The taxman is most likely to cause phone rage, according to a survey which found the HM Revenue and Customs help line is the most frustrating to use in the UK.
According to the Please Press 1 website, the phone line has 400 options for customers to wade through. It also has six menu levels with a one-minute introductory message before customers reach an 'options' selection.
Currys PC World, BT, T-Mobile and TV Licensing complete the top five of aggravating customer phone lines. TV Licensing confused callers with 71 options over seven menus.
One user said of their experience using the TV Licensing Agency helpline: "There are 4 levels of options before you can actually speak to somebody, even then I got blasted by loud Beethoven classical music - very frustrating!"
Please Press 1 founder Nigel Clarke, a former IT manager, compiled the list of frustrating help lines. He said the problem with annoying help lines is a widespread issue although some companies claim to be proud of their customer service.
"There is a real 'buyer beware' message here and the index is useful for both existing customers and those who are considering their options,” said Clarke.
He said that by using his website, UK consumers could save a combined £100million in phone charges every year. Also, by using the key codes published on PleasePress1.com, consumers can shave several minutes off their call times to contact centres.
The worst 20 customer helplines are:
- Currys/PC World
- TV Licensing Agency
- Royal Mail
- Virgin Holidays
- Legal and General Insurance
- Transport for London
- Ford Motor Company
- Student Loans Company