Poor customer service at RGD — Gov't worker
With Claudienne Edwards
Sunday, September 15, 2013
I am an employee of the Ministry of Health, St James Health Department. There is an error on my birth certificate in regards to my mother's last name that I have been trying to get corrected for over a month without success.
The surname on my mother's national ID, Passport, and Driver's licence is different from her surname on my birth certificate.
My first visit to the Registrar General's Department in Montego Bay was on Thursday June 6th 2013. When I went, I spoke to a Customer Service Representative (CSR) who consulted with someone there and then told me that I would need to do a "Correction of Error". She gave me the information as to the documents required in order to have the correction done, including the forms that were to be filled out and returned to the RGD.
A manager at the RGD indicated that my mother could use any of her valid Identification cards to have the correction done. We got all the necessary documents together and went to a Justice of the Peace with my aunt who is more than 10 years my senior to sign in front of the JP. This also was one of the instructions given at the RGD.
On Thursday June 13, my mother and I made our second trip to the RGD, armed with the necessary documentation. The CSR who looked through the documents realised that the JP had made a change without initialing the change. She told us that she could not accept the document without his initials. We complied and went back to the JP the same day and returned to the RGD.
A different representative dealt with us on this occasion. After looking over the documents, she told us that we would need my mother's school record to show the name that was used to register her at school. We explained to her that we had been there earlier, but the CSR never told us that we needed the school record. She then rudely stated: "WELL, YU NEED FI GET THE RECORD FI HAVE IT CORRECTED". She then picked up the phone and called the manager and spoke to her while we were sitting there. I asked to speak with the manager but was not allowed to speak to her, so we left.
On Thursday July 11, we made our fourth visit to the RGD with documents in hand, including my mother's school record. We were seen by a CSR who checked the documents then took them to another representative.
After this other representative examined them, the first one came back to us, looked at the documents again and asked for the IDs of the declarant. We complied and gave her the IDs. At that point she said that my mother did not sign the same way that was on her ID. When we checked we realised that my mother had used her passport for identification and the signature was different from what was on the form. (The ID she had was her National ID). My mother was told that she would need to use the same ID. Since the passport was at home we had to leave again. However, before we left we asked the CSR to check just to make sure that we were not missing any information and that all we needed was the correct ID for my mother. The CSR said all the other documents were in order and we just needed to bring the ID that had the signature as signed by my mother, the declarant. Again we left.
On Wednesday July 17, we returned to the RGD with all the documents including my mother's identifications, (Passport and National ID) just in case. When it was our turn we went to the CSR, who was now a new person. After looking through the documents she asked for an explanation of the error. Despite my mother's explanation, the CSR said that we needed to get proof of maternity and some other document from the Supreme Court and that we would also need to get a lawyer.
The CSR took my name and information and said that she would try to contact the person from the legal department and try to get some information for us. She promised to call as soon as the information was available.
I thanked her and left. Up to the time of writing this letter she has not called.
I am at this time very frustrated as I feel the RGD is not catering to the needs of their clients. As a Government employee, I think it is just plain impractical to be using work time in this manner due to lack of proper customer relations. I seek at this time to ask some pertinent questions:
1. How reasonable should it be that I had to make 5 or 6 visits to the RGD, have seen 4 different Customer Service Representatives, who gave me four different sets of information, to be told by the last one that I need a lawyer and proof of maternity to have the correction done?
2. Where is the Customer Service training for these staff members?
3. Why is there a Manager/Supervisor? Is it not a part of that officer's (Manager /Supervisor) job description to assist clients with any issues or complaints they are having and try to help to resolve client issues?
4. Shouldn't they be the link between clients and their Customer Service Representative?
5. At what point should a client be allowed to speak to a Manager /Supervisor?
6. Why is it that none of the representatives has a name tag?
7. What is it that I need to do to have my mother's name corrected on my birth certificate?
The RGD has advised us that the matter has been settled. We see that copies of your complaint to Tell Claudienne were also sent to the Deputy Chief Executive officer of the RGD and to the Montego Bay RGD manager. We note that the RGD head office at Twickenham Park instructed you to take the documents back to the Manager of the Montego Bay RGD office. You said that you gave the manager the same set of documents that you presented to the Montego Bay RGD office on the third visit. We note that you received the birth certificate one week after you gave the manager the documents.
I am a retired civil servant and I am due a lump sum which should have been lodged to my bank account last year.
I have made numerous calls and submitted notarised letters to the Accountant General's Department, but up to now they have not lodged to my account the lump sum due to me.
Recent bank checks have shown that the lump sum of $1,746.200 that was approved effective September 1, 2012, has not yet been paid to my account. This time frame must also have accumulated back payments.
I have received a payment statement dated March 25, 2013, stating that a cheque of $828,624.09 was lodged to my account on March 27,2013 as being the balance of pension and gratuity. This amount is reflected in my account, but not the lump sum.
I have contacted three senior officers and they have all acknowledged that the cheque was returned to their office. It has taken them more than one year and still counting to move it from one desk to the next.
I do hope you can help me.
Tell Claudienne contacted the office of the Accountant General. The Pensions Unit at the Accountant General's Department sent us the following statement:
"This is to inform you that TMJ's payment was sent to be lodged to her account on 28/8/2013. We will be writing to TMJ to convey our sincerest apologies for the lengthy delay in finalising the re-issue of her first payment."
Have a problem with a store, utility, a company: telephone 936-9436 or write to: Tell Claudienne c/o Sunday Finance, Jamaica Observer, 40-42 1/2 Beechwood Avenue, Kingston 5; or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include a contact phone number.
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