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Sudden 'errors' with payments..


jasta11
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Hello all,

 

Been a while since I've posted; hope you're all well and still fighting the good fight :)

 

This concerns people who, like myself, still sign on clerically - ie they don't use the electronic data capture pads at the Jobcentre.

 

Keeping it brief, a couple of my JSA payments didn't go through during the past months and I'm convinced this was done deliberately to get me to switch over to electronic signing.

 

The adviser tries to make out it's my fault and that 'these errors wouldn't happen if you used the electronic signing system'. I point out that I've signed via paper for years now with no payments missing and that the problem seems to have started when the pads were introduced and I refused to use them. The payment release procedure takes 20 seconds on a simple dialogue screen; there is no chance of any 'error'...unless the clerk simply doesn't do it.

 

Just finished getting last fortnight's missing money put through as adviser once again didn't complete the release procedure - despite her assuring me payment had been processed (God bless digital voice recorders).

 

So, has anyone else who signs via paper suddenly had payments go missing or problems with their claim they never had before? I'm willing to bet quite a few have..

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Yes, that's the thing to do and I'll certainly be doing that on Thursday when I next sign on. I have little hope of anything being done though.

 

The problem is, having been a DWP manager in the past, I am quite aware that managers will cover their staff's backs - especially if there's a likelihood of District Managers and higher officials being involved - and I fully intend to involve them. Plus if advisers are deliberately causing problems for clerical signers, they've no doubt been told to do this by their managers.

 

One of the more decent staff in my local JC has already admitted that managers were telling staff to inform customers that use of the pads was mandatory and not to mention that they had a choice.

 

It's not the complaining; it's getting the right people who will listen and act impartially. I would also imagine that if I could prove payments had been disrupted intentionally in order to pressure claimants into using the pads, this would also be a violation of the Data Protection Act principles of 'fully informed and freely given' consent.

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I have a better Idea. If its JSA complain here.

 

https://jsacomplaints.itsshared.net/start

 

Thats the official complaining link online ☺

 

We could do with some help from you.

 

Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

**Fko-Filee**

Receptaculum Ignis

 

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Had a look at that link..I have visions of the complaint sitting in limbo for God knows how long. The DWP are not exactly speed freaks when it comes to answering emails. Plus the character allowance for the reply box wouldn't be enough - I can write extremely detailed letters :)

 

I'll start with the bods in the JC and take it from there.

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Sorted it today when I signed on. Asked to see a manager and had a nice 25 minute chat with her.. I kept her 25 mins, she didn't keep me :)

 

Though she initially tried to talk me down, assuming I didn't know anything about guidance or rules she soon backed right down when I showed her my knowledge of the system and how far I was prepared to go. Just the mention of taking the matter to her district manager had her backing right off - the district manager is relatively new and I'm wondering whether they've been clamping down on inefficient Jobcentres. They really did not want me to escalate my complaint higher. I suspect it's because in the past others have done exactly that and caused bother for the JC.

 

I also threw in the fact that I'd be contacting the Information Commission Office regarding the fact these missing payments coincided with me refusing to use the electronic pads and would they construe this as the JC exerting pressure on me to hand over personal data. Again, she was panicking at the ICO's possible involvement.

 

When I told her I audio recorded the interviews and could verify the attitude of the clerk as I signed she tried the old 'You shouldn't be recording conversations as it's rude' (her words lol). I quoted Section 36 of the Data Protection Act which most certainly said I could record and yet again there was panic.

 

Upshot is, to request a new adviser I have to put it in writing, which I'll do over the weekend in a nice letter - making sure to point out that if I'm not given a new adviser the district manager will definitely be hearing from me. The meeting ended with her saying 'I give you my word no more payments will go missing from your claim'. We shall see.

 

Sad that people have to go through all this when they should be getting good service from a government office.

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