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Departmental Telephone Services

Volume 502: debated on Monday 7 December 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if she will assess the merits of introducing an automatic call-back request feature for callers to her Department's telephone helplines to minimise the cost to callers. (301086)

[holding answer 24 November 2009]: Where a customer calling the Department for Work and Pensions' 0800 or 0845 services asks us to, or raises concerns over the cost of the call, we will offer to call them back. In addition to this, Jobcentre Plus has recently introduced a further improvement in customer service for customers calling their 0800 and 0845 benefit enquiry numbers from mobile phones. From October 2009, all customers calling these numbers from a mobile phone are now automatically offered a call-back.

The Department has also asked our telephony provider to investigate how we might employ automated interventions that allow customers to leave call-back numbers without waiting for connection to an agent. Potential solutions may involve either saving a customer's place in line or scheduling a call back time convenient to each customer.