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.

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Hanging On The Telephone - How Long Have You Spent?

Today (tax deadline day) up to 20,000 members of the Public and Commercial Services union working in HMRC will strike, in opposition to planned call handling trials where HMRC will use two private sector companies.

As a result of the strike HMRC, although keeping the 31 January deadline for online filing of self assessment tax returns, have added a 2 day "grace period" to 2 February to allow more time for taxpayers seeking help in completing a return. Tax returns filed on 1 or 2 February will be treated as having been filed on 31 January.

Anyhoo, today's reduction in call centre functionality provides an opportunity to hear from anyone who believes that they hold the "record" for spending the longest on the phone to HMRC waiting for their call to be answered.

I already have two contenders for this record. One loyal reader informs me that he spent 48 minutes waiting for his call to be answered, whilst another had several bites of the cherry:

"Trying to contact HMRC by phone.  

Been cut off three times after waiting for someone to answer for over 45 mins, in all cases.  

Just holding on for 'an adviser to be with me as soon as possible' for just over 26 mins now.  


Need to make an appointment with local HMRC centre. They will not speak with me unless appointment is made by phone.  

No one seems available to answer the phone in order to make the appointment!!!!"

Anyone care to top that?

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. Is this site now part of the DM? Maybe you don't have anything better to do than block the phone lines with your childish behaviour. There again as an accountant you can charge your client for the time you waste doing this, instead of spending your time filing the return in a timely manner in the first place!

  2. Anon,

    To be fair to Mr Frost, I'm not sure he's actually encouraging anyone to phone HMRC - either to block the lines our for any other reason - on this occasion. (That's not to say he hasn't done things along those lines in the past, of course, like that time he posted all those email addresses...)

    Stew G

  3. 6 hours over two days to make an appointment (albeit in 2009 when only 38% of calls were answered – fact)... which ended up in a telephone call from HMRC office to Cardiff... DIRECT who were the only people able to offer the correct advice about a web site... in fact are you putting this blog down in your expenses Ken? Capitl to set it up, 'advertising' for regular updates! Hmmmnnn... (how does that apply to a web design company who spend 40 hours a week keeping their web site updated?)

    and WHEN will these HMRC numpties realise that sometimes there are REALLY HARD issues that need addressing that delay the completion of your tax return... no matter how hard you try to deal with HMRC.

  4. All I need is a copy of my P45, how the hell can I get one without phoning. By the time I'd listened to the extended options menus and then listened to thank you for holding etc numerous times 30mins had elapsed. Not good enough, other places can tell you how long the wait is and what place you are in the queue.