Calif orders agency to improve customer service

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The Brown administration has ordered a state agency to beef up its customer service after computer problems delayed the distribution of unemployment checks.

The Los Angeles Times (http://lat.ms/1f4o5Kw ) reports an aide to Gov. Jerry Brown ordered the troubled Employment Development Department to hire new workers and pay overtime to employees to answer calls and process claims.

Jobless workers had a hard time reaching agents for help after a software upgrade stalled the distribution of unemployment benefits last year. Many got a recorded message that directed them to the agency's website.

In addition to hiring hundreds of new workers and paying overtime, the agency also plans to invest in new phone technology that allows callers to get a call back, similar to what airlines and banks already have.

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Information from: Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com