RIDE call center operator fined $100,000

RIDE call center operator fined $100,000

Penalty equals 20% of its monthly fee

THE MBTA FINED the operator of its paratransit call center $100,000 in May for a series of contract violations that resulted in poor service for customers. The fines equaled about a fifth of the firm’s fees that month for running the call center.

Ben Schutzman, the T’s director of transportation innovation, mentioned the fines against Global Contact Services on Monday after briefing members of the Fiscal and Management Control Board on progress in reducing service problems.

The MBTA is trying to reduce operating expenses of the paratransit system, which is called the RIDE, by consolidating three call centers and service areas into one. Global Contact was hired to run the unified call center, and is currently serving two of the three service areas. Customers have been vocal in complaining about the poor quality of service, the rudeness of customer service representatives, and the alleged sharing of confidential client medical information.

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Natasha Ishak

Editorial Intern, CommonWealth magazine

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Natasha Ishak is the editorial intern at CommonWealth magazine. Her duties include reporting and writing on the latest policy issues happening on Beacon Hill.

Before arriving at CommonWealth Magazine, she worked as a digital intern under NOVA/PBS at WGBH. She was a reporter in her hometown of Jakarta for four years, writing up stories at The Jakarta Post - Indonesia's oldest leading English-language daily, and as a production assistant on the popular news program, the Indonesia Morning Show.

Now in her second year pursuing a master's degree in journalism at Emerson College, she hopes to shed light on marginalized communities through stories related to politics, immigration, social justice and the environment.

About Natasha Ishak

Natasha Ishak is the editorial intern at CommonWealth magazine. Her duties include reporting and writing on the latest policy issues happening on Beacon Hill.

Before arriving at CommonWealth Magazine, she worked as a digital intern under NOVA/PBS at WGBH. She was a reporter in her hometown of Jakarta for four years, writing up stories at The Jakarta Post - Indonesia's oldest leading English-language daily, and as a production assistant on the popular news program, the Indonesia Morning Show.

Now in her second year pursuing a master's degree in journalism at Emerson College, she hopes to shed light on marginalized communities through stories related to politics, immigration, social justice and the environment.

Schutzman said most of the problems at Global Contact surfaced after the vendor added a second service area to its purview in late May. According to T data, on-time performance dipped and call wait times increased dramatically. In both cases, however, Global Contact’s performance has improved over the last few weeks, Schutzman said.

The improvement coincides with the hiring of more staff and better training of existing staff.

Global Contact faces financial penalties for late trips, completely missed trips, and poor phone interaction with customers.