Step 6 - Get organised!
To solve your problem you need to keep records of what went wrong and how you tried to solve it, and gather evidence to prove you are in the right. For example:
- Check if there are time limits to do with your problem, for example, a certain amount of time in which you have to take something back to a shop, apply to backdate your benefits or put in a claim to a tribunal.
- Keep copies of all the letters or emails you send and receive.
- Make a note of everything you do to solve the problem. Write down who you spoke to, what they said, what you or they were going to do next, and when by.
- If it is your word against somebody else’s write down your account of what happened, date it and keep it safe. Think about recording conversations on your phone.
- Take copies of any receipts, invoices, bank statements etc.
Recording things properly and getting all your evidence together can be crucial to solving your problem. Not only will it be very helpful for anyone trying to help you, like an adviser, but it could also make all the difference if you have to make a formal complaint or go to court further down the line.
If you hand over documents or evidence make sure you get a receipt and keep it safe.
"My mum was sick and in and out of hospital for a while and it played havoc with her care package. Because she wasn't well, I had to try and sort them out for her.
But I learnt something really useful. Now when I speak to someone at social services, at the end of the conversation I always repeat anything they have agreed to do and ask how long they think it will take. If they say a week, I write it down and phone back a week later. I ask to speak to the same person and ask what the progress is. It stops me from being passed from person to person and nobody really dealing with my problem. If they don't want me to call back again, they'll solve it for me."