for you and well done you for making a complaint,I feel I will be going down that route soon.
Briefly OH and I are looking to move to a bungalow after being in our 1st floor flat 5+yrs and during that time have spent a lot of money on improving the flat for our own convienience and very nice it is to,OH has health problems COPD getting worse by the year and has difficulty managing the stairs now and has fallen a couple of times when he has lost his breath,we completed the health forms stating his condition has become worse since we moved but a particular LADY in the Council team in charge of rebanding (so we can get moved) insists on an Occupational Heath/Consultants report, now OH's condition is managed via his Dr.& Practice Nurse so no report from Consultant but Dr. wrote report for HER but she will not up grade us because OH can manage inside with out constant help !! I cannot get her to understand that the problem is him getting out and about outside (via 14 concrete external stairs) oh thats no problem according to her,so am I to think as long as OH decides to stay indoors the rest of his life we should be ok ?.Letter gone off to Local MP and wait for reply from Head of Housing dept.

gillybob Sat 01-Mar-14 08:40:11

Forgive me annsixty I am speaking about my experiences with HMRC I really should have made that clear in my post. smile

annsixty Sat 01-Mar-14 08:35:49

I have seldom read such sweeping generalisations.

gillybob Sat 01-Mar-14 08:35:33

Oh don't get me started on HMRC Elegran . Why is it that they are unable to speak to anyone civilly? Do you have your compassion surgically removed when you work for them? Why do they talk down to you? Why, when they are clearly in the wrong are they unable to say the "S" word ?

A few years ago I made a complaint against a tax officer. She was the nastiest piece of work I have ever dealt with. She told me that all calls were recorded but suspiciously after my complaint "my call" had been mistakenly erased.

Elegran Sat 01-Mar-14 08:23:38

Someone who worked in HMRC taxes told me she reckoned that anyone in there with any ability either got promoted and went up and up, or couldn't stand it and left, but the numpties stayed put where they were.

Meanwhile more random newcomers were taken on to replace those who had left. so you ended up with the staff on the ground being either -

1) Just started so know nothing.
2) Have been there ages and still know nothing.

NfkDumpling Sat 01-Mar-14 06:32:24

Thinking laterally, is it possible that councils are over staffed and inefficient because they feel socially obliged to employ 50% of staff who are inept social misfits? That's why so much stuff goes missing (including our money) and gets for ever to be processed. From your description of skin, etc you just got lumbered with one of the misfits. (She probably already has haemorrhoids.)

Anne58 Sat 01-Mar-14 00:22:03

merlot "council Gestapo" sounds about right, I'm seriously hoping that she gets at least a written warning over this (actually I'm also hoping that she gets haemorrhoids and genital warts, but the second is extremely unlikely as it would seem to involve a level of intimacy, which I think might be against the odds, given her skin, hair and general demeanour)

Ana so far (touch wood) the mortgage provider has been reasonably ok.

Dragonfly chuckle away, I always think a bit of light relief helps on most occasions (there are of course exceptions) but please don't upset the dog, there are after all standards to be maintained, and behaviour that upsets family pets contravenes the usually accepted ones.

(This rule doesn't apply to Digby, for obvious reasons)