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New DSS Phone System Shows Improvement After Rocky Launch

Rod Bremby, Commissioner of the Department of Social Services, gave a mixed review of the department's first week with a new call center on WNPR's Where We Live.  

The system, which rolled out on Monday, replaces a decentralized system that often resulted in callers getting full voicemail boxes or very long wait times.  He said the new system was taxed on its first day.
"It really didn't go well at all.  But we had over 11,200 calls the first day, which is far greater than what we expected," he said.  He also said that a lot of those calls came from people who weren't calling about services, but were trying to "test out the new system." He wouldn't elaborate on what he meant by this.  In a story by Arielle Levin Becker of The Connecticut Mirror, Sherry Suber of End Hunger Connecticut said she called on behalf of a client, and “I hung up my phone after 17 minutes and 49 seconds,” she said. “I really could not stay on the phone any longer because I had clients building in the office.”
Average wait time was almost 15 minutes, according to Bremby, and he admitted "we think that is a little too long."  But he said the wait time went down to just over two minutes by the next day.
Bremby says the new centralized phone number is part of a big technological upgrade, that also includes the replacement of a paper-based system with one that puts data in the hands of more staffers. 
He says he hopes these changes will get the department into the "20th Century" after years of ineffective systems.  

The DSS faces two lawsuits over its staffing levels and inability to process client claims in a timely manner. 
You can read more about this story in The Connecticut Mirror.

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