Telephone notices

Option for Using Unique Management, Inc. for Phone Notices

April 2019

Libraries may optionally use Unique Management Systems (UMS) for an auto-message service that calls users for overdues and/or holds.  UMS is the firm some WALS libraries use for collection-agency services.  This service is for users that do not have email.  We started doing phone notices in July of 2012.  The process uses reports that are emailed to UMS.

For participating libraries, the phone calls replace the paper notice mailed by WALS.  Notices are still printed and mailed for libraries not using phone notices, and bills notices for all libraries are printed and mailed from Oshkosh.

The cost per successful phone call is $.15.  For the remaining unsuccessful calls, the cost per mailed notice is $.665, which includes $.55 in postage ($.115 plus postage per US mailed notice).  A call is considered successful if the phone is answered, either by a person or by an answering (or fax) machine.

A “machine” does the talking, using a scripts we provided (see below).  For phones with caller ID, the library’s phone number displays as the caller.  Calls are made Monday through Saturday, starting at 9 and ending at 5 for holds and ending at 8 for overdues.  By ending the calls for holds at 5, the user can still be mailed a paper notice on the same day.

For holds, the automated message indicates that the call is for the specific library where the item is being held.  The call message tells the user that there is material to pick up.  It does not indicate the specific titles that are on hold.

For overdues, the library in the patron record is used in the phone message as the library calling.  The message does not list the overdue items.  The call is made when the item is 4 days overdue.

UMS makes multiple phone attempts during the day before going to a printed notice.  The printed notices use the library’s return address, not Winnefox’s.  

UMS generates a daily report indicating the results for that day’s calls, and a monthly statistical report.  Winnefox receives a single bill and uses the statistics to bill back the participating libraries.

These libraries are using phone notices:

  • Berlin (started December 2015)
  • Brandon (started April 2019, overdues only)
  • Coloma
  • Endeavor
  • Menasha (started in November, 2012)
  • Montello
  • Neenah
  • Oxford
  • Oshkosh
  • Redgranite 
  • Ripon (for overdues only)
  • Westfield (started in November, 2012)

For the first three months of operation, the percent of users reached by phone averaged 92%.


Texts for the phone notices:

Holds

Hello!  This is the <<Library>> calling with a message for <<Patron Name>>.  An item is being held for you for pickup at the library.  It will be held until closing on <<Date>>.  If you would prefer library notices by email rather than by phone, you may change your account online at catalog dot winnefox dot org, or contact the <<Library>>.  This message will now repeat. Hello!  This is the <<Library>> calling with a message for <<Patron Name>>.  An item is being held for you for pickup at the library.  It will be held until closing on <<Date>>.  If you would prefer library notices by email rather than by phone, you may change your account online at catalog dot winnefox dot org, or contact the <<Library>>.  Thank you.

Overdues

Hello!  This is an automated message from the <<Library>> calling for <<Patron Name>>.  An item or items are now overdue.  Please return your library material as soon as possible to minimize your fines.  You may also contact the library about renewals.  At thirty days overdue, you will be billed for the cost of the items.  If you would prefer library notices by email rather than by phone, you may change your account online at catalog dot winnefox dot org, or contact your library.  This message will now repeat.  Hello!  This is an automated message from the <<Library>> calling for <<Patron Name>>.  An item or items are now overdue.  Please return your library material as soon as possible to minimize your fines.  You may also contact the library about renewals.  At thirty days overdue, you will be billed for the cost of the items.  If you would prefer library notices by email rather than by phone, you may change your account online at catalog dot winnefox dot org, or contact your library.


For printed notices:

The item(s) listed below are overdue.  Please return your library material as soon as possible to minimize your fines.  You may also contact the library about renewals.  At thirty days overdue, you will be billed for the cost of the item(s).


Codes in the results reports:

UMS provides reports of both the successful and unsuccessful calls each day.  The report lists a reason for each call.

§  CHU – Customer Hung Up

§  LVMA – Left Voice Message

§  LMLP – Left Message, Live Person

§  RNA – Ring No Answer

§  OI – Operator Intercept (The number you have called is no longer in service . . .)

§  BUSY – Busy line

§  FA – Fax machine pick up

Oshkosh staff handles the failed-notices file.  The put a note in the record indicating that a phone number or email address is needed for the user and also put Need # in the phone field.  For the larger libraries, they also bar the user.  Users without a phone or email should have No phone in the phone number field in their record so that any one viewing the record knows that no further action is needed.