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Another Atos Mess


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My appointment was originally booked for right now. On the 21st I rang up to ask if i could postpone it till september. Was told that they could only book up to a fortnight hence and that otherwise the file gets sent back to the dwp (where the claim gets suspended).

I was given a new appointment of the 6/8 despite not asking for it by a rather rude operator. I then complained to a supervisor and the original appointment was reinstated (i have the letter confirming that).

I then ring on Monday (26/7) to ask if i could come in that day as it would be easier for me financially and to get it over with as all the waiting is stressing me out.

I subsequently learn the appointment has been withdrawn because i said i wasn't going to be around till september. I explained that i didn't want that to happen because i was told that if i wasn't going to be available till september the claim would return to the DWP (where the claim gets suspended). They assured me that my benefits wouldn't be affected and that not to worry i would be contaced for a new appointment in september.

Dubious I rung back ten mins later and got confirmation of exactly this, almost verbatim from another operator who even went and spoke to her manager (apparently) to confirm this.

Still dubious I ring the DWP today to check the status of my ESA claim only to find it's been suspended since monday pending a medical assessment. THis is in direct contradiction to what ATOS promised me - not only that I specifically told them not to cancel the appointment for today (the original appointment) if i couldn't change to September.

I'm now waiting for the ESA processing people (once again) to call me back to discuss this mess. I've spoken to ATOS and a line manager who refused to accept any responsibility for his staff causing a problem other than there being a misunderstanding, despite there being some evidence (the recorded phone conversations notwithstanding) to corroborate my story (why would they make an appointment for the 6/8 and subsequently reinstatet the original one if i had cancelled it till september) to the contrary. Of course ATOS' staff are highly trained and professional. Not only that he said they couldn't book appointment for more than 4 weeks hence, not 2 weeks. I raised that point but unsurprisingly no resolution.

What a joke. I can only hope this mess gets resolved by tuesday which is when my next ESA payment would be issued. Now I have to go through the whole process of waiting for my medical all over again where it would be over by now. Disgusting.

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Hi Wishface,

Talk to this guy about this farce. its a start. you are not having much luck with that shower keep your chin up.

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/benefits-tax-credits-minimum/270579-bbc-radio-current-affairs.html

My advice is based on my opinion and my experience. It is not to be taken as legal advice as I am not legally qualified

If my advice has been helpful, please take a moment to click on the scales

on the bottom left hand side of my profile :p

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I'm too busy trying to write two complaints: one to ATOS and one to the dwp decision makers to get them to unsuspend my esa - this alone could potentially take weeks (the last piece of correspondence i sent them, a medical note, apparently never arrived).

 

i'm just thankful this isn't more serious as it is for some.

 

really i can only go by what these people tell me and when two members of staff corroborate the same emphatic piece of information what else can i do.

 

The government have got to put a stop to this.

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rang Atos today to see if they have addressed my complaint, sent by email. They said they were going to 'action' it friday afternoon. This translates as send me a letter telling me it's going to take 20 working days (ie a month) to resolve. That's 20 days potentially (ie unless the DWP take charge) where I have no income and have to subsist on the £150 i have in the bank. After that...

 

The DWP are not much better. I have written a letter which, if it's anything like my last sick note, may well never arrive. The only point of contact for ESA claimants is their hopeless and jobsworthian switchboard that are no help at all. I'm supposed to be getting a callback from their processing team, but that was 48 hours from Thursday noon. Whether they will reinstate it or even contact Atos to verify what the F'k is happening is another matter entirely.

 

Yet another Atos shambles. They have created this mess and not surprisingly they refuse to take responsibility for it hiding behind rules and regulation (of their own making) refusing to expedite matters in any way. My next benefit payment would go out tomorrow, but that's not likley.

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