What do you think of DWP?

I have just had short notice that I have a Job interview early on Friday morning. As part of that I have to give a ten-minute presentation. The job means I will be in charge of DWP customer service standards, and the presentation is on how to improve customer service in DWP and what the main challenges and opportunities are. Fortunately I relish challenges!

What I would like to do, as I believe it is always the strongest catalysts for change, is bring some personal insights into this presentation from real people who have had recent interaction with DWP or its agencies such as Jobscentre Plus, the Pensions Service, the Disability and Carers Service or Child Support Agency (which I know has just been renamed but have lost track!)

I would therefore be very grateful to hear from anyone with recent experience of dealing with any of these organisations if you have any thoughts about things that you were impressed with, or things that went wrong and you thought could have gone much better.

I don’t need any detailed person information. What would be most help are observations about your interaction with the Department and its agencies and how communication went/or didn’t. Rather than discuss these things in this thread it would probably be best to PM me with your experiences. If you would prefer there to be no written record anywhere, PM me and I will provide a phone number so we can discuss your experiences.

I will ensure that any information sent to me is kept anonymous, is not kept on my PC/Laptop/memory stick and I won’t leave any personal information on a train (unlike my Secretary of State!) I will keep any confidences. Remember, it is experiences and not personal details I am after.

I am very grateful for any help you can offer in helping me show I can make a difference to how DWP deals with its customers.

I am also posting this to X9OwnersClub

As you know, I’ve had to contact DWP a bit recently… and it’s been a slightly more painful experience than having my arm amputated, none of the call centre staff seem to have the slightest idea what I was entitled to, or were able to do anything other than pop a form in the post to me… which then took 9 days to arrive… oh, and their call centre staff need to appreciate that asking a recent arm amputee to write down a web address/phone number whilst on the phone to them is quite difficult , what with the need to hold onto the phone with my only hand and everything

when i left the army…i could’nt find a job so had to sign on…i remember them treating me like absolute scum of the earth…looking down on their noses at me

with almost hatefull scorns…

that effectivley took my confidence away so much that i found it harder to pick myself up and carry on with finding

a decent job…

that said…i managed to break out of that vicous loop and get back on my feet…but it was’nt easy…no thanks to the DWP either…

they should be there to help you anyway they can as they are there for you…you aint for them…which is what i felt like…

its all a numbers game to them…they wont understand that palming you off onto any old job…you’ll be back in the same week

because your not giving 100% commitment to giving it ago…

i had to go strawberry picking in mid JAN on the moores while it was snowing…or else they would have cut my £46.00 allowence.

ohh yea…even tho it was 25 miles away in the middle of nowere and i had absolutley no transport…all i got was…’‘whatever you spend…we will refund you’’…but wait a minute…i get 46 quid a week…A WEEK …to cloth myself…feed myself…keep myself warm…keep my electric going…pay tv licence…do my washing with …ect…ect…

what do i think of the DWP?..why dont they go and fffffffffuuu…themselves…!!!..

and btw…i had to hitchike…

hope this helps:D.


My wife was let go from her company 3 weeks ago. She has never signed on but was told that she should sign on. Spent nearly an hour on the phone and then went in for her interview which took over an hour. Her background is office management/PA and she has worked in hospitality in that capacity. She has had calls from job centre asking if she could do a chef job???

I took a call from them today, they asked for the wife but I told them she wasnt in. I asked if I could pass on a message and they went into quite a bit of details about her claim and how she has had the wrong advice about her claim. The thing is at no stage did they ask who I was, I could have been a plumber doing work in the house.

Not that impressed.

Thanks, this sort of thing does help. Please keep them coming. As for Johnse1 and the DLA form taking 9 days to arrive, I can explain that, but you wouldn’t believe me. OK, let’s have a go - seriously, I can’t be sure this is true, but this is how the process was explained recently …

  1. The phone call is received by a call centre and the conclusion of the call is that a DLA form needs to be sent.

  2. The call receiver writes out the name and address on an envelope, and records on the envelope the type form that needs to go in the envelope.

  3. The envelope goes into a bin, and at the end of the day they are collected.

  4. They are taken to someone who checks that the right size envelope has been written on.

  5. They are finally taken to a customer service section which double check.

  6. They are then taken to a different office about 50 miles away which is one of the Department’s main document distribution centres where someone puts the form in the envelope and posts it.

9 days is pretty good going I understand!

There are many things my organisation does that beggars belief which is one reason I want to be in a position to make more of a difference!


There are many things my organisation does that beggars belief which is one reason I want to be in a position to make more of a difference!

More power to you for wanting change.

I tried that in local government and it took me years to realise it was an endemic mindset from councilors up to street weepers that needed changing. I’m just about ready to start the long holiday having achieved a bit, but not enough.

I’m not sure how you engender a process of re thinkink and positive attitude to changing entrenched ideas, archaic practises and gob smacking inefficiencies.

It sure sounds as if the call centre(s) and counter staff might take a bit more “ownership” or the callers problems.

Just been very pleasantly surprised by a call centre for a bank solving a problem and phoning back, as promised, to tell me the outcome at the time they said they said they would call.

At the other end, I’ve recently told a councillor he was talking nonsense and he should be more trusting of his professional staff to do their job professionaly. Fire them if they don’t, was the rider. Don’t think many people had been straight forward and up front to him before.

Don’t know if that helps, or if I’ve just unburdened myself .

I’ve not had any delings so nothing constructive to say. Just wanted to wish you luck :slight_smile:

The only dealings that I’ve had, is that I wanted to check that my parents were claiming all that they are entitled to claim being pensioners.

The answer was, we are not allowed to tell you want you are entitled to claim, you have to find out and tell us.

Fat lot of good advice that was…

good luck with it G, and fair play for wanting to try and make a change I just think its a losing battle as ALL the government depts know sod all and dont help you, right down to claiming from the council depts not talking to each other, I was off on the sick long term last year the council messed my claim up yet even without my signature on anything I OWE the £700 :wink: figure that out.

johnse your a star mate with your reply about 1 arm, imagine the look on their face when you said that to them :slight_smile:

I started working for them in June. Have just been informed that due to management changes myself and the other 6 new joins will be moving to the phone section. Despite just completing the income support training with 100% accuracy on payments.

But I’ll admit that some of the things I’ve seen have been a bit frightening, some of the staff are clueless and lazy, these are the staff that are being left on section, where as the staff that actually put in time and effort to provide a quality service are sent to work another section.

So in short, there’s an old business proverb. “Treat the staff well and you’ll get the best from them”. and it’s true at the moment with this news of our switch to telephony we are left feeling like numbers, this feeling could easily be transferred to the customers we are there to help.

Thanks for everyone who made the effort to tell me about their experiences. The experiences offered here and those from elsewhere certainly helped illustrate some of my points. Things went OK, if anything it seemed too easy.

I won’t know the outcome until later next week. I confess I don’t feel very confident but I have no idea what they were really looking for, but based on the last time I got promoted, that might be a good thing!

Although it’s too late to change anything - good luck, and I hope you get the job


Thanks to everyone who helped. However, regrettably, I didn’t get the job. Found out last week. The feedback was pretty good though. I met the standard for promotion and for the job, but there was another candidate who had more (I think “any” would have trumped me!) recent relevant experience. The members of the board were pleased to see I had done some “customer insight” research etc. so it wasn’t a wast. Apparently there were 36 candidates, the short list for interview was five.

All is not lost, on coming back from the interview the other week, just in case, I bunged in an application for another job on promotion working across Government promoting the ageing society agenda - that is, doing things like focusing health services, local authorities etc more on older people (50% of the population is over 50 and there are now more people over 65 than there are people under 16 for the first time ever). I have an interview at 11.45 tomorrow. Wish me luck!

Good luck! Sorry you didn’t get the DWP job… I was just thinking about this topic today, mainly because I found out this morning that you can apply for DLA on line… sadly the DWP didn’t think to mention this when I spoke to them… but in some ways it’s a relief as their application for claiming benefits on line is crap - it crashed 4 times this morning while I was using it, and I think they’ve chosen the smallest possible buttons for next etc…just to annoy those disabled people struggling to pilot a mouse around the site:)

I hope it is not still the online DWP claiming system I had something to do with c2001. My involvement was minor as it was operational delivery and not policy, but I remember that having gone through the process, when you got to the end you still had to print the form out, sign it, and post it! This was considered a great advance!

Just noticed that the new online claiming system has a software compatibility statement that suggests it is stuck in a timewarp circa 2004 which is probably why it crashes. It looks like Vista/Mac/Unix or a browser above IE6 or FF1 has you on your own!

Well I got made redundant on Friday (Woolies head office) and was advised to phone up to claim job seekers allowance, filled in a load of details online instead and they will ring me tomorrow or Tuesday - warns you to expect the call to last 40 mins :w00t:

BTW if anyone knows and Business Analyst / Business Systems Analyst jobs going…

Unlucky mate, good luck with the DWP…I hope their jobs department is slightly better than the Disability section…

Sorry to hear about the Woolies job. Hope you get something else soon.

If you were in the Woolies pension scheme, my current job is about making sure you get something when you get to pension age even if the employer leaves the pension scheme underfunded when they go under.