Press release

Publication of DWP research report 770: Understanding the experiences of PDCS customers engaged with the formal complaints process

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Report on how Pension Disability and Carers Service (PDCS) customers engage with its complaints process.

The Department for Work and Pensions is publishing a report today on how Pension Disability and Carers Service (PDCS) customers engage with its complaints process. PDCS administers benefits previously administered by The Pensions Service (TPS) and the Disability and Carers Service (DCS) Agencies.

The research is an in-depth review of customers’ experiences of the PDCS complaints process and represents a direct response to findings in the NAO Report published in July 2008 entitled “DWP - Handling Customer Complaints.” This report recommended that DWP “should seek to gain a better understanding of customers’ complaints through learning from their experiences and satisfaction with the complaints handling process.” The research is to be used to address identified barriers and challenges.

The key findings include:

  • Some customers felt that making a complaint was relatively straightforward though others reported some degree of difficulty
  • A major frustration was being passed between staff and not getting to speak to the correct person
  • Respondents were frequently unsure who to direct their complaint to
  • Customers were frustrated and stressed at the time it took to resolve a complaint
  • Staff attitude was rarely singled out as the major source of complaint but instead attracted a mixture of positive and negative comments
  • Customer experience of the complaints handling process is closely bound up with the outcome of the process
  • Customers frequently gave up on the complaints process despite not having their complaint satisfactorily resolved

Notes to Editors:

  1. The DWP research report, ‘Understanding the experiences of PDCS customers engaged with the formal complaints process’ is available at http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd5/rports2011-2012/rrep770.pdf
  2. The report authors are Stephen Syrett, David Etherington, Ignatius Ekanem and Pamela Macaulay