CSA ‘is making my life a misery’

A RIPLEY man claims the Child Support Agency has bungled his regular payments so many times it is making his life a misery.

For eight months, Tim Ford, of Pentrich Road, has been trying to set up a direct debit with the agency so that his ex-wife can receive support for their two-year-old son.

But every month when the payment is due, the money fails to go out of his account.

It means Mr Ford is sent letters on a monthly basis from the CSA, asking him to pay the amount in full or face legal proceedings.

And vital payments for his son’s upbringing are being delayed by two to three weeks at times while the agency sorts the mess out.

He said: “I have just got to the end of my tether with them I really have.

“You get a standard threatening letter every month off them that is five pages long.

Then I have to call them to explain to them what has happened and I can be on the phone for any time between ten minutes and an hour.

“They have given me no reasons, they say it is an administration error – but I have to call them and they take my details again and again.

Tim, a 42-year-old butcher at Chatsworth House, pays 15 per cent of his wages every month towards his son’s upbringing and will continue to do so throughout his childhood.

He was divorced from his wife, who has custody of their only son, in July last year.

Each phone call costs Mr Ford, who has a pay-as-you-go mobile phone, £7 on average he claims.

Now Mr Ford says he will not call the agency again if there is another problem and has made a formal complaint.

The process is causing him a lot of upset, he says. He was also concerned as the CSA has carried credit checks on him without his permission.

A spokesperson for the CCSA confirmed the agency will perform credit checks without warning in certain circumstances.

He added: “We will be urgently contacting Mr Ford to apologise to him for the delay in setting up a direct debit payment plan and to resolve the problem as soon as possible. The Government has recently set out its plan for a more effective and efficient child maintenance system.”