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Welcome to the world of the Vincent D'Onofrio obsessed - and a bit of real life thrown in.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Great Oaks

We all know great oaks from little acorns grow. But not every oak is as great as it pretends to be - or as great as oganisations like Government, spending our money, would have us believe.

About 10 years ago I worked with someone who used to go out with a guy who sold his supply teaching agency for a million quid. That agency was called Capstan. The new owners reinvented it as Capita.

By the time I got my early teacher's retirement pension Capita had taken on the contract to run Teacher's Pensions. Their first attempt to assess the pension to which I was entitled was about half the amount they'd told me just a year or so earlier. No one knew how the cock-up occurred.
A couple of years later I ordered some Christmas cards fom the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. I ordered them early, but they didn't arrive. I phoned up several times, and received a different excuse each time. Sometimes they were in the warehouse, some time later they were just about to arrive there. I had to buy other cards to send to my friends and relatives across the Pond, and the charity lost the money I tried to spend with them. The company they had chosen to perform the simple task of filling orders was...Capita.
When I was made redundant (the same time as receiving my early pension) I signed up with the nearest supply teaching agency - the former Capstan, renamed Capita. They contacted me once with one day's work. A couple of years on I was doing some work in a school where they phoned up about another supply teacher they had sent there (they made no effort to check they were talking to the right person) and that is when I discovered that this person was sent by them from the other side of London every day, while I, a local, never had a sniff of work from them.
The latest fiasco concerns, of all things, providing interpreters for court cases. Last time I was on jury service, we had an interpreter for the defendant. The judge watched her closely and decided she was not translating enough of what was going on to the accused, so next day she had been replaced. Last year the job of supplying interpreters went to Capita. News today says they consistently fail to provide people, to the extent that some cases cannot be heard.
I don't really know what it takes for a company to stop gaining contracts, and to start losing the ones they have. I think Capita should be the test case.


JoJo said...

How can a company like that even stay in business if they are that inept? And doesn't 'capita' mean 'head'?

val said...

How they stay in business must be by cheek and bluff, JoJo. They certainly make this country look ridiculous by the Government trusting them time and time again.

Yes, it does mean head. Don't know what it's meant to signify in their case.

I've sent a link to this post to my MP in the hope she can raise Capita's incompetence in the right circles. Sadly she's not a member of the ruling party.

Anonymous said...

When I worked for the Halifax, the 'Boy Blunder' as he was unaffectionately called (he was young for a director but thought to be terribly clever by those 'in the know') managed to bankrupt it, to the point it had to be sold off. I was made redundant and went to work (briefly) as a battery, that should say 'Call Centre Operator' at Boots. Lo and behold, next thing you know, The Boy Blunder was given the top job at Boots! Go figure.....

val said...

Interesting that the Today programme today interviewed those who think your former boss and his chums should be banned forever from financial positions.

Eliza said...

I'm guessing it doesn't matter how badly you do if you know the right people..and then they wonder why we're in the mess we're in

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