Para Transpo information session and workshop: cancellations

Questions, comments or suggestions received

Session # 1 – Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Q1. What happens if the appointment at the doctor takes longer and the pick-up has to be cancelled? Will I get a negative point for events beyond my control? Will cancel reasons be factored in? (i.e. doctor late, meeting cancelled, etc..)

Q2. What happens when errors are made by Para Transpo staff that result in missed rides/cancellations?

Q3. How will Para Transpo verify “legitimate” reasons for cancellation? Customers may not be honest to avoid being penalized. Also need to verify true “no shows” (sometimes drivers simply cant’ find you, but you are there and have been waiting)

Q4. What happens when we have a doctor’s appointment, but the appointment or the doctor cancels it?

Q5. Cancellations- it has happened to me 3 times in the last year. Doctor calls the morning of and the doc is sick and has to cancel? What happens? Do we get penalized?

Q6. Consider treating no shows from medical buildings differently- e.g. Sometimes one is in a medical office and they are running behind - people are concerned about no shows and they are unable to get to a phone. Receptionist will not call on behalf as it ties up their lines.

Q7. How automatic would the cancellation be entered into the system. Recently I have been no showed twice on the fault of Para, not me. How would this be handled?

Q8. Using the IVR to cancel does not allow someone to provide a reason for cancellation that may prevent late cancellation points being assigned. More so, staff answer the cancellation line less frequently.

A1-A8. There will always be exceptions and situations that can’t be predicted. If this happens to you, please call our Customer Relations line and we will be happy to work it out with you. If the situation is truly out of your control, we will cancel the points. Customers will not be penalized for matters outside their control.

Q9. The automated cancellation line has been of great benefit – thank you. It would be even better, however, if the system allowed clients to key in the date for a cancellation further in advance. I make bookings and do cancellations for a family member, who is a long-term “subscription” client. I could cancel rides on days when he has medical appointment (which I drive him to) long in advance. Surely, this would be more efficient for the system.

Q10. Is there a way to use the automated cancellation line to cancel rides MORE THAN one day in advance?

Q11. Cancellation in advance - IVR rather than calling the line. Would like to see the IVR line able to cancel a week ahead and not use staff time and resources to do so.

A9-A11. Automated cancellation is tied into our scheduling and booking systems, which can only look at today and tomorrow at the moment.

Q12. I have 3 regular appointments a week: Monday, Wednesday and Friday – pick up at 11am return home at 2:30pm. I was suspended last December because I had to cancel 2 days before – I did not know. Please explain and provide better wording.

Q13. I used the automated cancellation line to cancel some subscription bookings, and I didn’t know it was considered a late cancellation until I was suspended.

Q14. I have used IVR and did not realize that that was a late cancellation. They suspended my service. You can cancel in under 3 hrs? you can use IVR and it will not count as late if not less than 3 hrs.

Q15. If I call later in the evening, I can do a cancellation for the next day. If two days or less it is currently a late cancellation.

A12-A15. Under the new cancellation policy, the rules will be changing to less than 3 hours before the trip. For these types of questions, however, you can always call us for more information. We also have a new brochure on the automated cancellation line, and will make sure this information is posted on our website.

Q16. Overall need to improve communication on cancellation policy and other rules.

Q17. How will people be notified if they are suspended?

Q18. Suspension: after five times in a month period, to start being suspended and on no-shows - it should be done after 2 times. Office should contact customers.

A16-A18. We looked at other para transit services when we developed our policy and process. Notification will start with a letter as your points get high, and will be followed by phone calls and letters. Customers will know well in advance before they get to that point. If you do get suspended, you will receive a letter detailing the dates of your suspension. Please see the answers provided for Q39-Q40 below for more information.

Q19. MDT’s were to display full information regarding a call (back door, side entrance). This would reduce the no shows. It is more important to have call details than an entire day run that will change as the day progresses.

A19. Thank you for your feedback. We have a comments section for these types of comments and we train our drivers to look at this section. If it happens to you, please let us know and we’ll raise it with that specific driver.

Q20. Why are all upcoming trips cancelled when one trip is cancelled at the door or no show? The person may have had to leave because the vehicle is late.

A20. If you cancel a trip and have another trip scheduled immediately after, we assume you didn’t make your first trip. All subsequent trips get cancelled automatically. If this happens to you, please give us a call, and we can reinstate the other trips.

Q21. For the automated cancellation line, I’m not able to use it, as I can’t punch in the numbers quick enough. It keeps hanging up on me.

Q22. I have known about automated system for cancellations or to try to determine where ride may be. I have never been able to use it as time allowed on the system. I do not punch in the numbers quick enough to be able to use it. That is why after a fair bit of time trying to adapt to the sytem put in place.

A21-A22. Thank you for your feedback – we were not aware of this. We will share this information with our software supplier, and see if this can be corrected.

Q23. On the IVR cancellation line, I do not like that it says “In violation of cancellation policy"

A23. We will review this wording and look at changing it as the new policy is put in place.

Q24. To go on cancellation line it is inconvenient.

A24. We realize that calling the cancellation line may be inconvenient for some users. As an alternative, we recommend calling the automated cancellation line for quicker and more convenient service.

Session # 2 – Saturday, January 13, 2018

Q25. What about bad weather days? I might not make the decision until right before my ride.

Q26. Who monitors why do we cancel: event got cancelled, worker did not show up, heater is bad, my contractor did not clear snow, I got sick.

Q27. What if you have to change pick up: (i.e. doctor is later. chair repairs not finished and you have to change pick up time, what if you cancel within time frame but driver not informed?) Will I get negative points?

Q28. Right now, there is not penalty for cancellation if Para has declared inclement weather. Will this remain the new cancellation policy? If so, how do we know when this has been declared?

Q29. When cancelling due to weather, with less than 3 hours notice (as work closed), does this count towards the points?

Q30. What if a driver shows up on the wrong day? What now?

Q31. I have had to push back pick up time – do you get negative points for this?

Q32. I can’t always get to the phone or online to cancel my trip.

A25-A32. We realize there will always be exceptions, including Ottawa weather. Please see the answers provided for Q1-Q8 above for more detail.

Q33. What happens when cancellations are due to Para Transpo error?

A33. In the event of a Para Transpo error, it will not be listed as a late cancellation by the customer.

Q34. Keep eye on taxi drivers that no show because it is easy.

A34. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if this situation happens to you. We do monitor the taxi operator performance through the contract.

Q35. Why is your system designed to penalize clients instead of supporting clients? If too many late cancellations (and it is usually due to a faulty system), clients receive warning letters, email and etc.. but if a client is constantly picked up late that run is not flagged to be fixed for client(s). update the system to flag late runs for automatic fixes and assist clients instead of unfairly penalizing them. This is a solution.

A35. A cancellation policy is the best way to make sure the service is available fairly for all customers. Some customers cancel frequently and we want to make sure that they are not taking service away from others. It is the only way to be fair to everyone.

Q36. Are there any way to use the automated line to cancel bookings MORE THAN one day in advance?

Q37. Suspension of regular rides should be possible using IVR and the new online system.

A36-A37. This is similar to the questions Q12-Q15 above. Please see the response provided for those questions.

Q38. Once upon a time, the IVR system would read out the details of your stops. Can we get that back? For example, all of Carleton U is one address but you pick a specific door. It is time consuming to call cancellations just to confirm this.

A38. Thank you for your feedback. We will share your comments with our software supplier to determine what improvements can be made.

Q39. What will be the point system for no show and cancellation. Info please (missed it)

Q40. How do we know we get negative points?

A39-A40. Customers can call Customer Relations to find out if they have any points. Points are earned within a 60-day period – they will go up and down within that 60 days, as some drop off after a period of time. After a certain level, a letter will be sent advising the customer. The current levels are as follows:

Number of Points Action Taken
12 A formal letter with information on the Cancellation Policy will be sent,
including the specific dates. A Customer Service Representative will
contact you by phone as follow-up.
18 All services will be suspended for three (3) days. A letter explaining the
suspension and suspension dates will be sent.
24 All services will be suspended for seven (7) days. A letter explaining the
suspension and suspension dates will be sent.
30 All services will be suspended for four (4) consecutive weeks. A letter
explaining the suspension and suspension dates will be sent, and a
Customer Service Representative will contact the customer by phone as
a follow-up.

More information on the policy, including the levels and the process, will be sent to all customers.

Q41. For the new online booking system, can we also cancel online?

A41. Yes, we expect that such a system would allow this.

Q42. Automated cancellation phone system – it does not let me enter my birthdate. It says it is the wrong password.

A42. We have heard this issue before from customers. Sorry for the inconvenience. Please call Customer Relations to reset your account.

Q43. Online – regular booking cancellation opens at 7:30am, and I will have to miss work to stay and cancel my trip.

A43. The automated system is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We also have staff answering the cancellation line as early as 6:00 am.

Received to date by e-mail or other methods

Q44. Here is a dilemma that sometimes occurs. A client is waiting sometimes in very difficult conditions (weather, incontinence) outside for over 30 to 45 minutes. The driver is not showing up, and the telephone systems are inaccessible or not available. Drivers may be delayed by weather conditions, traffic conditions, construction detours, maintenance problems, emergency situations or simply not knowing the side streets, if they are novices. The client is clearly stranded and is in a dire and often desperate situation. The client is sometimes forced by these circumstances and sheer desperation to seek other transportation means. Yet the client faces a cancellation penalty in doing so. Most clients are very responsible and do not want to cancel, but in dire circumstances really have no choice. Given the comment above, how fair would it be to levy a cancellation penalty in such situations?

A44. We would not do this with the experience you have described. We realize there are always exceptions. Please see the answers previously provided for Q1-Q8 above.

Q45. What are the warning level points for each suspension levy? Should this not be made explicit?

A45. This is similar to the questions Q39-Q40 above. Please see the response provided for those questions.

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