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How is possible to get in touch with Sheffield Council?

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I have an important matter I need to discuss with Sheffield Council, regarding my Council Tax and can't get in touch with them at all. I have tried everything - their phone lines, no matter what day, what time say "all our operators are busy and you can't join a queue" and go dead. I have tried at the time they open, the time they close, all day, different days - nothing. I have sent three emails and had no responses. 

 

My only solution is to book time off work to go and visit them in person, but even then I'm not sure the person at the reception desk could help me. 

 

Is it even possible to get in touch with them? I don't see how their phones can ever be staffed - there just seems to be no way. I'm stressed and worried as the matter needs urgent attention, and don;t know what to do. Is it even legal for a council to do this? Are others experiencing the same? What is the solution? 

 

Thanks in advance - all I want to do is speak to someone at the council. 

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Thanks. I've tried that form - no response yet and it's been over a week. The problem is that the issue is pretty urgent, and all the time it's causing me stress. I'll keep trying the number, but obviously its becoming a problem as I'm trying all time from work and never getting anything. 

 

 

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They are bumbling and tardy fools. I always send everything via email - council.tax@sheffield.gov.uk - you get an immediate automated reply... acknowledgement of email, which I keep as proof. It can take, like, 6 weeks for them to do anything, it's ineptness of the highest order. They are fond of sending me entirely speculative Council Tax bills for a property I let out to students - they just keep sending the bills whenever, it seems, they feel like it's worth a try. I keep records of all changes in occupancy I send them. I got another letter today asking me if I wanted 'help' with my empty property... it's not empty... the Council Tax team has told the Private Housing team that it's empty, in error... the Private Housing team has then jumped on it, confounding the error even further. If you do get through on the phone - be prepared for them to ask you to send them an email with all the details. It's rare I have had to deal with a department so bad as SCC Council Tax.

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4 minutes ago, Hippogriff said:

They are bumbling and tardy fools. I always send everything via email - council.tax@sheffield.gov.uk - you get an immediate automated reply... acknowledgement of email, which I keep as proof. It can take, like, 6 weeks for them to do anything, it's ineptness of the highest order. They are fond of sending me entirely speculative Council Tax bills for a property I let out to students - they just keep sending the bills whenever, it seems, they feel like it's worth a try. I keep records of all changes in occupancy I send them. I got another letter today asking me if I wanted 'help' with my empty property... it's not empty... the Council Tax team has told the Private Housing team that it's empty, in error... the Private Housing team has then jumped on it, confounding the error even further. If you do get through on the phone - be prepared for them to ask you to send them an email with all the details. It's rare I have had to deal with a department so bad as SCC Council Tax.

Thank you - that's (sort of) reassuring but incredibly angering.  It's just an impossible situation for me, that requires immediate action from them to rectify (essentially they're accusing me of owing money I don't - something of which I have proof) and I need them to stop the threat they're dangling over me. In angers me that they have time to make these threats....yet seemingly no time to check if they're justified, or to even discuss them. 

 

I feel very much like I'm being bullied by a system that is bigger and has more power for me. I can't think of many other institutions who would threaten you over money you don't owe and not offer the ability to ask them what is going on......

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The only thing worse than the council tax department is Veolia

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5 minutes ago, Mattcheese said:

Thank you - that's (sort of) reassuring but incredibly angering.  It's just an impossible situation for me, that requires immediate action from them to rectify (essentially they're accusing me of owing money I don't - something of which I have proof) and I need them to stop the threat they're dangling over me. In angers me that they have time to make these threats....yet seemingly no time to check if they're justified, or to even discuss them. 

 

I feel very much like I'm being bullied by a system that is bigger and has more power for me. I can't think of many other institutions who would threaten you over money you don't owe and not offer the ability to ask them what is going on......

Their email replies used to commit them to a [proper, non-automated] response within a certain timeframe - I think it was 7 working days? - but they never ever met that target. Not once. I pointed it out to them, brutally, and I think I might have been responsible for them removing that from their automated emails. They now make no claims as to when they'll get back to you - their automated response just constantly says they're experiencing a very high volume of emails - what a surprise. What I did notice in there is this... which might make you elect to send an email, get the acknowledgement, and sit back...

 

"We will aim to put a hold on any recovery action whilst we deal with your enquiry, although there will be occasions when this is not always possible."

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Have you asked your local councillor to ask the council department to contact you? Depends on the councillor but some will help quickly and get the job done.

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Pen and paper. Envelope and a stamp. Outline your problem and tell them of your difficulties in communicating with them. Send by registered post or whatever it's called these days.

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Communication with Sheffield City Council is a disgrace.

 

Apart from only having two general enquiry numbers, they will ask for your name, address and date of birth before even dealing with your enquiry. If you refuse to give them any personal information they will simply not deal with your request. If they do put you through to a different section to the one you asked for, they will not internally transfer you to the correct department but refer you back to the switchboard again.

 

If you are lucky enough to get hold of a direct number you are more likely than not to be greeted with "How did you get this number?" We pay these people's wages. They work for us. If they really don't want to interface with the public then maybe working for a public body is not for them.

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3 hours ago, wornout53 said:

The only thing worse than the council tax department is Veolia

I got hold of them quite easily ... albeit a year ago ... about the number of bins left  24/7 on the pavement causing a blockage to anyone with a wheelchair, pram or  even shopping trolley ( which I heeded at that time after fractured wrist!).

 

 

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Hi, I would visit Howden House. It’s been a while, but am sure there are staff there who deal specifically with council tax.

 

You don’t need an appointment, but turn up early, as works on a first come first served basis.

 

When you first go in, a person near the ticket machine will ask what you need help with (I think they deal with housing and other council business aswel). You will get a number ticket for the team dealing with council tax.

 

From experience (be it a few years ago), I always found the staff helpful and managed to get things resolved.

 

I hope you get it sorted. 

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