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Thread: HQ cuts Info Centre opening hours

  1. #1
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    HQ cuts Info Centre opening hours


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    We currently open from 8am to 7pm in the week, plus Saturday mornings, but the vast majority of people contact us between 9am and 5pm on a weekday. Currently, the team is stretched to cover the long opening hours which means there’s fewer staff available during hours of the day with the
    highest demand, which is often what causes the wait time on calls to be over 10 minutes.

    From 9 September, the Information Centre opening hours will change to 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. These opening hours are similar to the hours offered by Girlguiding, St John Ambulance and Sea Cadets.
    Conveniently forgetting that a vast majority take part in, and run Scouting outside of normal work hours.

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    GSL & AESL shiftypete's Avatar
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    Well great, that means I will never be able to call the info centre again as unsuprisingly I work 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday and I am not speanding my 30 mins lunch break ringing the info centre.

    Peter Andrews ESL of Headingley Pirates ESU, Group Scout Leader & Webmaster of Falkoner Scout Group
    www.falkonerscouts.org.uk

    Previous Scouting Roles
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    Wike, North Leeds District Campsite - www.wikecampsite.org.uk
    www.leeds-solar.co.uk
    Please note all views expressed are my own and not those of any organisation I'm associated with

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    Better make sure all of the notifiable accidents happen during working hours then...

    ** Warning ** I like my humour Very DRY, same as my Martinis, so don't take anything personally..

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    "These opening hours are similar to the hours offered by Girlguiding, St John Ambulance and Sea Cadets."

    What they seem to be saying is these organisations do not let their volunteers contact them outside Monday - Friday 9 - 5 so we thought that we wouldn't either.

    One of the three organisations mentioned lost my records some time ago so presumably the Scout Association will now erase my Compass record so it can copy the bad points of other organisation.

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    It was very useful to be able to call the info centre at 6.30 pm when I was trying to process a parent dbs during a Beaver meeting and needed the application reset on Atlantic.

    If I had had to wait till next day it would have delayed things by maybe a week.

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    Contrary opinion that this seems to make a lot of sense to me.

    The vast majority of the time my dealings with HQ are querying policy and rule based things and reasonably trivial matters. If I can do this reliably and quickly by email or online chat so much the better, the only reason I don't now is that there is an auto reply offering a response time of 30 odd days so I accept that sitting on hold for 15 minutes gets me my answer more quickly and all i'm doing is contributing to the queuing!

    On more serious matters I am probably calling safeguarding or the emergency line which are 24/7. And on the odd occasion its not falling into either category how hard is it to make 10 minutes in your day really?

    A better service for less hours seems better to me than a half hearted one over a longer time period.
    --
    Dan Sheehan
    Group Scout Leader
    9th Muswell Hill Scout Group

    District Training Adviser
    District Executive Member
    District Appointment Advisory Comittee
    North London District Scouts

    web: www.9thmuswellhill.org.uk
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    GSL & AESL shiftypete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsheehan View Post
    Contrary opinion that this seems to make a lot of sense to me.

    The vast majority of the time my dealings with HQ are querying policy and rule based things and reasonably trivial matters. If I can do this reliably and quickly by email or online chat so much the better, the only reason I don't now is that there is an auto reply offering a response time of 30 odd days so I accept that sitting on hold for 15 minutes gets me my answer more quickly and all i'm doing is contributing to the queuing!

    On more serious matters I am probably calling safeguarding or the emergency line which are 24/7. And on the odd occasion its not falling into either category how hard is it to make 10 minutes in your day really?

    A better service for less hours seems better to me than a half hearted one over a longer time period.
    I wouldn't particuarly object to them reducing the hours if it was from 11am to 7pm (a time shift I have previously worked in a call centre so its not massively unusual in a sevice position like that). Only being open when the vast majority of volunteers are at work is hardly helpful and leaves those of us who can't rely on being able to ring the info centre during working hours with no option if we need an urgent answer. If they don't have enough staff to run the service properly then they need to emply more and if that costs more then it costs more I would rather higher memebrship fees and a useful service than lower membership fees and a useless service.

    As an example of why being able to contact the info centre after 5pm is very useful I did a DBS renewal a couple of months ago with a volunteer, meeting up with them after work one evening. I had started their renewal in advance to ensure it was ready to go in Atlantic but when I saw their proofs of address realised they had moved recently and the old address was still on their Compass record meaning the wrong address was on the DBS and I had no way to correct it on the DBS. I was able to update Compass then and there and then ring the info centre to get them to cancel the DBS and submit a new one with the correct address and I was then able to complete the DBS then and there rather than having to wait.

    Peter Andrews ESL of Headingley Pirates ESU, Group Scout Leader & Webmaster of Falkoner Scout Group
    www.falkonerscouts.org.uk

    Previous Scouting Roles
    2003 - 2013 ABSL
    2017-2018 AGSL

    Wike, North Leeds District Campsite - www.wikecampsite.org.uk
    www.leeds-solar.co.uk
    Please note all views expressed are my own and not those of any organisation I'm associated with

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    "To improve our support to members, were changing our opening hours so that its easier to get hold of us." says my September membership email.

    And there's me thinking they were making it more difficult!

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    PaulArthurs (09-09-2019),shiftypete (04-09-2019)

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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveF View Post
    "To improve our support to members, we’re changing our opening hours so that it’s easier to get hold of us." says my September membership email.

    And there's me thinking they were making it more difficult!
    tbh that's classic HQ spin, like their lauding of good census results and silence otherwise.

    However - I get the point, if more people are calling in the day then maybe compressing hours means that there'll be more people avaialbel to answer and shorter waiting times....

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    Doesn't necessarily mean that volunteers from those organisations are happy with their headquarters' service . . .

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    We currently open from 8am to 7pm in the week, plus Saturday mornings, but the vast majority of people contact us between 9am and 5pm on a weekday.


    That sounds like, "we looked at the mumbers, and can't justify the way we work." not "Let's make life easier for us and sod the leaders.

  15. #13
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    Not sure why it is difficult for the Info Centre to be able to take calls from their 'customers' at times that work for those calling, rather than those staffing the phone lines.

    Scouting is our hobby. We usually do our hobby outside office hours (as our employers would expect). Many of us are sat at a desk all day and can sneak in a personal (Scouting) call. But there are many jobs where it would be impossible for someone to make calls during the working day.

    As a minimum there needs to be one 'late night opening' per week plus, ideally, a Saturday morning or afternoon.

    By restricting Info Centre opening to office hours, TSA is effectively making some roles impossible to do if someone has a certain jobs.


    Paul

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    Apparently, there's been a bit of a backlash. Wonder what happened at Reunion at the weekend, excellent timing. Wonder what bad news they were trying to bury?
    Ian Wilkins
    Farnham District Explorer Scout Commissioner

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  18. #15
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    Very interesting that in at least two sessions I was in at Reunion, staff from the membership service team were just as confused, amazed and annoyed by the changes they suggest were made extremely quickly without any warning or consultation even with them.
    --
    Dan Sheehan
    Group Scout Leader
    9th Muswell Hill Scout Group

    District Training Adviser
    District Executive Member
    District Appointment Advisory Comittee
    North London District Scouts

    web: www.9thmuswellhill.org.uk
    twitter: @9thMuswellHill
    facebook: /9thmuswellhill

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