Newly released data from Customs and Border Protection (CBP) shows that for calendar year 2014, the agency received more than 7,200 complaints and compliments. The largest category of responses, nearly 2,200 or more than 30 percent of all responses received by the CBP INFO Center were for employee conduct. The second largest category (more than 1,200) was for frequent searches/one time delay. More than 700 compliments were received by the agency.
Many of these responses were received from CBP travelers entering the United States at our nation’s airports. Others were received from travelers entering the United States at our land and sea ports of entry. Those having just gotten off of an airplane are likely to be weary and tired. The last thing that many of these travelers (presumably at low risk) want to face is added scrutiny. This wealth of information, received through a Freedom of Information Act request, is valuable because it provides data to those interested on where we (i.e., the public and private sectors) can work together to improve security, improve customer service and improve our economy.
The CBP INFO Center is CBP’s single point-of-contact for reviewing, responding to, tracking and addressing all customer complaints and compliments relating to CBP interaction with the general public, travelers, industry, Congress, and other government entities. CBP has embraced the concept that complaints are to be viewed as opportunities to improve service to travelers and to better meet their expectations.
The INFO Center tracks and records complaint or compliment information in an automated tracking system to ensure a proper review of all issues raised by the complainant. This office endeavors to contact complainants, or their respective attorney or congressional offices, by telephone to acknowledge CBP headquarters’ receipt of the complaint and/or to resolve the complaint, if possible.