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LETTER OF THE DAY - Unacceptably poor RGD service

Published:Thursday | April 8, 2010 | 12:00 AM

The Editor, Sir:

With my patience sorely tried, I must bring to your attention my heart-rending situation resulting from my recent encounter with the Registrar General's Department (RGD).

In August 2009, I applied and paid online for my birth certificate. Due to the fact that I had no real urgency at the time, I decided to use the regular method of delivery which I generously estimated to be about three months. In November 2009, after receiving no form of communication, I submitted an online query to my application - a feature I was happy to know the RGD had supposedly employed in its efforts to move with technology and expand its level of client satisfaction. Lo and behold, no response mail was received to which I followed up with another application query in December 2009. And - you guessed it - no response.

In January 2010, I made several daily calls to the department only to be told that the record was located but no information contained in it. With no explanation given as to why my online queries were not answered or a reason why the challenge was not communicated to me, I then asked what could be done at this point, given we were five months into the application process. To my dismay, I was asked to visit the nearest RGD office, take a number to speak with someone and provide a copy of my old certified birth certificate. With much disgust, I did what was requested of me and was assured by the representative that due to the lengthy period that has passed, I should be getting the certificate in about two weeks. That was early February, we are now in April.

Several requests

My daily calls continued and each time the attending representative can read the system logs made with respect to my calls and notations made but no word on the delivery of the birth certificate. Since February 2010 to my last call on April 1, I was told on all occasions that the certificate is in the printery department for printing - which begs the questions. Does it take over four weeks to print a certificate? I have made several requests to speak with the supervisor, a Ms Suzette Darien but to date have not received a response call.

This sort of customer service, or the lack thereof, is totally unacceptable and this open letter to the relevant authorities is a strong request to rectify this issue, as I have put my life on hold for far too long because of the RGD. 'To become one of the most efficient and effective agencies', this ironically is the RGD's proclaimed vision which perhaps may not be realised in my lifetime. The nation's repository is, and continues to be, extremely tardy in its delivery and service and this needs to stop.

I am, etc.,