Council chiefs have promised a shake-up of the Angus Access line after claims the service hotline is no longer fit for purpose.
The 03452 777 778 number has been plagued by complaints of residents having to wait for long periods before getting through, or giving up completely.
In one recent incident, an Arbroath mum said she hung up after more than half an hour in a failed bid to report a discarded drugs syringe, which she then picked up and disposed of herself.
Access line issues were raised by scrutiny and audit councillors during discussions of the annual complaints report, with the head of the committee making the stark admission he had given up on using the helpline.
Arbroath West and Letham SNP councillor Alex King said: “I have on occasion used the Access line but now I just don’t bother because it takes far too long to get to someone to speak to.
“It’s very frustrating,” he said.
The issue had been highlighted by Montrose SNP colleague Bill Duff, who said complaints about the Access line were featuring more frequently than ever.
He said: “We visited the control centre some time ago and were really impressed by the set-up and the service.
“What we are now getting from people is that they phone the Access line, hang up after 20 minutes or more and it is difficult for them to get to someone to ask their question.
“I think this is a bit of an issue.”
Kirriemuir SNP member Julie Bell said: “There are people who can’t use digital services – whether they have chosen not to, can’t afford it or have dementia and just find it far too difficult.
“I would really be seeking an improvement in the Access line service. It also can’t be pleasant for the staff.
“This isn’t a reflection on them, I think this is a system that needs to be looked at and resourced properly on an ongoing basis.”
Council depute chief executive Mark Armstrong admitted the authority was aware of unhappiness over the length of time people have to wait to speak to someone about council services.
“It is something the service itself is aware of. Call volumes and interventions are being looked at,” he said.
Mr Armstrong said that while he was not aware of regular reports of people being cut off once they were being directed to the appropriate department following a long wait, the council is also looking at ways of directing people to answers to their questions which should not involve a lengthy wait on the Access line.
“The answer to a question might be on the front page of our internet site so there is perhaps work that we can do to be more effective in highlighting that.”