onefixedstar: (sandmanweber)
[personal profile] onefixedstar
Last week, while I was away, I got a letter from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care telling me that it's time for me to get a photo health card. (These were introduced a few years ago, replacing the old red-and-white non-photo cards, in an effort to combat fraud.) I rather like my red-and-white card, which up until now has never needed to be replaced because it has no photo, but I want continued access to health care, and so I decide to call and set up an appointment to get a new card.

According to the letter I received, the best times to call are between 10:00 and 4:00, Tuesday to Friday. So this morning at 10:30, I dutifully called the toll-free number. And got a busy signal. Called again at 10:45, 11:00, 11:15, 11:30, 11:45, 12:00, and 12:15. All busy signals. Went out to return some library books and run errands. Got home at 2:15 and called again. It rang! But oh wait, there was no one on the other end. Just some clicks, and then a dial tone. Rapidly hit redial--busy! I'm beginning to think they only have one person answering all of the calls.

This is pretty bad customer service. (Yes, yes, it's the government. I've worked for the government. It doesn't have to be this inefficient.) They're telling me to do something I don't really want to do anyway, and then they're making it as hard as possible for me to do. (And you ought to see the list of documentation I have to bring in to get a new health card!) Bah.

Date: 2007-02-27 09:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rinjava.livejournal.com
If only they had an answering service, so you could leave a message: "If you want this health card you're going to have to come here and rip it out of my cold dead hands!"

The MoHLTC may be the lamest of all the lame duck ministries. There probably is just one guy answering the phone. And he's a temp. Now think about how many people work in Ministry communications -- that'll get the blood boiling.

Date: 2007-02-27 09:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] onefixedstar.livejournal.com
So true. I'm trying not to think about it too much. (They're probably closed now, and I still haven't gotten through, so I'll have to try again tomorrow.)

Date: 2007-02-27 10:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] semiotic-trader.livejournal.com
If I were you, I'd play the naive. Call any government number you can get your hands on - the higher up the better - and chew their ear off.

Or you could just call your MPP and complain. :)

Date: 2007-02-28 04:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] onefixedstar.livejournal.com
Hmm, calling my MPP...now there's a thought.

Appointment?

Date: 2007-02-27 11:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ed-rex.livejournal.com
Are you certain you need an appointment?

Granted that it's been a few years since I replaced my card, but I am pretty sure I just needed to show up with sufficient ID and proof of residence (i.e., a phone bill or something like that with your address on it), and that the entire procedure (filling out forms, waiting in line, etc) took no more than a half-hour.

Mind you, if the letter says you need an appointment, don't listen to me!

Re: Appointment?

Date: 2007-02-28 04:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] onefixedstar.livejournal.com
The letter does say to call for an appointment, but if I can't get through tomorrow, I think I might just show up at the office, ID in hand, and see what happens.

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