Tuesday, 26 January 2010

A Letter To The Inland Revenue (first draft)

Dear Inland Revenue,

I am writing to complain about your monumental incompetence, the like of which is generally reserved for agencies such as the Home Office.

In April of last year, I wrote to inquire whether it would be possible to send my £650 tax rebate care of a different address than the one on your files, as by the time it was issued I would temporarily be staying with family and friends in between leaving my old flat and moving into the new one. You responded by ignoring this query, and trying to blind me with the shiny point that you just noticed you owe me £100 more than I thought, due to mistakenly taking pennies from me in previous jobs.

There came a period of several months where I wrote and telephoned a number of times to ask when I was getting the £750 which you had after all confirmed I was owed. Each time I was asked to send you a different piece of documentation (P60s from three years ago that had no relation to the sum I was trying to claim, that sort of thing).

Eventually in October (six months after my first letter) I obtained a different telephone number to contact you on. It transpired at that point that a cheque had been issued, in May, to my previous address. Did I not receive this? Well, no, I moved. Hence my letters and phone calls. It appears that the people who were receiving my communications thought I was trying to claim for a totally separate £750, and they couldn’t for the life of them work out why I thought I was due it, hence constant requests for further documentation.

Having established that there was only one amount of money, which you definitely owe me, that I have never received, the man on the end of the phone said it should be simple enough to cancel and reissue the cheque. After all you would easily be able to determine whether it had been cashed. Which it hasn’t.

So anyway, that call filled me with optimism for a while, but of course nothing happened. So I called the magic number of apparently competent people again in November and they said oh, it can take quite a long time, sorry about that, will ttly contact the progress team for you.

And then nothing happened some more, which I excused over Christmas/Hogmanay even though it would have been mega useful about that time. And then I called again about two weeks ago and they said oh, there’s a note of your November call on your record, but nothing since then. And our department aren’t actually allowed to contact the progress team directly anymore. ‘What should I do then,’ says I, very patiently after having been on hold for 45 minutes, ‘just keep phoning till someone does something?’ And the girl said, very sheepishly, well probably yes.

SO, in a nutshell, we are in agreement that you owe me £750. We are both aware that I have not received it. Discussion about the matter has now been going on for 9 months. Everyone I have spoken to has been very polite, but that doesn’t excuse the fact that none of them seem to be able to do their jobs.


Yours Sincerely,

Alison George

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