Taxpayers on long hold. Representational image by Berkeley Communications on unsplash
CMEDIA: Hundreds of millions of dollars have been earmarked by the federal government to improve customer service at the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), but tax payers reportedly said that telephone wait times sometimes clocking in at more than two hours.
The federal government’s decision to lay off approximately 1,800 employees in May and June, the union representing CRA employees said, has only made the situation at the agency’s call centres worse.
With a spike in the number of irate callers rebuking agents after experiencing long periods on hold, the union was reported saying that unlike some other call centres run by banks, telecommunications companies and airlines, the CRA does not always offer a “call back” option.
Marc Brière, president of the Union of Taxation Employees, was reported saying the wait times are “unacceptable” and added,
“It shouldn’t take that long to get through to an agent of the CRA, that’s for sure,” he said. “Close to 1,800 people were let go in May and June. We condemn that decision…If people are waiting two hours on the line…They will need to hire more people.”
The CRA has started to rehire about 160 people, Brière said.
“I don’t understand why they let go of so many people only to rehire them a month later,” he said