The debt has affected me by lowering my "faith" in an already corrupt system that appears to be based on guilty until proven innocent.
Financial stress has just become part of the picture when a conversation with Dun & Bradstreet (where I expressed my co-operation to pay back $30 per week) was quickly escalated to $50 per week. These people do not understand how expensive it is to live in Sydney. $50 is a lot of money with the cost of rent and food and will most certainly make my life harder.
What's more, despite an agreement to fixed repayments, Centrelink AT ANY TIME can enforce the "consequences" of outstanding debt, such as not allowing you to leave the country or taking my income!
And they are targeting mainly people already heavily in debt...students!
Reading the reviews about Dun & Bradstreet being a "phishing scam" and breaking agreements in addition to having access to private bank balances just scares me even more.
Terribly. I was told by Centrelink staff that it was my fault I had not received notification of the debt before it was sent to the private collector after less than 21 days.
I told them that I ALWAYS receive a txt when I have a letter in mygov inbox.
So convenient that I didn't receive a txt this time, yes of course that is my fault.
I found the staff are trying to do their jobs but they really defy logic and do not express a drop of compassion.
They should consider renaming to Department of Inhumane Services.
Thanks for the opportunity to express all my frustration at such a shoddy rigmarole of a system.