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Hanging on the telephone

09 February 2010 / Allison Plager
Issue: 4242 / Categories: Comment & Analysis , Admin
ALLISON PLAGER discovers that HMRC’s telephone handling expertise could do with some warming up


  • HMRC call centres received 103 million call attempts in 2008/09.
  • The aim is to reduce calls by 50%.
  • Around 89% of calls were handled accurately.
  • The average wait in 2008/09 was two minutes.

How many of us have called an HMRC call centre and felt that our query was handled effectively? Even if the response was good did we receive an overall satisfactory service?

Personal experience of calling the online helpline on 30 January (all right I know this is one of the busiest days for the service) was yes I did get a helpful and definitive response but only after calling what seemed to be the correct number for completing online technical queries waiting for a minute or two to get connected pressing option x then option y...

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