VANCOUVER, B.C. – E-Comm is imploring people not to tie up lifelines with calls that do not have a nature of emergency or require assistance from emergency services.
Some calls that made their way to 9-1-1 lines this year include consumer complaints, questions about vehicle malfunction and someone calling to find out how to turn off their vehicle headlights and another caller reporting that their wiper blades were broken.
Call taker Heather Andrews handled the number one call on this year’s list and says when someone calls 9-1-1 just to complain about customer service at a business, time is taken away from helping people with real-life safety issues. “This type of call ties up our ability to help people with real emergencies,” said Andrews. “Dealing with a complaint about the opening hours of a restaurant is a call that doesn’t belong on 9-1-1.”
Call taker Kayla Ryan handled a question about a retailer not accepting a return of shoes without the original box. “We are here to help people in emergency situations,” said Ryan. “When someone calls 9-1-1 for general information, we still have to confirm the person is safe before completing the call. Calling the police to complain about a store’s return policy isn’t a reason to call 9-1-1.”
E-Comm’s top 10 reasons not to call 9-1-1 in 2018
- To complain a local fast food restaurant wasn’t open 24-hours-a-day, as advertised
- To complain a store won’t take shoes back without the original box
- To complain that a gas station attendant put the wrong type of gas in their car
- To report a rental company provided the wrong-sized vehicle for a customer’s reservation
- To report a restaurant wouldn’t redeem a customer’s coupon
- To ask for help turning off their car lights
- To report their vehicle’s windshield wipers had stopped working
- To find out where their car had been towed
- To report a lost jacket
- To ask if the clocks move forward or backward during the spring time change
E-Comm reminds the public that 9-1-1 is for police, fire or medical emergencies when an immediate response is needed. “Most people use 9-1-1 responsibly,” said Jasmine Bradley, E-Comm Corporate Communications manager. “But calls such as those on this year’s headscratcher list waste valuable emergency resources that would otherwise be available to someone who’s health, safety or property was in jeopardy or a crime was in progress.”