Thursday, 19 September 2019

Inadequate computer speeds at Glasgow Registrar's Service

Many folk who use the Glasgow Registrar's Service (www.glasgowfamilyhistory.org.uk/DiscoverLearn/GettingStarted/Pages/Registrars.aspx) for genealogical research, via the ScotlandsPeople service, know that for much of the last year the service's computer speeds have at times been absolutely appalling. On Tuesday of this week I visited the centre to carry out some research for a client, and once again fell victim to the problem - one name search took me ten minutes, and it became such a problem that I ended up swapping computers. As a consequence, I made a formal complaint, and have now received the following response:

Dear Mr Paton,

Front Line Stage One Complaint re: Glasgow Registrars/Scotland's people

I refer to your complaint regarding Computer Speed.

Your complaint has been considered and I can respond as follows:

I refer to your complaint regarding the computer speed within the Registrar’s Service at the Mitchell Library. 

Thank you for bringing this matter to my attention and I have contacted our IT supplier to make them as aware of your complaint. There is a planned schedule for upgrading our IT estate and while they cannot give a definitive date for the Mitchell’s public PC this process has started and will hopefully resolve the issues you experienced. I understand your frustrations and please be assured I am lobbying for the Mitchell’s PC estate to be prioritised.

Glasgow Life welcomes customer feedback and all complaints are regarded as important for improving our services. If you are unhappy with this response and wish to escalate your complaint to an Investigation of our complaints procedure, a member of the Senior Management Team will investigate matters further. Please call 0141 287 8977 and quote the reference at the top of this letter or write to us at Business Support, Admin Hub One, 38 Albion Street, Glasgow, G1 1LH or e-mail info@glasgowlife.org.uk Please raise your concerns to us within 20 working days of the date of this letter.

Yours sincerely.

Dawn Vallance
Principal Librarian
The Mitchell Library

I should add that the staff at the Mitchell, and in the Registrar's Service, have all been exceptionally professional, and have tried to assist in every way possible. The problem is not ScotlandsPeople, and it is certainly not the staff, it is the IT set-up that Glasgow City Council is employing for the purpose of providing the service. If you too have been suffering from the issues, the Council's complaints procedure is accessible via https://www.glasgow.gov.uk/complaints.

In the meantime, if your research is not Glasgow specific (i.e. you do not need the archive or other resources at the Mitchell), be advised that several other centres across the country also offer the ScotlandsPeople service (Edinburgh, Hawick, Alloa, Kilmarnock, Inverness) - details of these are available at https://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/research/visit-us/scotlandspeople-centre and https://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/research/local-family-history-centres.

Chris

Order Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet (2nd ed) at https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-Family-History-on-the-Internet-Paperback/p/16483. My next Scottish Research Online course starts 2 September 2019 - see https://www.pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. Further news published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page, and on Twitter @genesblog.

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