CHOICE membership

MyGov / Centrelink


I have contacted the complaints and feedback via phone and via the website a number of times. I have never received any response from them. I suspect that any input goes straight into the bin.

From an client’s point of view it feels as if Centrelink (as an organisation, not the front end staff) looks down on it’s clients with arrogance and disdain. Therefore it would be very surprising if Human Services (an oxymoron if ever there was one) ever reached out to stakeholder clients and asked for input in the design of their front end web sites.


Possibly/Probably are my responses to that belief. But I use mostly mail as my complaints like most of my responses on this site are veeeeerrrrrrryyyyy long :slight_smile:

I also submit my complaint to my local Federal MP and at least one of my States Senators and I generally get a reply when I do this. Human Services when contacted by an MP and or Senator are obliged to respond with what they sometimes term a “Ministerial” that briefs the MP/Senator about the situation.

Feedback is rarely responded to but if you make it clear you want a response, and provide your contact details, even if the feedback is lodged by phone they do try to get back to you.

Complaints are supposed to be responded to unless they are about another client eg you “dob” someone in as this is a breach of privacy to respond with information about your “dob in” result. If you have made a complaint and have not been responded to contact them again and ensure they are aware that you have complained about it before and if no response is given in a reasonable time that you will contact your MP about the issue (if you haven’t done so already).


I usually get a response when I cc my MP / Senator as well as the agency, too. The MP/Senator passes it to an agency mouthpiece or media assistant, who starts by telling me how good it is compared to how good it was not before the current mob got into government, how valuable my support is, and sometimes blaming the opposition in a subtle manner.

My punt is it goes in the bin. :expressionless:


I can only sympathize with any other complaint. As a recipient of benefits, these are cut immediately if I do not report " on time". Now there is an example of what they do on their end. Text message received on 03/01/2017: " Due to a public holiday your next centrelink report date is 29/12/2016. After that date you can keep reporting on your normal day…

Unfortunately they did not provide me with an access code to travel back in time. :disappointed:


Spent the best part of 45 minutes on hold with Centrelink today just so they could tell me in the space of about 30 seconds that they have a backlog that can’t be made to go any faster for something that should never have been cut off to begin with. My son is on the Autism Spectrum and gets a disability support pension. He also goes to College (Tasmania’s equivalent of years 11 and 12 of high school) where he does a life skills program. Because of this he also gets a Pensioner Education Supplement, or rather he would do if Centrelink staff had bothered to process the paperwork they’d asked for when we gave it to them before the end of the 2016 school year. It’s in the system but someone in charge needs to actually press the button to approve it. Because of this his supplement was cancelled, even though he hadn’t finished his courses yet. So after calling over and over this morning as I was greeted with an engaged signal over and over, I finally managed to get a ring at the other end. This was then replaced by an automated answering service that asked questions and then played pre-recorded audio about payments that we didn’t need to hear about before finally being placed on hold while we waited for an operator to answer the call. As stated at the beginning of this rant I’m typing, it was a good 45 minutes with the same three short classical music pieces playing over and over and over and over and over and over until finally someone took the call. So yes, they had gotten the necessary paperwork from us in time before the deadline they gave us, then never bothered to process it further than putting it on file. Before the advent of My Gov and Centrelink online self services there was enough staff manning the phones that you didn’t have to wait for more than 10 minutes in peak times to speak to someone at Centrelink. I’ve had worse though. There have been days when I’ve been on hold for 3 hours or more due to the lack of staff manning the phones. The system is broken and it began when they introduced the self service aspects, which usually don’t work and require a phone call to sort out anyway. The irony is, with the self service policies in place, the government has made a lot of the call staff redundant and some of them probably had to shift on to benefits to survive until they could find another job. My son didn’t ask to be born on the Autism Spectrum, and we sure as hell didn’t plan for him to be born with it, especially to a degree where he won’t be able to earn himself a wage after he leaves school, which is why he was granted the Disability Support Pension after a very long drawn out process that took well over six months to complete, even though it was supposed to be a maximum of 6 weeks processing time, as Centrelink tried again and again to prove that he was capable of gaining employment before they finally gave up and said, “Yes, he will need to be on a pension for the rest of his life.” He was diagnosed at the age of 3 and I’ve been his legal carer ever since. Apparently turning 16 might have cured him of his Autism and his associated intellectual impairment.
Rant over. Carry on folks.


I would advise you to take it up with your local member. They will not fob him/her off the way they do to us peons.


Why bother using the site? The Federal government have acknowledged that it is an abysmal failure and are working on a new site. There is littleb doubt they will be using the same firm that stuffed up the current site.


Admittedly, I haven’t been there for a while, but I agree with all you say. I, too, a reasonably computer savvy, yet every time I have a need to go to their website (and it used to be the same when it was just the Centrelink site) I always end up with some problem, making it necessary to call them.
They REALLY don’t want you to get in touch with them in any way, shape or form. While on the similar subject, I have also had a problem with Centrelink where they were accusing me of cheating and wanted copies of ALL my bank statements going back years and some other documents. I asked if I could email it to them, seems their system is NOT set up for that! Then (mostly because I was annoyed) I said I couldn’t afford to have them all photocopied and then buying a large envelope and pay for the postage (I do have a photocopier, but wasn’t going to tell them that ) They suggested I go to a Centrelink office and get them to do the copying, which I did (BIG mistake, took me about 4 hours of waiting!)
The staff member took all my documents behind the scenes and eventually gave them back to me. A month or so later I got a letter to inform me that my pension will be suspended as I hadn’t supplied the documents they requested! When I called up and asked for the supervisor, they actually found them!
Another thing that annoys me to pieces. Centrelink (I would think) mostly deals with the disadvantaged, people with health problems and the elderly. I would think most of those people have no computers and/or are not capable, for various reasons, to deal with difficult websites
Their site will not allow you to cut and paste your password, yet expect you to have a strong one. Then, they expect you to change it at regular intervals. Once logged in, you still have to answer the “secret questions” and get logged out of the site at annoying frequency. It is a LOT less difficult to navigate a financial institution website, where one would think security was even more important.
They convinced me to put an app on my phone, so that they don’t have to write to me snail mail, yet every time I attempt to open it, it won’t accept my pin, as it is only valid for a certain period of time
It really is like a farce
Hehe, haven’t done it for a while, so I just attempted to open the iPhone app. and, sure enough, my pin has expired. How on earth is one supposed to remember an ever changing pin?

Having finally opened it (and try to remember the pin for next time) it turns out that the app itself has expired, had to download it again. :rage:


As I said, they also told me to get the phone app, but that, too, just provides more annoyance. I once got a very nice person on the phone, who actually agreed with me that their IT department (who ever designs both their website and phone app should be shot)


Do they still have staff at Centrelink? The last time I went there, I found a man at the door, who directed me to a phone to call a staff member. No “humans” in site :slight_smile:


During the Howard government days and later (maybe before?) there was indeed [unbelievable] discussion in agencies about whether a shop front with a phone constituted a legitimate “office” for serving the public.

The problem was government mandate not to reduce services with an ever shrinking budget with the [ridiculous] “efficiency dividend” mentality and the ever present accusations of a bloated public service, as if the entire public service was monolithic. When proposals were made to actually close some offices government pushed back if there was a vote in play and referred back to their edict to squeeze.


How bizarre. My iPhone Centrelink app has never once asked for me to change my pin, and the online website has never once asked for me to change my password. I’ve been using both for years and they’ve never expired. Perhaps there’s a box you can untick in the settings that will prevent your password from expiring.


The only way to have satisfactory dealing with Clink is going to the office and waiting until you first get seen on entry and being clear about your enquiry. Bring copies of all documents and get reciepts on all documents you hand over as documents dissapear. If you have difficulty remain detached and calm and if it seems hopeless request to see a supervisor/ manager/ social worker. All this takes time, sometimes days. Good luck. You have rights and so long as you can remain calm you can rxercise those rights. Never raise your voice no matter the frustration. Never be deterred by a no in answer to your quest. At some point you will find a person who is capable of assisting your request, but you will more than likely have to have saintly patience and clarity of thought. Clusterfxxx is a very apt description


Totally agree!
Website is a FAIL.


This won’t address the inane website links but rather a solution to dealing with Centrelink. Find yourself a small town with a Centrelink agent. Mine is a miracle worker. They have a direct line with little or no waiting. Mine does all the photocopying and will even fill out forms for me. Love my agent!


Demeaning is the word.

One particularly egregious example is their insistence on calling you a “customer”, as if they were a business selling you something rather than public servants paid to provide you with a service to which you’re entitled.


I understand what you mean because a few years ago when i was unemployed i the same as the others are meaning as i was able to link all i think.But you are saying you do not need centrelink and you have no account to link it ,im really not sure what to do maybe just go back as you said and do it mail way.


Is there a menu bar ( three lines on top of each other )?


I have had lots of ridiculous dealings with them. I was quite ill for a while, in a continuous brain fog. Not the best way to be dealing with them
I could write a book! First, they sent me to the Commonwealth doctor, who reported that I wasn’t sick, as I presented “well groomed” and had no problem “following directions” (she told me to take my clothes off and get on the examining table)
So, they decided to take me off the disability pension and put me on new start A friend came with me to advocate on my behalf, as I just wasn’t up to it.
After some debate, when he told the Clink officer that I just wasn’t up to looking for work, let alone actually working, he replied that I don’t really have to do that, just copy some names of firms out of the Yellow pages!!!
My friend insisted we appeal and he came with me to that as well, and we won the appeal. I would never have done it, had he not push me to do it. I really just wasn’t up to it, which (I think) would be the case with most people in that situation.
Then there was the queues! They would write you a letter to come in at 2.30 (or else, you’ll lose your pension). You would arrive a bit before 2.30 and discover that there was a queue just to let them know that you’ve arrived. You’d get to the front of the line at 2.40, at which time they would tell you, that you are late, hence missed your appointment. Grrrr


I have had some frustrating experiences dealing with staff at the centrelink office. Their competence is limited and there is no always a supervisor available. I finally got results, when I wrote comments about my experiences on their facebook site. Got a phone call within 48 hours by a very competent staff member. He took details and called me back twice and solved my problem. He also left his phone number and told me to call him back if things go wrong again.
The main problem seems to be that the centrelink computer makes autonomous decisions based on client input without human interference and quite often gets it wrong. This has been demonstrated to me on several occasions in the centrelink office, where staff could not override or change a computerised decision process.