Row over new pool phone bookings
HUGE DEMAND ENGAGED LINE LEAVES PARENTS ANGRY
BRAY PARENTS were left fuming on Sunday when they tried to book swimming lessons for their children at the newly opened Bray swimming pool but were left listening to an engaged tone.
The company operating the pool required parents to phone a dedicated number at 10 a.m. on Saturday morning to register and pay for swimming lessons, but parents were outraged to constantly find and engaged tone at the other end of the line.
It was later revealed that the swimming pool had not expected such a large influx of calls and had only four people manning the phones.
It took one Bray resident over four hours to get through to the swimming pool.
‘I had been ringing and ringing since 10 a.m when finally I got through at a little after two and at that stage I was lucky to get a place.’
Councillor John Ryan met with management at the swimming pool after he received a huge number of calls on Saturday morning from angry parents.
‘Parents felt that a phone line was a very unfair way of taking the bookings as it was supposed to be first come first served. It seems to me that this is a very unfair way to take bookings as someone ringing constantly for hours could be beaten to a booking by someone phoning for the first time at 2.15,’ commented Cllr Ryan. At Monday’s Wicklow County Council meeting Cllr Ryan raised the issue and suggested that the authorities at the pool in future take bookings from parents for the swimming lessons at the premises and then conduct a draw for places which would be much fairer to all.
In a comment to this newspaper yesterday (Tuesday) Kevin Kelly, manager at Bray Swimming Pool, said, ‘We are delighted in the interest expressed by the local community in their new leisure centre.
‘The demand for children’s lessons has been exceptionally high. We look forward to working with the local community and meeting their needs.’