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Council tax blunder leads to helpline meltdown
5:33pm Friday 22nd March 2013 in News
An error which prevented 25,000 residents paying their council tax bills sent a helpline into meltdown.
A council contact centre received such a high number of calls from tax-payers trying to pay their bills that the phone lines crashed.
One resident was told phonelines had been switched off as staff at Redcar and Cleveland Council struggled to cope with the volume of calls following the problem.
The error came after a mistake with the barcode on bills for the coming financial year prevented certain types of payments being made.
Liberata - Redcar and Cleveland Council’s revenues and benefits partner - has now apologised and will meet the cost of the error.
The mistake could affect about 25,000 council tax bills which were sent out to residents.
Liberata director Kevin Mackay said: “The barcodes on payment letters have been printed incorrectly, due to a technical error, meaning residents have been unable to make payment of their council tax at the Post Office, pay-points or through Redcar and Cleveland Council’s online facility.”
Mr Mackay said the problem had now been rectified and that a letter was to be issued to all residents affected.
It will notify them of their correct barcode details before their first payment is due on April 1.
Mr Mackay said no one would be adversely impacted by the re-issuing of payment advice.