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IR service

IR service

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Is it just me or is everyone getting poor service from the IR - especially for self-assessment issues.

The IR has a service goal of answering phone calls in five rings - I can't get an answer at all from Birmingham Solihull and gave up after trying every hour for a week and wrote to them for a client. It took three weeks for a response to the letter!

I've got another client owed a £3000 SA refund and the SA service centre isn't taking calls because they're too busy and the client can't expect to have the message acknowledged let alone dealt with for at least a week.

It seems unfair clients are fined for late filing even if they're busy, but the IR has optional service standards that are forgotten when they want.

Perhaps we ought to start a web log to name and shame the worst offices - I nominate Birmingham Solihull and Bradford Beckside for starters!
Steve Sims

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By AnonymousUser
19th May 2003 15:29

Inland Revenue Customer Service or Fire fighting at its best
You think customer service in the IR is bad. In the last week we have had a 79 year old client rung on a Saturday by the Shipley DARM unit chasing up a 2002 SA return (that should never have been issued) for his wife who has been dead for 2 years and for whom we had already obtained a written apology for as a result of a letter sent by HMI, chasing the same return, that arrived two days before Christmas 2002. A Section 9A enquiry that the Inspector was continuing to persue despite it being quite clear that the problem laid with another Government department not operating PAYE correctly, it was only the threat of compensation that resulted in the Inspector agreeing to issue a closure notice. But to top it all off, our firm has been issued with a reminder by Dorset and South Wilts area (alias Bournemouth) to submit its P35, despite this being sent on 15th April. The only response, after spending nearly 3 hours trying to get through was "we'll send you another one to complete". At the end of the day, the IR seem to forget that they are public servants who should provide a proper and complete service to there so called "customers" perhaps they should employ some of the Governments ex-spin doctors.

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By dhollister
12th May 2003 19:26

complaint about Revenue Service
Bournemouth Tax office used to be a shining example of efficiency; one-ring phone anwering, nice people, etc. Now - if you can get through at all - they're demoralised and generally agree that it's a piss[***]-poor service. Sometimes I have waited an hour to be told ' all our advisors are busy, you may care to try later". Not so good when you have a client sitting in front of you saying "OK, who's paying for your time on this call" ("sorry, chum, you are" doesnt seem an acceptable answer).
So I have registered a formal written complaint with the tax office, the Southern Area regional manager, and the Area Director.
I have advised them that I am logging every minute spend waiting for 'an advisor' (what happened to tax officers ??). And that at the end of each month I will be invoicing them for x hours y minutes at my hourly rate, and that their failure to settle will mean I simply knock it off my monthly PAYE.
I strongly urge ALL your members and readers to complain actively; not until our lone voices of dissatisfaction become a unanimous thunder of complaint will the powers that be take any heed of it at all. And even then, it's doubtful.
Apart from that, the staff at Bournemouth are just as fed up with this 'rationalisation' as we are and have privately encouraged me to take this course of action.So aim your slings and arrows at your Area Directors.

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By AnonymousUser
13th May 2003 08:26

We all have our horror stories
Like the time I rang four different numbers, each time being given another number to ring to try to track down the correct tax office.

But overall I think that the Revenue have given me a good service over the years.

Now, Customs and Excise...

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By cbales
10th May 2003 14:38

When is Bristol not Bristol?
Answer - when its Inland Revenue.

The Bristol area has gone call centre and the call centre is located at Bournemouth!

Unless a direct dial number is provided, what used to be a local telephone call for the half million or more people in the Bristol area and answered very quickly is now a long distance telephone call with a queueing arrangement after answer. The longest so far to get an actual human being is just over 6 minutes at peak telephone rate after answer.

According to the circular letter to agents when this was anounced, the call centre would be able to deal with anything that arose because of modern computer systems. So far that has proved to be far from the case. One illustration - either they haven't got a message through to Bristol to call me back because their line was engaged or Bristol got the message and haven't bothered to call me back - in response to a call on 3rd March.

You can't fool all of the people all of the time but service is getting dangerously rock bottom when you fool none of the people none of the time. Especially when it is so very obvious in a number of areas that staff moral is very low.

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By AnonymousUser
09th May 2003 18:34

Not of this earth
Quite a long time ago now so I won't mention the branch, but an accountant I once had tried to sort out a problem for me after I could get nowhere myself. Said it was "like trying to communicate with a black hole".

Not that I'm complaining necessarily, in some ways an efficient Inland Revenue would be a nightmare, their screw ups seem to go in one's favour as often as not.

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By dhollister
15th May 2003 19:00

how to complain ......
Steve - the only way is to complain properly.

Find the name and address of the Area Director of Inland Revenue (they're all published somewhere) and set out your complaints in a letter, registered post, with a copy to the District Inspector of the office you're complaining about. Copy to your MP as well (for all that might be worth).

Then follow it up and record dates and times that you're on hold or unable to get through. Dont forget that whilst you're on the line, your clients can't get through to you, so how much business are you losing ?

At the end of the month, send the Area Director an invoice for your time.

Guaranteed to start a ball rolling somewhere !!

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By AnonymousUser
09th May 2003 16:22

Agreed....
I've been in the same boat recently and nominate South Wales Area as the worst call centre, sorry district!!

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