My gut thought is that the city budget only allows for a certain number of people to fill these positions. Okay so we can point to the money factor. Budget is an issue everywhere so why not try to maximize what you do have instead of complaining about what you don't
The problem is mass inefficiency. I have called the city so many times on various things and it is just the most inefficient you can get. Once I spend the 43 minutes on the phone I will have someone answer, let me get two words in, and then transfer me to the next queue. I have had so many robots answer the phone that don't want to do anything but transfer to the next queue it is pathetic. I actually got hung up on by one of these people because at the height of my frustration I called her a robot. I didn't yell and I do admit that it wasn't the nicest of things to say but sometimes if they would just listen and let common sense prevail it would be so much easier not to mention efficient. But no, I guess some things are too easy.
UPDATE- I should have looked at the time I called but I didn't so I will let you know that in the time I have been on the phone. I have eaten 2 bowls of cereal, gone to the bathroom, responded to a few emails, and started cleaning off my desk. Needless to say, I am still listening to the same elevator music and my neck is starting to get a little out of whack from holding the phone with my shoulder.
Okay so back to what I was saying about inefficiency. I think the easiest thing to do instead of set up 5 different menu options that lead you in circles cross-train your people. Most of the problems people call about are for billing or loss of service. Surely, they can set up a queue for people just calling to say thank you but I don't think that one is necessay.
Granted there are going to be some issues that need to be escalated to more experienced professionals but that is fine. If the first level of people are cross-trained to handle multiple types of calls and accountable for answering the question and solving the problem the first time that may cut down on a lot of the inefficiency that we the customer get to reap the benefits of.
RANT OVER...it 12:49 PM this post was started at 12:27 PM and I had already been on hold for at least 15 minutes!! I will be happy to come back and update when I am graced with the voice of a human.
UPDATE- It is 1:00 pm and I have a human!! But back on hold again.
UPDATE 2- At 1:08 after getting 1 issue solved and working on the 2nd issue we were disconnected.