Call centre called out for delays

Last updated 12:25 16/06/2014

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New Zealand energy company Contact Energy is proving hard to, well . . . contact.

Richard Power became a customer in April and said he had experienced call centre delays of up to 55 minutes.

''I contacted the call centre in late April with a very simple question. Since then I have been amazed at the wait times,'' he said.

''They have installed new systems. Obviously they did not do it right.''

Have you experienced call centre delays with Contact Energy - or any other company? Email

Power, a Christchurch-based accountant, said he used Inland Revenue, Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) and Companies Office call centres on a regular basis.

''[Inland Revenue's] call centre is great in that . . . if there is a wait time, you just book a place [in the queue] and they call back."

Power said when he first rang Contact Energy for help, a recorded voice told him he would have to wait 20 to 30 minutes.

''When I remember, which is every other day, I just ring the 0800 number. The wait times have ranged from 20 to 55 minutes,'' he said.

''They are a serious company - not just a small corner shop. When I am dealing with other big firms, their call centres work well. I have always been impressed how promptly ACC and the Companies Office answer their calls and how well-trained and helpful their staff are.''

Contact Energy corporate communications manager Shaun Jones said it replaced 20 of its old computer systems with a single integrated system at Easter, which would ''improve the service . . . over the longer term''.

''The system is performing as expected, but as with any significant change it has caused some delays in the shorter term as our team works to get everything back up to speed. This week's storms up north have also resulted in higher than usual call volumes,'' he said.

''We know it is taking a lot longer for customers to be able to get through to our contact centre than they have come to expect. We realise that this is frustrating and would like to thank our customers for their patience.''

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- The Press


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