The Planet Outsourced
Sorry. I’m going to be a parrot today. I say, I’m going to be a parrot Audrey.
Would you like to know how I spent my respite morning today? Every now and again I get some leave from Planet Social Care. It gives me a chance to do other important things (like clean behind the cooker. Or iron my smalls). Trouble is, I often find myself arriving on another planet. Planet Outsourcing. It must be rotten karma, because today I found myself there twice.
First trip – I had to phone the company that Hillingdon outsourced their personal budget prepaid card system to. They changed contracts in December and I’ve yet to work out how to do an online payment with the new company’s system. Hillingdon sent out a four page document telling us what we couldnt do with the personal budget but overlooked explaining how you do use it. Everytime I’ve tried to do a transfer from the card to my account, I get an error message ” your payment application has failed”. So, today I spoke to an outsourced woman. It turns out that the link Hillingdon sent to all recepients of a personal budget was the wrong link. I’ve been on the wrong screen. Looks like Hillingdon sent a link to the original template screen that they must have been shown during the tender process. Since then, the prepaid card company have designed a whizzy Hillingdon clients only screen. Great – I am now on the right screen. I ask the woman to stay on the line whilst I try to do a transfer. There’s a bit of a hiccup when I try to input a paid to date because the drop down menu hasnt got a 2015 option yet. Im assured this is no problem – they havent got round to updating their system yet – I can just put a 2014 date in. All done. “Your payment application has failed”. The outsourced woman has no idea why it might have failed. Clutching at straws, she asks me if there is another adult in the house who can check that I’m entering the data correctly! The long and the short of it is that after thirty minutes we give up and do a telephone transfer for the money. After she’s gone off the phone, I think I’ll have one more try online. I changed the dates to a random set, set up a payment to me for £10 and it worked first time.
Next job is to try and have another attempt at sorting out Julie’s work pension. Nine months after her death, we’re still no further forward. HSBC have outsourced their staff pension function to a company called Towers Watson. But HSBC trustees still call all the shots. After months of them deliberating, they have now decided that Steven should be the beneficiary of the pension. I’m cool with that but it means we’re back to square one again and having seen my birth certificate, marriage certificate, childhood photos from Cromer, they now want to see Steven’s birth and adoption certificates, plus the property and affairs deputy court order. I made a complaint to HSBC but received a cursory response informing me that Towers Watson should be the people I complain to. Yet this morning, the woman from the outsourced company batted me away by saying that they only administer the instructions they get from HSBC. Shades of the DWP and Atos!
Time consuming, energy sapping, self important nonsense where nobody is responsible or accountable. I need to locate another, more healthier planet.
From → Social Care