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Unhelpful UC Telephone Claims Handlers

Stephen C
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Drumchapel Citizens Advice Bureau

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Has anyone else found the call handlers dealing with telephone claims for UC to be rude and unhelpful? My client had arthritis in both hands, couldn’t use/didn’t own a computer and didn’t have a smartphone. Even after explaining all this to the representative, she was still reluctant to let us continue with the telephone claim, emphasizing that the client wouldn’t have access to an online account (as if I was dense…). I had to insist that we had (of course!) already discussed the pros and cons with the client and this was the decision the client had made, and she clearly qualified. After one last attempt to discourage us the representative finally allowed us to proceed, but acted as if it was a personal affront.

I had called the high priority line for Help to Claim advisers. If this is the response I got, how discouraging must this be to claimants calling for themselves?

It was my first phone claim so at first I assumed it was bad luck I’d gotten someone this unprofessional but colleagues have reported similar experiences. Has anyone else encountered this? Myself and my colleagues have mentioned it to our line managers and fed it back via social policy, but what are the escalation routes if this turns out to be a recurring problem?

[ Edited: 23 May 2019 at 02:34 pm by Stephen C ]
Daphne
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I can raise it via the Stakeholder forum too if that would be helpful?

Stephen C
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Drumchapel Citizens Advice Bureau

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Daphne - 23 May 2019 02:24 PM

I can raise it via the Stakeholder forum too if that would be helpful?

Possibly, but it wouldn’t be necessary unless this is a prevalent issue, which is why I want to know if others are experiencing the same thing.

Andyp5 Citizens Advice Bridport & District
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Citizens Advice Bridport & District

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Stephen C - 23 May 2019 02:32 PM
Daphne - 23 May 2019 02:24 PM

I can raise it via the Stakeholder forum too if that would be helpful?

Possibly, but it wouldn’t be necessary unless this is a prevalent issue, which is why I want to know if others are experiencing the same thing.

Not necessarily rude in my experience. But gatekeeping yes, lack of knowledge of UC yes, when it comes to phone claims.

Which reminds me i think Neil Couling twittered re: Myths etc etc to the effect online claims isn’t the only way of claiming UC, although he doesn’t mention phone claims.

In the current UC promotion drive by the DWP. Incidentally, i couldn’t bring myself to double check (etc etc) to make sure i have got this right, so i may have just imagined it. 

Edited to accommodate Neil Couling’s twittering i.e.  presumed implicit seal of approval re: telephone claims.

Neil Couling twittered 23/05/2019
‘A few of the myths’. etc etc etc ‘you have to claim on-line’, etc etc etc ...

 

[ Edited: 24 May 2019 at 03:21 pm by Andyp5 Citizens Advice Bridport & District ]
SG LB C
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Income Maximisation Team LB Camden

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Stephen C - 23 May 2019 02:32 PM
Daphne - 23 May 2019 02:24 PM

I can raise it via the Stakeholder forum too if that would be helpful?

Possibly, but it wouldn’t be necessary unless this is a prevalent issue, which is why I want to know if others are experiencing the same thing.

We called to make a telephone claim, and the person that answered it then told me he wasn’t well, had been off all week and had a bit of a sore throat. He asked that we go back into the queue.  Another 35 minutes later…..

However not rude, but definitely gatekeeping.