CRA cannot cope with call volume

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The next time you need to get in touch with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and can’t get through, take cold comfort in the fact that you aren’t alone. Countless calls, many from the same people making multiple calls in a vain bid to get through go unanswered due to the agency’s inability to handle these high call volumes.

Not only that, taxpayers are dealt a double whammy because when it does, wrong information is provided. This was noted in report by the auditor general.

The Canada Revenue Agency has tried to make its call service centre “look better than it really is” in public reports, but have done so by omitting the number of missed calls.

Between March 2016 and March 2017, individuals and businesses made more than 53.5 million telephone calls to the agency’s call centres. But more than half — about 29 million — were “blocked” and not answered by an agent or the automated self-service system. Instead, they got a busy signal or got a message telling them to go the website or call back later.

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Each caller made an average of three or four calls a week attempting to get through and even then, weren’t always successful, the report found.

Three-quarters of those who reached the self-service system hung up before even listening to the main menu.

The agency claimed that callers would rather get a busy signal or an automated message rather than wait long to speak with an agent, an assertion challenged by the auditor general.

Call volumes have increased 27 per cent since 2012-13 and 23 per cent more agents seem to have hardly made much of an impact.

In 255 test calls by audit staff, Canada Revenue Agency employees gave incorrect information 30 per cent of the time.

The audit found that although employees were professional, the quality of their responses needed to get better.

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Canada Revenue Agency said that it will be moving to a new telephone system next year which might make a difference in the service. But don’t hold your breath. – CINEWS


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