April 06, 2004

Phoneseeker's Allowance

Just suppose you live in North London, and you want to make an appointment to claim Jobseeker's Allowance (That's what 'The Dole' is called these days). Where would you phone?

a) Your local Jobcentre.
b) A man in Wales.
c) A man in India.

The correct answer is b), although maybe by the time you read this, the lines will have been redirected to c).

Now, suppose again, that you try to phone someone in Wales, but you are on hold for 25 minutes, so you give up, and walk up to the local Jobcentre to make an appointment. When you get there, do they...

a) Welcome you with open arms, and happily make you an appointment.
b) Politely explain, that even though your appointment will be at their office, only people in Wales are allowed to set up the appointments.

Yes, you guessed correct, it's b) again.

Finally, I'd like you to imagine that you tried the number in Wales again, and after thirty minutes you actually got through and spoke to a man who asked you lots and lots of questions. After these questions did he say...

a) 'Thank you very much, your appointment is on Wednesday.
b) 'We need to ask you some more questions, but I can't do it now, so someone will call you back tomorrow at 9.10am and ask you some more questions'.

I think I don't even need to tell you the answer to that one. What's more, it's now 10:30am and I can't say I'm overly surprised, but yes, there has been no phonecall...

Posted by paul at April 6, 2004 10:38 AM