I replied to the ABS Census support email, to ask them did my complaint actually get acknowledged. Just to be sure. Because it seems not. The person who wrote to me seemed sort of nice. Surely they would reply to thank me for my constructive criticism complaint, and to reassure me it was ‘handled’ and that someone would at least consider the issues raised.
I waited for a reply from my complaint response. The reply never came. I checked later. Still no reply.
Then I noticed that the support email from ABS Census comes firstname.lastname@example.org. So I had replied to this address, and of course got no further response, or even a response saying it was no reply. Really? REALLY?! Goodness, ABS Census don't make it easy for users to complain, or reply to support emails? Can't a reply to an email be accepted like any other government body? Do I really have to move to Facebook because ABS doesn't allow email for either login authentication OR for any complaints? Well, ABS allows the convenience of emails to send messages to Australians, but does not allow Australians the same level of convenience to reply also via the same email channel. I mean such as complaining about the ABS complaint facility itself for example. NoReply? Who’s clever idea was this? It’s like playing tag as children, and saying ‘Can’t tip the butcher back!’ It’s like playing Knock and Run.
The ABS sends you an email, but then runs so you can’t communicate back. What is this noreply email address nonsense? And if ABS Census IS silly enough or irritating enough to send support messages via a no reply email address, you would think they would set up an autoresponder to say you emailed the wrong address, and this address is not monitored. Of course it would be nicer that the email wasn’t just turfed in the bin, but without any warning?
Am I the only one waiting for hours, impatiently for the ABS Census to reply to my helpful email? I was going to go make a cup of tea, but didn’t want to miss it, though after hours I realised it just wasn’t going to happen. So I made my tea, and then came back to research further and discovered I got tagged, but was not able to tag the ABS back. Sigh… all those hours wasted. Surely there must be some other way to login to fill your census, or some way to complain to the ABS about the online census facility, or it’s complaint service?
I want to complain even more, but think a dozen complaints is probably enough. I doubt many other Australians would be as motivated to help the ABS Census with such detailed feedback… God I hope somebody listens, about the extremely irritating census support, census login and census complaint facility. I will update this post if there is any rational, reasonable response from the Census about these ELEVEN complaints.
Meanwhile, for any others in the same position, my advice is don’t hold back. Go and make your tea. Maybe don’t even bother. If things are just so hard, maybe just don’t bother doing them. Or maybe, just maybe, it’s worth mounting a CAMPAIGN to help improve the world! God knows the Census online needs improvement. Let’s hope the response is less ‘Yes minister’ or ‘Catch 22’ and more ‘Goodness we are sorry, and we will work to fix these issues promptly’.
Thank you for listening.
P.S. If there is any reasonable, rational response to these complaints from the Australian government, I will be sure to update this post. Don’t hold your breath, but maybe… just maybe this campaign can result in some.. Even slight improvement. For a site that is used by millions of Australians, you would hope that the ABS will act promptly to address the concerns. Fingers crossed. Your move ABS!
Update 1: I messaged ABS Census 2021 via Facebook, and got at least an acknowledgement thank you of these issues. Why does ABS have better engagement using social media than it's own website. Anyway, watch this space.