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HMRC (Read 62,470 times)
Martin_rosen
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HMRC
Feb 1st, 2013 at 12:11pm
 
I have found that all the geographical numbers (instead of 0845) for them are now blocked even when prefixing with 141.

There are two ways around that, I have found.

1  Take a day trip to Calais  Grin

2  Go through 18185.co.uk  (charged at 1p pm + 5pm connection charge - still cheaper than using 0845).
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Dave
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Re: HMRC
Reply #1 - Feb 1st, 2013 at 12:45pm
 
I tried 18185 from my BT line, prefixed with 141, and it still rejected me when I called 01355 359022 (Taxes Helpline) and 0161 931 9070 (Self-Assessment Helpline).

Thanks for posting about this. I will remove those numbers from the database and replace with a message that they have been blocked.
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Dave
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Re: HMRC
Reply #2 - Feb 1st, 2013 at 5:55pm
 
Dave wrote on Feb 1st, 2013 at 12:45pm:
I tried 18185 from my BT line, prefixed with 141, and it still rejected me when I called 01355 359022 (Taxes Helpline) and 0161 931 9070 (Self-Assessment Helpline).

Thanks for posting about this. I will remove those numbers from the database and replace with a message that they have been blocked.

I'm not entirely sure about this.

I tried the 0161 number via 18185 without withholding my number and it went through. Then a short while later it didn't.

I suspect that calls with 18185 might be routed abroad and then back again, probably at some times.

If HMRC have a system that rejects calls from the UK but not abroad, then this might explain why 18185 works sometimes and not others.

It may well be that it doesn't use CLI to identify whether calls come from the UK as it isn't reliable as one can simply withhold the number.
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Golf_Paul
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Re: HMRC
Reply #3 - Feb 2nd, 2013 at 1:03pm
 
I used the number 0161 931 9070 (prefixed with 141) from my mobile at around mid-day on Thursday 31 Jan, and it connected to the menu immediately.

I was speaking to a human ( OK, a Scot  Wink  Grin ) within a few seconds, and was not questioned as to where I was calling from.
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derrick
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Re: HMRC
Reply #4 - Feb 2nd, 2013 at 1:54pm
 
Have just tried both of the above numbers from my landline which has a permanent number withheld facility, both where answered with an auto message saying I had called from the UK, and informing "this number is for international callers", then gave me the 0845 number to call.

This is totally out of order, a few years ago I obtained various number via a FOI request, at least two of these numbers work as I just tried them and "appeared " to be held in a queue, those numbers are:- 0151 4713010, and 0151 4713012, I don't know where they eventually take you as there was no menu, just music.

Other numbers I have, but not tried are:-
0151 471 3004
0151 471 3040
0151 471 3008
0151 471 3006
0151 471 3009

.
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Kiwi_g
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Re: HMRC
Reply #5 - Feb 6th, 2013 at 10:44am
 
I'm not sure if it's a good idea to remove the blocked numbers.  How do HMRC know whether or not your UK mobile is calling from UK or Europe?  I guess that one can use any inclusive minutes on a mobile contract to call a UK geographical number.

On a previous call to an HMRC geographical number, it was hinted that I would not be able to call that number from the UK in future.  It seems that this is now happening.  However, I just called one of the "blocked" numbers you listed and I got through using a VoIP line.  I wonder if calls via Skype will also go through.

Concerning my previous calls to HMRC, the calls to the 0845 number took a long time to be answered and were frequently cut off - Margaret Hodge MP please take notice.  My calls to the geographic numbers were answered quickly and were never cut off.
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Peasant
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Re: HMRC
Reply #6 - Apr 18th, 2013 at 2:12pm
 
derrick wrote on Feb 2nd, 2013 at 1:54pm:
Have just tried both of the above numbers from my landline which has a permanent number withheld facility, both where answered with an auto message saying I had called from the UK, and informing "this number is for international callers", then gave me the 0845 number to call.

This is totally out of order, a few years ago I obtained various number via a FOI request, at least two of these numbers work as I just tried them and "appeared " to be held in a queue, those numbers are:- 0151 4713010, and 0151 4713012, I don't know where they eventually take you as there was no menu, just music.

Other numbers I have, but not tried are:-
0151 471 3004
0151 471 3040
0151 471 3008
0151 471 3006
0151 471 3009

.

Thank you derrick, 0151 4713010 with 141 prefix as of today 18/4/13.  I got through to an employers help line that would confirm employees tax codes, however since I wanted more than that I was advised to phone the Employers Help line on an 0845 number.  I said I did not want use an 0845 number due to the expense of waiting for the call to be resolved and asked to be put through to a line manager who I asked to put me through to the employers' help line, which she did Shocked . The call lasted about a quarter of an hour and cost me nothing as all my calls in the UK are included.
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SilentCallsVictim
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Re: HMRC
Reply #7 - Apr 18th, 2013 at 2:22pm
 
As it has not been mentioned in this thread, it may be worth repeating that efforts to find geo rate alternatives to HMRC 0845 numbers will only be of short term benefit, as all HMRC 0845 numbers will be switched to 03 "by the end of the summer".
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CJT-80
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Re: HMRC
Reply #8 - Apr 18th, 2013 at 6:10pm
 
Good Evening,

Having decided to check on the HMRC site for when they announced they would be changing from 0845 to 03(45) numbers I found some press releases.  Interestingly they are also "closing" some of the HMRC Enquiry Centres and replacing these with potential mobile visits.

As such a Consultation is in progress.  Move info can be found here (Home/Mobile Visits) and here (Consultation)

The Consultation closes 24/05/13.

Smiley
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derrick
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HMRC
Reply #9 - May 13th, 2013 at 12:04pm
 
Despite some on here saying HMRC are going to 0345 numbers, my local one seems to have upgraded to 0844! http://www.mylocalservices.co.uk/Lancashire/HMRC/1428902/Preston_Tax_Office_HMRC...

When using the geo one from the database: -  01355 359022, re 0845 302 1478, it tells you to use the national 0845 3000627 number then cuts you off despite me having permanent number withheld on my phone.

I have just dialled 01772 834566 and this took me to the Preston office and a guy called Steve, and whilst he answered my question, (it was only about opening hours), he told me he would not be able to put me through to any other department or person.

.


~ Edited by Dave: Surname removed.
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« Last Edit: May 13th, 2013 at 3:59pm by Dave »  
 
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CJT-80
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Re: HMRC
Reply #10 - May 13th, 2013 at 3:38pm
 
Good Afternoon,

Having checked the link you have provided, I am not sure that's an Official number for HMRC.

I found an alternative link: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/enq/
which allows you to search for the Enquiry Centres.  There is also a Excel document detailing the specific opening times of each of the centres.

On a separate note, this may also interest you.. are you are going to a Tax/HMRC office.. they plan to close several of them.. https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/supporting-customers-who-need-extra-... more info via the link...

I hope this helps. Smiley
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CJT-80

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Dave
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Re: HMRC
Reply #11 - May 13th, 2013 at 9:43pm
 
derrick wrote on May 13th, 2013 at 12:04pm:
Despite some on here saying HMRC are going to 0345 numbers, my local one seems to have upgraded to 0844! http://www.mylocalservices.co.uk/Lancashire/HMRC/1428902/Preston_Tax_Office_HMRC...

I think that this is an example of a third party setting up a 084 number.

A search of the site in question shows other 0844 474 numbers for other, unconnected, organisations.


derrick wrote on May 13th, 2013 at 12:04pm:
When using the geo one from the database: -  01355 359022, re 0845 302 1478, it tells you to use the national 0845 3000627 number then cuts you off despite me having permanent number withheld on my phone.

I have just dialled 01772 834566 and this took me to the Preston office and a guy called Steve, and whilst he answered my question, (it was only about opening hours), he told me he would not be able to put me through to any other department or person.

Based on comments by submissions to the database and my cursory experimentation, I believe that the "overseas" numbers are automatically blocked from UK landlines, irrespective of whether a CLI is presented or not.

I called 01355 359022 and 0161 931 9070 from my mobile, without withholding my number, and it went through OK.

I have amended the messages in the database to "This is “overseas” number and will not accept calls from UK landlines, even with a withheld number. Calls from mobiles will probably get through."
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NGMsGhost
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Re: HMRC
Reply #12 - May 29th, 2013 at 11:12am
 
Dave wrote on May 13th, 2013 at 9:43pm:
Based on comments by submissions to the database and my cursory experimentation, I believe that the "overseas" numbers are automatically blocked from UK landlines, irrespective of whether a CLI is presented or not.

I called 01355 359022 and 0161 931 9070 from my mobile, without withholding my number, and it went through OK.


I agree with Dave as I have called HMRC today on their geographic numbers from my landline with 18185 and the call is blocked persistently whether I use 141 before dialling 18185 or not.  I believe that the denial method is precisely the same as that used by London 2012 for their 0844 helplines.  Specifically that whether the call is blocked or not depends on whether their incoming call routing equipment detects the call routing path as being from a UK landline and it is not dependent on the presentation of a CLI.

With London 2012 at certain times of day when it is cheaper to route a call to a UK fixed line number via an international path then I could get through to London 2012 but when 18185 decided to use an entirely UK based call routing path at other times of day I could not get through.  Presumably it all depends on the IP address of the Voip path used and them refusing to accept calls from a whole range of IP paths considered to be UK linked.  The fact that they bother to do this at all tells you a lot about the naked and wholly unashamed greed of their telecoms partners.

If we had a more useful Telecoms regulator rather than one (OfCoN) that I can no longer personally be bothered to even find the energy to respond to the consultations of (since I know they will always simply ignore all logically constructed rational argument about failings in their original proposal and proceed with their plans completely and utterly unmodified just as they have always in done in response to all other "consultations") then one would have thought that blocking access to UK landline numbers from within the UK by UK landline callers might be something that OfconN would want to start an "own initiative investigation" in to.  But no they just couldn't give a damn about the call costs of millions of poxy retail consumers but they undoubtedly would initiate an investigation called for by a large call centre operation on the basis that they were getting an inadequate share of the revenue collected by BT on 0845 calls. Shocked Angry Sad

I find HMRC's extraordinary policy of only bringing in 03 numbers line by line over months and months on end to be totally and utterly unacceptable.  Predictably the Capital Gains Tax line I wanted to ring today (0845 300 0627) was still using an 0845 number and the 0345 alternative said it was not yet in service but probably still charged me 5p for the call none the less (since the call appears to have been terminated on their equipment). Angry Angry Angry

I am quite sure whoever the ripoff Telco is working with HMRC will only agree to change over their highest volume ripoff 0845 call lines to 0845 at the end of the changeover process.  And I bet Summer 2013 some how just gets deferred to Summer 2014 due to unexpected technical issues.

You cannot even call HMRC to make a complaint about this without using an 0845 number and they do not accept written correspondence onlin (despite accepting tax returns by that method for many years) but only in the post with a 50p+stamp!!!!!!

I now await the ususal boring and pointless discourse from SilentCallsVictim about how life will be so much better when we have long and complicated announcements about amounts paid to service providers etc on 084/7 numbers to contend with even though the calls will still cost an absolute fortune just as before and it will still be legal for these disgusting telcos to block access to their UK geographic numbers from within the UK.

Regarding the lack of block on mobile callers I cannot believe they do not have the technology to do this so I can only imagine that the telco has been told that the extra costs for mobile callers are sufficiently outrageous that they cannot be expected to continue to get their revenue share for those calls.  For landline calls they hope to run the argument that 0845 calls are cheaper from a BT landline than out of bundle calls to 01/02/03 numbers in the weekday daytime thanks to BT's deliberate cross subsidised pricing of out of bundle 0845 numbers in the hope of keeping the whole rip off empire going for a while longer. Angry Angry Angry
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« Last Edit: May 29th, 2013 at 11:17am by NGMsGhost »  

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NGMsGhost
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Re: HMRC
Reply #13 - May 30th, 2013 at 11:55am
 
SilentCallsVictim wrote on Apr 18th, 2013 at 2:22pm:
it may be worth repeating that efforts to find geo rate alternatives to HMRC 0845 numbers will only be of short term benefit, as all HMRC 0845 numbers will be switched to 03 "by the end of the summer".


SCV,

Can you please quote your source for the above statement re the introduction of 03 numbers by HMRC and also please provide HMRC's definition of "end of summer"? Wink Tongue

Judging by previous seasonal definitions given by Ofcom on telecoms matters (which always involved rearranging time massively in their favour)  I would imagine that HMRC does not consider that summer starts until June 21st or finishes until September 20th, even though many may traditionally consider the summer to be June 1st to August 31st

As of today's date of May 30th 2013 (which is probably still Spring with summer not starting for either two more days or 23 more days depending on which defining method for summer you use) HMRC's main enquiry line on 0845 300 0627 is still very much the only way to call them from a landline with attempts to call 0345 300 0627 being rejected with the message that the number is "not yet in service".  This is a message which I have probably been charged for as it appears to be being terminated by HMRC's telecoms partner (who will clearly stop at almost nothing to earn more money - do we know exactly who they are?)

I would also note that that it took 6 minutes to reach an adviser when I called around 2 minutes of which was made up of exceedingly lengthy announcements and IVR menus and around 4 minutes of which was further call waiting time after navigating throughb the announcements and menu system.

Calls to its geographic alternative number for this helpline of 0135 535 9022 were being blocked from my landline even using 141 and then 18185 to try and make the source number detectable and try and make the routing path look international.

I was able to get through on my mobile phone to the geographic number.  However whether I am wise to do this is another matter as I only have 150 inclusive mobile minutes per month (these are genuively free with www.ovivomobile.com) and calls beyond that cost me 10p per minute whereas calls from my landline to 0845 with 18185 cost 2p per minute plus 5p connection.

Also can you explain under what internal policy document HMRC has decided it is willing to terminate calls to its geographic number from UK mobiles from not UK landlines.  I do not believe that they do not block mobiles because they do not have the technology to do so.  In my opinion it is a policy decision that we know the 0845 number is very expensive to call from mobiles but if you call us on a landline we can say it is either covered by BT Anytime or only costs 2p per minute (whilst not mentioning BT's iniquitous 14p connection charge or whatever it now stands at).

As HMRC has failed to so far introduce 03 numbers for all their high volume call lines for taxpapers it looks to me like their telco partners are still playing for time and hoping to get away with gouging taxpapers for 0845 call charges for another year or two. Shocked Angry Cry
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« Last Edit: May 30th, 2013 at 11:58am by NGMsGhost »  

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Re: HMRC
Reply #14 - May 30th, 2013 at 12:24pm
 
Thinking about this issue of landline numbers being blocked to HMRC's 0845 numbers from UK landlines (but not UK mobiles which defeats their own argument that these numbers are only for overseas callers) have none of our doubty stalwarts such as Derrick so far tried taking this as a complaint to their own landline phone provider (eg BT, TalkTalk, PostOffice, Virgin Media etc) and then on to Otelo as the Ombudsman if their fixed line telecoms provider can't provide an explanation as to why they are unable to call the number.

Oh well here goes and I will let you know what happens on my complaint in due course.

Also has no one tried taking this as a complaint to HMRC, reaching formal deadlock with them and then taking it to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman via their MP?  Clearly the PHSO should be able to understand the issue and might have more to say about HMRC selectively blocking calls from UK landlines and not mobiles than  it might have to say on whether it is ethical for HMRC to use 0845 numbers at all.
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« Last Edit: May 30th, 2013 at 12:24pm by NGMsGhost »  

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