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Hounslow Council is reviewing its telephone switchboard service after complaints from local elderly residents about difficulties faced by the system.

This site highlighted the problem which Age UK said affected half the senior citizens in the borough. The charity said almost 50% of local elderly people had experienced major difficulties when attempting to contact Hounslow Council. They either did not have a touch-tone phone or were unable to cope with or disliked dealing with the automatic system.

Age UK said the majority of the older generation prefer to speak directly to an operator rather than listening to a machine.

In response to the complaints about the self-service automated function, the Council have stated that they will “look again at voice recognition software”.

The Director of Corporate Services, Anthony Kemp, in a written response to a W4 resident who complained about the system said;

“I have also asked them to investigate the possibility of having a ‘no response’ option which would divert directly to the customer services advisers.”

January 28, 2012