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DWP/JOBCENTRE PLUS (Read 119,730 times)
SilentCallsVictim
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Re: DWP/JOBCENTRE PLUS
Reply #45 - Dec 14th, 2009 at 5:10pm
 
Barbara wrote on Dec 14th, 2009 at 10:49am:
There is also another aspect which has been lost, ...

Lost! I will not quote from my, admittedly lengthy, comments, but I think you will find us to be totally in agreement on the fact that it is the principle of revenue sharing that is the issue, not the matter of how many people pay this or that rate to call.

Barbara wrote on Dec 14th, 2009 at 10:49am:
callers are being held to ransom

This is where we part company. I refuse to accept that any sort of consumerist model (e.g. reference to the absence of a competitive market) is appropriate. We have been encouraged to think of everything in terms of a grocery shop. Sometimes that can be useful as a model, sometimes it may provide a useful analogy whilst not being totally relevant, sometimes (for example in this case, as in many others) it is totally wrong-headed and misleading.

Dave wrote on Dec 14th, 2009 at 3:12pm:
The only operators I can see that charge less for 0845 calls at certain times are BT, Post Office Home Phone and Tiscali Talk.

Thank you for correcting my error. I tried to do the relevant calculations some time ago, purely out of interest. I knew that there was no clear answer and so was a little casual in my efforts to defend my assertion that it could be a majority who pay less (which you may have challenged by removing Talk Talk and Sky). My desire to show this was only for the purpose of demonstrating strongly that this is not what matters.

Your points about the impact that use of 0845 numbers has on caller behaviour are well made. These have been previously been shared with DWP officials and will continue to feature in arguments presented. I have discussed the issue of who the callers may be, in relation to the type of tariff they may be on. It is not easy to characterise the typical user of BT vs. Virgin Media. It is fairly clear that mobile users demand special attention, which is what has been provided by the present call back arrangement. The call back approach is however very expensive for the Department and is not seen as a permanent solution. Once the 0800 issue has been resolved attention will turn to the 0845 (vs 03) issue. I personally believe that consideration of mobile callers will be the deciding factor.

Whilst the existence of differential landline rates for 0845 calls is highly significant, I am not sure that the present situation will be the issue that tips the balance. At some point in the new year Ofcom will be starting work on its new review of all NTS ranges, with the question of what to do about 0845 near (or at) the top of the agenda. Initial indications of what may be likely to emerge from this will doubtless have a bearing. Only the early removal of revenue sharing and enforcement of charging on the same basis as 03, by all providers, would provide any justification for retention of 0845 at this time. This is possible, but, I think, unlikely - unless the remaining dial-up ISPs and those who require the benefit of revenue sharing can all be moved onto a suitable 0844/3(/2?) range swiftly.

As stated previously, I am happy to encourage anyone who wants to try and get into the detail of the volume-weighted cost impact on landline users of the choice of 0845 over 03. This may be relevant to the extent of the need to retain 0845 numbers as alternatives after a changeover to 03 has perhaps been completed. This would however need to look to the long term considering what call rates are likely to be in the future, e.g. after the NTS condition has perhaps been removed from BT and perhaps something similar imposed on all providers! Good luck to you!
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Dave
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Re: DWP/JOBCENTRE PLUS
Reply #46 - Jan 9th, 2010 at 2:38pm
 
Source: DWP "In Touch" December 2009

http://www.dwp.gov.uk/about-dwp/customer-delivery/jobcentre-plus/stakeholders-an...

Quote:
New 0845 phone number for Jobcentres

A new, national Jobcentre 0845 phone number (and separate Welsh language line number for Wales) is being introduced to replace more than 700 geographical phone numbers. This is part of ongoing transformation to simplify customers' contact with Jobcentres.

The national numbers will help standardise the service offered to customers and make it easier for those customers to access the Jobcentre services.

At the same time, switchboard services will be centralised into four Balfour Beatty WorkPlace (BBW) Service Centres. This will provide a consistent national service for customers.

When customers phone the 0845 number, operators will be able to place the call to the jobcentre the customer asks for or, if the customer has incorrectly phoned the Jobcentre, the operator will signpost them to the correct location (for example, to make a new claim, or for a benefit enquiry).

A managed roll-out of the jobcentre 0845 numbers and centralisation into the Service Centres began in November and will continue until April 2010. Stakeholders and customers will informed when the change is due to happen in their area.


This explains the date in the "0845 No" column beside each JobCentre in the spreadsheet provided in this FOI response.

As a temporary measure the DWP will call back those ringing from mobiles. But yet it continues on its course to use 08xx contact numbers... Roll Eyes Lips Sealed
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Re: DWP/JOBCENTRE PLUS
Reply #47 - Jan 10th, 2010 at 3:43pm
 
By the end of April, the published number for all JobCentres will be a centralised 0845 one. The local numbers will have a redirection message placed on then.

This is a very very disappointing move by the DWP. Those citizens who make their calls with BT pay 3.4pence per minute less, yet those with other landline providers pay up to 10pence per minute more, and those from mobiles upto 40 pence per minute more!
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« Last Edit: Jan 10th, 2010 at 4:15pm by Dave »  
 
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Re: DWP/JOBCENTRE PLUS
Reply #48 - Jan 28th, 2010 at 2:31pm
 
Dave wrote on Jan 10th, 2010 at 3:43pm:
By the end of April, the published number for all JobCentres will be a centralised 0845 one. The local numbers will have a redirection message placed on then.


With the best will in the world I sincerley hope not to be using Jobcentre numbers by then  Cry
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Re: DWP/JOBCENTRE PLUS
Reply #49 - Feb 2nd, 2010 at 1:51pm
 
Yesterday the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions said that all phone numbers for her Department will be reviewed.

Read it in Hansard or watch the oral question and answer session on They Work for You:

http://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2010-02-01a.1.3&s=telephone+phone+%22f...
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« Last Edit: Feb 2nd, 2010 at 2:38pm by Dave »  
 
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Re: DWP/JOBCENTRE PLUS
Reply #50 - Feb 5th, 2010 at 9:57pm
 
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200910/cmhansrd/cm100203/text/100203w...

Quote:
Departmental Telephone Services

Lembit Öpik: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the average cost was of calls made to her Department's 0845 telephone number from (a) land lines and (b) mobile telephone networks in the latest period for which figures are available; and if she will make a statement. [312889]

Jim Knight: It is not possible to give an average cost of a call to the Department's 0845 numbers.

The cost of calls to the Departments 0845 numbers will vary according to each service provider, who will determine their own costs. BT landlines charge the lowest tariff and 70 per cent. of DWP callers do so from a BT landline. BT provide free 0845 calls if the call is made within the individual caller's call plan.

Cost of calls to 0845 numbers from mobile phones will vary according to which mobile operator a customer uses. Although we can identify if a caller is using a mobile phone, the Department is unable to identify which mobile operator a caller is using.

I would like to know how the DWP know when a landline caller is ringing from a landline whose call provider is BT Retail rather than any other provider.

Mr Knight goes on to say that "BT provide free 0845 calls." It is becoming clearer that the Department is acting as a marketeer for its own chosen telephony provider, BT.
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Re: DWP/JOBCENTRE PLUS
Reply #51 - Feb 6th, 2010 at 10:11pm
 
Source: Consumer Focus

http://www.consumerfocus.org.uk/news/consumer-focus-response-to-dwp-0800-free-ca...

<<

Consumer Focus’ response to DWP 0800 free calls announcement

Audrey Gallacher, telecoms expert at Consumer Focus said:

‘We welcome the move to make calls to some of the Department of Work and Pension’s 0800 numbers free if called from mobiles.  This will come as good news to many consumers, particularly elderly people and those on low incomes.

‘But this should be just the first step not a temporary move.  People need to be able to access all essential services that use 0800, such as frontline NHS phone services, free from a mobile. Consumer Focus research found that around 8 out of ten people thought calls to essential  helplines should cost the same from mobiles as from landlines. ’

>>
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Re: DWP/JOBCENTRE PLUS
Reply #52 - Feb 8th, 2010 at 12:26am
 
See the inaugural posting on the SAYNOTO0870.COM Blog on why the DWP should switch from 0845 to 03 numbers:

http://saynoto0870.blogspot.com/2010/02/dwp-case-for-03-numbers.html
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Re: DWP/JOBCENTRE PLUS
Reply #53 - Feb 23rd, 2010 at 5:26pm
 
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE  can everybody follow suit and contact at their MP. I have contacted Eric Illsley and he has responded stating that calls to Job Centre Plus should be affordable

He has also stated that he has written to the Secretary Of State For Department Of Works And Pensions highlighting the points I have made.

Needless to say I have not had a reply and received the letter in November 09.


Baz
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Dave
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Re: DWP/JOBCENTRE PLUS
Reply #54 - Feb 23rd, 2010 at 10:32pm
 
bazzerfewi wrote on Feb 23rd, 2010 at 5:26pm:
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE  can everybody follow suit and contact at their MP. I have contacted Eric Illsley and he has responded stating that calls to Job Centre Plus should be affordable

He has also stated that he has written to the Secretary Of State For Department Of Works And Pensions highlighting the points I have made.

Well done! I posted a link above in reply #49 to the Oral Questions session in Parliament to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. Your MP asked the first question and you can watch it here.


bazzerfewi wrote on Feb 23rd, 2010 at 5:26pm:
Needless to say I have not had a reply and received the letter in November 09.

Write back and remind Mr Illsley you haven't had a response. Perhaps his office has received a response from the SOS, but has forgotten send you a copy.
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Re: DWP/JOBCENTRE PLUS
Reply #55 - Feb 23rd, 2010 at 11:13pm
 
I came across this interesting FOI response on WhatDoTheyKnow:

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/analysis_of_costs_of_0845_vs_030

The requestor noted that in a previous FOI response, the DWP said that it had considered the use of 0300 numbers (in place of 0845 numbers), but decided against them because its analysis showed that it would result in higher call charges for the majority of callers. This request asked for a copy of this analysis, including research fed into it and notes of any communication with Ofcom on its advice in favour of 0300 numbers.

The response states:
Quote:
In June 09 we completed analysis of the charges for customers supplemented by information on the profile of callers to our services (by landline, mobile and call box).  This shows that moving from 0845 to 0300 would disadvantage more customers in our view than it would advantage.  The attached spreadsheet provides full details of the analysis (see tab on Better Value Flow Chart)


Unfortunately, I could not open the spreadsheet referred to. If anyone can open it, then I will be interested to see it. Anyway, it goes on to say:
Quote:
We are also planning to lobby to try and solve this continuing dilemma with 0845 and indeed would like to see 0845 calls treated in the same way for charging purposes as geographic calls (whether they are 01, 02 or 03). However, our current priority is to resolve issues with charges on 0800 calls from mobiles.

We will conduct a further update of the analysis in September 09 and use the latest information from OFCOM about market shares.

We have not discussed any OFCOM advice on whether to use 03 numbers.

The DWP is spouting the sort of nonsense we have come to expect from GPs!

It has chosen to use 0845 numbers and benefit from subsidy from callers. Yet now it would like to continue receiving that subsidy, but doesn't like the idea of callers paying more. Someone's got to pay for it.  Roll Eyes
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Re: DWP/JOBCENTRE PLUS
Reply #56 - Feb 24th, 2010 at 11:14am
 
Thanks Dave for your reply in regard to 0845 numbers for JSA I have contacted Eric Illsley in this regard he is the MP for Barnsley Central, he addressed the house 1st February 2010, if other members could also contact him or their MP it would be great. Please follow this link if you wish to make a coment. http://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/

24 February 2010      
I reply to your response on 1st February 2010 in the House of Commons in regard to the use of 0845 numbers within the DWP I thank you for raising this point.  I also appreciate that the secretary of State for the DWP addressed the issue but in my view the response was only a part of the issue that I and others had raised. I do agree that when carriers initially contact the DWP on an 0800 number the call should be free of charge and I am grateful that this issue has been dealt with in regard to callers using a mobile phone but it skirts around the issue of the 0845 numbers. I have also learned to my horror that a new batch of 0845 numbers have been introduced to Job Centre Plus offices and the system no longer accepts calls from 01and02 numbers, “This is a travesty” and unacceptable. Research suggests that the connectioe charge to an 0845 number is upwards of 8p and the caller is charged 8p per minute there after an average call will cost the caller 88p. I have even contacted them on an 01 number and the operator has grilled me as how I came across this number this is unacceptable and down right incompetent. I do appreciate that you will do your upmost to rectify this issue and I again thank you for your cooperation in this matter
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Income Support & Social Fund 0845 Rip-off
Reply #57 - Mar 2nd, 2010 at 10:05am
 
.
Income Support & Social Fund 0845 Rip-off

I live in London, today I tried to call my local DWP Social Fund Loan Dept. I felt sure as it was a .GOV dept that they would supply callers with a geographic number. I was re-directed to call Jobcentre Plus who handle Social Fund Loan & Income Support enquiries and a quick google gave me this list of geographic numbers for Jobcentre Plus Offices in the London area,

http://www.get-uk-jobs.com/London-job-centres.html

I tried various numbers in that list and each time I was connected to a switchboard operator who either refused to connect me to the Social Fund dept. or said they were unable to do so. On one call I asked to speak to a supervisor whereupon the switchboard operator did actually attempt to connect me to the Social Fund, I could hear it in the background, but the connection failed.

I think it stinks that the people who can least afford to pay these 0845 call charges are being hit, I don't have a BT line because I can't afford the installation charge, therefore I'm forced to call these .GOV depts from a PAYG mobile between 9am - 4pm which is prohibitively expensive. I spent 3 quid in mobile phone charges today to speak to a .GOV dept, money I can ill afford to waste.

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« Last Edit: Mar 2nd, 2010 at 11:04am by k2150 »  
 
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SilentCallsVictim
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Re: Income Support & Social Fund 0845 Rip-off
Reply #58 - Mar 2nd, 2010 at 10:36am
 
k2150 wrote on Mar 2nd, 2010 at 10:05am:
I live in London, today I tried to call my local DWP Social Fund Loan Dept. I felt sure as it was a .GOV dept that they would supply callers with a geographic number. I was re-directed to call Jobcentre Plus who handle Social Fund Loan & Income Support enquiries and a quick google gave me this list of geographic numbers for Jobcentre Plus Offices in the London area,

http://www.get-uk-jobs.com/London-job-centres.html

I tried various numbers in that list and each time I was connected to a switchboard operator who either refused to connect me to the Social Fund dept. or said they were unable to do so. On one call I asked to speak to a supervisor whereupon the switchboard operator did actually attempt to connect me to the Social Fund, I could hear it in the background, but the connection failed.

I think it stinks that the people who can least afford to pay these 0845 call charges are being hit, I don't have a BT line because I can't afford the installation charge, therefore I'm forced to call these .GOV depts from a PAYG mobile between 9am - 4pm which is prohibitively expensive. I spent 3 quid in mobile phone charges today to speak to a .GOV dept, money I can ill afford to waste.



The DWP rip-off on 0845 numbers is unacceptable and must be ended as soon as is possible.

The situation with 0800 numbers has been recognised and these should now be free to call from mobiles (barring fringe operators not having yet been drawn in to the scheme).

If the enquiry is in relation to a new claim, the number given on the DWP website is
0800 0 55 66 88
. This should be at no cost to the caller.

If in relation to an existing claim, the number for the local JobCentrePlus office is found at: http://www.jobcentreplus.gov.uk/JCP/Aboutus/Ouroffices/Search/LocalOfficeSearch....
If this is a 0845 number, the agent will offer to call you back as soon as you get through. If this offer is not made immediately the agent would be breaching clear instructions which we have been assured are followed rigidly. Insist that you receive a call back if it is not offered. (Please PM me with the details if the offer is not made immediately.)

This is not yet good enough, more is going to be done.
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« Last Edit: Mar 2nd, 2010 at 10:58am by SilentCallsVictim »  
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Re: DWP/JOBCENTRE PLUS
Reply #59 - Mar 2nd, 2010 at 10:39am
 
k2150 wrote on Mar 2nd, 2010 at 10:05am:
I think it stinks that the people who can least afford to pay these 0845 call charges are being hit, I don't have a BT line because I can't afford the installation charge, therefore I'm forced to call these .GOV depts from a PAYG mobile between 9am - 4pm which is prohibitively expensive. I spent 3 quid in mobile phone charges today to speak to a .GOV dept, money I can ill afford to waste.

Hi and welcome to SAYNOTO0870.COM.

This is quite a hot topic on our forum. The DWP (which incorporates JobCentre Plus) says it uses 0845 numbers because more people pay less to call than pay more. But those who pay more pay much more than those who save, but this isn't taken into consideration.

Unfortunately, the numbers for JobCentres will soon be replaced by one 0845 number. The old local numbers will play a recorded message redirecting to the 0845 number.

Perhaps you would like to write to your MP about this, making the points you made on this forum.
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« Last Edit: Mar 2nd, 2010 at 10:40am by Dave »  
 
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