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New PIP application - Telephone assessment

steadman0steadman0 Member Posts: 4 Listener
Hi so I applied for PIP for the first time a couple of months ago and received a call with a date and time for my telephone assessment. The assessment was supposed to be at 9.15 this morning.

I was ready by the phone waiting for the call this morning. I normally go and make my breakfast around 9 but I didn't want there to be any chance of me missing the call and having to wait weeks for another one so I thought I would eat after the call.

Nearly 2 hours after the appointment I still hadn't received a call so I decided to phone the enquires number that was included in the multiple texts and letters received reminding me of the appointment today.

I spoke to a guy and he was unsure why I hadn't been called. He up looked who was supposed to ring me and placed me on hold while he called them. A few minutes later he came back to say that he couldn't get hold of them and doesn't know why no one contacted me but could see that no one had tried to contact me at all.

He then told me that for whatever reason todays appointment is now cancelled and I will have to phone back next week and book another telephone appointment.

Has anyone else had issues with not being contacted? It is just annoying that what is already a long process is now going to be even longer because they can't stick to appointments that they made.

Replies

  • Cher_ScopeCher_Scope Community Team Posts: 2,472 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @steadman0 and welcome to our online community.

    It sounds like you have had a frustrating morning and there has been a real breakdown in communication.  It will be interesting to see if any of our other members have experienced similar.

    Just to add - I hope you have had your breakfast now!! :) Keep us updated with how it goes.
    Online Community Co-ordinator

    Want to tell us about your experience on the community? Talk to our chatbot and let us know. 
  • wilkowilko Member Posts: 2,159 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello and welcome, it’s always made to look as if you or I the claimant are at fault and have to do the chasing reorganising ect  Its  not fair I know but we have to go with the flow this pandemic has caused a few headaches for companies with call centres to run their customer care. With many now working and firstly having to go through the telephone options only to find non apply to your situation is very annoying when you want to talk to someone and get an answer. Hope your next telephone assessment goes well and on time.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Community champion Posts: 22,214 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi,

    It may have been because they person doing th eassessment was off work today because of illness, which can and does happen for face to face assessments. Hopefully you won't be wait too much longer for a new appointment.
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • janer1967janer1967 Community champion Posts: 6,309 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi Sorry to hear about your missed appointment as Poppy said there could be a good reason for it. Maybe the assessor had an emergency situation to deal with and prevented them reporting in for work and letting their employer know

    I hope you get a new appointment soon it is very frustrating when you are all prepared and it doesnt happen
  • steadman0steadman0 Member Posts: 4 Listener
    Hi all.

    Yes I understand that there was probably a good reason like the person was ill and unable to work that day. However, should that  mean that all of the people waiting for the assessment that day are just left to sit and wait for a call that isn't going to happen? I don't believe so.

    The amount of texts and letters that I received confirming the appointment and all telling me how I need to phone them in advance if I can no longer make the appointment, just annoying that they don't feel the need to tell me when they can't make an appointment though. They could easily be sending out auto text messages informing people that their appointment has had to be cancelled and they will need to ring up and book another one. There is NO excuse or reason to just ignore those people and it wouldn't be accepted anywhere else.


    Well we will see on Tuesday if there was an acceptable reason or not. Hopfully I don't have to wait too long for another appointment.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Community champion Posts: 22,214 Disability Gamechanger
    edited August 2020
    Yes i agree but we are all only human and everyone gets ill sometimes. It's happened to me but i was actually on my way to a face to face assessment when i received the call. Annoying as it is, life does happen and unfortunately, we can't predict what will happen in the next 5 minutes. The texts you received would have been automated.
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 4,988 Disability Gamechanger
    edited August 2020
    steadman0 said:

    Yes I understand that there was probably a good reason like the person was ill and unable to work that day. However, should that  mean that all of the people waiting for the assessment that day are just left to sit and wait for a call that isn't going to happen? I don't believe so.

    The amount of texts and letters that I received confirming the appointment and all telling me how I need to phone them in advance if I can no longer make the appointment, just annoying that they don't feel the need to tell me when they can't make an appointment though. They could easily be sending out auto text messages informing people that their appointment has had to be cancelled and they will need to ring up and book another one. There is NO excuse or reason to just ignore those people and it wouldn't be accepted anywhere else.

    Well we will see on Tuesday if there was an acceptable reason or not. Hopfully I don't have to wait too long for another appointment.
    Could they easily send out text messages though? Using what technology when largely working from home during a pandemic? These companies employ hundreds of people in offices and their circumstances are no different to anyone else right now. Locked down; working from home; managing childcare; managing their own health and that of others. 

    I understand your frustration and the desire to come on a forum; vent and seek some sympathy but the other side of this is you waited 2 hours before querying anything. Who puts themselves through that? If someone gives me an appointment and it doesn’t appear to be happening then I’m querying that within 15 to 30 minutes at the latest and I cannot imagine why anyone would do anything else. 

    So, yes, actually there is an excuse and a there is obviously a reason. They are likely not ignoring you. They’re much more likely to be trying to do a difficult job which got a damn sight harder in the past 20+ weeks. 

    As regards what would be accepted elsewhere I fear you are wrong there too. My employer (3000+) normally asks sickness to be reported within 2 hours of your normal start time. That has been suspended and changed to “as soon as practical”. I doubt my employer is alone in that.

    The world hasn’t ended here. You applied for PIP. Such things are subject to all sorts of random delays at present. You may yet have further and longer delays. Apologies if this seems harsh but it strikes me some significant perspective is required here.
  • steadman0steadman0 Member Posts: 4 Listener
    steadman0 said:

    Yes I understand that there was probably a good reason like the person was ill and unable to work that day. However, should that  mean that all of the people waiting for the assessment that day are just left to sit and wait for a call that isn't going to happen? I don't believe so.

    The amount of texts and letters that I received confirming the appointment and all telling me how I need to phone them in advance if I can no longer make the appointment, just annoying that they don't feel the need to tell me when they can't make an appointment though. They could easily be sending out auto text messages informing people that their appointment has had to be cancelled and they will need to ring up and book another one. There is NO excuse or reason to just ignore those people and it wouldn't be accepted anywhere else.

    Well we will see on Tuesday if there was an acceptable reason or not. Hopfully I don't have to wait too long for another appointment.
    Could they easily send out text messages though? Using what technology when largely working from home during a pandemic? These companies employ hundreds of people in offices and their circumstances are no different to anyone else right now. Locked down; working from home; managing childcare; managing their own health and that of others. 

    I understand your frustration and the desire to come on a forum; vent and seek some sympathy but the other side of this is you waited 2 hours before querying anything. Who puts themselves through that? If someone gives me an appointment and it doesn’t appear to be happening then I’m querying that within 15 to 30 minutes at the latest and I cannot imagine why anyone would do anything else. 

    So, yes, actually there is an excuse and a there is obviously a reason. They are likely not ignoring you. They’re much more likely to be trying to do a difficult job which got a damn sight harder in the past 20+ weeks. 

    As regards what would be accepted elsewhere I fear you are wrong there too. My employer (3000+) normally asks sickness to be reported within 2 hours of your normal start time. That has been suspended and changed to “as soon as practical”. I doubt my employer is alone in that.

    The world hasn’t ended here. You applied for PIP. Such things are subject to all sorts of random delays at present. You may yet have further and longer delays. Apologies if this seems harsh but it strikes me some significant perspective is required here.

    Well the technology to send out text messages is clearly there, and the current pandemic doesn't change anything to be honest. Working from an office or working from home, there is little difference. I mean the pandemic is wrongly being used as an excuse for a lot of issues.

    I mainly came here to see if this was just me being unlucky or if it was a regular occurance from these compaines. I didn't come here for sympathy. Now yes I did wait 2 hours because I knew there was an appointment before mine and they can over run by some time sometimes. Ringing up to find out what is going on because it has been 15 minutes isn't the best thing to do when they could have simply been running late and trying to call you while you're on the phone trying to call them. You're unable to answer and they move on to the next person with you missing your appointment. 

    There could be a vaild reason, but we do not know yet until Tuesday (probably). Working from home really doesn't make it "a damn sight harder" If anything you could say their job has become easier.

    I'm not talking about reporting in sick. Your employer has changed that rule? Good for you, I wasn't talking about that though and it adds nothing to your reply but thanks for informing me of that! The issue isn't reporting in sick, the issue is how the sick persons work for that day is dealt with.

    "Such things are subject to all sorts of random delays at present" - Yes these delays are clearly new and 100% because of the pandemic, everything runs perfectly at all other times...

    No need to apologise, it didn't seem harsh. Just seemed like more words went into the reply than thought. But each to our own opinion on things.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Community champion Posts: 22,214 Disability Gamechanger
    Working from home can certainly be more difficult for some people especially if they have children too. Appointments can be canceled at last minute and not just assessments like this. It's perfectly normal and something that can happen even during "normal" times. You won't be the first person this has happened to and i'm sure you won't be the last.
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 4,988 Disability Gamechanger
    edited August 2020
    Goodness me. Hard to know where to even begin with that so let’s pick it apart point by point:

    1 - no-one said the technology didn’t exist to text. The issue is whether the person who would normally operate it is able to access it when they’re most likely not working from an office. My experience is that is most unlikely not least because many of the licenses for such things are location based. To say that the pandemic is being used as an excuse for a lot of issues is appalling. You have no evidence of that and unless you’re prepared to give multiple examples I suggest you drop such a dreadful assertion. It’s a cheap shot and an insult to thousands of people literally doing the very best they can in difficult circumstances. I’m sorry for your minor inconvenience but whatever sympathy anyone might have had for your issue evaporated right there for me.

    2 - even if the person was in an office my point about sickness, which appears to have completely evaded you, is that most employers have relaxed reporting conditions. The HCP may have been sick; may have had a family emergency etc. but it may also currently be legitimate that whatever this issue was did not have to be reported to their employer immediately. I don’t think that’s unreasonable.

    3 - there was almost certainly no appointment before yours. Telephone assessments can take up to 2 hours. I doubt anyone had one scheduled for 7:15am and wherever you got that idea from it’s patently nonsense. The earliest a HCP appointment starts is 9am. I stand by everything I said about waiting 2 hours. That’s just an excuse for inaction. Frankly if a person were so tolerant of a delay they would wait 2 whole hours before querying it’s rather odd to then go on a forum to complain about it. 

    4 - I would love to know, very specifically, how the HCPs job becomes easier merely because they are working from home. Again it’s a cheap shot which was both ill-informed and unnecessary. Many are part-time; on low pay; living in circumstances where working from home was never anticipated. Their employer often hasn’t been able to get full kit to them and they may not have a confidential space in which to locate it. This forum and others have had several reports of HCPs with poor broadband having reports crash on them; several having to ring from their personal phones and multiple assessments interrupted by managers having to host the calls or children having to be attended to. 

    5 - your comment that more words went into the reply than the thought is based on complete ignorance of my level of knowledge. I deal with these sorts of queries daily. No body said things run perfectly normally. They do not. Many appointments are double booked; over-run or repeatedly cancelled. However, there is no difference in how such issues are dealt with during a pandemic. There is simply no spare capacity. No-one will step in. A serious sense of perspective is required here. 

    6 - worth noting that you have absolutely no right, legal or otherwise, to know why your appointment was cancelled. Their focus, and yours, should be wholly on getting another one booked. There are no guarantees it won’t happen again. Some people on here have had 5 or more cancellations. If your intolerance is so little after this you’re probably not going to make it that far.
  • steadman0steadman0 Member Posts: 4 Listener
    Goodness me. Hard to know where to even begin with that so let’s pick it apart point by point:

    1 - no-one said the technology didn’t exist to text. The issue is whether the person who would normally operate it is able to access it when they’re most likely not working from an office. My experience is that is most unlikely not least because many of the licenses for such things are location based. To say that the pandemic is being used as an excuse for a lot of issues is appalling. You have no evidence of that and unless you’re prepared to give multiple examples I suggest you drop such a dreadful assertion. It’s a cheap shot and an insult to thousands of people literally doing the very best they can in difficult circumstances. I’m sorry for your minor inconvenience but whatever sympathy anyone might have had for your issue evaporated right there for me.

    2 - even if the person was in an office my point about sickness, which appears to have completely evaded you, is that most employers have relaxed reporting conditions. The HCP may have been sick; may have had a family emergency etc. but it may also currently be legitimate that whatever this issue was did not have to be reported to their employer immediately. I don’t think that’s unreasonable.

    3 - there was almost certainly no appointment before yours. Telephone assessments can take up to 2 hours. I doubt anyone had one scheduled for 7:15am and wherever you got that idea from it’s patently nonsense. The earliest a HCP appointment starts is 9am. I stand by everything I said about waiting 2 hours. That’s just an excuse for inaction. Frankly if a person were so tolerant of a delay they would wait 2 whole hours before querying it’s rather odd to then go on a forum to complain about it. 

    4 - I would love to know, very specifically, how the HCPs job becomes easier merely because they are working from home. Again it’s a cheap shot which was both ill-informed and unnecessary. Many are part-time; on low pay; living in circumstances where working from home was never anticipated. Their employer often hasn’t been able to get full kit to them and they may not have a confidential space in which to locate it. This forum and others have had several reports of HCPs with poor broadband having reports crash on them; several having to ring from their personal phones and multiple assessments interrupted by managers having to host the calls or children having to be attended to. 

    5 - your comment that more words went into the reply than the thought is based on complete ignorance of my level of knowledge. I deal with these sorts of queries daily. No body said things run perfectly normally. They do not. Many appointments are double booked; over-run or repeatedly cancelled. However, there is no difference in how such issues are dealt with during a pandemic. There is simply no spare capacity. No-one will step in. A serious sense of perspective is required here. 

    6 - worth noting that you have absolutely no right, legal or otherwise, to know why your appointment was cancelled. Their focus, and yours, should be wholly on getting another one booked. There are no guarantees it won’t happen again. Some people on here have had 5 or more cancellations. If your intolerance is so little after this you’re probably not going to make it that far.

    We are not going to agree on a lot of things because there is limited informaion. My comments are based on the assumption that they are a organised and well managed team.

    I think we are missing each other when it comes to the text message comment. I was not talking about the person that could have been ill sending out a message, neither am I saying that it is 1 persons job to do that  either. If it is a well run department then it could very easily be automated. "My experience is that is most unlikely not least because many of the licenses for such things are location based" I've personally never seen or know of any company that only provides a licence for a particular location such as an office for messaging software. With that being said, even if this was the case, like I said before, this should be an automated message by now, but in the case where they would need to do it manually then there are still work around that could be put in place.


    "To say that the pandemic is being used as an excuse for a lot of issues is appalling" No no, companies using the pandemic as a way to get rid of staff and an excuse for poor customer service is appalling. Me pointing it out isn't. You've already said I have NO evidence of that but then ask me to provice multiple examples. I'm not going to provide exampes, as they aren't relevant to this post or forum, however, that doesn't mean it's not true. Have a look around with open eyes and I'm sure you will find some examples.

    "It’s a cheap shot and an insult to thousands of people literally doing the very best they can in difficult circumstances." My comment about business using covid-19 as an excuse to lay off staff is somehow an insult to thousands of people doing their very best? I wouldn't say the people I am talking about are the same people that you think I am insulting. Also, i already said I wasn't looking for any kind of sympathy, no idea why you decided to mention that again.


    "there was ALMOST certainly no appointment before yours" "I DOUBT anyone had one scheduled for 7:15am" "The earliest a HCP appointment starts is 9am"

    Make your mind up, either I'm talking nonsense and making up an excuse by thinking there was an appointment before mine or not. You're both confindent and unconfident at the same time here. Well I'll clear this up, when I was on the phone I was offered 3 appointment times for that day. 8AM, 9.15AM or 10:30AM. I chose 9.15AM. Now because of the options I was offered I assumed that they started at 8 and were booked into 1 hour 15 minute time slots. Now I know they can over run so I wasn't going to phone up at 9.30 because they could have easily just been running late and like I said, my thinking was that if I try to ring them, they may be trying to rind me at the same time. Things like that don't sit easy with me, so it's easier to wait and make sure.

    I'm done at this point, I'm not going to bother to reply to the rest of your post as it just isn't worth it. You can keep making all the asumptions you want while trying to jump on me for making assumptions.

    I came here to see if anything like this had happened to others and to gain some insight and while there were a couple helpful replies, there also seems to be users that are more interested in attacking a person and their posts rather than helping and answering questions. 

    Feel free to provide some more misinformation to try and attack my response Mike. You will only be wasiting your time though as this will be my last interaction on this forum, I have received what I came here for and there isn't any reason to stick around.

    Thanks all.
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 4,988 Disability Gamechanger
    Worth saying at the outset my posts are never based on assumptions. If they are then I will always say so very clearly.

    We’re not missing each other re text messaging at all. I’ve not suggested the HCP wfh would text. I’ve suggested that those who would normally input sickness absence and maybe trigger semi-automated texts etc. are not in a position to input that data in a timely manner because times for reporting in have been slackened. They then have the double whammy of also wfh in many cases and likely not having access to the system to text anyone. These are not assumptions on my part. We know that some assessment providers have these issues; some HCPs have these issues and some office staff have these issues. 

    Interesting moving of the goalposts re: the pandemic issues. You didn’t originally talk about staff being disposed of. Yes of course that is an issue. Customer service issues? People are doing the best they can and it must be utterly demoralising to have people suggest they’re not whilst having no suggestions about how things could have been handled differently. If they don’t know someone is off yet and they’ve reduced access to their systems what exactly is being suggested? What is the magic bullet beyond constantly suggesting they “ought” to be better. 

    I’m afraid you’ve assumed your appointments are with the same person i.e. the person doing 8am would be the person doing 9:15am. The early slot will be a pandemic exception likely created for someone with caring responsibilities. It’s very unlikely they would be doing consecutive slots. Assessment providers have mostly recognised that telephone appointments are exhausting in a way face to face sometimes is not.

    The reasons you give for waiting 2 hours make no sense. If they rang you when you were ringing them then they leave a voicemail. What exactly would the problem be? 

    You will gather through a search of the site that other people have had similar issues but they’ve made much less of an issue of it. As regards “insight’ well you’re not going to get that from other claimants as they will be no wiser than anyone else as regards the mechanics of it. I’m familiar with the mechanics of it but you wish to disregard my insight. So be it. 


  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing Team, Community Team Posts: 7,746 Scope community team
    edited September 2020
    Good morning @steadman0

    Sadly this isn't uncommon and we had similar reports even before the pandemic. I've even known it where claimants have travelled to face-to-face assessments, waited for quite a while and then been told the assessor is unable to see them. As you said, it's understandable these things happen and they will likely have a good reason, but it doesn't lessen the frustration at the wasting of your time.
    Assessments are very stressful anyway and I know some people need to really build themselves up for them so going through that and for the assessment not going ahead can be really difficult.

    I'm sorry you felt you had to justify waiting two hours to call them and I wanted to add that I would be the same (if not longer). Even when I'm having a repair done, I'll often leave it until the next day as part of me hopes they'll still show up and I don't like to feel I'm bothering them if they're simply running over. 

    I hope you are able to get some answers today and that a new appointment can be made for you ASAP. I think we can all agree it's a long (and frustrating) process anyway and these extra delays certainly don't help!
    Senior Community Partner
    Scope

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