A FED-UP caller waiting for an answer from Fife Council's contact centre said they'd be "cheaper just paying the bus fare" to get to the office.

They were "trying for two days to get through on the telephone" without success and had been left waiting for up to 25 minutes and listening to "annoying music" without getting to speak to anyone.

The caller, who was not named, had their complaint upheld and an apology offered after trying at various times of the day to get through to the call centre to apply for an over-60 bus pass.

They said: "It is ridiculous that every time they are saying they are experiencing a large volume of calls and I have to keep listening to that annoying music.

"Is there not any other way I can just book an appointment? Otherwise I'll be cheaper just paying the bus fare than to carry on paying for half-hour phone calls."

It was one of 171 complaints received by the council relating to the South and West Fife area – which includes Rosyth, Inverkeithing, Dalgety Bay, Kincardine, Oakley and High Valleyfield – between April 1, 2018, and March 31, 2019.

All but five were closed, the remainder were still open, withdrawn or pending an allocation decision, and the average time taken was 5.9 working days.

There were 25 complaints about the contact centre and 20 of them were about the time taken to answer the phone.

The highest number in the South and West Fife area, 44, were about the council's environmental services, with 18 of those gripes about bin collections.

The council also said sorry to a local resident after a complaint about a grey bin not being emptied was upheld.

After the first collection was missed, they were advised eventually to leave it out but two weeks on it was still full.

The resident fumed: "I have also had to make two trips to the recycling centre which has unnecessarily wasted my time and fuel!

"I do not consider this acceptable and would appreciate a response and suitable offer of resolution."

A council report to the South and West Fife area committee said the bins had now been emptied and the crew had been made fully aware of the situation.

After the contact centre, the most complained about services were housing, building services, transportation – half were about potholes and the poor condition of the road surface – education, revenue and shared services, parks, streets and open spaces, and children and families.

The council upheld a complaint and offered an apology to a resident who was left waiting for a housing officer to turn up to an appointment, with the member of staff also failing to pass on information and complete necessary paperwork.

They said: "Due to other concerns, this housing officer has failed to keep and show up to an appointment on time.

"I am currently sitting and have been waiting for an hour-and-a-half, this is causing me undue stress. I have had to cancel important appointments that I have been waiting on for months due to the housing officer's lateness."