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Frustrated SoCal Man Creates Computer Program To Call EDD So He Doesn't Have To Wait On The Phone

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) -- As people continue facing problems with getting through to the Employment Development Department for their unemployment benefits, some are turning to technological solutions.

Frustrated by his own inability to get EDD on the phone last spring, Thomas Maxon created a computer program -- a "bot" -- to call for him. Maxon launched his startup Claimyr in January.

"We put people in a queue and we dial for them at a consistent rate," he said.

For $19.99, Claimyr promises you will get an EDD customer service representative on the phone.

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The estimated wait time is between five minutes to two hours, and he insists the bot is efficient because it doesn't jam up lines by only calling for one person at a time.

"So instead of people placing 100 calls on their own, they would basically be placing 10 to 15 to 30 calls through Claimyr," Maxon said.

Critics say bots are making it so that only people who pay for services like Claimyr get through to customer representatives.

EDD said in a statement that these services can create "artificial" call traffic.

The department also said it has recently improved its website to be more user-friendly with the "Ask EDD" feature, and that it continues to hire and train more workers to staff its call center.

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