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(67 Posts)
gillybob Tue 21-Jul-20 15:23:35

This morning I spent 2 of the very worst hours of my life being talked down to, patronized and made to grovel.

I initiated the call in response to a general letter sent out to all SME's suggesting that "if your business has been affected by CV then ring to set up a payment plan for any outstanding PAYE and NI"

I don't owe them very much but I might as well have owed them £millions the way I was spoken to .

Why do they employ such nasty (handpicked) people. I was reduced to tears for less than £2000 .

and to think they are about to get a pay rise. angry

Whitewavemark2 Tue 21-Jul-20 15:35:08

gillybob I would definitely write in to the officers line manager or even above that if you can get her name.

I wouldn’t hold back either. It will be taken notice of and the person involved will have to answer.

I would start by saying that you are writing to your MP - always causes a stir.

Kate1949 Tue 21-Jul-20 15:41:55

Sorry you've had this experience gilly . They're not all nasty. I worked for them for nearly 40 years and I think I'm quite nice!

gillybob Tue 21-Jul-20 15:46:05

Thank you for taking the time to respond to my little rant Whitewave I am not sure where I would write to /email as there is no address on the original letter just a telephone number .

I did read part of the letter out to her but she was so ignorant and refused to listen.

I asked her politely why she felt the need to speak to me the way she did but she didn't seem in the slightest bit bothered that I was crying my eyes out .

I did get a payment plan (of sorts) but it was her way or the high way and nowhere near what I had worked out myself. I tried reasoning with her but I was wasting my time.

I wish I hadn't rang now and just let things take their course.

gillybob Tue 21-Jul-20 15:47:34

Sorry to generalize Kate1949 I just must be very unlucky .

Maybe the "nasty training" only comes in to play in certain departments.

Kate1949 Tue 21-Jul-20 15:51:57

Yes ,gilly . I was only a clerk typist
Some of the 'higher ups' could be very up themselves and rude.

Scribbles Tue 21-Jul-20 15:51:59

I'm sorry to read that, gillybob. flowers. I had experiences like that in the past and used to dread any dealings with them. However, I recently had to make contact with them because I realised that I was owed a sizeable refund. I made a coffee and sat down, prepared to wait through a lengthy period of hold music before some grumpy soul tried to fob me off with one excuse or another.

How wrong can you be? Within a very few minutes, I was answered by a courteous and helpful chap who listened to my story, consulted his supervisor and came back to tell me I was quite correct and I had overpaid. He then told me where to find the online claim form and recommended it as the quickest way to reclaim my money. I duly filled in the form and, four days later, the money was in my bank. I was well impressed.

Such a shame they obviously haven't had time to re-program all of their drones yet.

cornergran Tue 21-Jul-20 15:52:59

So sorry gilly. There’s never any excuse for this type of rudeness. Perhaps an Email to your MP’s, office? That’s if you have the energy to do it. I’m wondering if the calls go to HMRC or if the process has been subcontracted. Either way totally unacceptable.

Whitewavemark2 Tue 21-Jul-20 15:53:20

Well if you decide to write and complain, you are perfectly entitled to ring and ask for the persons line manager or the one above that name and address. Take control!🙂 they are only clerks at the end of the day.

And no, the nasty training doesn’t exist.

Politeness and civility should be expected by the tax payer from what is a public servant.

Remember if you don’t complain they will continue with their condescending ways and they should be stopped.

GillT57 Tue 21-Jul-20 15:59:28

So sorry you had this awful experience gillybob. I too had occasion to phone HMRC when I had my micro business, I explained that I had a vat quarter, several bad debts and could I please pay my Corporation Tax in two payments, a month apart, rather than in one go. No, not possible, I was advised to speak to my bank. This was just after I had discovered that I paid more Corporation Tax than the Ritz Hotel, more than Osborne & Little ( family firm of the then Chancellor). It stinks. I am so sorry, and there is nothing I can do to help, but you are not alone in your frustration. Please take this matter higher and complain.

Kate1949 Tue 21-Jul-20 15:59:28

I was only a clerk typist gilly. To be honest a lot of the higher grades were rude and condescending. I only stayed because it was secure and we needed the money.

paddyanne Tue 21-Jul-20 16:00:30

I always think its such a pity they dont behave like that with the tax dodgers who owe millions..but THEY get special treament .There are millions of self employed who got no help during the pandemic and were left to sink or swim ,I hope you manage to get through this horrendous time and come out smiling.I'm just glad we dont have staff now as we're in the runup to retirement .Keep your chin up dont let the b ---ards grind you down.

Chewbacca Tue 21-Jul-20 16:02:59

gillybob at the beginning of your call, there should have been a recorded message, telling you that all calls are recorded " for quality and training puposes". Those recordings are there to protect you, as well as HMRC staff from abusive callers. Therefore, if you have the details of the time and date of your call, you can call, email or write a formal complaint, insisting that the recording of your call is listened to and feedback given. You don't have to accept this behaviour from a jobsworth who hasn't got the good manners or decency to speak to you in a respectful and polite manner. Remember: she is an employee of the state and you're paying her wages. Fight back.

Nortsat Tue 21-Jul-20 16:22:47

We once had an HMRC Inspector turn up at our office door demanding to see me (as Head of the Service) but I was out at a meeting.

They issued a demand for £30k. We didn’t owe them anything, they had all the time lines wrong, they estimated what they thought we owed and demanded it! Our accountant (the Local Authority Accountancy Service, who were well used to dealing with HMRC) had neglected to provide the correct information.
Gillybob perhaps you can imagine the tone the Inspector used, when they thought we owed them £30k! The pompous g*t frightened the life out of my staff and small management team, turning up unannounced, demanding money, as if we were criminals.

Of course, nobody apologised for the team’s upset and the worry. When I was back in the office I sorted it out and we owed nothing.

Gillybob you have my utmost sympathy. Between HMRC and Lloyd’s Bl**dy Bank, my working life was made miserable for weeks and weeks. None of the errors were mine, but I was treated like an incompetent, by both organisations.

I am so sorry to hear about your issues ... and I know exactly how you feel. 💐💐 A large drink in the evening usually helped me. 🍷

grannysyb Tue 21-Jul-20 16:27:56

Gillly, please write to your MP, I know that you probably feel completely wrung out by this, but it might stop the nasty b....h doing it again.

Luckygirl Tue 21-Jul-20 16:29:12

I would definitely complain - we are always being told "this call will be recorded for training and quality purposes" - let's see some positive action from that.

My GP reduced me to tears a few weeks ago shortly after my OH died - people can be so crass. I tried to tell myself that maybe she was under stress because of the virus.

I am so sorry that you have had this negative experience from them. Deep breath - onwards and upwards.

gillybob Tue 21-Jul-20 16:31:01

Thank you all for your kind words.

It has really knocked me sideways . To think that I thought I was doing the right thing by responding to their written invitation . I had all my figures in front of me and I knew to the penny what I could afford but she wouldn't have it .

Yes she tried telling me to increase my overdraft GillT57 and said that HMRC are not a money lending service. She accused me of not managing my finances correctly which is what set me off crying . I asked her if she could see my records and invited her to see how much I have had in wages over the last 4 months.

Why do these people get away with treating honest tax payers in this way ? and its right that you get better thought of when you owe them £million angry

Callistemon Tue 21-Jul-20 16:34:02

gillybob they aren't all like that but yes, DH was speaking to one person on the phone ages ago who was so rude and officious that I had to take over the call.
She was completely wrong in what she was saying, got him worrying, said that he should have known he owed a lot of tax but, when challenged, admitted that the tax offices in different areas didn't know what each other were doing!
In fact, he owed about £25, not over £5,000 as she alleged.
It was when they were trying to squeeze money out of pensioners instead of getting the rich to pay their dues.

Yes, gillybob, the call will have been recorded and there is absolutely no need for a civil servant to behave like that towards a member of the public.

Like Scribbles, I encountered a very helpful man years ago who helped me to get a refund of tax I realised I was owed - just before the 6 year deadline (I think it's only 4 years now).

gillybob Tue 21-Jul-20 16:40:55

Exactly Paddyanne But I think Small businesses like mine are an easy target and they know they have the upper hand. I told her that if I had the (less than) £2000 in my own account I would have happily given it to her rather than be made to feel like this .

Yes there was a message saying that the call was being recorded but I am not sure they would use it against themselves .

gillybob Tue 21-Jul-20 16:42:21

I am not a member of the public I am a small business owner Calli therefore we are treat like a piece of sh*t on HMRC's shoes.

MissAdventure Tue 21-Jul-20 16:43:40

It really affects you, I think, when you encounter this kind of attitude; it still takes me by surprise to realise not everyone is at least polite.
The "work coach" at the job centre made me cry (in someone's arms, if you please!!!)

Horrible people, who shouldn't be doing their jobs if they have so few customer skills.

Callistemon Tue 21-Jul-20 16:48:38


I am not a member of the public I am a small business owner Calli therefore we are treat like a piece of sh*t on HMRC's shoes.

It's probably your turn to be a target, gillybib.

There was a targeted campaign against pensioners at one point a few years ago because there was a lot of publicity about it, very unpleasant and upsetting.

I know it costs to ask an accountant to help but sometimes it is worth it.
You could be entitled to money, too, but the processes are so difficult that many people give up.

Callistemon Tue 21-Jul-20 16:49:36

Sorry, gillybob
Not bib

Chewbacca Tue 21-Jul-20 16:52:13

Yes there was a message saying that the call was being recorded but I am not sure they would use it against themselves.

They have no choice gillybob but to listen to it and use it for "training purposes"; that's precisely why it's there. You can raise this as an official complaint either with HMRC themselves or with you MP. You just need to give the time, date and, if you have it, the name of the woman you spike to. She clearly needs extra training. She's clearly quite comfortable reducing callers to tears of despair and she needs to be stopped.

Chewbacca Tue 21-Jul-20 16:53:01

Spoke, not spike!