To demonstrate that it’s responsibly taking care of the oil spill and listening to public complaints, BP has touted the fact that it has set up call centers to handle the response. However, one of the operators at the BP Call Center in West Houston has revealed that she and the other 100 employees are just PR props; BP isn’t actually doing anything with the thousands of calls it receives:
“We take all your information and then we have nothing to give them, nothing to give them,” said Janice.
Janice said calls about the oil disaster are non-stop and that operators are just warm bodies on the other end of the phone.
“We’re a diversion to stop them from really getting to the corporate office, to the big people,” said Janice. … Because the operators believe the calls never get past them, some don’t even bother taking notes.
BP told KHOU in Houston that it has received “more than 200,000 phone messages from the Call Center in Houston,” but it couldn’t “say just what percentage of calls is returned.”
CAP Senior Fellow Tom Kenworthy and the Wonk Room’s Brad Johnson have written that “[f]ederal agencies, not BP, should handle spill response hotlines for volunteers, technology ideas, affected wildlife, and others. Full call records need to be logged with incident reports and technology ideas presented publicly on dynamic websites.” (HT: Raw Story)