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  1. So I take care of Gas/Electricity switching for my grandmother, so her account is linked to my e-mail address as I submit meter readings online for her and such since she's basically a technophobe for anything more than a TV, and when I checked my e-mails this morning I had one from EDF saying "Thanks for booking an appointment to have Smart Meters installed" I hadn't made any such appointment online, and my grandmother had made no such appointment on the phone either, so EDF had simply taken it upon themselves to book a Smart Meter installation for her in 2 weeks time. Fortunately I was able to login to her account online and find the not very obvious link to cancel the appointment (When you go into the appointment, there's huge buttons for rescheduling it to another time, but the link to Cancel is somewhat hidden. It's basically in a sentence that said "Or if you'd like you can Cancel your booking" with the word cancel just being a Hyperlink), but it's certainly worrying that they're now just forcing appointments on people without even asking and, had I not been able to check my e-mails due to being on holiday or away with work then in 2 weeks time some stranger would have just turned up at my grandmothers door telling her he was there to change the meters. The main reasoning behind not having smart meters at the moment is simply due to the number of stories I've seen in the past year or two about poor installation jobs leading to gas leaks, boiler breakdowns, electricity surges damaging equipment, etc. Last thing we want to risk right now is for someone barely trained turning up, rushing a meter swap and leaving asap and then a woman in her late 80s being left with no heating in the current weather conditions. Just thought I'd post this as a word of warning for anyone else with EDF to keep a lookout for.
  2. It's obvious that the government is making it so difficult with benefits they are hoping that everyone will just give up claiming but I didn't know whether to laugh, cry or head butt the wall with this situation and just wondering if anyone has had similar problems because apparently the people in front and behind me in the cashiers queue had the same issue!! Had a medical appointment in London yesterday for my ongoing vertigo issue and am on UC at the moment (although haven't received anything as yet due to my last pay packet back in July!). However I can't remember where but someone told me as I am on UC I could claim back my travel expenses. The UC helpline (term used loosely) advised me that I could claim through the JCP but on contacting my Work Coach (again term used loosely) she advised me I couldn't claim through them but I could claim direct with the NHS. I called the NHS and that was correct but I had to take my proof of purchase, appointment letter and UC Reward Letter to the cashier at the hospital. Obviously I know unlike JSA where you get a letter stating you are receiving JSA you don't get the same thing with UC because the Council were complaining about that when I claimed Council Tax Benefit and the girl at the Council said it was all a bit of a shambles. So I called the UC helpline again and after half an hour trying to explain to an automated message that all I wanted was advice from and advisor I finally got through. The advisor told me that the statement on the dashboard was all I needed although all 4 pages of it seemed excessive and somewhat personal considering it states that I was awarded a massive UC total of £0 due to my wage the previous month of £xyz!! Queued for 25 minutes at the cashier’s desk at the hospital with all the documents and finally when I got to the window she wouldn't approve it stating that she needed a JSA Award Letter. I politely explained that in my part of the country and more than likely most of it by now including London there is no such thing as JSA and award letters anymore, (I may be wrong) and that the UC Office had said this statement would suffice. She wasn't for turning though and kept pointing to a clearly out of date note on the wall stating a JSA Award letter was required. I tried my best to keep calm and explained again that all is done online now and this is it, all I can offer. Eventually she took my number and said her supervisor would ring on Monday but keep my train tickets, which is fortunate I got a receipt because the machine eats the tickets once used!! As I left the guy behind said "Well we are buggered as well then" as he held up his UC Statement print out. When I got home I called the UC Helpline but was told they didn't deal with travel and I had to speak to my work coach and could only offer me an appointment next Wednesday!! I asked for a phone appointment because it seems a bit pointless taking up a walk in just for one question! I said that the previous UC advisor had informed me that a UC Statement would be ok but was curtly told that the UC advisor couldn't advise on that so didn't know why they had! I then rang the number for my Job Centre and went through merely to a switchboard who told me that my JCP was closed on Fridays. So we search for work for 35 hours a week and they work 4 days?!?! She however told me that the JCP can't help on that so I should contact UC Helpline!! I replied that the UC Helpline say they don't deal with that the JCP does and she said they didn't know why they advised me of that as they were wrong. After telling her I suspect she may be getting a few more calls from others with the same query I gave up at that point!!! So has anyone had any luck with claiming expenses of any kind with merely a UC Statement?! It seems impossible. The hospital say they need a letter that doesn't exist anymore, UC say it's down to the JCP to advise and the JCP say it's down to UC credit to advise. A system clearly created by a buffoon with no brain, sense or intelligence!!
  3. Hi all, > I am trying to put together a letter to Lenovo due to an issue I had with my laptop. We paid an extra amount (£68.40 for a 3 year two business day repair, which actually turned out to be response (ie: an engineer contacts us in 2 business days to resolve the issue). Timeline: Raised issue 18/7 Chased 20/7 Chased 23/7 at which point it was escalated. No idea who to as they still won't tell me. 24/7 finally get a call to make an appointment for 26/7. 26/7 - No show. Called to find out what was going on, and the engineer was ill. New appt made 1/8. 1/8 - No show. Called to find out the matter, some parts issue. Will come 2/8. 2/8 - No show. Still some parts issue. I'm off on holiday now. Appointment made for 21/8. 21/8 - No show. Tried to complain but complete waste of time. Eventually manage to get a booking for 3/9. 3/9 - No show. Parts problem. As I don't have a salary, and my work is in property development mainly, should I just take the total on last year's self assessment and divide it up by 365? To be honest I don't think Lenovo is going to be responsive. Thanks!
  4. Hi all Has anyone ever had the JC all and state that youve missed an appointment, even though you never had notifcation of the said appointment......... Back in April I attended one of these work focus interviews with one them work coaches, so to cover my own back I took the wife along to be a witness more than anything and the way it was left I was handed an action plan and told me he'd see me in approx 6 months On Friday I get a call from this work coach at the JC claiming I have missed an appointment that morning...after listening to the message on the answer phone my other half said since when was that arranged, last time we saw him no time or date was given and since then we have had nothing through the post..tried to call him back but no answer and Ive even mailed him So what happens now and has this happened to anyone else, his work coach didnt arrange anything at my meeting in April, nor have I had phone call, message or postal notification
  5. I started claiming in December and from 23-12-15 I wa given an 82 sanction (dismissal from work) and 2 weeks ago I had a back to work appointment but couldn't attend due to me having a doctors appointment at the roughly same time. I called up universal credit and there was a problem getting me a new appointment so they said my local job centre would call me with s new app intent which they didn't (didn't bother me I understand they're busy) I didn't get a call so called up this morning and was given a new appointment for this Thursday morning with the same advisor that spoke to me like **** previous appointment I attended (it's on another thread I posted about the advisor speaking to me like ****) and it clashes with something personal (family) and + I do t want to attend with her again (he said on the phone only sh is available. So my question is with me already being sanctioned unroll pretty much April could I still cancel this on q phone call on the morning before it? I'm interested in getting back in to work but I am not sitting in front of her again, I would rather wait for my usual advisor who he isn't available for a few weeks I was told, would be cancelling Thursday affect my sanction further or is it ov been sanctioned anyway so it would be ok? Thanks in advance : )
  6. Hi-I was just wondering if anyone knows how far they can actually make you travel to these appointments, at the moment they are making me travel 30 miles just to do job searches on the computer etc. its an hours drive at least cos the traffic is awful or 2hours on public transport. Also, am currently on a sanction because my wonderful "advisor" sent me an email telling me to attend the wrong office for my appointment so obviously I missed it (they have one 12 miles away from me as well but she reckons they only see esa people there...?) so obviously I have no money whatsoever until my hardship payment comes through in 2 weeks-my mum spent her last money filling up the car so I could get to my stupid appointment and so there was nothing left for parking,I was running late cos I had to drop her off at her work on the way over there and I didn't have time to park far away where it's free so I parked in a pay spot without buying a ticket thinking I'd only be quick and I could buy a ticket when they gave me the petrol money back- I told her I needed to be quick or else go and move the car and then come back but she deliberately kept me over an hour and then surprise surprise I got a parking ticket-so I went back to the office,dumped it on reception and said it was a present for the advisor,the reception lady called after me saying she cant pay it and I shouted back that I don't care it's her problem now and I can't pay it. (I then bought a parking ticket-I'm hoping if I write to the council with the ticket and an explanation they'll let me off the fine) I can't get into trouble for like harassment or something ridiculous for this can I? I was just making a point lol Its not like I was acting in a threatening way.probably the wrong thing to do though cos now she knows shes upset me
  7. Hi,hope someone can help,last oct(2012) i missed an apointment for a medical assesment because i got my dates mixed up.April(2013) I attended my reschedulled appointment but the medical asseser said she wasnt qualified to give a decision on my condition and i would have to attend again and see someone who could I got an appointment for 10am 24/10/2013 about a month/6 weeks before the date,then i think it was about the 6/10/2013 I recieved what i thought was the same appointment,and a "cancellation of app" letter,but the app was for 20 mins later,now because i misread the letter and didnt attend the app there stopping my benefit. they have told me there is no appeal,but i can request that they reviewe my reasons for not attending, can anyone tell me if the 2 missed app ruling still aplies if there not consecutive,or any other advice would be helpfull ] Thanks
  8. I am presently claiming ESA, and have been told in a letter that it will cease in March this year. An appointment for an assessment was made by DWP for 21st December, but I couldn't attend due to being away, and I told them that on the phone . So I was then told I had to come on the Sunday 20th December at 3.00pm, but I couldn't make that one either and finally got another appointment for 28th December. I attended that one, but after waiting for over 30 minutes, I was told that because there was not a neurologist to assess me, another appointment would be made for me with a neurologist. So I went this morning for a 9.00am appointment, and waited almost 30 minutes before I was seen. The person who was going to assess me was not a neurologist but a GP from Eastern Europe with 1 years qualifications. Anyway, I told the GP that I was going to record the assessment on my phone, but was told I could not due to regulations, and I had to pre arrange for a recorded assessment. So now, yet another appointment is going to be made for me, which will be the 3rd time I will have been for my assessment.
  9. Hi there. My son and his partner are joint claiming Jobseeker's Allowance. I hope someone who has Jobcentre experience can help me out. We have a two part question - first part is relating to appointment scheduling, and the second is about funding for training. I'll stick to the question about scheduling in this post. Their normal signing day is on a Tuesday in the a.m. However, at their last appointment 2 weeks ago, their Jobcentre adviser told them that he was going to be absent from their next scheduled fortnightly appointment due to a training course he had to attend. So, he said the next appointment would be scheduled for the following Friday. He wrote in both of their "My Work Plan" booklets, on the appointment timetable, that their appointment was set for Friday 25/07/2014 at 09:00 and signed his name. Fast forward to today 23/07/2014 and my son telephoned their adviser directly to speak about funding for a training course. Adviser said he was "just about to call" himself as my son and his partner had missed their Tuesday signing appointment. Son explained what he had told them, and also what he wrote in their work booklets, at their last Jobcentre appointment. First of all, the adviser did not comment on this. He simply stated "You should have come in on Tuesday. You need to sign every 2 weeks." My son kept his cool and repeated why they had not attended. The JC adviser then sounded a bit flustered and gave two "sorry"s in the middle of a garbled sentence about their being some confusion. He then asked if my Son & partner could attend later today - they confirmed this was convenient and attended. At the appointment, adviser said "they have some paperwork to do. But not to worry - it's for me, not you!". He clicked onto a screen on his monitor and then posed the question to them "Why did you fail to attend your last Jobcentre appointment?" then paused for a verbal response from son. Again, son repeated what he had just explained on the telephone. He also directed the adviser to the page in their booklet with Friday's date/time and his signature. Adviser then typed a paragraph or two summing up what had happened. The title of the screen on his computer was something akin to "Give the reason why you failed to attend your last appointment". At this point, son asked adviser if this could negatively impact their claim for JSA? Adviser said (cheerfully) "Very possibly!" and that after he had typed this up, it would be sent to a decision maker and it was now out of his hands! Son then asked, given that the Jobcentre now informs them that they should have attended on Tuesday, should they also attend Friday's scheduled appointment? Adviser laughed and said no, "we wouldn't make you come twice in a week!". What should we think about this? Adviser said the decision should be made soon and we would hear back reasonably quickly. It's totally unfair and it seems like constructive dismissal to me. Any advise would be very gratefully received as we would like to get a head-start in case of a sanction.
  10. Good Afternoon. A colleague of mine is 9 weeks pregnant(unplanned but happy) and has used up all her holiday for this year. Unfortunately, due to her having 3 miscarriage's in the past the doctor's are ensuring she goes in for more appointments then a standard pregnancy up until 13 weeks. Our employer has now said that for any appointments she's required to attend, she won't get her standard pay and only statutory sick pay will be recieved. This will be the case even if she is only out of the office for a 2-3hours. The company may have covered themselves in the employee handbook but surely there must be slighty more compassion to expecting mothers??? Any advice would be great, thank you.
  11. I have advisor appointments over the phone - only they are never at set times and the advisor never calls when we agree a time. I have stupidly not gotten the confirmation in writing so i can't make a complaint about it. Its causing me stress because: 1) the calls are not at regular intervals 2) i am caught off guard, one time she called when i told her i was away at a wedding that day - she called me when i was out and was quite cross with me. 3) today she was meant to call and hasn't 4) she claims my phone has been unavailable - even to the point she could not reach my voicemail - quite untrue. I obsessively check my phone is on and in signal and no one else has had the same problem calling me. Should I request to have face to face appointments? What can i do?
  12. Can someone advise me if it is legal for your employers to make you take time off in lieu for hospital appointments. My husband had a hospital appointment today, he gave his boss a copy of the appointment letter from the hospital 2weeks ago. Today when he went in and reminded them about his appointment he was told he could not go as he should have taken a lieu day or swapped his shift with someone. He did attend the appointment as he has been waiting a long time. He did not expect to be paid for the time off. When he asked to see the copy of the letter he had given them as they denied he had spoken about it, the manager had written received on the 10/1 but then someone had changed it to the 17th when my husband was not at work. Many thanks Sanpez
  13. Hi, I am looking for some advice regarding my advicer at the work programme as she made me 2 appointments but I don't know which 1 to attended I am worried and confused. 1) The first appointment she made me is Attend drop in session for Job search on 14/01/2013 at 09.00 and it says on the letter this is mandatory Appointment which I recived on 05/01/2013. 2) She sent me a email on tuesday as she book me the appointment for the cleaning course on the same day but at 09.30 Which 1 do I attended? I am worried as the 1st one is Mandatory and if I don't attended this then I am worried my Jobseekers will get sanctioned. Just looking for some advice, btw I would have rang her during the week but been very busy due to personal reasons which I can't say on here. Any help would be great, cheers. Regards Shaun
  14. Complicated situation. A relative of mine has a sick neonate. Baby needs to travel to London for a liver biopsy and the hospital have told them they must arrange transport. They don't have a car. Baby is not currently an inpatient but is going into hospital for tests and check ups daily, he was in neonatal intensive care for 3 weeks after his birth and has only been home a week or so. The boyfriend works at a fast food restaurant but is off because of the baby being poorly and is not entitled to sick pay there so they are living on child tax credits, working tax credits and child benefit. They have a 3yo as well as the neonate. Are they entitled to any help with transport to London? Seems amazing that they can be expected to take public transport with a poorly baby, plus atm they don't have a clue how they can afford the trip as there are no wages coming in. Also, as the boyfriend is not working and is not entitled to sick pay or anything (he's not ill) is there anything else they can claim in the meantime? They hope he will be off work only briefly but he needs to support the family right now and he is very worried about the neonate obviously. Any help and advice appreciated.
  15. Hi there, To be brief I have been informed by my HR department that if my antenatal appointments fall on days where I'm working "overtime", I would not be entitled to reasonable paid time off to attend my appointments. I use the word "overtime" loosely because it doesn't really fit the legal description of overtime pay-I get paid overtime pay but I do not work more hours then a full time employee. I am contracted to work 8 hours a week-my contract is for 8 hours flexi-time so my shifts will vary week to week to suit the needs of the buisness but for at least the last 6 months I have been working on average around 24 hours a week part-time, 8 hours contracted, the rest paid as "overtime". Never have my official contracted hours been specified e.g. I do a four hour shift on a Wednesday and a Saturday which are my basic, and the rest of the week is over time. I just work my 24 hours a week, get paid 8 basic and 16 overtime. My problem is now is that due to falling pregnant I am entilted to reasonable paid time off to attend antenatal appointments, however I am having to move my shifts around to accomodate the antenatal appointments if they happen to fall during hours that I'm working. As I have never had specified days or shifts that I work, they always say my appointments fall in the "overtime" and I would either have to lose the extra hours I'm working or try and swap with someone. Can anyone tell me what my rights are with this? All I can gather from Direct Gov and googling is that all employees either part-time or full-time are entitled to paid-time off but it doesn't go into specifics of if you're working over your contracted hours and your manager doesn't specify which hours are your overtime and which are your basic because I am expected to work at least 24 hours a week as it's part of my normal working pattern. To be quite honest, if I only worked my basic we would be incredibly short staffed so I work what hours they require me to. Thanks for any and all help! Also whilst I'm here, even though I've been working 24 hours a week I am still entitled only to my basic holiday? Is this right? I used to be on a casual contract with the company and would accumalate holiday pay, but now I am contracted I get a basic of 48 hours PA despite working 24 hours a week but we don't accrue the extra holiday or get paid accrued holiday pay-a lot of my colleagues are in the same position too so this would be good to know where we stand on this. I have brought it up before but it was kind of dismissed. I work in retail by the way.
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