AfriGeneas Caribbean Research Forum
[JAMAICA] The RGD and Patricia Holness's Responses
We do appreciate your effort to address everyone's concerns, however I find it very troubling that you fail to recognize the failures within your department. Your responses to our concerns read like a public relations coverup. I understand it is your sincere desire to ensure your customers are 100% satisfied and I do applaud you.
Based on the interaction that most of the folks on AfriGeneas have experienced with your employees it appears your perception is tainted. The main issues plaguing your department and too many government offices in Jamaica are:
1. A lack of technologically savy individuals
2. Poor Communication skills
3. A lack of respect for your customers and their time
We are all human beings and we deserve to be treated with respect when we contact a place of business. As a customer I should not feel as if my call to your office interrupted your personal conversation or that I simply called when you did not wish to answer the phone.
You indicated that you rarely have system outages. If that is a true statement, please inform your staff to stop using that excuse. You could have all the technology in the world however in order to run a successful operation you need employees who are technologically savy and able to work in a fast-paced environment. Jamaica has a very laid back culture and that is great when I am on vacation but when I am conducting business I need the pace to be picked up a tad bit.
There are 5 telephone numbers indicated on your website, today I dialed all 5 numbers without success from 10am to 3pm EST. No one picked up. I called again at 4:30pm and spoke to a very helpful young lady who was able to answer my questions.
I do regret to inform you that your statement that these situations are "most unusual considering that we satisfy over 340,000 persons/applications each year" is unfounding. My aunt has sat in your office for over 8 hours awaiting an expedited copy of my mom's birth certificate which was requested weeks prior. To top it off, the gentleman who finally completed the request, handed my aunt a copy without my mom's last name. He indicated her last name was not on the birth records. That statement was also unfounded, as you cannot apply for a passport without a last name on your birth certificate and my mom had a passport and resides in the USA. That is poor customer service.
To clarify your statement referencing the lack of last name on birth records, in the 1930's to approximately the late 1950's the last name of the father was not placed on the birth certificate of an infant if the parents were not legally married. The child however was either given the mother's last name or the last name of the man deemed the father. In the 1960's through the early 1970's, the mother had the option of not listed the father's name on the birth records.
I am not here to bash your department or yourself but I do want honesty. I am sure all on this board will agree that they would prefer to hear the truth than to be given the run around. It takes time and money to keep calling and writing your department. The least your staff can do is be courteous, concise and explicit with disseminating information and be cognizant that we are calling and emailing from another country. Please do not place us on hold to have a private conversation with someone in the office. Every minute we are placed on hold, is another $2.00 to $3.00 that is added to our phone bill.
I hope you understand that this has been a very frustrating event for all of us and as Jamaicans or descendants of Jamaicans we would like to prove to the world that we are efficient. Let's start doing that by changing the culture at the RGD offices.
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