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to be angry with the tax credit office refusing to help me with my tax credit enquiry?

(17 Posts)
superv1xen Tue 16-Nov-10 15:48:28

i have a tax credits query which i have tried to call the "help" line about but always get different answer and complete numpties unhelpful people on the phone.

so when i was in town today i thought i would call in to the tax office and chat to someone face to face. on the front it says "need help with tax credits, call in" or something along those lines.

well the snotty officious bitch woman at the front desk, after making me explain exactly what my query was, informs me that i can't see anyone, i need to ring the helpline. to which i replied, well i want to speak to someone face to face, it says outside you deal with tax credit queries? anyway it became quite clear she didn't want me to see anyone, she just didn't get it, she kept saying, you can use our phone to ring the helpline, meanwhile i am starting to get angry so i decided to just turn around and walk out before i punched her

i am so annoyed, whats the point of a tax office if they dont want to actually speak to you angry

superv1xen Tue 16-Nov-10 16:10:28

.

BellBookandCandle Tue 16-Nov-10 16:35:11

What's the point of any Government office who don't want to see their customers face to face?

Its a mad policy brought in 8 or so years ago. Reduced footfall meams you need fewer people to staff the office. In the Dept I work in face to face contact is limited and only really encouraged for the vulnerable and those who cannot use telephony or digital channels.

Contact for Tax credits is usually via phone or website

How to contact HMRC
Go to www.hmrc.gov.uk/taxcredithelpline
or phone our Helpline on 0845 300 3900.
If you use Minicom/Textphone, phone 0845 300 3909.
If you prefer to speak in Welsh, phone 0845 302 1489.

Your local tax office wouldn't have had the foggiest about your tax credits - anymore than the people who staff the tax credit helpline would have about PAYE or your tax code.

You shouldn't be so rude about public servants, they have a hard job to do, get monimal support from their management and receive pitiful training.

BubbleBobble Tue 16-Nov-10 16:39:58

The people in the office aren't trained to help, simple as that. They used to be given general training in several areas (income tax, VAT, tax credits, etc) but I think this stopped.

I'm guessing it was an enquiry centre you called into, as tax offices aren't open to the public.

superv1xen Tue 16-Nov-10 17:09:12

yes it was an enquiry centre bubble ....ok fair enough if they are not trained in tax credits, BUT it said outside that they COULD help with tax credits. so if they are not trained to deal with those types of enquiries then why does it say they do? confused

bellbook well they shouldn't be so bloody rude to me then should they you should have seen how she was speaking to me (and looking at me for that matter), like i was shit on her shoe hmm

Sarsaparilllla Tue 16-Nov-10 17:11:53

They shouldn't have a sign outside telling you you can ask about tax credits if they won't speak to people about tax credits confused

superv1xen Tue 16-Nov-10 17:28:48

EXACTLY sarsa lol, its madness.

nymphadora Tue 16-Nov-10 17:35:11

Ask your mp to intervene with TC , things get sorted much faster

BellBookandCandle Tue 16-Nov-10 17:56:03

SuperV, then complain in the first instance, sometimes it does help if people are reminded they are called `civil' servants for a reason. It makes me cross if people are rude as that reflects badly on those publuc servants who work hard.

Nymphadora - it is an expensive process going straight to your MP and that money could be better spent elsewhere. The end result is the same. I see this a lot and if only people would challenge the bad behaviours/customer service at the point of contact then things would be resolved more effectively and quicker. Nothing wrong with going to your MP or Ombudsman but only after following the correct procedure. By going direct to your MP you may get a faster outcome, but this is at the expense of others.

Someone will be along soon with the magic number that gets you straight through to Tax Credits so hopefully OP will be ablke to speak to someone who can help.

Lifetheuniverseandeverything Tue 16-Nov-10 18:14:09

I think Bell has just shown the contemptuous attitude of which you speak.

Civil servants should not be abused for doing their job.

But claiming tax credit is not a crime and it shouldn't be a major drama to be helped with queries.

And as for follow the procedures...

That's all well and good if letters are answered or telephone calls logged.

The system is a mess and needs to be dealt with by DWP instead of HMRC staff who are more used to collecting tax than helping people.. Not the staffs fault and not the 'customers' fault. Good luck with your complaint, no doubt they will respond by blaming you for not memorizing the tax credit manual and for not understanding their problems.

AutumnLady Tue 16-Nov-10 18:22:23

Going to your MP doesn't mean 'at the expense of others' as we tend to deal with a different department. There are Parliamnetary helplines and contacts specifically for this, so the we don't push others to the back of the queue.

elvislives Tue 16-Nov-10 18:26:42

YABU. This is what happens when huge numbers of civil servants are made redundant.

YesIamweird Tue 16-Nov-10 19:12:47

YANBU - they mis-sold their services to you - they said they could help if you called in.

What they didn't point out was that in the name of money saving they are cutting the number of people and just installing phones to call the helplines from. Helpful. As for not being able to see anyone, that's probably true - there probably wasn't anyone actually there for you to see.

Have to say IME the Tax Credit helpline has always been useful and given me answers I needed at the times I needed them so I have absolutely no complaints about the helpline. Not that that helps you of course, just htought I'd share!

Galena Tue 16-Nov-10 19:49:26

Yes, they did - they provided a way for you to get the help you wanted. They allowed you to phone from their office. You needed help - you went in - they offered to provide the help by putting you through to the correct people.

They didn't mis-sell their service.

extremepie Tue 16-Nov-10 21:20:38

In my experience, the people on the helplines just don't seem to care about helping you! The most recent time I had to phone them for help was because they made a mistake and stopped my tax credits.
When I realized and phoned them up, they changed my details and informed me I couldn't get any payments for 2 weeks. I get paid weekly, and at the time had just changed jobs meaning I had no income for a week, just when the cock up with the tax credits happened.
When I realized I was going to have no money at all for a week, I inquired what I might be able to do to get some money (ie, crisis loan, etc). The member of staff told me 'oh, don't bother applying for a crisis loan, you won't get one and there's nothing else we can do'. I was not happy!

donkeyderby Tue 16-Nov-10 21:26:36

There seems to be some sort of meltdown going on in the Tax Credits call centres at the moment. I have found that phoning them is like descending into some sort of Kafkaesque hell where they have no record of the last 4 phone calls I have made and deny that my childcare providers exist and when they find out they do, they say they are not registered with OFSTED - which they are and have been for years. Aaaarrrgggh

Customers are sometimes rude because they are being driven insane by an incompetent system, so uncivil servants should bear that in mind

superv1xen Wed 17-Nov-10 13:03:11

donkeyderby have had similar issues with them hmm useless idiots. its not the staff, its the systems.

galena i see your point, but it shouldn't say that they can help with tax credits if all they do is leet you use their phones to ring. i am old fashioned, i like to deal with people face to face

extreme that SUCKS i hope you have it sorted now.x

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