Thursday, 12 February 2009

Bureaucracy

On Christmas Eve, you will definitely remember that I got fined £50 for inconveniencing millions of people, killing thousands more young children and puppies and oh, parking on the wrong side of the road outside the doctor's surgery.

Annoying, but ultimately a lesson learnt. You cannot beat the system very easily, and frankly I couldn't be arsed to argue with the charge. I went online within the discount period, paid the fine, and that was that.

Until 2 weeks ago, when through the letterbox another council headed envelope landed - telling me that yes, I'd paid £50....but I hadn't paid the £100 which was actually owed. There was no number to call except an automated payment line, just a slip for debit or credit cards, and a form to make a representation. In other words, to state your case, 'not guilty, you fockers'. I panicked a bit, thought what the hell? But double checked the e-receipt and found that I'd paid on time and that actually, there was no way I owed any more money.

Once again, irritation gripped me. This time I wasn't the culprit, it was their balls-up. I had the luxury of being able to quickly check my emails and find proof - but what about someone who didn't have the internet, or an old lady who would just panic and pay up?

I got angry. I got pissed off. I got a pen.



This morning another letter arrived.

Dear Miss surname [sic],

Thank you for your letter in which you made a representation regarding the above Penalty Charge Notice. Due to a processing error, it was only process [sic] after the discounted period had elapsed. However I have updated our records and this case is now closed.

I apologise for any inconvenience that this may have caused.

If you require any further information, please telephone our helpline on --------.

Yours sincerely,

Council Scumbag xx


Oh thank you, fair local council, for providing me with a helpline after my case has closed. Thank you for apologising...in a churned out letter laden with uncapitalised names and grammatical errors. You really do, sincerely, care about us little ones.

Bleeeeeeeeeeeeeeuuuuuuuuuuugrrrrhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

7 comments:

The Unbearable Banishment said...

Well, they did apologize! Perhaps next time you’ll think twice before you torment children, puppies and Council Scumbag.

Do you really need my witty sarcasm right at this moment? Probably not.

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

Sod their badly written apology. I want my £50 (plus 36p stamp) back.

Humph.

Mouldy-Old-Tartlet said...

Bastards.

Papercuts said...

I sent my council a five-page rant about a council tax charge I didn't owe a few years back. They blamed it on a computer error. So in this multi-thousand-word brainvomit I demanded to know how a computer could suddenly become sentient and send out letters demanding seventeen pounds (yes!!! SEVENTEEN POXY POUNDS!!!), threaten to take me to court and colour the letter in red too.

Oh, and I offered to lend the council said moneys if they were that hard up.

I got a one-page apology in return.

Ungrateful bastards. That rant took me HOURS to write.

Once I'd wiped all the bile and spew off the paper, that is...

Take it to the media! NEVER LET THIS REST!!!

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

MOT - that's more the reaction I was looking for. a hearty chorus of "you bastards"

papercuts - Ahh, I hear you. it is, as with most things that the British moan about, the PRINCIPLE of the thing. What irritates me more than the money, is the way that I mess up and do something wrong and get a hefty fine, the council mess up (again, and again, and again) and they get let off with an apology. Why can't I just write an apology to the parking warden instead of paying a fine?

Brennig said...

Puppies? PUPPIES??? You utter utter utter utter utter bastard!

I'd set my Dalmatian on you except he's a nutter and he'd love you to death.

I couldn't give a fart about the other crimes

Homer said...

Nice handwriting.

 

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