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Trade Union stops DWP investigating my complaint

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2 years ago I requested DWP several times (verbally and in email) to remove my phone number from their systems and to stop calling me. - Their response to this complaint = "would i like a callback" doh....

 

Eventually DWP removed my phone number from their systems after I had notified them that I will resort to legal action if they do not do this. Since then, if I have had to contact DWP then I have refused to give my phone number.

 

Some weeks ago I received a phone call from DWP CEO Office. This phone call should not have been made due to my previous request. In response to this phone call I contacted complaints resolution team and spoke with someone who has been dealing with my complaints since 2015, she stated that as far as she can see and as far as she knows, my telephone number has been removed from their systems and she can't possibly see where the CEO office obtained my number from.

 

The cynical side of me suggests that DWP made this phone call out of spite in relation to my complaint of a few weeks earlier where DWP CEO staff implied I am a liar, then when I proved I am not a liar by quoting her a reference number she refused to apologise.

 

I need to stop phone calls from DWP, but despite the fact that they have removed my number from their system, I still receive unwanted phone call from their CEO office.

 

Breach of my privacy by DWP - informing my parents of my complaints....

 

During the phone call (which should not have been made), DWP first spoke with my father and somehow managed to verify that he is myself. DWP then went on to discuss my previous complaint with my father who was not aware I had a historical complaint (hes only aware of recent complaints).

 

This has made my parents even more stressed in the knowledge of an historical complaint as since they have been helping support me financially during DWP pathetic excuses of they cant pay claim because my go fit note not matches exact date of claim etc.

 

For my parents to learn that I had struggled financially previously and have an outstanding complaint worries them more as they are nearly 80.

They were hoping that my complaints surrounding 2015 to present date would result in DWP realising that they are wrong not to pay benefit for sickness, this would then repay my debt to my parents who have been financially supporting me.

 

For my parents to learn of a more historical complaint which has been ignored just adds to their worry.

DWP called me 2 years after them removing my number from their system and requesting no phone calls due to mental health reasons.

They also disclosed my personal details with my father.

 

For my mother to hand me the phone saying its "DWP talking about your complaint from years ago" with a flushed worried complexion is horrible.

I am trying my best to keep her from such worry given her age and health, the same for my father.

 

Thanks to DWP incompetence they are both aware... I need to stop these phone calls!

 

How?????

 

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You stop the phone calls, by either not answering the phone, OR, answering the phone and telling them ''everything in writing'' then hanging up.

 

Send a letter too them, telling them you do not wish to be contacted by phone, and your preferred method of contact is by letter.

 

Keep a copy of the letter, and obtain ''proof of posting'' which is free from the PO counter.


Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!

 

 

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they already had a letter asking them to stop. they repeated calls so more letters as complaint, eventually it stopped as they removed my number.

 

for the sake of my mental health i can not receive phone calls

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Then unplug the phone, alternatively get rid of it all together?


Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!

 

 

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they already had a letter asking them to stop. they repeated calls so more letters as complaint, eventually it stopped as they removed my number.

 

for the sake of my mental health i can not receive phone calls

 

 

I sympathise, they are reaching out on a landline and leaving messages with your parents which scare them. Any sharp practices by the DWP will be done verbally, with as little record possible. Just another of the MANY unofficial ways they set out to make claiming benefits painful.

 

Are the caller ID's blocked as they come in?

If not you may be able to get a list from BT or your telecom provider of incoming calls, send a copy to the DWP and inform them you have proof of non-compliance, state that this given your explicit and recorded refusal to use the phone with them that this constitutes harassment

 

 

If they are blocked then I think you have done as much as you can. You will need to retrain your parents, hard as that may be at their age, to firmly and politely end the call. Sorry. If you yourself receive any further calls you may want to put the call on Loudspeaker, set your mobile to record, then state clearly, "I am recording this call as proof of non-compliance...", the phone will go down at the other end pretty sharpish.

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Are the caller ID's blocked as they come in?.

 

No longer allowed to withhold numbers, they've had their final warning over that trick.


Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!

 

 

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Its taken DWP a long time to give me a final response concerning the data breach.

They say that after trade union consultation they can not accept a copy of my call recording to listen to.

 

If they listened to a copy of my phone recording they would see that there is a data breach.

They are relying on their trade union who has said a copy of my call recording should not be listened to.

 

So DWP are not investigating my complaint because their trade union has effectively told them not to.

 

Any thoughts / ideas please?

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Ask for a deadlock letter.

Start legal action .

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I have a final response letter from them which says they are taking their colleagues word as truth over mine and that they cant investigate and listen to a copy of my phone recording as the trade union says they should not do this.

 

So trade union is preventing my complaint from being investigated.

 

I do not wish to start legal action as its more stress and worry and hoping to receive advice here which I can use, so DWP will be forced to investigate.

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Produce a transcript of the recording.

Failing that you have to make a decision. Follow it up with legal action or drop it and move on.

It depends what price you put on the outcome going your way. Do you want the stress? Is it worth it?

 

Or block the number or change yours.

I would of done that a long time ago

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unfortunately its parents number and despite them being asked to remove it 2 years ago, then quoting data protection to ask them to remove it, then quoting equality act and mentioning my mental health in an attempt to remove it, then me sending them a letter claiming harassment, they apologise and say they remove the number. then 2 years later they call me, also they make data breach.

 

can the trade union be allowed to tell DWP not to accept a copy of my call?

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Have you informed your local MP?

 

And have you escalated it to the ICE yet?

 

You have the deadlock letter, and it will tell you what to do if you're not happy.


Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!

 

 

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Have you informed your local MP?

 

And have you escalated it to the ICE yet?

 

You have the deadlock letter, and it will tell you what to do if you're not happy.

 

ICO office first, then MP can get the Parliamentary Ombudsman involved if they feel it is appropriate.

 

What I don't understand is why DWP CEO office is dealing with complaints and for such a long period. How serious have the complaints been and how many complaints have been submitted ?

 

Normally Government departments are required to conduct security tests for inbound and outbound calls, to ensure they are speaking to the right person. Foe someone in the CEO office of DWP to make a phone call and not run through security questions sounds odd.


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I have reported to ICO and also offered them a copy of the recording.

I have parliamentary ombudsman papers for earlier matter and am hoping to raise entirety of my complaint through them also.

 

Many complaints have been sent.

 

The most serious complaint could be any from the following:

 

1. In 2011 a complaint was ignored for several months of non payment. DWP refused to answer my letters of concern and European Court ruling saying I should be declared as habitual resident upon my return to UK. Eventually concern answered by an area manager who agreed with court ruling (and he put this in writing).

DWP then asked me for further details which I couldn't provide (bank statements) - they ignored a letter (stamped by Job Centre) stating that I was made bankrupt, therefore no assests nor bank accounts. Non payment, complaint ongoing, finally someone in DWP is communicating with me via email (during last few weeks) and I see from a recent SAR that paperwork from 2011 has been retrieved (despite DWP saying doesn't exist, 14 month retention)

 

2. In 2015 a claim for ESA was made. This was not paid despite me making several phone calls. DWP failed to respond to my complaint with full information, they simply responded with my medical certificate was not dated to any claim. After several emails and SAR, in 2017 I found out that the reason they did not pay was that my certificate was dated some 2 weeks after the initial date of my claim. My GP provides me with backdated certificate in 2017 for 2015, DWP then rely on the excuse that I am out of time. I escalated this to ICE who said they don't investigate benefit decisions. I then requested ICE reconsider this from the actions shown by DWP and their failing to provide me with reasons around the time of the claim as to non payment.

 

3. First Work Capability Assessment - I made a complaint that lies were told. Second Work Capability Assessment, I requested that it be recorded, only a partial recording was made. Mandatory Reconsiderations not taken into account, I find out later that I needed to use the words "mandatory reconsideration" despite it being obvious in my complaint that it was MR.

 

4. Being told to go to job centre as claim for ESA stopped, I responded I couldn't do this, however I tried. On one occasion having mental breakdown in JC and crying, panic attack etc. Even after this extreme I still had to go to JC although saw disability advisor there who used private room as she could also see that I struggle. This not taken into consideration with their ESA WCA decision.

 

5. Requesting that they remove my phone number as there is only certain times of the day (if at all) I can manage phone calls. They failed to do this in 2015 so I made request using data protection act, they stated number removed. I then received further so made request again using data protection act in addition to the equality act, (based upon reasonable adjustment for mental health). They said they remove number (again). and failed again. I then mentioned that I see no other way than court action and to report to police for harassment. They said they would remove the number (again). 2 years later in 2017 they phone the number, the call should not have been made, also during the call a data breach occurred in that DWP CEO asked my dad security questions to which he answered, and then my complaint was told to my dad. My dad has same name as me, but different date of birth and NI number.

 

6. Requesting SAR in relation to 2011 complaint, ignored requests in 2011 and 2012. A few repeated requests were made in 2014 onwards, was told no data exists due to data retention policy. In 2016, 2 documents were sent to me in relation to 2011. In 2018 from a recent SAR, I see another new document from 2012 which has a stamp on it saying something like "Appeal - Do not destroy until 2016"

 

7. My initial first claim with them in 2009 was paid in 2011 (during the time of my 2011 complaint)

 

8. Requesting change of job centre because of mental breakdown at one job centre, I was told this is not possible. I was also told that "all job centres are the same anyway" - I took this attitude to not take into account my mental health which I explained, also a rude call so complaint made probably a silly response received from ceo office (As are most of their other responses)

 

9. Complaints escalated to CEO are often ignored and require phone calls to tier 1 complaints and emails in order to chase up a response. When a response is given it is usually (if not all responses) dismissive, fails to fully understand complaint, makes false assumptions and also states incorrect information, sometimes silly information telling me that I have been in a country recently - which I have never been to, and was not abroad during the times they refer - irrelevant, showing complete misunderstanding of the complaint.

 

10. Being told incorrect information on several occasions, (the same incorrect information), such incorrect information told to me also by tier 1 Complaints Manager, requested that such incorrect information told could be taken into account in relation to non payment of benefit decision. Also, a few other certificates from my doctor were given and claims not paid.

 

 

Above answers your questions about why a long period and how serious the complaints have been. I can not answer how many complaints have been submitted, but usually a complaint would lead to a tangent of a new complaint/s.

 

 

Yes, government departments are required to conduct security tests and they did ask questions. My dad answered the phone, he has same name but all different other data. The CEO staff just blindly took this data and then started to tell my dad about my 2011 complaint not being upheld, it was sent to special payments team but they award zero as they find no maladministration. (actually, she didn't say that, that was the main outcome or purpose of the call) what she did say after security questions that my complaint has not been upheld and revealed further information. My dad said she would need to speak to me, I took the call and was told immediately about the 2011 complaint. I then asked why the call had been made and explained my previous attempts at getting them to stop using the phone number, she just said she didn't know and apologised. I then asked why she divulged personal information to my father, her reply was that no personal information was disclosed. I said I disagree, especially as this was also financial information. There was no response to this, so I said I am just going to end this call now.

 

In response to my complaint of data breach, this week DWP final response was that they can't accept a copy of my phone recording as the trade union has told them this can not be done. They don't uphold my complaint of data breach. Since I escalated the complaint for final response, it took nearly 3 months for a reply, despite my constant reminders.

 

I

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A lot of complaints ! I suspect that DWP have files on people who make a number of complaints and these are held by teams at their head office. So whenever there is any contact with DWP or any system actions required on benefits being received, a referral is made to these head office teams.

 

From what I understand the union that represents Civil Servants does have influence on what data is released. E.g if there is an issue about identifying a member of staffs full name and/or their direct contact details, then for personal security reasons, Civil Service can withold data; if there is an issue where a Civil Servant would be open to misconduct proceedings, then how the data is handled would be something the Union might become involved with. If the exact grounds for witholding data have not been stated, you could ask for this info.

 

See what the ICO finds out. They are normally pretty independent and fair in dealing with these matters.


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I am not so sure if there are files in head office as you say, I've seen in SAR audit trails that crt tier 1 suggested to tier 2 that there be a dedicated person to deal with my complaints. (There are many complaints as I intend to document most instances of maladministration, also each complaint usually leads to tangents of comlpaints).

 

I have asked union for the info and they are in communication with me (they haven't ignored). They have contacted DWP to find out who informed them of this.

- Cynically, i suspect its just the usual DWP mistruths.

 

I've offered copy of call to ICO, am still waiting for their response.

 

My main objective (other than getting complaints answered) is to get DWP to remove the phone number from their systems. It seems that they do not have the ability to do this properly, failing each time they say they will.

 

 

edit - I have dedicated person at CRT tier 1 who deals with my complaints. This person often mitigates complaints before they have chance to arise, examples being obtaining my backdated fit notes from JC because JC say they dont know where to send and they be placed in bin at end of month. Tier 1 CRT person goes above and beyond her role as complaints manager, often helping me. In 2015 the same person dealt with my removal of number requests, (repeatedly) and i've noticed in sar audit trail ever since, she has written "do not call" or "no phone contact" etc on all HOTT templates for internal use.

 

But as usual, DWP ignore this, time delay for answer, when answered it is derisory answer and also mistruths etc. I cant change number as its parents number, they have had it for longer than ive been alive. I also do not want calls based upon my parents to not be disturbed, but primarily because each and every day is a constant battle against my mental health and phone calls do not help this situation.

Edited by kra

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They still have a very old ,now possibly obsolete mobile number on their systems, which they also share with the likes of Maxifarce, this is dispitethem being informed that i no longer own or use that number, and i will not divulge my currrent numbers, as i don't see how by them having them benefits me, i know it benefits them

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October 3rd 2017, I inform DWP of a data breach which occurred during a phone call from their CEO office.

DWP asked my dad security questions (he gave his answers) and blindly accepted these answers despite them being different from mine. They then disclosed personal information to my dad, that my complaint from a few years ago had not been upheld.

 

This is a data breach. DWP will not investigate this data breach (despite me offering them copy of telephone recording on several occasions).

 

It has taken DWP from 3rd October 2017 until February 2018 to let me know that they are not upholding my complaint and that following consultation from trade union that they can not accept a copy of my telephone recording as evidence.

 

Can the trade union say to DWP that they can not accept a copy of my evidence?

What basis can the trade union say this?

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Hi.

 

I've merged two of your threads and updated the title, to keep the information together.

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Update from DWP earlier:

 

Whilst the wording in the letter may have led you to believe that DWP had consulted Trade Union on this matter, I can assure you that this has certainly not been the case. I apologise for any ambiguity in the wording of the letter from the Director, [name removed].
My understanding is that as I did not say to the person that the call was recorded (even though DWP have been previously aware all calls are recorded automatically) then the person who was recorded needs to give permission for me to share a copy of the call with DWP?

 

Is this right? Does she need to give permission for me to share a copy of call recording?

 

The DWP CEO staff has said that she does not give permission for me to share a copy of the call recording which kind of speaks volumes in itself. If she had nothing to hide, then she would not have denied me permission to send DWP recording.

 

How can I make DWP investigate this?

 

In their earlier reply to me, they told me the following:

 

I now ask you to cease emailing DWP OCU Team 4 and DWP OCU Team 2 as we cannot help you and have nothing further to add on the matter. There is also no further need for you to contact my team by telephone. Any further correspondence received from you may be acknowledged but not responded to by us.

 

A date breach occurred. That data breach complaint has in my opinion been attempted to be brushed under the carpet by DWP in their delays to my complaint (needed constant chasing up), several instances of implications or ambiguous wording in responses, failing to investigate.

 

I simply want DWP to acknowledge that a data breach occurred (as per my recorded phone call) and to place safeguards so that this will not happen again to other people.

Edited by honeybee13
Director name removed

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Not sure where you are getting your information from?

 

All recordings are fine, dandy and legal..... it's how you use that recording and in what setting where issues occur!

 

So posting it to youtube (especially if it has recordings of a 3rd party) is not advised. Not illegal either but not really advised.

 

Now recordings as evidence;

 

No issue here - but you have to convince the person evaluating the evidence that it is relevant to your case.

 

You do this by sending them a transcript of the call, highlighting why and where it is relevant to your case.

 

You can not and should not expect anybody to listen to a raw call recording on the off chance that something in there might be relevant. That is silly!

 

If you convince them that your recording is relevant then it will/maybe be accepted and the actual recording may be checked v's your transcript.

 

Judges/whoever is presiding over the evidences discretion..... it's your job to persuade them it is!

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I have tried to convince DWP that the recording is evidence. I have tried to do this through a lot of emails and telephone calls.

DWP wrote to me today to ask that I stop contacting them in relation to this complaint.

 

DWP are refusing to accept a copy of my recording as evidence of a data breach.

 

From October, they replied with special payment team making payment in respect of the data breach £25, however, I find out from SAR audit notes that this was incorrect. THey simply implied this in an effort to thwart my complaint.

 

From November (my escalated complaint) until February when they responded, they told me that they cant accept copy of recording based on advice from trade union consultation. I contact trade union about this. DWP then adjust their previous response to tell me it was incorrect, and that the person who made data breach does not give me permission to share a copy of the phone recording.

 

Ive writted back to DWP (despite their requests that I no longer do so) telling them that if their colleague had nothing to hide then she would not have denied me permission to send phone call.

 

DWP say I should now proceed to Independent Case Examiner, however, ICE can not investigate a data breach.

 

DWP are obviously trying not to investigate my complaint and are using various tactics to disuade me from complaining. (this is consistent with other complaints).

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Then dont send the recording.

Send a transcript of it with the mist relevant bits highlighted

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I have sent a transcript of the recording, (many times) in addition to me offering a copy of recording (many times).

 

DWP responded with derisory letter and special payment of £25 which was in respect of 3 different complaints, the data breach being one of them.

 

I then find out in SAR audit trails that when interviewed about data breach complaint, the CEO staff denied data breach.

 

DWP will not accept my copy of the telephone recording which is needed to uphold my complaint of data breach.

 

DWP responded saying they can not accept this phone recording as trade union says they cant. I check with trade union this. DWP then responds to say their earlier response incorrect and it was only after the person who caused data breach went for trade union meeting - she now does not give any permission for me to share a copy of the recorded phone call.

 

There are many inconsistencies in this complaint, mistruths, delays and implications (usual DWP tactics).

 

Personal information / financial information was discussed with my father, a clear data breach - yet DWP will not accept my version of events, they are accepting their staff version of events. I have a telephone recording which will show their staffs version of events is incorrect and my version of events is correct and that a data breach did occur.

 

DWP will not accept this call recording. They tell me to progress complaint to ICE, ICE can not deal with data breach complaint, so I asked whether they could deal with a complaint of maladministration surrounding how DWP handled my complaint and supposed investigation.

 

Can DWP refuse to investigate?

Can DWP staff refuse to give me permission to send recorded phone call to them?

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Basically, if the person being complained about (data breach) is so confident that she did not cause a data breach, then she would give permission for me to send a copy of the telephone recording.

 

She will not give me this permission.

 

DWP have asked that I stop contacting them about this problem.

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