The Water Cooler – DMV Asks For $162M To “Improve Customer Service”

May 15, 2019 12:00 pm · 36 comments

The “Water Cooler” is a feature on where we ask you a question or provide a topic, and you talk about it.

The “Water Cooler” will be up Monday-Friday at noon.

Today’s question:

QUESTION: DMV is asking for $162M to hire more employees, buy more equipment, and conduct a marketing campaign, all to “improve customer service.” Do you think $162M will help DMV, or do you think the money will just be wasted?

Talk about it.

S May 15, 2019 at 12:13 PM


johnny lately May 15, 2019 at 12:15 PM

Sounds like the school districts asking for more $$$$ to better themselves.
They need to get rid of the non-performers, management included. If they need help doing this, maybe some customers could give a hand?

JazzMan May 15, 2019 at 1:53 PM

Not the same thing! School districts NEED the help. Other gov’t agencies keep stealing schools $$$. Support the schools = better education.

Silva May 15, 2019 at 3:31 PM

Support the schools! Better education = not so many idiots everywhere.

LOL! May 16, 2019 at 7:28 AM

Schools are now indoctrination camps. I’m tired of bonds for schools, taxes for schools, lottery tickets for schools. They are always putting the bite on the public and our kids are dumbells.

The Mamba May 15, 2019 at 12:23 PM

I think it will help, but I don’t think a government agency should be spending money on marketing either. They need upgraded technology more than anything.

Captain Bebops May 15, 2019 at 12:28 PM

They should do what other states do and just make the offices for new driver’s licensing and in person renewal. About all the rest could be out sourced to businesses such as license plates for cars etc. Much of everything else can now be handled online much more efficiently and of course no waiting in line.

The Professor May 15, 2019 at 12:30 PM

Why spend $ on marketing. They are a freakin’ government monopoly. Like I have any other options when I need to register my car or renew my license.

Maybe they can use some of the $ to buy more comfortable chairs so we can wait 3 hours in comfort.

Fred P. May 15, 2019 at 12:40 PM

Buy “more” equipment?
Hire “more” employees?

Nope – how about….

1. Get rid of the slackers at all levels.
2. Hire the RIGHT people to do the job – the ones that WANT to do the work.
3. Train the employees to do their job the RIGHT way, the first time.

No on “marketing.” Period.

AnonZ May 16, 2019 at 4:44 AM

Agreed 100%

MoJo May 15, 2019 at 12:43 PM

Upgrade the technology, upgrade the equipment and most of all, upgrade the personnel.

RANDOM TASK May 15, 2019 at 12:55 PM

you do know that gov brown stole 16 million dollars from our schools to fund illegals right
and the trend continues
when are you lemmings going to see that this state is being run into the ground to bring in millions of illegals and making laws to keep them here and allow them to commit crimes and not be charged and not be deported
seems simple to see that this state is pushing to populate with illegals until it is over the cap and then throw you ….yes you out on your rear ….
just ask king kamala lalala she will tell you with a Cheshire smile …yes it does seem that way right
now the DMV just wants money to boost bonuses to dept heads and ensure retirements the cycle will continue every 10 years or so
and has been
but keep voting the same way lets see when you try to back out of your choices

anon May 16, 2019 at 1:58 PM

Punctuation please.

Bob Foo May 15, 2019 at 12:58 PM

The DMV should just be contracted out to private companies. Pay the clerks bonuses based on how many transactions per hour they process accurately.

Guarantee you won’t wait more than 30 minutes at a DMV ever again.

AnonZ May 16, 2019 at 4:45 AM

HELL NO. Privatizing just increases the cost of EVERYTHING.

Bob Foo May 16, 2019 at 11:29 AM

Please provide a source for that claim.

Jo May 15, 2019 at 1:02 PM

It doesn’t take that much money to figure out what the issues are – outdated and slow equipment – poor management – lazy workers – lack of coordination among the various entities within the offices – lack of every office being open on Saturdays and more evening appointment availability.

KenInConcord May 15, 2019 at 1:08 PM

Workers need to treated like children

If my child is not managing his money well, I certainly won’t give him more money!!!

martinezmike May 15, 2019 at 1:10 PM

Maybe they could spend it on a computer system that doesn’t work. Oops already done that.

Tsa May 15, 2019 at 1:14 PM

No amount of money can fix this or any California government agency. The ineffective culture is cast in concrete and resistant to change. No one wants to be held accountable, it’s the California model.

Ricardoh May 15, 2019 at 1:21 PM

Hope they get it fixed fast I have get a new license by next week.

Buck May 15, 2019 at 1:28 PM

Yeah hire some more people to to help the already 7 or 8 that wander around in the background playing grab ass while 3 people are actually serving customers.

Ricardoh May 15, 2019 at 8:02 PM

I’v seen that.

Sign from Above May 15, 2019 at 1:32 PM

Dollars are not going to change the nasty attitudes of the DMV employees. The change that’s needed? Fire them all and re-hire people that want the job and understand the concept of customer service.

tired of taxes May 15, 2019 at 1:37 PM

“Marketing campaign” ? WTF does the DMV need a marketing campaign for? Smells like an accounting trick to squirrel away whatever money coming in for the other improvements.

Reality says... May 15, 2019 at 1:53 PM

I’ve managed large contact and operations centers before…
– 41 percent of customer calls are abandoned
– The average phone wait time is 50 minutes
– …frequent system-wide outages
– …customers complain about the service.

These kind of performance numbers would have been more then enough to walk me out the door! More people, marketing and equipment is not the answer – the fact they are leading with those pathways to remediation are alarming. It proves to me they don’t know what the problem is, they only know the impact.

The lens should be on the customer “experience” and how you transform the most the common transactions to be fluid, operationally resilient, decoupled from the legacy platform, and adopt a truly self-service model with an emphasis on portability – keep them OUT of the offices as much as possible (the Banking model).

If you focus on this, your “marketing” takes care of itself. What are they going to market now? “hey, we spent 162M and bought more old computers on eBay and put it on compute and code fabric built in 1915! We also hired 100 more people to use these computers, we’re not sure why the systems are even slower now, but look, were spending money to try and improve the customer experience.”

In the private sector, all these people would be out of a job.

Silva May 15, 2019 at 2:29 PM

The DMV has always gone through cycles of giving unexpectedly decent service in a relatively short time, to making any small transaction the most miserable experience you’ll have for years to come; perhaps needlessly setting you up to have a vehicle impounded due to their employee’s having had a bad day and not giving two hoots about the issue that brought you and everyone else in, having a chip on their shoulder, not liking your face, or just being the kind of person who enjoys the power they have to cause you to leave the office in tears. I’ve seen the cycle many times. They get a load of money and the service will improve for maybe a year or perhaps even two before it all goes to hell in a hand basket again for the next several years. My 70+ year old friend, a licensed CA driver for most of those decades just got home from visiting several African nations and her passport and current DL wasn’t good enough for the person she was dealing with to renew her license, and she turned her back and got up and walked away. Sadly there wasn’t a higher up supervisor there to do anything at the time, so she left crying to go home and have a glass of wine before calling Sacramento. So they’ll get the money and the service will improve, temporarily. I can’t for the life of me see why they would need “marketing” money. I think that’s a new one.

Shiloh May 15, 2019 at 2:38 PM

Marketing?? Do they really want to brag on billboards about how they are finally training their employees in customer service?! Absolutely NO on the marketing – we have no other option but to go there. Improved customer service, business hours and wait times will speak for themselves. Word will get around quickly via word of mouth and social media!

Original G May 15, 2019 at 3:05 PM


T-rex May 15, 2019 at 5:59 PM

162 million. A smile is free dummies!

The Fearless Spectator May 15, 2019 at 6:42 PM

Perhaps our Governor will weigh in on this. He certainly understands the importance of a marketing campaign.

Bill Bob May 16, 2019 at 12:40 AM

If it were up to the people on this forum, the DMV would be a small shack in the woods with horses, paper and quill pens. Nobody gets any money for anything.

Fred P. May 16, 2019 at 9:13 AM

I think people on this forum expect accountability for what they pay. There is no reason to reward bad behavior and/or poor work performance – at all levels. Merely throwing more money at a problem does not solve the problem….especially when there is zero accountability.

Can you prove that ALL taxes and fees imposed by California have gone to the correct/promised program? Do you know if ALL lottery money was being spent on education? Do you know KNOW if all gas tax money was set aside for it’s promised use?

I’ll bet that most of the taxes and fees have gone into the general fund, and those responsible have not been held accountable. Add to that the increased number of social programs – so it would seem that much of the increased income to the state has gone to support those programs, instead of what was “promised.”

Have you tried to look through the CA state audit reports?

JustMe May 16, 2019 at 7:16 AM

The last time I was at the DMV, they were overwhelmed. There were 30 people outside, waiting for it to open. After it opened, the number of customers swelled.

Do I think they could use more help? Sure! Do they need to update their system? Yep!

Wasn’t there a hiring freeze on government employees some time back? Seems to me if you have a hiring freeze, and you have people retiring, it’s going to cause a problem at some point.

Fred P. May 16, 2019 at 11:45 AM

And if that’s the case, they ought to hold the management accountable for failure to plan – all the way up the ladder.

Failure to plan => plan to fail…..

Accountability is what’s needed – at all levels.

jon s May 17, 2019 at 4:13 PM

Spend $162 million making the DMV system so that one can transfer a car into their name and get handed a title on the spot like other states do,instead of making us wait 3 weeks for a title,and a drivers license,if you want to do something people will notice and like.

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