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Hi,

   I received an online message from CSA today advising that due to my write only status they will no longer provide responses to general enquiries. I can't imagine a CSA staffer saying that to a 'phone first' customer.

I've lodged three complaints recently because they never respond to my online correspondence so I get the impression that they're trying to shoo me away so that I'm a cooperative and obedient payer causing minimal fuss.

Can they refuse to respond to written correspondence because they consider their cut and paste answers (from the guide) sufficient even though they don't actually provide concise answers?
I'd suggest that you lodge a complaint about being informed that they will no longer provide responses to general enquiries.

If the complaint is not upheld, send your complaint and their response to the Commonwealth Ombudsman and the Minister for Human Services.
It's likely they won't give you written responses because they don't want you to be able to bind them with their own words. They prefer "phone-first" because they can tell you whatever they feel like and there's little you can do to prove they either misinformed or downright lied to you, let alone that they have threatened or abused you.

The purpose of going "write-only" is to make it more difficult for the Agency to employ gutter tactics in their attempts to extort. It won't stop them altogether - they're well aware that they are a protected species and routinely operate outside the bounds of propriety and even the law - but it will make it more difficult.
Even take it to your local MP if you have the time.
How do you mean Gecko?

I've asked several questions of CSA regarding income from military service, namely that which attracts tax exemption status under either s.23AD or s.51.5 of the Income tax (Assessment) Act. The intricacies of neither are covered exhaustively by the guide so I'd consider it fair that I seek clarification prior to making any decisions involving the aforementioned income.

I'm growing tired of your frequent and pointless interjection. As you've posted previously, this is an open and public medium and you are entitled to contribute. It would be greatly appreciated if you could dedicate your efforts to prefixing your input with 'constructive and/or helpful.'
Yep take it to the ombudsman & MP if you don't get a satisfactory outcome to your complaint. Just because answers *maybe* written somewhere, does not excuse them from answering questions, even if it is in writing.

The guide - is not exactly self explanatory either and there is plenty of ambiguity and grey areas in it, so everyone whether a phone or write only customer deserves to be able to have their questions answered. There are codes and acts that cover how government agency's should treat inquiry's from members of the public/customers, fairly certain their is a breach of those principles going on here.
Frenzy said
There are codes and acts that cover how government agency's should treat inquiry's from members of the public/customers, fairly certain their is a breach of those principles going on here.
  Exactly

Whoever told you that you will not receive replies to general enquiries because you are a write-only customer has made a big mistake.

You need to complain to the CSA Complaints department so that this incident can be investigated and the officer in question can have their taining updated so that they don't make the same mistake in the future.

If CSA don't do this, then you will need to take the matter to the Ombudsman, Your Federal MP and the Minister.
 I had a quick check of the C'wealth Ombudsman's report into CSA write only 'clients'. Although it refers to situations when CSA themselves have decided to make a person 'write only' - usually for bad behaviour…. it is still an interesting read when reference is made to the point that these clients are entitled to a quality service. I don't think CSA 'get it' that when a person requests to become a 'write only' client, it is because of CSA's own bad behaviour! I think there may be some material in the report that can assist you. http://www.ombudsman.gov.au/files/dhs_csa_unreasonable_customer_conduct_and_write_only_policy_14_2010.pdf
Sleepy said
I've lodged three complaints recently because they never respond to my online correspondence so I get the impression that they're trying to shoo me away so that I'm a cooperative and obedient payer causing minimal fuss.
 
Sleepy, this seems to be a common thing, CSA not answering emails. It is not unusual that we have to resend the same query several times. After lodging an official complaint to the CSA complaints department regarding this unresponsiveness, they finally replied. In fact, someone sat down and must have spent many hours going through all the messages and answering all the queries built up over a few weeks. If they had just answered the first one, it would have never gotten that out of hand…Guess CSA is not about keeping things simple.

If CSA gives you too much trouble, I would go to the Ombudsman. From our experience, they have been very helpful in the past and CSA does act when the Ombudsman calls.
Gecko said
Was it so wrong? It could actually be the reason.
Any business has the right to do that, not just CSA. Is it really that bas that you have to run to the ombudsman? HAve you actually asked them why?
 
Ummm, No.

The CSA does not have the right to refuse to answer enquiries on the basis that the "customer" has requested contact in writing only.

This is an case of the CSA Officer bullying Sleepy in attempt to get him to allow them to resume harassment by phone.

You are well within your rights to ask for and receive responses to your enquiries in writing.

As for whether it is bad enough to go to the Ombudsman, as per my posts above, that will depend on the response from the CSA Complaints section.
Gecko said
Any business has the right to do that, not just CSA. Is it really that bas that you have to run to the ombudsman? HAve you actually asked them why?

What gives them the right to do that, as you claim?. Like any government business they are bound by public service legislation which outlines how they must treat customers. If you were to actually consult that legislation you would realize that fact.

 CSA online has a dedicated function for sending general inquiries (such as a letter, payment and account enquiry or to provide general information to the Child Support Agency), it tells the customer 'We will endeavour to respond within 4 working days'. There is no reason why sleepy (or any customer for that matter) should not be entitled to have his/her inquiry answered. From what sleepy said his issue is not something that is easily explained by the guide. Sleepy has also put in 3 complaints, so the CSA does have a chance to explain themselves if they choose.

The ombudsman is there to intervene if a government organization does not follow procedure or act in a way that they are bound to by legislation. 
Samba,

         Form a club with Gecko so that the two of you can vent your gripes in private because we don't want to hear it. Your input, much like that of Gecko is agenda driven and not at all constructive. It's painfully obvious the the two of you have fared poorly in property settlements and your child support leaves you wanting. Every member of this forum has a similar story of loss. The difference being that we/they have the decency to refrain from making assumptions about you two. Perhaps you could do the same…
How exactly have you reached those conclusions considering that this is a thread about 'write only status' customers and CSA?

Once you've mastered basic writing skills such as the correct use of apostrophes, I'll pay attention to your posts. Until then, go away. Repeating year 4 might be a better way to spend your time.

Oh, and I'm not your mate. My mates contribute to their country. Back on topic please.
Sleepy said
It's painfully obvious the the two of you have fared poorly in property settlements and your child support leaves you wanting…..

The difference being that we/they have the decency to refrain from making assumptions about you two……. Perhaps you could do the same…

Sleepy not making assumptions!

I couldn't care less if she was. Although I have no money now, I earn more than enough to keep a barrister on tap if she wants a legal battle.

Here are some figures for you Samba:

My bank balance: -10k

My ex: 100k

My gov't concessions: Nil

My ex: All

My rent: $400pw

My ex: Nil

My CS: $400pw

My ex: Nil.

My gov't allowances/pensions: Nil.

My ex: 16k PPS, 12k FTB.

The most important one…

My rights: Nil

My ex: Absolute domination.

Express your opinion all you like. I won't even bother acknowledging your insults. If you can find balance or fairness in the figures above then I'm all ears.
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