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They manipulate your data to give you a debt ... Years in the making, part 4

Debt amount: 
$2500
Has your case been referred to a collection agency?: 
No
Tell us about your debt and how has this affected you? e.g. anxiety levels, financial and accommodation stress: 

Just to rehash ...

So far, I have talked to about 10 different CentreStink staff, always asking the same simple question... what is this first number in the calculation? The "old" column (what I reported) reads $0 ... and a "new" column (what CentreStink say I should have reported) reads $250.

I didn't work within that reporting period and have no paysheets in that period of time, at all. Where does the $250 come from? It took me many, many excruciating hours just to get this simple question answered. (And the "calculation" is a page full of numbers, so imagine how many years it would take to find out how they actually worked out your debt.)

Finally, one staff member had the answer...

CentreStink manipulated my paysheet data so that my pays would fall into reporting periods even though in reality I didn't work in those reporting periods. The paysheets clearly state the dates on which I worked, but to make it so that you have an increased debt, CentreStink will average the paysheets down to fit into reporting periods when they really don't.

Let's say for example that your reporting period is the fortnight of March 1st to March 14th.
You don't work in this period, so you reported that you earned "$0".
Let's say you worked on March 15th and earn $500 for that day only.
CentreStink can average that pay down into daily payments, so that you earned $35.71 every day.
They will suppose that you actually earned $35.71 on March 15th, and that 13 x $35.71 = $464.23 was earned in the previous reporting period where you fraudulently told them you earned $0.

A sprinkle of manipulation here and there and, voila! An increased debt for you.

They seem to be able to do the "calculations" however they like to increase your debt. Be very careful trusting anything that they say or the numbers that they give you .. I believe they're doing whatever they can to give you a debt, increase your debt and not answer your questions.

Get them to send everything they tell you in phone conversations in letters. Ask for copies of everything. Ask for a reference number at the end of your call. Even then, half the people you speak to will tell you incorrect information.

For example, I don't think that the way I have described how CentreStink have done the calculations would stand up at the Appeals Tribunal, so I asked several people if I can go over CentreStinks appeals process (in which they can increase your debt) and go straight to the Tribunal.

Many times, the answer was yes. But I called the day before the Easter holidays to put my debt on hold for a month (which I was told previously that I could do) so I could investigate my appeals options. I was told they didn't want to put it on hold, and that I couldn't go straight to the Tribunal and would have to go through their appeals first. I was livid and asked to speak to the supervisor. He put the debt on hold for a month but told me the previous advice was wrong and I would have to appeal through CentreStink before any other appeals. Why would I trust them to manipulate the data again?

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

Well, I won't be voting Liberal for my whole life, I'll tell you that.
What a kangaroo court they have running here. This is a racket.