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Years in the making, part 2

Debt amount: 
Has your case been referred to a collection agency?: 
Payment Type: 
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?: 
Tell us about your debt and how has this affected you? e.g. anxiety levels, financial and accommodation stress: 

Well, I finally have a letter which reads that I have to pay ~$2500 within a month. Of course, by the time you receive the letter after CentreStink's awful private number phone calls telling you your made up debt from 7 years ago, a few days have gone by which limits your time to act on the letter.

In the letter is a table that lists the amount you reported, and the "new" made up numbers by CentreStink that they think you should have told them.

Just going from the first number on my list, my "old" reported earnings I told them was "$0" for a pay period. Apparently it should have been ~"$250"... even though I don't have a single payslip for that time period and didn't earn any money. I don't even have a payslip that comes close to that period. But apparently magical numbers are all the rage.

So I called up CentreStink and got a very snarky lady who talks over you, but seems to have an extremely hard time listening to you when you want to talk. It's like she's just gotten a bill with magical numbers and she's upset and confused by it. So that would be understandable if she wants to talk over me. But, actually, the roles are reversed. Go figure. Well, she couldn't find a payslip to match that number. So she just said I'll have to get back to you on this. The numbers that they have provided are inexplicable.

Then I said I would like more information for the appeal process. (i.e. What I got paid, when, what I reported, reporting periods etc). And her feeling was, well, if you're not providing us any new information, like other payslips that you never gave us, then it was practically pointless going through the appeals process.
Like I'm withholding extra ammo from them or something... even though they have all the information. As if, lady! For one, the buck doesn't stop at CentreStink ... the appeals process can go to the Ombudsman, and so you'll need all the documentation you can get.

And try mentioning to them something they don't want to hear... like, how come you sent my original debt letter to a house I haven't lived at for several years, when you can clearly get so much other data from the ATO? Or when they try and explain so wonderfully how they average a person's income over the year to work out a debt... and you say "Well, that is WRONG and your methodology is OUTRAGEOUS" ... they always come back with the line "well, I can't comment on that".

So when they are questioned on how outrageous their methods are, their answer is "no comment". When they should really be explaining themselves.


How do you feel about the way the Government has handled this process?: 

They are jerks. There's no two ways about it. Their methodology for working out these debts is flawed. The numbers are made up and inexplicable.

The people you have to deal with on the phone are programmed to be rude…
I can see why they are snarky .. they are having to deal with a lot of angry people. But I didn't start that conversation with a rude tone ...
I eventually had to match tone of the CentreStink lady ... otherwise you're just having to listen to tales about how infallible their obviously flawed methodology actually is. And ain't nobody got time for that.