Robert Halfon MP’s crusade to cut down on customer waiting times

News / Thu 12th May 2022 am31 07:16am

HARLOW’S MP, Robert Halfon is spearheading a new parliamentary campaign to end the increasingly long waiting times that consumers face when trying to get through to utility and service provider companies.

Hundreds of thousands of people across the country wait upwards of 45 minutes to through to a customer service representative in their efforts to seek advice and get help or are directed to a complicated online process. For older and more vulnerable customers, who do not have access to the internet, the provision of a proper telephone service is critical.

This is why today, Robert Halfon MP has tabled a parliamentary motion, and will soon introduce a new Private Members Bill – the Consumer Phone Access Guarantee Bill which aims to fix this problem once and for all.

The new Bill plans to:

Ensure that no one would have to wait longer than 10 minutes on the phone.

Every customer would get through to a real human, as opposed to an automated machine or ‘bot’.
Companies would remove the ‘1,2,3 options’, which are all about trying to get customers off the phone, instead of actually talking to them.

Should businesses fail to meet these standards, they will be fined heavily and this money would be paid back to the customer through rebates.

Commenting on his plans, Mr Halfon said, “For too long customers have been told that their call is ‘important to us’ and are asked to ‘please hold’ for upwards of an hour in their desperate attempt to get through to an adviser to ask for help. Many also face the added admin of being asked to press ‘1,2,3 or 4,5 and 6’, often getting cut off in between. For older or more vulnerable customers, using online services is not an option as they do not have access to the internet.

“Utility and service providers have a duty to their consumers, and currently, practices are not good enough with telephone services aiming to get people off the phone, rather than on it. Ultimately, it should not be this difficult or take that long to speak to a real life employee that can help you with your issue.

“Only with a change in the law will these big businesses wake up and realise that their job is to serve the paying customer, rather than themselves.”

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5 Comments for Robert Halfon MP’s crusade to cut down on customer waiting times:

2022-05-12 08:13:29

Should try and sort out doctors surgeries first.

2022-05-12 09:53:48

What a pointless idea, it is not for government to tell companies how to staff especially when they have just increased employers NI and corporation taxes next year. I like Rob, but this is a silly idea, he should be focusing on the cost of living crisis and the comming energy problem. Perhaps he should be ensuring government provide the service we are all missing.

2022-05-12 11:29:16

First rate idea ! Also ban the rubbish music and facile commentary. Better still why not open lots of well staffed branches in our ailing town centres, an idea that if applied to banking and other money services would save billions of pounds lost through online fraud, especially because staff get to know their customers!

2022-05-12 21:26:59

Virginmedia are the worst by far but getting English based csa ain't gonna happen is it not when someone in India is being paid peanuts

2022-05-13 09:47:09

It is an endemic corporate disease that will never go away. I called an NHS helpline regarding a referral was kept on hold for an hour and a half (17 people in the queue) and was charged £15 for the call. This is not acceptable at all. If there is a chance that you are going to be on hold for quite a long time then the call should be free of charge.

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