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News : Barnet Council Apologizes to Frustrated Residents
April 30, 2014 -- Barnet Council has apologised to frustrated residents after a switchboard malfunction left them unable to complain about their noisy neighbours last Thursday.
Simone Simmons, of Brent Street, Hendon, was left on hold to the authority's noise complaint line for a total of nearly 70 minutes - all the while being told that she was first in the queue - but was never able to get through.
The 51-year-old, said she and several other residents in her block had been trying to complain about a neighbour’s constant drilling and other renovation works, but none of them were able to get through.
She said: "The first time I waited for eight and a half minutes, and it kept saying ‘you are first in the queue, your call is important to us’. I phoned back and I phoned back. In total I waited for 68 minutes."
The council's call centres were outsourced to private firm Capita last year as part of its customer services contract A spokeswoman for the authority confirmed there had been a fault, and that it was still experiencing problems on today.
She said: "We can confirm that some calls were misdirected, or held in a queue, due to a fault with the telephone system. Once identified, we acted quickly to resolve the problem and we continue to monitor all systems. We would like to apologise to any people who were affected for the inconvenience this caused."
Today she added: "We are experiencing some problems with the switchboard today as a result of a server error which is being resolved."
A spokeswoman for Capita added: "Capita has experienced some technical issues in the Coventry contact centre today, which affects some calls into Barnet Council."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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About Barnet Council:
The London Borough of Barnet is a London borough in North London and forms part of Outer London. It has a population of 331,500 and covers 86.74 square kilometres (33 sq mi). It borders Hertfordshire to the north and five other London boroughs: Harrow and Brent to the west, Camden and Haringey to the south-east and Enfield to the east. The borough was formed in 1965 from parts of the counties of Middlesex and Hertfordshire.
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Founded in 1853, Skipton Building Society provides mortgages, insurance, savings and investments through 79 branch offices and its contact centre helpline. By remaining mutual and not having to pay dividends to shareholders, we can continue to operate within much narrower margins.
Published: Thursday, May 8, 2014