Q. What is your preferred way of getting in touch with DWP and what is important to you when you get in touch with them?
In answer to your question of how I would prefer to get in touch with the DWP, I would not say the answer is an "either, or". It would depend entirely on why I was needing to get in touch with you. Being on UC I have had occasion to use both the phone and the journal. I have generally used the journal to leave a note of something I feel will be very important further down the line, whereas generally I would use the phone to try to hurry something along that I feel is urgent. For example, when I reclaimed UC last year I had to have a telephone interview with my local job centre and was advised this would happen at 12.30 on a particular day. I waited for an hour for the phone call to come through. When it still hadn't I used the journal to record that I had been waiting, my phone was on full sound/full volume and had no call. I felt I had to do this because I am aware that failing to attend such interviews could end my benefit claim. I eventually got a call back later, with apologies. However, I feel if this had been the other way around and I had failed to attend the interview the outcome could have been very different. I have used the telephone before when I had to challenge a previous award of UC when I was not paid in my first assessment period. I had attended another face to face interview and advised the job centre work coach that I wanted a mandatory reconsideration of their decision and I was told they could not do this because of some "technical issue". So I had to chase this on the phone. Even then I was not allowed to have a MR done. I was passed from pillar to post and given conflicting advice. This went over a period of a few weeks where I had to keep ringing to chase them. Eventually I just did the MR on my journal to beat the time limit, and won my appeal several months later. So I would say I would use the journal to have a record of important things, and use the phone to try to chase up urgent things.