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Contractor Promises to Ramp Up Call Centers to Answer Questions on OPM Hack

CSID attributes problems to "higher than expected" call volume.

CSID, the company hired by the Office of Personnel Management to provide credit monitoring to the millions of current and former federal employees affected by the recent data breach, is hiring more workers to staff a call center created to answer questions about the hack.

Patrick Hillmann, a CSID spokesman, said the company has seen a “higher than expected” call volume, noting many callers have not been notified their information was compromised but simply wanted general information.

“This is putting a lot of pressure on our call queue, unfortunately,” Hillmann told Government Executive. Nearly half of the calls CSID has received were from individuals without PIN numbers.

CSID’s call centers “have been and will continue to be scaled up to handle the increasing number of inbound inquiries,” Hillmann promised. He added, however, calls are time consuming due to the “comprehensive services being offered.” Each call takes at least 10 minutes, he said. CSID has added a call back feature so individuals do not have to wait on the phone.  

Federal employee groups have complained about the call center and generally about the services OPM has contracted CSID to offer, calling them inadequate.

“Federal workers have had their personal and financial information exposed at no fault of their own,” said National Federation of Federal Employees President William Dougan. “Now, they cannot even get through to a live human to answer their questions.”

American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox called CSID’s customer service a “half-measure.”

“The terms of the contract apparently do not include guaranteed access to a living, breathing human being knowledgeable enough to answer questions,” Cox wrote in a letter to OPM director Katherine Archuleta.

Even with the ramped up call centers, Hillmann encouraged affected employees and retirees to access services through the online portal. That, too, has received some complaints, which Hillmann said is due to unforeseen traffic, as well as visitors getting timed out. 

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