I arrived at Erdington Customer Service Centre (now snazzily sporting a new sign, calling itself “Erdington Advice Centre”), just before it opened at 9am. My advice is to get there early, as otherwise you could be stuck in there for ages.
I had written a letter, to confirm my current circumstances, for rent, Housing Benefit, and Council Tax Benefit purposes. I handed my handwritten letter, along with the letter I’d received from Birmingham City Council (dated 26th May 2017) to the receptionist, who filled out a VERIFICATION STATEMENT to be scanned off with the 2 letters. Then I sat to wait.
When I was handed back the VERIFICATION STATEMENT, and 2 x letters after they’d been scanned off to Birmingham City Council’s Benefits Service a few minutes later, I noticed that the VERIFICATION STATEMENT and the Council letter (dated 26th May 2017) had been stamped with:
[ RECEIVED -6 JUNE 2016 ]
A staff member had then clumsily changed the 2016 to 2017 with a biro! My handwritten letter, that I’d taken the time and the trouble to write, hadn’t been date-stamped at all!
When people have to travel for miles to physically take documents to Erdington Customer Service Centre (aka Erdington Advice Centre), and allowing for the fact that mistakes do happen, staff should at least make the effort to correctly and properly date stamp documents once the mistake has been noticed, not simply correct it with a biro!
I showed the date-stamped items to the receptionist, then she date-stamped my VERIFICATION STATEMENT with the correct date. She refused to correctly date-stamp the other 2 items with today’s date, saying only the VERIFICATION STATEMENT needed to be date-stamped, as they’d all have been scanned off together.
In future, I shall complain if everything isn’t properly date-stamped, as it hardly requires the staff to break into a sweat to correctly date-stamp a couple of extra pages. Unfortunately for me today, I was in a hurry, as I needed to use computer at Jobcentre.
I then walked the hundred yards or so to Erdington Jobcentre.