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Bonkers Blog March 2013

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27 March (Part 1) - It costs no more to get it right, but they don’t

Failed websiteI assumed I was alone in being slightly confused by my council tax demand but I was wrong as yesterday’s mailbag revealed. Twelve totally redundant paying in slips are apparently widespread. No wonder Bexley’s website says they send out 4.7 tonnes of council tax bills each year.

Nowhere does my bill tell me the sort code of the bank I am to pay. Hidden on the paying in slip and In the tiniest of print I discovered that Bexley banks with NatWest and their collection account number is 21101183 but there is no banking information whatsoever on the bill itself. No sort code and you are stuffed.

Others are confused by the Reference Number and Service Number. I was prepared to guess which to use but I was then told that if I went on line to pay I would require an Account Number which might be different yet again. I went on line to check and it’s true so I thought I’d do everyone a favour by emailing Bexley council for the definitive answer but their spanking new website failed. See illustration.

The council tax bill is quite unlike the Thames Water bill that comes in at the same time of the year. That lists all conceivable payment methods and gives precise details for each. A sort code for Internet or telephone banking from Bexley council? Forget it. I’ve used the sort code (51-70-14) I used last year and crossed all fingers. Incredible what management skills you can get by paying the sixth highest salaries in the country?


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