Solving the World's problems with common sense and a flamethrower.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Please Contact Me if you're Frustrated with the CSA

I've held this one in for long enough.

Today's rant has but one topic - the appalling, inefficient and inaptly-titled Child Support Agency.

those who know me know that I'm divorced and that I have a little boy, who I love and don't see often enough. So, obviously, I'm obligated to support him - which I do gladly.

However, for my ex-wife to qualify for the benefits to which she is entitled, my support payment has to go through the Child Support Agency. They won't permit a private arrangement. In the early days, this wasn't a problem - the case was handled through the Plymouth CSA office, who were polite, friendly, efficient and, most of all, quick. If you had a query you could speak to your caseworker by phone, and your caseworker would come back to you with answers quickly. It was easy and all went smoothly.

Until April of this year, when they moved me to Bolton.

The people who work at CSA Bolton are the most useless, disinterested, lazy, ill-informed, dishonest and incompetent excuses for humans it's ever been my displeasure to deal with. In the 8 months - check that, 8 MONTHS - it's taken to do a simple salary reassessment, I've had the dubious honour of calling them regularly - monthly at first, then weekly from about July, and daily since November.

Every call gives different, conflicting information. I'm told a different 'caseworker' name every single time I phone, and every time I try to speak to the 'caseworker' concerned, they're either not in, at lunch, off sick, planning a Mars expedition or any one of a million other reasons why they can't come to the phone.

Quite frankly, I believe the real reason is they're swinging around in their tyres flinging their faeces at each other - it's all they're fit for.

I've been promised a call-back 16 times in the last month - and how many have I received?

None. Not one. Zilch. Zip. Nada.

Try to speak to a 'Manager'? No chance. They're somewhere in the back of the Monkey House and, in the amusing words of one callcentre cretin 'don't have to speak to the general public'.

And the crowning glory of this pustule upon the anus of efficiency - my ex-wife has received no payment from the CSA since the beginning of October, and is suffering the same indignities when she calls them trying to get an answer.

So - 8 months on, I'm still paying 30% more than I'm supposed to be paying, I'm owed over £500 in back payments, my ex-wife is owed a total of 4 months payments and neither of us can get any sense from the CSA.

Enough is enough.

The CSA was established for a good reason - to ensure that absent parents made financial provision for their offspring. However, what's come out is a Frankenstein's Monster - a bloated, inefficient Civil Service calamity that is singularly unable to perform the duties it was incepted to do.

If they can't even deal with someone who IS paying regularly - how on earth do those parents waiting for fathers who don't pay fare?

I believe that I'm not alone in my suffering when dealing with this bunch of moronic dung-flingers. So I ask you this. If you are having problems with CSA Bolton, either as a parent with care or an absent parent - or if you know someone who's reached the same levels of frustration I have, and who are facing either insanity or aneurysm - please contact me or get them to contact me. I will respond to all the contacts I get.

I have already written to Lord McKenzie of Luton with regard to my specific issue, and am sufficiently driven by anger that I want to start a campaign of emails, letters and phone calls to the DWP to force some efficiency into the system.

Please contact me and let's start getting some changes and answers.


Anonymous said...

hi there

i can completely understand how discusted you are with the csa in bolton as i am currently having a night mare with them. i came off benefits in september and i still have not recieve any maintenance, they have four payments in there system but they are not releasing them. today i have been told they need to do account sheets which will take 6-8 weeks so by them they would of reccieved dec,jan and feb maintenace. i cant see how they can justify taking so long to do account sheets and leaving myself in hardship.

i have the same problem as you, as when i ring i get told different information and i can never speak to the payments team or a manager.

i have today wrote in my second letter of complaint and they did not respond to the one i wrote si weeks ago, i have also wrote to my local M.P.

feels like i have to argue or beg to be pain money that is owed to me/my daugther.

my ex partners maintenance is in there system the same date every month as its a deduction of earnings order yet they still with hold it from my self and they come out with excuse after excuse.

i completly understand your anger i dont no what else i can do to get them to release the money i am owed

would you be able to give me the address for lord mckenzie so i can write to him aswell

my e mail address is

i wish you all the luck in the world dealing with bolton!!!

Anonymous said...

Please please could someone help me with this.....i have been passed from pillar to post for 3years with these people.

My ex partner has never paid me a penny, each time i call up i get a different person with a different reason as to with this is not being processed.

I realy dont know what to do now.

Many thanks for anyone who can help my contact is

Thanks again

Laura Jones

Ann Matkin said...

Hi I have been receiving csa payments for 13 years and since my case moved to BOLTON a long time ago I have received NO payments and as a result my ex now owes me £20,386.59 this is appaulling and now my daughter has just turned 16 and left school he no longer has to pay for her but he does have to pay all the money stated above in the next 2 years or he faces either court and a fine or court and jail? Their attitude is disgusting and I feel so sorry for the absent parents who DO pay and get messed around by another of our goverments stupid brain storm organisations, who are supposed to be helping us not making things harder and worse.

Anna Stevens said...

Hi just read your comments and wanted to say i totally understand how u are all feeling. I have had no csa payments for 10 weeks and i have 2 kids to support. The money has gone from my ex husbands wages from deduction from earnings. But when i have rung the csa in bolton they tell me they cannot find the payments on any of their systems so in theory they haven't or can't find where the money is. They have been promising me for over 3 weeks now that they will ring his employers and trace the money. Giving me cut off dates to ring the employers and when i ring after a certain cut off date they tell me another cutt off date and so on and so on. I only work part time myself and that covers my household bills and a little food but does not help me support my 2 children. When i phoned last week a woman had the nerve to tell me that i shouldn't be relying on them for money. Which made me very angry and i cried once i got off the phone coz obviously we all rely on child maintenence to support our children. I'm now at the stage where i don't know who or where to turn to get a result as i keep being told the same old shit evrytime i call csa bolton. I am close to having a nervous breakdown coz my kids are going to starve and not have things they need clothes/uniform wise coz i have no child support money. So please forward this onto your local mp for me as we need to get results and fast! How can they put us and our children in this position it is beyond a joke. Yours sincerely

Anna Stevens

Anna Stevens said...

Ps my email address is

charlie said...

i am they same! ever thing had been working fine till 8 months ago when my case got moved from plymouth to bolton! when the payments started to go here there and everywhere!
i am now being told this that and the other everytime i call but still no money. because it is floating around in there daft systems!

Anonymous said...


I recieved a letter out the blue in 2009 telling me that my ex partners situation has changed and if i wanted to i could now go for maintence, i have tried over the years but due to his circumstances i had no chance, my ex has never payed or contacted my son for over 7 years so i thaught why not!
My claim went through quick enought and i started getting payment that i was sure are wrong, my partner works full time yet i was only recieving £21.36 a month!I queried this a number of times and asked then to review it upon which i was told the payments were right and to bacically stop fussing! I excepted this as i hadnt had nothing for years & thaught something was better than nothing.
Until last month i didnt recieve payment when i contacted them i was told someone would call me back but didnt so i rang them, aparently mrs adams has my payment, who she is i dont no.
I then started questioning my payments and guess what i was right, they were wrong & now owe me thousands, my ex had been paying the money i was supose to recieve but they wernt paying it to me, they still havnt found my last months payment and dont seem to be in a hurry to rectify this problem, everytime i ring which is every couple ov days i keep gettin told my claim is in a different department gettin checked, reviewed ect the excuses are endless. Never have i been dealt with with such incompetence, my son has more ppl skills than these idiots, ill keep you all posted on my journey with the csa bolton, how far i will get and when is unknown lol xx

Anonymous said...

i have been both a parent with care and a non resident parent for 10 years. daughter with ex wife son with me and have payed and reicieved payments metronomicaly whilst with the birkenhead office.. three months ago i was then trasnfered to the criminally incompetent vertex private debacle in bolton and we are both still paying in and reivieving nothing. They are absolutley farcicle

Anonymous said...

How did your campaign go??? Think its about time parents get together (in terms of the Bolton Office) and take our cases to the ombudsman and claim compensation for stress and the failings in the systems at Bolton....please respond if your cases are still chaotic...