In November of last year, I telephoned Service Canada, as I had been instructed, to inquire into my EI claim.
The first thing the person on the phone asked me for was my SIN number, followed by the first two digits of my access code. I gave her my SIN number, however, apparently, I spoke too fast. She asked, “Why are you speaking so fast? Do you know I have to enter the numbers into my system? But I can’t do it if you speak so fast.” So, I started again, this time slowing down as I spoke. I also gave her the first three digits of my access code. She said, “I didn’t ask you for the first three digits, I asked for the first two.” My mistake, so I gave her what she wanted.
My next question was, “Why are you hassling me this morning?” She responded, “This is your first warning. If you continue to talk like that, I am going to disconnect this call.” I asked, “Aren’t you there to serve us, the people?” She answered, “I warned you once that I will immediately hit the button to disconnect this call if you continue with such rude comments.” She continued, “Do you know who you are talking to?” After that, I spoke softly and slowly, so as not to raise her ire again. Our conversation then proceeded apace.
I immediately contacted my MP’s office, and he was as horrified as I was by the incident. He promised that, if I lodged a service complaint with the Client for Satisfaction Office, that he would direct it to the correct person.
Later, I received what appears to be a form email from the Client for Satisfaction Office, including the statement that my complaint was being forwarded to the appropriate officials. I have heard nothing since, and that was in January of this year.
The officer’s outburst was unwarranted, demeaning and insulting. I had hoped that my service complaint would result in an investigation and, if deemed necessary, appropriate disciplinary action. Obviously, I was expecting too much from government.
Burton K. Janes,