Listening to Vivaldi waiting for my call to be picked up by a human at the benefits centre while watching the seconds tick away…. Automated voice tells me that “all the advisers are talking to customers and if I prefer I can phone back later”… Is that ever a good time to phone the benefit office (possibly dead on 8am)? Eventually a voice responds. I tell them that I have received a letter this morning informing me that I qualify for contribution based Job Seekers Allowance and was wondering when I would be paid. After the usual security questions I was told that when I signed on last week it hadn’t been properly inputted on their system therefore I needed to contact the Jobcentre. Did I was told….. quicker response in answering the phone but sheer confusion.
Indeed they inputted the last signing on date on my record but when I asked about a “fast track payment” I was told, “We don’t deal with that as we are only a smallJobcentre”. Told to ring the the benefits centre. More Vivaldi. More waiting. Eventually got through and the date of my last signing on had been dutifully inputted. I told the adviser that Jobcentre didn’t deal with fast track payments. I could hear a sharp intake of breath, then a sigh and a suppressed laugh, “It is their responsibility”! They made a note on my record and told me to …… yes, you can guess, to ring the Jobcentre. Spending over an hour on the phone losing the will live…. I duly rang the number and spoke to someone who took my details and yes……
“It’s the benefit centre responsibility for payment”..
Me: “I am confused myself as I gone around in circles and being told so much misinformation”
Them: “Sorry about that but it is their responsibility”
Me: “Well, who deals with the fast track payment”?
Them: “Payment department”
Me: “OK, will I be paid then”
Them: “I will pass the information onto the department. Give me a phone number where they can contact you in the next 3 hours”
My head hurt as it felt like being bounced backwards and forwards, from pillar to post and none the wiser! About an hour later I got a phone from the payment department.
“Yes, you will be paid in the next couple of hours. Unfortunately, Jobcentre was bloody late in inputting your last signing on date. Sorry about that”…
Indeed they paid me. But what a palaver. What bureaucracy. Nobody taking responsibility in paying me. The advisers were polite and helpful but nobody could specifically tell who the hell was meant to be dealing with this.