‘We’ll put more staff on phones’
Ashford Borough Council said: “This was always going to be a busy time with the recycling bin roll out and other projects happening. We have increased the number of staff on phones and will be putting even more staff on the phones this week.
“To give you an idea of the increase in calls from last year, on Tuesday, June 11 there were was 1,320 calls made to the council compared with only 541 on the comparable day in 2012.
“The average number of requests for a call back is approximately 400 per week, although during the last eight weeks, in response to changes to the new recycling service and welfare reform, this has increased to an average of around 900 per week. Approximately 95% of callers receive a call back within 24 hours, however due to the high demand over the last three or four weeks, there have been days when this has slipped to the following day.
Some call backs are unsuccessful due to withheld numbers, or where numbers are provided, but the caller isn’t available to answer the call.
“We do apologise for the delays and will do our very best to get back to customers within 24 hours if people leave a message. We are making sure that everyone who has requested a call back receives one. Regrettably sometimes when we call people back the number is unobtainable so we do ask people double check the number they give us to make sure it’s correct.
“We encourage anyone who can use the internet or email to do so, or use the self-service phone facility, leaving our increased number of phone lines free for those who need to speak to an advisor or who are unable to use the internet.”