Things have been rather quiet here over the past month, so I thought I would write a post about the TTC’s customer service given the events of the past few weeks. What prompted me to write this was a comment made by John Tory on his NewsTalk 1010 show. He spent a half hour on the latest situation, where a rider made a video of a TTC driver taking a seven minute washroom/coffee break. At the end of the topic, Tory made about five suggestions aimed at TTC management, employees, and the union, as well as at the public at large. For the most part, these were very constructive suggestions. However, his last suggestion was aimed at the public and encouraged the documenting and reporting of issues. That suggestion was also constructive in so far as encouraging reporting incidents to the TTC’s customer service department. I took issue with the second part of that suggestion, where Tory asked for a halt to sending photos and videos to the media, primarily because “we” are all too tired of these.
There is a small truth to this, as is the case for just about any story that surfaces in this 24-hour-news-at-any-moment environment. I am not so sure that anyone should be thinking twice about sending the details, with photos and videos if available, to the media. Personally, for far too long I, and I suspect that much of the public, have found that complaints to the TTC simply fall upon deaf ears, or worse, insincere ears that are only there to pretend to pat one on the back and say, “there there.” In some recent news stories, some people being interviewed have indicated that they even experienced what they called rudeness from the complaint line.
I believe that the public’s lack of faith that the TTC can or will actually do something about complaints has been brewing sometime. Combined with instances of poor service, we had a powder keg waiting to be ignited, and the recent fare increase along with the way it was handled, has set it off. This leaves the TTC with very poor credibility when it comes to saying that they will listen to complaints.