Dear HM Revenue and Customs,
I am writing to ask for the telephone number for the head office for Child Benefit. As every time I call I am given a 5 day call back from head office which never happens, I am being passed from pillar to post and feel I am being completely ignored therefore I would like to call them directly and hopefully receive the answers I need. I made the claim when my daughter was 3 weeks old 1/12/11 she is now six months and I am still not receiving benefit.
Freedom of Information 2000
Dear Ms Taylor
Thank you for your email of 15 May 2012 which, because you mentioned the
Freedom of Information Act (FOI), was put into our FOI process. Having
considered your request which asks for a clarification of a telephone
number and refers to a complaint concerning your dealings with us rather
than, as envisaged by the Act ‘describes the information’ you want I do
not think it is answerable under the terms of the FOI.
Consequently I think it would be more helpful if I answered your enquiry
in general terms. I hope you find this approach helpful.
You have asked for the specific telephone number of the area that deals
with a Child Benefit claim. From the information supplied it would seem
that you already have our “Head Office” Helpline number and from a
customer service perspective your requested call backs have not
materialised. I am very sorry about this and if you would care to contact
me directly at the Child Benefit Office address as shown at the top of
this letter, quoting your full details, I can look into this for you.
I should explain that HMRC operates Contact Centres in various locations
throughout the country. The Child Benefit Helpline number is as quoted at
the head of this letter.
The aim of Contact Centres is to provide a more cost-effective route for
callers whilst providing high levels of customer service. The Child
Benefit Helpline is open for extended hours, as shown above and advisers
can give / take more information and update records in many circumstances
where previously a customer would have to write. The Department’s aim is
to create a “virtual” access for customers whereby calls from anywhere in
the country can be efficiently handled in any Contact Centre location.
This creates better flexibility for managing the number of calls and
allows us to better match staffing resources to meet our customer’s needs.
However when the customer requests that we return their call the request
is transferred to the specific operational area handling their case at
that point in time. I am sorry if this was not your experience.
Dealing with this type of call in this way allows our Helpline to manage
customer expectations and ensures our clerical staff concentrate on
processing claims, only becoming involved in telephone correspondence when
For your information the Child Benefit Office structure and workflow
processes has changed year on year since 2000. Our staff has had
interchangeable roles within the Child Benefit claims process as at the
same time they may have also dealt with other work relating to the
maintenance of Child Benefit. Our work allocation guidelines are
constantly under reviewed to match the needs of the business and our
customers. This is because we have seasonal peaks and troughs of customer
demand depending on where we are at in the academic year.
Therefore I am unable to give you a further specific operational telephone
number allocated to an individual customer.
Freedom of Information Officer.
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Child Benefit Office
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