On-line Gripes

Survivors of the November 07 on-line billing crash will remember it well. We are slowly moving back to a situation where all contract billing is on-line with a bigger bolder electronic business future ahead of us. To date the (sensibly) phased reintroduction has been without similar calamity. We have picked up gripes here and there but no real catastrophes.
In the last week however some tensions have begun to emerge most noticeably when anticipated SMPs are not received and the LSC’s response is “you have not made a submission”. This happened to a client today when apparently their civil report had not been made with the resultant non payment of both CDS and CLS payments. On investigation it transpired that both had in fact been made and received by the Commission. As anyone with experience of managing cash-flow this is far from a trivial mistake.
More unusually we have heard from a firm whose entire claim has been rejected for containing some “out of time claims”, i.e. over 3-months old. Now I have fought and won a number of battles in this regard over the years, especially in the last round of CCA wars. As I see it the contractual discretion to reduce, and not reject, claims should come only after the identification of this as a routine occurrence (more than 5% of claims) and following a discussion with the firms Account Manager. Not by LSC online billing and not with a concurrent rejection of “in time” claims. One assumes that someone has told them to do this and that they are not now the Commissions interpreters of contract. We will, no doubt, see.
As ever your own tales are welcomed in the comments facility.

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