HMRC Is Shite

HMRC Is Shite
Dedicated to the taxpayers of Britain, and the employees of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC), who have to endure the monumental shambles that is HMRC.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Hanging On The Telephone

HMRC Call Centre
A loyal reader wrote to me yesterday:

"I have so far spent about £7 on the 0845 number at the top of my coding notice for 2010 - 2011 in an attempt to have it amended. So far they have only done half the job, and they are unobtainable this morning (as they were on Friday and Saturday). I am extremely frustrated!

Have you any tips as to how I might just get a live human being at the other end of the phone rather than recorded messages (for which I am paying!) and unobtainable signals

Can anyone help him?

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. Don't ring them. Write to them. They have to respond to letters with action, supposedly within 3 weeks. I wrote to get my coding corrected and I did receive a new coding within about 4 weeks (but it had take over 2 weeks from the date of the letter to reach me - why?).

  2. I wouldnt write, the backlog in some offices is 3 months.

    You could and this is not the recomended way, put the 3 digit tax office ref num onto this page and dial the international number. (It'll get you straight through)

  3. 12:48 Anonymous: Those numbers are unlikely to be much help. Offices have been closed, staff work centralised. Those numbers are hopelessly out of date. I just tried one three digit tax office code out of curiosity, it brought up an address of an office that closed last October with the fax number for the same closed office.

    The tax payers notices of coding for that district are dealt with in the Manchester area now, I know that for a fact. The international telephone number given was one in the Newcastle area, where it was dealt with several years ago, it does ring, but I doubt that there is anyone on the end of that phone number that could help. Oh, and the contact centre number given is the wrong one anyway, perhaps they could help, perhaps not, if the caller could get through to find out of course.

  4. Anon 16.31.

    Ok, no problem dont try... but the numbers on there DO work they get you through to the next available adviser from a number of nationwide taxes contact centres who are now completely virtual and can view and deal with all PAYE / SA queries irrespective of your tax office.

    Oh and they will take slighlty lonIger than 3 rings to be answered but not as long as the normal helpline number.

    Oh and how do I know all this, I WORK FOR THEM....

  5. @kcm I have no idea where you got that information but you're greatly mistaken. Write a letter and you'll get a reply in 6-8 weeks (minimum). Application for information under the data protection act should be dealt with in 2 weeks.

  6. There are so many people complaining about the helplines that enquiry centre floorwalkers now have to note the complaints on the floorwalking sheet on five bar gates and report back at end of the week. The main complaints are people who ring the 0845 from home and sit and wait only for a recorded message to say after 5-10 mins "sorry all advisers are busy please try later" and cut off many people say they would have waited why are the automatically cut off? Even people using are Enquiry Centre phones are waiting 10-15 minutes its a complete farce. Our diary is full until Monday afternoon so we can't even offer them an appointment this week.

  7. Could there be a link with a previous subject.

  8. What a miserable department HMRC is!!! HMRC is clearly heading for collapse.

    If this shambles is the result of all the efficiency drives then great... we can all look forward to yet further "improvements" like this after the new government takes over next month.

  9. I don't know what everyone here is moaning about here. If you run any organisation on a shoestring budget and treat the workforce like shit and pay 'em peanuts what d'ya expect?

  10. Get a load of this... is this bollocks or bollocks...

    2009 has been a great year for HMRC, with lots to celebrate...

  11. @anon 21.20 - The reason some people are cut off is that no one has yet invented phone lines which can take limitless calls, when the lines are taking the maximum number of calls no more will be added to the queue. Also people are not disconnected after 10-15 minutes if the lines are full the call will cut off straight away.

    @anon 00:11 - People like having a moan at HMRC regardless. 120,000 (conservative estimate) incoming calls being handled by 1,000 staff? Hire more staff you fools!! A mass recruitment later and then in a month when the peak has gone ... 10,000 incoming calls being dealt with by 5,000 staff? Sack them you fools!!

  12. Anon-00:36

    Your right!

    "HMRC is continuing to consolidate its estates and reduce the size of its workforce.This will allow us to merge more front/back office functions and increase both efficiency and savings". Strathie.

    She is delighted people have lost their jobs and then goes onto lie that as a result of this HMRC has made savings even though the overall costs have not been reduced!

  13. "HMRC is continuing to consolidate its estates

    I thought this had already cost the taxpayer more than expected!!!