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      We had a 10yr  finance contract for a boiler fitted July 2015.
       
      After a summer of discontent with ASG I discovered that if you have paid HALF the agreement or more you can legally return the boiler to them at no cost to yourself. I've just returned mine the feeling is liberating.
       
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      You only have to look at TrustPilot to get an idea of what this company is like.
       
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    • Dazza a few months ago I discovered a good friend of mine who had ten debts with cards and catalogues which he was slavishly paying off at detriment to his own family quality of life, and I mean hardship, not just absence of second holidays or flat screen TV's.
       
      I wrote to all his creditors asking for supporting documents and not one could provide any material that would allow them to enforce the debt.
       
      As a result he stopped paying and they have been unable to do anything, one even admitted it was unenforceable.
       
      If circumstances have got to the point where you are finding it unmanageable you must ask yourself why you feel the need to pay.  I guarantee you that these companies have built bad debt into their business model and no one over there is losing any sleep over your debt to them!  They will see you as a victim and cash cow and they will be reluctant to discuss final offers, only ways to keep you paying with threats of court action or seizing your assets if you have any.
       
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      They will of course pursue you for the funds and pass your file around various departments of their business and out to third parties.
       
      Your response is that you should treat it as a hobby.  I have numerous files of correspondence each faithfully organised showing the various letters from different DCA;s , solicitors etc with a mix of threats, inducements and offers.   It is like my stamp collection and I show it to anyone who is interested!
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Universal Credit - end of scrounging?


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I had my first UC meeting today. So is it any different from starting your JSA claim?

 

Yes and no. Yes in a sense that IDS has decided that anyone daring to claim it should be treated like a criminal. Not so different as you are still dealing with your local job centre which should really be re branded as 'The Social'.

 

My claim consisted of about a dozen printed pages. I had to sign every single page separately and also write down my national insurance number on each page.

 

Then I was asked to wait for my 'work coach' to arrive.

 

The coach arrived but she seemed to be still waking up. In fact, most staff at the Social seemed to be doing very little or nothing. There were lots of staff but just a few customers as they call the claimants nowadays.

 

After waiting for 20 minutes or so, my work coach finally saw me. The interview started by her asking me what I knew about Universal Credit. I think I said something like it combined six benefits.

 

Once again (third time by now if you include the Capita employee who rang me last week) my claim was discussed point by point, followed by drafting a claimant's commitment.

 

Yes, you must agree to work for a national minimum wage (regardless of your previous job or pay) for up to 48 hours per week and commute up to 90 minutes each way. You have to be prepared to spend 35 hours per week on searching for jobs and preparing for your next job.

 

I'm not sure what this means practically. Apparently recording your job search activities on Universal Jobmatch is fine, or you can use a separate spreadsheet.

 

My next appointment was scheduled for next week.

 

Now the plus point. I was assured that taking short-term or ad hoc temp work would be much easier under Universal Credit!

 

I got mixed feelings about all this. Anyone who knows me is aware of the fact that I'd much rather work than claim Universal Credit or any benefits. I believe most claimants are the same. If anyone thinks that the UK benefits are generous I challenge them to try and live on them without turning to the Bank of Mum and Dad, family or payday (social day) lenders. This is the case at least if you are single.

 

You will always come across a few people who quite like life on the Social and IDS is right to do something about it. However, these changes should have been made during the boom years. Whatever Tory minded papers like Daily Mail claim, employment just isn't booming. Oh, I forgot that people on zero hour contracts and part-timers count as fully employed...

Edited by Pierre70
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So 48 + 35 + 15 hours travel = 173

Plus 8 hours for sleep per night = 56.

Total hours = 229

 

 

Total hours in a week = 24 x 7 = 168. 168 - 229 = minus 61, so where are these extra hours coming from and what sort of week do they work ?

Or have I worked this out wrong.

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If they want to call claimants "Customers", then they should at least treat you with some respect ?

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What is unfair is that rules say that under UC in order to be left in peace we must earn the equivalent of 35 hours per week at the national minimum rate.

 

A professional person earning lets say £26 per hour will only need to work 8.75 hours per week to be left in peace.

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So 48 + 35 + 15 hours travel = 173

[...]

Or have I worked this out wrong.

 

That should be:

 

  • Up to 35 hours per week job search or
  • Up to 48 hours@NMW per week plus up to 1.5 hours travel time per shift.

The Work Time Directive allows an employee a minimum of 11 hours between shifts which can include travel time. This still allows for 9.5 hours of free time to spend with family and sleeping each day, and you'd be entitled to two days out of every 14 off.

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No... you can't eat my brain just yet. I need it a little while longer.
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That should be:

 

  • Up to 35 hours per week job search or
  • Up to 48 hours@NMW per week plus up to 1.5 hours travel time per shift.

The Work Time Directive allows an employee a minimum of 11 hours between shifts which can include travel time. This still allows for 9.5 hours of free time to spend with family and sleeping each day, and you'd be entitled to two days out of every 14 off.

Just what the hell would /could you do to waste/spend 35hrs of your life per week doing to find jobs that are not there exactly and how is this bull c law?

So that's almost all those who are having to claim JSA due to being found fit for work by the farce WCA when clearly they are unfit for work without money As for that IBS the least said about that evil man the better

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Just what the hell would /could you do to waste/spend 35hrs of your life per week doing to find jobs that are not there exactly and how is this bull c law?

 

I'm wondering the same thing. There's only so many websites, employers you can contact, etc. At least under the old system, you only had to take a certain amount of steps per week - whether that took you 5 hours a week or 30.

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I myself am now in Northern Ireland and they treat claimants with a hell of a lot more respect than in the UK. I am on ESA and to be honest, besides some issues with the reciprocal agreement, the staff have been fantastic.

 

We do not have the DWP over here, it is still the Department for Social Security as Stormont refused to instigate the Governments welfare reforms.

 

Northern Ireland Benefit staff do what they are paid to do, that is helping people back into employment instead of finding the slightest reason to take that entitlement away. I have nothing but respect for them

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Just what the hell would /could you do to waste/spend 35hrs of your life per week doing to find jobs that are not there exactly and how is this bull c law?

 

Take it up with a JCP work coach if/when you have to negotiate a Claimant Commitment.

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No... you can't eat my brain just yet. I need it a little while longer.
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I myself am now in Northern Ireland and they treat claimants with a hell of a lot more respect than in the UK. I am on ESA and to be honest, besides some issues with the reciprocal agreement, the staff have been fantastic.

 

We do not have the DWP over here, it is still the Department for Social Security as Stormont refused to instigate the Governments welfare reforms.

 

Northern Ireland Benefit staff do what they are paid to do, that is helping people back into employment instead of finding the slightest reason to take that entitlement away. I have nothing but respect for them

 

 

In the past week or so the Northern Ireland Assembly voted against accepting the welfare reforms, including Universal Credit, that is now being implemented throughout the rest of the UK.

The UK government are now in talks with the powers that be in NI with the objective of making them accept those reforms or else face severe penalties and/or reductions to their block grants.

I do hope that the population of NI support their Assembly in their resistance. It may also be advisable for the UK government to bear in mind that 'resistance' in NI does not mean a casual stroll around the streets of Westminster with a placard.

The Scottish hordes of the SNP who are now ensconced at Westminster have made it their objective to kick IDS's welfare reforms and Tory austerity measures into touch so look forward to fireworks on that front too.

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Pierre wrote:

 

"Yes, you must agree to work for a national minimum wage (regardless of your previous job or pay) for up to 48 hours per week and commute up to 90 minutes each way."

The following guidance from Citizens Advice may clarify the position on that point:

Limiting the type of work you’ll do and the pay you'll accept

If you’ve done a certain type of work and you want to do the same kind of work again, you can say you'll only look for and accept this kind of work.

You can also tell Jobcentre Plus that you'll only look for or accept work which pays the same as you got before.

You can only do this if you meet certain conditions.

Jobcentre Plus must be satisfied that you'll have a reasonable chance of getting paid work despite limiting your search for work in this way.

You can only do this for as long as Jobcentre Plus thinks is appropriate, up to a maximum of three months.

The three months begins on the date of your Universal Credit (UC) claim. There are different rules about when it begins if you were working and your earnings were over a certain level, but your work then ended.

Your date of claim is not necessarily the date on which you actually make a claim for UC.

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Take it up with a JCP work coach if/when you have to negotiate a Claimant Commitment.
Fortunately i don't have to,yet as i'm not having to claim JSA /UC But i feel for those who are having to
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I'm wondering the same thing. There's only so many websites, employers you can contact, etc. At least under the old system, you only had to take a certain amount of steps per week - whether that took you 5 hours a week or 30.

This has to be illegal ? So how many of those who are too ill to work,but are forced into claiming JSA are going to end up sanctioned and without any money because of this ? how many more will commit suicide before the government stop with it's evil plans, i would like to see IDS in the dock charged with their deaths

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I don't see how they can tell how many hours you have spent looking for work every week to star with, nor do the JCs have the staff to look at records in detail. At least the one where I sign on, the appointments are always under five minutes and they struggle to find a slot for the next appointment. They've only looked at my Universal Jobmatch once that I can remember, other times I think they can just see how many entries you've made in total without looking at each entry. They just haven't got the time to discuss what you do to find work.

 

The whole thing has to be political, so as to make it look like claimants are 'working' for their benefits.

 

If you were to spend 35 hours a week job seeking it could well end up backfiring, you'd end up being blacklisted by recruiters if you ring/email/text non stop. These days you can't look for work by turning up in person, you have to do it all online and once you've sent your CV all you can do is wait.

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These days you can't look for work by turning up in person, you have to do it all online and once you've sent your CV all you can do is wait.
It all depends on what type of work you want, i the transport industry there are still some old school family run companies left who will hear you out, and sometimes give you a start , it maybe on a casual basis to start with , but if you can prove your worth, then when a set becomes available your first in line, those type of jobs don't get advertised as the employers never need to
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It all depends on what type of work you want, i the transport industry there are still some old school family run companies left who will hear you out, and sometimes give you a start , it maybe on a casual basis to start with , but if you can prove your worth, then when a set becomes available your first in line, those type of jobs don't get advertised as the employers never need to

 

The problem is if people start turning up in droves then the companies are going to get hacked off.

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This Universal credit will make life a bit harder for me. I'm self employed, claiming working tax credits & at the moment, it's all based on me earning £100 per week. Obviously that won't work with UC. But i'm not going to get in a state about it, yet.

I love what I do but there's a part of me that gets driven mad working the unsociable hours for less than minimum wage & I keep thinking it'll give me the shove to find something different! I have been self employed for 3 years now & it's worked well round my children.

But I do understand why the government are frustrated with self employed people earning less than everyone else.

I know, not a popular opinion.

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  • 1 month later...

I've just signed up to jsa again after being in work the last year and half or so, must say the treatment on my first sign on was appalling.... instantly I was treated with contempt by my advisor. There has been a serious shift in attitude since I last signed on I've noticed. They are incredibly tough now and all for what?! I'm not completely sure. I was just made redundant yet I'm treated like trash on my 4th day signing on, was a little in shock to be honest :S.

 

This 35 hours a week job search malarky makes no sense either? How do I log this. I just used to bring in print off's of my jobs I had applied for, usually 2-4 a day depending on how long it took to fill in application / do covering letter.

 

I plan to do the same unless stated otherwise, and i'm DEFINITELY not signing up to UJM. I remember all the horror stories of advisors holding people to ransom using that system....

 

I've of course made a profile / public cv.

 

It's all becoming rather draconian....

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Sorry to hear the bad news about your redundancy and that you find yourself back amongst us under such unfortunate circumstances.

Despite that, however, welcome back to the Twilight Zone. You are right, things did not improve in your absence. Advisers now think they have a license to kill.

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