News : WSDOT Call Center Overwhelmed with Questions
Seattle, WA, USA, Nov 10, 2015 -- Drivers have been complaining since the September launch of the I-405 express toll lanes about ridiculous wait times they experience while trying to get answers from the Good To Go call center.
"Due to the I-405 express toll lanes launch, we are experiencing high call volumes," the recorded voice said when I called the Good to Go customer service center. That's an understatement, to say the least.
Chris, of Lynnwood, contacted me with what is a familiar story. He waited on hold for about four hours, spread over eight different calls before he finally reached a real person. He was trying to get a $0.51 discrepancy in his account taken care of.
Hold times to the call center averaged three minutes in May. The average wait time now is 20 to 25 minutes.
Our monthly call volume has doubled since May," said Customer Service Operations Manager Patty Michaud. "It was around 60,000 (calls) last May, and today it's around 120,000 a month."
During peak call times, around 6,000 calls come in per day.
The call center started with 32 representatives. That was beefed up to 46 people last week, with another four expected by the end of this week.
"The call center is busting at its seams," Michaud said. "We are fully staffed and we are working everything we can to get through those calls."
The conversations with customers are lasting longer — by almost two minutes a call — because there is so much confusion over the tolling system, the passes, and unique account issues. Michaud said the most experienced operators used to handle 10 calls an hour. That number is down to seven.
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"What we're trying to do is to make sure that all their questions are answered, that they have what they need to go off and do what they need to do," Michaud said. "This is truly a time when the reps are spending extra time educating and making sure that the customer has what they need so they don't need to call in again."
You can also email your questions to the customer service center. There is a dedicated staff dedicated to responding via email.
A tip: It's best to call early in the morning, the middle of the month, and later in the week, when you'll find shorter hold times.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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More Editorial From Washington State Department of Transportation
About Washington State Department of Transportation:
The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT or WashDOT) was established in 1905. The agency, led by a Secretary and overseen by the Governor, is a Washington governmental agency that constructs, maintains, and regulates the use of the state's transportation infrastructure. WSDOT is responsible for more than 20,000 lane-miles of roadway, nearly 3,000 vehicular bridges and 524 other structures. This infrastructure includes rail lines, state highways, state ferries (considered part of the highway system) and state airports
Published: Thursday, November 12, 2015
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