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SussexLady

Cost of phone calls to benefits agency

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I just found out that we have an entitlement to immediately ask them to calls us back, to that the govt pays for the call rather than us @ 4p a minute.

 

This may be useful to know especially if you are paying for a call package which excludes 0845 numbers.

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I would never dial their 0845 number, it's an insult!

 

Most vacancies listed on the JCP give you enough info to track down the employers email / phone no.

 

If not I would put on my coat and walk to the job centre terminal - fortunately only ten minutes away from me on foot.

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That's not entirely accurate. It only applies if you are calling from a mobile. You can request they call you back however in the case of urgency.

 

If you wish to speak to the people who deal with your claim then you absolutely have the right to request they call you back, but not for general enquiries. For example: "I'd like to know if I am eligible for X, Y or Z"

Edited by ErikaPNP

My advice is based on my opinion, my experience and my education. I do not profess to be an expert in any given field. If requested, I will provide a link where possible to relevant legislation or guidance, so that advice provided can be confirmed and I do encourage others to follow those links for their own peace of mind. Sometimes my advice is not what people necesserily want to hear, but I will advise on facts as I know them - although it may not be what a person wants to hear it helps to know where you stand. Advice on the internet should never be a substitute for advice from your own legal professional with full knowledge of your individual case.

 

 

Please do not seek, offer or produce advice on a consumer issue via private message; it is against

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If you make a call to the 0845 number with an enquiy on your claim then they will call you back as Erica said if you are on a mobile or neighbours phone etc

However if they cant answer your call personally they will send a telememo to the appropriate section who then must ring you back with the answer to your query within a set time,

 

at present twenty four hours for some benefits

 

eg when is my claim going to be processed

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Calling people back from an inbound call also depends on local office policy, some offices wil do this, some won't and some will for certain benefits.

 

There are also the phones avaiable at the Jobcentre which you can use for enquires and claim qureries.


The advice I give in relation to benefits should be viewed as general advice and not specific to your individual claim circumstances. I cannot give specific advice on your claim as I cannot access the claim.

 

If you find the advice useful please click on my scales.

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Erika - that is not what it says in the printed document I have before me. It says you have the right to be recalled. End of.

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What document is that? Is it a bonafide policy document? If so, please tell us the name of the policy so that Caggers can look it up for themselves. If there is a new policy then it would help people to have a reference to quote if they require a call back.

Edited by ErikaPNP

My advice is based on my opinion, my experience and my education. I do not profess to be an expert in any given field. If requested, I will provide a link where possible to relevant legislation or guidance, so that advice provided can be confirmed and I do encourage others to follow those links for their own peace of mind. Sometimes my advice is not what people necesserily want to hear, but I will advise on facts as I know them - although it may not be what a person wants to hear it helps to know where you stand. Advice on the internet should never be a substitute for advice from your own legal professional with full knowledge of your individual case.

 

 

Please do not seek, offer or produce advice on a consumer issue via private message; it is against

forum rules to advise via private message, therefore pm's requesting private advice will not receive a response.

(exceptions for prior authorisation)

 

 

 

 

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Yup. Like Erika, I'd find it helpful to know what specific policy this is. There are certain people with whom I would like to raise the issue.


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Ain't life a b****?

 

The last few days I have been clicking on and reading then closing down numerous PDFs all found on the official govt benefits website. I most definitely read that ruling on one of those.

 

But when I began this thread it never crossed my mind for a single split second that anyone would need me to name the exact domument. If it had, I would have taken note.

 

All I can say is that the PDF was something to do with ESA. Probably.

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The reasons you're being asked to specify the particular document is that no-one else has ever heard of this policy, no office implements it as you've stated it, and telephony staff are generally not permitted to make outgoing calls from their "live" phones.

 

But miscommunications happen within government departments, so if you can point out exactly where this is mentioned, you may be able to help people effect a change for the better.


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if a customer rings a BDC and states that they are on a mobile then they should be rung back they if they ask

this a policy used in the Welsh BDCs for sure

at one point staff werent able to ring a mobile back only a landline now this has changed

dont know if its a national thing

or where the policy is written

but frontline staff do ring customers back and if they are unable to answer the query then a processor will

this applied to all the benefits ESA JSA IS an IB,

 

the trouble is the customer after battling their way the queue would they chance a call back

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If a customer rings a BDC and requests nothing more than a callback then yes, they will get it, eventually. So I suppose this is fundamentally correct. I'd just hate anyone to get the impression that telephony staff will call them straight back. In general they won't - they'll hand off to another section, who will get round to calling back. In my office the target was within 4 hours, that may vary.

 

And yes, we would call back mobiles. There are so many people who only have a mobile these days.

 

But you can't just call the BDC and say "My number is 01234 567890, call me back" and then hang up.


PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING. EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

 

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thats not a bad target four hours

its a 24hrs call back here

 

I think the general rule is if they have been hanging on and as a last resort eg credit is low then they would be rung back

 

some people will always ask to be rung straight back but this is rare

and if everyone asks for a ring back then the queue time would just getter longer and longer

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The office policy where I work is that telephony staff cannot call a customer back unless a customer has stated they are in a public phone box and the credit is about to run out. For call backs our target is within 3 hours, if no callback attempt has been made within this period then when a customer calls to chase this up it goes straight to a manager callback.

 

I think it would be better if each office had separate 03 numbers for each benefit.


The advice I give in relation to benefits should be viewed as general advice and not specific to your individual claim circumstances. I cannot give specific advice on your claim as I cannot access the claim.

 

If you find the advice useful please click on my scales.

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that is not what it says in the printed document I have before me.
The last few days I have been clicking on and reading then closing down numerous PDFs all found on the official govt benefits website. I most definitely read that ruling on one of those.

 

 

All I can say is that the PDF was something to do with ESA. Probably.

So it's not a printed document then? :)

 

As others have said, the reason I asked you to name the policy was because (as pointed out) several people who are involved in either the benefits agency themselves or assisting people to claim benefits, have never heard of the policy you mention. If there has been a change in policy, it's helpful that people can refer to it by name if they are refused a call back.

 

It's like saying representatives should be provided with information on the progression of a claim if implicit consent can be established during a telephone call. It's true but unfortunately it is common that some call handlers are unaware of the policy and refuse to give details out, citing data protection law. (and quite rightly too - if they are unaware of the policy it is far better to be protective of a claimant's right to security than to say something they shouldn't - only certain information can be divulged with implicit consent)

 

If the representative was to state there was a policy on this it would do no good, because the DWP do deal with very sensitive data about people and a person unaware of such a policy certainly would not believe such a policy existed, and still couldn't give out details about the progression of the claim, simply because someone had said "there is a policy which says you should". Additionally, a rather large majority of reps refer to it as "implied consent" which is not how it is referred to within the policy document. However if the rep were to name the policy, the call handler has something they can work with.

 

For anyone who is interested, the name of the policy is "Working with Customer representatives" and can be found here: http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/repsguide.pdf

Edited by ErikaPNP

My advice is based on my opinion, my experience and my education. I do not profess to be an expert in any given field. If requested, I will provide a link where possible to relevant legislation or guidance, so that advice provided can be confirmed and I do encourage others to follow those links for their own peace of mind. Sometimes my advice is not what people necesserily want to hear, but I will advise on facts as I know them - although it may not be what a person wants to hear it helps to know where you stand. Advice on the internet should never be a substitute for advice from your own legal professional with full knowledge of your individual case.

 

 

Please do not seek, offer or produce advice on a consumer issue via private message; it is against

forum rules to advise via private message, therefore pm's requesting private advice will not receive a response.

(exceptions for prior authorisation)

 

 

 

 

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Sadly I have doubts over the quality of information given by the OP after their posts on ESA & JSA savings limit question.


The advice I give in relation to benefits should be viewed as general advice and not specific to your individual claim circumstances. I cannot give specific advice on your claim as I cannot access the claim.

 

If you find the advice useful please click on my scales.

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Doesn't really shock me, to be honest. I think I'm fairly unshockable when it comes to things like that :)


My advice is based on my opinion, my experience and my education. I do not profess to be an expert in any given field. If requested, I will provide a link where possible to relevant legislation or guidance, so that advice provided can be confirmed and I do encourage others to follow those links for their own peace of mind. Sometimes my advice is not what people necesserily want to hear, but I will advise on facts as I know them - although it may not be what a person wants to hear it helps to know where you stand. Advice on the internet should never be a substitute for advice from your own legal professional with full knowledge of your individual case.

 

 

Please do not seek, offer or produce advice on a consumer issue via private message; it is against

forum rules to advise via private message, therefore pm's requesting private advice will not receive a response.

(exceptions for prior authorisation)

 

 

 

 

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Its in a leaflet 'Our Service Standards', printed and published as it has a international standard book number, ISBN 978-1-84763-056-8

 

http://www.jobcentreplus.gov.uk/JCP/stellent/groups/jcp/documents/websitecontent/dev_011795.pdf

 

When you phone us

When you contact us by phone or textphone (if you have difficulties hearing or speaking), we aim to answer your call within 30 seconds. Our staff will give you their name and the name of the office or section you have called.

We will ring you back if you ask us to or if we cannot answer your question right away. If we cannot help you, we will try to direct you to the right place to get help.


Note - all posts are my opinion only, and no action should be taken on any advice given without consulting independant advice from a suitably qaulified advisor.

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I think it has already been stated that if a customer rings the frontline in the BDC they can ask to be called back if necessary

 

ususally the customer states that eg their credit is runninig out on theri mobile and their number is taken after a security check has been done

 

customer is then rang back queried answered if not a memo sent for a callback by the section

 

but there well could be a problem here if everyone did it as a matter of course

 

when the phones are busy and the queues are long, the supervisor will always shout

>>everyone in available please all call backs to de done later

 

the queue comes will always come before callbacks if things are busy

 

read the piece all calls will be answered in 30 seconds,

stats and targets are kept if possible

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The daily mail refused to publish my comment (it would have been the very first one) where I asked why the DWP had not mentioned customers can request a call back.

 

Its a sensationalist newspaper, that is never interested in facts in my opinion.


Note - all posts are my opinion only, and no action should be taken on any advice given without consulting independant advice from a suitably qaulified advisor.

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Its a sensationalist newspaper, that is never interested in facts in my opinion.

 

I agree :)

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Its in a leaflet 'Our Service Standards', printed and published as it has a international standard book number, ISBN 978-1-84763-056-8

 

http://www.jobcentreplus.gov.uk/JCP/stellent/groups/jcp/documents/websitecontent/dev_011795.pdf

 

 

30 seconds that would be a dream for the ppl round here. the longest i have waited is 3.5 hours then got cut off becuase it was 5pm. still after whating another 3.5 hours the next day my question was answered. his was to a 0845 number. I complained in the local office and was told i was lucky as that member of staff has been waiting all day yesterday and for 4 hours today.


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