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Student Finance Complaints Process
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# 1
scarlet-pimpernel
Old 06-04-2011, 5:50 PM
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Default Student Finance Complaints Process

Has anyone had any joy with this process?

I am at my wits end. SF have decided to use a fictitious incorrect set of income figures and nothing I say will make them revert to the accepted figures which were backed up by all the paperwork sent to them and returned.

These figures were originally accepted by our local authority for our elder son, but SF England used the wrong figures for the younger son. We have been trying to sort this out for some time and now they have applied the wrong figures to both.

I tried going through the appeal process but it was referred to complaints as it was not regarded as being an appeal.

I have asked 3 times for this to be referred to a Head of Service but to no avail. They are ignoring this request.

Please, what can I do?
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# 2
Taiko
Old 06-04-2011, 10:41 PM
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Unfortunately, all local authorities have now gone, otherwise I'd have suggested maybe asking them to get involved. I know I did this for one of our students, and the parents thanked me with choccies.

Which LEA?
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# 3
scarlet-pimpernel
Old 07-04-2011, 5:40 PM
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LEA was Bromley. They have been good but SF England seem to ignore the copy of a letter from Bromley I have sent them and are inventing their own figures instead.
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# 4
melancholly
Old 07-04-2011, 6:04 PM
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might be worth writing to your MP. a few people have had success after getting them involved.
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# 5
bernih
Old 07-04-2011, 6:18 PM
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I have 2 daughters at university and neither have received their grants. Semester 2 has now ended. I wrote earlier this week asking for full details of their complaints procedure and said that if they still had not got their money by tomorrow, then we would all write to our MPs. It looks like the MPs letters will be going off tomorrow as they cant even be bothered to acknowledge receipt of my complaint.
Good luck with your offspring.
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# 6
scarlet-pimpernel
Old 07-04-2011, 7:44 PM
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I have already pencilled in our MP's surgery Friday next week as I don't expect it to have been sorted by then.

If only the efficient and approachable local authorities were still dealing with it!
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# 7
scarlet-pimpernel
Old 09-04-2011, 12:00 PM
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It just gets worse. I asked for it to be escalated to a Head of Service and the same day they sent out a revised financial notice for 2011/12 This was previously issued correctly. Now they are applying the fictitious figures to 3 years.

Jo Johnson's surgery had better not be busy next Friday.
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# 8
Taiko
Old 09-04-2011, 3:19 PM
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Going to let your MP try this, but I'll monitor the situation. If needbe, I'll drop a PM and take the case on myself.
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# 9
scarlet-pimpernel
Old 09-04-2011, 6:00 PM
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Thanks Taiko, that is a comfort.
I will keep reporting progress.
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# 10
abby1234519
Old 10-04-2011, 1:17 AM
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I'm still waiting for a reply from their complaints department, then again I have emailed my local MP and my student Union should be phoning them.
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# 11
scarlet-pimpernel
Old 13-04-2011, 2:18 PM
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No time to get to MP's surgery this week so I have emailed him and David Willetts. I wonder how long I should wait for any sort of response? Last time I emailed my MP I got a very quick autoresponse - nothing yet though.

Is this a conspiracy?
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# 12
scarlet-pimpernel
Old 13-04-2011, 2:55 PM
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I really can't believe these people! I have just logged into my details on the SF page and find they have changed the figures I submitted for 2011/12 to the wrong ones they insist on using.

Where have they come from? The pension/employment income figures are correct but the rest are completely fictitious.
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# 13
Taiko
Old 13-04-2011, 9:15 PM
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I've sent a PM.
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# 14
scarlet-pimpernel
Old 14-04-2011, 11:52 AM
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Well, at least I have had a reply of sorts from Darlington Complaints.

Funny how they have chosen to apply the wrong figures for both instead of the right ones, completely ignoring anything I write.

And they confirm it is progressing through the complaints process.I wonder how long I will have to wait?

"The assessments were changed for all academic years since
2009/10 so that *****'s and ******'s assessments are
identical. SFE is required to assess all siblings exactly
the same for the appropriate tax year.

Your complaint has been referred to our headquarters in
Glasgow for further review."
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# 15
scarlet-pimpernel
Old 21-04-2011, 7:50 PM
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Surprise, surprise. No response yet from the next stage of the complaints process.

1. Presumably the complaint was not referred when I asked three times, but hopefully it was when I was told it had been referred 8 working days later.

2. The Head of Service has now had 5 working days after I had been told it had been referred. No response. Hence they are failing to meet their standards - but I think that is par for the course.

Disturbingly, I have not had the courtesy of an acknowledgement from my MP or David Willetts either.

Is this a conspiracy?

Roll on 6th May and my MP's surgery.
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# 16
Taiko
Old 21-04-2011, 8:27 PM
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It may be that the MP's aren't currently available due to the recess. I'm not sure how things are I'm afraid though.

Not spoken to him for a while myself actually.
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# 17
scarlet-pimpernel
Old 22-04-2011, 11:29 AM
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I did wonder if that was the case, though there must be workers in the constituency office who could provide me with the courtesy of an acknowledgenent of my email.

Just a waiting game at the moment.

However, I assume there is no recess at SF England's head office in Glasgow so there is no excuse for a lack of reponse within the proscribed period.
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# 18
lorietta
Old 26-04-2011, 2:30 AM
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Last year I had a problem with student finance confusing my identity with someone who was studying art at the university of manchester, when I studied psychology in a London university. The problem was resolved after several phone calls, and eventually someone just sorted it for me there and then.

All I can suggest is to keep trying on the phone, it took me about 5 attempts to speak to someone with a brain.

They really are good awful.

Also, if you can't speak to a MP try a local councilor, they may be up for election soon, and be able to give you a bit of help, although an MP might be better.
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# 19
kymbogs
Old 26-04-2011, 5:09 PM
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I have had to contact Darlington complaints a couple of times, I contacted them by e-mail. I was pleasantly surprised to receive an e-mail reply within about a week (which seems efficient for them really!) and once I had an e-mail from a particular person's e-mail address I just continued to correspond with them. I asked for a breakdown of all the income and outgoing information they currently had on file for me so I could check if it was correct, and amended accordingly, which went quite smoothly. The lady in particular I was dealing with allowed me to e-mail her a copy of some evidence which she applied as soon as she received it.

Having said all that they have taken a large chunk of this year's finance off me due to a mix-up with last year's finance which is causing me no end of problems...but at least I know why....
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# 20
scarlet-pimpernel
Old 27-04-2011, 4:04 PM
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Well, I have received a reply from a Head of Service at Glasgow but have got nowhere.

I got the set of figures they were applying from Darlington Complaints and pointed out they were wrong, emailing them a copy of a letter from my local council which gave the correct figures.

Glasgow's reply claims their figures were supplied by us as accurate figures after a current year's estimate which they say was used by our council.

The council used our correct accurate figures when they were submitted, adjusting the loan/grant acordingly for our elder son. We don't know where these other figures have come from that SF are usuing for our younger son!

Have replied pointing this out to Glasgow by recorded delivery first class. I'd rather use email but do not have an address for the person at Glasgow. This will slow things down, especially with all the Bank Holdays at the moment.

I have offered to send them all the bank/buiding society statements again.

They have a deadline of Friday 6th as I have arranged to visit my MP then.
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