Well today I had the joy of dealing with the HMRC Tax Credits Helpline. Without going into specifics I tried to contact them regarding making some changes.
we would expect you to notice when you have not been paid and contact us
Now you would think that this would be relatively simple… all you do is call 0845 300 3900 and go through the menu and bobs your uncle. Well believe me it is anything but that simple, choose to speak to an adviser and you’ll be promptly told all the agents are busy and try and call again! Yeah right! I’ve tried calling them numerous times in the past fortnight with the same response regardless of the time of day.
01355 359007 gets you straight through
A quick search on Money Saving Expert’s forums produced a direct number 01355 359007 which gets you straight through, and this is where things get interesting… I spoke with an adviser who asked me if I was calling from overseas..? I was then told that the number was for overseas claimants and that I was “jumping the queue”, so being in the UK means I have to call an 0845 number and pay to wait in a queue that never gets answered! Wait a minute what’s going on here! The adviser also told me that he would have to “make an entry on their system that I called this number” before continuing with my call, when I mentioned that the Child Benefit section of HMRC calls you the moment any payments are sent back the adviser responded with “we would expect you to notice when you have not been paid and contact us…”, and exactly how are we to do this… oh I forgot I’ve got to call you on that 0845 number that never gets answered while paying for the privilege!
Why does this make me feel like a “second class” citizen? There should be only one number and everyone should be in the same queue. To have a priority number for non UK residents could be considered an act of discrimination.
Did I succeed in my quest..? Nope so back to square one!