9 February 2012

Pains of Moving House

I'll be moving house soon so I've been notifying the various people who need to know my new address of this and when I think I'll be moving.  Mostly it's worked out OK.  Gas, Electric, Insurance &c all no problems, over the phone, done.  Bank want a written form but I could request that over the internet and they'll change my details on all their systems.  Local council is a different matter.  I called their call centre and got through to someone who told me I'd come through to the wrong section (I'd selected for general enquirers as there didn't seem to be an option for change of address) and told me to try a different option.  I did and got the same person again.  Third call I got through to the council tax who could change my council tax details but nothing else.  They tried to put me through to the switchboard who they said might know who I need to talk to but they just put me through to a message saying the office is now closed.

I've written to the councilors for the ward I'm moving to, via Write to Them,  hopefully they'll be able to explain the problem and get it dealt with.
Dear Paul Tilsley MBE, Sue Anderson and Mike Ward,

I shall be moving to your word in the next couple of weeks (not sure of the exact date but the 19th is looking hopeful) from South Yardley.  This lead to the genesis of my query.

As I'm moving house obviously I have to notify the council of this so that council tax records, electoral roll &c can be updated.  I had understood, from publicity material I have seen, that a major goal of the Customer First transformation programme was to provide a single point of contact so that when a citizen's details changed they would just have to call the council once and all affected systems would be updated.  However, when I called yesterday I was notified by the call centre that I would have to call each department and notify them individually.  I have, so far, notified council tax (which took 3 calls to finally reach the correct team) but have not yet been able to find the combination of key presses to get through the IVR to the teams for electoral roll or libraries.

Was I misinformed as to the goals of the Customer First programme?  Was I misinformed by the call centre yesterday?  Is it just that the programme hasn't gotten around to joining things up yet?

Specifically on the updating of my council tax records I was disappointed that when I changed my address I had to give my bank details, twice!  Once to prove my identity and again to set up a new direct debit to replace the existing one paying the council tax on my current home.  I can understand having to prove my identity but given that I'm moving from one band A residence to another band A residence in the same city (same constituency even) so will be paying the same amount each month from the same bank account to the same local authority to have to set up a new DD seems nonsensical.

Yours sincerely,


No comments: