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Date: 15.06.2010
From: nicky

Subject: ESA customer service

Hi everyone,

Last Friday morning I had the misfortune of talking on the phone to a very sarcastic and almost accusing man from tribunal services for Employment and Support Allowance.

I have been waiting a year for my case to get to tribunal. My health has rapidly become worse due to the RA,OA and fibromyalgia. This means(I know many of you do)I find it painful as well as tiring, to use public transport. On Friday I was asking if the department would help to pay back the money I will pay(tribunal this fri) as I will have to arrive by taxi as I cannot walk or stand for long and due to the side effects of my meds.
The guy I spoke to said `how do you normally get about?'
I said `I have to get a taxi when I go to the GP, hospital or to buy food with my daughter'
The guy then said `well how do you manage to pay for taxis all over on ESA?'
I said `I am housebound a very large part of the week and sometimes do not even get to go out with my daughter to buy food!' so what does he think I do with it? I was so upset by his comments. I phoned back shortly after to make a complaint. The lady I spoke to could not believe it and I have now sent in a complaint. I felt worthless to be honest. Sorry to rant everyone. Dont know if I was just being over sensitive or not.

(((hugs folkes)))
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Date: 15.06.2010
From: Sal

Subject: Re: ESA customer service

Unbelievable! Was he accusing you of faking or fiddling the system or both? Not only they don't want to pay your fare they also tell you that you can't afford to take a taxi on ESA. None of his damn business what you do with your ESA. You can spend the whole lot on taxis if you want. Doesn't he understand that public transport doesn't work for some of us with arthritis when you have to stand around waiting for a bus or train and then try and keep ones balance or struggle to get in and out of seats, never mind get to and from the stations/stops. What planet is he living on?

No, you were not being over-sensitive. You were right to make a complaint. I can't believe either that you are having to go a tribunal with all your health problems.

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