Auckland Council Six Month Oversight

One has to seriously question the efficiency of Auckland Council’s Customer Service Centre and its ability to operate in the interest of ratepayers.
Shortly after the most recent AC election, I rang on Friday 8 November 2013 to enquire as to the contact phone numbers of the six new Councillors as they were not published on the Council’s website. I waited through several minutes of canned music before being told they were not available. I was then asked if I wished to lodge a complaint but declined to do so. I asked who was in charge of the website but it was not known. I asked to speak to Jason Marris, Democracy Services, but he was unavailable.
I sent an email to Jason asking
1. Why are there no phone numbers available for new Councillors?
2. When will they be available?
On Monday 11 November I received an email from Jason saying the website would be updated “today or tomorrow”.
On Wednesday 13 November, as there were still no phone numbers available I rang Jason to point the matter out. Later that day he sent me the following email
Hi Gary,
Thanks for your phone call today.
1. Why are there no phone numbers available for new Councillors?
We have been collating all of the information and liaising with our elected members to ensure their details are accurate. As we have 169 elected members this does take some time.

2. When will they be available?
I was advised that the contact details would be available on Monday or Tuesday. I checked today and they were not there. I followed that up this morning and I now note that the Councillors information has been uploaded now. The LB members details will be available end of business tomorrow.

Thanks Gary. Have a great day.

Well you can imagine my chagrin six months later when I rang Customer Services at 9.20 am on 1 May and asked to be put through to the mobile number of one of my Local Board representatives. After 5 minutes of canned music I was told no contact number was available. I was asked if I would like to lodge a complaint. This time I decided I certainly would as I found it atrocious that the Customer Service Centre didn’t have contact numbers for all elected representatives six months into a new term of Council. I was asked to endure a further 5 minutes of canned music then I asked for a Complaint Number. I was told I would be rung with a number. By 1.10 pm, having received no call I rang but was told the person I had dealt with was unavailable. A few minutes later I was rung with a complaint number. I checked my emails and found, in the interim, I had been sent an email at 12.29 pm by Karin Gosselman, Complaints and Issue Management. It stated Local Board members’ details were available on the website. She appeared to have missed the basis of my complaint. It was that I experienced a considerable delay before being told a Local Board member’s number was unavailable. She suggested I could contact Bruce Thomas on 375 3374. I sent her a detailed email then contacted Bruce at 10.33 am and forwarded him a copy.

On Tuesday 6 May, having heard nothing further, I rang Bruce who said I should get a response “in the next day or two”.
At 3.42 pm on Friday 9 May I received the following email from Karin Gosselman.

Good afternoon Mr Osborne
Further to our conversation 2 May 2014 regarding the contact details for Local Board member Tracy Kirkley, I can confirm Tracy’s contact details have been updated on our internal contacts list. This was an oversight and is now amended, we apologise for any inconvenience.
The standard processing time to resolve a complaint is 10 working days, we are satisfied your issue was dealt with in a timely manner.

Karin Gosselman Complaints and Issues Resolution Advisor
Business Support
Customer Services

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