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View Full Version : Is it time to make a fuss? After you



hope full
16-04-2006, 2:50 AM
I'm a bit cross, but please don't expect anything from me, I'm British.
so I 'put up and shut up'

HOWEVER
I've just ordered eight certificates online...expected dispatch date is now running at the 10th of May.

OK....I read the message about high demand .......blah blah blah
They are very busy.....I read that as they are raking it in at the moment. Whoopee for them.
Business is booming, but customer service is a joke.

Shouldn't they employ extra staff?

Why am I such a wimp?
I'm angry about the poor service. BUT really more angry with myself that I just accept the ****.

Hope

ChristineR
16-04-2006, 3:51 AM
But if they have to employ extra staff then they will have to put the prices up. And they already have an express service don't they? - for the people in danger of dying of impatience whilst waiting. You just have to pay for it. Seems fair :D

Wouldn't it be lovely if the records were available instantly like for Victoria, Australia - pay up and download the certificate right away. Victoria BDM is also feeling the increased demand on their services - especially for increased needs for identification for security and identity purposes (oh yes, 'other' people use these places - not just family historians) So they are putting all their prices up - except for online downloads of 'historical' records.

ChristineR

ET in the USA
16-04-2006, 4:09 AM
I ordered 6 certificates online Feb 18 & since we were arriving in the UK Feb 22, I had them sent to my relatives address in Somerset. I was disappointed when the dispatch date was Mar 2 (12 days), I had expected it to be earlier, but Mar 2 still gave me time to access the info. and order more certs based on the information received before I flew home. When they hadn't arrived by Mar 9, I was on the phone to the GRO, wondering if they had been mailed to the US in error. They finally arrived about Mar 11th.

I ordered more certs. online on Apr 1. This time the dispatch date is Apr 26 (25 days) plus of course the week or so for airmail to the US.

The question is, would you rather be told the truth and know you will have to wait 25 days, thus being upset and disappointed immediately or be 'lied' to and think they are coming in 12 days, but it really takes 21, so you waste money on phone calls and get upset everytime the mail is/isn't delivered for a week or more?

I agree they are slow, but at least they are realistic and know how slow they will be. Just for spite, I'm flying to Las Vegas May 3 -10, so I won't be sitting here by the mailbox like they think I will. That will teach them !

ChristineR
16-04-2006, 7:58 AM
But are they are not actually lying - they are misjudging.

A cousin in the UK ordered a mutual family certificate, and it arrived the day BEFORE the predicted delivery date. We only ever hear about the bad ones. I have had them too, but I wait some weeks before getting panic-stricken. I emailed the office, got a prompt response, and a promise to send another right away. Of course, it arrived in the mail box the next day - it was already in my local post office when I emailed them - and I was able to email them right away before they had sent me another - to which they also responded with promptness and politeness.

Christine
Australia

marymog
16-04-2006, 9:00 AM
But if they have to employ extra staff then they will have to put the prices up. And they already have an express service don't they? - for the people in danger of dying of impatience whilst waiting. You just have to pay for it. Seems fair :D ChristineR

I have no understanding of how these things work but, why would they have to put up the price, surely these new staff would pay for themselves and fill a few piggy banks at the same time. If a cert costs 7 quid, and the new worker could manage 50 a day, thats 350 quid a day more revenue,minus the wage and the whatnots, they still would make a profit.

I blame the person who invented the word "waiting list", its simply everywhere nowadays, what ever you want to do, you come up against it. Instead of making an effort to meet customer demands, they make a waiting list. and another cup of tea.

mm

Peter Goodey
16-04-2006, 10:24 AM
There's no delay if you order in person from the FRC.

And as someone mentioned there's an express service for impatient people.

busyglen
16-04-2006, 11:47 AM
I ordered a marriage cert. 23rd March online, and was given a dispatch date of 13th April. I received it on the 14th which isn't bad going, given the date I was advised. Wait until May or June, and you will probably find that the number of days will decrease. Once the better weather gets here (or should I say `if' ) and people start to get out and about....I think the demand will drop for a while. Can't say for people across the `pond' of course. :)

Glenys

Pam Downes
16-04-2006, 11:51 AM
Shouldn't they employ extra staff?I would refer people to a message (number 54, page 3) posted by Clive Blackaby in the 'Certificates - BMD in the UK' forum
http://www.british-genealogy.com/fo...03&page=3&pp=20 (http://www.british-genealogy.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3803&page=3&pp=20)
part of which reads

The receipts in January were 75% higher than in December. The total number of receipts in January 186,000 was the highest ever recorded in a single calender month, this was broken in February when receipts exceeded 200,000 applications. During February we regularly received 6,500 applications in a 24 hour period compared with a previous high of 4,800 applications in a
24 hour period. That is an increase of 33%.
Put that in context. If a fully-laden supermarket trolley takes 8 minutes to go through the checkout, to keep up with a 33% increase the time taken to scan the trolley contents has to be reduced to 5 minutes. Whilst you can perhaps keep up that speed for an hour or so at a time, you cannot keep it up day after day. (Guess what job I did for 15 years? :) )
I don't know the precise job details at the GRO but I suspect that there is a fair amount of physical work involved locating the various files and like, the supermarket checkout job, there is a limit to the demands that you can make on your body.
Clive's message (which is part of a press release from the GRO) goes on to say that extra staff are being employed and other staff are working overtime.
Thanks mainly to the EU but also bearing in mind extra security measures, I suspect employing staff at the GRO is not quite as simple as 'can you start tomorrow?' Certainly getting rid of them isn't simple, unless you employ them on a specific time contract. Staff then have to be trained.

Although we might all be eager for our certificates, spare a thought for the people who have applied for birth or marriage certificates to send off with passport applications so they can go on holiday.
Pam Downes

Peter Goodey
16-04-2006, 12:04 PM
"If a fully-laden supermarket trolley takes 8 minutes to go through the checkout..."

Good analogy. Once all the checkouts are open, you're stuck with the queues. Similar I suspect at GRO - finite amount of equipment to be operated. Or to look at it another way, if there's a microfilm you want to go through at a record office, taking half a dozen friends along to help will not speed things up.

Peter Goodey
16-04-2006, 1:15 PM
Why not moan about something important and I'll join in with enthusiasm?

This is a hobby, for goodness sake. I really don't expect the government to pull out all the stops to facilitate peoples' hobbies.

The certificates turn up in due course. It seems to me to be only reasonable to expect that when there's a temporary increase in demand, the service takes longer.

Ladkyis
16-04-2006, 1:31 PM
|soapbox| I blame it on the pixies at the BBC with their darned "who do you think you are" series bringing all these newcomers into our exclusive... sorry wrong soapbox. This IS a joke ok?

Every year since there was anything more than rootsweb on the interweb there has been a surge of interest in January and February. the 1901 census launch seemed to be the peak when just about everyone with internet access tried to look at it at the same time. I rejoice in the continued interest because it means that more and more stuff will be available more easily and I get more chance to find details of my ancestors. I also get more people to talk to about my ancestors - watching their eyes glaze over as they wait for the chance to tell me about theirs.

The waiting time will reduce as gardening and summer activities take over and when the nights draw in and the temperature drops the waiting time will grow again. Love it!!

Ann

Linda
16-04-2006, 1:46 PM
Even with the heavy load they have right now, it is still faster since the online ordering came into effect, and on top of that it is also cheaper.

Before online ordering there was at least the additional time that it took for the application to reach them (about 5 days from Canada I think). It took a while to discover that I could order by email! |blush| (I don't think it was widely known that one could email the order once they had your credit card info.)

Also the cost was, I think, 8.00 or 8.50 when ordering by mail, plus the stamp, plus the 5 dollar charge by the bank if I wanted to pay by money order rather than credit card. (I only did that once!).

So all-in-all the service is better :) If I have any grump at all it is only that they charge the credit card within a day or so of the on-line application, not at the time it is processed. Still, when I receive my credit card bill it serves as a reminder that my certificate will soon be arriving! :D

Linda

BeeE586
16-04-2006, 2:49 PM
I ordered two certificates directly from Northamnpton Record Office, they arrived within three days.

Eileen

Lynda Cunningham
16-04-2006, 5:59 PM
As others have said, the waiting time will reduce as summer approaches, but these winter surges are worsening.
Hobby - yes OK, but you are paying for a service after all, and that extra long wait is very frustrating if you believe you're on the verge of that long awaited breakthrough|banghead|
Even with the higher seasonal demand, it is noticeable that some people receive their certifcates 'fairly' quickly, while others experience even longer delays:(



"waiting list", its simply everywhere nowadays, what ever you want to do, you come up against it
Yes - and telephone queues are the waiting lists that drive me nuts:mad:

Lynda

marymog
16-04-2006, 7:56 PM
quote: Yes - and telephone queues are the waiting lists that drive me nuts

I landed on a telephone queue last week, and I had a choice, if I wanted music or not!! |nopity|

mm

Geoffers
17-04-2006, 12:48 PM
Delays are the price to bear for a hobby which is growing in interest.

I think that the advent of home computers and the internet tends to have created a expectation amongst some that information is available at the click of a button, an idea which is encouraged by advertising by the likes of Ancestry (see the Radio Times for an example).

At least there is a system in place for ordering certificates and a reference system covering England and Wales. Has anyone else tried getting documents from America? The waiting time for certificates and army records can be anything from 9-18 months. Which brings the wait of a few days to a few weeks more into context.

Systems took a leap forward when certificates could be ordered online. They perhaps need to be amended again?

Geoffers

BeeE586
17-04-2006, 1:38 PM
Sorry - I must plead a senior moment.

It was an e-mail enquiry to Northampton RO, answered the same day, The certificates were from the Rotherham Registrar.

Eileen

Clive Blackaby
18-04-2006, 10:15 PM
That is an increase of 33%.
Put that in context. If a fully-laden supermarket trolley takes 8 minutes to go through the checkout, to keep up with a 33% increase the time taken to scan the trolley contents has to be reduced to 5 minutes.
..... extra staff are being employed and other staff are working overtime.

Of course it's not just extra staff. To increase production, they would also need to provide those extra staff with desks, printers etc. etc.

To carry Pam's analogy just one further step towards total insanity, if your local supermarket put in 33% more checkouts, you wouldn't be able to get a trolley between them |laugh1|

(Believe it or not our local Branch of Safeways did something very similar!!)