Getting rid of DWP phone calls

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Sunny Clouds

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Getting rid of DWP phone calls

  • on: 21 May 2013 01:20AM
I picked up on a concern elsewhere about DWP phone calls.  You don't have to take them.  However, if you don't want to but you don't want to make a fuss about it, just treat them as identity fraud when they come through to you.  If they ask you questions, say you can't tell whether they're fraudsters after personal information or not unless they can answer some questions.  Then ask them lots of questions.  They won't tell you anything about your claim without your proving you are and you won't tell them anything without them proving who they are.  Result - stand-off.

After all, if you do answer their security questions, just why are you giving that information to someone who phones you?  Unless you've got caller display how do you know they're not a fraudster?

And besides the issue of whether you want to talk to the DWP, it is actually a serious issue relating to fraud and you're wisest not to give out personal details like your NI number to someone on the phone unless it's you that called them not vice versa.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

seegee

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Re: Getting rid of DWP phone calls

  • on: 21 May 2013 10:59AM
Even if you do have caller display, it's probably not a familiar number unless it's an office you often ring/ that is very local to you.  I don't even know the number of my local JC+, haven't called them for a long while now.

Yes, someone phoning asking for your name, address, date-of-birth, NI number probably should be treated with suspicion anyway - what can you ask them in return to verify that they really do work for DWP? 
Can't be anything that's free public knowledge so they'd have to tell you your own details (which they can't do until you have proved you are who you say you are... >lol<).

Monic1511

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Re: Getting rid of DWP phone calls

  • on: 21 May 2013 04:57PM
Hi Guys
caller display wouldn't work as dwp numbers are normally withheld, its an automatic function.   

If you are expecting a callback I would suggest that you do take the call though and if its because of your mental health problems that you don't want to take the call please tell the person something along the lines of "Unless you can prove to me that your are employed by the DWP then I cannot speak to you without exacerbating my own personal difficulties."  Just in case its the ESA decsion maker looking for further info to support your claim / appeal

monic

seegee

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Re: Getting rid of DWP phone calls

  • on: 21 May 2013 08:57PM
How could someone prove they work for DWP, Monic?   >confused<

Monic1511

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Re: Getting rid of DWP phone calls

  • on: 21 May 2013 09:29PM
Seegee
Thats the catch isn't it, you can't prove who you work for on a phone call, the dwp worker could give you their direct line number but Im not sure they are allowed to do that except in very restricted circumstances.
Monic

ATurtle

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Re: Getting rid of DWP phone calls

  • on: 22 May 2013 11:25AM
There is one drawback to the caller giving you their direct dial number after you receive a "number withheld" call is that anyone can dial a number and withhold their number then give you their number to call them back! 

If they were to tell you to phone the local office (which should be available in the phone book or online) then ask them to put you through to their extension, then I would feel happier.
Tony.

"I choose not to place "DIS", in my ability." - Robert M. Hensel

auntieCtheM

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Re: Getting rid of DWP phone calls

  • on: 22 May 2013 03:06PM
If someone gives you a number so you can call back it is an idea to phone them from a different number to the one they phoned you on.  That is a good check to see if it is a real number.

KizzyKazaer

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Re: Getting rid of DWP phone calls

  • on: 22 May 2013 05:31PM
Quote
If they were to tell you to phone the local office (which should be available in the phone book or online) then ask them to put you through to their extension, then I would feel happier.
A great idea in principle, but sadly unlikely to be much of a reality for most DWP phone calls now that the actual processing of claims no longer takes place in local offices  >erm<

seegee

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Re: Getting rid of DWP phone calls

  • on: 22 May 2013 06:49PM
Apparently they are going to ring me in the next week or so as they need to assess me for ESA...  >yikes<
I got a letter today, says Belfast on the back of the envelope, from [town up the road] Benefit Centre, whose address is xxxxxx xxxx [small city a bit further away]. 
The phone number given is an 0845 one, so it's nice & clear where the thing comes from... >doh<

I don't live in the same local authority area as [town up the road], the same county as [small city a bit further away] or the same country as the address on the back of the envelope. 
Oh, it's dated nearly a week ago & says I should get a call within two weeks of the date on the letter. >steam<

(edited for error correction)
« Last Edit: 22 May 2013 06:55PM by seegee »

seegee

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Re: Getting rid of DWP phone calls

  • on: 22 May 2013 07:15PM
Why are the DWP boundaries so different from LA & county boundaries, which are in turn different from parliamentary boundaries?  >confused<

Am I the only one who finds this more than a bit confusing, in fact rather discomforting, or is it done this way deliberately in order to make things difficult?  >what?>  >crying<

Monic1511

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Re: Getting rid of DWP phone calls

  • on: 22 May 2013 07:50PM
Hi Seegee

Kizzy probably knows more abou this than me but this is my take on it
When the goverment started reducing the dwp staff numbers they deceide to move certain teams around the UK so that no one area got the biggest hit,  Then they set up the call centre's where we phone the 0845 number.
Inverness did social fund loans, Glouster (sorry spelling) does debt recovery, Motherwell deals with Pension credit, Belfast deal with underlivered mail which is why most dwp letters say return to Belfast 
I have a friend who works at the Greenock office and takes calls from claimants in London re direct deductions  >yikes<.   They have set it up that you cannot phone your local office but have to call the contact centre who email the processing team asking for a callback which has to be done within 4 working hours.   Even to phone my local jobcentre I have to go through the 0845 numbers give my clients postcode and the operator will put me through to the local office.

My notes say phoned DWP spoke to Jim in Cardiff, callback requested from team at Clydebank.
Its not simple but its great if you are a 0845 shareholder.
Monic

Fiz

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Re: Getting rid of DWP phone calls

  • on: 23 May 2013 08:36AM
I never give my phone number out to anybody. The only people who have my number are my children and my social worker. Occasionally when refusing to give my number out to an organisation doesn't work due to their insistance I give them an old number I used to use that is no longer connected but that's rare, most places including the DWP accept your right to withold your number from them. It's private.

seegee

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Re: Getting rid of DWP phone calls

  • on: 23 May 2013 09:42AM
I assume I gave DWP the number at my local JC+ some years ago, as they do have the correct number. 
When I first moved here I was depressed.  I had to be in contact with JC+ as they were my only possible means of support; I wouldn't have cared at that point who had the number & probably often didn't get out of bed to answer it anyway.  Most of that first year or so is a blur, which appears to be how my mind deals with depressive episodes generally - once it's gone, box it up & never see it again.

KizzyKazaer

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Re: Getting rid of DWP phone calls

  • on: 23 May 2013 12:00PM
And knowing how utterly painful depression is, that doesn't seem like a bad idea, Seegee..

Monic, you are correct in your reply #10  >thumbsup<  Basically, DWP functions have all been centralised to the nth degree and my considered opinion on this is... it's just totally pants  >thumbsdown<  But you never know, 'what goes around comes around' and the policy-makers might well decide to reverse this and return to local processing etc, just as they did in the past!  (I remember how efficient our particular office became when we were just dealing with our own locality for IS, IB, JSA and Social Fund, and we each got to know our own 'alpha-splits' of customers - to see all that destroyed was, well, unbelievable!)


>edit to add<


« Last Edit: 23 May 2013 12:07PM by KizzyKazaer »

seegee

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Re: Getting rid of DWP phone calls

  • on: 23 May 2013 12:55PM
Hi Seegee
...When the goverment started reducing the dwp staff numbers they deceide to move certain teams around the UK so that no one area got the biggest hit,... 
Monic

Would it have been too logical to drop one staff member from each office, or one from every two offices so that no one area got the biggest hit?  >erm<  Perhaps there was a very good reason why that's a really bad idea - it would appear to be easier for most claimants to have local contact details and easier for staff to find out a bit about clients who live locally, but there must be a flaw there or it would have happened that way... wouldn't it? >hmm<