‘We’re working to fix borough council phone problem’


Council chiefs have admitted that a cost-cutting automated phone system has been suffering technical issues, leaving frustrated callers held in a queue or cut off all together.

The system introduced in December, which sees callers say the name of the person or department they want to speak to before being connected, is saving Dacorum Borough Council £660,000 each year.

But recently taxpayers have been left wound up by its poor performance.

Anne Box, of Apsley, who made several calls to the council before getting through to the department she needed, said: “How many people just give up?

“It seems to me they don’t want to talk to us, they want it all easy.

“I just think they should be available, approachable and that it should be easy.

“That system quite frankly just doesn’t work.”

Assistant director of performance and projects Shane Flynn said: “We have recently experienced a number of technical issues with our telephone system.

“We apologise that our usual high standard of service has not been achieved and are working to ensure we can achieve the best quality for our customers as soon as possible.

“Where customer needs have not been met by the automated system and they still need to speak to an adviser, this has resulted in some customers being held in a queue or cut off at the point of transfer.

“We have investigated the causes of this problem and have put in place actions to resolve it.

“Additional phone lines have been added to the system to help manage the volume of calls and further changes will be implemented shortly to ensure that when customers do need to speak to an adviser they can do so without being held up.”