No. Not those websites. Those are pretty decent; informative and easy to read. No. I’m talking about the website behind this Inquirer story. The website you are supposed to use to claim the benefits the former websites so informatively inform you about. Read it and be prepared to be absolutely flabbergasted by IT-[auto mod] of the very highest (ie the very lowest) order. This is how it starts out, at least at the time of writing this post:
About this service
You can only use this service for:
Attendance Allowance (AA)
Disability Living Allowance (DLA adult and child)
Overseas State Pension – if you are a non-UK resident (including Channel Islands).
Rather ominously, it then goes on to say:
This service doesn’t work with some modern browsers and operating systems. Tell me more
We are considering how best to provide this service in future.
The service does not work properly with Macs or other Unix-based systems even though you may be able to input information.
You are likely to have problems if you use Internet Explorer 7, 8, 9 and 10, Windows Vista or a smartphone. Clearing temporary internet files may help but you may wish to claim in another way.
There is also a high risk that if you use browsers not listed below, including Chrome, Safari or Firefox, the service will not display all the questions you need to answer. This is likely to prevent you from successfully completing or submitting the form. You may wish to claim in another way.
OK. So let’s see what systems it does manage to negotiate:
What the service was designed to work with
The service was designed to work with the following operating systems and browsers. Many of these are no longer available.
Microsoft Windows 98:
Internet Explorer versions 5.0.1, 5.5 and 6.0
Microsoft Windows ME
Internet Explorer version 5.5 and 6.0
Microsoft Windows 2000
Internet Explorer version 5.0.1, 5.5 and 6.0
Microsoft Windows XP
Internet Explorer 6.0
What? You do have to be joking, right?
“Many of these are no longer available.”
What the [auto mod] (pardon my French) is the Department for Work and Pensions playing at?
What the hell makes it think it has the right to implement/perpetuate such a frightful piece of web estate in order that the disabled, those in need of care and pensioners various can access online services and exert their solemn rights, via insecure (not to say unobtainable) software such as Windows 98 and Netscape?
For Christ’s sake, this has to be the most unpleasant piece of casual government cruelty to those least advantaged, to those least able to defend themselves, in many a cold-comfort moon.
So the story's been around for quite a while then. :-( Sorry to be the bearer of stale news. What's more astonishing, then, is that nothing is being done about it. Is there any chance at all that rubbish websites are being used to make it deliberately challenging for people either abroad or with other access difficulties to exert their rights?
More likely, of course, is that the government simply doesn't care. And as I said in a comment on my own blog, there's probably legislation which covers the importance of properly informing people of their rights - but nothing which covers the tools and means which government then puts in the paths of claimants.
Post by Patrick Torsney on May 6, 2013 8:43:06 GMT
But it's really strange isn't it, particularly when you think about the government's digital engagement strategies. This just seems totally at odds with it. Like you say Mil, probably not a priority for them