HMRC's 'woeful' phone service is only going to get worse

18 March 2013

Those numbskulls at HMRC have announced plans to close 281 tax inquiry centres which means their service is going to worsen considerably. Bearing in mind that a watchdog for MPs already called their phone service "disgraceful", this is bleak news.

HMRC have already been slammed for costing callers £136 million a year through delays in answering calls, and a quarter of the 79million calls made to the tax office were not even answered, despite the fact the government has spent £900m in trying to improve the service.

The Commons public accounts committee slated a "woefully inadequate and unambitious" new target to answer 80% of calls within five minutes (way below industry standards) and getting rid of 1,300 staff isn't likely to make things better.

Lin Homer, HMRC’s chief executive, defended the move, saying: "HMRC will provide a more modern and accessible service that will target the right support to customers who need it, where and when they want it."

However, Jane Moore from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England & Wales, said: "We can see why the Revenue need to use their resources efficiently but we are concerned about the closure of Enquiry Centres. There are lots of reasons why people like to drop into a tax office and see a person."

TOPICS:   Banking   Tax   Economy

4 comments

  • LancerVancer
    Like all government run agencies this is just another fucked up system that is only gonna get worse. DWP-HMRC and the rest are all going down the pan. Its all "call a number and sort it over the phone" until you cant get through for hours and the premium numbers charge you just for telling you to fuck off!! They are all cunts if you ask me. Not that you did, but i told you anyway. Flex wit da 'erb, chill wit da weed.
  • Busby
    Reported today..they are going to do away with the press 1,2 or 3 etc options To be replaced with voice recognition software. Yeah that's going to fucking work. If you rearrange the letters HMRC,it spells CUNT. Coincidence?... I think not!
  • Angry R.
    I thought folks were just being a bunch of whiny-assed bitches when they were moaning about how incredibly dogshit the HMRC phone line is. I'm not going to call it a helpline as that would suggest you're going to get something for the investment in your life that you'll never get back. I had the pleasure of ringing the clownshoes a month or so ago - fucking unbelieveable. In fairness, once I actually got through, my shit was properly dealt with, but Christ on a freaking bike, the stupid-assed nonsense with their automated system properly made my shit itch. It was a good job that the relatively simple thing I wanted to do (get them to send me my UTR) seemed to be some sort of HMRC Club Secret - that information seemingly wasn't available on their website. I work in government and am used to the untold layers of horseshit encountered when trying to do anything, but this shit was next level dread.
  • Greg G.
    I called HMRC today and tried to use the Voice Recognition software to enquire about "Employers National Insurance Contributions". I speak native English with no impediment. On both occasions I got through to individuals National Insurance dept who, surprise-surprise, could not help me. The wait each time was over 15 mins on the 0300 number. So 30 productive minutes wasted, other than writing this post to you fine people. The second HMRC person who answered the phone told me to call back a third time and "stay completely silent" as this then puts you through to a human able to direct the call to the correct department. So it appears that the way to get heard to is to say nothing at all. At the time of posting I have been 17 mins holding on waiting for the third call. My wife has just called my children in for dinner. That's another one I will miss because of red-tape innefficiecy. I'll try to do everything on-line from now-on.

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