Texas veteran experiences long phone time calling VA – A sign of how much better the VA has become under Trump.  

| March 17, 2019 | 23 Comments

For decades the media seemed to have little trouble finding cases of veterans who died of old age in one of their waiting rooms.

A local veteran is raising concerns about a long wait time for medical help.

Chris Symons of College Station told KBTX that he waited more than an hour on the phone this week to schedule having his prosthetic leg looked at.

“I did three years in the Army, one year in Iraq, came back with everything great,” said Symons. “My injuries actually happened after Iraq, but the VA still takes great care of me.”

On Thursday Symons needed to call a Temple area phone number. He described what happened next:

“[The VA] has gone above and beyond actually, but yesterday was rare,” said Symons. “I was put on hold–and was put on hold for an hour and 15 minutes.”

Media staff with the VA in Temple apologized for the wait time.
They told KBTX no veteran should have to wait more than 10 minutes on the phone, and they said even that wait is too long.

Symons called back Friday on a different number, and after just a few minutes of waiting, was able to set up an appointment in Houston next month.

Symons says he did not receive an explanation about the previous hold time.

Seriously?  This is news?  Try calling AT & T about your phone bill some day.  Little Chrissy should have tried hanging up and calling back.  I don’t stay on hold for an hour for any reason.

I got my VA card a few years back just to see how it all worked.  I have had excellent care since then.  They are not perfect but they are a damn sight better than any civilian health care I have ever had.

At least Chris didn’t try to pull the “Wounded Veteran” nonsense, he was straight up about his injury not being combat related.  I appreciate him being honest.

We are down to making a big deal about a phone call.  Seems like progress to me.

Source: Texas veteran experiences long phone time calling VA

Category: Health Care debate, Veteran Health Care

Comments (23)

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  1. Jay says:

    I use the local CBOC here in town. The phone system sucks, but the care is great. 2 years in and no issues.

  2. jonp says:

    Kudos to Chris for being up front that his injury happened after service. Down vote for a non story. It must have been slow to print this up, how many have sat on hold for the DMV or other departments? Next time, hang up and call back.

  3. 5th/77th FA says:

    News worthy? Hell to the no. Hang up and call back? Hell to the yes. Operator or system error? Little hard to tell from here. Most commercial phone systems are owned or leased by the end user. And serviced by someone other than the local phone company. Ma Bell’s, or whomever’s, responsibilities end at the demark/terminal. The customer’s system takes it from there. If web based, could be in the routers. Not too many blinkie lights on the phone console anymore letting someone know that there is a caller “on hold.” With so many routings being down by voice prompts now, that can cause a major glick. Best thing to do when the options start is to say “representative” or “operator.” Lots of times that will put you to a human. Just my $.02.

  4. Comm Center Rat says:

    I use a CBOC and a VAMC here in the PDR of MA and have always received high quality care. I did have a couple of appointments canceled and rescheduled for months later. And once a physician failed to report for duty so my appointment was canceled and rescheduled for a month later. That one was irritating because I drove 50+ miles to the VA facility but the nurses and front desk staff were apologetic when rescheduling.

    I actually find the DFAS military retired pay section to be the worst in terms of telephone wait times. Last time I left a message when prompted but my call was never returned. Submitted a question ticket recently and DFAS noted the estimated wait time for a reply was between 21-27 days.

    Disclosure: I am not a “wounded veteran” and have no “combat related” injuries or diseases. I do not wear a leather vest, doo rag, or chaps and have no ink or piercings.

  5. JTB says:

    We are and have been the age of “Manufactured News” for a long time now…It’s beyond pathetic…

  6. 2banana says:

    The fake legacy news needs to go to ANY DMV and interview folks there…

  7. Ret_25X says:

    automatic call distribution systems (call managers) used in such instances will sometimes drop calls into a hold hell where the call is not visible to the operators.

    Those dropped calls are a vital performance indicator for the admins on the system. High dropped call rate equals low system efficiency.

    This can also be attributed to operators not using escalation methods correctly. My experience is in IT service desk operations, but often operators will attempt to resolve issues that they should escalate by forwarding the call the correct resolver group.

    In addition, call volume can exceed design volumes. Engineers use a variation of the Erlang-C equation to design call center or service desk capacity. The obvious challenge can occur if call volume exceeds agent capacity. This is why many systems feature a “call me back” option.

  8. The Other Whitey says:

    An hour and fifteen? Sounds like Blue Shield, and I pay money for that shit.

  9. 26Limabeans says:

    So what’s the beef? It’s not like the VA farms out their call centers to Pakistan. Yet.

  10. Fareed says:

    The Alaska VA has been sick-call with pseudo empathetic civilian employees. After my fifth appointment in a row last summer complaining of difficulty breathing and the inability to sit upright without excruciating pain I was run out of the local VA outpatient clinic. The best community college guess VA “healthcare” could surmise was muscle spasms and they were concerned about my BP…

    My civilian PCM through the VA Choice Program didn’t hesitate to order x-rays and follow-on MRI’s revealing two bulging discs in my C-Spine with dual impingement and 8.4mm of stenosis on top of three more bulging discs in my L-Spine. AIRBORNE!

    • Jus Bill says:

      So are you complaining about the ++VA++ Choice Program of the VA facility doctors?

    • Twist says:

      Which one are you going to? I go to the Fairbanks one and they are very good. The only complaint I have had with them was during my claim process. They flew me down to Anchorage twice instead of using in house doctors for my disability claim.

      • Fareed says:

        IMHO the VA Choice program replaces the need for VA Healthcare Facilities for non-terminal conditions.

        My PCM at the Anchorage VA “practiced” medicine via a symptom checklist ignoring my service connected disabilities.
        The Anchorage VA Dental Clinic has been awesome so far…

      • Outcast says:

        Due to so many problems they have faced in the past the VA uses outside unbiased (supposedly) DR.s and such when evaluating claims. They deem them as being more thorough in their exams, as opposed to just standing up and turning around in front of a VA/PA fully clothed for PTSD and A/O exam (been there done that). You also might find out other things that have been over looked such as records not showing your full history like more than 4 years service, me total almost 8 years as opposed to 4 and another who retired as opposed to 6 years and me Vietnam service in first 3 years as opposed to only 4 years all state side only.

  11. AnotherPat says:

    Well, here is another news video that is NOT fake…(repost from WOT)

    In honor of St Patrick’s Day and rtr, Leprachauns in Mobile, Alabama (an actual NBC news story)…*grin*

  12. Ex-PH2 says:

    I have yet to call the VA for anything. I usually just go to them to get my flu shot – that sort of thing. But they are nice where I live, so maybe the location does make a difference.

    It isn’t just long wait times with VA peeps, either. I’ve been put on hold for 45 minutes by a non-governmental entity which no longer gets any business from me.

  13. Jarhead says:

    Once again I remind all of you that if you ever have a serious problem with the VA, you have a STRONG advocate on your side that WILL get the issue resolved. Call the the White House Veteran’s Complaint Line at (855) 948-2311. Please share this number with any Veteran in need. Always a good idea to call them back and thank them for their help. Apaarently not a lot do so, and they are absolutley grateful when someone calls to thank them.

  14. Just An Old Dog says:

    I have had two ” On hold from hell experiences” dealing with the VA in the past 8 years.
    It was frustrating as fuck, but small potatoes compared to about 100 other calls I made that were under 5 minutes or so to get through, max.

  15. timactual says:

    “My injuries actually happened after Iraq, but the VA still takes great care of me.”

    Don’t need to read any further than that. I don’t care if he has to wait a week on the phone for his medical welfare. “You get what you pay for”. He and the other welfare recipients should stop whining and be grateful the rest of us are willing to subsidize their free, unearned, medical care.

    The person answering his call probably put him on hold to help someone with an actual service connected condition, and therefore a higher priority.

    • AnotherPat says:

      He lost his arm and leg in a motorcycle accident in 2005.

      There have been other news several stories on him. What is interesting is that somehow, in the TV interview, he had to interject his Brother’s business, i.e. free advertising, which has nothing to do with his phone call.

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