Welwyn Hatfield residents up in arms over council cheque saga

PUBLISHED: 08:51 28 February 2018 | UPDATED: 08:51 28 February 2018

Residents say they have been struggling to pay for Welwyn Hatfield Council services.

Residents say they have been struggling to pay for Welwyn Hatfield Council services.

Archant

Residents say Welwyn Hatfield Council is “discriminating against the elderly” amid claims they have been unable to pay for services using cheque or cash.

The grandson of a Welwyn pensioner told the Welwyn Hatfield Times: “My grandmother tried to pay for her brown bin service.

“She usually pays her council tax and other council bills via cheque, but the council seem to not be accepting cheques for this service and only direct debit or credit card.

“The guy on the phone in the garden waste service said they won’t process it when my grandmother rang.

“She was upset by this as she pays all her other bills using cheque.

“This isn’t fair for her age group, I can’t believe they are doing this.

“She and I both feel this discriminated against the elderly that rely on the service and also rely on using traditional payments methods for such bills.

“A few of her friends at her church in Welwyn also feel the same way.”

David Fisher, 75, of Herns Lane, Welwyn Garden City, told the Welwyn Hatfield Times: “Having tried in vain to pay for my garden waste collection, by the web, by phone and in person, I probably along with many other people have almost given up.

“The website refuses to take my credit card details or asked for things which are not required.

“I eventually got through by phone only to be told my account is locked out.

“When asked why the website asked for a form of security that nobody else asked for they said they would call me back in a few days.

“They do not accept cheque or cash so you have to rely on a website that doesn’t work.

“If a business ran its systems like this, it would go out of business.”

A council spokesman said: “Residents can pay by credit or debit card, or via a new direct debit option we’ve introduced this year to make it easier for people to sign-up.

“If residents have any concerns, or are unable to pay in these ways, please get in touch with us on 01707 357000 and we can discuss alternative payment options.”

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