Customer satisfaction is a tough business. Especially when you’re dealing with impatient masses that need that tax refund NOW, so that they don’t miss an installment on a home equity line of credit.
Unfortunately, the IRS wasn’t able to answer 22.4 million calls for this past filing season. This was during normal business hours and were for various reasons including, “the taxpayers hung up, were courtesy disconnected by the IRS, or received a busy signal.” We’d be interested in the ‘courtesy disconnected’ calls as we’re guessing that it some of the calls may have included:
“Sir, I don’t know what the President will do regarding raising your taxes…No sir, I don’t know for an absolute fact that the President isn’t a socialist…No sir, that does not make me a socialist…Hello?”
To the Service’s credit, they did answer 35.8 million calls during normal business hours (still less than half, slackers) according to the report put out by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.
But the higher than expected number of calls obviously caught the Service off guard, since they must have made the terrible assumption that taxpayers would try reading the instructions prior to calling for help on the Presidential campaign contribution.
IRS Didn’t Answer 22.4 Million Taxpayer Phone Calls [TaxProf Blog]
Higher Than Planned Call Demand Reduced Toll-Free Telephone Access for the 2009 Filing Season [TIGTA Report]