The Pension, Disability and Carers Service or PDCS was formed in April 2008 from the amalgamation of The Pension Service and the Disability and Carers Service and is responsible for delivering a range of age and disability related benefits. Following the formation of PDCS, a customer survey was developed to monitor satisfaction with the service and to ensure that the ‘customer voice’ could be heard when it comes to operational and policy planning. This report gives an overview of the findings from the customer survey in 2010/11.
The survey was designed to include only contacting customers. Customers who received benefit payments, but had no interactions with the service beyond this, are excluded. Interviews were conducted by telephone with customers who had contact with PDCS in the previous six months and fieldwork was completed in two sweeps between September 2010 and April 2011.
Customers were asked whether their enquiry had taken longer than expected and around one in five (18 per cent) said that it had. However, DCS customers were less likely to be satisfied with the time taken for their enquiry to be concluded in 2010/11 than in 2009/10 (77 per cent compared with 82 per cent). This seems to be particularly notable for DLA customers where satisfaction with the length of their most recent enquiry has fallen ten percentage points from 75 per cent to 65 per cent.
As in 2009/10, 90 per cent of those who received a decision on their enquiry felt that it was clearly explained to them.
Customers were also asked how complex they had found the enquiry process and whether or not it was more or less complicated than they were expecting. The proportion of DCS customers who found the enquiry complicated has increased from 33 per cent in 2009/10 to 37 per cent in 2010/11, while for TPS this has remained stable at 18 per cent. In fact, for DCS, the proportion of ‘relieved’ customers (those who found the enquiry less complicated than expected) has fallen from 14 per cent to nine per cent, while the proportion ‘resigned to complexity’ increased from 19 per cent to 23 per cent.
Only 37 per cent of DCS customers had their problems resolved by the time of interview in 2010/11 compared with 50 per cent in 2009/10.