Why am I saying this? You will have noticed that HMRC only uses 0845 telephone numbers. These are called non geographic numbers (NGN). If you research this a little bit you will find that the 0871 or 0845 numbers are based on a revenue sharing principle. The commission received varies considerably and ranges from a few pence per minute down to a fraction of a penny (in fairness sometimes nothing at all). In any event for the caller the use of these numbers is more expensive. So why does HMRC (and many other Government agencies) still use these numbers? If they receive substantial commission I may disagree but I may understand. If they receive nothing then I just dont understand. What we and our clients have however noticed is a correlation between higher cost/commission paying telephone numbers and the amount of time you are being kept holding or being transferred from one department to another.
There is a solution. We think it makes eminent sense to use low cost telephone numbers – There is simply no justifiable reason why government agencies should burden citizens with extra costs nor why they should receive commission.