E-comm has released its annual top-10 list of head-scratching 911 calls and among them are some real first-world problems.
The service, which handles more than 1-million calls from across the province each year, has released its annual top-10 list of nuisance calls.
The reasons some people decided to call 911 can be hard to believe:
- To complain a local fast food restaurant wasn’t open 24 hours a day, as advertised
- To complain a store won’t take shoes back without the original box
- To complain that a gas station attendant put the wrong type of gas in their car
- To report a rental company provided the wrong-sized vehicle for a customer’s reservation
- To report a restaurant wouldn’t redeem a customer’s coupon
- To ask for help turning off their car lights
- To report their vehicle’s windshield wipers had stopped working
- To find out where their car had been towed
- To report a lost jacket
- To ask if the clocks move forward or backward during the spring time change
The list includes measured responses from E-comm operators:
- “OK, well that’s not illegal, it’s not very nice, but it’s not illegal and we can’t tie up an emergency line for something like that — that’s not an emergency.”
- “OK, so sorry, you’re calling because you asked for [premium] gas and they put regular gas in your car?”
- “Ma’am, are you calling 911 because they’re not redeeming your coupon for you?”
- “Your front car wipers have stopped working?”
- “9-1-1 is for crimes where there’s life or death emergencies, not to report a jacket you lost.”
- “Sir, are you calling 911 regarding the time change?”
While it’s hard not to chuckle at such misguided questions, E-comm notes that such unnecessary calls can have serious, real-world consequences.
WATCH: A look at back at some of B.C.’s dumbest 911 calls
Jasmine Bradley, E-Comm corporate communications manager, said such calls “waste valuable emergency resources that would otherwise be available to someone who’s health, safety or property was in jeopardy or a crime was in progress.”
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, which provides service for 26 regional districts from across B.C., handles 92 per cent of the province’s 911 call volume.
— With files from Simon Little