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Mishandled and Misinformed

Debt amount: 
$650
Date debt issued: 
Monday, 23 April 2018
Period debt occurred: 
July 2015 to June 2016
Has your case been referred to a collection agency?: 
No
Payment Type: 
Austudy
Appealing Debt?: 
No
Tell us about your debt and how has this affected you? e.g. anxiety levels, financial and accommodation stress: 

I have been put through a stressful anxiety-filled experience with the Centrelink debt recovery system.
They have kept changing the amount I owe them from $400 up to $2000.
I've been hung up on several times, told different things by different people, and then finally been accused of fiddling with my income reports to cheat the system.
As an honest and hard working person, I never thought I would be made to feel this way and would have to deal with such incompetence from a government authority.

How do you feel about the way the Government has handled this process?: 

My information has been "lost" by them on the first occasion. Missing records of my phone calls.

Every time I rang, each person told me something different. Staff have clearly not had any or enough training.
Could not explain to me how I got a debt. Gave me one debt figure of $500 but I never received a letter to pay so I called back and they told me I had to do the process of submitting information all over again and then revised the debt to $2000!

After filing a complaint and insisting they are wrong with their figure, it took my persistence to discover a minor error had been made with the review they conducted which meant that I did not actually owe what they said I did.

I'm disgusted by Centrelink and this Automated Debt Recovery program.
It is riddled with flaws and cannot be justified. It is an embarrassment that this is an Australian government organisation run in this manner.