Sunday, 21 April 2013

Please think before complaining.

I just saw this posted on one of the benefits groups.

Feel Free to let Atos know how you feel about them .
They have a Freepost address it will cost them to hear your opinion :

Letters , Postcards ,Parcels , should be sent to the following address

Please keep all mailing polite and legal .

Atos
Wyman Dillon Research
Freepost (B57607)
Bristol
B535 3YA

Please share the address.

My ONLY gripe with Atos is that their receptionists were too slow, therefore claiming that we arrived late when we didn't, and that they (Atos) tried to fob me off on my own GP for the WCA. Hardly what the benefits group are expecting people to complain about, is it. 

What they really need to be doing is complaining to the DWP!!! Atos aren't responsible for the things people have problems with. It's our flipping government!

By all means,  write to Atos at the above address IF you have a problem with them, but PLEASE check first that your gripe is with them, and not with the DWP.

  • It is the DWP, not Atos, who determine how frequently you are assessed.
  • It is the government, not Atos, who chose the ridiculous computerised system that is used (by Atos) to perform the assessments.
  • It is that computerised system, that makes the assumptions based on the boxes ticked, that usually piss people off - assumed to be "lies told  by the assessor".
  • It is the DWP, not Atos, who decide whether or not to use the recommendation that comes from the Work Capability Assessment.
  • etc.

Yes, I know there are times when the assessors do tell lies. But, before complaining to Atos about it, look carefully at the paperwork and try to determine whether it really is the assessor telling lies, or whether it is a tick box on a computer making assumptions. 

My own Atos assessor did include some blatant lies at my medical, so I did place an official complaint. These lies were mostly regarding the physical; she claimed that I was able to do things that I had not been able to do on the day, for example how far forward I was able to bend. She also claimed that I had no walking aids, when I had my stick, and that I walked with no problem to the assessment room, when I clearly fell against one of the doors. Most of what the assessor inputs manually (and therefore personally) is regarding your physical, and your personal appearance and behaviour at the assessment.

When reports contain incorrect things about these, it is fair to make a complaint to Atos, but when a report says, for example "Can fill a front loading washing machine", when the assessor has asked you no such thing, it is simply because the computer has made an assumption. By all means, go through the report and note where it is incorrect for your appeal, but there is no point in complaining about these to Atos; the government (the DWP I believe) picked that computer system, so it is their responsibility!

Similarly, if the report says "walks dog daily", when you did not tell the assessor this, consider whether you told the assessor that you have a pet dog. The computer assumes that you care for the pets you tell the assessor about; so if you are unable to walk the dog you need to specify this to the assessor. Incidentally, if you have a cat, or small animal, the computer assumes that you are capable of regular planning; you are able to feed and care for this animal in the appropriate manner every day (even if the animal is dead in it's cage, rotting, at home). You need to be specific with your assessor; that is your responsibility, not Atos, and not the DWP.

If in doubt, make a complaint to Atos, but also make a complaint to the DWP.

Incidentally, the Atos address isn't exactly secret information. If you phone them, telling them you wish to make a complaint they'll send you the GL24 form (which you can also find online), and a free post envelope.

Atos aren't a company with the primary aim of doing harm to people. They are an Information Technology Services Company. Computers!

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