The other day I heard about people being called to see if they are being charged correctly by their local council for council tax.
That sounds like an interesting offer because council tax is rising all the time and people want to save money, but is it all it appears?
According to Which Magazine: Council tax bands are calculated based on the value of the property at a specific point in time. For instance, in England your council tax band is based on what the value of your property would have been on 1 April 1991.
In a very simple explanation, once your Council Tax Band is determined then the proportion of the council tax bill is shared across all the residence on a sliding scale based on the value of the property.
Why did the calls come to my attention? Well here’s the thing, the company concerned stopped calling people back. Customers were getting very frustrated, they were cancelling their contracts and asking for re-funds.
Not a problem until the re-funds don’t arrive and the customer never gets through to anyone when they phone.
The Scam would be selling a service that can’t actually help anyone other than to confirm that their tax bill is correct. The chance that your property has been banded incorrectly is negligable.
The other thing about the banding of your property is that your neighbors probably have a similar property and you can just compair bands with them.
Being charged £120 for a service you can check for free is a real rip off to me and so I call it Scam.
Failing business – Fraud
By the time the company reaches the stage they fail to call someone back there is a problem. Typically in my experience the problem is going to be financial.
If a company continues to take on new customers whilst they know their business is going under should be Fraud in my book, but unfortunately it isn’t seen that way.
The law should be changed to reflect the likelyhood that the directors knew the ship was sinking and that they continued to take on work with payment that they knew they could not complete (or had no intention of completing).
If you are cold called then you have rights to cancel under the distance selling regulations.
However, that won’t help you if you are being scammed or if the company is going bust.
If someone calls you out of the blue and tries to sell you something then you should also remember that under GDPR you can ask to have all of your details removed from their system under GDPR. That gives them about 30 days typiclly to carry out your instructions.
Next, if you decide to go ahead and purchase someone then pay using a Credit Card, in this way you have the extra protection of using that Credit card and can requst a refund from the card company if something goes very wrong