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Toll free number revisited. (Association Bulletin).

The ADAA Board of Trustees will consider the reactivation of a toll free number for Central Office. The previous toll free service was discontinued in 2001 as a budget cutting measure.

To a certain extent, the number is not as vital to our membership as in previous years because of the flexibility and accessibility of e-mail on a 24-hour basis.

Under the toll free service, at least 25% of the calls were for ADA or DANB. Most people calling in error claimed that information (411 or similar service) had provided them with our number. This erroneous contact is still evident in e-mail and normal, paid phone calls, but to a lesser extent.

Calls seeking ADA or DANB are extremely time consuming since the caller is often convinced that he or she has the right organization on the phone. This causes ADAA staff to spend a great deal of time in explaining how to reach the correct party. There are also calls from the public seeking "assistance" in finding free dental service, or reporting alleged malpractice by dentists. The time impact on Central Office's six full time staff members was a burden as was the cost of returning phone calls to those out of town callers who went into voice-mail through the 800 number because the limited ADAA staff could not immediately handle their calls or because they called in after hours.

The cost of the 800 number was an enormous factor in its elimination. A detailed analysis of the financial impact will be provided in the Delegates' Handbook.

Those wishing to comment on the service should contact the ADAA President, Karen Waide at Central Office (Suite 1730, 35 East Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL 60601) or by e-mail at adaa1@aol.com
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Title Annotation:American Dental Assistants Association
Publication:The Dental Assistant
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 2003
Words:291
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