Job Centres are a pain. When I finished work at age 60 (Redundancy + Early Retirement), I wanted to know how I stood with regard to NI stamps. So as we had a JC just down the road I thought this would be the obvious place to enquire. WRONG. The person on the enquiry desk said I had to register for JS allowance etc. when all I wanted was some information. A search on the internet gave me the information I needed along with leaflets etc. I went back to the JC and asked why they hadn't just given me these leaflets and was told that they weren't aware that the information was in them.
Second time I had to visit was because the Tax Office informed me that they had no record that I was married - only 32 years!. Could I take our Marriage Certificate into the JC for verification, so off I trotted only to be told I would have to make an appointment. Did this and turned up well in time. Sat on a chair across the room from an 'advisor' who sat and twiddled his thumbs for 20 minutes until exactly the time of my appointment, then called me up. When I showed him the letter he didn't know what to do and had to phone the Tax Office, which resulted in him taking a Photocopy of the letter and Certificate and putting it in an envelope. What a waste of time, I could have sent in a Photocopy.
And there was me thinking that the work of the DWP had been contracted out :O(
Even contacting the local income tax office,now results in a 300 mile away phone call to be informed that the forms will be sent within the next couple of weeks. Previously our local tax office had a public reception area, were all queries were answered there and then. Alas not any longer. Now thats called progress and making life easier.
Going back to the original question about mobile costs. I notice quite a number of our seeking work unemployed, seem to be able to have very long conversations on their mobiles, especially to the annoyance of people in close proximity to them. Only the other day, a young girl and her friend got on the same bus as myself, both were using mobile phones from commencement of the journey to the end, thirty minutes in total. The charges doesn't seem to bother very much then!.