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Unemployment office puts ‘bot blocker’ in place to reduce volume into call center

Updated: Mar. 2, 2021 at 2:21 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The state’s unemployment office has put a “bot blocker” in place to dramatically reduce volume into its call center.

Labor Director Anne Perreira-Eustaquio said repeat callers will be blocked so that more people can get through. She said some had apparently been using apps to repeatedly call the unemployment office.

She said the state’s unemployment call center was getting about 200,000 calls a day or about 6,000 an hour. It can only take about 1,600, and it had received about that much on Tuesday morning.

“Hopefully, with this new bot blocker, we’ll be able to serve more claimants,” she said.

Meanwhile, Perreira-Eustaquio said there were no immediate plans to offer in-person servicing at the unemployment office. That’s something advocates and claimants have been calling for.

She said the call center can help more people via phone than they could in-person.

Perreira-Eustaquio also announced that callers who can’t get through will start getting call-backs from representatives. “So if you had called and you are not able to get through the center, we are going to be reaching out and calling claimants in order to help them with their outstanding claims,” she said.

This story will be updated.

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