Thursday, 11 September 2014

Deeper into the rigmarole

I phoned the centralised tax office today as my P2 hasn’t arrived, six days after my last call (see the previous blog entry). Bearing in mind that second class post is advertised as a two to three day service including Saturdays then I had hoped that I may have received it already, especially with the rigmarole that had preceded my second request.

It only took 35 minutes to get through to a real person but it did give me chance to take note of the useless information on the recorded messages. Did you know their telephone number was going to change soon? No? Well I don’t want to know. I am interested if this number is relevant to me. I hope that I never have to phone again and if I do then I hope I can find the number that I need. Again I am asked for the reason for my call and my personal details, all these questions are repeated by the real person.

The recorded message tells me that if my call is about my tax code then I only need to speak to an adviser if it is wrong. How I wish this were relevant but the recorded message hadn’t asked me.  Did I know that I can go online to get more information? Well yes. Does anyone not know that there is plenty of information about everything on the internet?

When the real person speaks to me she starts “hello my name is (too quick for me to hear), how can I help?” That’s nice. I explain that my daughter went back to university and I need a P2 because it is delaying her bursary. She tells me at once that a P2 has been sent out last Friday (I didn’t check the address – let’s hope it is right this time) and it may take 7 to 10 days. I ask why it takes so long and the answer is that it may take 7 to 10 days. I didn’t mention that this makes the first statement irrelevant as delivery now takes as long as it does. I already have recent experience of a letter addressed to me not arriving at all, and as I now understand it, delivery may take less than 7 days

I said that I’d like to complain and I am asked why. I begin to explain that the centralised system did not have my correct address even after I had corrected it – I got no apology last week. Then I am asked  “who did you speak to?” I repeat the words “who did you speak to?” as I write it down and apologise for saying this and explain that I am making notes.  “Why are you making notes?” My answer is simple; because I want to complain and I am writing a blog.

“If you are going to make notes then I’m not going to speak with you”. My reply is “I’m sorry I won’t delay you – I’ll just make brief notes”. “Clearly you are as you are repeating what I say”. Then the phone goes down.

I didn’t get the information as to how to complain about the tax office, I don't know if this P2 is going to the correct address, but if there are any comedy script writers out there then you are welcome to this information.

Change the world


  1. Thing is, that while you are getting the automated reply, it is often putting your phone bill up. What is wrong with the good old fashioned engaged tone, where you would put the phone down and try again later?