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CITIZENS ADVICE BUREAU eats my days
Citizens Advice Bureau
Member Name: MrQuomps
Citizens Advice Bureau
Date: 15/10/08, updated on 15/10/08 (307 review reads)
Advantages: Free and helpful
Disadvantages: Long waits
The Citizens Advice Bureau is an excellent service and it has helped me out of a few scrapes. However, I think it could be improved...
Yesterday I sat in the waiting room of my girlfriend's local Citizens Advice Bureau for nearly an hour before I got fed up and walked out. I understand it is an 'in demand' service so I expect to have to wait my turn and therefore I was not too narked, just a little irritated at having wasted my time. Today, I am back in my home town and visited my own branch - not open on Wednesdays. Instead a telephone advice line operates between 10am and 3pm....... or does it? I have been trying to get an answer for several hours now, and the clock is coolly cruising towards 3pm. My hopes are not high.
I am not here to moan about the service, nor am I here to relate to you what I've been doing with my week. No sir! It is just that it occurred to me earlier that although the CAB website is very nice looking and easy to navigate, with useful FAQ sections and links etc I feel it would be greatly improved by having a LIVE HELP option, where you can have your question dealt with immediately online by talking directly to an operator via your keyboard. Other sites do this to great success (TAXBACK.COM's version has proved very useful to me in the past). Of course, this too would sometimes require you to wait your turn, but it would give the public another option making life a little more flexible and easier for us. It is also far more convenient to open a pop-up window and have it alert you when an operator is available than it is to keep picking up the phone and letting it ring and ring just to get an answer phone (my local CAB don't even put you on hold, you just have to call repeatedly), or sending off an email, not knowing when or if it will ever be answered.
In the past, when I have used the CAB service I have always been impressed with the information, advice and help that I have received, so I certainly do not want to criticize them. I merely wish the waiting times could be cut down a little, and if another option was added it would spread the load a little, and hopefully save people time. Plus, the email option does not work very well, as a conversation is normally needed rather than: Question. Response. Sorted.
I understand these things cost money and after all the service is free to use, so I guess it may be funding that is the problem here. But it would be nice to see if it ever comes about.
Summary: Could do with a shake up
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