Home' Army News : April 28th 2011 Contents Why Parents Love
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Army April 28, 2011
COULD someone please explain
to me the relevance of the 1800
DEFENCE number? I recently had
a travel-related query, so I adopted
the self-help approach and used the
travel site on the DRN.
After extensive reading through all
areas of the site, I was unable to find
the information I was looking for.
I then rang the 1800 DEFENCE
number, as this was listed under the
contacts menu on the travel site.
After eventually being put through
to a human being, I had to provide my
PMKeyS number and prove my iden-
tity by providing my full name and
date of birth.
I was then asked as to the nature of
my query. After reiterating the travel-
based nature of my enquiry, the opera-
tor then proceeded to peruse the exact
same website that I had just been stud-
ying in great depth.
After I informed the operator that
I had already perused this informa-
tion and had been unable to find the
required detail, I was greeted with
silence for the next five minutes while
she satisfied her own curiosity -- I pre-
sume she thought I was illiterate or of
low mental ability.
After the operator was unable to
find any information either, I was
informed that she would have to put
me through to someone in the travel
section. I thought that was who I was
After a minute, she changed her
mind and deemed the enquiry "out of
the box" and consulted her supervisor.
After a further wait, I was informed
that an "incident" had occurred and an
incident report would have to be raised
and forwarded to the travel people for
response. I was then provided with an
incident number as a reference to my
query and was informed that someone
from travel would be in touch.
While someone from ITS did con-
tact me and provide me with the rele-
vant information, this could have been
achieved in a shorter timeframe, with-
out a third party, if the actual travel
number was listed as a contact on the
The 1800 DEFENCE number
seems to be a pointless additional level
of bureaucracy that achieved little or
nothing in this instance. The require-
ment to provide PMKeyS data seems
of no benefit to the actual process and
I assume is a data capturing exercise
for the purpose of reporting how much
"work" has been done.
WO1 Iain Lewington
Psych Corps Warrant Officer
Campbell Park, ACT
Brig Peter Short, Director-General Base
and Customer Support Services, Defence
Support Operation responds:
THANK you WO1 Lewington for
bringing this issue to our attention.
You were trying to find out through
1800 DEFENCE whether you could
book travel for an eligible honorary
member and if this could be charged
to your Defence Travel Card on the
The response that you should
have received was that you are able to
book the member's travel using your
Defence Travel Card. However, on
this occasion, your enquiry was not
handled well by the customer service
In this case, we got it wrong. Our
regional customer service centre and
1800 DEFENCE customer service
officers process thousands of enquiries
and transactions a month. It is a very
human process and sometimes we get
it wrong. When this occurs it is impor-
tant for us to take appropriate action
to ensure we continually improve our
service to customers.
I'd like to offer an apology to WO1
Lewington. The CSO involved has
been appropriately counselled and is
undergoing additional training.
The Directorate of Customer
Access Management (DCAM) within
my branch is responsible for the deliv-
ery of products and services through
customer service centres and 1800
DCAM continues to strive to pro-
vide an efficient and effective service
to its customers.
To this end, there is also an obliga-
tion on behalf of members to lodge
valid complaints or provide construc-
tive feedback on the services provided
in order to help us continually improve
our processes and procedures.
Managing telephone rage
Fed up: Members who experience difficulty dealing with Defence customer service centres can lodge
complaints with Defence Support Operations.
In the letters section of the April 14
edition of Army, the response to the
letter written by Capt Chris Murray was
incorrectly credited to Alan McClelland,
Director Relocations and Housing,
Defence Support Operations.
The respondent was Rob McKellar,
Director, Housing and Removals Policy,
Personnel Policy and Employment
Army apologises for the error.
We would like to hear from you. When
writing to us, letters under 300 words
All letter writers must include their
name, unit, location and contact num-
ber for verification.
Letters might be rejected if they
are too long, abusive, or can be
answered by the author's unit.
Letters should be emailed to
HAVE YOUR SAY
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