Members of the public who need to call the government regarding their citizen cases can now call the 1434 national number to get more information or submit a support ticket.
A new call centre was launched Monday, October 29, in a government effort to upgrade public services as well as the quality of customer service offered to individuals who seek to interact with the state.
The number 1434, which had minimal usage up until now, can be dialed nationwide between 8am and 8pm, seven days a week, where citizen calls can be routed to a contractor to obtain information by phone or via email. Accessible records will include general information and a number of cases currently available through the online government portal ARIADNI, with added features on social security and welfare benefit cases.
Completed, pending, approved
Currently available services include accessing information such as “completed,” “pending,” and “approved” on a number of applications including student funding, social and disability benefits, and pensions.
This is the first time where people in the Republic of Cyprus can track a case spanning a greater number of agencies and departments without leaving the comfort of their home or placing more than one phone call.
Hassle-free phone calls
In the past, people have complained they were not getting adequate responses to complicated questions over the phone and would even try to reach someone for days with any success. Civil servants in the past were often accused of not being friendly or helpful on the phone, with some officials citing work overload as well as lack of skills and proper training.
A new contractor is expected to provide friendly and properly-trained customer service, while some mobile phone users can also expect an added benefit by calling 1434. Ariadni does not support certain browsers or browsing features in versions dated after 2017, making the new Call Centre a more effective way to obtain important updates for those on-the-go.
But there are currently some drawbacks to the new service, such as customer support representatives still having a rather limited access to information.
The Administration and Human Resources department says only information currently available through the Ariadni portal will be accessible or obtainable, but callers will be able to submit a support ticket on issues that need to be followed up through the proper channels. People can also receive confirmations and updates via email.
Processing times and case procedures are not expected to change, but people seeking information on their social benefit applications can now expect a less stressful interaction over the phone.
English speakers will be prompted to select the English option when they dial 1434. People overseas should dial 357.25.961.475 to reach the call centre.