Tuesday 2 March 2021
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theguardian - 6 days ago

Will I ever get to complain to a human again, or has lockdown killed the company helpline? | Peter White

Businesses have been trying to push us off their phone lines and on to their websites for years. Now they have the perfect excuseIs it just me, or have the businesses of Britain decided that lockdown is the perfect excuse not to talk to anyone? I can’t remember the last time I managed to have a chat with my bank, my energy provider, the company that keeps failing to repair and return my coffee percolator.No one who lost a holiday last year and tried to get a refund will need this spelling out. How many people shared my experience of finding a number on the company’s website where I could make my claim, only to be told it wasn’t being answered due to high demand? The cruellest cut for me, however, was my joust with HMRC, who, having asked me for a mountain of information to settle a lockdown-related tax query (tax code, universal tax reference, sort code, account number etc), then informed me the number I had to call wasn’t operational “because of lockdown”. Continue reading...


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