In March 2009 the UK Borders Agency effectively shut down their email system because they were too busy to answer enquiries.

“We regret that, due to unusually high demand for this service during recent weeks, we are currently unable to provide individual, personalised responses to new enquiries.”

More recently HMRC’s Child Benefit email service seems to be unavailable:

“Our email service is temporarily unavailable and your message has not been read by an advisor.”

I hope this practice stops and does not become a habit. When I go to supermarkets an the store is busier than usual they open more tills – they don’t close the store.

Thanks to Richard Taylor for an email he sent raising both issues that prompted me to write this blog post.

For many people it is cheaper to call a geographic phone number (it depends on your tarriff).

So Government Departments can help citizens and small businesses save money in a recession just be publishing lists of numbers.

“The geographical number for the Self Assessment/PAYE DMB 0845 366 7816 telephone
number is 01506 476 066.”

“The geographical number for the Self Assessment card payments 0845 305 1000 telephone
number is 01726 209 025″

See: HMRC response

See also: saynoto0870.com