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Council tax bill blunder

Sandwell | News | Published:

Thousands of council tax bills have had to be re-sent out across Sandwell after a printing blunder.

Thousands of council tax bills have had to be re-sent out across Sandwell after a printing blunder.

The first letters feature a barcode which residents have to scan in order to pay their bills at one of the borough's pay points. But the wrong barcodes have been put on.

The second letters sent out across the borough said: "Please find enclosed a copy of your 2012/2013 council tax bill.

"This copy has been issued to you because the barcode found at the top of the original bill was found to be inoperative.

"If you wish to use the various paypoints that accept the barcode please use this copy bill.

"We are sorry for any inconvenience this has caused."

Sandwell Council confirmed the letter had been sent out to thousands of homes across the borough but stressed less than half of residents pay in this way.

"I think most people in the borough who aren't signed up to pay their bills by direct debit will have been angered by this, said John Hadley, a Rowley Regis resident who has received the letter.

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"Clearly it's going to cost someone money to sort this out."

Springfield Close resident Mr Hadley, who is in his 70s, added: "Anyone trying to pay their bill at one of the paypoint machines would have had problems because it wouldn't have recognised the barcode.

"It's probably someone complaining that's prompted the council to send out the letters. What is clear is that no-one bothered to check the thing."

Councillor Steve Eling, the council's deputy leader, would not say how much it had cost to send out the letters and blamed the mistake on a contractor.

"We are holding discussions with the contractor responsible for sending out the bills and I expect them to meet the cost of re-issuing the bills," he said.

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