Which DWP number are you struggling to get through on? Benefits and Work wants to find out more about which numbers have the longest wait times and also whether things improve with the introduction of ‘almost human’ AI chatbots answering calls.
Back in February, the DWP announced it was introducing Conversational Platform software to answer telephone calls. The DWP described the voices claimants would hear as ‘almost human’.
Perhaps not coincidentally, the following month the DWP announced that it was closing 41 offices and that some staff would be redeployed to different roles. The jobs affected are ‘back of house’ such as staff who answer telephones.
It may well be the case that wait times fall as a result of the introduction of AI. But it’s also possible that the actual responses callers get will be of little help because they are simply talking to sophisticated FAQ software which can only give pre-programmed responses and can’t deal with follow-up questions.
As a first step we need to find out which are the numbers that you struggle with most and is it solely that no-one answers or do you get unhelpful responses, get cut-off before you’ve finished, get offers to call you back that never happen or get answers that are just plain wrong.
And do you know if you are talking to a human?
Some of the most likely suspects are:
Universal Credit helpline
Telephone: 0800 328 5644
PIP enquiry line
Telephone: 0800 121 4433
Jobcentre Plus for ESA change of circumstances
Telephone: 0800 169 0310
But there may be other numbers related to the benefits we deal with that are a problem for you. Please let us know your experiences in the comments section below.