I'm new here, please be kind
I had a visit from EXCEL Civil Enforcement yesterday for collection of Council Tax. We already had an agreed payment plan that we were up to date on, the next payment was due on the day they arrived at the door so we never even had a chance to fall behind with payments. to be honest i'm still really angry about how they treated me. Ive already written to my local councils finance department to ask them to take back the debt, that now stands at £63.39.
I don't think i'm asking for help here as the amount will be paid next week anyway I just wanted to share their actions with you guys, your pages helped my greatly so thought it was fair to share what you helped me with. Here goes...
I was aware of someone leaving my front door, clearly there was no knock and no use of the door bell, i merely saw someone leaving my front door. I went to look and saw a red letter on the mat, it's the same as others that are on here so I could add it if you want but I dont think it will say anything new for you. It has tick boxes from a choice of two offices they could come from, neither is ticked. It doesn't state on it who the council is that I have to pay but does use an abbreviation, not the letters but a colloquial term. It says we owe £223.39. I go out to ask if they wanted to knock instaed of just leaving it (the "warrant says on it, we tried to find you but you were not in"...I know I've just bitten and now they have my attention), one of the thugs says "no i hadn't" and walks towards me in the standard yob posture, i hear the door on the other side of the van slam and then see someone stood behind me and now the first one is in front of me. I try to get back to my house, but number one is in front and is walking towards my door too, im now sandwiched between him and my fence. I push past to make a break for my door. As i'm moving past I shout "I do not give you permission to enter my house", number one says "I don't need it". As I open my door I ask if they have a warrant, number two says "Yes we do", number one shouts "F*****g coward!". I open my door and lock it behind me, whilst doing so I tell them to call the police. At this stage you can probably see i'm rather scared and not thinking clearly. They start kicking the lower glass panel of my main font door, number one keeps kicking and banging the door, number two kicks things around my garden, kicks things along my drive and starts banging on windows then starts banging on my other front door (I've grabbed my mobile by this point and start recording it all - sadly i'm shaking so much i keep repressing the buttons so it is only a few bits of footage to start with). They keep doing this for a while, and number two keeps kicking stuff around my garden, including my two year old sons slide and trampoline. They leave my front door after a while and go to their van, I then receive some phone calls on the landlines, eventually I answer (I have no problem paying my debts, as ive said we have never been behind, i just object to their behaviour). Number two tells me to go outside to "sort it", in an aggressive tone. I tell him i'm too scared to go outside and tell him i'm recording the conversation, his tone lowers slightly (I'm also within a group that can be classed as vulnerable). I tell him I fear they enter my home if I unlock the door, he says he will not and I "don't understand what they do". I again tell him I am scared to go outside (if i had thought clearer I should have called the police before this point), I tell him I will pay something today and offer £80, which is the amount we have been paying every month for the last six months. I inform him and this is very clear on the recoding that if he were to enter my house my dog is walking freely around my house and may bite strangers if she is scared. One should point out my placid labrador has been wound up by two black figures banging and kicking doors and windows so she is in an agitated state. Number one shouts that ive threatened to set my dog on them. I tell him again (clearly recorded), if you enter my house my dog may bite you, he starts to tell my my dog will be destroyed if she does, i tell him she is in a private place and I have warned you and to my knowledge its not an offence for a dog to bite someone within their home (the law is being changed i understand). I agree to pay the £80 and agree to go out on the provision he does not try to get in to my house. From here both audio and video are clear, I walk out to my front door, I start to walk towards number two, number one remains in thier van. Number one storms up to me in an aggressive posture, he shouts at me, I fear im about to be assaulted and realise there is nothing I can do now, I have to stand to face him as i'm better able to defend myself facing him and do not have time to get back in to my house. He stops short, im still recording, you can see no ID on him and he makes no mention of any changes, he just confirms "£80 then?", I agree, he asks again as he types in the amount, no mention of any fee. He shouts at me telling me i'm aggressive and threatened to set my dog on them, he notices i'm recording and I tell him it was all clearly recorded and he demands to see my recording. I refuse and continue recording him. He shouts at me again, my neighbours can hear him shouting telling me I am aggressive. The video shows things they have kicked in my garden as i turn the camera to the side to type my PIN in to their machine. I reiterate. clearly, using simple words, "if, in the future you were enter my house my dog may be scared and bite you", I am genuine i dont want my dog life threatened if she did. Again he shouts at me that i'm threatening "to set my dog on him if they come on my property". What is recorded is not what he is shouting. At this point I take my receipt and walk back in to my house.
They sit, parked on my lawn for a few minutes and then leave. I notice my receipt is for £81.00 not £80, it's not a huge amount but annoying they did it without me noticing or being told.
I still do not know the identity of who came to the house, fear made me comply (which in hindsight I will not allow to happen again) and so I send an email to their head office asking for their charges and the identity of who came to my house -I'm still awaiting a reply.
Later, my partner returns home and sees the red letter, she immediately phones them to make the payment that is due that day and that she has paid every month. They make no effort to tell her it has already been paid. Their person on the phone says they need to phone the bailiff, at this point I realise she is about to give them more money. My partner challenges them about it already being paid, they claim we are in arrears for January, my partner gives them the reference for January payment. My partner is again told she has to pay today anyway to avoid them returning to remove goods. Even thought we are exactly where we should be with payments they pressure her to make another payment of £80. A few minutes later the bailiff calls, he tells us we have breached our agreement because by paying more than is agreed. We are now ahead of the payment schedule by more than is left to pay and now they say we need to pay the full amount this week or they will remove goods.
we are four days away from being able to give them the remaining, final amount an they want it all now because they tricked us to pay too much and thus breach the agreement.
Anyway, sorry this is rather long, but within days it will no longer be a problem, i'm just really p'd off and wanted to share. As your pages have suggested I have made complaints to the OFT etc and have written to EVERY councillor, MP, MEP and AM for my area (in wales).