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Working Lunch Tuesday, 20 May, 2003, 13:38 GMT 14:38 UK
A helpline that's not much help
When is a Helpline not a Helpline?

When it doesn't give you any help, of course. Many of those applying for Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit who've been trying to contact the Inland Revenue via its helpline have been complaining about this.

One Working Lunch viewer who works in a call centre that the Inland Revenue contracts work out to, has been in touch.

He says that people are basically wasting their time and money by calling.

"We do not have any details whatsoever, we can only tell them what the state of play is," says the viewer. His call centre can't even offer them a call back.

"The only chance of getting through to the Inland Revenue is through option five now, or perhaps through option three if you're really lucky and get through to an Inland Revenue agent. But the chances of that happening are actually very slim."

Our viewer goes on to say that many people can be holding for up to an hour and then just get cut off.

Click on the icon above to hear the full story.

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Call centre
Simon asks why it's a waste of time for claimants to call
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