Phil Rees
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Poor service from Companies House

Poor service from Companies House

Emailed them four days ago as follows:

"We have received a payment failure notice re S  LTD Company Number: 06*****.
However the payment appears to have succeeded. NetBanx Reference is 0**********.
Please look into this."

The payment failure notice arrived within minutes of submitting the annual return. So why the deafening silence in response to an email?


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By Anonymous
14th May 2010 14:31

A law unto themselves

Do not expect any help from Companies House...even if you do manage to get them on the telephone. I find them even worse that HMRC's VAT helpline!

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14th May 2010 15:04

Quite usual

Companies House quite often don't respond when they make mistakes - which is more and more often.

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By Anonymous
14th May 2010 15:38

care not

CH seem to have no accountability structure at all so this does not surprise me...

Had one recently whereby client company RO was altered without them knowing...we found out by a credit company phoning...this sounds like a quite common scam but their response was "tell the police"...they weren't bothered..

had another whereby the client company we took over should have been audited the previous 2 years...again were not interested in the slightest and neither (perhaps more worryingly) were ICAEW...


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14th May 2010 16:01

they are a disgrace, absolutely no quality control

i have also paid on behalf of clients by PO and they allocated all monies to one company instead of splitting between the 2 and now say that they can no longer re allocate payments and i have to get a refund and please let them have details of the original cheque etc.


i am goiing to send them a bill for wasting 4 hours of my time and if they dony pay i sue the bastards

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By Anonymous
14th May 2010 16:33

Its a conspiracy

We have had seemingly endless stream problems with Companies House over the years ranging from lost mail, to mail not opened for weeks, to registered mail not received, to companies struck off in error, to IT problems. While looking at where and how to complain about this monster I found this Better Regulation report  where I read that its monopoly is so efficient that that only 7 appeals were upheld in 2009. Apparently we "all know where we stand with Companies House".

What complete and utter twaddle. What we need is a system where we can penalise it for wasting our time (have you ever tried to bill a client for this sort of crap?) It relies on the fact that we are all too busy to appeal and cannot waste days and days trying to ring and sort out the problems that it makes.

Enough ranting, but if anyone is considering a class action against it we might be interested.




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14th May 2010 18:08

well i must say that i am leaning that way

BTW we dont have class actions in this country yet - but we do have group actions - i believe there is a subtle difference. about 3 years ago AWeb talked me out of touting for one against IRIS after their Freeway debacle lets hope they domt interfere this time

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By Anonymous
19th May 2010 10:57


In the last few months we have had a lot of documents and accounts rejected in error. We then have to spend a lot of time phoning them to confirm that the document has been rejected in error and then write a covering letter to ensure it is not rejected again. They do not even apologise for this incompetence. What is worse is that clients automatically think we are incompetent so even more chargeable time is wasted reassuring them that it was not our fault.

Why is it that all the public services used by accountants have become more and more incompetent and inefficient over the last few years despite spending hundreds of millions (or billions?) of taxpayers money on trying to improve services? We are not getting value for money!

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19th May 2010 11:14

'Tell me the Same Old Story.....'

As a company formation agent of 20+ years and now a company secretary in private practice my relationship with Companies House over the last 25 years has been varied and not always as good as it might have been. Getting an Account Manager will help as that will give you a real person to talk to who's been there for some time and is aware of the problems - the enquiries desk (who try not to pass any calls on) do a good job in very trying circumstances (for them and us) but it simply isn't good enough.

The real issue with customer relations seems to be two-fold in that an organisation like mine that submits probably 500+ documents a day, both by paper and online, gets much better treatment when we push the issue than many other organisaqtions, and secondly, Co's House staff are still in the process of learning the systems that the Companies Act 2006 brought about.

The Association of Company Registartion Agents ("ACRA") is the one trade organisation that I know has been created and being effective in getting things changed and if you form companies as well then membership might be an idea in order to benefit from the strength of a group, but otherwise (and without trying to make it sound too like  sales pitch - but not too hard!) hook up with a company service provider and pass on responsibility for all those Co's House issues to them.

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19th May 2010 11:40

Accounts submitted but still threatened with prosecution

I had accounts rejected but Companies House admitted they'd made an error. The sensible procedure would be to have somebody check there is an error before returning the accounts but they can't be bothered to do this.

I was refusing to send the accounts back saying they could pick them up if they wanted or pay me for my time in returning them. They threatened my client with prosecution even though we'd submitted the accounts within the deadline. If it had been me I would have fought them but I didn't want my client brought into this although he's very understanding and supportive of these issues.

I may still get my MP involved.

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19th May 2010 13:20

It won't surprise any of you to hear that the deafening silence

The search reveals that the annual return has been accepted though.

Next time I go to Cardiff for a rugby match I might just make a courtesy call on these people.


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