Dudley Council Plus streamlined service
Dudley Council Plus will moving to a more phone and online service as face-to-face contacts continue to drop.
Dudley Council’s customer service centre has seen a drop in face-to-face contacts from 10% pre-covid to just 2% with more and more people moving to online self-service options and the phone service.
The main centre at Castle Street in Dudley and the three smaller centres at Brierley Hill, Halesowen and Stourbridge libraries have all seen a decline in in-person contacts. Changes to layouts at Brierley Hill and Stourbridge libraries also mean that there is no longer space to have a physical presence and the council can no longer run a service at these venues. Halesowen library however has additional room to expand counter provision and an in-person service will continue there once building improvement works have been completed. There is no change at the main Dudley Centre which remains open.
Residents will no longer be able to pay using cash at the centres. Residents have not been able to pay using cash since the pandemic began in March 2020 and have not asked for this option to be reinstated. Only 4% of residents choose to pay with cash with most paying by direct debit or standing order. Residents can continue to pay by phone with their Debit or Credit Card using the CallPay automated payments system on 0300 555 7000. They can also pay online via the council website.
For those people who prefer to pay in person, payments can continue to be made at any post office or PayZone or PayPoint location, often located in local shops and closer to home than a trip into central Dudley. Nationally, there are Payzone or post offices in over 24,000 stores and Paypoint in over 28,000 where bills may be paid in cash.
Councillor Shaun Keasey, cabinet member for digital, customer and commercial services, said:
We’ve seen a significant drop in face-to-face customer contacts across all our sites over the last few years, with only 2% of contacts being face-to-face over the last 18 months, which is why we’ve taken the decision to focus our walk-ins to where they are most used; Dudley and Halesowen.
The majority of our customers are using self-serve methods online to report and resolve issues and are also using online facilities to make payments, making the cash kiosks which have been out of use since March 2020 redundant. People who want to pay in case can continue to do so at a location more convenient and closer to them, wherever they see the PayZone or PayPoint sign.
By focusing on our online and telephone services we can be much more efficient in dealing with customers and provide a service which fits in around them.
People can get in touch via the phone 0300 555 2345, email email@example.com via twitter @dudleyplus or by completing one of the many self-serve forms on the council website.