Council take two years to answer complaint

Christine Gregory has received an email reply from Blackpool Council regarding a complaint she made two years ago

Christine Gregory has received an email reply from Blackpool Council regarding a complaint she made two years ago

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WHEN yoga enthusiast Christine Gregory fired off an angry email to the council, she hoped for a swift reply.

She had become exasperated by loud dance music from the spin sessions next door interrupting her more tranquil weekly classes.

But it took two years for town hall workers to respond to her request to turn the music down at Blackpool Sports Centre.

Christine, of Tarnbrook Drive, Grange Park, e-mailed the council’s Customer First Centre on September 8 2009, but heard nothing.

That is until November 3 this year, when someone from the leisure department e-mailed her to say the music disrupting the yoga classes would be turned down.

Blackpool Council has blamed a technical glitch for the delay, but it has left Christine wondering whether it was a record for the slowest email reply ever.

She said: “I emailed Customer First but it was not forwarded to the sports centre until two years later.

“By the time I received the reply, I had forgotten what I had complained about. And I don’t even go to yoga classes at Blackpool Sports Centre now, I go to Thornton instead.

“They call the post snail mail sometimes, but this is even worse.

“Is it a record for the slowest email reply ever?

“Thankfully my complaint was not that serious, but what if this happened to someone with something more urgent or important that they wanted to raise.”

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Blackpool Council said when the email was forwarded to them, sports centre staff responded quickly with the delay being caused because the email had not been forwarded from the Customer First Centre.

A Blackpool Council spokesman added: “On October 27 2011 we received an e-mail from Christine Gregory with regards to a issue about an exercise class. The e-mail was forwarded on to the leisure services team to respond and no-one noticed it was actually dated in 2009 as we had only received it that day.

“It’s impossible to say what caused it to come through so late and but we should have noticed the date before responding.

“Our Customer First Team receive more than 1,000 e-mails a month and always reply within 24 hours.

“We can only pass on our sincere apologies to Mrs Gregory she did not receive a reply at the time she originally sent the e-mail, unfortunately it appears its one of those instances where technology has failed.

“The actual issue raised in this e-mail was resolved two years ago when it was first brought to our attention.”