• Barbara

PART ONE: LA leaving me speechless – again

OK, I’m warning you in advance this is 2 issue rant about a Direct Payment mess up and an incredulous policy my LA have.

Firstly, a couple of weeks ago I received a letter from my LA saying my prepaid card was due to expire and that I should receive a new one in the next 10

working days. I waited and no card arrived. I rang the Financial Service as the letter instructed in the event of the card failing to arrive. They informed me that a new card had not been authorised and advised me to contact the Direct Payment Team at the LA. Obviously, a phone call is discouraged as a method of contact, so I emailed the person I usually deal with. I waited 2 days for a response, she informed me she was looking into it. I then received a follow up email after another couple of days saying that a new card had been authorised and that I should receive it in 10 working days. PA salary was due that week, and there was reference in the email that if I had difficulty on pay day to contact the Financial Service. From this statement I should have realised that there would be an issue on payday. Low and behold, on payday, I am unable to access my account on line to pay the PA. I duly phone Financial Services, who initially inform me my card has expired – You don’t say. They offer to make the payment for me, I accept their kind offer – not that I had a lot of choice to be honest. Then comes the all important question – Do you have the bank details for the payee? No I reply, all that data is stored by you on line, I would not hold that information at home, it is in breach of GDPR. After some sighing and possible head scratching at their end, a resolution is found via a transaction history. The PA is paid, I contact the PA and ask for confirmation she has received her salary.

Now this whole incident caused plenty of stress and anxiety for me, what would the PA have said if I had been unable to pay her? How can the LA send out a letter saying a new card is on it’s way and yet not authorise said new card??? I’m pretty sure, that for some people this situation would have almost been unmanageable without support and assistance. The LA did not even offer an apology or explanation.


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