LAO’s toll-free wait times continue to improve

Posted on: Friday, November 12, 2010

Increased capacity, technology upgrades and a commitment to constant improvements continue to pay off as callers to Legal Aid Ontario (LAO)’s toll-free telephone service experience shorter wait times.

A strong downward trend continued in October as caller wait times were reduced to an average of three minutes during the month, marking a full minute of improvement from September, when callers waited an average of four minutes to speak to a representative.

Callers experienced shorter wait times even though LAO toll-free staff answered over 5,700 calls in the last week of October. This represented an increase in calls from the last week of September, during which LAO toll-free staff answered 4,800 calls.

The trend for November’s wait times started off even more impressively. Average wait times of two minutes and 16 seconds were recorded for the week ending November 5, with a low of 68 seconds recorded for November 4.

Callers to the toll-free service first speak with representatives who provide general information and referrals to duty counsel, community legal clinics or other agencies as needed. Some callers are connected with a second level of specialists who can take applications and arrange for the caller to receive summary legal advice from LAO staff lawyers. Given the more involved nature of this second level of service, wait times are generally longer than for the first level.