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Lapsed Workaholic

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Lapsed Workaholic last won the day on February 5 2016

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  1. Does this replace the old Subject Access Request (SAR) form, or can one use either?
  2. Most benefit claimants will have little or no experience of negotiating, so you are certainly not alone. Most Claimant Commitments or Jobseekers Agreements are surprisingly similar, especially the activities that work coaches have ‘persuaded’ you to include about anything to do with UJM. So much for their being individually drawn up to help you specifically. I think that when it comes to up-dating your agreement similar wording will be used but with FaJ replacing UJM. So, the first thing to do, if you feel comfortable doing it, is write down the activities that include anything to do with UJM in your current agreement. You could also write down any other activity that you feel uncomfortable with. It is unlikely that anyone reading what you write is going to recognise you from this since, as already mentioned, there will be thousands very similar. Work coaches are directed and trained from one central source so that whatever they do or ‘advise’ from one end of the country to the other will be much the same. Thinking for themselves is discouraged and frowned upon. You can then use Trebor’s detailed tips and the information in the document on the link he’s provided to make up your own list of activities for inclusion in a re-negotiated agreement. Hadn’t seen that particular document before, better than most I’ve seen on the topic, thanks for the link. You might also wish to check out the rules and regulations that you need to be comfortable with if you decide to sign up for FaJ. You can read or download them from their own website: https://findajob.dwp.gov.uk/acceptable-use.html If you find it difficult to come up with an alternative list of activities that you would feel comfortable with I’m sure help would be forthcoming. PS: The laws you refer to Trebor have not changed, apart from the data protection and privacy laws which, as of 25th May, will make it doubly harder for DWP to require that you allow your personal data to be shared without your consent. That is why it is vital that nothing be included in your CC or JSAg suggesting that your permission has been obtained to share your personal data. This could enable them to mandate you to use Faj, and give them access to your account, or sanction you if you refuse. Just as they did with UJM.
  3. I think you could very well be right. Any JSAg or CC that include activities involving UJM will be out of date by mid-June. To be able to continue receiving JSA the law says that the claimant must have an up to date agreement. Agreements or CCs that include UJM activities will be out of date therefore your claim may be cancelled unless you sign up to a new one sharpish. I think it is also the responsibility of the claimant to report any change of circumstances affecting job seeking activity. Wonder if this might be regarded as a change of circumstances and unless we report it we may be sanctioned? The trap that claimants need to be wary of is when their Agreements or CCs will necessarily have to be changed to delete any mention of activities relating to UJM. Work coaches are already being programmed to include references to activities relating to FaJ in new and revised Agreements. I believe they will also use this change to speed up the transfer of Job seekers still on the old Jobseekers Agreement onto CC. If they succeed in enticing claimants to sign up to such activities the claimants expose themselves to mandation and sanction by the back door. They were very successful when they used this devious slick trick to bypass the law and entrap UJM users. Might be a good idea to polish up on Agreement and CC negotiating skills. Most of the reasons we used to deploy to avoid UJM may very well come in handy with FAJ as well.
  4. The operative word is ‘reasonable’ Anyone who read DWP/ FaJ’s own Acceptable use policy would find it hard to convince anybody that signing up to the site was reasonable. The DWP itself wants nothing to do with it as far as taking any responsibility for the data you choose to give on it. It refuses to guarantee that your data is protected or who has access to it. Have a look at the policy document, see what you think: Acceptable use policy By using our site you accept these terms Please read these terms of use and corresponding documents carefully. By using the ‘Find a job’ service you confirm that you accept these terms and that you agree to comply with them. If you do not agree to these terms, you must stop using the site and the online content immediately. What is in this Policy? This acceptable use policy sets out the standards DWP expects when you use the site (https://www.findajob.dwp.gov.uk), make contact with other Users on our site, link to our site, or interact with our site in any other way. This site provides information about job opportunities by providing Users the platform to interact. Your responsibility You must keep your account details safe If you choose, or you are provided with, an account or password or any other piece of information as part of our security procedures, you must treat such information as confidential. You must not disclose it to any third party. We have the right to disable any account, whether chosen by you or allocated by us, at any time, if in our reasonable opinion you have failed to comply with any of the provisions of these terms of use. If you know or suspect that anyone other than you knows your user password, you must reset your password promptly. You must not solely rely on the information on this site The content on our site is provided for general information only. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You may wish to obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content on our site. Although we make reasonable efforts to update the information on our site, we make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied that the content on our site is accurate, complete or up to date. Prohibited uses You may use our site only for lawful purposes. You may not use our site: • in any way that breaches any local, national or international law or regulation • for the purpose of harming or attempting to cause harm • to use someone else’s account • to upload harmful, inaccurate, offensive or illegal content • to attempt to hack, disrupt or damage to the site • to use our content commercially without permission • to upload malware (malicious software, for example computer viruses) You will not without authority, interfere with, damage or disrupt: • any part of our site; • any equipment or network on which our site is stored; • any software used in the provision of our site; or • any equipment or network or software owned or used by any third party Breach of this policy When we consider that a breach of this acceptable use policy has occurred, we may take such action as we deem appropriate. We may either: • issue a warning to you • immediately delete your account (temporary or permanent withdrawal of your right to use our site) • immediate, temporary or permanent removal of any content uploaded by you to our site • consider legal action against you • disclose such information to law enforcement authorities as we reasonably feel is necessary or as required by law DWP responsibility We will do our best to make sure this service is available, virus free and that the information we provide is accurate and complete. We are not responsible for: • you being unable to access the site, for example if it is unavailable due to maintenance or technical issues. We will report any unavailability to our supplier, Adzuna • any kind of loss or damage as a result of using the site • the accuracy of job descriptions and any other user content • the content of other websites we link to The DWP does not claim rights, ownership or control over content uploaded on the site by Users. The person or organisation uploading User Content retains the rights in its intellectual property and is solely responsible for protecting the rights of its Intellectual Property. Which country's laws apply to any disputes? The terms and conditions are governed by English law. If there’s a dispute, it will be dealt with in courts in England and Wales. Other policies The acceptable use policy should be read alongside the ‘Find a job’ privacy policy and the cookie policy. We may make changes to the terms of this policy We can update our acceptable use policy at any time. Check this page regularly to find out about updates. These terms of use were last updated on 13 April 2018.
  5. Some good points there Mr. P The trap that claimants need to be wary of is when their Claimant Commitments will necessarily have to be changed to delete any mention of activities relating to UJM. Work coaches are already being programmed to include references to activities relating to FaJ in new and revised CCs. I believe they will also use take advantage and use this change as a cover to speed up the transfer of Job seekers still on the old Jobseekers Agreement onto CC. If they succeed in enticing claimants to sign up to such activities the claimants expose themselves to mandation and sanction by the back door. They were very successful when they used this devious slick trick to bypass the law and entrap UJM users.
  6. It would appear on the face of it that it is nowhere near as intrusive as UJM. Its early days yet but it might just turn out to be a useful tool for jobseekers to find jobs rather than to entrap and sanction them.
  7. Hello Pgray and welcome to CAG. Looks like you're one of the first to take the plunge and sign up to this new job seeking site. You have already pointed out some of the negative issues you found with using the site Did you find any positives yet? When creating your account, did you have to also register on 'GOV.UK Verify' or 'ValueMyCV'?
  8. Glad to be of service Ghost. Good-bye to you and may your spirit find peace.
  9. Ghost00. This is a consumer action forum. Recipients of social benefits are regarded as consumers of a service thus their concerns are addressed here as well. I don’t believe this is a site to air your gripes about what you, or those you interact with, get up to of your own accord on other social media sites or outlets. If you have an issue with them, get them to sort it out for you, or are you expecting others to now sort out a mess of your own making for you? I would commend colleagues who have taken the time and the trouble to address your issues thus far, undeserved as it turns out. To be turned on as being somehow complicit in your perceived victimisation is beneath contempt. You have been told politely that it was by your own misguided interactions, which appear to have backfired, and an inability to keep your own affairs in order, far less the worlds’, you find yourself in your present predicament. For that, you have only yourself to blame. No amount of advice or guidance will be of any use to you if you choose to ignore it. Like the man said; ‘Get a life and don’t be so stupid in future’.
  10. Among the requirements necessary to claim JSA: • you’re available for work • you’re actively seeking work • you don’t have an illness or disability which stops you from working You may get ESA if your illness or disability affects your ability to work and you’re: • under State Pension age • not getting Statutory Sick Pay or Statutory Maternity Pay and you haven’t gone back to work • not getting Jobseeker’s Allowance You can apply for ESA if you’re employed, self-employed, unemployed or a student on Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment. Don’t you think, in your circumstance as you state them, it would be more advantageous for you to claim ESA. (Employment and Support Allowance)?
  11. Nice to hear that you got everything sorted today Max. Wish you all the best for Christmas with your nearest and dearest, which is as it should be. Also best of luck for the New Year in your new job.
  12. Max. If you sign on as usual today – 11/12/2017 your next signing on day would normally be two weeks today. Since two weeks today is 25/12/2017 and the jobcentres are shut that day you will not be expected to sign on. Your benefit for this period, up to 8th January, will be credited to your account automatically. Your next signing on date, then, would have been 08/01/2018, by which time you will be at work (all being well) and not eligible to sign on anyway. As you will have already been paid your benefit up to 8th January, therefore not entitled to any more, therefore not obliged to attend jobcentre to sign on, therefore not obliged to attend just to show job seeking activity for weeks that you have already been paid your benefits for. Your circumstances have changed, presumably you intend to inform the jobcentre of this. Change of circumstances require a change of your job-seeker's agreement. If you were not given a new JSAg when you informed them of your change of circumstances, then that's their problem.
  13. Best not to worry too much or speculate about what they may or may not tell you tomorrow. Best to wait one more day to see what they have to say before reacting.
  14. Bazza, Just to clarify your latest assertions in support of your own stance. Yes, the dongle was free, they said so repeatedly. In the bumph advertising the deal, in the contract and during my recent exchanges with them. They even stated that any money they may wish to recoup as a result of my terminating the contact early had nothing to do with recovering the cost of the dongle. They even told me in the shop that they did not want the dongle back whether they agreed to my terminating the contract early or not. So, again, the dongle was not the issue. If you refuse to accept that then I suggest that you contact the company yourself and put them right as you see it on how to apply their contracts. You then go on to give various examples with calculations that are totally irrelevant to my circumstances. I did not have a 30 day rolling contract. I had a 2 year contract for mobile broadband access to 3Gb of data at a cost of £15 per month. What you claim O2 do by way of example has nothing to do with my contract with EE. Handsets, air-time, wi-fi was not involved. I had a mobile broadband dongle similar in size to a USB memory stick, and, like a memory stick, plugged into my computer. The gadget in the link you so generously provide to support your own deluded assertions is not a mobile broadband dongle therefore any terms and conditions relating to it have no bearing on the substance of my case. It follows that all your elaborate calculations relating to that device are basically elaborate waffle, the only possible object of which is to justify your own stance to yourself. If EE thought for one minute that they could get away with making a case such as the one you are attempting to make, don't you think that they might have tried it on? Even they did not consider it an option to call in aid other company's contracts or other devices contracts. At no time did I presume to second guess what they probably did or did not work out. In my exchanges with the company I restricted my remarks to the facts and our interpretations of, and reactions to, the facts. I was very cordial and polite in my negotiations with the complaints department of the company. They were equally cordial and polite with me. At no time did they insult my intelligence or seek to belittle as flawed the case I was making. I realise that your preferred MO is to decide upon a conclusion with no regard for the facts and then invent all sorts of waffle to justify your jump to it. It is a further example of your arrogance that you would presume to advise me on negotiation/communication skills especially since you have been misrepresenting the law and rubbishing my attempts to stand up for my consumer rights from the start and using mostly foul means to justify the misguided stance that you decided, for reasons better known to yourself, to take. "By you quoting the Consumer Rights Act?" I set out in my very first post of this thread that I signed up to the contract just over a year ago. The Consumer Rights Acts became law in March 2015, some 8 months or so before the commencement of my contract. Signing up to, and executing the terms and conditions of the contract, are both well within the purview of the Act, even if I were to accept that your assertion that it is not retrospective was correct. Obviously you have either not read my posts or you have failed to understand or grasp their contents choosing instead to supplement what I write with your own deluded fancies. Incidentally, anyone signing up to a 2 year contract prior to March 2015 would find their 2 year term expiring in a day or two anyway so the circumstances I was faced with would not apply to them anyway. I thought your calculation skills would have signalled that small fact. What I have actually done is to successfully challenge the company's right to hold me to an unfair contract. They accepted that it was unfair even if you don't and they have released me from it. Entertaining as those exchanges are I see no point in continuing with them, especially since I find myself repeating the same thing over and over again and that neither facts, truth, the law or what I have managed to do despite your assertion that it was not possible, does not seem to penetrate that noggin of yours. I only continued thus far merely to show to anyone else who might be following this thread that it is worthwhile to fight their corner and that by following bad advice such as you offer they are certainly doomed. DOOMED you hear.
  15. Whilst involved in those exchanges here over the past couple of weeks I have also been in communication with the complaints department of the company that I have complained about. That communication has now been successfully concluded but before going on I feel that I must respond to Bazza'a latest post. It was my contention that I was being treated unfairly in relation to other customers who, as I have already described were in receipt of greatly enhanced terms. The fact that those enhanced terms became available after I had signed up to the deal do not alter the fact that paying £5 now for the same units of data as are being offered to others now for 75p is unfair and unjustifiable. I can't understand how anyone can argue that this is fair nor do I believe that any law exists that condones the unfairness of it. The attitude taken by the shop assistants were the same as yours Bazza, and like you they ridiculed, scorned and contemptuously dismissed my contention on the grounds that I was ignorant of the law. With classic smugness you went a step further, not only by making up ridiculous scenarios as examples for comparison, but by asserting that my calculations were flawed. You have based that assertion on the assumption that the cost of the dongle should be taken into account. You have made that assertion to justify to yourself the unjustifiable. The dongle was free and therefore did not have a cost implication for the deal. The bumph advertising the deal and the contract sealing the deal stipulated that the dongle was free and bore no part of the cost of the data, which was the deal. By asserting that it is part of the deal you are conceding that the deal as it stands is unjustified and therefore you feel obliged to make up reasons to justify it. I did not expect anyone to 'deliver' anything, nor did I expect anyone to say anything just to make me feel happy. I certainly did not expect anyone offering advice on a consumer forum to fabricate reasons for justifying, or try to get me to accept against my better judgement, the stance taken by the company. Now, far from disappointment, I can tell you exactly what can be, and indeed what I did, deliver. The afore mentioned complaints dept began as the shop assistants in the shop left off. A contract is a contract. No way out. Can't cancel without it costing. Fair or not fair not relevant. So it went on over several emails. I persisted in putting my case, setting out the argument as I did here from my perspective. Over the course of several emails I got an admission in writing that from my point of view as a consumer the deal was unfair but from their point of view I was bound by a contract and had no alternative but to accept the situation. I was simultaneously trying to put the idea in their heads that I was not necessarily intent on terminating the deal/contract but merely upgrading it to a more reasonable one even if that meant extending the time period of the newly upgraded contract. I did not commit to signing up to another 2 year contract in so many words but they appeared to get the impression that I was prepared to do so and I did not dissuade them of that impression initially. So, the position thus far, I had written admittance that they; (a) considered the contract to be unfair, and (b) that they were prepared to allow consideration of an offer with fairer terms. By this stage I was ready to deliver the coup de grace in the form of Section 62 of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 which says: 62 Requirement for contract terms and notices to be fair (1) An unfair term of a consumer contract is not binding on the consumer. (2) An unfair consumer notice is not binding on the consumer. (3) This does not prevent the consumer from relying on the term or notice if the consumer chooses to do so. (4) A term is unfair if, contrary to the requirement of good faith, it causes a significant imbalance in the parties’ rights and obligations under the contract to the detriment of the consumer. (5) Whether a term is fair is to be determined— (a) taking into account the nature of the subject matter of the contract, and (b) by reference to all the circumstances existing when the term was agreed and to all of the other terms of the contract or of any other contract on which it depends. This clause not only recognises that there is such a thing as an unfair term in a consumer contract but that such a term is not binding. It also goes on to define what an unfair term is. Basically, if the circumstances existing when the terms were agreed changes to the extent where obligations under the contract causes significant imbalance and become detrimental to the consumer then it could be regarded as unfair and ceases to be binding on the consumer. My contract left me at a financial disadvantage so any term binding me to it would be unfair therefore not binding in law. The email responding to this, received yesterday morning, was a joy to read, sweet. They offered me three choices: 1. Terminate the contract unconditionally, only asking that I give 30 day's notice. 2. Upgrade my current contract with more favourable terms. 3. Take advantage of any of their current deals And the icing on the cake, totally unexpected: As a gesture of goodwill they offered to credit my account with the equivalent of 2 months payment of my account with them as a full and final settlement of my complaint. I chose option 1 and accepted with thanks their gesture of goodwill. My advice to anyone who might find themselves in a similar situation would be not to pay any attention those who, with smug arrogance, proclaim their legal prowess whilst belittling yours. Fortunately they do not determine what is or isn't fair terms. Unfortunately they don't appear to be aware of the laws that do either.
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