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to think Atos are beyond a joke?

(31 Posts)
SilverDragonfly1 Fri 22-May-15 18:55:33

Just called to try and find out something- anything!- about the formal complaint I had to make about an assessor almost six weeks ago. Their systems are down, just like yesterday. The guy I spoke to admitted that the systems have been down all week and that they haven't been able to do any work to process assessments or complaints during that time. Apparently they will be up on Tuesday.

This is not the first time I've called about something important only to hear 'the systems are down'. How could anybody in charge find it acceptable for a moment?


ollieplimsoles Fri 22-May-15 18:57:26

flowers the whole system is crap and just doesn't work, ive said it on previous threads, hate atos with a passion.

What was the assessor doing that warranted a complaint?


Icimoi Fri 22-May-15 18:58:04

Hav they got a formal complaint system set out on their website (or elsewhere), and if so, is there a way you can escalate your complaint up that system? I would aim to go right to the top if I were you. And maybe send a further formal complaint to the DWP. And definitely contact your MP.

SilverDragonfly1 Fri 22-May-15 19:12:33

Can't go into too much detail in public, but the assessment was incorrect in almost every conceivable way. Full of near identical copied and pasted statements (I know, because the same spelling and grammar mistakes showed up every time) which had nothing to do with the questions or answers. My polite way of putting it was 'full of inaccuracies and omissions'...

ici I am following their procedure, but it can't progress further until they have replied to the points I raised to start with.

Have been posting on the MH board, but I don't think it's really the appropriate place (it is a claim for a mental health issue) as I worry it might stress out other MH claimants facing the process.

AIBU is probably not ideal either, considering how sensitive and emotional I feel about the situation!

SilverDragonfly1 Fri 22-May-15 19:13:44

And my MP is a Conservative puppet who thinks this type of thing is a good idea...

26Point2Miles Fri 22-May-15 19:20:15

Well they can't help systems being down can they?

Ours are often 'down'. Modern tech sometimes has issues that can't be helped.

Icimoi Fri 22-May-15 19:23:32

Still, your MP can't be seen to condone total incompetence and the lack of an adequate complaint system, Silver. I suggest you make him/her do some work for you as his constituent.

SilverDragonfly1 Fri 22-May-15 19:23:58

The people who work on the phones certainly can't help it. The people who actually choose which system to use certainly can. One that regularly goes down for extended periods needs to be changed, especially if the company is doing something as vital as Atos (although since they've essentially been dumped now for incompetence, maybe they can't afford it!)

SilverDragonfly1 Fri 22-May-15 19:24:50

I will give it a go then Ici, at least it will pass the time.

TestingTestingWonTooFree Fri 22-May-15 19:25:15

Working for a govt dept with IT run by atos, I would be willing to believe them that the systems are down. I know of conservative MPs who have helped individual benefit claimants, so don't assume yours won't help. Also worth trying cab/mind or other charities that know about benefits.

Icimoi Fri 22-May-15 19:26:44

Are you sure you can't progress further, Silver? In dealing with local government complaints, for instance, our council has a three stage system. When they hadn't dealt with stage one within their own time limits, I simply told them I wanted to escalate it to stage two and add in a complaint about their failure at stage one. The whole thing ended up with the local government ombudsman who upheld both my original complaint and my complaint about the failures of the council's complaints system.

Icimoi Fri 22-May-15 19:29:20

26point2, ATOS can certainly help having a crappy IT system which they don't maintain properly, and they can also help having inadequate staff to deal with IT failures reasonably quickly. They are making a fortune from running (or pretending to run) this system, it's not too much to ask that they invest enough to ensure that it works. As matters stand, if OP isn't getting what she's entitled to, the DWP is breaking the law, so they should be cracking the whip with ATOS as well.

SilverDragonfly1 Fri 22-May-15 19:46:17

I don't disbelieve them at all Testing.

I have written to him now and put in a bit about how I realise he is a Conservative MP with a history of strong support for his party's policies (how's that for diplomacy??) but I don't believe he would condone this etc etc (I absolutely think he would condone it, but hopefully he is smart enough to realise it wouldn't look good if he said so).

Can you tell I have had dealings with him before?

SilverDragonfly1 Fri 22-May-15 19:47:18

I'm not the claimant btw, but have to do all this stuff for them due to their MH problems.

expatinscotland Fri 22-May-15 19:49:21

Wait till they roll out that stupid Universal Credit nationwide.

YouTheCat Fri 22-May-15 19:51:12

I can well believe it. It took them 4 months to process ds's claim for ESA. 4 months of total incompetence where they sent the wrong forms repeatedly and to 3 separate wrong addresses.

SilverDragonfly1 Fri 22-May-15 20:02:29

I think we will be waiting a while yet expat :D

We have a whole 'sent to the wrong address' paragraph in our complaint, You. In our case, the appointment letter, which meant we only turned up at all because I had called to ask what was taking so long (it was almost a year at this point) and had no time to ask for it to be recorded. The worst mistake I have ever made, hands down. And then the copy of the assessment report, which I'm sure the lady 35 DOORS DOWN enjoyed browsing through before she brought it round.

YouTheCat Fri 22-May-15 20:09:06

Seems it's common practice then. It is awful how they treat genuine, ill people. I'd bet my bottom dollar it is 'policy' to delay things like this.

FlabulousChix Fri 22-May-15 21:17:06

Always refuse to see a jumped up nurse. When I went five years ago I insisted on seeing a qualified doctor. Nurses aren't qualified to diagnose on treat so how would they be qualified to do an assessment is beyond me.

ChuffinAda Fri 22-May-15 21:22:34

I got a letter from ATOS today saying they've been passed my claim and whilst they aim to process it in 16 weeks they can't guarantee it will be handled in this time frame so it make take considerably longer.


FlumptyDumpty Fri 22-May-15 21:25:56

ATOS can certainly help having crappy systems - they are an IT company! That's their core business. Says it all, really.

SilverDragonfly1 Fri 22-May-15 21:48:08

I don't have the least problem with seeing a Nurse or even a physiotherapist, as long as they write a truthful report and don't prevent the client from talking about the problems they have with activities due to social phobia, agoraphobia and BPD by saying 'Oh, I only need to know what physical problems you have!'

Not writing four inaccurate sentences and then copy pasting them throughout the report regardless of relevancy would also be a plus.

Jetgir1 Sat 23-May-15 00:51:11

Atos are a waste of space but its the system which sucks. We were told they frequently overbook to hit targets resulting in waits of up to 3 hours. When people get peeved and leave it doesn't count as atos fault so targets are still hit rolls eyes we waited 9 months for an assessment appt then 3 hours in a waiting room to be seen. They watch you like a frikkin hawk as you wait as well... The whole process is uber stressful and full of fails. I really felt for the receptionist. The abuse she got because someone else has overbooked everything due to targets? No way could I do that job.

worridmum Sat 23-May-15 01:17:49

Atos are soooo far beyond a joke they are a bloody disgraice and I cannot belive anyone would work for them and still claim to have bloody morals.

All the Atos people that have been involved with during my terminally ill father have me regretting that I am from the same speices.

With some of the comments to my father (late stage bowel cancer) why dont you man up and do a job you have all your limbs and do not look disabled

Oh and the pearl of one was because he can walk to the bathroom and hold his arms up in the air he perfectly healthy and fit for work dispate being on chomophy every 3 days .......

Sorry for the rant but I dont know how the workers at Atos can sleep at night the way the majority of them act

SilverDragonfly1 Sun 24-May-15 13:00:25

Well, I did get a letter yesterday from Atos (again dated 10 days before I received it). Their response is that they are still investigating the complaint and will respond again on some future, undisclosed occasion.

So does this mean:

A) they have realised the serious nature of the complaint which if upheld will call into question the professional competence of their employee and by extension their own training and recruiting process, which could not be properly investigated in only 20 days,


B) They haven't even started looking at it yet and just sent a generic reply in order to restart the clock.

Stay tuned...

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