METRO: MBTA launches new customer service department

This is very encouraging news from the T
From Christina Wallace in the February 14th Boston Metro

In an effort to appease cranky riders and streamline the complaint process, the MBTA this month will open a centralized customer service department that will include bilingual employees, more manpower and speedier response times, according to T officials.

The initiative has been in the works for the past several months and training for the new department began this week, according to Carla Howze, director of the new customer support department, during a recent presentation to the MBTA Board of Directors.

“The myriad customer service functions will be located within one office, rather than spread across multiple offices and buildings across the city,” Howze said. “Responses to customer concerns will be timely, accurate and consistent.”

Before this initiative, customer concerns were bounced to different areas of the T, causing at times frustration among riders who never received a response or received different answers from different departments.

“It has led to some confusion and certainly some aggravation on the part of some of our customers,” said MBTA General Manager Dan Grabauskas. “They sometimes felt they were being thrown from department to department, or in some cases not given the right answer.”

This new department will change that, he said.

The T will continue the long-standing “Write to the Top,” complaint system but, according to Grabauskas, customers will get a better, more timely response.

“We are still going to have ‘Write to the Top,’ but we never really followed it as closely as we should have to make sure concerns were answered,” he said. “We want to make sure that a person who writes or calls in gets the right information and in a timely fashion, and that they get it once.”

This sounds very promising and a candid admission the previous system was not working.



Filed under MBTA

6 responses to “METRO: MBTA launches new customer service department

  1. Anonymous

    This is too little too late, but better than never. Dan Grabauskas does not seem to get it. It is not a metter of getting sent to the wrong department or being given the wrong answer. More often than not, the MBTA NEVER ANSWERS. The attitude of arrogance and entitlement from the drivers, the CSAs, and the management of the MBTA is what is wrong. I realize that there are some people trying to change things, but change is long overdue and coming far too slow.

  2. Anonymous

    It remains to be seen what these changes actually are.The article says the complaint tracking system won’t be ready for another month. (And having a tracking system doesn’t guarantee that they’ll actually respond.)So what exactly is new? Does this just mean you won’t be allowed to call a bus garage superintendent or subway line chief directly any more, and instead you’ll have to call the main customer service number and talk to a low-level phone person who doesn’t know anything (or even worse, makes things up)?

  3. BTW I posted this back in December< HREF="" REL="nofollow">The T is hiring customer service agents. They are accepting applications until January 8th. The starting salary is $45,998.00 <>

  4. Charlie D.

    Hopefully this won’t be like the “improvement” the City of Boston made. They had a system where you submit a complaint on their website, only to receive an automatic email that promised a follow-up by a real person, never to hear from a real person ever. Then, they added “tracking tokens” so you could call back or email back for an update on your issue. Well, you still never get a human response, but now theoretically you can call them and ask what’s going on. Gee, thanks.

  5. This is laughable. Sure, they can respond to complaints, but the trains will still be late and arrive without air conditioning in the summer. This is purely a reactive solution. The T needs to fix the problems that generate these complaints instead of just answering the phones by the seventh ring.

  6. Once again the T uses a newspaper article as a “official press release”< HREF="" REL="nofollow"> MBTA Launches New Customer Service Dept.<>I thought they learned their lesson last week when they pulled the Mac Daniel story.I was wrong……again.

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