Not the highest standard of service
Our first example comes from a reply to a complaint we received on 20th September. The apology for not providing us with the “highest standard of service” explained that “We received your email of 28th August 2018, however the clerk who had sight of this email did believe he had answered it to inform you that the file was at Manchester with the Judge. The clerk has checked his computer and due to IT issues, it appears his email did not send correctly.”
The second example comes from a reply to a complaint we received on 1st October. This offers sincere apologies as “According to our records these emails have not been printed and linked to the file nor has any record of the email been recorded. HMCTS are currently experiencing heavy workloads that have also been exacerbated by some I.T. issues. I have spoken to the team leader responsible for this area of work and he has ensured to me that he will be speaking to his team regarding this matter and will inform them to be more vigilant in the future when dealing with emails.”
So, the “IT issues” mean staff cannot tell if emails have been sent, cannot print emails and cannot make a record of emails having been received.
Should we be worried?
Should we be worried by this? Well the Tribunal Service use the .gov.uk portal. A portal the Government says is fit for purpose for Universal Credit claimants and now for the submission of appeals. But can given the issues we have seen can we really have confidence that it is?
You have to laugh, or you’ll cry
Staying with the delightful Tribunal Service this week we asked them for a progress report on an application for leave to appeal to the Upper Tribunal. A clerk helpfully replied that a Judge deals with applications in date order. That makes sense. So, I asked what date the Judge was up to only to get the reply “we aren’t allowed to tell you that”. I’ve asked why and am waiting for an answer!
Would love to hear your experiences of the Tribunal Service. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org