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    • hey i typed in dpd in our search...look what i found as the very 1st hit.......😇    
    • I see on November 8 I suggested that you read around all the stories especially the Hermes stories on the sub- forum. Yet you just have reported that you wrote them and suggested that you go to some kind of ADR. Why is that? Have you seen that mentioned in any of the stories on the sub- forum? What ADR did you have in mind? Do you think that such a scheme exists anywhere? We would love to know. If you want to move on with this then you need broadly to follow the advice here and that begins with reading all the stories and then taking the same path. Sorry to say but you've wasted three weeks. If you want to take control of this then you need to read the stories, take the suggested action. My site team colleague above has suggested the next step although that was clear from many stories which are already on this sub- forum
    • Update:  Apologies, it's a bit of a lengthy read.  I’ve been back and forward with Virgin Media after requesting a SAR using their online request form.    I didn’t wish to provide proof of my current address.  The SAR is in relation to my Virgin Media account at my previous address.   I don’t have any utility bills from my previous address so I sent alternative documents with my address in an attempt to prove my identity.  These were not accepted.  In addition, I’ve provided a copy of my driving licence with my old address details and am currently awaiting a response.   Time is ticking so after taking advice to support a mortgage application  in an attempt to improve my credit file I ended up phoning Virgin Media (recorded the call) .  The outcome of which was that I paid but this has not been positive for my credit file.    I spoke to an advisor and was asked if I wished to pay the £75.15.  I explained as per original post, said I didn't owe the outstanding amount etc.   I can enter details if it would be helpful.  I was told that it is not in their hands now, that I don’t owe virgin media, it’s been written off now.  Again, I was told that I don’t owe Virgin media anything.     I explained that my credit file went from 0 missed payments to a default of £75 after raising a complaint and that I received no information as to what the outstanding amount was for.  I stated that my post had been subject to re-direction with Royal Mail.  I re-iterated my complaint and what I wanted to resolve it.  I was advised that Virgin media don’t deal with that, so I asked if there was a department who does deal with that?   I was then transferred to the collection team where I explained everything again.  I was advised that the last bill was already generated on their system.  On reflection, I don’t understand how it was the last bill if they’re saying they did not receive confirmation that I cancelled.  I re-iterated through out the call that I was not aware of what the £75.15 outstanding charge was for, that it was different to my usual monthly bill and that my credit file was marked as up to date until I raised a complaint.  Then a default appeared and I don’t know what it’s for?   I was told that if I paid today that Virgin Media would remove the default.  They would accept payment today and it would be removed from my credit file.  I went back and forward re-iterating my issues.      I was told it  had already been through the process, it was final and so the money has to be settled. I was also advised that my account had gone through valid processes.  I said that there were issues with processing requiring an explanation as I’d not been advised of any charges and re-iterated the issues; credit file, DCA’s requesting differing amounts, correspondence, complaint responses, lack of compliant responses;cancellation, lack of response to 2 deadlock request letters.     The advisor then gave me her word that the default would be removed from my credit file if I was willing to pay today. She said I have her word. I asked for clarity that if I paid that she was stating that the default would be removed and not marked as satisfied.   She assured me it would be removed.    The advisor acknowledged there was still an open complaint.  I asked if she was saying the best she could offer me today to resolve my complaint was that I pay and the default be removed with no other explanation to the issues raised. She said she guaranteed that if I Pay 75.15. you have my word it will be removed when we receive payment.  They could not tell me what the bill was for nor provide a breakdown only that it had been generated.   I said it didn’t resolve my complaint, but I would pay based on what I’d been advised regarding my credit file.  I asked for the complaint be kept open as it was not yet resolved.  I asked for an email address for customer service, complaints, or the person dealing with my complaint.   I was told they don’t have a customer service e-mail address and that they are the complaints team as well.   Again, I stated the compliant was not resolved.    I asked how it could be resolved and  I requested an e-mail address/contact number for customer service/complaints/phone number.    She did offer for an advisor to call me back.    It’s been two weeks since I paid.  I remained on the phone while she said she was requesting the removal of the default.  However, the default remains outstanding on my credit file.  I didn't  receive a receipt as advised.  The money has been taken from my bank account. I have not received any correspondence either.   I'm awaiting the SAR still. 
    • Thank you. As there doesn't seem to be an address in their website, is the Companies House  address the correct place to send the letter of claim? https://find-and-update.company-information.service.gov.uk/company/01421773        
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35 Hours of Work Search Activity Each Week


Lapsed Workaholic
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How's this for a New Year bombshell, or CAG Birthday treat?

 

FOI Request to DWP

 

From: Adam

 

9 December 2014

 

Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

 

Please disclose any Jobseeker's Allowance guidance for JCP Work Coaches and Advisers that discusses making it a requirement for JSA claimers to spend 35 hours a week on work search, including full info on the laws and regulations that explicitly state this 35 hours rule can be imposed for JSA claimers not on any supervised jobsearch pilot. No info about Universal Credit required. The PCS Union has published this:

 

"The GEC has been made aware that in some areas Work Coaches are being told by managers that they must impose 35 hour Jobsearch requirement on claimants. This is not required by current legislation for JSA claimants, and it is not with the remit of F&F."

 

http://www.pcs.org.uk/en/department_for_...

 

Yours faithfully,

 

Adam

 

 

Here is what the Union says about it in the link:

 

"The GEC has been made aware that in some areas Work Coaches are being told by managers that they must impose 35 hour Jobsearch requirement on claimants. This is not required by current legislation for JSA claimants, and it is not with the remit of F&F. Branches should advise members not to comply with the instruction, branches should then escalate through the usual trade union side structures.

 

We have raised these issues with management in writing and will provide an update to branches following further consultation."

 

 

 

And here is the response from DWP to the initial FOI request:

 

Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)

 

Central Freedom of Information Team

 

[email protected]

 

Our reference: VTR 5312

 

Date: 15 December 2014

 

Dear Adam,

 

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request received on 10 December 2014. You stated:

 

Please disclose any Jobseeker's Allowance guidance for JCP Work Coaches and Advisers that discusses making it a requirement for JSA claimers to spend 35 hours aweek on work search, including full info on the laws and regulations that explicitly state this 35 hours rule can be imposed for JSA claimers not on any supervised jobsearch pilot. No info about Universal Credit required. The PCS Union has published this

 

"The GEC has been made aware that in some areas Work Coaches are being told by managers that they must impose 35 hour Jobsearch requirement on claimants. This is not required by current legislation for JSA claimants, and it is not with the remit of F&F."

 

http://www.pcs.org.uk/en/department_for_work_and_pensions_group/dwpnews.

cfm/work-services-update

 

As there is no legal requirement for Jobseeker’s Allowance claimants to undertake 35 hours of Work Search Activity each week, no legislation or national guidance stating otherwise exists.

 

If you have any queries about this letter please contact us quoting the reference number above.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

DWP Central FoI Team.

 

 

It may be advisable for claimants who have been coerced into undertaking 35 hours of Work Search Activity each week to consider instigating Maladministration procedures against the advisers who did the coercing.

 

Such claimants could begin by insisting on having any reference to 35 hours of Work Search Activity each week removed from their JSAg/CC on the grounds that including such a requirement is illegal and can't be enforced.

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It may be advisable for claimants who have been coerced into undertaking 35 hours of Work Search Activity each week to consider instigating Maladministration procedures against the advisers who did the coercing.

 

Such claimants could begin by insisting on having any reference to 35 hours of Work Search Activity each week removed from their JSAg/CC on the grounds that including such a requirement is illegal and can't be enforced.

 

I would suggest finding the name of the manager who issued the directive to the front line staff and name him/her in any complaint. Whilst the "customer facing" advisers usually end up taking the stick for these decisions, it is the managers that should be shouldering the responsibility and suffering the consequences.

 

As for the 35 hour requirement being "illegal", I don't think this is the right way of getting it rescinded. Rephrasing it as "having no basis in current legislation and goes above and beyond national DWP guidance" would probably be a better way of tackling the issue. If anyone has this 35 hour requirement imposed, by all means print out the PCS union press release and request (demand ?) a review of the JSAg or Claimant Commitment.

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Mr. P.

 

The law says that a JSAg or a JSAg/CC is an 'agreement' between the claimant and the adviser. For the purposes of specific sections of the Jobseeker's Act 1995 it become a legally binding 'agreement' once it has been signed by the claimant and the adviser, not before.The law goes further and says that without both signatures Jobseeker's Allowance will not and cannot be paid.

 

Decision Makers, not managers, become involved only after the claimant refuses to sign the 'agreement'.

 

A similar situation exists when advisers set about altering existing 'agreements' and the claimant objects. Decision Makers get involved only after the adviser raises a Doubt. At this stage the claimant s already up the creek without a paddle. The sanction is already imposed, as I can testify to from experience, before the claimant has any opportunity of stating his/her case.

 

At no stage in the process is the manager involved directly. The difference of opinion has escalated from one between claimant and adviser to one between claimant and DM. Knowing the manager's name, which is easy enough to find out, will make no difference. The law does not allow for his/her involvement even if he/she wanted to at this stage.

 

Neither the 'customer facing' adviser nor the DM can use the excuse of saying "I was only following orders" to justify doing what they know to be illegal.

 

You seem to baulk from my use of the word 'illegal'.

 

When the DWP itself says; " As there is no legal requirement for Jobseeker’s Allowance claimants to undertake 35 hours of Work Search Activity each week, no legislation or national guidance stating otherwise exists." then I have no hesitation in asserting that the action of an adviser in coercing, with the threat of sanction, a claimant into agreeing to the inclusion of such a requirement is illegal.

 

Furthermore, the adviser's own Union has advised its membership not to comply with any instruction to impose such a requirement in an agreement. That advice to the membership was issued sometime before 18 September 2014, the date on which the document from which the extract was taken was published.

 

For those reasons, then, I can see no way in which "customer facing" advisers can avoid responsibility and culpability for their actions.

 

What I find harder to swallow than anything else you say is what appears to be your suggestion that the DWP should have worded their response in such a way as to enable them to make an illegal action appear legal.

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There's a thread on here started by me regarding Claimant Commitment, where I posted links to the training material used by the JC advisers and it clearly states that 35 hours jobsearch is not compulsory. It's the quality of the jobsearch that has to be looked at, not the quantity and if a customer has done a reasonable amount of jobsearch and completed everything on their CC in less than this time then that must be accepted.

 

The '35 hours' bit is just something dreamt up to scare us, that's how long they could ask us to jobsearch for but the whole thing is unworkable and they know it.

 

Extract from Claimant Commitment (JSA Regime) Topic 05 training literature;

'..It is not about totalling up activities or hours spent. If the claimant has completed all the activities set, they have met their requirements regardless of how long this took them..'

 

Make sure you negotiate your CC - having these guidelines was a big help to me as I was able to successfully argue anything I deemed 'unreasonable' and I ended up with the same as my old JS Agreement.. with the added benefit I was able to re-negotiate my earliest starting time for jobs as 9am, where it had been 8am on my old JS Agreement :)

 

Lapsed Workaholics comments on advisers are spot-on; they should take full responsibility for their actions. If they know the guidance they should apply it truthfully and fairly and if they're ignorant of the guidance then they need to get off their backsides and learn it.. it's their job and they're paid for it.

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Totally inappropriate - 35 hours could mean, if applying for a decent job and having to do reserach, amend CV, new covering letter, application form around 5-6 hours per job. I know I have spent 4-5 hours on a single application before therefore manybe only apply for 5-6 jobs per week. If however they want you do use the same CV and same CL using one click you can apply for hundreds per week - it is not QUANTITY but QUALITY. If you are not in the mood use one click, if you fancy the job, do it properly. I probably done around 20 hours pw when on JSA

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.What I find harder to swallow than anything else you say is what appears to be your suggestion that the DWP should have worded their response in such a way as to enable them to make an illegal action appear legal.

 

No. The "demand" or request to review the JSAg or CC should be rephrased "having no basis in current legislation and goes above and beyond national DWP guidance" rather than bandying around words like "illegal". Just because something is not a "legal requirement" does not make it unlawful or illegal.

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Mr. P.

 

I'm sure that you would not intentionally misrepresent what I am trying to say. So, just for the benefit of anyone who might be in a position where what is being discussed here may be relevant, let me clarify:

 

The word "demand", in your previous post in brackets with a question mark, and in your latest post, in inverted commas, would suggest that you have reservations about its use. Since I have not used the word at all, you have, twice, albeit apparently reservedly, it is for you to stop using it if its use bothers you. Any reproach, if reproach is due, for its use should be directed against the person using it.

 

The word "illegal", again you appear to disapprove of. You make the point that "Just because something is not a "legal requirement" does not make it unlawful or illegal". I agree with that statement and have said nothing to indicate otherwise. Here again there is no need to reproach me for a statement or an impression that I did not make or give.

 

What I suggested, and still maintain, was illegal, was the action of an adviser in using coercion, the threat of stoppage of benefits, or sanctions, or any other activity imposed as a form of punishment, to have a particular clause inserted in an agreement without the free and full consent of the claimant .

 

I also suggested that claimants who have been coerced into having such clauses inserted into their agreement should insist on having their agreement reviewed. That is no more or less than what they are legally entitled to do. It would also be illegal for any employee of the Secretary of State to advise claimants that they are not entitled to do that, and use coercion and threats to enforce claimant compliance with advice to forego their rights.

 

Furthermore, for the sections of the Jobseeker's Act 1995 that require a legally binding agreement (contract) freely entered into to exist before a claimant is eligible for Jobseeker's Allowance, an agreement imposed under such conditions of coercion would cease to be legal, ipso facto, illegal.

 

There is no law, that I know of, that gives anyone administering the law, or legal requirements, that gives said administrator carte blanche to interpret the law to suit his/her particular fancies. If the statement "having no basis in current legislation and goes above and beyond national DWP guidance" can be used to justify acting outside the law, where will it end? An adviser, there are some who might like to, could have the claimant taken out and shot. Would that be acceptable, permissible or encouraged using the same argument of adviser exuberance?

 

The laws, statutory instruments, regulations and guidances under which DWP administrators function are legally binding. The freedoms and flexibilities that administrators have to interpret those laws, statutory instruments, regulations and guidances are also framed in law. Acting outside those frameworks are therefore also outside the law, ipso facto, illegal.

 

Any claimant who is content with having terms and conditions applied to them, or imposed on them, that do not comply with the law are perfectly free to do so. Personally I would consider myself some sort of a prize idiot if I allowed myself to be exposed to penalties for not doing what the law says I shouldn't have to do in the first place. What compliant claimants need to consider seriously though is that the more compliant they wish to appear the more exposed they make themselves to the excesses of exuberant, over-zealous, ambitious advisers or this government's policy of depriving them of even the basic means of support, of life itself.

 

An example of this would be the number of claimants who find themselves in difficulty, facing sanctions, because of issues arising from participation and involvement in Universal Jobmatch. They signed up for it, many of them, in the hope that it would keep advisers off their backs. They then find themselves in positions where they find it difficult, if not impossible, to comply or cope with the ever increasing demands imposed on them as a result of using UJ. They would not be in that position if they only insisted on their legal rights, yes legal rights, in the first place, one of which is that they do not have to use UJ at all.

 

I hope you will take this clarification in the spirit in which it was given, without malice. I have attempted to give my own interpretation and opinions, based on law and fact. No penalty or sanction will be imposed on anyone holding different views to mine or acting contrary to them, unless further clarifications, interpretations and opinions by me along the same lines can be considered as punishment enough.

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