14 August 2013
Formal Complaint Stage 1 – Travel expenses not reimbursed
Today I attended my “Exit” interview with my Work Programme adviser in ??????, at which my adviser refused to reimburse my travel expenses of £5.10.
She explained that I could not be reimbursed because I was not willing to sign something confirming receipt.
It is my firm view that my adviser acted incorrectly.
In the past my travel expenses have been reimbursed without my signing anything. In fact, the same adviser reimbursed them at my previous Work Programme appointment without my signing anything. When I told her I would be writing to you about the matter she remained adamant that no expenses would be paid unless I signed for them.
I Please reimburse my travel expenses of £5.10 plus the cost of a second class stamp (£5.60 in total).
II Please confirm whether you agree with me that my adviser acted incorrectly by refusing to reimburse my travel expenses.
Finally, in ‘Our customer complaints process ‘ it is stated:
‘Let us know how you prefer to be contacted – by phone, email or letter and we will try and get back to you in this way.”
I would prefer to be contacted by letter.
1st October 2013
Dear Chief Executive
Formal Complaint Stage 3 – Travel expenses not reimbursed
I am not satisfied with the two responses I have received to my letters of complaint concerning the withholding of travel expenses which I incurred whilst attending my Work Programme “Exit” interview on 14th August 2013. Consequently, I would like you to consider my complaint.
Mr ????(1st tier contractor) maintains that WP provider properly withheld my travel expenses, and refers to internal policies in his letter dated 18th September 2013 to justify their withholding. It is my view, however, that the internal policies he refers to are no justification. I offered my bus ticket to my Work Programme advisor – she should have inspected it and if she considered that all was in order she should have reimbursed me.
I would very much appreciate that you acknowledge receipt of my letter and I would prefer to be contacted by letter.
6th March 2014
The Independent Case Examiner
PO Box 209
Dear Independent Case Examiner
Complaint: Travelling expenses not paid by WP provider
On the 14th August 2013 I attended my “Exit” interview. My adviser refused to reimburse my bus fare of £5.10 because I refused to sign a particular document. I am not satisfied with their final response to my complaint and consequently would like you to consider it.
Although WP provider has offered to reimburse my bus fare, they are still demanding that I sign something. Their attempt at redress fails to acknowledge that they acted inappropriately. My complaint is not simply that they failed to reimburse my bus fare, but that they demanded I sign something I did not have to sign.
The DWP Central Freedom of Information Team disclosed in a response dated 2nd September 2013 ref. VTR 3940 (3798) that for a Work Programme participant:
“There is no requirement to sign any documents presented by the Provider and no sanction would be applied to a claimant who refuses to do so.”
I would define my complaint thus:
WP provider acted inappropriately by demanding that I sign a document in order to reclaim the travel expenses of £5.10 that I incurred in attending an adviser interview on 14th August 2013.
I look forward to hearing from you and would prefer that all communication be by letter.