Penarth pensioner's five-week wait for replacement bus pass
A PENARTH man has spoken of his frustration after it took the Vale Council five weeks to replace his bus pass.
Michael O'Neill, of Railway Terrace, requested a replacement pass on October 2, having lost the original.
After waiting for four weeks he contacted the council and was told there had been a mistake in his initial order and that a new bus pass would be dispatched in the post. But that delivery went astray, and it was not until November 6 that he received the pass - personally delivered by Penarth councillor Lis Burnett.
"I appreciate what Cllr Burnett did, especially as she only heard about it the day before she delivered it to me, but it took an unreasonably long time," he said. "I have been told the normal delay is about a week."
Mr O'Neill, 75, said it was only the second time he had lost his bus pass in ten years "It disrupted my life," he said. "It was not the end of the world but I don't understand why there was such a delay.
"It's only me, but what if they have done this to other people who aren't as pushy?"
Tony Curliss, Vale Council operational manager for customer relations, said that when Mr O'Neill first requested a new pass on October 2, and paid for it, the order did not go through.
"The customer service representative who handled the enquiry recorded the request and took the required payment," he said.
"At this point the service request should have automatically transferred to a work queue for the replacement badge to be made and sent to the customer. However, the customer service representative inadvertently closed the request, which meant it did not appear in the work queue."
He said the error became apparent when Mr O'Neill contacted the council on October 29.
"The team leader spoke with the customer, explained the error and apologised for the delay," added Mr Curliss, who said a replacement pass was made and put in the post on October 29.
"We then made a further replacement, which Cllr Burnett kindly agreed to collect and deliver in person.
"The initial error has been addressed with the customer service representative who handled the enquiry and the correct procedure emphasised. We will also be communicating this to the rest of the department."
Cllr Burnett added: "We recognise how much the free bus passes mean to our older residents. I was only too pleased to deliver Mr O'Neill's pass to him in person."