Calling 9-1-1 to complain that a nail salon won’t change your nail polish colour is a call that doesn’t belong on 9-1-1, says E-Comm as it releases its top 10 nuisance calls list for 2017.
E-Comm call-taker Christie Duncan fielded the call and says it’s just one example of the types of calls call-takers receive every day that can tie up the 9-1-1 lines.
“Spending time on calls like these takes me away from being available to help someone who is in a serious emergency situation,” says Duncan. “And believe it or not, this isn’t the first time I’ve received a call about the colour of nail polish.”
Here is E-Comm’s 2017 list of top 10 reasons to not call 9-1-1:
1. Complaining a salon wouldn’t change nail polish colour;
2. Car refusing to move forward at a gas station pump;
3. To report food was inedible and restaurant refusing to provide refund;
4. Complaining tenant moved without returning keys;
5. Calling because someone parked in their parking spot;
6. Wondering if a washroom closed sign at a popular beach was legitimate;
7. Complaining gas station wouldn’t accept coins for payment;
8. Calling to ask if raccoons are dangerous animals;
9. Asking if there’s a law preventing washing clothes at 6 a.m.;
10. Calling to check the time following the fall time change.
“As you can see by our 2017 list, some people believe 9-1-1 can be used as a customer complaint or general information service,” says Jody Robertson, executive director of corporate communications. “While these calls are absurd, they're more common than you might think. The fact is – every time a 9-1-1 call taker handles one of these calls, we waste valuable resources. We’re asking the public to help us help.”
Robertson reminds the public that 9-1-1 is for police, fire or medical emergencies when immediate action is needed and calling non-emergency lines for calls like this is also not appropriate. “Non-emergency lines are for important police matters. None of the items on our list is a police matter.”
E-Comm, B.C.’s largest emergency communications centre, receives approximately 1.36 million calls every year.