Industry Research : HMRC Tops List of Most Complex Call Centre Menus
British consumers find HM Revenue & Customs' call centre menu the most frustrating customer service line in the UK, according to a call centre database.
The Please Press 1 website helps users to quickly "Press Ahead" through the menu options by sharing a database of "shortcuts". The guide lists the option menus for companies including BT, easyJet, Santander, Vodafone and NHS Direct.
It has ranked the UK's most frustrating automated phone menus, based on its own data and customer feedback.
HM Revenue & Customs tops the list of companies that confuse callers with complex telephone menus.
HMRC, which receives up to 60million calls a year, has around 400 menu options in total, Please Press 1 founder Nigel Clarke said.
BT, Sky and the TV Licensing Agency are new entrants on the "Rage Index" - but Lloyds TSB, Halifax, Direct Line and Co-operative insurance have all dropped out of the top twenty since the first index was published in July.
It has been updated to incorporate a "vast amount of feedback" from social media and via the pleasepress1.com website.
Mr Clarke, a former IT manager, said: "It’s a widespread issue yet some of these companies actually say they pride themselves on their customer service.
"There is a real buyer beware message here and the index is useful for both existing customers and those who are considering their options."
PleasePress1.com said it has received an average of 400,000 hits per month since the launch of the service in May.
A HMRC spokesperson said: "HMRC receives around 60 million calls a year to its helplines, covering a wide range of subjects, so there will always be a number of different options for callers.
"In all cases, callers will be presented with up to six main options. Based on their selection, sub options become available so that the customer gets all the information they require.
"We are currently looking at our telephony system and will be introducing improvements to our call system later this year to help customers get their enquiries dealt with as quickly as possible."
Mr Clarke, from Kent, started the service after growing frustrated with the number of options and volume of recorded information on call centre menus.
He told the Telegraph in May: "As I researched it, I realised the reaction from people was always the same – that there were too many options, too many levels, and it took too long to get through.
"If you know what numbers to press, you can get through in seconds rather than minutes."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Monday, August 5, 2013