Taxman tops 'phone rage' index

HM Revenue & Customs has been named as the organisation most likely to make people irate by wasting their time on the phone.

Unveiling the UK’s first ‘Phone Rage Index,’ a campaign group said HMRC ranked first for attracting the most votes (38,000 in a month), mainly for having more than 400 menu options across just six services.

As well as feedback from users, the index took into account the number of automated options, levels of menu, length of introductions and the longest time it takes to reach the service.

“It's self-service with limited guidance and no guarantee of a result,” said the compilers of the 'Stall' Centre Index PleasePress1.com. “HMRC takes the crown, currently ranked 'most frustrating' of the companies and organisations [scrutinised].”

Asked by ContractorUK about its unenviable win, the Revenue said that given its helplines receive 60million calls a year on a wide range of issues, “there will always be a number of different options for callers.”  

A spokeswoman for HMRC added: “We are currently looking at our telephony system and will be introducing improvements to our call system later this year to help callers get their enquiries dealt with as quickly as possible.”

In addition, the tax authority pledged to transfer its main helplines to phone numbers beginning 03 by the end of the summer, to allow taxpayers to call in at the lowest cost possible.

“For most customers a phone number beginning 03 is cheaper to call than a 0845 number”, the spokeswoman explained. “Our Tax Credit helpline moved in December 2011 and the helplines for income tax, national insurance and VAT changed [to 03] earlier this year.”

Jul 26, 2013