I FIRST CALLED Revenue’s call centre in early December 2006, as I wanted to know how long it would take to get a tax clearance certificate for a foreign investment. The call centre agent was quick to answer, was courteous and helpful and told me it would take 10 working days to process once I’d submitted the necessary documents.
Twelve calls to the call centre, four requests for escalation and/or to speak to a team leader or manager and 34 working days later I still don’t have that elusive piece of paper.
The problems? First, conflicting information from different call centre personnel. Depending on whom you speak to, the certificates should take either 10 or 21 days to issue. I’m still none the wiser as to which it is. More staff training required.
Second, there appears to be a disconnect between Revenue’s call centre and its regional offices. The call centre personnel don’t seem able to do much more than flag problems on their system and request a response from the regional office. That’s problematic when no response is forthcoming after almost two months.
Third, call centre agents shouldn’t make promises they (or their regional office colleagues) can’t keep. It just means more calls to the call centre from an irate customer.