Up to 7 out of 10 calls that do not succeed… Public services too often with absent subscribers


More than half of calls to the Family Allowance Fund (CAF) are unsuccessful. The problem is even more serious with regard to sickness insurance. NONTANUN / stock.adobe.com

A magazine survey 60 million consumerscarried out with the Defender of Rights, shows that the various public services respond very little to telephone calls.

Like health insurancepublic services are often unreachable by telephone by users looking for information but who have poor internet knowledge, according to a survey by the magazine 60 million consumers published this Thursday. “Unfortunately, people who are not comfortable with the Internet have great difficulty accessing even information on their rights.“, lamented to AFP the journalist Lionel Maugain, co-author of the survey, citing in particular the elderly, precarious or foreigners.

As part of this survey conducted with the Defender of Rights1,532 calls were made, between September 26 and November 10, 2022, by callers representing three types of users needing telephone contact for inquiries or formalities (one person without internet, another with internet but with poor command of French, an elderly person with internet), as well as by a caller “lambdato check for any differences in treatment.

Only 22% of calls received ‘an acceptable response’

The dunce’s cap goes to Health Insurance. Out of 302 calls made to find out about the formalities for obtaining or renewing a vital card, 72% were unsuccessful – three unsuccessful attempts with a five-minute wait each. When it picks up, only 22% of calls received “an acceptable answer», and less than 5% of «precise answers“. Health Insurance argued in the magazine that calls received have more than doubled since the fall of 2019, to 3.2 million per month, and that it is struggling to recruit advisers for its telephone platforms.

At the Family Allowance Fund (CAF), 54% of the 408 calls had no one on the phone. Here too, when someone answers, the answers are insufficient or refer to… the internet. Only a minority of agents offer an appointment at the counter or the sending of a paper file to the home. “Solutions exist but they are very rarely offered, which plunges users into disarray and can go as far as the waiver of their rights.“, notes Lionel Maugain.

Pôle Emploi does a little well with 84% of the calls having succeeded, with however answers not always satisfactory or lacking in precision. As for the Pension Insurance Fund, 72% of the phone calls were successful but once again, the answers on the possible retirement age were not relevant in the vast majority of cases.

While the dematerialization of public services is accelerating, “60 million consumersdemands, with the Defender of Rights, a law imposing several modes of access, in particular via the establishment of a local counter bringing together a representative of each organization. The results of this survey show little progress compared to the one conducted in 2016, except that calls are no longer overcharged and there is no longer any significant discrimination linked to the origin of users.

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