Feeds

Govt call centres fail to handle call numbers

119m calls ditched, say Lib Dems

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More than a third of calls to UK Government helplines fail to connect, according to information obtained by the Liberal Democrats.

It shows that since the beginning of 2003, more than 119m calls to Government departments about pensions, taxes and benefits ended in failure with callers either getting an engaged tone or abandoning the call because they had to wait too long. The worst offenders were the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and HM Revenue and Customs.

The Lib Dems warned that the real number of call failures could be much worse since many departments fail to keep up-to-date records.

The Government has introduced a host of e-government proposals in a bid to make it easier for people to contact government departments.

But according to Lib Dem Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, David Laws, the Government's direct line to the public is "failing".

"Over 119m phone calls from the public have been missed since 2003 - a colossal waste of people's time and an enormous frustration. Over one in three people calling Government helplines are receiving engaged tones or abandoning calls when they should be able to speak to an adviser...Most of the missed calls are to the tax credits hotline and to the benefits department. Because of Labour's reliance on means-testing, more and more people are having to phone in information, or check why their complex awards are going wrong. These calls are overloading the system, which is quite simply breaking down."

Earlier this week the DWP announced it was "realigning existing contracts" with BT to provide the department with a "modernised communications network to provide customers with a more reliable, better performing service".

"Over the next five and a half years, the department will be spending around £870m including VAT on services delivered by BT," said the DWP in a statement. "This will enable the department to modernise its infrastructure to improve services for customers who are often the most vulnerable in society." ®

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

More from The Register

next story
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter
You'd better not be talking about the council's housing plans
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.