Thursday, January 26, 2006

 

Bank Loans overextend Centrelink Recipients

From AAP: "About 400 Commonwealth Bank loan customers in indigenous communities in Queensland, South Australia and the Northern Territory may have been left over-committed because of the eligibility criteria used by the lender. Many of the borrowers were dependent on Centrelink payments for their income."

The bank is reviewing their lending practices and has apologised to the customers now suffering greater financial hardship.

So careful how much debt you get into with the ole credit card if you are lucky enough to qualify for one and if you are making a loan application remember they are happy to make money out of you and care a lot less then you do if it doesn't work out.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

 

How to get fast and polite phone service from Centrelink

If you are phoning Centrelink and waiting longer than you want to wait, hang-up.

Phone your federal member of Parliament's electoral office and tell them you are having trouble contacting centrelink.

Typically the person working in the electoral office will just take your details, ask generally what the inquiry is about, your nearest centrelink office and say 'I'll have Centrelink call you.'

They have the direct number to your local centrelink office or the relevant contact and will call them directly.

Prepare yourself for the best service you have ever recieved from Centrelink! When they call they will address you formally 'Mr. Surname...' etc. They will be more helpful and polite than you could fathom.

What happens when someone from the federal member's office calls any government department is that the public servant (or their supervisor usually) has to report back to the politicians office that they have resolved the enquiry to your satisfaction.

It's a big deal and they are super keen to make sure you are happy and the member's office doesn't call their supervisor's supervisor (or any way up the chain of centrelink command to the top) to kick heads and get good service for you.

Obviously you can't use this trick every time you want to phone centrelink - but if you are having trouble and waiting for ages - here are the keys to the side entrance.

If you are trying to apply for credit or a credit card or payday advance unsuccessfully while on centrelink payments because of financial hardship, that is worth mentioning to the person from your federal member's office as it makes clear to them the state of play.

 

Year 12 Student on Centrelink Payments

If you would like to share your experience with Centrelink generally or applying for credit, a credit card or payday advance while on centrelink payments, email: centrelinkblog at gmail dot com

I recieved this email about Centrelink problems:

"Dear Centrelink Blogger,

I am a year 12 student who lives away from "home". Apart from being paid a pittance to study (I can hardly afford to eat!), I am continually hassled by Centrelink.

They have quotas each month that they have to adhere to don't they? Numbers of people they can get off benefits without thought of whether they really need the assistance.

The Centrelink mindset seems all wrong- an us against the bludgers type feeling, I feel I'm continually asked to provide proof of income, when at times it's very hard to produce documents when they request them, and when I produce them well within the due date (as I always do) they send me letters stating that I haven't lodged the form yet- and withhold my benefit (that I desperately need to buy food) even though I've followed their instructions to the letter!!!

Oh, and as far as ringing Centrelink.. people who suggest that have obviously never sat on the phone for 30 minutes waiting for assistance, which is what happens. If you're lucky! It's a joke.

Incensed."

Thanks for your email, check out my post on how to: contact centrelink

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