Decision : Closed after initial enquiries
Decision date : 14 Dec 2020
The Ombudsman's final decision:
Summary: Mr X complained about the authority debiting £10 from his bank account even though he had asked to close his account for congestion charge payment. We should not investigate this complaint. This is because the authority has agreed to refund the £10 and there is insufficient remaining injustice which would warrant an investigation.
- Mr X says Transport for London took £10 from his bank account for congestion charge renewal even though he had told it he wished to close the account.
The Ombudsman’s role and powers
- We investigate complaints about ‘maladministration’ and ‘service failure’. In this statement, I have used the word ‘fault’ to refer to these. We must also consider whether any fault has had an adverse impact on the person making the complaint. I refer to this as ‘injustice’. We provide a free service but must use public money carefully. We may decide not to start or continue with an investigation if we believe:
- it is unlikely we would find fault, or
- the injustice is not significant enough to justify our involvement.
(Local Government Act 1974, section 24A(6), as amended)
How I considered this complaint
- I have considered all the information which Mr X submitted with his complaint. I have also considered the authority’s response. Mr X has been given an opportunity to comment on a draft copy of my decision.
What I found
- Mr X told the authority that he would not be renewing his congestion charge autopay account due to the suspensions of the charge during the COVID-19 pandemic. He says that he subsequently noticed that the authority had deducted £10 from his account after his notification.
- The authority told him that this was because the statement for that month had already been issued and the payment period was for the whole month. However, the authority exercised its discretion to cancel the charge and agreed to refund the £10.
- I consider that this is a satisfactory remedy to the complaint. The Ombudsman would not normally investigate a complaint where there is insufficient significant injustice remaining.
- We should not investigate this complaint. This is because the authority has agreed to refund the £10 and there is insufficient remaining injustice which would warrant an investigation.
Investigator’s decision on behalf of the Ombudsman
Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman