With New Year’s Eve on the horizon, operators at B.C.’s largest 911 call centre are hoping British Columbians will make a resolution to think before they dial next year.
E-Comm, which handles about 1.36 million calls every year, has released its annual top 10 list of nuisance calls, and there are certainly some head scratchers.
The silliest of the bunch? One caller phoned to complain that their beauty salon wouldn’t change their nail polish colour.
Almost as frivolous, according to E-Comm call taker David Rock, was a caller who reported a vehicle that wouldn’t make space for him at a gas station.
“911 is for when your life is being threatened, or there is an assault, or something serious in nature,” he said “But you can talk to the staff at the gas station.”
B.C.’s top 10 nuisance 911 calls of 2017
- Complaining a salon wouldn’t change nail polish colour
- Car refusing to move forward at a gas station pump
- To report food was inedible and restaurant refusing to provide refund
- Complaining tenant moved without returning keys
- Calling because someone parked in their parking spot
- Wondering if a washroom closed sign at a popular beach was legitimate
- Complaining gas station wouldn’t accept coins for payment
- Calling to ask if raccoons are dangerous animals
- Asking if there’s a law preventing washing clothes at 6 a.m.
- Calling to check the time following the fall time change
WATCH: Top 10 ridiculous reasons people called 911 in 2016
E-Comm says a review of the list suggests many people still think of 911 as a customer complaint or general information service.
But the agency says every time a caller takes up time with a frivolous request, it takes staff away from other, critical calls where seconds could mean the difference between life and death.
In previous years, calls making the top 10 have included a request for the phone number of a local tire dealer, a complaint that a child won’t put on their seat belt, and a request for help to open a broken gym locker.
E-Comm provides service for 26 regional districts from Vancouver Island to Alberta and from the U.S. border to north of Prince George. It also provides service to 36 police agencies and fire departments in southwest B.C.