Feeds

Govt call centres fail to handle call numbers

119m calls ditched, say Lib Dems

Website security in corporate America

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." ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Bono: Apple will sort out monetising music where the labels failed
Remastered so hard it would be difficult or impossible to master it again
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.