Over the past few months there has been public outcry about HMRC charging UK callers premium rates to call their information hotlines. These 0845 telephone numbers result in premium rate charges when called from landlines, while costing even more when initiated from a mobile phone.
When questioned by MPs at the Public Accounts Committee in January 2013, Lin Homer, Head of HMRC, said Cable & Wireless make “less than £1 million” in profit on the premium rate numbers, which can cost 41p a minute.
An investigation by the National Audit Office found that in 2012, 20million calls to HMRC’s hotline went unanswered, while over 6.5 millions callers spent more than 10 minutes on hold waiting for their calls to be answered. This has resulted in an outcry for change to the crucial numbers on which UK taxpayers contact HMRC.
In light of this, HMRC have decided to change their 0845 contact lines to free-phone 0300 numbers. This will save callers money, whilst giving them more time to listen to any clear and important information without worrying about amounting large phone bills.
The BBC 2 programme ‘Losing It’ found that “Being kept on-hold by a call centre or business is the number one thing most likely to make British people angry”. Premier Business Audio has provided audio marketing services since 1996 that have alleviated this issue. Helping businesses save time, and contact centre costs, Premier create audio messaging that engages with and informs the caller, accompanied by soothing music.
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