The Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec is unable to meet demand due to the pandemic. There are so many phone calls that the lines do not ring while many clients cannot get an appointment on their website.
“It's messy,” says Pierre Peterson, a motorist who lines up for the walk-in at the SAAQ at Carrefour Langelier in Montreal.
Yesterday morning, there were several people in line in front of this same Saint-Léonard branch before it even opened.
Pierre Peterson maintains that he had no choice but to go there.
“It's not effective. […] We are trying to make an appointment [on the internet] and it is not available. We try to talk to someone and it doesn't work, ”he says.
Due to the pandemic, the SAAQ wishes to minimize on-site transactions. It has implemented a telephone service for making appointments, in addition to the existing customer service.
Overtaken by the pandemic
However, the network seems “too busy”, believes Xavier Lamarre, another motorist who waits in a line.
The Crown corporation therefore suggests that customers use the website. Again, some are having difficulty.
“Me, I'm staying in Repentigny. The site sent me to Sorel, I pitched, I canceled my business and I came here [on Langelier], it's closer, ”says François Trudeau.
Photo courtesy Gino Desrosiers
The public relations officer of the state-owned company, Gino Desrosiers, recognizes that the telephone operators do not provide on demand.
In May and June, similar difficulties were observed. Mr. Desrosiers added that the SAAQ had managed to improve the situation during the summer, in particular with the addition of students.
150 back-up agents
To solve the problem, a hiring wave took place at the end of August. The SAAQ plans to double the number of attendants, from 150 to 300. These people are hired, but they must be trained.
“The capacity to take calls will gradually increase over the next few weeks,” explains the SAAQ public relations officer.
► During the week of September 7, the attendants answered approximately 6,000 requests for information every day as well as 2,300 calls for an appointment.