MyPay support problems still plague DFAS
By JEFF SCHOGOL | STARS AND STRIPES Published: January 27, 2010
ARLINGTON, Va. – People are still having trouble reaching the Defense Finance and Accounting Service about myPay issues, said Richard “Gus” Gustafson, principal deputy director of DFAS.
“We’re having a number of dropped calls, simply because the system cannot take them all,” said Gustafson.
DFAS is also looking into whether myPay users with a “comcast.net” e-mail address may be having problems getting e-mail from DFAS, he said.
In December, a “security enhancement” required myPay users to change their user names and passwords. While 71 percent of myPay users have made the switch successfully, about 1.2 million myPay users still need to do so, according to DFAS.
The DFAS call center is now getting between 9,000 and 11,000 calls per day, compared with a normal call volume of 400 to 450 calls per day, DFAS officials said.
The spike is attributed to the myPay security change, but average waiting times have dropped dramatically from about 14 minutes per call to about five minutes, Gustafson said.
Initially, all the calls went to the Cleveland call center, but now they are also being routed to call centers in Columbus, Ohio, and Indianapolis, Gustafson said. DFAS has also added 71 agents to handle calls, said DFAS spokesman Tom LaRock.
When a Stars and Stripes reporter tried calling the DFAS call center, he was able to reach a live person once, but on the second time, he got an automated response telling him to call back.
Gustafson could not say how long it might take to eliminate dropped calls completely, but he noted that more people are successfully changing their usernames and passwords.
So far, 86 percent of all civilians who use myPay and 78 percent of active-duty, Reserve and National Guard servicemembers have been able to change their user names and passwords, according to DFAS.
About 47 percent of retirees and 21 percent of annuitants and former spouses have made the change, according to DFAS.
Gustafson predicted that it will be the last myPay users to make the switch who prove the hardest to help.
“For example, I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a customer out there right now that has just kind of given up on the process. … I need to get that person back,” he said.