A matter of time

A matter of time

July 28, 2015

28 July, 2015

After signing up for “Back on Track,” a remedial program for people convicted of impaired driving, a man phoned the program to book a one-hour assessment interview. He was given the choice of several time slots. He arrived at 3:30 on the appointed day, believing he was half an hour early for the 4 p.m. slot. Instead, he was told the interview had actually been booked for 3 p.m.

After signing up for “Back on Track,” a remedial program for people convicted of impaired driving, a man phoned the program to book a one-hour assessment interview. He was given the choice of several time slots. He arrived at 3:30 on the appointed day, believing he was half an hour early for the 4 p.m. slot. Instead, he was told the interview had actually been booked for 3 p.m. – and because he was late, he would have to re-register for the program and pay the entire $578 enrollment fee again.

The man complained to the Ombudsman that this was unfair, because he believed he had been on time and that program staff had written down the wrong time when the appointment was booked. Further, he argued that if it was his error, it didn’t make sense for him to pay almost $600 for being half an hour late – the penalty should have been a small late fee instead.

After many discussions with Ministry staff, the Ministry agreed that the program’s response wasn’t fair. They reimbursed the man’s fee and made improvements to the appointment confirmation process. The program will now ensure the client repeats the date and time of the appointment, and send out written or electronic confirmations of appointment times when possible.